Airplane Accuracy Landings

Posted by Admin on

Although accuracy landings are fun to practice and should be on the private pilot checkride, they have a much more serious purpose. They are invaluable in an actual emergency situation.

The most common procedure for practicing accuracy landings is to pick a spot on the runway and then attempt to land on or within 200 feet beyond the spot. Any landing made short of this spot must be considered a failure. In an actual emergency, if you fail to make the field by even a few feet, the chances of your striking a fence or some other object are greatly increased.

To begin practice on accuracy landings, enter downwind at the normal pattern altitude and pick a spot on the runway that is fairly prominent. Select a spot that allows for some margin of error —not the very end of the runway, for example. When your aircraft reaches a point adjacent to the spot, reduce power to idle. The pattern should remain rectangular and as normal as possible. The use of flaps, slips, or slight S-turning is encouraged as long as you don’t get too carried away and start using dangerous maneuvers to arrive at the spot.

It’s best to turn onto final approach a little high, if possible, because you can always lose altitude by the methods just mentioned. Be careful that you don’t stay so high that you have a problem with an overshoot. Remember, this is an emergency procedure. In real life you will probably get only one chance. On the other hand, if you are too low, there is no way on earth to get your aircraft onto the runway without power.

Always remember to aim a little short of the spot to allow for the float during the flare. When you turn onto final, watch the spot of in tended landing. If the spot appears to move toward you, you are too high. If it appears to move away from you, you are too low. Of course, if you are way too low or high, you might not make the runway at all. It has to be within reason and it also depends on how far out you are from touchdown, airspeed, flap setting, etc. This method is as foolproof as any I have ever seen, and with a little practice you can land on a given spot with little difficulty.

Accuracy landings should be practiced with and without power, in full-flap and no-flap configurations. They should be practiced until you are confident that you can land on a given spot from any altitude and power setting. Then, continue to practice them often so you don’t lose your touch. The knowledge that you can put your aircraft down on a given spot from any altitude at any time is one of great comfort and security.

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