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Thread: Flare

  1. #1
    Kamic's Avatar
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    Flare

    Anyone have any good suggestions on techniques to improve my landings? I'm struggling with my flares...
    Michael Goetzman - Milwaukee WI
    https://picasaweb.google.com/goetzman

  2. #2
    SKOTT's Avatar
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    I think it would help if you could provide more detail regarding your symptoms. For example: Are you flaring too late and driving it into the ground, or flaring too early and dropping it in, or flaring too much and floating for a long way, or flaring too little and hitting your nose first, etc.... Some detail can go a long way to get good help...

  3. #3
    dillardrg's Avatar
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    Kamic,

    I have found that upwards of 80% of landing problems are speed problems. Most of those are arriving too fast with the resulting float.

    You did not specify what type aircraft you are having problems with, but as a general rule of thumb use 1.3 X the stall speed as an approach speed (if Vso is 50kts, approach speed will be 65 kts) and use 1.2 X Vso "across the fence"( 60 kts in the example).

    As you arrive on short final (15-20' AGL) and slow to 1.2 Vso shift your visual focus out toward the end of the runway and use your peripheral vision to determine when to raise the nose.

    From that point, use the seat of your pants to determine how much to raise the nose. If you feel the aircraft level off, quit pulling the yoke and wait. When you feel the aircraft sink, raise the nose a little more. Keep doing this until the aircraft decelerates until it will no longer fly and touches down with the nose wheel well clear of the runway.

    Try this and let me know how it works. The more you practice the better your judgement of height will be.

    The above proceedure is for a steady wind. If gusty, add 1/2 the gust speed to your approach speed.

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Kamic's Avatar
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    Skott, to be honest: I'm too new to really know what i'm doing wrong... I'm learning to fly a tail wheel similar to a piper cub.

    Dillardrg, Excellent response! I only have about 25 hours of flight time in. Once I get back into lessons, I'll be sure to give it a shot!
    Michael Goetzman - Milwaukee WI
    https://picasaweb.google.com/goetzman

  5. #5
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    One exercise to try (with your instructor) is to descend and then fly the length of the runway at a constant few feet above the runway for it's length. Once you get a feel for the proper attitude and control "in the flare" finding it again on your approach will be easier.

  6. #6

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    If it is a light plane like a Cub you may be coming in too fast. I use a max of 50 mph in my J3.
    And how far you look down the runway matters, shift your focus, try about half way down, try differnt focus points.
    Most of all try to level off near the runway, DON'T LET IT TOUCH, until the speed is used up. Don't try to force it or fly it onto the runway.

  7. #7
    Everybody is saying the same thing - when you get somewhat close to the runway, reduce power and let it glide down the runway at a few feet above the runway. Keep saying to yourself "It will stop flying when it's ready, it will stop flying when it is ready....." For a 2 point (wheel) landing - just wait till the plane gets tired of flying. In order to keep the same sight picture, as it slows down, you will have to add some back pressure on the stick. Just add enough to keep the same picture.. If you are doing a 3-point, then a little more back pressure will raise the nose.If you think that you are a little high and slow and are worried that the airplane will drop, just add a sliver of power. If you can hear the engine change rpm, then you probably have added enough. Pretty much anything from 900 to 1100 RPM or so is sufficient. The object is to have a little prop wash blow over the tail to gain a little more control and stop any excessive sink.One thing to remember: In Cubs and their clones, if the second bounce is worse than the first bounce, do a go around. It only gets worse.Hopefully, you are learning on grass. Everything is a lot easier on grass.Pete

  8. #8
    SKOTT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamic View Post
    Skott, to be honest: I'm too new to really know what i'm doing wrong... I'm learning to fly a tail wheel similar to a piper cub.

    Dillardrg, Excellent response! I only have about 25 hours of flight time in. Once I get back into lessons, I'll be sure to give it a shot!
    What is it that you think is wrong? You are walking away and the airplane can be used again, aren't you?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    One exercise to try (with your instructor) is to descend and then fly the length of the runway at a constant few feet above the runway for it's length. Once you get a feel for the proper attitude and control "in the flare" finding it again on your approach will be easier.
    That's the way my CFI is teaching me -- seems to be working well!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    One exercise to try (with your instructor) is to descend and then fly the length of the runway at a constant few feet above the runway for it's length. Once you get a feel for the proper attitude and control "in the flare" finding it again on your approach will be easier.
    When doing this exercise, really focus on keeping the airplane STRAIGHT and removing all drift. After you get good at it, try the variation of moving the airplane gently side to side, say 10ft either side of centerline and again keep the airplane straight. down the runway.

    The other exercise to discuss with your instructor is to go up to a safe altitude, and practice holding an airspeed while your instructor changes the throttle setting. Try the exercise at various airspeeds, but focus on those from about 1.1 to 1.5 Vs so that you can get a feel for what pitch changes work best to control your airspeed.

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