April 2019 Safety Corner

Now that spring is in full swing, I’m sure many of our members want to sharpen theirskills – particularly landing skills. Here are some general tips on shaking the rust offyour landings:

1. Before launching, go over a mental checklist of the pattern in order to completea STABLIZED APPROACH TO LANDING. The checklist should includepower settings/speeds, flaps, carb heat, etc., at different points in the pattern(entering downwind, mid downwind, end of downwind, base, final), altitude,visual references, CCGUMPS checklist (carb heat, cowl flaps, gas,undercarriage, mixture, props, switches – fuel pump, lights, etc.), and radiocommunications.

2. Don’t forget to lower the nose as you add flaps and in approach turns becauseyou will balloon a little, depending on what plane you are in.

3. Re-trim with every configuration change; learn amount of movement of trimwheel to attain a certain speed in my airplane;

4. Find a fix point on final that is 1⁄2 mile from the runway threshold and be atapproximately 400-500 feet AGL at that point;

5. Be completely stabilized at 300-500 feet – correct configuration and correctairspeed within plus or minus 3 knots. It’s all about airspeed and sight patternat that point. Forget power settings. It’s all about what you see (VASI/PAPI –especially at night), feel and AIRSPEED.

6. Aim for the second centerline stripe and land no farther than the third (unlessrunway is very short). PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE EFFECTS OF THEWIND, ESPECIALLY ON BASE TO FINAL. DO YOU HAVE A TAILWINDOF ANY KIND? IF SO, DON’T OVERSHOOT THE BASE AND PUTYOURSELF IN THE CLASSIC STALL-SPIN SCENARIO OF SKIDDINGINTO THE TURN TOWARD FINAL. ANTICIPATE THE TAILWIND ANDTURN TO FINAL EARLIER.

7. In some cases, you may need to carry a bit of power as in a soft field landing;

8. In a crosswind use wing low method on short final and opposite rudder. Somelike the crab technique until at the end they basically do the wing low/oppositerudder technique. Remember, that ‘slip’ condition will also make you losealtitude quickly so watch your decent rate and adjust.

9. Know when to go around and make that decision early.

10. When touching down, look to the left slightly and look down the runway; notimmediately in front of the airplane. If you try to look over the center of theinstrument panel, you may not be able to see the ground in a full stall attitude –which would be especially true in the Bonanza.

11. Evaluate every landing and apply that knowledge to subsequent landings.

KEVIN BRODERICK, ATP, CFII
SKYHAWK FLYING CLUB SAFETY OFFICER