April 2018 Safety Corner

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

1. Before launching, go over a mental checklist of the pattern in order to complete a STABLIZED APPROACH TO LANDING. The checklist should include power 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, under carriage, mixture, props, switches – fuel pump, lights, etc.), and radio communications.
2. Don’t forget to lower the nose as you add flaps and in approach turns.

3. Re-trim with every configuration change; learn amount of movement of trim
wheel 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 at
approximately 400-500 feet AGL at that point;

5. Be completely stabilized at 300 feet – correct configuration and correct airspeed within plus or minus 3 knots. It’s all about airspeed and sight pattern at that point. Forget power settings. It’s all about what you see, feel and AIRSPEED.

6. Aim for the second centerline stripe and land no farther than the third (unless runway is very short). PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE EFFECTS OF THE WIND, ESPECIALLY ON BASE TO FINAL. DO YOU HAVE A TAILWIND OF ANY KIND? IF SO, DON’T OVERSHOOT THE BASE AND PUT YOUR SELF IN THE CLASSIC STALL-SPIN SCENARIO OF SKIDDING INTO THE TURN TOWARD FINAL. ANTICIPATE THE TAILWIND AND TURN 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. Some like the crab technique until at the end, but ending should have the same result – upwind wing low and opposite rudder to a safe touchdown. Remember, that ‘slip’ condition will also make you lose altitude 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; not immediately in front of the airplane. If you try to look over the center of the instrument 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.

By the way, for ONE NOTE: Remember to check the flight logbooks as part of your preflight to see my one safety tip this month …. Please don’t confuse the” tow bar” for the if the plane has been flown the same day. If it has, try using a warm start (IE: no fuel pump on the Arrow). If it doesn’t start right off with only about 5 seconds of cranking, then go ahead and go with a normal cold start procedure.

Kevin Broderick, ATP, CFII and Safety Officer