Chapter 8—Approaches and Landings

Table of Contents
Normal Approach and Landing
    Base Leg
    Final Approach
    Use of Flaps
    Estimating Height and Movement
    Roundout (Flare)
    After-Landing Roll
    Stabilized Approach Concept

Intentional Slips
Go-Arounds (Rejected Landings)
    Ground Effect

Crosswind Approach and Landing
    Crosswind Final Approach
    Crosswind Roundout (Flare)
    Crosswind Touchdown
    Crosswind After-Landing Roll
    Maximum Safe Crosswind Velocities

Turbulent Air Approach and Landing
Short-Field Approach and Landing
Soft-Field Approach and Landing

Power-Off Accuracy Approaches
    90° Power-Off Approach
    180° Power-Off Approach
    360° Power-Off Approach

Emergency Approaches and Landings (Simulated)

Faulty Approaches and Landings
    Low Final Approach
    High Final Approach
    Slow Final Approach
    Use of Power
    High Roundout
    Late or Rapid Roundout
    Floating During Roundout
    Ballooning During Roundout
    Bouncing During Touchdown
    Hard Landing
    Touchdown in a Drift or Crab
    Ground Loop
    Wing Rising After Touchdown

    Dynamic Hydroplaning
    Reverted Rubber Hydroplaning
    Viscous Hydroplaning


Power-on approaches at an airspeed slightly above the normal approach speed should be used for landing in turbulent air. This provides for more positive control of the airplane when strong horizontal wind gusts, or up and down drafts, are experienced. Like other power-on approaches (when the pilot can vary the amount of power), a coordinated combination of both pitch and power adjustments is usually required. As in most other landing approaches, the proper approach attitude and airspeed require a minimum roundout and should result in little or no floating during the landing.

To maintain good control, the approach in turbulent air with gusty crosswind may require the use of partial wing flaps. With less than full flaps, the airplane will be in a higher pitch attitude. Thus, it will require less of a pitch change to establish the landing attitude, and the touchdown will be at a higher airspeed to ensure more positive control. The speed should not be so excessive that the airplane will float past the desired landing area.

One procedure is to use the normal approach speed plus one-half of the wind gust factors. If the normal speed is 70 knots, and the wind gusts increase 15 knots, airspeed of 77 knots is appropriate. In any case, the airspeed and the amount of flaps should be as the airplane manufacturer recommends.

An adequate amount of power should be used to maintain the proper airspeed and descent path throughout the approach, and the throttle retarded to idling position only after the main wheels contact the landing surface. Care must be exercised in closing the throttle before the pilot is ready for touchdown. In this situation, the sudden or premature closing of the throttle may cause a sudden increase in the descent rate that could result in a hard landing.

Landings from power approaches in turbulence should be such that the touchdown is made with the airplane in approximately level flight attitude. The pitch attitude at touchdown should be only enough to prevent the nosewheel from contacting the surface before the main wheels have touched the surface. After touchdown, the pilot should avoid the tendency to apply forward pressure on the yoke as this may result in wheelbarrowing and possible loss of control. The airplane should be allowed to decelerate normally, assisted by careful use of wheel brakes. Heavy braking should be avoided until the wings are devoid of lift and the airplane’s full weight is resting on the landing gear.

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PED Publication