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


If the pilot misjudges the rate of sink during a landing and thinks the airplane is descending faster than it should, there is a tendency to increase the pitch attitude and angle of attack too rapidly. This not only stops the descent, but actually starts the airplane climbing. This climbing during the roundout is known as ballooning. [Figure 8-35] Ballooning can be dangerous because the height above the ground is increasing and the airplane may be rapidly approaching a stalled condition. The altitude gained in each instance will depend on the airspeed or the speed with which the pitch attitude is increased.

Ballooning during roundout Figure 8-35. Ballooning during roundout.

When ballooning is slight, a constant landing attitude should be held and the airplane allowed to gradually decelerate and settle onto the runway. Depending on the severity of ballooning, the use of throttle may be helpful in cushioning the landing. By adding power, thrust can be increased to keep the airspeed from decelerating too rapidly and the wings from suddenly losing lift, but throttle must be closed immediately after touchdown. Remember that torque will be created as power is applied; therefore, it will be necessary to use rudder pressure to keep the airplane straight as it settles onto the runway.

When ballooning is excessive, it is best to EXECUTE A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY; DO NOT ATTEMPT TO SALVAGE THE LANDING. Power must be applied before the airplane enters a stalled condition.

The pilot must be extremely cautious of ballooning when there is a crosswind present because the crosswind correction may be inadvertently released or it may become inadequate. Because of the lower airspeed after ballooning, the crosswind affects the airplane more. Consequently, the wing will have to be lowered even further to compensate for the increased drift. It is imperative that the pilot makes certain that the appropriate wing is down and that directional control is maintained with opposite rudder. If there is any doubt, or the airplane starts to drift, EXECUTE A GO-AROUND.

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PED Publication