Easiest to Land...

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rrruuunnn

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I know that I've asked a similar question before...

Wouldn't the Zenith STOL be the easiest airplane to land for a beginner? Would it be more forgiving if your approach is too high or low?
 

Denis

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I doubt. Moreover, this plane should be especially unforgiving for approach errors. The main reason is the use of fixed leading edge slat, short span and, correspondingly, very low L/D ratio and steep descent. Also this plane will not tolerate a sudden engine failure at takeoff and landing in situatios, when normal light planes will still land safely.
 

Topaz

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I know that I've asked a similar question before...

Wouldn't the Zenith STOL be the easiest airplane to land for a beginner? Would it be more forgiving if your approach is too high or low?
With flight training, landing won't be an issue. Your instructor won't turn you loose by yourself until both they (and you) are completely comfortable with handling the plane.
 

Tom Nalevanko

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Landing seems to be the greatest point of anxiety for new flyers. It really shouldn't be. One of the reasons is that landing is generally not well taught. I am a believer in this technique The Jacobson Flare which takes the guesswork, it feels right, voodoo, etc. out of it...
 

autoreply

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Interesting link Tom. For several exams here we have to show the ability to fly safely (including land) without instruments. Not without a speedometer, without any instruments. Great way to learn to fly more precise and make perfect approaches.
 

Topaz

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Interesting link Tom. For several exams here we have to show the ability to fly safely (including land) without instruments. Not without a speedometer, without any instruments. Great way to learn to fly more precise and make perfect approaches.
Our instructors do the same, albeit not the entire panel. They'll blot out a given instrument at some random point in the flight, and then have you take it all the way down to a full stop without that one. Once you get the hang of actually looking, listening, and feeling instead of being dependent upon some number on a gauge, it's really not hard at all. Heck, we've only got three dials we really care about, anyway (Airspeed, Altimeter, Vario).
 

PTAirco

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Landing seems to be the greatest point of anxiety for new flyers. It really shouldn't be. One of the reasons is that landing is generally not well taught. I am a believer in this technique The Jacobson Flare which takes the guesswork, it feels right, voodoo, etc. out of it...
I can't believe any GA pilot ever going through the procedure of the Jacobson method - perhaps airline pilots, landing by the numbers every time, at the same runways, with the same markings and having all the figures calculated ahead of time. But a student in a 150? It seems downright ridiculous. You would have to take a measuring tape with you to make sure your seat height and position on the tracks is correct for example.

I totally agree that the way the flare is taught by most instructors is totally inadequate and boils down to guesswork, but this method has very little practical application for light aircraft. Wolfgang Langewiesche in 'Stick&Rudder' probably has the best advice for beginners concerning landing technique.
 

Topaz

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Well, I finally read through a couple of his (Jacobson's) papers. Judge the intended audience by this, pulled from the abstract:
"Vertical TCH / MEHT is virtually unusable for pilots without some consideration of their longitudinal effect in relation to the nominated visual aim point for a given aircraft. Simply flying a navaid glideslope without this consideration may mislead the pilot into following a path which is at odds with the correct visual path required."
And this one (from his "Where to Flare" white paper),
"'Feel' is not necessarily required, solving a major training problem."
Anyone that advocates the latter won't be flying with me, no matter what his credentials are. Pilots like this have become a slave to their instrument panels, to the detriment of their actual flying skills. They're data-entry technicans and little more.

No thanks.
 
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Dan Thomas

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I doubt. Moreover, this plane should be especially unforgiving for approach errors. The main reason is the use of fixed leading edge slat, short span and, correspondingly, very low L/D ratio and steep descent. Also this plane will not tolerate a sudden engine failure at takeoff and landing in situatios, when normal light planes will still land safely.
I don't know about that. Airplanes that have higher stall speeds, higher wing loadings, a sharp stall break, low aspect ratios and so on, will tend to have more challenging landing characteristics. The 701/801 has a fat, high-lift/low-speed wing and if it's flown within the usual parameters (1.3Vso) it should be easy enough to manage. It's lower aspect ratio might create a serious sink rate if the pilot gets slow, like my Jodel will, but that isn't an issue if training is adequate. Lots of other "safe" airplanes had low aspect ratios and awesome sink rates but if their stall speeds were low enough they didn't kill properly-trained people. It's the airplanes that go fast and have nasty stall/spin characteristics that scare me.

I have flown a Zenair 601, and if the rest of Zenair's airplanes are as well-behaved and as capable as that one, they're good airplanes. On 80 hp it outran and outperformed the 100-hp Cessna 150 by such a wide margin that I still wonder what in the world the 150 is doing with its 100 horses. And the 90-hp Ercoupe did the same. Both these airplanes have roughly the same power loading as a 150, BTW.

Dan
 

Tom Nalevanko

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I started using the Jacobsen flare technique when I started to fly my Stallion and was turned on to it by my test pilot and 777 Captain friend Dan. He flies a lot of different aircraft and says that this really works for him. It worked for me. First with my Stallion and now with my Cessna 260SE.

For a GA plane, the distance is around 100 ft. Come on, anyone can estimate 100 ft. practically anywhere. The advantage of this technique is that it will allow you to pinpoint landings because the landing is now an 'aiming the plane' process instead of whatever it was before.

Try it; you will be pleasantly surprised and land exactly where you want.
 

Topaz

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...Try it; you will be pleasantly surprised and land exactly where you want.
Sorry, Tom, but that's not the kind of flying I want to do.

I can touch down and stop a 1050# MTOW glider within a 500 foot long runway segment. Any 500' runway segment I want, or one that is chosen for me. Whether I know the airport altitude or not. Whether I've even seen the airport before or not. Approaching from any direction. Without any instruments. The first time, with no chance to go around. Put a couple of cones 500' apart on the side of the runway and I'll touch down after the first and stop before the second.

I'm nothing special. Any SSA B-Badge solo student at any soaring school can do the same.

That's good enough for me, and the skills I've learned are transferrable to any aircraft. Maybe you ought to get a glider rating. :) You'll be pleasantly surprised and land exactly where you want. Without all the math. Ask Capt. Sully. ;)
 
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PTAirco

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. The advantage of this technique is that it will allow you to pinpoint landings because the landing is now an 'aiming the plane' process instead of whatever it was before.

.

Well, even without all the trigonometry in that method, landing any airplane is always an 'aim the plane' process, you don't need any of that math. On a stabilized approach, we all simply put the threshold over the cowling or some such reference point and try to keep the point in the same position, while maintaining our chosen speed and that will put us on the same spot every time. With a fixed aim point the only variable is your approach speed. I just cannot see the point of all that math.

Watching airliners land and judging by the landing I experienced on Sunday, in a 777, most airline pilots need some kind of additional training, I agree. ( A few hours in a Cub, probably..) But I cannot quite see this method curing the problem. Perhaps I am missing the essence of it somehow?
 
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Tom Nalevanko

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I don't see where the technique involves any math other than knowing one distance number for a given aircraft. And this thread started out asking about Powered Aircraft. But effectively you are landing your glider with this technique; you just don't know it yet. LOL In a glider the distance number is very small and you flare from ground cues. What are you going to do when you fly a Pilatus or a Gulfstream IV? Glider techniques won't work very well. We all can dream.
Blue skies,
Tom
 

Tom Nalevanko

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In the way pilots are normally taught to land: elevator for airspeed, power for altitude, they are effectively aiming the aircraft but in a very crude and non-intuitive way. Beginning pilots land all over the place and it takes a lot of 'feel' training for them to land at a given position. With the Jacobsen approach this is minimized and beginner pilots land with a lot more precision in short order.

But I wish you all smooth landings however you do them.

Blue skies,

Tom
 

Topaz

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I don't see where the technique involves any math other than knowing one distance number for a given aircraft. And this thread started out asking about Powered Aircraft. But effectively you are landing your glider with this technique; you just don't know it yet. LOL In a glider the distance number is very small and you flare from ground cues. What are you going to do when you fly a Pilatus or a Gulfstream IV? Glider techniques won't work very well. We all can dream.
Blue skies,
Tom
Well, PT sees all the math too, so perhaps we're both missing something. I've looked through Jacobson's stuff, and no, that's not how we do it. And I've flown powered aircraft, Tom. In fact, I have just a tiny bit more time in them than gliders, even yet. The only fundamental difference between a glider vs. a powered aircraft is that the glider pilot has to get the landing right the first time. No go-arounds allowed! ;) In all other respects a glider is an airplane, just as much as your beautiful Stallion.

Now why would I want to fly a Gulfstream IV? What fun is driving a bus? And my flying club has a Pilatus. It's just that it's a B4. :gig:



Just different worlds, Tom. You sound like you're aspiring to more jet-liner-like flying. Lots of systems to play with and "hit the numbers". Me, trading friendly waves with the hang-glider pilots on the ridge or catching a silent ride up to 10k MSL on a booming thermal is more my speed. Like I said, to each their own. Happy flying!
 
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Toobuilder

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I know that I've asked a similar question before...

Wouldn't the Zenith STOL be the easiest airplane to land for a beginner? Would it be more forgiving if your approach is too high or low?
If there is an easier airplane to land than a Stinson 108, then you might as well be driving a car. :)
 

Lucrum

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...What are you going to do when you fly a... Gulfstream IV? Glider techniques won't work very well...
I'm typed in the GIV along with the DA10, CL60 and BE40.

I skimmed through the Jacobson method yesterday.
I could see where it might help a student who is struggling with landing. It does provide a method for a maneuver that is difficult to describe accurately.
But for more advanced pilots/flying I personally prefer relying on my experience/ability to judge time, speed, deceleration rate and distance to touchdown. As a seat of the pants type of flyer (IFR not withstanding) I feel like I'm more in the loop and better able to rapidly adjust or adapt to irregular or unexpected circumstances. As opposed to a more "robotic" rigid, by the numbers kind of flying. Having flown with dozens of the latter, they tend to do well as long as everything is normal. Throw'em a curve and some of the weaker ones start unraveling.

In the current ATC environment, it's tough to do any more but we used to regularly practice flight idle descents from high altitude all the way to touch down. And I still enjoy the challenge of a well flown continuous turn/deceleration onto a short final, perfectly intercepting the VASI and crossing the thresh hold right at Vref.
 

Tom Nalevanko

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I'm typed in the GIV along with the DA10, CL60 and BE40.

I skimmed through the Jacobson method yesterday.
I could see where it might help a student who is struggling with landing. It does provide a method for a maneuver that is difficult to describe accurately.
But for more advanced pilots/flying I personally prefer relying on my experience/ability to judge time, speed, deceleration rate and distance to touchdown. As a seat of the pants type of flyer (IFR not withstanding) I feel like I'm more in the loop and better able to rapidly adjust or adapt to irregular or unexpected circumstances. As opposed to a more "robotic" rigid, by the numbers kind of flying. Having flown with dozens of the latter, they tend to do well as long as everything is normal. Throw'em a curve and some of the weaker ones start unraveling.

In the current ATC environment, it's tough to do any more but we used to regularly practice flight idle descents from high altitude all the way to touch down. And I still enjoy the challenge of a well flown continuous turn/deceleration onto a short final, perfectly intercepting the VASI and crossing the thresh hold right at Vref.
Thanks for your insight. The method 'is' for students. And I agree with all your other comments on acquiring enough proficiency so you don't have to fly by the numbers. But a lot of people never can afford that opportunity.

Blue skies,

tom
 
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