Normal Approach and Landing


Gain the skills associated with a normal approach and landing with emphasis on proper use and coordination of flight controls.


This is the required reading for this lesson. Numbers in [brackets] indicate the starting and ending page in the referenced reading material. Read all the pages and sections referenced.


The notes below highlight the important parts in the referenced material. Reading the notes without having read the actual referenced material is generally not sufficient to pass the written exam!

AFH - Chapter 8 and 12

  • Normal approach
    • Base: 1.4 VS0, partial flaps (full flaps not recommended)
    • Final: 1.3 VS0, final flaps, aim for center of first 1/3 of runway.
    • Flare: 10-20 feet above ground, idle power, gently raise nose while descending
    • Touchdown: Touchdown at stall speed, hold nose wheel up and gently lower as speed decreases
    • After-landing roll: Continue "flying" the airplane as it rolls out; maintain control and centerline during rollout.
  • Stabilized approach
    • A landing approach in which the pilot establishes and maintains a constant angle glidepath towards a predetermined point on the landing runway.
    • Maintain constant speed and rate of descent toward aiming point.
    • Trim for steady pitch, power, and airspeed.
  • Ground effect
    • Within one wingspan of the ground, drag is reduced and the aircraft's performance appears to increase. (This is often the cause of "floating.")
  • Crosswind correction: 2 methods
    • Crab Method:
      • Turn aircraft into the wind, wings level to maintain a straight path toward the runway.
      • Remove crab angle just prior to touchdown to align with runway.
      • Be careful to avoid sideways drift while removing the crab angle! (See below method.)
    • Wing-Low (Sideslip):
      • Align the airplane's nose with the centerline of the runway using rudder.
      • Use aileron to lower the wing into the wind to stop drift.
      • This requires opposite rudder and aileron direction.
    • Roundout and touchdown:
      • Controls become less effective as speed decreases. Increase control deflection as speed decreases.
      • Touchdown is made on the upwind main wheel.
  • Turbulent Air Approach and Landing
    • Avoid full flaps and use partial flaps.
    • Increase approach speed by one-half the wind gust factor.
    • Only reduce throttle to idle after main wheels contact surface.
    • Landing attitude is intentionally flat - just high enough to prevent the nose wheel from hitting the runway.

Chapter 15

  • Reverse thrust is not used in establishing the certified landing distances; however, reversers should definitely be used in service
  • Landing Speeds
    • VFS - Final segment of a departure with one powerplant failed
    • VSO - Stall speed in the landing configuration
    • VREF - 1.3 times the stall speed in the landing configuration
  • Jet airplanes are not as responsive to power and course corrections, so the final approach must be more stable, more deliberate, and more constant Typical approach and landing profile.
    Figure 1. Typical approach and landing profile.
    Stabilized approach.
    Figure 2. Stabilized approach.

Tomas Hansson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Chief Flight Instructor, VATSTAR
DISCLAIMER: all information contained herein is for flight simulation purposes only.
March 2021

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