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AVSIG Discussion Sections >> Training & Proficiency

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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Roger Ferrer]
      #248301 - 05/21/09 02:34 PM

Roger,

Although ultimately every landing is a little different from every other one due to winds and other factors, it is somewhat like learning to ride a bicycle if you can remember back then. One would think how in the world will I ever be able to stay upright on two wheels, then all of a sudden one day you are and you never look back. Now you probably couldn't not stay up on a bike even if you tried. It is the same thing with landings. At first it seems impossible to do this but then one day you do it. Your body and your brain form some new synapses and it clicks in.

I learned to fly a helicopter before learning to fly an airplane. My body had to learn a completely new thing in order to hover. Then when I transitioned to airplanes I had a tough time learning to land because it was so different from landing a helicopter, from the sight picture (which you are struggling with) to airspeed and a whole host of things. It took me a long time, but eventually it too "clicked in" and I could land the airplane. Often it wasn't pretty, but I got it down without bending anything. You will too.

Don't beat yourself up, let your eyes and your brain work at the problem and you will be able to land. I guarantee it.

Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Roger Ferrer
Public Guest


Reged: 04/29/09
Posts: 22
Loc: Maryland, Harford
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #248315 - 05/21/09 03:41 PM

Thanks Ray.
That was a good lesson about slow flight. I practiced that with my instructor about 2 times but I need more practice since sometimes I start looking at the altimeter and my pitch starts changing, etc.....

Anne and everybody else, I appreciate the words of encouragement and all the advice I got. I am printing all your postings to review them before my flight so I can practice today if time and instructor allow.

Here is something I have to share with all of you. This happened yesterday close to 0W3 where I go for my lessons. The pilot, Terry is 62 yo guy, very nice guy and he was my instructor's student as well. He and the other person in the aircraft walk out of this situation without major scrash but as you can see the plain suffered some damage.

http://www.velozia.com/?p=1667

Have a good evening everybody. I'll check with you later.


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Jim Gifford
Top Gun


Reged: 04/29/04
Posts: 5779
Loc: Montgomery County MD
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Roger Ferrer]
      #248330 - 05/21/09 06:13 PM

I am glad the pilot and passenger walked away after coming to a stop against a tree at the end of their emergency landing.

So far, your landings are better than THAT, yes? So feel good about the learning process.

With practice, the flare for landing will get smoother and you will be a better judge of how to use the yoke to position the nose just right for landing at the end of a smooth flare, continually shedding airspeed and altitude according to plan, arriving on the runway without drama.

The key is practice. It is a complex hand-eye-foot coordination exercise and you need to complete the process many times before your brain will be able to map the NEXT landing you attempt against a good sight picture from your other successful landings. You are training your brain with every landing, whether it is a smooth one or a thumper or a "Hey, what was that squeak? Oh. I didn't expect the main wheels to be down just yet."

Hang in there, and keep telling us how the training progresses. We love to hear from new student pilots, and there has been a bit of a hiatus recently... so you're most welcome here in the forum and I wish you well in learning how to fly (and land) safely and smoothly.

Also, try to stay out of trees when flying... but if you must fly into a tree, do what your 62-year-old acquiantance did and fly into the tree gently enough to walk away smiling.

--------------------
Be well,
-Jim


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Dan Barclay [ORG]
Top Gun


Reged: 05/06/04
Posts: 4492
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #248331 - 05/21/09 06:17 PM

>> With the former, you are using your total vision especially your
>> peripheral vision to assess where you are. In landing if you look down 9
>> times out of 10 your nose will go where your eyes are and you won't land
>> flat on the skids. Not a good thing.

I wish I'd known that back when I tried to land a helicopter. A guy that
owed me a favor got permission from his boss to let a couple of us fly a Jet
Ranger (not exactly solo naturally). By the time it was my turn it was dusk
and I figured, what the heck, if I can just keep the landing light pointed at
the same spot on the ground...

It's hard to explain just how dumb that is, and particularly embarrassing for
an engineer, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. It turns out that
the physics for that approach just don't work, but I'm guessing you know that.

Fortunately the pilot was a Viet Nam guy who had saved much worse, probably
while taking fire.

FWIW, hovering seemed a lot like trying to stand on one foot on top of a
beach ball. One day I'll go take some actual lessons.

Dan


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Anne Umphrey (KBED)
Top Gun


Reged: 04/28/04
Posts: 12756
Loc: KBED
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Dan Barclay [ORG]]
      #248343 - 05/21/09 08:44 PM

By all means take some lessons. If you can get over the fact that at first it is a humbling experience, you will really love it, and feel a great sense of accomplishment from being able to float in one place with air above you, air in front of you, air in back of you, air beside you, and air below you.

Anne

--------------------
You haven't seen a tree until you've seen its shadow from the sky.
- Amelia Earhart, 1897 - 1937


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Ray Tackett
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 8892
Loc: Philadelphia, USA
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Anne Umphrey (KBED)]
      #248345 - 05/21/09 08:54 PM

>>> ,,, airplane. They just don't want to come to a hover on the numbers.

Depends on the headwind and the airplane. I've done it, though the hover
was not nearly as stable as I learned to do later in a helicopter. I've also
taken off in a lightly loaded 172 in less than two fuselage lengths.

Of course, it's hard to get anywhere upwind after that.

--------------------
Ray,

Owner, Lake Wood Be Gone

Turning quality lumber into sawdust and noise since 2013.


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Kcid LlirreM
Top Gun


Reged: 05/15/04
Posts: 4768
Loc: Chuckey, TN
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Dan Barclay [ORG]]
      #248374 - 05/22/09 09:00 AM

Take lessons from the guy I saw on Ripleys the other night. He can stack 4 bowling balls on top of each other and they don't fall, at least right away.

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Roger Ferrer
Public Guest


Reged: 04/29/09
Posts: 22
Loc: Maryland, Harford
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Ray Tackett]
      #248380 - 05/22/09 09:27 AM

Hi guys,
I am back and I owe you the amount of hrs doing TOL's logged by the instructor.
I am looking at the logbook right now and among other maneuvers this is what I see:

TOL, slow flight 1.4
TOL's windy 1.9
TOL's rwy 28 1.7
TOL's .7
TOL's 35-28 1.5
slow flight-rectangular pattern - TOL's 2.8
T/L 1.1

Total: 9.8 hrs

I can't say that I improved a lot yesterday but following your suggestions I definitely feel more confident and I am finally looking at the end of the rwy.

This time I experienced the following problems in different attempts:
- Leveled the plain looking at the end of the rwy but I was too high from the ground and I messed it up making altitude corrections.
- Still having timing problems finding the proper and exact moment to flare and I get feedback from my instructor to "point the nose down", "level the plain", "pull back now".... When I follow his advice it gets better but to be honest, I still having issues.

Anyway, yesterday was a beautiful day and I enjoyed very much flying from our home base 0W3 to Martin's airport where we performed the TOL's. Like Anne said, there is something magical about having the air and the view all around us.

I read somewhere that a very financially successful person expressed that being rich was ok. However, for this person the fun part was the journey where she met many interesting people and overcoming all the challenges of her industry.

My point is that I am enjoying the training as much as I am going to enjoy it the day when everything clicks in terms of landing. I also enjoy and learn reading all your postings where you share your experience with a rookie like me. LOL

I never thought I would find so much help here. As a matter of fact, my friend Mike Campos (he is here somewhere) was the one who encouraged me to post my problems and concerns here and I am glad I did that.

Anyway, I am going back for more this evening! Canít wait! This flying thing is addictive!

Roger


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Scott Dyer [HPN/NY]
Top Gun


Reged: 01/11/03
Posts: 20065
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Roger Ferrer]
      #248389 - 05/22/09 10:58 AM

Roger -- Oh, heavens help us...Campos? You might have mentioned THAT
salient fact in the first message.

All advice retracted! <G>

--------------------
www.scottdyercfi.com


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Ray Tackett
Top Gun


Reged: 04/30/04
Posts: 8892
Loc: Philadelphia, USA
Re: Student Pilot - Landing Problems [Re: Roger Ferrer]
      #248399 - 05/22/09 11:51 AM

Roger,

Quote:

looking at the end of the rwy but I was too high from the ground and I messed it up making altitude corrections.




Don't get caught up in "landing expectation", especially this early in your training. Absent an emergency in which you get only one shot, landing is optional. If you don't like what's happening, GO AROUND! Go-arounds should be part of your training anyhow.

When I say "don't like what's happening", I really mean "don't like". You do not need a tangible reason such as being off altitude. If anything makes you uncomfortable about a landing, whether you know what it is or not, go around.

There are way too many mishaps caused by pilots trying to salvage a botched approach or a misjudged flare. If you read the thousands of NTSB reports about landing mishaps, you will see "collided with terrain", "collided with the ground", "collided with trees", etc. You will never see "collided with the sky".

My final landing on my private pilot checkride involved two go-arounds. There was a gusty crosswind plus "checkride nerves" which led to "arrivals" I did not want to finish. Each time, the examiner praised my judgement for going around. The landing I completed was a perfect textbook demonstration of a crosswind landing.

Ray


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