jeff trikeAerotrike Cobra 912, with a Rival-X wing.

1800 hrs as of January 2019

Topic 1) fear of landing, no fear of takeoff

Last updated by jeff trike

Categories: Safety

This is from my own personal reflection. When I first learned how to fly, I thought taking off was no problem, but landing was scary.   It wasn't until I got my own trike and did 30 touch and goes in row that I started to enjoy landings.  It was much later, two years later during some sport pilot training and discussions with John Thornburgh that I realized how much more dangerous take offs are.

I still meet plenty of pilots who are more scared of landing than taking off.  I tell new pilots to not leave the pattern until they have 100 landings under their belt.  It is an artificial number, but I know of so many situations where the new pilot takes off and crashes either trying to land somewhere like at his farm or ranch, or wants to check out some cool place nearby that he has dreamed about flying over and crashes into fences, terrain etc.  I know two guys who bladed off runways on their property, only to crash on them on their 2nd or 3rd solo flight.  These runways were ridiculously short, 600 ft long. Another guy flew into a canyon wall in the first month of solo flying. We need to encourage new pilots to get the basics down before venturing out.

Take off is much more risky.   Have an engine out on landing, who cares, but having one shortly after take off can easily cause a crash.  You know the wind conditions when landing, but they are unknown to you when you take off.  I could go on and on.  

"What's more dangerous, landing or takeoff?" is a trick question I ask new pilots.  If they say say they landing, I know exactly where they coming from and tell to fly the pattern until they they fear takeoffs more.