crayonboxAirborne XT912 Cruze and Streak III, Outback 582 Streak IIb

Dual 110+ Solo 150+ (as of 1-Sept-2013)

Hervey Bay YHBA, Maryborough YMYB, Pacific Haven YPAC, Childers YCDS, Tewnatin Noosa YNSH, Caloundra YCDR, Tangalooma YTGA, Watts Bridge YWSG, Biggenden YBIN, Caboolture YCAB, Gympie YGYM, Orchid Beach YOKB, Bundaberg YBUD, Gayndah YGAY, Monto YMTO, Kingaroy YKRY

Private: Nikenbah, Wanggoolba, Miramar(Takura), Lake Barambah, Susan River, The Dimonds (Bill Price)

Here is SkyVector showing some flying I have completed as of and including CrossCountry NAVs endorsement in March 2014.

Learning to Land - consistently!?

Last updated by crayonbox Comments (12)

Categories: Training / Learning to Fly a Trike

 I am looking for your assistance so PLEASE chime in if you have words of encouragement and wisdom.

Today I left the field deflated and frustrated. I didn't solo. The weather was just right - but I wasn't.
Now don't get me wrong - even though a lot of the disappointment was that I didn't solo, it wasn't all of it.
I know and understand that I am not fully ready to solo. There is still a chance I could screw up a landing - so why is that?

It is good practice to always use power off approach and landing to be practiced in the event of the real thing. This is how we do all my landings. I have only once or twice been shown powered approach and landing.

My Problem is Consistency...
I feel like I have been around the circuit a majillion times, and the problem that remains is my round-out and hold-off. During my first landings - seeing the runway rushing up made me round-out too soon - didn't want to hit the deck of course. Now, I am rounding out consistently at the right height, but sometimes a little too fast. The result is sitting too high for hold-off. Then unless I bring the nose down, the hold-off slows us down causing a waffly, slower than desirable arrival - which could end badly in a low height stall if there is a gust or wind shadow. This is the problem.

I have been taught to use my datum line - that's ok. And the runway perspective - that's where I am iffy. The real problem I have is correctly judging my height - I need to hold-off at 6 inches but this frequently alludes me.
So can someone please tell me if there is a secret to this? What and how do I use for a reference for height and timing?

I haven't been able to learn why I can't do this consistently from my instructor - so maybe someone here might have an insight into the way my brain works?


  • XC Triker

    Hey Crayon Box,  don't get down...  you probably had a bit of fun today anyway right?!!  You were FLYING!!!

    Several thoughts:  1)  This time with your instructor will soon pass all too quickly and you'll look back and wonder why you wanted to rush through it.  Like kids want to rush through the magic of childhood.

                                 2) If it was easy, everyone would be a pilot.  You are inches away, you can do it, all you need is consistency, and you for sure will get there.  Others cant do it at all. Soon you get to thumb your nose at everyone who couldn't make it through all the hoops you have.


    Sooooo......           3)  RELAX.  Have fun, it will come suddenly-- but you've put so much pressure on yourself.  You have beautiful weather, have FUN!!!


                               4)  You don't have to do all your rounding out and hold-off at once.  You don't see birds coming in full speed and then jamming out their wings suddenly in a full brake.  NO.  They swoop, a gradual curve to a progressive full stall, legs come out, they wait, and bloop, they're down.

                                    When you are coming down with good energy toward the tarmac, theres a point where you can give a half inch out , gradually beginning the fade into your round out.  You're not making an "L" shaped landing--  I mean it could be done, but you want to make more of a "J".   Smooth the whole thing into a nice rounded flare.  Make micro adjustments in this smooth round to flare-- out a half inch, in an eighth, out another 3/4 inch, then another 1/4, then in a 1/4, then out another 3/4 inch, etc, until it's just the right height.  From a distance it will look very smooth.  Look how much THIS pilot is moving his stick making constant adjustments-- but the plane is flying smooth.  Now, using your peripheral vision while focussed on the end of the runway, settle in to your hold off height and let your speed bleed off (continue those micro-adjustments).  RELAX.  As the plane starts to run out of steam and settle, smoothly continue your round into flare.

    All too soon you'll be in the air by yourself on final.  The difference will be wondering if you're consistent yet, or KNOWING you are.  Why rush this opportunity to get the instruction that will forever make your landings better than the next guy who brags he soloed in short time, but who's technique was never polished?

    Have Fun!!!  It's great you're having awesome weather.  I'd suggest flying every single day in a row now until you get it AND it sticks to the next day.  Probably just need 3 more days or so.

    Woo Hoo, I wish I was in your shoes... how fun it is mastering this!


  • crayonbox

    My instructor often say's he wants to make me the best pilot I can be... so I guess he still sees that I can be even better, there's room for more polishing and improvement.

    Thanks XC - that helps settle my nerves, and reinforces more what I have to do. 

    I think the disappointment today come from the idea that I am ready to solo, but I've been away a few days and then the weather wasn't right.  And then today - I couldn't sort it all out.

    I like how you said "Why rush this opportunity to get the instruction that will forever make your landings better than the next guy who brags he soloed in short time, but who's technique was never polished?"

    I wanted to be the bragger - Now I don't! That's awesome - thank you XC!

    Flying again tomorrow - A good day is a day that we get to FLY!

  • Rebel

    Crayon the way I get my students to make consistant landings is to have them fly down the runway at two feet from surface with a constant throttle setting then when your ready to land just ease off throttle and ease the bar out at the same time, I have good luck with new students doing this. Rebel

  • XC Triker

    Good low passes are NOT easy.  Doing good low passes like Rebel says will show you exactly how far you are from precision, you will be all over the place micro-adjusting to keep it smooth and the exact height--  the runway doesn't move---  well sometimes in California it does.

  • Ken

    Crayon, I am NOT a CFI, but I had a good one. We spent A LOT OF TIME flying near the ground. Flying pass after pass just touching the back wheels and getting a really good sense of that height on your trike that is the magic spot. Then slowly backing off throttle and easing the bar out until the trike practically lands itself (common themes from the above comments I see). I can still hear my instructor whispering in my ear on every landing I do as I ease off the throttle and adjust the bar out... 'keep it in the air, keep it in the air, keep it in the air'. We had the advantage of a dry lake near by to fly over, but I wonder if you have a long open space, or even a runway that isn't very busy where you could do the same.

    All of us have been there once. Best advice of all, keep coming back, you will get it!

  • YFT

    Hi Crayon, I don't buy into these chats, but I always tell my student to take their time and set themselves up with a stablised approach path. When I say Time I mean, do one thing at a time power back to landing power, Make your call.... Make your turn. This gives you time. We are human and we can only do one thing at a time. So just take your time.

    By the way we are not your instructors so take on board what you may but lisen to your instructor he is the one that knows you the best.

  • crayonbox

    All the info is good. 

    Ken, you said "'keep it in the air, keep it in the air, keep it in the air'."

    I keep hearing - "'keep it flying, keep it flying, keep it flying". So that is what I need to concentrate on.

    I have been videoing from the wing tip and analysing the landings.  It appears I am not doing this, and letting the aircraft land on its rear wheels before holding it up.  (It's got a lazy bum).

    I get why now... I need to hold all the wheels at a few inches above the runway by pushing out the bar progressively and earlier as I always seem to be 0.2 secs behind where I should be.

    Probably doesn't help my height perception either when the airport bitumen runway sags in the middle hey.

    Thanks for all the help so far.  It's helping me to really nut out where the problem is. 

  • Gunny

    Crayonbox, I had all of your issues when it came to landing.  Until finally, someone told me to take the opposite approach and to CONSISTENTLY say : "I will not allow you to land"  while of course power is back to idle and slowly descending on the approach working the bar...this worked immediately for me!  I continued this chant for awhile on landings until one-day I noticed I just enjoying the landing while other thoughts of the immediate surrounding areas were of concern.....however, keep a positive attitude with your CFI, he knows best.


  • YFT

    Crayonbox, I tell my students when coming in on short final. Look at the far end of the runway and say to yourself. "I am not going to land, I am not going to land", and before you know it you will be on the ground.

  • crayonbox

    YFT (and all who have responded),

    I just spoke to my instructor to discuss my issues, and that is what I need to do, "Look at the far end of the runway and say to yourself. "I am not going to land, I am not going to land."  But also while flicking my eyes back and forth between about 40m (height reference) and the end of the runway (sinking or rising).

    Tomorrow, we are going to do a low level pass and check my height accuracy to see if we can identify my problem.


  • YFT

    Crayonbox, Good Luck for tomorrow, and remember once of final look out of the cockpit and at your runway. Best of luck!!!!

  • RizzyWizzy

    Crayonbox, that is a funny name...I like it... I am just an 100 hour pilot and I think so far there have been many good suggestion but what I want to stress on is, don't put too much stress about this on your mind. Even expert pilots don't have two landings that are the same...the 747 pilots have landings that they are not too impressed with. Just relax and enjoy, it will become a second nature before you know it.