- Be able to land safely and under control
- To fly ‘touch and go’ circuits
- Your instructor will only intervene in an emergency
The art of landing an aircraft successfully take a bit of mastering as the key is to fly the aircraft to the ground and not into the ground!
Before starting your landing approach, be sure to let other pilots flying know what you are doing
By now you should have mastered the landing circuit and be able to fly the aircraft close to the ground along the runway centre line. Once you have reached this point it is really just a matter of supporting the aircraft as the wing loses lift and it descends slowly to the ground.
- As you approach the runway close the throttle completely so the engine is only idling
- Only use the ailerons to keep the wings level, use the rudder to hold the aircraft straight along the runway
- As you cross the end of the runway – the threshold – you should be about 0.5 meters above the ground
- Try to hold the aircraft at this altitude by applying a little up-elevator – this is called flaring
- Only use enough elevator to support the nose of the aircraft, too much and you will start to climb and then stall
- As the aircraft slows further it will slowly descend the last 0.5 meters and touch down gently
- Use the rudder to keep the aircraft straight as it slows to a stop
Congratulations, if you are safely on the ground you have flown your first complete solo and there will probably be a lot of applause coming from behind you!
If at any time during the approach and landing you do not feel comfortable you can apply full power and climb back into the circuit. Just because you have called a landing does not mean you have to land on that approach.
If you are going to abort your landing attempt call out ‘going around’ to let other pilots know what is happening
You will spend a lot of time practicing landing from different directions until you are comfortable with the approach and flare. This is the time in the flight when your aircraft is at most risk of damage and it pays to be an expert at landing in all situations!
Touch and Go Circuits
Once you have mastered landing it becomes boring is every time you touch down you have to taxi back to the end of the runway to take-off again!
As you land the aircraft, immediately apply full power and let the aircraft pick up speed once more. You can then take-off again within the length of the runway!
The important things to remember during touch and go circuits are:
- Let the aircraft build up enough speed to take-off as normal. Do not let it ‘bounce’ back into the air too soon and cause a stall.
- Do you have enough room to speed up sufficiently to take-off? If you do not then let the aircraft come to a stop.