Safety and Landing
February 1, 2020
Landing a plane can be an issue if you don’t consider all the variables and understand the airplane characteristics that you are flying. Landing is by far the hardest part to learn when training and the part that causes the most accidents. Most CFIs fly different planes on a regular basis but most pilots fly only their airplane. Do they stay proficient in their plane? As habits are developed (good or bad) they continue to deteriorate if not kept up with proficiency training. By the time a pilot does a flight review, they are rusty. One of the causal factors is most GA pilots get 50 hours or less flight time each year and only one or two takeoffs and landings each time they fly.
I fly around 700 hours a year and feel noticeably rusty if I take a week off. Imagine if I only flew once or twice a month or even less? It is difficult to stay proficient with landings especially as you don’t want the nose wheel hitting first and bouncing down the runway and possibly break the nose wheel.
CFIs are one option to keep proficient but you can also get a flying partner that will fly with you and take turns on the landings, point out what’s going wrong on the landing, and discuss the technique. Remember every landing is different and cross winds can be a challenge. If you look at the accidents in Minnesota last year, I believe nine out of 14 happened on landing.
Each plane has unique characteristics for takeoff and landing and may require an insurance check out by a CFI. Just because you have a license doesn’t mean you can take the plane and land it safely. Remember when you first got your license in the C150 and moving to the 172 was a big deal or maybe you got your multi in a duchess and now you’re taking a baron out? You should complete a check out with a flight instructor on a regular basis, do a few takeoffs and landings, or review the maneuvers you haven’t done in a long time. Being safe in aviation is a way of making sure you go back home after every flight. Have fun and fly safe!
The FAAST Team focuses on aviation safety and the safety reps are constantly trying to bring awareness and participation in the wings program to pilots to help them be safer in their flying. We give seminars and webinars and write articles to help promote specific subject areas. Contact a FAAST Team rep and find out about the program!