Landing Focus (Get Them Perfect!)

Rod Machado Landing and Temptation [course]

AOPA Decision Making COurse

Excellent Risk Mitigation Course: 2011-2 Training

Our group mission in aviation at East Hill is fun flying at a reasonable cost with a minimum of risk! We have a diverse group here; some pilots may be building hours and advanced ratings and some may just want to fly local for fun. We all need to be focused on risk mitigation and safe operations. This interactive course from AOPA functions as our annual training for 2012 (Please print out the certificate and bring it in!) and provides a very good objective view of your skill level as a pilot and your appropriate limitations. Evaluation Matrix here!

We all have certain skills and areas of competence depending on ratings, recent experience and conditions. This course focuses each pilot on personal minimums and the appropriate challenges for your pilot/skill level. Risk evaluation should be an important and natural part of every pre-flight operation and also a continuing initiative throughout every flight. Managing risk is not just an initial go/no-go decision but also ongoing throughout every flight: "do we continue or divert." Please print out the graduation certificate and bring it in!

Building a "Safety Culture" at East Hill

The Big Picture at East Hill: "Safety Culture"

"Friends don't let friends fly unsafe!"

We are very proud of our excellent safety record at East Hill. Hopefully this is more than dumb luck and comes from a pervasive attitude the industry calls "safety culture." This attitude of risk mitigation and respect for safety and proper operation becomes an accepted norm in a correct system. If people deviate from this standard other members notice and correct their activity, for the good of the group, before safety is compromised. Merely posting and promulgating some rules on the wall will not keep us safe. We need a continuous vigilance and all members embracing safety culture as a correct world view: "friends don't let friends fly unsafe!" Try this AOPA decision-making tool.

AOPA Course 2011

2011 Training Course: Aerodynamics 101

A very good course and still available on the AOPA web site

The CFI dilemma (or why we have to say NO sometimes). In aviation what you do not know WILL hurt you. Buying a cheap rating somewhere or "buying a 'yes' from a CFI" so you have the paper (but not the skill) is a recipe for disaster. If a CFI recommends more work, please respect this advice; YOUR safety is at risk otherwise.

Please read this article. We all have a special obligation to keep each other safe at East Hill. "Friends do not let friends fly unsafe!" We are part of a "safety culture." As instructors especially we may accidentally hurt your feelings or risk your wrath but we have an obligation to you (and the club) of keeping us all safe in aviation!

Safety Advisor from AOPA

The EHFC required FAA Course is <here>

Learning Zen Take Off and Landing Course

Take Offs and Landings: "Area of Concern" EHFC 2010

     Good pilots take pride in their skills and mastery of flight procedures. The annual flight requirement at East Hill is an opportunity to sharpen up your skills in a safe and controlled environment and regain your proficiency. Pilots who wish to log this time for FAA Wings should bring the printed syllabus to their flight so the instructor performs all the required maneuvers and enters the correct endorsement in your logbook.

     Transitioning from ground to flight and back in a graceful and safe manner does not get a lot of attention from pilots after they complete their initial flight training. Pilots usually are not inclined to practice landings with passengers and so their technique deteriorates. Approaches tend to get faster and less stabilized and the touchdown becomes increasingly flat. 40.3% of all General Aviation accidents occur during the landing phase of flight (where we spend 1% of our time) What seems like "playing it safe" leads to hazardous touchdowns! In a nutshell, <here> is the problem: pilots cannot land consistently well after awhile! The go-around is completely forgotten and the danger of porpoising and hard landings increases dramatically. We see some amazing sights out there on the runway!

     In this last year we had three porpoising incidents, a Skyhawk damaged from a hard landing and a plane went off the runway on a touch and go.The focus or our annual training this year will be to achieve really consistent and reliably safe landings. Every pilot will demonstrate "full stall" landings and hold the nose wheel off on touchdown for at least three seconds. We also want to see safe, comfortable go-arounds in every plane you fly and some good crosswind landings. The EHFC required course this year is on the FAA site: "Take Offs, Landings and Aircraft Control" available <here> (You will need to establish a free account with outside vendor "Learning Zen" but this is a great course!) Please bring and bring in your certificate for our file.

     This AOPA advisor is a good start on renewing your familiarity with the basic landing procedures and technique. The FAA also has a series of advisor publications that you will find interesting. Basic landing technique is covered in the classic FAA tutorial On Landings Part One, Part Two, and Part Three

     We want every active East Hill pilot to participate in the FAA WIngs Program. You will initially need to register at with a login and password. You will find many useful courses and references on this website that will increase your knowlege level. When you complete the anual required knowlege course, please bring in the printable certificate to the club so we can document your achievement. You can also bring a syllabus from the FAA website if you want FAA Wings credit for your annual flight training. Recurrent flight training is the pathway to safe flying. Thanks for participating and flying safely!




N53045 Landing Incident: What We Know So Far
The ugly result The result
Unfortunately we have a broken plane. But, let us not lose sight of the fact that this could have been MUCH worse with an injured pilot too! What initially precipitated this damage was the failure of the flaps to retract during a normal touch and go on runway 14. This pilot became airborne with full flaps (they would not retract and it was a hot day). To his credit this pilot maintained aircraft control and did not stall but maybe experienced a bit of panic. Unfortunately, he chose to make a very tight pattern and turned base leg at about the VOR, and consequently ended up with a very little usable runway. A steep approach and very little runway (coupled with a desire to land and definitely not go-around) led directly to a high-speed porpoise landing which struck the prop and buckled the firewall. As you know, you must level off and wait to dissipate speed in a normal landing to allow a nose-high flare. Forcing a plane on the ground will usually lead to this kind of damage. FAA Landing Brochure

Lessons Learned? A touch and go is a "necessary evil" in flight training to learn landings (it saves lots of time and money) but must be handled carefully (and we all get complacent and forget the risk?) Conducted properly, your plane should come almost to a stop AND you must always verify the flaps are retracted with a quick glance (we have LOTS of runway here at Ithaca) Second, be aware a Cessna WILL climb with full flaps (though not vigorously) IF you use a slower speed (you might want to practice this: DUAL ONLY) Third, stay current with your landings so you can handle contingencies: practice, practice. If your landings are becoming flat or inconsistent please get some dual. Only in a dual flight situation can we safely take you out of your comfort zone or create a real "surprise!" We all need to fly safely or we ALL will end up paying for the results.
Porpoised Landing




Landing with a crosswindMaster Those Crosswinds!

OK, so once we can land correctly on the main gear with the nose in the air, can we do this with a 12 knot x-wind? 70% of accidents happen while maneuvering (low and slow in the pattern) and primarily on take-off and landing when the wind is across the runway. Mastering and maintaining crosswind landing skills is essential for safety. See Budd Davisson here for a good tutorial. The FAA Safety web-site has a good course also here. There are also many good tutorials on landing in this FAA archive.

Here is a good article by Rick Durden from Aviation Safety. See this article on go-arounds the "safety net" for all pilots that is too infrequently exercised.


Extra Credit: Lots to learn in the links below...a good pilot is always learning!

Lessons Learned" <here> | "Safetycasts" <here> | On-Line Courses <here> "Airmanship" <here> Brainteasers <here> FAA Docs <here> (METAR Guide, WX Briefing Guide...good stuff!) Operators Guide to Human Factors in Aviation can be found <here> Flight Safety Foundation <here> Multi-tasking myth <here>



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