Ever have this happen?

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Ever been doing touch & go's, and land so far down the runway that you're afraid to try and take off again? Yesterday I came in so fast I though I was gonna float clear down to the other side. She finally hit a little off-center. My instructor always says get back on the center-line before applying the power, but after that landing, I wanted to stab the throttle ASAP. I'm surprised he didn't say anything... Runway is about a mile long.
 

minitour

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It used to happen to me all the time. Then I realized how crucial airspeed control is.

It's something I harp on all the time to my students. If they hit 61 across the numbers (172), they nail it all the time. If they're fast or slow...it gets iffy.

I'd say really work hard on airspeed control and you should get rid of that problem.

I know some teach it "okay so on downwind 85, flaps X, RPM Y, base 75, etc...". I don't really like that. It gets too mechanical for the student. I like them to go through the before landing checklist on downwind, then GUMPPSS on downwind, base, final and crossing the numbers. The only speed I really want them to make sure they have is 61 at 50' across the numbers. If they fly downwind at 110, that's fine...so long as they get it slowed and configured in time for that short final.

So...again, airspeed control. Hit your final speed (61, 65, whatever it may be for that landing) and you'll stop overshooting the runway and have lots more room. 5000' is plenty of room for a touch and go in most trainers.

-mini

PS
I flew with a guy that owned a Mooney once and he was telling me that if he was 2kts fast on final he lost 1000' of runway. If he was 2kts slow on final, he could damage the mains when he slammed into the runway. Not sure if it's true, but he was a pretty good pilot. All he asked was what speed crossing the numbers (his first flight in a DA40) and he nailed it perfect. So...I figured, yeah...airspeed control is pretty important.

Hope that helps.
 

empenage

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Yep. The important thing is after it happens to you, dont let it happen again.

When I started teaching CFI's I used to do everything wrong that I used to do as a student (I didnt have any other "student" experiences but my own). It was fun looking over at the CFI "student" from the left seat and seeing pure terror on their faces.
 

aucfi

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I tell my students if you have not landed on the first third of a runway and are planning on doing a touch and go they need to do a go-around.

If your afraid of taking off again, why not do a full stop and taxi back? If my student did that I would commend him/her for making a wise decision by following their instinct.

To follow up on everyone else's input, proper airspeed control along with a good aim and touchdown point will ensure hitting your mark every time.

au
 

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Minitour, thanks for the information. I see what you're saying about controlling the airspeed. The Cherokee we usually fly is pretty old, and the airspeed indicator is calibrated in MPH. I believe 80MPH on final is the speed we shoot for...

I think I'm really going to have to read up on basic aerodynamics. Yesterday my instructor commented on a rapid decent rate when turning final, so he said to pull the nose up and slow the airplane down. But then I feel like I wont decent in time to land at the begining of the runway. Maybe I was too high to being with, I don't know....Sometimes the whole combination of pitch, power, and what you actually see out the window gets a little confusing. The scary part is, my instructor claims I'm doing well.
 

empenage

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Airspeed control is important. But getting your feel of the airplane is more important. By looking outside and evaluating how the airplane feels you will be able to control your airspeed better, over time you will be reacting to these changes before the airspeed indicator has a chance to.
 

minitour

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UnAnswerd said:
I think I'm really going to have to read up on basic aerodynamics. Yesterday my instructor commented on a rapid decent rate when turning final, so he said to pull the nose up and slow the airplane down. But then I feel like I wont decent in time to land at the begining of the runway. Maybe I was too high to being with, I don't know....Sometimes the whole combination of pitch, power, and what you actually see out the window gets a little confusing. The scary part is, my instructor claims I'm doing well.
With the pitch up and slow down and get down thing...think about slow flight.

When you want to descend in slow flight (assuming you're properly trimmed, etc.) what do you do? Reduce power. Less thrust = descent.

Same thing when you start down from TPA. Usually what I'll do is start slowing up (unless I need to stay fast for spacing, etc.) about midfield and once I get abeam my TD point (1000' marks), I'll start to withdraw some power and trim for hands free glide to the runway. Toss in some flaps, re-trim, reduce power, next thing you know you're crossing the numbers on airspeed, flaring and saying "hey...that was pretty cool". Not to say there won't be the occasional iffy landing...but they'll be more consistent.

Gotta correlate the slow flight, stall series, climb/descent/maneuvering in slow flight, with the whole descent from TPA and landing phase of flight.

Try to control the descent with power (more consistent airspeed). It'll help you when you start flying ILSs in the instrument training if you have a good foundation of that now.

In my CFII ground was a guy that was an instructor on the AWACs. I asked him how they fly approaches, was it power or pitch or what.

His comment to me was, they configure X on base, etc...on final, they've got the power set, then drop the gear and flaps and let drag slow them down. You can do the same. Use the flaps (drag) to slow you, just make sure you re-trim when you re-configure. Use the power to descend.

It's the whole...straight and level, you've got Lift, drag, thrust, weight...straight and level unaccellerated, so...no imbalance. If you want to slow down, you need some more drag. If you want to descend, you need less thrust.

Check out the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for a good aerodynamics lesson. If you're good with numbers, there's Aerodynamics for Naval Aviators. Good book...you can actually figure out stall speed (CAS) using the dimensions of the wing....totally freaked me out! But I'm not good with numbers...so...I like the visuals in PHAK and Airplane Flying Handbook.

If ya have any questions, drop me a PM...I'll help if/where I can.

-mini
 

FN FAL

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UnAnswerd said:
Ever been doing touch & go's, and land so far down the runway that you're afraid to try and take off again? Yesterday I came in so fast I though I was gonna float clear down to the other side.
I'm not going to say how I know this, but here's something to consider...

If you go off the end, being on the centerline might mean the difference between simply getting grass in the wheel pants or having to shell out a boat load of money.
 

VVJM265

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Touch & goes are tricky and, unless you want bounce like the boat guys, tend to use a lot of runway. Another good book is the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook.

Airspeed control on final is critical as discussed above. Also, use any visual landing aides (VASI / PAPI) to help you hone in that sight picture.

Centerline is important but also need to be aware of how far down the runway you are. Another thing to think about before you go flying is the runway remaining as you saw in your last flight. A landing is really just a high speed abort so take a look at the landing distance for the weight and take-off flap configuration that you are bouncing at to get some better SA on how far you can push it before waving off. You can use this as a decision distance. This gives you an extra safety margin because the landing distance should be from 50’ over the threshold which equates to 1000’ of runway on a 3 deg glide slope. For an abort off a T&G, the airplane is already on the deck, so that 1000’ is an extra buffer.

For example if the landing distance is 2700’ with ¼ flaps (which is takeoff configuration), then I know that I can safely stop in that distance from a speed of Vref, which is usually a few knots higher than Vr. I’ll round up to 3000’ for the wife and kids to allow for decelerating, resetting flaps & trim, and accelerating back to Vr. Bottom line, better have it down just before the 3 board or take it around. Unless the motor quits, if something happens inside the 3 board, I’m taking it flying anyway ‘cause I won’t have enough runway to abort.

If in a twin, need to look at accelerate & go, accelerate & stop distances but they are usually much longer than landing distance. Also both those are predicated on using runway accelerating to V1, losing a motor and then going flying or stopping. Accelerate & go also includes the distance to 35’. On a T&G, I’m already very near V1 so the acceleration distance to V1 is much smaller. So if I lose a motor inside the 3 board as in the example, I’m still safer taking it flying than trying to stop in what I’ve already figured isn’t enough runway to stop in.

If the field doesn’t have runway remaining boards, then study the airport diagram and pick a landmark (a taxiway or intersecting runway) to use as the decision marker.

Hope this helps. Best of luck,
VVJM265
 

Illini Pilot

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ask your instructor to demonstrate some of your errors to you while you just watch (take in the outside picture to judge your descent rate vs pitch and power settings, etc). i find that students will get to a point where they can sit on the ground or in the left seat after a bad landing/approach and tell me the basics, but i can tell its still not totally getting through to them when they are almost full power with the nose pitched well above the horizon, dragging a 152 in on a 1/4 mile final at 55 kts and well below a normal approach. i like to take the next one and demonstrate what they did, then show the proper correction so they see that they just can't keep adding power AND pitch to get back on their approach.
 

CAVOK69

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I flew with a guy that owned a Mooney once and he was telling me that if he was 2kts fast on final he lost 1000' of runway. If he was 2kts slow on final said:
Controlling your speed within 2 knots being THAT crucial.... I really don't think so. I doubt his landing weight is always the same, I also bet his true ref speed will change some 2 knots if he were to actually look it up in the POH if he has this data...
 

minitour

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CAVOK69 said:
Controlling your speed within 2 knots being THAT crucial.... I really don't think so. I doubt his landing weight is always the same, I also bet his true ref speed will change some 2 knots if he were to actually look it up in the POH if he has this data...
That's why I said "not sure if its true". I know nothing about Mooney's other than they're fast. I've heard the traumahawk is the same way with a short field landing though...1kt fast and you float 1kt slow and you "arriave". At least that's what the ground instructor kept saying. But again, no experience with that type either.

Anyone have the numbers for a Mooney just for kicks?

-mini
 

91100 100 set

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A long time ago, in a place far away (actually it was only in '94, at the little grass strip in Morgantown, PA), I almost hung a 152 up in the trees after a touch and go. Pretty short grass field, freshly minted private pilot, pretty full of myself. Float a little long before touching down, throw the power back on, flaps back up, carb heat off and around I go. I didn't realize just how long I floated until I saw the trees coming up at the west end.

Scared myself to death, and I learned a pretty important lesson.
 
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