Part II — The Ground and Air Instruction Syllabus — Exercise 18 — The Approach and Landing


To teach:

(1)  The techniques necessary to safely land an aircraft under varied conditions.

(2)  The need to make meaningful decisions as to what type of landing should be made under existing conditions.


As required.

Essential Background Knowledge

(1)  Using the information in the Pilot Operating Handbook (if specified), at appropriate times explain recommended techniques for normal landings.

  1. Explain additional consideration for:
  2. Cross-wind landings;
  3. Short field/obstacle clearance approach and landing (spot landing — precision approaches) — use of power;
  4. Soft or rough field landings;
  5. Landings over an obstacle;
  6. "Touch-and-go" or "stop-and-go" landings.

(2)  Explain landing distance tables in the Pilot Operating Handbook. Show how to determine the effect of density altitude and weight on the length of the landing run.

(3)  Explain how and why the length of the landing run is affected by:

  1. Wind — use of head wind and cross-wind component graph;
  2. Light shifting wind or tail wind;
  3. Up grade or down grade;
  4. High all-up weight;
  5. Surface types, e.g., hard or soft, sand, clay, mud, grass, gravel, snow and ice;
  6. Surface conditions, e.g., wet, dry, slush, snow and ice;
  7. Wet runways — hydroplaning;
  8. Density altitude.

(4)  Explain:

  1. Power-off and power-on approach procedures to a touchdown — airspeed surveillance and control.
  2. By reference to ground visual indications, recognition of undershooting and overshooting.

(5)  For nose wheel equipped aircraft explain:

  1. Airmanship precautions for protection of nose gear from damage on landing;
  2. "Wheelbarrowing".

(6)  For tail wheel equipped aircraft explain:

  1. Ground looping — description, causes, and prevention;
  2. Considerations for directional control i.e. tail wheel firmly on ground;
  3. Precautions necessary due to decreased forward visibility.

(7)  Explain:

  1. Considerations for landing behind large aircraft:
  1. spacing;
  2. touchdown point — considerations due to wake turbulence.

B. How and when the pilot may refuse landing clearance;

C. Overshoot techniques with respect to:

  1. power — attitude, carburettor heat;
  2. flap retraction;
  3. flight in relation to runway — climb-out path.

D. Effects of flap and wind on final approach path, including wind shear and turbulence;

E. Airmanship relating to:

  1. runway turn off point — high speed turns;
  2. clearing active runway;
  3. post-landing checks;
  4. taxi clearance — when applicable.

F. Visual illusions when approaching for a landing on an up or down slope, and on runways which are narrower or wider than those to which the pilot is used to.

(8)  Instrument indications:

  1. Airspeed and altitude surveillance during approaches;
  2. Conversion of CAS to IAS, when necessary.

(9)  Question student on the exercise and clarify as necessary.

Advice to Instructors

(1)  Accident records show landings contribute immensely to the accident total. Accordingly, it is essential to expose the student to all possible variables that may be encountered in landing conditions and ensure the capability of handling them.

(2)  The student must be taught to size up the situation before any landing, taking into consideration the effects of wind, surface conditions, obstacles, turbulence and vortices from other aircraft, etc. When all pertinent points are taken into account, the student should then decide whether or not it is safe to land. If the decision is to proceed, the student should then select the type of approach and landing to use, rather than correct for problems as they are encountered.

(3)  A landing is not finished until the landing roll has stopped. Caution the student not to allow attention to be diverted by tower transmissions. Insist that the aircraft be either stopped or taxiing before using the radio.

(4)  Post-landing checks should be carried out well clear of the runway, and where available past the taxiway holding position lines, with the aeroplane fully stopped. Taxiing accidents and the incorrect selection of flap and landing gear levers can be avoided in this manner.

(5)  Landings are a continual challenge. Encourage the student to watch other students landing and learn from their mistakes.

(6)  During the landing, make sure the student looks far enough ahead of the aircraft to properly appreciate both the forward, vertical and possible lateral movement in relation to the runway.

(7)  Allow students to correct their own mistakes. They will never learn if it is all done for them, but be ready to take control — fully or partially, if there is a possibility of loss of control or flight safety could be jeopardized.

(8)  "Touch-and-go" landings should be taught only after the student has achieved a reasonable degree of proficiency in controlling the final stages of the landing roll.

(9)  Should it be necessary to correct a powered approach by altering the power setting, it is always advisable to correct early so that a slight alteration will be sufficient. The student should be taught to strive for an approach that requires minimal power variation.

(10)  When landing on a long runway, you may find that the student is taking advantage of the easy approach and is not being accurate in judgement. Such a habit must not be allowed to develop. Insist that the student land in a predetermined touchdown zone. The touchdown point should not normally be the threshold.

(11)  The student should learn to use the flaps intelligently to steepen the descent path as required, but occasionally, as an exercise in judgement, you should ask the student to land with a predetermined flap setting. The effect of flap on the actual landing is an important consideration.

(12)  The change of attitude of the aircraft to bring about the required round-out and subsequent hold-off to touchdown must be judged by visual reference to the ground rather than by mechanical movements of the control column. This must be demonstrated sufficiently and consistently by the instructor until the student observes the clues which will enable personal decisions to be made.

(13)  Occasionally, while correcting for a bounce during which the nose of the aircraft has risen considerably, the student may open the throttle correctly, but at the same time, due to tension or confusion, may move the control column too far forward. The danger here is obvious, and you should watch for it carefully.

(14)  If, before the first solo, the student has had no trouble in landing the aircraft, you should "assist" by making bad landings to ensure that the proper recovery action is learned.

(15)  Overshoots following a full flap approach should be demonstrated and practised prior to the first solo flight.

(16)  Allow student to rest periodically while you demonstrate a take-off, circuit and landing.

(17)  A number of "wheelbarrowing" accidents have occurred during cross-wind landings made by pilots flying aircraft equipped with nose wheel/rudder steering, and utilizing the "slip" technique for cross-wind correction. On some general aviation aircraft the nose wheel steers when rudder is applied and, for this reason, such landings require careful rudder operation just prior to the nose wheel touching down. The rudder should be centralised just before the nose wheel is allowed to contact the runway. The "slip" method of drift correction is favoured by the majority of pilots (particularly in light aircraft) as it accomplishes the desired results without presenting the need for a last minute directional correction prior to touchdown.

Instruction and Student Practice


(1)  Normal landings — demonstrate:

  1. Establishment of landing approach line;
  2. Use of flaps/side-slip on desired final descent path;
  3. Power-on and power-off approaches;
  4. Levelling off — flare;
  5. Where to look ahead of the aircraft while landing;
  6. Hold-off — diminishing control response;
  7. Landing attitude;
  8. Touchdown — nose-up attitude to avoid wheelbarrowing;
  9. Landing run — lowering nose as elevator control diminishes;
  10. Keeping straight.

(2)  Cross-wind landings — demonstrate:

  1. Final approach (crab into wind) — use of power;
  2. Use of flaps as required or recommended;
  3. Lowering into-wind wing to offset drift at approximately 200 feet above ground;
  4. Correction of drift on hold-off;
  5. Touch down on the upwind main wheel;
  6. Attitude and directional control on touchdown — avoid wheelbarrowing;
  7. Keeping wings level with aileron during landing roll — directional control.


(3)  Normal landings — demonstrate:

  1. As in paragraph (1), (a) through (g);
  2. Three-point landing attitude;
  3. Keeping straight on touchdown — control column full back — ground loop indications and prevention;
  4. Completion of landing — give full attention until the aircraft comes to a stop.

(4)  Cross-wind landings — demonstrate:

  1. As in paragraph (2), (a) through (e);
  2. Touching down on into-wind main wheel and tail wheel — directional control;
  3. As aileron control diminishes, other main wheel will touch runway;
  4. Keeping wings level with aileron during landing roll — directional control.

(5)  Wheel landing — demonstrate:

  1. Approach at suitable speed — use of power;
  2. Levelling out close to ground;
  3. Touch down in level attitude on main wheels;
  4. As wheels touch — check forward on elevator control;
  5. Keeping main wheels firmly on runway;
  6. Directional control;
  7. As elevator control diminishes, tail wheel will touch runway;
  8. Keeping tail wheel firmly on ground.

(6)  Wheel landing — cross-wind — demonstrate:

  1. Final approach as in paragraph (2), (a) through (f);
  2. As aileron control diminishes, allow other main wheel to touch runway;
  3. Keeping straight;
  4. As elevator control diminishes, allow tail wheel to touch runway;
  5. Keeping tail wheel firmly on ground;
  6. Keeping wings level with aileron during landing roll.


(7)  Approach and landing over obstacle — demonstrate:

  1. Approach at recommended airspeed given in the Pilot Operating Handbook, flaps as applicable;
  2. Use of attitude/power in maintaining desired airspeed and precision descent path.
  3. Control response;
  4. Power reduction on completion of flare for landing;
  5. Landing to suit existing conditions i.e. cross-wind, soft field, etc.;
  6. Precision touchdown point considerations.

(8)  Short field landings — demonstrate:

  1. Approach at recommended airspeed — use (7)(a) above;
  2. If no obstructions — flight path and use of power;
  3. For obstacle approach — see para (7) above;
  4. Use of brakes after touchdown;
  5. Use of flaps after touchdown — safety considerations.

(9)  Soft field landing — demonstrate special considerations:

  1. Touch down at minimal speed;
  2. Maintain nose-up attitude as long as possible during landing run — for tail wheel aircraft, fully back on control column;
  3. Precautions when using brakes.

(10)  Overshoot — demonstrate:

  1. From an approach;
  2. From an aborted landing;
  1. power, attitude, carburettor heat — cold weather considerations;
  2. flap retraction;
  3. flight in relation to runway — climb path.

(11)  "Touch-and-go"/"stop-and-go" landing considerations:

  1. Directional control;
  2. Use of ancillary controls;
  3. Importance of sufficient runway remaining for take-off.

(12)  Post-landing procedures — demonstrate:

  1. Taxiing clear of runway;
  2. Completion of post-landing check;
  3. Obtaining taxi clearance — if applicable.

(13)  When suitable, and safe conditions exist, demonstrate effect on landing distance of:

  1. Tail wind;
  2. Grass surfaces, wet and dry;
  3. Runway gradient;
  4. Maximum landing weight.
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