I know for a fact that none of us plan on having any aircraft accident anytime soon.
But, if we do, it’s pretty clear when it will occur. Yup, in the landing phase!
So armed with this information, what are we doing about it?
Let’s start with this question. Do you want your landings to be consistently “good” or consistently “adequate”?
OK! I know we all answered no worse than “good”, so now the next question. How do we get good at something?
There is only one answer. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!
Let’s pull out our log book again to measure how we are doing in this regard. Are we getting at least ten landings a month (2-3/week) to guarantee proficiency? I suspect most of us are well short of this goal. And who among us would argue for real proficiency with less than this number? (Remember, all the landing possibilities-crosswind/short field/obstacles/soft field/partial flap/no flap/heavyweight etc)
Another question. Are we lucky or are we good? Have we avoided a landing mishap because of our skill level or because of our proficiency? If we had a landing mishap next week, would we be able to prove to a jury of our peers that we genuinely care about our landing skills and work hard at them?
Yet another question. What’s a good landing? Having heard all the clever answers to this, let’s get right to the correct one. ON SPEED, ON SPOT! That says it all.
And while I do challenge all pilots to get as many landings as possible every time they fly, there is a concept we can all embrace NOW that will make us better pilots without any additional expense.
Work hard at every landing you make!
Starting with traffic pattern entry right up until you park the aircraft, be precise and disciplined. Be on airspeed, be on altitude, be standardized! How can you expect to fly a stabilized approach if you cannot maintain airspeed and altitude on downwind?
Challenge yourself to be the best that you can be! Don’t get lazy or complacent! Be prepared when you enter the traffic pattern and if you don’t like the look of your approach, go around! Make every landing a practice landing!
I have yet to meet a pilot that makes a perfect landing every time! But, I know for certain that we can all do better by making every effort our very best effort.
Don’t our passengers deserve that?