This “Pilot’s Tip of the Week” was originally published 6/28/2017. To get free tips like this each week, subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Pilot's tip of the week

How To Make a Good Landing Every Time


Subscriber question:

"Can you provide any tips for making good or perfect landings?" - Petha P.

Wally Moran:

“The holy grail of aviation, how to make perfect landings.

My view of a perfect landing for most general aviation aircraft is one where the aircraft touches down smoothly on the center line at just above stall speed with the yoke nearly full aft. The pilot then holds the nose wheel off as long as possible and smoothly lands it as elevator effectiveness is lost.

We have all heard the saying that it is possible to make a bad landing from a good approach but it is almost impossible to make a good landing from a bad approach. So we need to start with the approach.

Perfect LandingsA good approach should be on speed and on spot. That is stabilized at the recommended approach speed, constant rate of descent, in trim and aimed at a point that will allow us to flare and touch down at our desired touchdown spot. Having the airplane set up in this manner at least gives you a shot at a perfect landing.

If you make your approaches in this way the behavior of the airplane during the flare will be the same every time. This gives you a chance to learn how to make that perfect landing. If you are off speed or sink, or out of trim the airplane will behave differently during the flare on every landing so you never get better.

Each airplane we fly has different landing characteristics so by making a stabilized approach, we get a chance to learn how to adjust our flare and power reduction to accommodate those characteristics. So practice stabilized approaches and your perfect landing scores will improve.”

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