Pilot's tip of the week

On Speed, On Spot


Subscriber question:

"Is it a good idea to carry a little extra airspeed on approach when you have a 5,000-foot runway ahead of you?" - Rich J.


Well, I feel it’s important to land on speed, on spot. And if you’re making the approach at the improper airspeed, you’re not going to land where you think you will land. It’s important to pick the appropriate speed for the approach given the weather and the wind and the conditions you have for the day. To arbitrarily add additional speed does not enhance safety – it merely results in a longer landing.

We should touch down as slowly as possible because we then have dissipated as much energy as we can. We eliminate the bounces; we eliminate the hard braking and the wear and tear on our airplane that a fast landing causes.

If we practice on speed, on spot all the time it will become our habit and we’ll be confident that we can do it on the day we need it. If we haven’t practiced it in a long time, we probably won’t do it very well when we really need to do it.”

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