Making a great landing is always a challenge, even for experienced pilots. However, there are some common misconceptions about how to make a great landing – namely that a pilot must concentrate on the round-out and flare.
Hence, a short post by Chris Findley, a flight instructor in the Nashville area and the founder of myFlightCoach.com, for the Let’s Go Flying blog is well worth reading as he explained the importance of flying a proper pattern, especially on the downwind leg, in order to have a great landing. Chris noted that many student pilots are reluctant to allow the aircraft to descend on the downwind – which makes them high on the final approach. He also noted that other students are to fast and have to much airspeed while going into the roundabout or they do the opposite and come in to low and drop the plane onto the threshold.
However, Chris then explained that landing is about energy management. In other words, airspeed and altitude. He also mentioned that:
I had one pilot I flew with who was very frustrated that his landings were all long –using up 2/3 of the runway. After one trip around the pattern I saw that he was high in the pattern, didn’t use a consistent flap setting, and was trying to land 15 knots over the recommended approach speed. That will make you land long every time.
After a few more trips around and a review of the recommended speeds, his landings were 100% better.
In other words, flying a proper pattern along with plenty of practice will be keys to having a perfect landing.