That Smooth Landing

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digits_
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by digits_ »

youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:14 am
digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:06 am
youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:53 am I've definitely stopped students from a tail strike in a 172 during short-field landings because of exactly what you are in favour of.
I'm curious, how do you know? Have you had a tail strike in a 172 that you know what the limit is? Or did you stop them because it felt too high, which could have just been a feeling?
Yes I have. Also, yes I did stop them... and I guess I'll never know how close it was, other than un-necessarily close, based on my experience.
In what model and what configuration did that happen? I'm really curious, I did not expect you could tail strike a 172.
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photofly
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by photofly »

youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:53 am Anyways, here's something directed at you.
"I’m fully in favour of “hold it off as long as possible”. I’ve never had a tail strike in a 172. " with respect, this sounds like an absolute comment to me,
You hear what you want to hear. I'm happy with what I wrote.
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youhavecontrol
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by youhavecontrol »

digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:14 am
digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:06 am

I'm curious, how do you know? Have you had a tail strike in a 172 that you know what the limit is? Or did you stop them because it felt too high, which could have just been a feeling?
Yes I have. Also, yes I did stop them... and I guess I'll never know how close it was, other than un-necessarily close, based on my experience.
In what model and what configuration did that happen? I'm really curious, I did not expect you could tail strike a 172.
For me, it was on a 172-M model in 40deg flaps on a soft-field landing attempt, if I remember correctly. I had too much power in and was flaring more and more... waiting for that sink. Our school had little skid marks on almost every tie-down loop from others bumping it during soft-fields, mostly. If I remember correctly, it happened for me when I was in training, with another student in the back.
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C.W.E.
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by C.W.E. »

2. Keep your heels off the floorboards
Why?
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digits_
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by digits_ »

youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:15 pm
digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am
youhavecontrol wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:14 am

Yes I have. Also, yes I did stop them... and I guess I'll never know how close it was, other than un-necessarily close, based on my experience.
In what model and what configuration did that happen? I'm really curious, I did not expect you could tail strike a 172.
For me, it was on a 172-M model in 40deg flaps on a soft-field landing attempt, if I remember correctly. I had too much power in and was flaring more and more... waiting for that sink. Our school had little skid marks on almost every tie-down loop from others bumping it during soft-fields, mostly. If I remember correctly, it happened for me when I was in training, with another student in the back.
Aha, ok. The explanation I give to make those first landings is "power idle and try to stay in the air as long as possible". Power on and trying to keep it in the air as long as possible kind of defeats the purpose of a short field landing. At a short field landing you use a bit of power to get a slower approach speed, but you have to cut the power to actually touch down. And that might very well be a bit of a rougher touchdown, that's perfectly fine.
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C.W.E.
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by C.W.E. »

2. Keep your heels off the floorboards
Why?

Can someone explain this to me?

Anyone?
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gwagen
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by gwagen »

I agree with photofly, holding it off is perfectly fine advice.

If you have students striking the tail or getting close to it.

You’re not saving them from striking the tail, you’re making up for your own poor instruction.

From lesson number 1 you should be drilling in landing attitudes, giving them references in the windshield to the horizon.

With those burnt into their mind, by the time you’re teaching short and soft they’ll know what to look for and won’t be surprised.
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lownslow
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by lownslow »

Doesn’t look like it should take much effort.
Image
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by pelmet »

digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:21 am I'm really curious, I did not expect you could tail strike a 172.
https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all ... il-strikes
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digits_
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by digits_ »

Allright. Learn something new every day. It doesn't seem to indicate a danger of the "power idle, keep it floating" approach, but I admit it seems possible to tail strike a 172. Thank you for the link!
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pelmet
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by pelmet »

digits_ wrote: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:53 pm Allright. Learn something new every day. It doesn't seem to indicate a danger of the "power idle, keep it floating" approach, but I admit it seems possible to tail strike a 172. Thank you for the link!

I suspect that the bounced landing in which the aircraft is pretty much stalled due to no power being added to cushion things is where the biggest risk is. A flare too high could be a similar scenario.


The University of North Dakota is a big training school. I can't say for sure why they made this video, but I suspect that it was due to tailstrikes…..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuQpqtd89fs
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by PilotDAR »

Any aircraft type can be damaged with abusive handling. For tricycle planes, abusive handling could include allowing a tailstrike, and/or bouncing the nosewheel off the ground/wheelbarrowing. Of course a pilot must be taught that both of these situations are to be prevented by active piloting techniques. If a 172 pilot has the throttle closed, some/all flap extended just above the runway, and is not allowing the aircraft to porpoise, I doubt that a tail strike is possible. If a pilot as so afraid of a tail strike that they three point a 172, they are much more likely to damage the plane, and the damage will be worse. I would opine that the cumulative cost to repair damaged 172 firewalls and nosewheels exceeds the cumulative cost to repair tailstrike damage. Both are bad, and to be prevented, but firewall damage should be prevented more.

It's pretty easy to teach a pilot the attitude to avoid to prevent a tailstrike in a 172 - sit the pilot comfortably in their normal flying position, and have someone push the tail down. Say to the pilot: "See the sight picture? Avoid!" Probably they have lost sight of the runway over the cowl entirely, and their sense of not being able to see the runway will be memorable. They will instinctively avoid that attitude. But they must also be taught that seeing plenty of runway in front at touchdown is going to result in an expensive bucking bronco ride. I have taught that is you can see just a little runway over the cowl, that's good, hold it steadily there, and wait for the touchdown, which my include a stall. I have warned and promoted the idea of waiting for the stall horn inches above the runway so if the pilot does have the plane in the correct position over the runway, and hears the stall warning for a moment as the plane touches, that may be considered normal, and they should maintain that control input. That would be a really bad time to reduce the nose up pitch input.

For the taildraggers I fly, I have noticed that it is possible to have a momentary stall warning in the flare, and still achieve a pleasing wheel landing, but it is difficult to train this repeatedly, so I'm less inclined to include the stall warning as an objective in a wheel landing in a taildragger.
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aeroncasuperchief
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by aeroncasuperchief »

If you are attempting a full stall landing and a gust of wing ( quartering or head on ) happens, your IAS will go up but you GS will go down, so after the gust , your IAS will be lower than before and you will land hard because you have no buffer , you cannot pull back anymore for more lift to cushion the landing. Obviously, you will need power at this point, but there is a delay and it is less natural than pulling the control back. When on the backside of the power curve, your power is constantly being juggled, and your lift is dependant on your power setting for a good landing, so the A/C is less effected by gusts.
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pelmet
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by pelmet »

Talked to the owner of a flight school today with 9 C172's about tailstrikes. He says that they get them on a very regular basis in terms of a scrape of some sort on the tiedown ring. That being said, he did also stated that structural damage was rare, although they change the tiedown ring regularly.

Still some here have stuck to their blind hold it off as long as possible idea. But remember, my statement was for all tricycle gear aircraft with qualification that it may not apply to every type as there are so many and none of us know them all. If you are experienced on a type and know it well, it may be OK. To teach it to a student as a regular landing technique is foolish in my opinion as it will likely be used on other types as well.

I did find another Cessna tailscrape proving that the idea of hold off the touchdown as a blanket statement is a poor idea....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... 7vSBq9HpBs
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by photofly »

Again, there’s a lot more to correct with that landing, than the idea of holding it off. What I do see in the videos that you posted is that the aircraft is given a high rate of rotation at the wrong moment, probably because the yoke or side-stick (in the latter case) is yanked back.That is obviously a bad idea. I don’t see it proves much about the technique when correctly executed though.

Are there any videos of controlled, stable landings to a nose high attitude in a 172 that result in a tail strike? If not, why not?

TBH I think most tailstrikes in a 172 are actually done on takeoff. My ill-informed opinion is that most student pilots are coming in too fast - in all types - and not raising the nose enough. We can question the wisdom of encouraging them to raise the nose even less.

By the way, are there any 162s still in use? It’s I’d guess not a great technique to use in a Boeing 737 either (not that I can be sure) but I do find it very effective and safe in a 172. 182, also.
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photofly
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by photofly »

Here’s a mini survey of POHs:

Grumman AA5B: “It is good practice to touch down with minimum safe speed...”

Piper PA28-161 and PA28-140: “It is generally good practice to contact the ground at the minimum safe speed consistent with existing conditions ... Reduce the speed during the flareout and contact the ground close to the stalling speed.”

SR22: “Touch-downs should be made on the main wheels first at speeds slightly above stall.”
In the section on reduced flap landings, the SR22 Manual cautions: “Pilots must also be aware that the aircraft will be at a higher angle of attack as compared to a landing with full flaps on final approach and during touch-down. Pilots are cautioned to not exceed 10 degrees of nose high pitch during the round-out and flare to prevent a tail strike.”

The Diamond DA20 Manual has nothing helpful, providing no guidance about landing technique that I can find, nor about any danger of tail strikes. Ditto the Rockwell 112A commander.

The flight manual for the Grob G115C says “touch down with the main landing gear first when the speed indicator reads less than...58kts.” The idle power full flap indicated stall speed is 51kts, not allowing for any reduction due to ground effect. There is no warning about skid damage on landing with any particular technique, alhough a skid is fitted.

The Cessna 162 Skycatcher POH says “Landing at slower speeds will result in shorter landing distances and reduce wear to tires and brakes. The Low Airspeed Alert and Stall Warning System horn will sound as the airplanes slows for landing flair and touchdown. Pilot should monitor airspeed closely and be prepared to initiate stall avoidance procedures.”

THE Beechcraft B36TC Bonanza Manual has nothing helpful to say.

The POH for the C182T says “Landing at slower speeds will result in shorter landing distances and minimum wear to tires and brakes. Power must be at idle as the main wheels touch the ground.” But there is no admonishment against attempting to land at too slow a speed.

The tentative conclusion that I draw in all these cases is that the aircraft can be landed safely in or very close to the stalling attitude, or at least with the stall warning system in operation, as (except in the case of the SR22) the manufacturer makes no caution against doing so, as I would reasonably expect them to do if there were a design issue with the rear fuselage that made that impossible.

Of course that doesn’t mean that a tail strike is impossible, and of course it isn’t, else why bolt skids and protectors to the airplane? But from a training point of view, absent specific advice from the manufacturer I’d say a tail strike is a result of some other error in technique in these aircraft.
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pelmet
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by pelmet »

I think that landing at a "minimum safe speed" is a good statement from several POH's and should be taught as a basic skill that could be modified as required as one gets more experience. Much different than the quote I used to make my argument which was..."Just before touchdown try to hold it off the runway as long as possible." The SkyCatcher guy certainly appears to be doing that with his full up elevator, the 172 guys are likely doing the same.
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by photofly »

Trying to hold it off the runway 30 feet up in the air, or trying to hold it off with sudden jerks back to full aft elevator, are not techniques recommended by anyone I know. If you’re going to say that a technique is wrong, the examples you use to show it doesn’t work should at least be that technique correctly executed. In fact, you have no idea whatsoever what was actually in the minds of the pilots in the videos you posted, so you’re really trying to use those videos as counterexamples of a technique that the pilots certainly weren’t doing right, and may well not have been doing at all!

I don’t use any form of words such as “just before touchdown” do anything. As I can hear the student say in retort, “If I knew when ‘just before touchdown’ was going to be, I wouldn’t need your help with the landings, would I?”

Taking it as common ground that landing at the minimum safe speed, which is at or just above the stalling speed for the aircraft configuration and weight, is the goal, what is your preferred verbal advice to a student who is having trouble landing at that speed?
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Last edited by photofly on Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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aeroncasuperchief
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by aeroncasuperchief »

With minimum or no wind, I have practiced landing a taildragger and taxiing to my tiedown on 2 wheels and also landing a C-150 and taxiing to the tiedown on 2 wheels ( Hint: you need an aft C of G, ask DAR ) !

It is perfectly acceptable to 2 point a TD at stall times 1.3 or a tricycle gear A/C at stall times 1.3 IF there is no undue weight on the nosewheel! The determination to land a tricycle A/C at max safe speed or min safe speed ( which is BELOW the normal stall speed ) on the backside is based upon the CONDITIONS ! We land a tri-gear craft at lower speeds in calm wind, normally due to field length and the fact we have to pay for expensive tires and brake pads !
In some conditions it is foolish to be at or near stall upon landing and also foolish in other conditions NOT to be near stall or at stall when touching down ! CWE can explain that to yall !
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lownslow
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Re: That Smooth Landing

Post by lownslow »

I had something written for this a couple days ago but something went wrong in posting. Long story short, my terrible opinion is that smooth landings are overrated.
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