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Certified Flight Instructor Resources by Derek W Beck




Maximum performance landing where the landing area is short or restricted by obstructions.


To teach techniques necessary for a short field landing to avoid obstructions or minimize ground roll.


·         Clear the area

·         Choose forced landing area (should be runway)

·         Configure aircraft for normal approach and begin descent as normal

·         Select outside references (e.g. runway numbers)

·         Clear area, then turn to final (≤30° bank)

·         On final: remaining flaps (C172RG: 30º) when runway is assured, CCGUMPS check

·         Select aim point (e.g. before runway numbers)

·         Adjust pitch and power to maintain short field approach speed and relatively steep descent angle of 1.3 VSO or as specified (C172RG: 63 KIAS)

·         Trim to relieve control pressures

·         Make sure feet are not on brakes

·         Insure stabilized approach from 500’ AGL

·         10-20’ off ground: reduce throttle to idle

·         Gradually apply back pressure to pitch for landing attitude: (don’t fly into ground effect, cut through it!) when passing aim point, adjusting pitch for climb attitude just above horizon

·         Touchdown on main gear at minimum controllable airspeed with little or no float, just above a power-off stall, touchdown at selected point beyond and within 100’

·         Maintain pitch attitude for aerodynamic braking

·         Smoothly relax back pressure to quickly lower nose wheel

·         Flaps up (simulate, necessary to put more weight on gear)

·         Heavy braking as required (simulate)


Include a discussion on performance charts and other landing scenarios. Keep one hand on throttle. Discuss steeper than normal approach. Emphasize brakes only after touchdown, but simulated for practice landings. A wider than normal pattern can be used to give time to configure the airplane.

Common Errors

·         Failure to allow enough room on final to set up the approach, necessitating an overly steep approach and high sink rate

·         Unstabilized approach

·         Undue delay in initiating glidepath corrections

·         Too low an airspeed on final resulting in inability to flare properly and landing hard

·         Too high an airspeed resulting in floating on roundout

·         Prematurely reducing power to idle on roundout resulting in hard landing

·         Touchdown with excessive airspeed

·         Excessive and/or unnecessary braking after touchdown

·         Failure to maintain directional control


FAA-H-8083-3A Airplane Flying Handbook p. 8-17

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