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Bouncy/Porpoise Landings

Neil wrote:

From Piper Cub to a big jet you have to fly the exact speeds required

You mean have a speed number and fly it all the way? or just have a number to nail at 50ft on top of the threshold?

None of this was simple to me as new-PPL, as far as teaching goes I was told a hard-coded Va = 1.3*VS0 or Va = 70kts, which is good for “repetitive learning” in early days to get the picture assuming everything else is the same: aircraft, weight, conditions, runways, wind… but failed me a lot as other things gets reshuffled, later with experience you start climbing the ladder:
- Continue flying Va = 1.3*VS0 but now you have realistic expectations of where you end-up depending on other variables
- Those who start inventing their own formulas, why not go for Va = Vs+1/2*head wind or gust? until you mis-estimate the wind/gust
- Those really good in speed control, would fly Va = Vs+10kts, this should work for any condition/aircraft? until stall horn buzz
- Those who fly it like, let’s see Va = …, it works? until they bend the metal

You will learn from “repeating familiar stuff” and “exploring unfamiliar stuff”, the trade-off between the two is not something you can teach unfortunately (most of us will just put all of it under the rug “you need speed control” )

EGSX, United Kingdom

A great thread and thank you Acquilinus for posting your experience.

My 2 cents is that one needs to learn to flare the plane and hold it there until it settles down onto the runway. Then if you have excess speed, you just use up more runway. Most of the time this doesn’t matter because most runways are plenty long enough. Sometimes of course it does matter; you can’t do this with most common-use GA planes into a 500m runway (then the speed has to be nailed in the final part of the approach).

As regards fuel, I am fortunate in having a plane which can be filled right up in virtually all situations; I have had to under-fill only once in 16 years because the other three were big guys (and that trip was cancelled due to fog). But one should always try to fly with copious reserves. You just never know when a large area gets fogged in… Once, returning from Germany, I found unforecast fog covering the whole south coast from Bournemouth to Lydd. I got into Lydd on the ILS and it closed up just as I taxied off the runway. Biggin was gone already (usually it is above the fog – an island sticking up in a sea of white). Most GA planes don’t have a fuel totaliser, most have crappy fuel gauges, so one is never quite sure how much is in there. It is a poor state of affairs which (for smart people) drives most trips to be a much shorter distance than could be safely done with accurate fuel metering, and for the rest it produces a fair number of fuel exhaustion accidents.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

With lightweight aircraft, and long runways, high approach speed doesn’t matter, providing you reduce it before entering the ground effect, and then hold off until the aircraft settles on the runway.

Maoraigh
EGPE, United Kingdom

Maroaigh wrote:

With lightweight aircraft, and long runways, high approach speed doesn’t matter, providing you reduce it before entering the ground effect, and then hold off until the aircraft settles on the runway.

Especially true with the Aquila acqulinius was flying. During my PPL my instructor had me land at different approach speeds, varying from 60 to 80 kts. At the higher speeds sometimes we only touched down on the final third of the 1200m runway, but that’s still enough asphalt left for the A210. Touchdown at 70-80 kts is also possible but risks a bumpy landing and will obviously wear down the tires faster.

Novice pilot
EDDV Hannover

Maoraigh wrote:

With lightweight aircraft, and long runways, high approach speed doesn’t matter, providing you reduce it before entering the ground effect, and then hold off until the aircraft settles on the runway.

Of course it matters, but landing is certainly possible at higher speeds. You will float and be subject to several different risks as you slowly bleed off speed in the ground effect. But it is not a good habit to get into.

EGTK Oxford

A good number of landing problems are either Pilot Induced Oscillations or nosewheel collapses caused by excessive speed and/or forcing the aircraft onto the ground in a 3 point attitude, or worse, nose wheel first. Obviously I am talking about nose wheel aircraft, 3 point attitude in a tailwheel aircraft is good

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

MedEwok wrote:

During my PPL my instructor had me land at different approach speeds, varying from 60 to 80 kts. At the higher speeds sometimes we only touched down on the final third of the 1200m runway, but that’s still enough asphalt left for the A210. Touchdown at 70-80 kts is also possible but risks a bumpy landing and will obviously wear down the tires faster.

As an instructor I am struggling to understand why you would do that exercise. To practice “bad practice” is something I do not understand. Just because it is possible to do it with this particular aircraft on this particular runway I do not think it should be done. Why learn to fly in at a much higher speed than normal? That is called an unstabilized approach and should always be followed by a go-around. Many people have tried to do fast landings, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not…

Would be interesting to hear the instructor’s thoughts on that.

Last Edited by Fly310 at 11 Oct 17:44
Sweden

Obviously I am not an instructor but retrieving a landing which arrived with excess speed would seem to be a useful tool to have in one’s toolbox.

To be used only in the right circumstances e.g. loads of runway.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Found myself thinking exactly the same thing @Fly310. Why on earth would one want to do that? To my mind, it seems far better to teach the student to go-around – without fail – in case of an unstabilised approach – excess speed included, obviously. Don’t try to save it. Same for bounces, I would suggest. Don’t try to save it. Go around. Much more professional and no bent metal, or more serious.

Jenny

Bordeaux

Peter wrote:

Obviously I am not an instructor but retrieving a landing which arrived with excess speed would seem to be a useful tool to have in one’s toolbox.

Particularly if you have lost the ASI.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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