Lesson 31 – Landings with a Different Perspective

I had to cancel Thursday’s lesson because of work commitments. Sandy was taking a day off so yesterday I flew with CFI Kim. It worked out fine and it was good to get a different perspective on landings. We stayed in the pattern at Waukegan and did eight landings, one low approach and one go around.

Before we took off, Kim asked what I needed work on and I told her it was my flare. In a email exchange with a very helpful CFI from another school, he suggested that I concentrate on looking down the runway as I start the flare. Kim agreed and reminded me every time around to “look far, look close, look far, look close.” It helped a lot. When I keep my eyes moving from in front of the airplane to the middle of the runway and back again, my flare is much better. Not only that, it also helps me stay on the centerline.

The low approach we did was a very low one. Kim handled the throttle and got us down to a foot or two off the ground. She had me hold the right flare attitude for the whole length of the runway while staying on the centerline at the same time. To demonstrate that I had it right, she pulled the power all the way out at one point and we touched down instantly and gently. Very instructive.

The crosswind increased from almost nothing on the first landing to quit strong by the last one. I was probably a little too tired by that eighth landing and ballooned pretty high. I tried to recovery but was way off the centerline by then so Kim said go around. I should have done that myself instead of trying to save the landing. I will have to keep reminding myself to be ready to go around just as soon as I am uncomfortable with the situation.

This was another good lesson. I am very, very close to having this landing stuff down. I recognize the mistakes – now I just have to see them coming before I make them.