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How To Perfectly Time Your Flare And Touchdown

Boldmethod

We have a trick that can help you make the perfect flare and touchdown, every time. No, it's not that "one weird trick" ad you see on the internet. This is the real deal. And it works in every airplane.

The flare is the hardest part of your landing to master, and it takes the most finesse. But, if you've set it up well, with your airspeed on target and your glide path steady, it's really pretty simple.

To perfect the flare, you need to have a couple things on point.

First, airspeed. You need to reach the flare at the right airspeed. Second, altitude. You need to start the flare at the right altitude. And finally, technique. You need the right technique to smoothly pitch up and arrest your descent.

First, Airspeed

Let's start with airspeed. Your final approach airspeed depends on your landing weight and your flap configuration. For most aircraft, you'll find the published speed in your Pilot's Operating Handbook or Airplane Flight Manual. It's often in Section Five, next to your landing distance information, or in Section Four, in your landing procedures.

In the Cirrus SR-22T, the manufacturer recommends that we approach the flare at 80-85 knots with full flaps. As as we cross the runway threshold, we should be at 79 knots. That's the speed required to achieve the published short field landing performance.

Cessna recommends 60-70 knots with full flaps on final, and 61 knots across the threshold for a short field landing distance for the 172. Again, that's at maximum gross weight with full flaps.

Remember that these speeds are published for max gross weight. If you're significantly lighter than max gross, you should fly a few knots slower. If you don't, you'll be too fast for your weight, and you'll float your landing.

If your aircraft's manufacturer doesn't recommend a final approach speed, the FAA recommends that you use 1.3 x VS0.

Next Up, Altitude

Now that you're on speed for the perfect flare, you need to judge the right altitude to start pulling the aircraft's nose up for the flare. For almost all general aviation aircraft, you should start the flare at about 10 feet above the runway. Unfortunately, 10 feet isn't very useful to us. Your altimeter isn't sensitive enough for you to pick out 10 feet above the runway. Fortunately, there's another way, which leads us into today's workshop video...

When The Runway Zooms In Size...

Watching for the runway to expand in your windscreen is the perfect way to judge your flare. As you fly down final, the runway grows steadily in your windscreen. But then, as you get about 10 feet above the ground, the runway grows at a rate of nearly 10 times faster than before. When you see the runway "zoom" in your windscreen, it's time to flare.

So what does the zoom look like, exactly? That's where newest online course really comes into play. It's hard (more like impossible) to show you what the zoom looks like with pictures in this article. But with our Mastering Takeoffs and Landings online course, you'll see exactly when you should flare, and you can use this technique on your next flight.

On top of that, we cover just about every situation you could find yourself in, from takeoff to touchdown.

Check out Mastering Takeoffs and Landings now.

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