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Bad Landing: Pass Or Fail?

Short Final WireLizard

Yesterday we wrote about the danger of porpoise landings. Today, we're asking you if a porpoise landing on a private pilot check ride would be a pass or fail, if you were the examiner. Here are the details:

Check Ride:

Private Pilot

Your Task:

Should the applicant pass or fail? Read the scenario below, then vote at the bottom of the post.


During the check ride, you ask the student to perform a normal landing at an uncontrolled airport. The student identifies the correct runway to use, based on a 10KT headwind blowing directly down the runway. They correctly enter the traffic pattern and begin preparing for landing.

As the student turns final, they configure the airplane with full flaps and complete the final landing checklist. After completing the checklist, they notice the they are 1 dot high on the PAPI indicator, and pitch the airplane down to get back on glide path. The student recaptures the glide path, but is 8 knots above final approach speed as they cross the runway threshold.

The student floats down the runway due to excess airspeed, and relaxes back pressure on the yoke in an attempt to get the airplane down on the landing point you specified. The airplane touches down slightly hard 200 feet beyond the landing point, and due to the excess airspeed, bounces back into the air. The student relaxes back pressure on the yoke again, this time touching down nose first. The airplane porpoises and bounces back into the air a second time. The student corrects by adding power and arresting the descent. On the third and final touchdown, the student lands smoothly, main gear first, and brings the airplane to a stop on centerline.

Should the applicant pass or fail? Vote below to tell us what you think! Then, add comments below to discuss why you made your decision.

  • Pass


  • Fail


View The Results

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