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7 Ways To Improve Your Landings

Because everyone wants to improve their landings...

1) Let the runway come to you.

When you execute your round out and flare, the goal is to decrease your decent rate and bleed off airspeed. If you push the nose down toward the runway, the extra lift you had during the flare will be lost. This will cause you to settle to the runway hard, and may cause you to bounce back into the air.

the side projects by dews

2) Use smooth control applications.

Avoid being aggressive with the controls during the flare. If you pull back hard on the control wheel, you can start climbing back into the air. And since you have a relatively slow airspeed during this part of the landing, you could stall the plane onto the runway and touch down hard.

Matthew Nichols

3) Use your rudder.

A crosswind approach and landing can be tricky to master, but being confident with rudder application is essential. To practice, perform a side slip by lowering the upwind wing into the wind to maintain runway centerline. At the same time, apply just enough opposite rudder to line up the longitudinal axis of your airplane up with the runway centerline.

Midland Airport

4) Transition your eyes down the runway.

During your round out, look 3-4 centerline stripes down the runway to get an accurate sight picture. If you focus too close in front of your aircraft during the round out, you may flare too high, and if you focus too far down the runway, you may settle hard to the runway.

Marcin Wichary

5) Use less flaps in gusty winds.

When you're at slow airspeeds, your aircraft is more susceptible to being tossed around by gusty winds. Use less flaps and a slightly faster approach speed (add half the gust factor to your approach speed). You'll find flying final approach and transitioning into the round out/flare will be a lot smoother.

Alan Wilson

6) Maintain the correct approach speed.

If you're flying over the runway threshold 15 knots faster than your recommended approach speed, the chances that you float during your flare are pretty high. The same goes for a slow approach speed. The slower you are, the more susceptible you are to dangers associated with wind shear and stalling the aircraft above the runway.


7) Practice makes perfect.

It's as simple as that. No landing will be perfect the first time. Practice landings whenever you can. Even on days where you think it's a bit too windy for your personal limits, ask an instructor to go up with you. It will not only improve your landing skills, but improve your confidence as well.

Rodger McCutcheon

What else can you do to improve your landings? Tell us in the comments below.

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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