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5 Times You Should Use Flaps Besides Normal Takeoffs Or Landings

Do you know when else flaps come in handy?

1) Speed Reductions From ATC

If ATC gives you a slow speed restriction, pay close attention to your minimum speed and consider adding flaps to configure yourself well above stall speed.

Alessandro Caproni

2) Steep Approach Path

When you're landing, you typically extend your flaps to their maximum setting. By putting the flaps out all the way, you maximize the lift and drag that your wing produces. With more drag, you can fly a steeper descent angle to the runway.

3) Inspecting Grass Runways

Fly a normal traffic pattern and add power during your flare to stay just a few feet above the runway. Keep your height above the runway approximately the same as you would during a soft field takeoff. If you use ground effect to your benefit with full flaps, you'll have the best chance to get a view of what to expect on landing.

Swayne Martin

4) Climbing To Acceleration Altitude

Most large aircraft have a minimum acceleration altitude calculated in takeoff performance, where it's safe to bring up takeoff flaps and begin accelerating to initial climb speed. Another reason you may find yourself using flaps past the initial takeoff is for noise abatement procedures, just like the one highlighted below.

5) Slow Flight / Circling

Let's say you need to orbit around something on the ground. The best way to get the longest view of the object is to slow down as much as possible, with full flaps, and initiate a slow flight turn.


When else do you use flaps? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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