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5 Common Landing Errors, And How To Fix Them


Your landings leave a lasting impression with your passengers. Review these common landing errors to make sure your landings are smooth for your next flight...

1) Not lining up with the centerline

During gusty crosswind landings, it can be difficult to align your nose with the centerline, but failure to do so can lead to a side-loaded landing. Side-loaded landings increase your risk of popping your tires or runway excursions. Additionally, in a strong crosswind, your tail weather-vanes into the wind, leading you to where you don't want to be: the edge of the runway.


2) Flaring too early and too much

Flaring too early and with too much force can cause you to gain altitude and increase your angle of attack, putting you at greater risk of a balloon and hard landing. Watch for the runway to zoom in your windscreen, gently pull back on the controls to transition to your flare, and look down the runway to judge your height above the ground. With a little practice, you'll make a perfect touchdown.

3) Not bringing the throttle to idle

Every plane will have a different power setting as you cross over the threshold, so check your POH. On most planes, you will bring the throttle to idle as you start your flare. If you leave power in, you'll have too much energy (airspeed), your touchdown will be delayed as you enter ground effect, and you'll float past your touchdown point.


4) Trying to salvage a bad approach

Don't make the mistake of saving a bad approach. We've all been there - sometimes an approach just doesn't work out. If you're not stabilized, add full power, pitch up, clean up your flaps, and try the pattern again.


5) Using too much braking

Go easy on your brakes! In most cases, you have more than enough runway to stop without even touching the brakes.

Avoid using abrupt braking action unless it's necessary. Excessive braking causes increase wear and increases your risk of losing directional control.

Corey Komarec

Improve your landings for less than the cost of a flight lesson.

Do you have a perfect takeoff and landing every time? Neither do we. That's why we built our Mastering Takeoffs and Landings online course.

You'll learn strategies, tactics, and fundamental principles that you can use on your next flight, and just about any takeoff or landing scenario you'll experience as a pilot.

Plus, for less than the cost of a flight lesson, you get lifetime access to tools that increase your confidence and make your landings more consistent.

Ready to get started? Click here to purchase Mastering Takeoffs and Landings now.


Nicolas Shelton

Nicolas is a flight instructor from Southern California. He is currently studying aviation at Purdue University. He's worked on projects surrounding aviation safety and marketing. You can reach him at

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