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Why Landing Too Fast Can Lead To A Wheelbarrowing Accident


Weight Focused On The Nosewheel

During takeoff and landing, the majority of your aircraft's weight should be focused on your main gear, not the nosewheel.

Transferring too much weight onto the nosewheel causes a situation called wheelbarrowing, which can lead to a loss of directional control, prop strike, or nose gear collapse. On top of those problems, with little to no weight on your main landing gear, you have little braking action.

And if all of those problems weren't bad enough, in strong crosswind conditions your plane can pivot around the nosewheel, weathervaning into the wind and making directional control nearly impossible.


Common Causes

According to the FAA, "one of the most common causes of wheelbarrowing during the landing roll is a simultaneous touchdown of the main and nose wheel with excessive speed, followed by application of forward pressure on the elevator control."

Another time wheelbarrowing occurs is when you attempt to land at an excessively fast airspeed. If you're over-focused on your landing point, you might "push" the nose into the ground first, and instinctively apply forward elevator pressure in an attempt to plant the aircraft firmly on your intended landing point.


If You Begin To Wheelbarrow, Here's What To Do

The best thing you can do if you start to wheelbarrow is a go-around. Increase back pressure as you simultaneously increase power, join the traffic pattern, and try the landing again.

If going around isn't an option, add slight back pressure to resume a normal landing attitude, and transition your aircraft's weight to the main gear as soon as possible.

Have you ever experienced a wheelbarrow on takeoff or landing? Tell us in the comments below.

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