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Thread: Floating on sunshine

  1. Default Floating on sunshine

    I thought I would go back to the beginning and fly the c172 as many suggest getting it mastered first. I've learned to be at traffic pattern and on the glidescope, full flaps and at 65kt.

    It isn't too hard to land in the first 3rd of the runway in the c172. But considering I want to improve I know I tend to float a little.

    Obviously when I used the larger aircraft it becomes more noticed and I typically end up touching down half way of the runway. So maybe I can learn to fix the issue in the c172.

    Again, I come in at 65kt. I put engine to idol at the threshold of the runway and flair about 10 ft above the runway.

    So what is it causing the float that I am missing? Oh, and wind is 0.

  2. #2
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    You're slightly fast, flaring too early and getting ground effect. Try reducing airspeed to 60kts just before crossing the threshold and flare just before touchdown. Use as much runway as you need, as long as you can brake to a stop before the end of the runway, no-one's complaining.
    Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."
    Gigabyte Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7, Intel i5-7600k 3.80GHz OC'd 4.2GHz, NZXT X62 Kraken, 16Gb 3500MHz Ram, 1TB & 2TB Samsung Hybrid SSD's, LG DVDRW, NVidia GTX1050Ti 4Gb, Phanteks Enthoo Pro M case, CH Yoke & Pedals, Asus K272HL 27" Monitor, Windows 7 x64

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tiger1962 View Post
    You're slightly fast, flaring too early and getting ground effect. Try reducing airspeed to 60kts just before crossing the threshold and flare just before touchdown. Use as much runway as you need, as long as you can brake to a stop before the end of the runway, no-one's complaining.
    I was reading somewhere that you should lower the speed to just above stall before getting to the threshold. Then round out and flare in ground effect.

    Not sure if that is how it should really be done though. All I know is that I need my approach speed (54-60) and I need to flare at some point.

    So are you suggesting that I just keep it at 60 and flare later? Or should I be setting throttle to idol at some point too?

  4. #4
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    Another way to say what Tim said is to not hold the 65 until starting the flare. Instead, when "over the fence*" be at idle and very gradually start easing the nose up, with the rate of "nose up" increasing as you get nearer the ground. You do want to be sure you don't, under normal circumstances, touch down too close to the approach end of the runway, but a bit closer than 1/3 is fine.

    The recommended approach speed for an aircraft is generally 1.3 * Vso and is, among other things, set to give a comfortable margin on final for dealing with turbulence, downdrafts, etc. As you near the ground, ground effect (or ground cushion as some would say) has the effect of lowering your stall speed and of making the wing more efficient, causing you to float. Reducing the aircraft speed when near the ground helps reduce that floating. BTW, ground effect is sometimes the cause (IRL) of takeoff accidents, especially at higher field elevations and/or hot days, since the aircraft will lift off at a speed which will not sustain flight more than a wingspan or so above the surface.



    * "Over the fence" is a term that basically means about where Tim was talking about reducing your speed, that is, when over the (sometimes) hypothetical airport boundary fence, but for a small field, not for a typical airline field.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  5. Default

    Ah, ok that makes sense. So pulling back to idle at that point and slowly raise the nose to level flight? Then when close to the ground I can expect the rate of descent to decrease and combined with the flare I should end up with a nice smooth landing in the first 3rd?

    Let me know if I got something wrong in my thoughts here. And thanks again!

  6. #6
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    How are you practicing your landings? Do you have a flight saved for that last part where you make your approach or are you flying a Mission using the C-172? I always liked using the "Sitka Landing Mission" for practice with the C-172.
    Mr Zippy Sent from my keyboard using "Whackamole", NudgeAKey + 2 Fingers

    Emachines T3418 AMD 3400+ processor 2GHZ/256KB L2 Cashe 2Gig Ram 160Gig HDD NVidia GEForce 6100 GPU Running WinXP Home Can't believe it still works! Running FSX Standard with SP1 and SP2

  7. #7
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    the rate of descent
    I hope that, at that point, you are not paying attention to "the rate of descent" on the gauges, only from looking out the window*. But basically you have the idea -- practice it and see how it goes.



    * Actually, if you can get it a foot off the ground and hold it there, continuing to hold it a foot off the ground until you are back at the tiedowns.

    Obviously, you can't literally do that, but you can keep holding back pressure that long. The point is that you don't stop flying the airplane until it is stopped.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    I hope that, at that point, you are not paying attention to "the rate of descent" on the gauges, only from looking out the window*. But basically you have the idea -- practice it and see how it goes.



    * Actually, if you can get it a foot off the ground and hold it there, continuing to hold it a foot off the ground until you are back at the tiedowns.

    Obviously, you can't literally do that, but you can keep holding back pressure that long. The point is that you don't stop flying the airplane until it is stopped.
    I tried out the suggestions I have been given so far and now I have been able to keep it in the first 3rd. Actually, I may have to get used to the timing of the power change to idle since I am actually landing on the number now lol.

    Is there a rule of thumb for it? I get the threshold thing but sometimes I don't know where it is. Maybe start at a certain altitude like 200 ft?

    Thanks guys, I know I am asking a lot of questions but you have already helped me improve.

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mrzippy View Post
    How are you practicing your landings? Do you have a flight saved for that last part where you make your approach or are you flying a Mission using the C-172? I always liked using the "Sitka Landing Mission" for practice with the C-172.
    Saved a flight at 2000 agl lined up about 5 miles out. Gives me time to catch the glidescope and adjust power and trim.

  10. #10
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    In addition to what others have suggested, be gentle on your flare as even at 60-65 KIAS, if you are heavy/fast in making your flare, you stand the chance of ballooning just above touchdown, and that brings on bigger problems, especially in crosswind situations!

    When I was learning to fly RW, my instructor instilled a thought which to this day has stuck with me.
    He said, think of the flare to landing as easing back on the yoke to almost a level attitude, come back on the throttle, and then, and this is his thought, "KEEP THE AIRCRAFT FLYING!" In doing so, you will be un-conscientiously (I hope I spelled that right, but you will know what I am saying) easing the yoke back bringing the aircraft into a flared attitude! When the plane decides it can't keep flying, it will gently settle down for a nice landing! This will also help you keep that nose wheel up and safe off the runway! Try this and see if it helps! And remember, Practice makes perfect, well almost perfect. Only you will know how good you are doing! No instructors in these sim aircraft!

    Good luck! Rick
    Last edited by Downwind66; 10-08-2019 at 08:18 PM.

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