Conventional wisdom pounded home to generations of pilots states that if a landing doesn’t look or feel right, go around!
Too often that’s where the discussion ends. What’s the next step?
The answer isn’t always a second attempt to land on the same runway. But if that is the call, the pilot should use the extra time to regain any lost composure, and then focus on clearly understanding why things didn’t go as planned.
Second attempts also demand caution, as a recent overrun accident on a private runway may illustrate.
Faced with landing on a moderately short, narrow, grass runway, a Navion pilot did the prudent thing by flying over to survey the situation before an aborted attempt to land, according to a preliminary report.
But the second landing attempt also failed. After touchdown around the runway's mid-point, braking did not slow the aircraft sufficiently to stop on the landing surface. Now out of position for a go-around, the pilot's remaining option was to use an overrun area.
But, “the long grass concealed a 20- to 30-foot steep slope. The airplane exited the end of the runway, went down the slope, crossed a gravel road and impacted small trees,” the report states.
There was one important piece of data about the private airstrip unavailable to the pilot, who later realized that “the runway had a significant down slope which he could not identify during his flyover prior to landing.”
How much of a factor is that?
“Here is a rule of thumb: For every 1 degree of upslope, add 10 percent to your takeoff roll. Or add 10 percent to your landing roll when touching down on a 1-degree down-sloping runway,” said the Sept. 24, 2004, “Training Tip: Runway Gradient.” It also reminded pilots that performance charts provided in their pilot's operating handbooks are based on level, dry runways, both for paved and unpaved surfaces.
A second try to land is one of the scenarios that can make a pilot feel pressured to get down now, regardless of the consequences. But just as there is no law that says that a controlled flight must be completed on the first landing attempt, the same is true for the second—especially if the problem that caused the original go-around (for example, touching down too far down a short runway) has not been remedied.
Want some additional insights into landings? View the recorded Air Safety Institute Webinar, “Takeoffs and Landings: The Expert Approach.”
Flight Training News
More than 14,000 pilots made their voices heard under a tight deadline to comment on a joint petition by AOPA and EAA to allow pilots to fly under certain circumstances without being required to hold a third-class medical certificate. The FAA has now granted more time for pilots to speak up, and explain to regulators how medical self-certification informed by knowledge gained from an online course will enhance operational safety while eliminating a significant burden for many pilots. Read more >>
Cessna launches Skycatcher promotional tour
What if you had just graduated from college and someone hired you to fly a small trainer around the country? Nine flight instructors, most graduates of university aviation programs, got the call from Cessna Aircraft Co. to serve their industry, and all willingly complied. Read more >>
Hypo-what? Learn about aeromedical matters
Has it been a while since you studied flight physiology? See if you can answer these questions confidently: Do you need a current medical certificate to act as safety pilot? What's the difference between hypoxia, hypoglycemia, hypochondria, and hyperventilation? What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning? Take the Air Safety Institute’s Aeromedical Matters safety quiz, sponsored by the AOPA Insurance Agency. Take the quiz >>
International student pilots grounded in contract dispute
More than 180 international students in Melbourne, Fla., are grounded while their flight training provider disputes a contract. Florida Institute of Technology reportedly terminated an agreement with Ireland-based Pilot Training College, saying it is owed about $1.2 million for flight training, room, and board. PTC asserted that Florida Tech did not provide training in a timely and professional manner, according to FloridaToday.com.
Resuming the journey: Wrapping up the flight review
In her quest to become current so that she can fly in Alaska, AOPA staff member Kathy Dondzila deals with a family issue that affects her schedule. When she returns to the airport, she also has to become familiar with a new control tower. Read more >>
Wouldn’t it be great if someone took much of the important information you need to know about an aircraft and compiled it into one place? And wouldn’t it be great if that information were available in an easy-to-find format? Look no further than the Air Safety Institute’s Aircraft Flash Cards. Download the customizable cards for each aircraft you fly and never again find yourself searching the checklist for V-speeds or fuel capacity. They work great when you’re studying for that oral exam, too.
Did you know that student pilots who join AOPA are three times more likely to complete their flight training? Membership includes unlimited access to aviation information by phone (800/USA-AOPA, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time) or from Flight Training Online or AOPA Online. If you’re not already a member, join today and get the pilot’s edge. Login information is available online.
Stunt pilot Corkey Fornof
J.W. “Corkey” Fornof has been flying airshows since 1967, completed more than 3,000 aerial demonstrations, and flown in 46 feature films. Perhaps his best-known sequence is when he flew a BD-5J microjet sideways through hangar doors in the James Bond film Octopussy. How did he prepare for such an incredible stunt? How many times did he fly through the hangar to get that exact shot? As Fornof explains in this interview during AOPA Aviation Summit 2011, “You don’t get paid to take risks, you get paid to eliminate risks.”
JetBlue flies RNP AR approaches
In a blog post published June 20, JetBlue announced that it has become the first FAA-certified carrier in the United States to utilize the new satellite-based special (nonpublic) required navigation performance authorization required (RNP AR) approaches to Runways 13L and 13R at its home base, New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, using Airbus A320 aircraft. According to the post, the approaches utilize performance-based navigation to provide a constant vertical descent, in conjunction with a precise curved flight path to the runways that results in a stabilized approach path, shorter flight times, reduced noise levels, and fuel savings. JetBlue began designing and testing the JFK special instrument procedures in 2004, and said its more than 2,300 pilots have been trained and certified to fly RNP AR procedures across the National Airspace System.
Southwest, AirTran mechanics agree on seniority integration
Aircraft maintenance technicians from Southwest Airlines, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association, and AirTran Airways, represented by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 528, voted to ratify a seniority integration agreement June 21. The agreement integrates the two groups’ seniority lists. Southwest Airlines closed on its acquisition of AirTran Holdings Inc. on May 2, 2011. The combined carriers’ pilots, flight attendants, flight instructors, dispatchers, and ramp and operations agents already have completed the seniority integration negotiation process.
Fixed-wing pilots know them as distant flying cousins that approach and depart in their own exclusive patterns, can hover-taxi, and may be autorotated to a landing after power loss, or during a training exercise. If your airport offers helicopter training or gets visits from a nearby rotary-wing training fleet, you likely have shared your air with a Robinson R22. Let’s not call it the Cessna 152 of helos, but the latest R22s are piston-powered single-engine two-seaters that cruise at 110 miles per hour, flying missions from flight training to pipeline patrols.
Headset/flight bag bundle from PilotMall.com
PilotMall.com is offering an AvShop Design bundle that includes an A250 headset and a Halifax flight bag. The headset weighs 11 ounces and provides stereo sound, a cell-phone interface, and 24 decibels of noise reduction. The bag includes twin headset compartments and is padded throughout. It measures 21 by 12 by 13 inches and weighs 68 ounces. The bundle sells for $149.99. Order online or call 800/249-5730.
Note: Products listed have not been evaluated by ePilot editors unless otherwise noted. AOPA assumes no responsibility for products or services listed or for claims or actions by manufacturers or vendors.
AOPA Term Life: Build financial security for your family
If something happened to you, would your family have enough assets to make sure they maintain their current lifestyle? Would they have enough to pay everyday living expenses and children’s college education, and to help them meet all the other financial obligations that you and your income provided for? According to the LIMRA 2010 Life Insurance Ownership Study, 35 million Americans have no life insurance protection at all. And of those who do have coverage, most don’t have enough to ensure a secure financial future for their families. Read more >>
FAA requires EKG for first-class airmen, certain conditions
The main policy where electrocardiograms (EKGs) are required is in first-class airmen. An EKG is required when a first-class airman turns 35 and then each year after one turns 40. Pilot Protection Services expert Dr. Warren Silberman explains some of the scenarios in which the FAA would require an EKG, and one common error that leads airmen to receive a letter months later requesting an evaluation. Read more >>
People per plane
How many people does it take to operate a commercial jet? More than you probably realize, but fewer than in years past, professional pilot Chip Wright explains. Also in this week’s Flight Training blog, Technical Editor Jill W. Tallman says The Aviators is documenting the progress of a surprising student pilot.
What every pilot should know about logbooks
The small logbook you’re presented with on your first flight lesson does a good job of tracking your hours. But as you continue to collect certificates and ratings, you’ll have to log flight time that a standard logbook format can’t accommodate, according to Pat Flannigan in the Let’s Go Flying Blog.
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for an aviation technical generalist, Web graphic designer, aviation technical writer, and enewsletter and social media editor. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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