Your landing approach is going well, but long before you touch down a few feet to the left of the centerline, the flight instructor seated next to you knows what is going to happen.
To you, it’s a frustrating mystery. There’s no crosswind—you know how to handle that—and you’re not overcontrolling, a problem that once spoiled some of your nicer efforts.
So what’s up?
In many cases, it’s a small problem that produces a disproportionately large result: When arriving in the touchdown zone and beginning the roundout, some pilots try to aim at the centerline over the middle of the aircraft’s nose—that is, the prop and spinner—instead of placing the white stripe directly beneath the pilot’s seat.
What’s wrong with that?
Unless you fly a tandem-seat aircraft, your seat is not directly above the trainer’s longitudinal axis. So instead of looking directly forward as you flare and touch down, you are sighting the centerline from the side. (A pilot in the left seat will tend to touch down left of the centerline; a pilot in the right seat will touch down right of the centerline.)
That’s a detail often overlooked in discussions of the sight picture a pilot should aim for during a landing approach, when you learned to look beyond your intended touchdown spot when judging descent rate and timing your flare because the view closer to the aircraft is blurred by the aircraft’s motion over the ground. Making the small adjustment required to touch down directly on the stripe will provide the finishing touch.
To clearly observe the effect of this minor sighting error on your landings, try this ground experiment: Seated in the left seat of your tied-down aircraft—or even in the driver’s seat of your car—look straight ahead at an object at a modest distance, say 20 feet away. Then change your line of sight to view an object over the center of the nose at a like distance. Note their separation. Now it’s easy to see how using the second aim point causes your touchdowns to become offset from the centerline.
Make the small adjustment in your sighting method on your next landing, and a vexing problem disappears!
Learn more about perfecting your landings in “The runway-alignment reflex” by flight instructor Rod Machado.
Flight Training News
AOPA President Craig Fuller has notified AOPA’s Board of Trustees of his intent to step down from his position and from the board. He plans to remain in his current role until a successor is ready to assume the position. The board will conduct a national search for his successor. Following the decision to leave AOPA, the succession process was developed by working together, said Chairman of the Board William C. Trimble III. Read more >>
Student pilot who hit SUV earns his ticket
In early November 2012, then-student pilot Will Davis’s first solo cross-country went viral after his wife’s video showed him clipping an SUV as he landed at Northwest Regional Airport in Texas. Now a newly minted private pilot, Davis shares his lessons learned. Read more >>
Embry-Riddle taps Rockford., Ill., for new aerospace high school program
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University has partnered with the public school system in Rockford, Ill., to create a new aerospace institute at a local high school. The Aerospace Institute is targeted to open in the fall at Jefferson High School. Read more >>
Air Race Classic champs award aviation scholarship
The Racing Aces, the winning team of the 2012 Air Race Classic, presented university student Whitney Brouwer with a $5,000 scholarship. Read more >>
Student wins Crowley aviation scholarship
Alexander Agosti is the recipient of the $3,000 2013 Forrest Jones Memorial Scholarship, funded by Crowley Maritime Corp.’s Alaska petroleum distribution group and sponsored by the Alaska Air Carriers Association (AACA). Crowley has helped more than 275 students from the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America with its Thomas B. Crowley Sr. Memorial Scholarships. Chairman, President, and CEO Tom Crowley established the program in honor of his father. Since 1984, the company has provided more than $500,000 in scholarship funding and support to other education programs.
Cirrus training center comes to Rocky Mountain Metropolitan
Broomfield, Colo.-based Independence Aviation’s Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport facility has been designated as a Cirrus Platinum Training Center by Duluth, Minn.-based Cirrus Aircraft. The location opened in July 2012 and in less than a year has achieved this training center designation. The Independence Aviation center also provides training in light sport and tailwheel aircraft and provides aircraft management and pilot services.
Applications open for ASCEND summer camp
The Aviation Summer Camp: Exploring New Dimensions (ASCEND) is accepting applications for 2013. ASCEND is a weeklong day camp that immerses attendees in all aspects of aviation, for a hobby or a career. It is based at the EAAgles Nest, the home hangar of Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1083 at the Rowan County Airport in Salisbury, N.C.
What does ADS-B mean for you?
Confused about the upcoming Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast requirements? Not sure if they apply to you? Take the Air Safety Institute’s ADS-B for General Aviation: The Basics online course brought to you by FreeFlight Systems, and find out what this new technology means to the way you fly. Learn the basics on how it works, who is affected by its implementation, and the benefits of flying with ADS-B. Armed with the right information, you’ll be able to take advantage of the information ADS-B has the potential to give you. Take the course >>
The weather doesn’t care about experience
When Jackie Gilbert, an experienced crop-dusting pilot with more than 20,000 hours, was asked to help a friend ferry a newly purchased Cessna 172 from Syracuse, N.Y., to Knoxville, Tenn., he thought it would be a relatively simple cross-country flight. But, like what can happen to any pilot, the weather had different plans. Learn more about Gilbert’s flight, and what he could have done to prevent the unexpected outcome, by viewing the Air Safety Institute’s Real Pilot Story: VFR in a Snowstorm. View his story >>
FlyQ Web flight planner now available
A new online flight planner will make planning your solo cross-countries easier: AOPA FlyQ Web. Key features of the new flight planner include a larger chart viewing area, drag-and-drop waypoint editing (rubber banding), multiple routing options including auto-routing based on forecast winds aloft, quick access to airport and FBO information, easy-to-read weather map overlays, and much more. It’s free to all AOPA members. Learn more and try it out >>
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 8 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.
Facelift for familiar twin, historic hangar
A familiar twin gets a new panel—that’s capable of some pretty smart things. See what it’s like to fly the Garmin G1000-equipped Piper Seneca V. Plus, pilots in Connecticut are putting in some hard work and passing the hat to restore an original Curtiss hangar that hosted Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, and more. All this and more from AOPA Live® >>
Southwest, AirTran continue connecting networks
Southwest Airlines took the next step in integrating operations with its AirTran subsidiary Feb. 14, when customers became able to purchase more itineraries between the Southwest and AirTran networks for travel on a single itinerary. An initial integration phase in January was successful, and the airline is on pace to fully connect the networks in April. Southwest announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on Sept. 27, 2010, and closed on the purchase May 2, 2011. To date, five AirTran-served cities and 29 percent of its employees have transitioned to Southwest; 11 AirTran Airways 737-700 aircraft have been converted to Southwest’s interior configuration and been repainted (AirTran’s Boeing 717 jets are being sold to Delta Air Lines). The full integration of AirTran’s 737 fleet and transition to a single ticketing system will be completed by late 2014.
Delta employees share $372M in profits
Delta Air Lines paid its employees $372 million in earned profit sharing Feb. 14 to recognize their role in achieving the company's financial and operational goals in 2012. Individual payouts will equal 6.67 percent of the employee’s eligible 2012 earnings. “This year’s profit sharing payment is a reflection of the hard work and dedication Delta people have shown in delivering what our customers have come to expect—great operations and service,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. Last year Delta employees also earned $91 million in “Shared Rewards,” monthly bonuses paid for meeting corporate operating goals.
For more aviation career news, see the Flight Training website.
“What came before the P-3 Orion?” inquires a curious one after you have successfully accomplished the identification described in the Feb. 22 Plane Spotter. (Stuck for the answer? Here’s a hint: Go with your first guess.) Right—the P-2, also a Lockheed maritime-patrol aircraft, named the Neptune. It’s a high-wing twin, powered by two huge 3,500-horsepower Wright R-3350 radial engines. Neptunes still see duty battling forest fires. One company uses eight of them in that line of work, as you’d expect from an outfit calling itself Neptune Aviation Services.
Private Pilot Helicopter Supplement Course
King Schools is offering the Private Pilot Helicopter Supplement Course. The CD-based course covers helicopter aerodynamics, operations, FAA regulations, and performance and weight/balance.
iPad Mini case
Thinking about using the new iPad Mini in the cockpit? Now you can strap it onto your leg like a kneeboard. PilotMall.com offers a case and leg strap mount with a 360-degree rotating cradle for the iPad Mini.
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.
MedXPress questions: How do I report multiple doctor visits?
Now that MedXPress is the required way of completing your FAA airman medical application, AOPA has been receiving questions from members about how to report multiple health care visits. Line 19 of the medical application asks, “Have you visited any health professionals within the last three years?” Read more >>
AOPA EA+ steps in to help
Should an accident occur while you are traveling, finding treatment can be difficult. Don’t find yourself unaware and unprepared should the unthinkable happen to you while traveling. Enroll in AOPA Emergency Assistance Plus (EA+) to gain access to 24-hour emergency and medical assistance. Read more >>
Vote for Great Lakes biplane paint scheme
Waco Classic wants you to select the paint scheme for the first Great Lakes biplane the Michigan company is producing. The company is accepting votes until March 3. Read more >>
‘Charlie Victor Romeo’ goes from theater to 3-D
Mention the Sundance Film Festival to most pilots, and you’ll get a blink or a shrug. That’s because Sundance, which showcases new work from U.S. and international independent filmmakers in Park City, Utah, doesn’t usually screen films with a lot of aviation content. Until now, that is. Charlie Victor Romeo (Cockpit Voice Recorder) was named an official selection in the New Frontiers category at this year's Sundance. Read more >>
Photo of the Day: Sky Arrow
Some people may tag the Sky Arrow 600, an unusual light sport aircraft, an “armchair in the sky.” That’s not a slap at its handling qualities, but rather a testament to the amazing view provided by the canopy design. Read more >>
AOPA Career Opportunities
Ever dream of turning your passion for aviation into a career? We’re looking for a director, financial planning and analysis; office services supervisor; credit analyst; major gifts officer; director of outreach and events; and .NET applications developer. To learn more about other AOPA career opportunities, visit AOPA Online.
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