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Old Mar 22, 2010, 09:20 AM
Crash
zen3's Avatar
United States, PA, Slatington
Joined Jun 2007
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Question
Landing a aircraft

My take off, and airborne, flying skills are pretty good. Now can someone fill me in on a perfect, soft crash free landing with tri landing gear and a tail dragger. If there is a difference.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 10:01 AM
raz
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USA, CA, Eureka
Joined Dec 2004
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Keep the power to the motor all the way down by slowly reducing power and they will set down nice and easy. On a tri gear plane I like to give a little up elevator (flare) just before the wheels touch so it brings the nose up slightly then it touches down on the mains then I let the nose wheel down. On tail draggers I don't flare them at all, I let them come down on the mains and as I ease off the power the tail naturally settles down. Landing both planes this way looks very smooth and scale. The main trick to a smooth landing is landing under power, just like full size planes.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 03:00 PM
Crash
zen3's Avatar
United States, PA, Slatington
Joined Jun 2007
171 Posts
Thanks. I'll try it. My landing are all over the place. Then 50 percent of the time they skid out and I hit the tips of the wings in the ground.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 03:28 PM
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South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
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Sound like you're landing a little too fast.

As Raz pointed out, try to land using using power to reach the spot. In other words you should try to be low all the way in on the approach, with the nose slightly high to cause some drag to slow the plane down. You then use the power to control the height, (not the elevator), and by touch down you should be flying just safely above stall speed to a nice smooth short roll-out, (well at least that's the theory ).

It's just practice , practice, practice. Fly to the spot, don't end up diving to it.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 07:52 PM
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Livermore, CA
Joined Sep 2004
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When flying a real Cessna, I chop the power at the end of my downwind approch, set-up my glide speed down to the runway. Once I'm safely over the runway, I hold the plane about 5ft off and let it settle to the ground on its own.
But its harder in a plane your watching, and not in.
I practice landing approches 50ft up, to see what angle the plane glides best at.
Then to land, I usually chop the power at about 20ft up, point the nose down to that angle, flare out a foot or two above the ground and let it settle in.
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Old Mar 22, 2010, 07:59 PM
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Generally you come in along a glide slope. They tend to be gentle, so as to keep the aircrafts airspeed constant, and slow ish, but still above the aircrafts stall speed. When you're at ground level, level off the plane so that the entire aircraft is parallel with the runway, then gently ease it in
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 06:49 AM
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USA, CT, Jewett City
Joined Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpress.. View Post
Generally you come in along a glide slope. They tend to be gentle, so as to keep the aircrafts airspeed constant, and slow ish, but still above the aircrafts stall speed. When you're at ground level, level off the plane so that the entire aircraft is parallel with the runway, then gently ease it in
I think Xpress …well expressed it the best. The only thing I would add to his notes is that once you’re at the point of parallel you really don’t need to do anything when he mentions bring it in other than keeping it level with the throttle completely down or just barely. It will naturally come down itself.

All that said, sometimes you have a real floater where you need a minor touch of throttle, and sometimes you have a glider type landing where you could cut the throttle in the slop approach. The fine tuning of your soft landings depends on the type of plane your flaying, tail dragger or not. Everybody has mentioned the basics and even more and as one person put it, practice, practice, practice. But each plane has its own sweet spot landing technique.
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 09:00 AM
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United States, MI, Monroe
Joined Jun 2009
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Not that all my landings are all that great, but I think that practice bringing the plane in very slow, slower, and slower, but not real close to the ground,(20 feet up), for fly by's has helped me with my landings a lot. Just getting the feel of how slow I can fly a model and not stall it! One of my earlier prob's was coming in too fast for sure. I am seeing lately that just flying it in right to inches off the ground while reducing power the whole time to no power at all with slight up just prior to wheels touching is working pretty good for me. Good Luck! Practice and experiment!
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Old Mar 27, 2010, 10:26 AM
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Spend some time learning how slow you can get before stalling the plane. Fly at a comfortable altitude and slowly reduce power as you use more elevator to slow it down. You will notice that your control surfaces will become less effective as speed decreases. Do a lot of slow flight until you know just when you're going to stall. Make your approach just above this speed and your landings will get smoother.
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Old Mar 28, 2010, 11:08 PM
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Australia, QLD, Brisbane
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I personally believe that it is almost impossible to land the plane by just using throttle alone. The plane is trimmed to fly level when the throttle is above halfway, therefore unless you are making your approach at more then 50% throttle the nose of the plane will drop and continue to drop until it hits the deck. Maybe Im missing something, but I personally always feed in a small amount of up elevator as I wind back the throttle just to keep the nose pointing very slightly downward until the flare out.

Im not saying the throttle isnt important, but its a balancing act between elevator and throttle to control the planes glide angle.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:13 AM
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Rapid City SD
Joined Dec 2007
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zen, the guys said all the important stuff.

I do landings the same way I did flying full scale and the other retired pilots I fly RC with do the same.

Every plane is different and with each one get it up comfortably high and practice plenty how it handles around a stall. On landing approach, whether you have power on or off, you must keep it flying above stall speed. Floaty trainers are often forgiving, but faster, higher wing loading planes need either a steeper approach angle or some power to keep enough airspeed on approach.

My advice is forget the idea of flaring, because a teeny intentional stick movement usually means 5' up into a stall and then thump. Like standard full scale landing, just level it out barely off the ground and then keep it flying level. With reduced power, keeping it flying level just off will automatically result in the smidge of up elevator that will slow it down so it settles on smoothly at a stall.

Of course the other thing you have to do is keep it lined up with your runway with the wings level.

Happy landings

Icky
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 01:22 PM
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USA, WA, Port Angeles
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All great inputs here on landings, arguably the trickiest part of flying. From my viewpoint, having some time into slow speed maneuvers is critical. Your intent here is not to come ripping in at cruise speed for the airplane and then throw out an anchor. Practice, and more practice, will be able to tell you how much above stall speed you are, and where that glidepath is going to end up on the runway. The textbook landings, as I understand them, are when the airplane stalls an inch above the runway. Also be sure to be landing and taking off into the wind whenever possible, for obvious reasons.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 05:30 PM
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United States, AZ, Mesa
Joined Jul 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benski View Post
All great inputs here on landings, arguably the trickiest part of flying.
Absolutely not - landing is maybe the second easiest maneuver you ever do. Problem is, it's the least practiced. Usually people only do one landing per flight - stop doing that. Practice your landings until you can get it right every time.

IMO, too much emphasis is put on the "flare" - which is a completely unnecessary move, or rather it's a poorly described component of a good landing. As you come in for a landing, most people say "pull a little elevator right before touch down" but I think the timing is not really explained by that. I slowly feed in elevator as I get closer to the ground... using power if needed to control the vertical speed. The last thing you want to do during landing is anything quick.... landing is a gradual thing.

I think one of the best advice I ever got was "don't land the plane, let it land" - it is not a forced maneuver, it is a natural one.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 08:51 PM
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United States, MI, Monroe
Joined Jun 2009
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Haven't figured it out yet but I had been doing really well with my landings, then lately crappola. Figure! Cold, tired? Flew all winter, always tired. I don't get it. Too much on my mind I guess.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 06:42 AM
RC did this to me
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USA, CT, Jewett City
Joined Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasmine2501 View Post
Absolutely not - landing is maybe the second easiest maneuver you ever do. Problem is, it's the least practiced. Usually people only do one landing per flight - stop doing that. Practice your landings until you can get it right every time.

IMO, too much emphasis is put on the "flare" - which is a completely unnecessary move, or rather it's a poorly described component of a good landing. As you come in for a landing, most people say "pull a little elevator right before touch down" but I think the timing is not really explained by that. I slowly feed in elevator as I get closer to the ground... using power if needed to control the vertical speed. The last thing you want to do during landing is anything quick.... landing is a gradual thing.

I think one of the best advice I ever got was "don't land the plane, let it land" - it is not a forced maneuver, it is a natural one.

Let it land>>>simple words but big meaning, totally agree with the gradual flare, by the time the plane is on the ground and coming to a stop you should have full flare for that trademark perfect soft landing. “Doesn’t mean you have to thou, you can still land with little to no flare.” But it does help for that fluffed landing.

Of course all that doesn’t matter if your approach is too fast and erratic in a quick attempt to make the turn and land quickly. Some planes will keep on going and you will need the whole strip to land. But if that’s what it takes to “let it land” then you should do it.

You really got to learn the slop approach so that you come in slow, and level and using the down momentum of the flight to kill you throttle speed so you can gradually flare. So many times I see people focus on the landing just prior to touch down rather than the approach that sets you up for that perfect landing. But again and again, all planes have there own slowest flying speed.
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