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Aug 03, 2014, 02:46 PM
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Landings, landings, landings

Just got back from the NATS and had a great time and did well for me, but my down fall is always landings. Twice I had great approaches and put it down just outside the tape. I think I missed three in the two days but points are not what they need to be. Now I know I'm getting old and maybe my depth perception isn't what it should be, but wondered if anyone has done anything to help themselves. I have tried moving the tape at different angles but straight always seems best for me. Need all the help I can get Jerry
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Aug 03, 2014, 03:33 PM
launch low, fly high
I can empathize with this... I was forcibly reminded recently about the skills of youth in the landing circle. Hard to compete against their fast reflexes!

When I was younger I could make my approach to the landing and easily gauge my position to the target via peripheral vision. This went away maybe 10 years ago. Oh well! Nowadays I use a lot of practice to compensate, and a few other things to help me to have situational awareness of the spot location. I always practice with a well defined landing pattern. With repetition in practice I can better tell when I am deviating from my normal pattern and make small corrections early rather than bigger corrections later.

I put the landing tape at 90 deg to the approach, this makes it easier to see the target for me. I also stand about 4 feet from the target, and try to stand at the same location relative to the target every time. I end up aiming for the same spot with respect to my feet. Again, repetition in practice makes for better success in a contest. Just place the plane relative to where you are standing...
Aug 03, 2014, 03:50 PM
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R.M. Gellart's Avatar
Originally Posted by Joe W
I put the landing tape at 90 deg to the approach, this makes it easier to see the target for me.
Where have you heard that before???

Aug 03, 2014, 03:51 PM
Marco Generali - italsoaring
snoze88's Avatar
I've improved my landings after stopping to look at the landing spot in the last two minutes or so
I just get in my random position, look once at the spot and then push without directly looking at it; you just have to use your peripheral vision

And as joe wrote the landing path is critical...I always told at the new pilots that if you follow your landing path you'll automatically get near the landing spot with 3/4 seconds left

I always place the strip right in the wind direction
Aug 03, 2014, 03:57 PM
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mlachow's Avatar
I place the tape pointing to the left usually. I want to focus on the center of the spot and I find the landing tape is a distraction. You can be over the tape and decide to push over just because it's in the spot. If your "put it down just outside the tape" remark is that you landed short, then the landing tape is becoming a distraction and most likely loosing focus once you see the model near the tape, but not near the center of the spot. As a benefit, if it happens to be a big fat tape, there is less of a chance that you will skip on the tape if you happen to hit it.

On flights with a lot of thermalling, especially at great distance, I like to bring the model in closer around 2 minutes and spend some time looking at the spot. Visualize what the final is going to look like. It also gets the old eyes used to focusing in closer rather than far away. And familiarize yourself what the grass or markings look like on the ground at the center of the circle.

To help with reflexes, also take some time to relax around 2 minutes. Take your hands off the sticks. Tense hands clenching a transmitter just don't work as well.

Practice helps the most. If you have plenty of time, wait a little longer between doing practice landings. Some day I'll have to try that.

Think about why you miss, and where. Sometimes there is just something a little wrong with the model setup or program.
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Aug 03, 2014, 04:02 PM
Mark LSF # 3792
As Joe said repetition of the same approach and always use that approach as close as possible. Learn to fly it from both directions. Can't stress that enough, get a pattern that works for you and don't deviate. I found also it helped me to not be directly up wind (behind) the target, unless it's a linear target. This gave me a better perspective since my depth perception went away years ago.
Aug 03, 2014, 08:58 PM
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Probably should just hang it up
Aug 04, 2014, 07:27 AM
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Thread OP
But Ronnie its so much fun flying the Aspire against your Tragi. Even with my bad landings I got the edge.
Aug 04, 2014, 07:33 AM
Barney Fife, Vigilante
tom43004's Avatar
Sounds like I need to bring another Tragi over to the club contests. I love flying against the Aspires.

(yes, that was smack talk)
Aug 04, 2014, 07:59 AM
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For me - I use the Mike Verzuh approach... Drive the airplane all the way to the spot. The pattern is very important but most important is my final approach spot. I try to drill that spot in the sky into my head so I can get there regardless of the approach. This helps me adjust for broken patterns due to collision avoidance or straight in approaches because I am short on time for a normal pattern. Once I am at that spot in the sky it is a straight glideslope to the 100. I always prefer a high relatively steep approach as long as I am landing mostly into the wind. This way I have enough energy to account for poor air on the approach and avoid landing short.

My reflexes are not that good any more so trying to judge the worm burner approach and push exactly right and ensuring the stick seems to be a much harder problem for me. That means the downwind approaches need much more of my attention. I too like to have the tape to the side and focus on the 100 spot. I get excited and push too soon coming up the normal tape.

Practice and repetition are the keys. Mike V and I try to get some landing practice in every day at lunch time...
Good Luck...
Aug 04, 2014, 08:47 AM
Marco Generali - italsoaring
snoze88's Avatar
I forgot to mention that I tend to keep my landing phase with the plane slightly pitching down.
If I pull the brakes 4/5 m from the center it'll head near to the 100 by itself
Aug 04, 2014, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jerryshape
But Ronnie its so much fun flying the Aspire against your Tragi. Even with my bad landings I got the edge.
Hey, what are friends for
Aug 04, 2014, 04:45 PM
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Thread OP
Originally Posted by tom43004
Sounds like I need to bring another Tragi over to the club contests. I love flying against the Aspires.

(yes, that was smack talk)
Sure would like to see you at DARTS OVSS in three weeks.
Aug 04, 2014, 04:52 PM
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Thread OP
By the way I didn't overlook the practice thing, I usually shoot 25 landings once a week. Next time the tape goes to the side, if Joe says to put it there , that's where its going.
Aug 04, 2014, 05:04 PM
Jody Miller
sailjester2811's Avatar
I like Mikes suggestion of looking at the spot 2 minutes out. I do this same thing. I will plant my feet with around 2 to go and not move them. Standing just upwind of the spot at the same distance every landing. Then I do the "chicken peck" that's what they call it anyway. Every 10 seconds or so I will look down at the spot so it wont sneak away when I go to push over. Another thing I have found helpful is to crouch down low to close the gap in your peripheral vision.
my 2 cents


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