Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Avoiding The Balloon - Landing Tips

I'm sure we've all done it, misjudged our speed on final or been a little high and dove for the ground in an attempt to get it down.

What problems can this cause you ask?

Either can cause us to cross the fence at a speed that is higher than appropriate and causing, at best, excessive float and at worst a bounce or balloon that beds metal.

What is the simple answer?


If you are high a forward slip might be a good tool to use or simply go around and try again.

If you are too fast and have a long runway you might continue the approach and transition to the flare gently to avoid the sudden climb called ballooning.

If you do balloon, the last thing you want to do is push the nose down to stop the climb.

All this will do is cause you to descend quicker than you want and increase your speed.

Both of these things will make life much harder for you and put you at a greater risk of injury and damage to the aircraft.

Your best bet in a balloon is to simply go around and try it again.

If you have the runway and insist on trying to land a little long then you should ease off of the back pressure just enough to arrest the climb and let the plane settle as you would in a normal landing while being careful to not stall the plane while still being too high off the ground.

A stall that happens more than a foot or two off the runway doesn't make for a smooth landing.

The answer to avoiding a bad landing of this type is to watch your airspeed or go around if you are not stable in your approach.

Have fun and fly safe!

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