by Jonathan M. Stern
Approaches and Landings
One of the most difficult aspects of flight instructing is deciding how far to let a student pilot go. If you take the controls too early, the student won't learn as much from the experience. On the other hand, you can't allow the situation to progress to the point of imminent danger. No maneuver requires as much consideration of this balance as making a landing. A student must learn to transition from movement in three dimensions to movement in two dimensions. Gaining this skill is difficult.
The topic of approaches and landings builds on many other subjects related to flight. The skills developed in learning and performing ground reference maneuvers and flight at minimum controllable airspeed are prerequisites to good landings. Likewise, the airport traffic pattern is the path followed when making the approach to landing.
In discussing approaches to landing in this chapter, you will consider the following subjects:
- Traffic pattern entry, which is normally onto the downwind leg
- The base leg
- Final approach
- Roll out