FastEddieB Posted September 19, 2012 Report Share Posted September 19, 2012 I've had occasion to view quite a few landing videos over the past few days. Three things strike me about most of them: 1) The final approach leg seems very long to me, and, 2) The final approach angle seems kinda shallow, leading to, 3) An awful lot of power is used to "drive" the plane down that shallow final approach. I learned a particular way to approach a non-towered airport. Let me give an example: Let's say I'm approaching an airport with a 3,000' elevation and the wind is favoring RWY5. Terrain is not a major factor, and I'm approaching from the SW, pretty close to a heading of 050º. IOW, I'm perfectly lined up for a straight in approach to RWY 5. What I would do in virtually all cases is overfly the center of the airport about 500' above pattern altitude - in this case I'd aim for 4,500'. I'd look DOWN at the airport and environs from overhead. This lets me: 1) Check out the wind sock from the best angle (above), 2) Look for wildlife* or debris or aircraft or vehicles on the runway, and, 3) Look for traffic from above, much easier than trying to spot traffic from the same altitude. I would then circle just NW of the airport, just clear of the pattern and descend to a left downwind at roughly 45º (assuming a standard pattern). I would then turn base when the numbers were about 45º to my left rear, and fly a low- or no-power final approach, staying very close to the airport. This is how I was taught, and there are sources (AIM, etc.) that outline this approach. It's how I teach my students. Its not legally required, and I can see lots of pilots would just come straight in in the case listed above. I find the standard pattern also seems to make the final approach easier to judge and the landing easier to make. Just my .02, of course, but thought I'd put it out there. And, just curious, how many here would go straight in and how many would set up some kind of pattern? *This is NOT Photoshopped: In all honesty, he was not there on my overhead pass over Copperhill, TN, and I simply landed long to avoid him (in a Cirrus). Just wanted to point out the sort of thing you might be looking for on the runway! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.