Flight Training - June 2021 - 40

PILOTS AREN'T SPARING IN THEIR

EASE-O-METER
Piper Cherokee

Sturdy, forgiving, and rugged landing gear that soaks up abuse.

EASE-O-METER
Aviat Pitts

40  FLIGHT TRAINING JUNE 2021

TOP: MIKE FIZER, BOTTOM: CHRIS ROSE

Unstable on the ground, prone to dart one way or another
without warning.

assessments about the ease or difficulty
of landing various airplanes. Just about
every type club has articles and sometimes
entire chatrooms devoted to this topic.
And there's never a shortage of opinions
about the proper technique pilots should
employ to master the art of landing.
Not surprisingly, trainers such as
Cessna 150s and 172s and Piper Cherokees and Archers are at the low end of the
landing difficulty scale, and specialized
aerobats and warbirds, such as Pitts and
Stearman biplanes, are on the high side.
But what design factors influence an
airplane's ground handling? And how
can pilots adapt to airplanes that present
known challenges? In general, factors that
make airplanes easier to land include:
* Low approach speed.
* Unobstructed forward visibility.
* A low center of gravity.
* A long and wide wheelbase.
* Effective shock absorbers.
* Well-balanced, authoritative
flight controls.
* Brakes that apply smoothly and
avoid locking or fading.
The reasons these traits make
airplanes easy to land are straightforward. Low approach speeds give pilots
time and reduce the total amount of
energy the landing itself must dissipate. Visibility allows pilots to see their
aiming point throughout the approach,
flare, touchdown, and rollout. Those
visual cues can be tremendously helpful
in judging aircraft attitude and height
above the ground, alignment, and drift. A
low center of gravity makes the airplane
more stable as it decelerates, and so
does a wide wheelbase. Effective shock
absorbers prevent bounces (and big tires
act as shock absorbers, too). Authoritative controls allow pilots to precisely
hold the desired landing attitude, even
in gusty wind conditions. Good brakes
allow smooth deceleration without binding or fading, as well as accurate steering
on the ground-especially for airplanes
with free-castering nosewheels.
Ken Krueger, an aircraft designer
whose portfolio includes the Van's
Aircraft RV-12 and Vashon Ranger-two
airplanes with exceptionally pilotfriendly landing qualities-says aircraft
should be balanced both in the air and
on the ground.
" There should be enough pitch
trim authority for the airplane to fly



Flight Training - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2021

Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - 2
Flight Training - June 2021 - 3
Flight Training - June 2021 - 4
Flight Training - June 2021 - 5
Flight Training - June 2021 - 6
Flight Training - June 2021 - 7
Flight Training - June 2021 - 8
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Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover4
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