Short-Field Landings

In which I do the Human Factors test, have another crack at short-field landings and seem to be improving.


I arrived slightly early again today to have a crack at the Human Factors test, another requirement for the RA-Aus certificate. I’d studied the chapter on Human Factors in my ATC BAK book which I hoped would be enough for the test. However, once I got the test I discovered that the BAK book was going to be little to no use for the test. I was pretty much guessing the answers for the entire test. To be honest, I think it will rank among one of the most useless tests I’ve ever sat. I expected some more along the lines of how certain human factors will affect your flying, not having to define terms like ‘risk’. Ah well, I got 88%, so that’s a pass, so it’s all good. Now I’ve just got the big BAK test to do sometime soon!

I preflighted 4929 and as I was out there, a man was sitting there watching with his daughter and asked me “Are you checking the plane?”. I said that I was and he looked a bit disturbed by that for some reason, then asked “Do you do that every time?”. I said yes and he looked even more disturbed! I was close to pointing out that there was nowhere to pull over in the sky if something happens so it’s better to check it all on the ground, but J came out then so I just left it.

The plan for today was to do more work on short-field landings.  We taxiied to 36 and took off from 36L.

The first circuit was just a normal flapped landing to warm up. I have to say, this was one of the smoothest landings I’ve done for a while. It had that lovely feeling where you can feel everything coming together. I’m not saying it was perfect, and definitely not a greaser, but, in my opinion at least, one of the better landings I’ve done for a while.

Then next few landings were short-field landings. I was trying to keep in mind what I’d learnt yesterday and try to avoid being high on final, but apparantly I was overcompensating slightly and coming in a bit low instead! I also tended to pull the power a little early, it’s better to wait until you’re a bit lower over the runway and use the ground effect, since the Jabs tend to lose what speed they have once the power is pulled (unlike some other aircraft which will glide further).

J took over for the next landing to demonstrate one so I could see what the picture should look like, then I had a few more tries. Generally they weren’t too bad but still not perfect.

The final landing was a full stop on 36R and wasn’t a particularly good landing. I was a bit high, so pulled the power, but misjudged our height above the runway and went to flare much too high. It was the first time in a while that J’s actually had to come onto the controls to help me rather than just making verbal suggestions. Still, we got down and taxiied back and parked.

Next lesson we’re going to do a bit more circuit revision, looking at circuit emergencies (EFATOs, glide approaches, flapless landings etc). I actually feel like I’m getting there, like I might be ready for my test soon (hopefully that’s true and not just me, but it seems like it might be the case). I’d better get on and study my BAK (which I keep putting off because it seems horribly daunting) otherwise I’ll be ready for my test but won’t have done my BAK!


One Response to Short-Field Landings

  1. Jeanne says:

    I love your what you said about preflighting the airplane. The morning of my first solo I was preflighting the plane and notice the strut was collapsed on the front wheel so I got the mechanic out to add some nitrogen. We had the engine cowling off when my instructor came out. Nick said “You’re being a bit thorough with your preflight for your solo!” He hadn’t noticed that the front strut was collapsed yet. Good luck with your training. I always enjoy reading your posts especially when I don’t have time off work to go fly.

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