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Author Topic: Making your final approach to the runway for landing  (Read 80 times)

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Offline bweaver

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  • Real Name: Bruce Weaver
  • TEMAC #: 169
  • Started Flying RC: 1979
Making your final approach to the runway for landing
« on: August 04, 2018, 10:52:37 am »
The following is a copy of an email I sent to one of our TEMAC students who has recurring problems flying towards the flight line and pits while making his final approach.  Not mastering the use of the rudder.

I thought some of our other students could benefit from the instructions contained herein, if you can make any sense of it.


This email is intended to provide you with a quick reminder reaffirming the purpose of periodically flying/practicing flat turns using rudder and ailerons.

Practicing repetitive flat turns at a safe altitude can enhance one's ability to control the aircraft during landings and at other times when its is necessary to rely on rudder inputs.  It is during landings and takeoffs where failure to have control of the aircraft can seriously impact on safety.   It is for this reason it is essential to have control of the aircraft to prevent it from crossing the flight line, further entering the flight station areas, the pits and parking area.

Often students and pilots rely primarily on ailerons and elevator inputs to control their aircraft during normal flight.  This practice is fine while routinely flying, however mastering the use of the rudder for landing, taking off, controlling prop torque and achieving more demanding maneuvers is essential in having better control of the aircraft.  It is also important to note that some aircraft's flight characteristics will demand the use of rudder to effectively control the aircraft during various circumstances.

A critical time for setting up to land involves the final turn, resulting in your approach to the runway.  Final approach turns should result in your aircraft flying directly at the desired fabric runway or directly at the grass runway.   Flight movement towards the flight line is not desired.  Guiding the aircraft parallel with the flight line is the way to go. This flight directionality should be achieved well away from the runway achieved at the final turn and maintain directionality as you continue to approach the runway.

The problem you are experiencing can be readily corrected.  From what I can see you doing when flying coordinated turns with rudder and ailerons; you have gotten into the routine of moving both the aileron control stick and rudder stick in the same direction simultaneously.  So for example, when you are leveling the wings on the final turn towards the runway you are applying the aileron control stick correctly, but you are still moving the rudder stick simultaneously in the same direction.  This results in you causing the plane to actually fly towards you after the wings are level.  This is what you want to change.

So here is what I want you to do on the final approach to the runway. This will work regardless of whether you are landing from the south, or from the north.

When making your final turn (and while facing the plane),  slowly apply pressure on the rudder control stick moving it towards the pits, while  simultaneously using your aileron control stick to level the wings in the fashion you have become accustomed to.  This now allows you to apply more or less pressure on the rudder control stick to keep the plane flying straight towards the runway or away from the flight line.

(Keep in mind that when applying pressure to rudder stick in the opposite direction towards the field while making your final approach causes the plane to fly in towards you and the flight line. All you have to do is break this  routine under the normal circumstances you have become accustomed to.)

It will come.  Keep practicing.

Bruce