Private Pilot Maneuvers

How to fly: Soft Field Landing

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Now we will execute a soft field landing. Much like the soft field takeoff, we are concerned about the protection of the propellor. For this reason we are going to keep a smidge of power when we roundabout and flare, and FLY the airplane onto the runway. We’ll land as soft as we possibly can (think buttering the bread) and keep the nose wheel off as long as we can.

Like other approaches, this will be mostly normal. You do have the creative liberty to fly a bit more shallow on final approach as you work the airplane down for that soft touchdown.

Again, keep a little bit of power in, and touchdown as smoothly as you can. As your wheels make contact, keep the power in or maybe even add power to keep that nose wheel off the runway. Apply back pressure as needed to keep that nose wheel off.

Now as you reduce the power, you’ll keep pulling back on the yoke until you can’t anymore, and the nose wheel touches down nice and soft.

That’s about it! Now taxi with the same caution.

The soft field landing can get a little bit more difficult when mixed with different twists. Add a 50 foot obstacle, add a short runway, and then you really have to be on the money. You won’t have all the time in the world to bring it down nice and soft, and so your timing will have to be just right.


Chris Palmer

Chief Flight Instructor and President of Angle of Attack. Founded in 2006.


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