Turning approach to landing

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Jim Hardin
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Turning approach to landing

Postby Jim Hardin » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:52 am

This has been rediscovered lately and is being researched. One of the claimed benefits is "safety" as well as ease of learning.

When you are abeam your landing point, you idle, trim and use flaps at your discretion. But instead of turning base, you start a shallow banked turn and turn continuously until you are on short final to land. You can and will have to very the bank angle to make up for wind drift and misjudgments.

The 'safety' side is that pilots will never stall/spin again. That is because they will never have to make a sharp banked turn from base to final.

If you have seen my subtle opinions sneaking through, you already know I am not in favor of this at all!

I will also freely admit that I have yet to actually try it!

Issues I see are trying to use this approach when the airport is busy. I have seen 3.9 NM on the GPS when the tower called my base. LIkewise how many times do you really get to start your landing when abeam of the numbers?

You will spend a lot of time losing sight of the runway in high wing planes and a lot of time without being able to see the approach area due to wing or fuselage blocking your view.

Steep turns may still be needed due to winds or misjudgement of the approach path.

I think that the concentration of ground track will increase the possibility of stalling and increase the potential of a gear up landing.

My old fashion opinions aside, WHAT do YOU think of this? :P

RTK
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby RTK » Sun Jul 16, 2017 9:18 am

Not keen on this and, other than trying to prevent "base to final" accidents, can't understand why this being done.

First, I can see where a pilot might be focused on the continuous turn and not be looking for traffic. Or traffic may not be expecting a pilot to make a continuous turn into a short final.

Next, what is the pilot going to do when the tower tells him/her to extend downwind? Now they don't have the experience to gauge descent rate and glide distance.

Not every airport is going to like a pilot to round out the base and final leg.

Lastly, why not teach the student how not to kill him/herself by maintaining (and being cognizant of) airspeed?

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FastEddieB
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:04 am

Also not keen.

I fly a tight pattern, so my base is very brief. Still, I think if it as "the pause that refreshes" - a chance to roll wings level, see what effect any crosswind might have had, go to landing flaps (optional) and check the final approach path for traffic one more time.

I'd hate to give that up for some as yet undocumented benefit.
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FastEddieB
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:23 am

Fast forward to maybe 1:20 or so. You'll see I'm only on base for maybe 6 or 7 seconds.

https://youtu.be/zCjjm_Hrmgg
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Wm.Ince
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby Wm.Ince » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:28 pm

FastEddieB wrote:. . . "I think if it as 'the pause that refreshes' - a chance to roll wings level, see what effect any crosswind might have had, go to landing flaps (optional) and check the final approach path for traffic one more time.
I'd hate to give that up for some as yet undocumented benefit."

Concur, especially for high-wing airplanes.
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HAPPYDAN
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby HAPPYDAN » Sun Jul 16, 2017 1:08 pm

Lots of differing opinions on this. I recently attended some training in which this was a much discussed topic. The instructor is an aerobatic trainer, and his take was "whatever works and you're comfortable with". While the supporters allege it will prevent the stall/spin scenario from base to final, it seems that the root cause is actually a combination of cross-control, low airspeed, and excessive AOA all brought about by fear or distraction. As he demonstrated, eliminate any one of those factors and a stall is unlikely to happen. So regardless of which method you choose, pay attention to the airspeed, keep the nose down and the controls coordinated, and if you're way off the runway on final, just go around.

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FastEddieB
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:06 pm

In either case, you need to turn a total of 180° altogether.

I don't see why one prolonged 180° turn is inherently less likely to lead to a stall/spin than dividing it into two parts.

Failure to adequately compensate for wind will still drift the pilot past the runway centerline, and the instinct to tighten the turn with rudder will still be there at the end, which is exactly where pilots get into trouble now.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:28 pm

I would not use this technique unless I was at a small, uncontrolled airport and there was no other traffic in the pattern. Then, maybe try it a time or two, just for fun.

A big part of flying, to me, is fitting in with all the other pilots and sharing the airspace. Pilots need to follow generally accepted procedures so others know what to expect from us. Surprises are not a good thing in aviation.

I prefer a stabilized approach with 90 degree turns from downwind to base and base to final. I like to reduce power (above idle) abeam the numbers, then lose about 333 feet on downwind, 333 feet on base, and 333 feet on final (1/3, 1/3, 1/3). I do the same with flaps. If I misjudged the turn to base, I can turn away a little or turn toward the airport a little while on base. I can also look for unannounced traffic that might be on final. On final, I can add or reduce power as needed.

This is just what I do (generally).
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby Wm.Ince » Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:59 pm

TimTaylor wrote:. . . "I prefer a stabilized approach with 90 degree turns from downwind to base and base to final. I like to reduce power (above idle) abeam the numbers, then lose about 333 feet on downwind, 333 feet on base, and 333 feet on final. ' . . .

I prefer to lose 334 feet on downwind, 331 feet on base, and 335 feet on final. :mrgreen:
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jul 16, 2017 3:37 pm

Wm.Ince wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:. . . "I prefer a stabilized approach with 90 degree turns from downwind to base and base to final. I like to reduce power (above idle) abeam the numbers, then lose about 333 feet on downwind, 333 feet on base, and 333 feet on final. ' . . .

I prefer to lose 334 feet on downwind, 331 feet on base, and 335 feet on final. :mrgreen:

I knew that would get a response. I guess I should have just said 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. And actually, it would probably be more like 250, 300, 450 due to slower ground speed and more time on final. The Garmin lady usually screams 500 agl as I'm starting to turn on final.
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Wm.Ince
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby Wm.Ince » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:06 pm

TimTaylor wrote:
Wm.Ince wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:. . . "I prefer a stabilized approach with 90 degree turns from downwind to base and base to final. I like to reduce power (above idle) abeam the numbers, then lose about 333 feet on downwind, 333 feet on base, and 333 feet on final. ' . . .
I prefer to lose 334 feet on downwind, 331 feet on base, and 335 feet on final. :mrgreen:
I knew that would get a response. I guess I should have just said 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. And actually, it would probably be more like 250, 300, 450 due to slower ground speed and more time on final. The Garmin lady usually screams 500 agl as I'm starting to turn on final.

We all knew what you meant . . . but I just couldn't resist! :D
Hope I didn't offend you.
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TimTaylor
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby TimTaylor » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:30 pm

Wm.Ince wrote:
TimTaylor wrote:
Wm.Ince wrote:I prefer to lose 334 feet on downwind, 331 feet on base, and 335 feet on final. :mrgreen:
I knew that would get a response. I guess I should have just said 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. And actually, it would probably be more like 250, 300, 450 due to slower ground speed and more time on final. The Garmin lady usually screams 500 agl as I'm starting to turn on final.

We all knew what you meant . . . but I just couldn't resist! :D
Hope I didn't offend you.

No, of course not. I had the same thought as I wrote it.
Commercial Pilot Airplane Single & Multiengine Land; Instrument Airplane;
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FastEddieB
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby FastEddieB » Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:49 pm

I also often get the "500" call as I turn final.

I did attempt a circular turn to final here:

https://youtu.be/KULP_oJ-txw

If I try it again, I'll fly my downwind closer so the bank is not so agonizingly shallow.
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Jim Hardin
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby Jim Hardin » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:59 am

The video shows some interesting head swivel...

Lots of it until final is reached. This is good, you are keeping your eye on the prize and lots of traffic checks!

But on final the attention is mostly caged and locked on the prize. Again a good thing. I normally take another look around, perhaps at my shadow (if visible) to make sure there isn't another shadow close to it, sometimes if there is a road near the threshold, I will check for traffic especially tall trucks but mostly looking at the sight picture.

Have to ask, is that blue thing on the panel an air freshener? :roll:

Good movie clips, thanks for posting!

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FastEddieB
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Re: Turning approach to landing

Postby FastEddieB » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:51 am

Jim,

Thanks for the comments - my funky baseball cap GoPro mount is not perfect, but does point out where I'm looking - or not looking, as the case may be.

The blue thing is a little Petzl Zipka headlamp with a retractable cord. Not cheap, but very handy. I only recently regained the option of night flight with BasicMed, but it never hurts to have emergency lighting Velcro'd right at hand.

Petzl - ZIPKA Headlamp 80 Lumens, Victoria Blue https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H7KAEOI/re ... BzbTNKRXEA
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