Teaching New Students Landing

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
Y'all,

I've got a fantastic group of CFIs I work with who have provided me some good tips, but I am shameless about stealing other people's techniques and ideas....

I've inherited a few students who were taught landings by other instructors and they're GREAT! They land really well. But I'm also starting to teach some brand new ones and I'm trying to think of some ways to help the process. Things I'm doing now:

  • Start on the taxiway! "This is the sight picture of level, on the ground."
  • Using the windsock as the guide to the height we want where we level off for a second, bleeding off energy, before raising the nose a little to land on the mains. (roundout)
  • Look down the runway, and use your peripheral vision - don't blank out the end of the runway with the nose...just get near it...
  • "Point the nose with your toes" - rudder for tracking down the runway, ailerons for lateral position.
  • Spending time in the practice area trimming airspeed and best glide. (3 turns of trim with no flaps at idle will put a 172 at 68 kias almost every time)
  • A good landing starts with a good downwind. Set that up right and things tend to be much easier.
There's other stuff, but these are just examples. Anything else you guys have done/tried/found effective? Not everything works with every student, so I'm figuring out what works as we go.

What has worked for you guys?
 

Jordan93

Well-Known Member
Don’t go right into landings. Hover a few feet over the runway and get their feet moving. Low approaches go a long way and it helps to break down what’s going on.
 

BigZ

Well-Known Member
Start with making sure they are sitting right and can actually see the cowling and are able to use that as a reference.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
High speed taxi with the nose wheel off the ground. Practice the pattern at altitude, less distractions and can really solidify procedure. Grab a golfcart and go watch landings, if able. Demonstrate one every 5th landing or so. Gives them a breather and they get to watch it done correctly. Also zeros you on the airplane and helps you teach.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Y'all,

I've got a fantastic group of CFIs I work with who have provided me some good tips, but I am shameless about stealing other people's techniques and ideas....

I've inherited a few students who were taught landings by other instructors and they're GREAT! They land really well. But I'm also starting to teach some brand new ones and I'm trying to think of some ways to help the process. Things I'm doing now:
  • Start on the taxiway! "This is the sight picture of level, on the ground."
This is a good one and works even better if you take a moment on the runway. I actually used it in the past two weeks to help two pilots who were transitioning to a Mooney and were landing too flat. "This is flat with three wheels on the ground. When you touch down, your nose needs to be just high enough to keep the nosewheel clear of the runway, also accounting for nosegear extension when the weight is off it."

A variation I've seen is putting the student in the airplane and then pushing the tail down to lift the nose in the air to show what you want to see.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
High speed taxi with the nose wheel off the ground. Practice the pattern at altitude, less distractions and can really solidify procedure. Grab a golfcart and go watch landings, if able. Demonstrate one every 5th landing or so. Gives them a breather and they get to watch it done correctly. Also zeros you on the airplane and helps you teach.
This is actually something I need to work in. I had to demo a no-flap this weekend and while it was okay, it wasn't nearly textbook-instructor. I gave myself a critique on that and walked the student through what should have been better. He got it, but it made me realize that in all the dual-given I'm barely current and need my own practice to stay sharp.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
This is actually something I need to work in. I had to demo a no-flap this weekend and while it was okay, it wasn't nearly textbook-instructor. I gave myself a critique on that and walked the student through what should have been better. He got it, but it made me realize that in all the dual-given I'm barely current and need my own practice to stay sharp.
It's definitely a balance that you'll learn. I inherited some students which sounded like their previous instructor flew or took the controls ALOT.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
It's definitely a balance that you'll learn. I inherited some students which sounded like their previous instructor flew or took the controls ALOT.
Once a student has attempted to perform a skill a couple of times with help, I will try to stay as hands-off as possible and let them work through it, make mistakes - I feel like they learn better if they're allowed the chance to correct themselves - shows Application, at any rate. I just have to keep them in the envelope. I've had a tremendous amount of good advice/mentoring - particularly from another instructor there who lurks this forum quite a bit but doesn't post much (he can ID himself if he wants to) and it's working out....but I don't know what I don't know. Thus this thread.
 

mikecweb

Well-Known Member
Once a student has attempted to perform a skill a couple of times with help, I will try to stay as hands-off as possible and let them work through it, make mistakes - I feel like they learn better if they're allowed the chance to correct themselves - shows Application, at any rate. I just have to keep them in the envelope. I've had a tremendous amount of good advice/mentoring - particularly from another instructor there who lurks this forum quite a bit but doesn't post much (he can ID himself if he wants to) and it's working out....but I don't know what I don't know. Thus this thread.
Sounds like you’ll make a good instructor. My time as a CFI was brief (8 months) but it was very rewarding
 

Nihon_Ni

Well-Known Member
Once a student has attempted to perform a skill a couple of times with help, I will try to stay as hands-off as possible and let them work through it, make mistakes - I feel like they learn better if they're allowed the chance to correct themselves - shows Application, at any rate. I just have to keep them in the envelope. I've had a tremendous amount of good advice/mentoring - particularly from another instructor there who lurks this forum quite a bit but doesn't post much (he can ID himself if he wants to) and it's working out....but I don't know what I don't know. Thus this thread.
Try this technique (it's my take on the Demonstration-Performance Method) -- First, demonstrate the task to your student, describing what clues you look for and what actions you are doing in response to seeing those clues. Next, repeat the maneuver but have the student perform the task while you tell them everything to do (like a voice activated auto pilot), what clues you look for and what actions need to be made. Third, have them perform the maneuver making all the decisions and actions while you keep quite.

The thing that is the most difficult as an instructor is being quiet. You have to give students time to figure out they need to do something, figure out what to do, and then do it. While you're giving them time for all of this, you have to keep them safe from themselves. The worst instructor I had would never shut up after I had been introduced to a skill. He would always tell me what to do just about the time I was figuring out that it needed to be done.

The second thing to remember is that the transition between steps isn't direct. You can't demo a stall, have them do it as you say it, and then have them do it on their own and in three times they've learned a new skill. An airplane is a hostile learning environment, and the student it overwhelmed by all that is going on around him, so they don't see everything that happens. It's your job to make them aware of the important things they need to see to make decisions, and what the correct decisions are to make. You have to constantly assess the student's learning, and decide when you should and shouldn't tell them what is happening, what to fix, or what to do (how to fix it).

The most complex thing to teach is landings. There's so much going on in each trip around the pattern that you could write a book on each landing. When we're working on multiple landings (after we've had enough landings to that a student knows what right looks like) I'll have them perform a landing and then ask them to pick one thing they want to fix on the next trip around the pattern. Whatever they say, agree to work on that one thing. Fly the pattern again, do another landing, then ask them to evaluate that landing and pick one thing to fix on the next pass. By doing this, I teach a student to critique himself, and that turns him into a pilot.

Your job as the instructor, is just to guide him on the journey from student to pilot.
 

LostComm

Well-Known Member
If you're in a Cessna product try this: Have the student sit with the door open, then walk around to the tail on his/her side. (The engine is off during this)

Then push down on the tail/ empennage until it touches the ground. The student will see they can no longer see the horizon, and you can show them they are now dragging the tail with that sight picture. They then understand if they can't see the end of the runway, it's wrong and they're probably getting slow.

The biggest trick for me was the slow speed directional stuff. It's a little easier in underpowered aircraft, yet if they can't control the direction, not much else matters.

Last, it's worth showing someone on a HP endorsement what happens when they miss or go around at about two feet. The torque will scare them the first time so you have to be quick, but they'll never slam the throttle forward again and be much smoother on power changes.

Just my two cents...

LC
 
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