How to Fly an Airplane : Descending a Plane Touch & Go

How to Fly an Airplane : Descending a Plane Touch & Go


Hi, I’m Dave Pressy with St. Charles Flying
Service on behalf of Expert Village. It’s almost 1600 and Jason, I’ve got you in sight,
we’ll be right over the top of you. We’ve got you too. Since we’re coordinating our
efforts with everybody, so he knows where I am, I know where he is. We maintain visual
contact, he’s going to be coming out right there. There he is. Nice bumpy day for you,
Ron. Yeah. Ok. So what I’m going to do is just come out here about a mile or so and
then what I’m going to do is start to descend down to our pattern altitude. I’m going to
reduce my power, add my carb heat so we don’t get any icing in the engine. And we’ll start
a nice 30-degree bank turn while we’re descending. That should put us about 45 degrees to the
downwind leg. So our downwind leg is going to be to the north, so we’re going to come
in about 45 degrees to that. St. Charles County Traffic, 6343 Delta is 45 to your drop entry
for runway 18, touch and go, County. See, here’s our airport coming up, we’re still
descending. About a 45-degree angle. All right, so then we’re going to continue our turn,
beyond and downwind. Now our runway is on our left, we’re parallel to the runway. Ok,
and there’s the aircraft on final. Ok. So we’re going to beam about the numbers there.
We’re going to reduce our power, so beam our touchdown point. Reduce our power to about
1,500 rpms, and add 10 degrees of flaps and start our descent. Maintaining a nice, straight
track along the ground and at about 80 knots of airspeed. Once the runway gets to be about
45 degrees behind us, we’re going to continue to slow the airplane, we’re going to turn
what’s called our “base leg.” We’re going to turn 90 degrees to the west at about a
30-degree bank. We’re going to turn a little bit more than 90 because we have the wind
from our left and we don’t want to be drifted out away from the runway. So we’re going to
turn a little bit more than 90, that’s called a “crab.” 20 degrees of flaps, and pitched
for about 70 knots. Now reduce our power because we have a big updraft out here. Look both
ways. Country Traffic 43-delta is turning a mile and a half final for runway 18, Country
Traffic. Ok, so were going to trim for an airspeed. I have a lot of power reduce. I’m
practically in idle setting because we have a lot of air moving up, a lot of updrafts
around here. So I want to maintain my glide angle by adjusting my power, versus when it’s
slow flight, if I’m very slow I need a lot of power to maintain slow flight. All I’m
doing is adjusting my power. If I reduce power, I will decrease my glide angle. Another updraft.
Another thing I can do is I can slip a little bit. So I can actually turn the nose sideways
and reduce my glide angle. And maintaining that centerline. While we get close to the
runway, I know I have the runway made, so my power is at idle. What I’m going to do
is lift that nose. Just keep bringing it up, keep bringing it up, keep bringing it up until
we touch down, maintain the centerline, and roll it out. Go flaps up, carb heat, we’ll
go ahead and add some power, make out that centerline, lift that nose, tap the brakes
and climb out. Nose just up on the horizon. County Traffic, 43-Delta is up one for 18,
parting southwest, County Traffic. Let them know where we are, what we’re going, maintaining
our climb.

68 thoughts on “How to Fly an Airplane : Descending a Plane Touch & Go

  1. Is any of this easier in a real plane, vs a flight simulator? I have the hardest time lining up to runways… I'm always to one side or the other and frantically doing a lot of last minute correcting to make it work.

  2. This is an uncontrolled airport, he made that decision on his own. There is no control tower to give instruction.

  3. Apparently the subsequent postings are missing the mark here. According to the FAR/AIM, the pattern entry is recommended as a 45 degree angle to the midfield downwind point. This allows the pilot to view the entire traffic pattern "see and avoid." A 45 degree descent angle would be an aerobatic maneuver. For most flight training maneuvers 20 degrees of pitch up or down and more than 60 degrees of bank would be excessive.

  4. I agree, is FSX it is very difficult to maintain a straight line to the runway. The key is good throttle control and flaps. Also watch the air speed. You should land right at stall speed. Let the plane settle in and don't "fly" it onto the runway.

  5. Yes. You advance the throttle to give the plane more engine power which, in turn, translates to faster prop rotation that accelerates the aircraft or you reduce the throttle which lowers the engine power which, in turn, reduces the prop rotation to allow you to slow down.

  6. One thing to keep in mind whether flying the real thing or flight sim, when you get into final position for landing you should be pretty much lined up with the runway at that point. Then, rather than making huge course corrections that have you waggling all over the place, you make very small course corrections to keep you on track. Now, if you're way out of line with the runway (depending upon how close you are to the runway) you can either attempt to stick the landing or go around & try again.

  7. The ONLY time you shut off the engine of an aircraft is if you're on the ground & at your designated parking spot. Unpowered landings in a powered aircraft should never be attempted unless it is an absolute emergency as there is no room for error or correction. The point is to make a controlled landing. Engines off while still flying makes you uncontrolled & prone to damage, injury &/or death should a crosswind, updraft or downdraft force you off track.

  8. Depends upon how the crosswinds (if there were any) were affecting the aircraft. When you have any crosswind, you have to maintain appropriate rudder to correct your yaw otherwise you could come into the runway sideways & flip the plane when the leading main wheel touches the pavement. In this situation, if there wasn't any crosswind, the slip would be unnecessary so obviously he had a reason (i.e. crosswind) or he wouldn't have done it. Hope this clears things up for you 🙂

  9. Could simply be that there was a crosswind that he had to correct the aircraft's yaw to make a proper landing. Generally, you don't slip (i.e. apply rudder) unless you have to in order to maintain proper attitude and alignment for landing.

  10. Not true. In an aircraft with variable pitch props, there is throttle, which still controls engine power, and there is prop adjustment, which controls the pitch of the blades. The two are controlled separately.

  11. Technically, a constant speed prop used a governor to change the RPM of the engine by loading the engine (increasing blade pitch) or unloading the engine (decreased blade pitch. For example at full throttle (say 39 in MP) with the prop lever full forward you may get 2100 RPM, but as you pull back on the prop lever your RPM will decrease (greater blade area biting the air) and your engine power will remain the same 39 in MP.

  12. You can manipulate the engine power versus RPM based on altitude. For example at 10,000 ft on a standard day you may place the power to 25 in MP. That is your power setting. The POH will have you pull the prop back to say 1900 RPM to increase the blade angle and the amount of thrust produced.

  13. This concept is based on balance. Decreasing engine power and fuel consumption while increasing blade angle to produce the maximum amount of thrust for a given air density.

  14. With that said, you always take off and land with the props in (full forward lever) flat pitch. This is due to the fact that if you had to shut the engine down, the prop would easily feather while spinning down. The prop feathers (leading edge into the airstream) through centrifugal force. Oil pressure from the governor opposes a spring and flyweights to keep the prop in normal flight pitch. Once oil pressure is lost (engine shut down) the prop will drive into feather.

  15. Three ways you can know the wind direction:

    Tune in to ATIS.
    Look at th airsock at the airport (if there is an airsock).
    Observe the drift of the aircraft.

  16. not exactly, it will move "towards" feather but it wont completely feather because of the realtive wind. This is why you have to do it yourself. Unless you're in a later model King Air with autofeather or a B100 with negative torque sensing.

  17. if ur on a runway and ur about to crash into trees and cannot stop but are at a slow enough airspeed, you would try to stop it every way u can or brace the f*** for impact…

  18. they do touch and go's sometimes because they touch down too late but they still have enough speed for VR or to lift off the ground again. i know this because of talking to other pilots and of course doing it myself landing a plane b4…

  19. you can but they are a bit different. they have more power they do not have engine torque they require flaps depending on the runway they have more engines to take care of and they require a bit more effort to control… most airlines use an auto pilot because the controls are so heavy or they just get lazy…

  20. u will find it in a state airport directory or anything like that unicom i guess helps but you should check it at the airport directory during or before flight planning. or even using your phone to call it helps… even though i think most airports only give the AWOS instead but even that is still useful.

  21. i have i am sure most of these guys have… in fact i have flown and flown in so many airplanes and i am only 16… gonna have my private certificate next year!

  22. @DictatorBooby depends on the person. but in my case its increadably easy. i would have a harder time in the car then in the airplane because of course the airplane wants to fly (so u don't have to touch the controls much. the training has a bit more to it then the driving test but if you REALLY consider it (and find the right airport) you will notice its not that much different.

  23. @deneisameindianaren to stop the wheels from spinning sometimes you can feel the vibrations from them turning so quickly and it makes the airplane very shaky

  24. Great videos ,i have don 9 hours so fare on a Piper ,but it is a long way to go.
    It is fun to fly with this light planes ,so if you have a chance go for it ,you will love it.

  25. @deanow2007 I play Microsoft Flight Simulator X a lot and would like to know how is is it different from real flying? Can you say that, for example landing in a real-life situation is harder or simpler than in a sim?

  26. Why tap the breaks on take off? I've heard that on a few videos on youtube. It's quick but he mentions doing it in this video.

  27. @goucv Normally you tap the brakes on a retractable gear airplane prior to bringing the gear up. When the tires are spinning the centifugal force causes them to have a larger diameter- on a some airplanes the larger tire diameter can scrape the side of the wheel well (I think on some kind of Beechcraft?).
    On this 172, assuming it is fixed gear (since most are and he never mentions gear) I'd tap the brakes only if there were an annoying vibration from an unbalanced wheel and tire.

  28. @pennywise000 Landing a real airplane is harder because your alignment with the runway has to be perfect and wind can be variable and unpredictable in real life. In a real airplane if you get too slow, drag builds up and you can slam on the ground. This lack of induced drag may be FSX's biggest fault, but I love FSX (I use it to practice instrument flying). In real flying you use your peripheral view (which you cant do in FSX) to judge sink rate- so that IS easier to do in a real airplane.

  29. @deanow2007 As long as you understand aerodynamics and that FS doesn't model them accurately (especially induced drag, stall & critical angle of attack) you don't have to quit FS. Understand that FS planes dont build up as much drag as they slow (being on the back side of the power curve). Also you can't just keep pulling back more and more and more in the flare to get a soft landing because you will eventually tail strike and reach the critical attitude and stall and slam on the runway. – a CFI

  30. @ZeranZeran With the sun shining there was heat radiating off the vegetation below… if those updrafts suddenly stopped the airplane would start to get just a little bit lower than desired so then he'd increase the throttle from idle back up to the normal approach setting of 1500RPM.
    When you are flying into a headwind (the relative wind that makes your wing make lift)… if it suddenly stops (very rare) then you have a serious problem and add full power for the sink. That is "wind shear".

  31. @HawkEYEcinema I think you were looking at the wrong runway… There were two runways perpendicular to each other, so they were parallel to one runway and perpendicular to the other.

  32. the runway (ONE-EIGHT) is parallel to him. Which is the same runway that the other plane was landing on final approach at.

  33. can anyone tell me what was used in this video to record radio transmissions. I hate using the camcorder's mic to record conversations, and it can't record ATC or other aircraft calling

  34. The radio chatter is easy, you can find your airport and download archives, liveatc.net

    The intercom chatter is harder, you have to have a recorder connected to the intercom system, thats how i do it.

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