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Good morning, I have a question on which i will be pleased to get a
sincere answer.
I am a pilot in training in Lebanon, I started on a cessna 172 and
after 9 hours of piloting i was able to land smoothly as required. I
asked my instructor about what i am performing and he certified that
it was good.
I moved then on the cessna 152, and after 2.8 hours of flying time,
i am still unable to make a smooth landing.
Is it normal?
Usuaaly how much time should it take when moving from a cessna 172
to a cessna 152?
My instructor told to me not to worry, but really it is making so
nervous and furious that i am about to leave the aeroclub.
I have the feeling that I am wasting my time.
What do you advise me to do?
Thank you.

-- Oussama Mroueh, November 19, 2010


Not making perfect landings after 11.8 hours? Airline pilots with 10,000 hours aren't consistently perfect either. You want to arrive in the touchdown zone (first third of the runway) at a reasonable airspeed and then continue flying until the airplane stops. Smooth is nice, but it doesn't have a lot to do with safety. Just remember that landing is the same as flying. Transition your gaze to the horizon when you're about 5 meters from the ground and then pull the airplane up to a slightly nose-up attitude. Smoothly pull the power out and wait for the airplane to settle to the runway. Once you get it you won't lose the skill.

The things that most often get people in trouble are failing to follow the checklist, not poor stick-and-rudder skills.

-- Philip Greenspun, November 20, 2010

I would start by discussing the differences between a 152 and a 172 during the landing phase with your instructor. Perhaps ask your instructor perform a few landings in the 152 and pay attention to the airspeed, power, pitch, altitude, and sight picture your instructor uses and then try to copy those landings.

Also, just keep flying and don't become discouraged if something like landings do seem to be a good as they once were. Just focus on the fundamentals and proper operation of the aircraft you are flying and it will do what you ask it to.

Lastly, don't focus on time or comparing yourself to other pilots. Rather focus on being a safe competent pilot and use as much time as it takes to achieve that. That's the kind of pilot I want to fly with, not the one that received a license in the lowest number of flight hours.

-- Alex Baker, November 20, 2010

It is a link to the very interesting website corresponding to the Philip's method.

Robert Politanski

-- Robert Politanski, December 28, 2010