CFI Topics
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1.3 Vso

Lesson 8

Now that we have figured some of the nuances of stalling the aircraft, let’s bring it down near the runway. Here the aircraft, if properly flown at a ‘real’ Vso1.3, when flared near the runway will increase drag, increase the AOA and with minimal/no power lose lift and touchdown will occur in a complete 1G stall mode. The problem occurs when new or fearful pilots will approach the runway with excess speed of Vso1.6-1.8 and find the rubber is not meeting the road and half the runway is behind. This can lead to excess floating, porpoising (the pilot forces the aircraft to the runway and bounces off with transient lift only to try again), and even ground-looping if the aircraft is hit with cross winds or cross-controls. That is why it is important to determine the true Vso1.3 for your aircraft and fly it to the ground on final.

Near the runway a short discussion of Ground-Effect is prudent. An aircraft near the runway will lose some of its induced drag and it will tend to float. Excess airspeed can exacerbate the float. Given the detriment of crosswinds and gusts, this floating can try the patience of the even the most experienced pilots. Therefore, exorcise the demons of excess and exercise the understanding gained from experience, knowledge and practice.

It all boils down to this: Know the airspeeds on your aircraft. They all have a purpose – to keep you safe!

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