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kallend

FAA advice on landings

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Got this FAA safety advisory for pilots this morning. Much of it would apply (with obvious change to the language in places) to landing a canopy too.
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Hard Landing? It's all in the eyes!
Notice Number: NOTC2222

During the approach, flare, and touchdown, vision is very important. To provide good peripheral vision and good judgment of height and movement, the pilot’s head should assume a natural, straight-ahead position. The pilot’s visual focus should not be fixed on any one side or any one spot ahead of the airplane, but should be changing slowly from a point just over the airplane’s nose to the desired touchdown zone and back again, while maintaining a deliberate awareness of distance from either side of the runway within the pilot’s peripheral field of vision. Accurate estimation of distance is a matter of practice, and requires that the pilot be focused properly in order that the important objects stand out clearly. The distance at which the pilot’s vision is focused is proportionate to the groundspeed of the aircraft. So as the speed is reduced during the flare, the distance ahead of the airplane where you should be focusing will be brought closer accordingly. If the pilot attempts to focus on a reference that is too close or looks directly down, the reference will become blurred and the reaction will be either too abrupt or too late. In this case, the pilot’s tendency will be to over control, round out high, and make full-stall, drop-in landings. When the pilot focuses too far ahead, accuracy in judging the closeness of the ground is lost and the pilot’s reaction will be too slow since there will not appear to be a need for action. This will result in the airplane flying into the ground nose first. The change of visual focus from a long distance to a short distance requires a definite time interval and even though the time is brief, the airplane will still travel an appreciable distance, both forward and down. If your focus is changed gradually, and is brought progressively closer as speed is reduced, the time interval and the pilot’s reaction will be reduced, and the whole landing process smoothed out.
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The only sure way to survive a canopy collision is not to have one.

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At first look the quote seems reasonable.

The quote doesn't say it, but it tends towards the idea that you aren't looking a fixed distance ahead but perhaps closer to a certain TIME ahead.

Given a certain reaction time, control input time, and time to get the vehicle to react to your inputs sufficiently, that may require you to plan a certain number of seconds ahead.

This may work best once on the final approach, not say while in a steep diving turn for a swoop, where there can be other factors.

It is easy to oversimplify statements about landings in skydiving, especially if dealing with different landing styles. So "look at the horizon" might only apply to someone dropping in under a round who you want to not tense up too much. Or "look at where you are going to touch down" might not help on a swoop, where someone can pretty much plane out to a level attitude but still sink into the ground while at high speed if they are looking too far down the landing zone.

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I'd agree. I started learning how to fly a little over a year ago. It was amazing when I first started landing the plane one my own (a piper warrior iii). The yoke in my mind, were just like the toggles on my parachute. It's really similar except no rudder control and you can't go around on a skydive! ;)
I may not agree with what you have to say but i'll defend to the death your right to say it.

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