How do you judge your flare?

I would begin flare at about 30ft or a little earlier. Depends on what you’re flying.

I begin the flare at 30ft in a 777-200, a little too high for a GA aircraft I would humbly suggest!

(obviously taking into account your ‘depends’ qualifier! :D )

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After 10 seconds you’ll be really far down the runway,

Yes if you do the math with a ground speed ~60Kts (basically you never slow down) you will be 900ft down the runway.
Since you slow down you will touch down ~500ft down the runway in a C150/172


I judge mine by usually giving it a numerical value, most often a 10. Sometimes a 9.5 in rougher conditions.

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Clearly that math suggest my average speed from crossing the threshold too touchdown is 40 knots, which is straight up wrong

It’s been a while since I’ve flown GA but I always used to flare at around 10ft or so as I could see the runway edges coming up into my peripheral vision. Keep a little bit of power on, fly the aircraft toward your touchdown aiming point, as you begin the flare, close the throttle and transfer your vision to the end of the runway and use your peripheral vision to ‘fly’ the aircraft to the runway.

Don’t keep trying to hold off until the aircraft ‘stalls’ onto the deck, this is supposed to be a controlled manoeuvre.

Obviously, as you go up in aircraft speed and weight the actions need to be performed earlier and higher but the principal remains the same.

(note: Does not normally apply to helicopters, Osprey or the Harrier/AV8 ;) )

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No, I have yet to see a checklist that tells you everything you need to do… In gusty conditions, using less flaps is a possible solution. Please do search on the internet before posting something wrong…

Concerning the wrong figures, I have learned from my own pilot experience that giving inaccurate numbers to someone never helps. If you want to make a nice and educative post, keep it accurate (just my opinion but again this is from my own experience).

In all honestly (no offense intended), you are plain wrong here.

Touching down at VS0 is not only a bad thing but it is also dangerous. Most aircrafts stall at an angle of attack of 15-18°. Touching down at VS0 would mean: huge nose up attitude, less ailerons/ rudder efficiency and eventually an extremely firm/ hard landing.

Runways are designed to ensure a safe touchdown right at the threshold. If you can fly the indicated glide path (can be seen on the airfield charts), you can land safely on the threshold with no fears of hitting something. There would be a displaced threshold if there was an obstacle on final.
Moreover, landing on the numbers is the standard procedure for runways with visual markings. Margin is not landing further down the runway, it is landing as soon as possible.

Here is video I shot a few months ago:

As you can see I touched down right on the numbers. Runway was much longer that what is needed for a C150. I wasn’t using full flaps and touchdown occurred at roughly 50-55 knots.


Not entirely correct, the touchdown point should be just after the runway threshold. Always remember landing short is as much of a risk as landing long. Always give yourself an error margin in the event of a loss of lift over the threshold.


Well I have always been taught to aim for the numbers from my instructors (and that’s what I now tell to student pilots). We have rather short runways here and runway excursions happen often.

Anyway if you aim for the numbers, you should touch down at bit after the threshold.

Personal note: I was at Avranches a few weeks back (St Exupery’s field) which has a 300x10m landing strip literally surrounded by sheeps and goats. Not touching down right on the threshold there would mean free meat for all hehe (and an expensive maintenance bill for the club).

It’s a common misconception. Ideally you should aim for a point just after the numbers on a non marked runway. That way you’ll have a bit of flex if you lose speed on short finals and drop short.

If you look at the touchdown markings for larger runways they are quite a way down the runway for exactly that reason.

Often the TODA (take off distance available) is longer than the LDA (Landing distance available) to take this inset into account.


Let’s avoid any opinion then and I propose Everyone read this:

It is an excellent write up required to be understood for the private checkride.

Nice video Axel.

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I’ve never heard of a CATIIIC. What’s the C designation?

Category 3 Autoland with differing minima.

CAT 3 A into London requires (for my company and aircraft type)
200m visibility and a 50’ Radar altimeter decision height.

75m visibility and a 15’ Radar altimeter decision height.

CAT 3B NO DH (Sometimes referred to as CAT 3C)
75m visibility and no decision height.

Differing Categories, 1, 2, 3A,B,B no DH require different aircraft equipment levels and serviceability hence you might be okay for CAT 2 but not CAT 3 if a certain piece of equipment failed. So you might ‘brief’ for a CAT 3 approach but, if the weather allowed, have reversion to CAT 2 in the event of either aircraft or ground equipment failure.


I’ll take an ATPs opinion any day of the week.

Great use of colour!

Look at the aiming points as described in the PDF and you will find them…beyond the threshold and the runway designator.

Always, always, always allow for a screw up. Never aim to touch down on the numbers unless there is a very, very good reason. (specific short field landing for example to which I would do a cross controlled side slip approach and still have a little for an undershoot. But that’s just me! :D )

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Were told at my flight school too shoot for the 1000 footers

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Yes aiming to touch down on the touch down zone at the 1000ft marker is the standard.
Now having said that, there are time, either for exercise, short runway…whatever where you have to adapt from the standard to what makes sense in this occasion.

If you have a 3000’ runway and a Cessna 172, you can aim for the 1000’ marker since you will stop before the 1500’ marker.
On the same runway if you land a King Air 350, you want to touch down on the threshold or right after it…because it has a lot of energy to dissipate before stopping.

So the important things when you are PIC is to know and understand your POH/AFM, fly by it and adapt based on the circomptstances.


I don’t fly GA very often so that’s how I got 30ft.

Fair enough. :D

Oddly enough often the most difficult aspect for those flying heavy metal who want to go back to flying GA is trying to stop them flaring at 30’!!!

(Good luck with the P-8, had a play in a P 3 Orion and a Nimrod in the past, the P8 has a nice galley at least! ;) )