Landing on Hudson Island recently, I was in the right seat taking pictures. Here’s a pictoral story of how we nearly couldn’t stop on our landing, and almost dropped off the cliff at the end of the runway.
OK, so we had a little scare, and learned an important lesson about the importance of slow speed for final approach. I subsequently took 2 local flights with my island neighbors, and had two wonderful landings with approach speed about 65 knots over the threshold, and only needed 1/2 the runway to stop.
One of those local flights was with my neighbor Chris Mclean, a VERY experienced pilot. The next day, he kindly emailed me with some useful advice, to try my approaches with 30 degrees of flaps instead of 20. He had gone to the trouble of looking up the official recommendations in the Found aircraft’s Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), which DOES recommend 30 degrees for short field landings. I generally have only used 30 degree flaps on final approaches when I’m a little high and need to slow down and drop a bit of altitude, but Chris contends that 30 degrees flaps will plus high power, will give me better visibility over the nose of my aircraft at touchdown. So I’ve got more things to practice and learn. ( But I have been feeling pretty comfortable with my own landings so far, using 20.)
I made of cellphone video of that first landing where we were too fast, and bounced. Unfortunately, I dropped the camera after the first big bounce and it kindof seems like we crashed, but we didn’t.