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I will own up to the fact that I habitually flare high. If I do a lot of practice I get better at it, but if I am away for a while I revert .... thump. It's boring - and of course practice is limited by the fact that the bit that matters is only about 10 seconds of a several minute circuit.

 

I completely understand that real pilots "know exactly where the ground is" etc etc. And that there are all sorts of good ideas about "where to look" and "how to tell" and there is some good stuff on Youtube.

 

You can buy an automotive ultrasonic parking sensor - with display - for about $20 on EBay. Range is up to 2.5 m. The one in the picture shows the height and a colour coded display in a neat little unit (about 40mm high) that sits on the glare shield. So I bought one - so far I have tried holding the sensor at various heights and it seems to perform as expected. I expect to attach it to an undercarriage leg using a simple bracket to get the max benefit of the 2.5 m range. I'm not sure how it will go with the ground whizzing past .... time will tell

 

I was just wondering if anyone has tried anything like this.

 

597362063_parkingsensor.jpg.5f97ead0e3f558ff86214274939e4d0b.jpg

 

 

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If you flare high you have more time to waffle around and be affected by gusts. You might balloon and get slow, drift off centreline etc but it allows a bit of latitude on the height judgement side. Imprecise touch down point.

 

I have always tended to flare fairly low with a quicker more positive flare at a slightly lower speed on late final. You have to work harder at the second technique but you don't eat up runway, and you don't end up with "the runway must be down there somewhere" situation. I must comment that where I learned to fly was District Park Newcastle. A notoriously "small" airfield, where you would run out of runway if you arrived high and a few extra knots under your belt. Nev

 

 

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Hi Ian

 

Whilst I get it that you want to perfect your landings and I am sure that is what we all strive to do for every landing. Will this device have your head inside the aircraft when it should be focussing outside and down the runway?

 

Cheers

 

 

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Ian, I would strongly discourage using such a device. You need to find an instructor who speaks your language (ie learning style) and have them teach you how you can best consistently judge flare height. I won't let my students attempt landings until they can judge the correct flare height, flare, hold off and go-around. If you cannot master these skills, you will "thump it on" more often than not.

 

I have students fly along the runway at flare height, this provides more than the few seconds experience you will gain by flaring, power off and thumping on. Don't attempt this without having a competent instructor with you!

 

 

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Ian, I would strongly discourage using such a device. You need to find an instructor who speaks your language (ie learning style) and have them teach you how you can best consistently judge flare height. I won't let my students attempt landings until they can judge the correct flare height, flare, hold off and go-around. If you cannot master these skills, you will "thump it on" more often than not.I have students fly along the runway at flare height, this provides more than the few seconds experience you will gain by flaring, power off and thumping on. Don't attempt this without having a competent instructor with you!

This is a video of of a student doing exactly what Roundsounds is talking about by one of the senior instructors at Fly Now Redciffe...

 

 

David

 

 

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...District Park Newcastle. A notoriously "small" airfield, where you would run out of runway if you arrived high and a few extra knots under your belt...

I just looked that up on Google Earth, Nev. It's still an open field, but too many airfields have disappeared under urban sprawl. Another field I'd like to identify is the one near Hexham where a Mirage fighter once landed dead stick.

 

It's time we preserved this history by logging their location on GE.

 

 

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There are lot's of "Cues" pilot's use to judge flare height. To name a few,(1) surface texture (grass, small waves on water)(2) Aspect of runway. Works on how the runway looks to how it should look, but there are variables (width, slope, irregular shape runway end has taxiways crossing etc) Some runways have HILLS in some part of them. Christmas Island and Launceston to name two. (3) having a concept of the flat (plane) surfaces proximity to your eye height. This one's a bit esoteric but it sort of works for me and it allows you to get out of one plane into something very different and do a passable job of landing it..I've taught people who only have one eye, monocular) and THAT is challenging as you rely on having width between your eyes for depth perception. This proves the Mk1 Eyeballs are critical in receiving the cues you need to JUDGE things in a basic way It's the predominant sense that over rides all other seat of the pants feelings.

 

People will adapt their own preferred method, so I hesitate to specify a one size for all approach. One thing is for certain. You DO have to be able to determine a consistent visual outside view to give you the cues YOU need. You would be surprised how minimal they can be and still do it in marginal conditions. Ie you may have NO forward visibility and only look out the side. Nev

 

 

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Near Cautauld's OK not far south of the road north off the Bridge at Hexham. I used to go there to pick up passengers for charter flights. Narrow and tall trees both sides. Nev

 

 

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Near Cautauld's OK not far south of the road north off the Bridge at Hexham. I used to go there to pick up passengers for charter flights. Narrow and tall trees both sides. Nev

Thanks for that Nev, but I need more precision. Any chance of a GE link?

 

 

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sorry ok not big on precision.( I would rather be roughly right than precisely wrong.) I don't know if it still exists as an active LA. If I flew over the area I could work it out. It was always in the Willietown zone and wouldn't be far from the majestic, famous Hunter River. Nev

 

 

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sorry ok not big on precision.( I would rather be roughly right than precisely wrong.) ...

A wise response, Nev. You should go into politics!

I'm currently looking out over the Hexham swamp from my kid's upstairs window (on a ridge about 3 km west of the Walsend strip). From the train, vaguely in the vicinity of Hexham Bowling Club, you often see signs of what may have been an airstrip west of the railway line.

 

 

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I understand the strip was put in for the factory to use. Some of my customers were from there (I Think). RNAC sometimes used it for training after they moved to Rutherford (West Maitland. The remains of the factory are still there?? Go South east of it without crossing any road or river. A coupla KM s should be enough. Nev

 

 

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Eyes outside. This is not a good idea.

I totally agree with "eyes outside". The device is about 30 mm high and sits on the glare shield right in the line of view. All I want is a reasonably reliable indicator of when I am 1-2 m high so I can manage it totally manually from there. Up to that point it would just rate an occasional glance as my eye checks the ASI

 

 

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You pick that up with peripheral vision, these are toys we fly and a gust will move you around - up or thud down.

 

Try flying over a long strip at one meterwheel height a few times to get the correct perspective. Don't know how many hours you have but seems practice makes perfect and we all get caught out sometimes in rough landing weather.

 

 

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Put the work needed into the landing if the conditions are bad. It won't go 1.. 2.. 3.. timed like you can expect them all to be the same, if you do the same (which worked last time0. You respond to the planes reactions, but just the required amount. Fly it every inch of the way and it's not finished till it's parked away from the wind on some days. Especially low wing loading aircraft.. I've taught flying along the strip at a low height. Not totally convinced of it's value for time spent. You don't get the landing till you stop doing it. (and that's only possible with a looong runway). The trouble with practicing landings is you only get a few seconds actual landing for about 15 minutes flying. I've gone one better some times with a suitable student, and tried running on one wheel and changing to the other down the strip with a bit of power on. That's a good skill but I recall coming a bit unstuck demonstrating it one day. Just became untidy, nothing dangerous but the student and I had a good laugh. Flying is one thing . talking about it and flying at the same time is one step further again. Nev

 

 

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  • 4 years later...

I looked up the Sea Rey website where they have an ultrasonic thing which has the audio signal Spacey suggests and I agree with.

The rationale is that the water is sometimes too glassy to see it properly.

I would like to try one just to make my landings easier. Yes, I appreciate the comments made about learning properly, but it is still the hardest thing in flying I reckon. And I don't fly a seaplane, just the Jabiru.

 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

I just looked up "car parking aids" and they have ultrasonic stuff too.  Surely somebody has tried one for flaring out?

 

I think you've started flying something with a bigger wing lift now haven't you?

 

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2 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

I just looked up "car parking aids" and they have ultrasonic stuff too.  Surely somebody has tried one for flaring out?

 

It has been tried and was discussed in the EAA magazine about a year ago. I haven't kept them. The writer said he used the display from a car, several illuminated dots, but his eyes were always outside at the point of flare. It might work with an audible note.

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