Much of the aviation related instructions seem clear-cut and science-based.
For some reason landing seems heavy on art and light on science. To explain, I’m told to round out at about “yea” height, which does not register on any instrument. Even Rod Machedo calls it "the Art of Landing".
Depending on how you feel that day about the runway fixed point rushing at your face at 67 kts, “yea-15ft” could mean surprise wheels touching down (before solo), or stalling high in ground effect and plopping onto the runway (my 2nd solo).
Understanding the math in Jacobson’s flare and Rod’s expansion rate, Lindberg-reference, it seems frustratingly unstructured learning when it comes to landing.
Setting the “it’s something you get the feel for” advice aside, is there a better way of learning landing that I’m missing? Really appreciate you help here.
- The circuit, approach, and glide-path are fairly repeatable accurately using feedback from the instrument cluster even in variable conditions.
- The goal here is to establish a method to allow consistency from pilot to pilot without relying on seat-of-the-pants black-box terms such as human skill, feel, art, etc.
Explaining the issue further
Having seen the responses from community, it appears that we're simply asking PPLs gray-matter to act as the Height Above Terrain instrument. And everyone's OK with this despite the fact we're well trained about looking out visual illusions and [not] trusting the grey-matter in IMC.
If we're honest with ourselves, we should be able to acknowledge the absurdity in this even though it's been fine for 100+ years.
Allow for some humour: The landing skill as it's currently described looks suspiciously like practicing and getting good at guessing how many jellybeans are in a jar with the winnings being your existing nose-gear.
One can feel the stall onset a good bit before the stall-horn goes off or the actual stall happens, but we're not asking the pilots' brain to act as a stall-horn.
Yes, we can train the brain: If you've done any inversion training on the trampoline you'll notice how quickly "air sense" develops and know your exact position and attitude during a flip [the skill]. Yet, we all watch highly trained olympic athletes bumble it, and be inconsistent
The kind of guide/indication the question is seeking
If you apply the 1/60 rule during landing you can then conclude that for every ~20ft of forward travel (at 3-degrees glide-path), you're dropping 1ft in height.
This can be very helpful in knowing when and were to round out and Jacobson's Flare seems based on this. Furthermore, the paint marks on the runway are known lengths so you can tell height loss passing the start and end of a painted segment.
The trouble is: you need to have a known starting height e.g. height at threshold; and the Altimeter, or one's brain aren't the most accurate of tools for this.
The question is investigating the possibility of other visual references queues that could inform the pilot regarding ground-effect and round-out height similar to the not-so-easy-to-miss sign of buffeting before some stalls.