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Aviation News Talk podcast

Aug 26, 2017

You’ve undoubtedly heard of a stabilized approach and know it’s helpful to have one prior to landing. But many pilots don’t know all of the elements of a stabilized approach, or the potential expense of an unstable approach. Last year, two pilots I know dug deep into their wallets to pay for damage resulting from landings that followed unstable approaches. Both considered going around, but didn’t. The pilots of an IFR charter fight into Akron, Ohio in November 2015 weren’t so lucky; everyone died after their unstable approach. So what is a stabilized approach, and why does it matter? Cirrus Aircraft’s Flight Operations Manual gives a good description. It says: “A stabilized approach is characterized by a constant angle and constant rate of descent approach profile ending near the touch-down point. Stabilized approach criteria apply to all approaches including practice power-off approaches.“ It goes on to say that for VFR landings, an “approach is considered stabilized when all of the following criteria are achieved by 500' AGL:

  • Proper airspeed,
  • Correct flight path,
  • Correct aircraft configuration for phase of flight,
  • Appropriate power setting for aircraft configuration,
  • Normal angle and rate of descent,
  • Only minor corrections are required to correct deviations.

A go-around must be executed if the above conditions are not met, and the aircraft is not stabilized by 500' AGL.” This episode contains lots of tips to help you consistently fly stable approaches every time you fly the traffic pattern, including tips for long, straight-in approaches, which often lead to unstable approaches. Click here for the listener survey. Tell us what flight planning tools you use when planning a longer flight. Please visit my new Patreon page and make a contribution to help me with my goal of improving the website. You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email. News Stories