Soft Field Landings

Soft Field Landings
Soft Field Landings

How To Make A Perfect Soft Field Landing

Spring is here, which means if you’re planning to touch down on a grass or dirt strip soon, it’s time to brush up on your soft-field landing skills.


Soft field landings are pretty much the same as normal landings, until you cross the runway threshold. That’s where you need to put your soft field landing technique into place.

So what are the steps of a good soft field landing? We’ll break it down into three phases: approach to landing, touchdown, and rollout.


To make a great soft field landing, you need to start with a stabilized approach. Being stabilized ensures that you touch down where you want, and that you transfer your aircraft’s weight from the wings to the wheels as gently as possible.

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In-Flight Electrical Fire

In-flight Electrical Fire
In-flight Electrical Fire

How To Survive An In-Flight Electrical Fire

Ask any experienced pilot what they think is the worst in-flight emergency, and they’ll probably tell you “fire.” Most pilots feel comfortable with their ability to land an airplane without power, but a fire can be truly terrifying.

Fires are rare. But if you do have an in-flight fire in a light aircraft, there’s a good chance it will be electrical.

It goes without saying that electrical fires can be very dangerous. In 1998, an electrical fire brought down Swissair Flight 111. And with all the wiring in modern aircraft, there are lots of possible sources for ignition.


Electrical fires usually start when a short in your electrical system causes an arc. Over time, chafing can wear away the insulation on your wires. And if two open wires touch, they can arc.

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Power-On Stalls

Power-on stalls

Power-On Stalls Happen Where You Least Expect Them

Ask someone where they think a power-on stall is likely to happen, and they usually say “takeoff”. But there are relatively few power-on stall accidents during takeoff, mostly because pilots are focused on one thing: takeoff.

Power-on stalls happen more often during go-around, and there are three reasons why. During a go-around distractions are high, the aircraft is trimmed for landing, and retracting flaps causes a pitch change.


Pilots typically go-around for two reasons:

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What’s more dangerous

What's more dangerous?
What’s more dangerous?

What’s More Dangerous: Light Or Strong Crosswinds?

When you think of landing accidents that happen in a crosswind, you usually think of windy days. Really windy days.

And it’s true, a lot of landing accident do happen when the wind is gusting to 25 knots or more. But a surprising number of these accidents happen when the winds are light – even when the wind is less than 10 knots.

How is that possible? When you’re dealing with a light crosswind, you only need a little correction to maintain centerline, right?

Here are three landing accidents from the NTSB’s database where the crosswind component was less than 10 knots. We’ll go through each of them, and then talk about what went wrong.

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Leading Edge Slats

Leading Edge Slats
Leading Edge Slats

Here’s How Leading Edge Slats Get You Off The Ground

If you’re flying a piston aircraft, chances are, you don’t have slats. Unless, of course, you’re flying a STOL aircraft.

But if you’re flying a swept-wing jet, chances are you do have slats. And you need them, if you want to get off the ground.

Leading edge slats are typically found on the wings of fast aircraft. And when they’re extended, they change the shape of your wing, increasing lift and delaying a stall.

There are two types of movable slats: automatic, and powered. And…drumroll please…here’s how they both work.


Automatic slats aren’t managed by you. They’re spring-loaded and managed by airflow.

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