WHY EVERY PILOT SHOULD PRACTICE POWER-OFF 180 LANDINGS
It’s unlikely you’ll ever have an engine failure abeam the aim point markers on downwind…so why are power-off 180s so important to practice?
WHAT EXACTLY IS A ‘POWER-OFF 180?’
Performing a power-off 180 is just what it sounds like. Abeam an aiming point on downwind, engine power is cut to idle (at or below 1000 feet AGL per ACS standards), and you maneuver to land as close to that preselected point as possible. Most pilots pitch for best glide speed, at least initially, to improve chances of making the runway point.
While it’s not usually a required maneuver for private pilots, it’s a great maneuver to practice for any pilot. The ACS has the following standards for maneuver completion: “Touch down within -0/+200 feet from the specified touchdown point with no side drift, minimum float, and with the airplane’s longitudinal axis aligned with and over the runway centerline.”