If you really want to impress another pilot with your landings, explain to them HOW you do it

If you really want to impress another pilot with your landings, explain to them HOW you do it

If you really want to impress another pilot with your landings, explain to them HOW you do it

It’s a very natural thing … for anyone … to want to show your mates, your buddies, supervisors, or even examiners, just how well you can land your airplane. After all, you’ve now got the hang of it … on this airplane type. You’ve practised, you’ve mis-landed a couple of times, maybe; you’ve flared a bit too early and landed a bit long, but hey, that’s better than flaring late and ending up with a firm, short touchdown.

Now, you can display your skills … but can you display them consistently well? At any airfield? In challenging conditions? We’ve probably all thought (if not stated): “I’ll show you how it’s done”, only to find that the result was less brilliant than we had hoped for.

The problem:

The un-acknowledged, but honest truth is that NONE of us were ever actually taught HOW to land a plane. Sure, we were briefed on WHAT we were supposed to do; and it was demonstrated to us what we were expected to reproduce. But we were never actually taught HOW. Now, that is not really surprising, because the conventional skills needed to learn to land a plane may be compared with those of a child learning to hit a nail with a hammer. The more you hit, the better you get; but the best of carpenters still bend a nail, occasionally. The same applies to sporting stars playing any ball game; the best of them can still manage to mis-hit or mis-kick the ball … when it matters most. And the best of pilots can mis-land.

Has anyone ever seen a decent book or video on HOW to hit a nail with a hammer? No? This is because a sequence of physical motor skills is difficult to put into simple words and things like pressure, speed and other nuances are subtle and virtually un-quantifiable, without scientific instruments at hand.

And so, we resort to lovely words like judgment, perception, feel and experience, none of which can be taught; and we tell ourselves that if we practise, over and over, then the repetition will provide the results we are seeking. This has been handed down, without question, for over 100 years, while everything else in aviation has moved on.

We’ve even kidded ourselves that this airplane type or that one needs a special technique, so we were tutored to ‘forget everything you’ve been told and do this’ … such as the dopey part-flare and then roll-forward-and-reduce-thrust-back-to-idle party trick I’ve witnessed, often, on the beautiful B727, B737 and DC-9, only because certain pilots did not understand the correct flare height to flare those airplanes. When the roll-forward part was executed, with thrust still around 70% N1 (fan RPM), the airplanes took off down the runway, in ground effect, like scalded cats, often requiring heavy braking effort after a deep touchdown.

The problem is we didn’t then have a universal, quantifiable and consistent approach and landing flare technique.

The solution:

Since 1987, we’ve had such a technique – the Jacobson Flare – and now we have an intelligent and incisive explanation on HOW to land a plane. Now, you can really impress other pilots because you can explain, factually and simply, HOW you do it. You’ll also be able to show them.


Wishing you many safe landings


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP


Would you care to experience that unsurpassed sense of accomplishment, derived from executing consistently beautiful landings, more often?

For starters, Download the FREE Jacobson Flare LITE, our no fuss/no frills introduction. Here we demonstrate, step by step, the application of the Jacobson Flare on a typical grass airstrip at Porepunkah, YPOK.


We invite you to browse the consistently positive comments on our Testimonials page. Many pilots, of all levels of experience, have downloaded our Apps. Read about their own experiences with the Jacobson Flare technique and the App.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an aeroplane: You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT. Moreover, you’ll have an invaluable reference tool, throughout your entire life in aviation.

Download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare App for iOS devices now.


We invite you, also, to review our new, FREE companion app,

offering a convenient way of staying abreast of our latest blogs.


Download the Jacobson Flare NEWS App for iOS devices now.

David Jacobson