The Jacobson Flare rounds-up the loose ends

The Jacobson Flare rounds-up the loose ends

Whenever the subject of landings is discussed, the expression ‘can of worms‘ often comes into the discussion. It’s a term that loosely refers to the multitude of variable factors at play, when an approach and landing is executed. It attempts, also, to describe the challenge, the frustration and seeming impossibility to understand and to constrain these factors with consistency. A key issue is that these factors vary, individually and collectively and they present with different emphasis, on each and every single landing.



For over 100 years pilots have attempted to react and respond to each ‘worm‘, as it appears and this only adds to the dilemma. An old saying goes, “when you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s sometimes really difficult to remember that your initial aim was to drain the swamp!” Conventionally, we just keep attempting to correct our own corrections, as we stumble towards the landing, which takes only 5-6 seconds and the landing cannot be adequately mastered in 5-6 sec repetitive ‘grabs’, during a session of circuits.

And therein lies the main problem: we forgot that initial aim: ‘to drain the swamp’, or to relate back to the landing, we forgot – at least until 1985 – to research and to define the main common denominator to all landings, namely the pilot’s eye path. By understanding and then flying this predictable eye path, we can all fly a consistent and stable approach and landing in any airplane. The ‘worms‘ are still present, BUT they are ALL taken into account, without you needing to wrestle with them, one by one. They are still present, but they are constrained.

When a pilot can fully understand:

  1. Where to aim, then we have a definite initial target for our eye path – aim point 1.;
  2. How to aim, then we can fly a consistent eye path to that initial aim point. The approach path angle, aircraft attitude and the cockpit lower visual cut-off angle (the lowest angle you can see over the nose, ignoring any visible engine cowling) and airspeed become very much more stable, with minimal corrections required; You won’t get high and fast, or low and slow and have to make big corrections.
  3. When to flare, based on a visual fix – NOT a guess of height, then the flare point becomes consistent;
  4. How much to flare, by the selection an additional aim point 2, related to the runway slope (level or not), together with:
  5. How fast to flare, then the classic, long-sought after exponential curved flare manoeuvre can be executed, consistently well, achieving a perfect touchdown on or just beyond the original aim point 1.

These 5 elements combine to present the Jacobson Flare as a complete approach and landing training technique for ALL fixed-wing airplanes that are flared for landing and the variables are accounted for.

Compare this with conventional techniques, where pilots are often pitching up and down chasing airspeed; and then having to make coarse throttle adjustments, in the mistaken belief that this will control the rate of descent and, therefore the path angle. These are very second-rate methods that hark back to the earliest days of aviation and they have remained unchallenged since World War 1, except for the Jacobson Flare. If they were ever valid, they are most certainly not, now, when every other subject and manoeuvre in the flight training syllabus is defined, precisely.

At an approach ground speed of, say 80 kts, a 2nm approach from 600ft will occupy just 90 seconds, with the flare itself, adding a further 5-6 seconds. That’s not a long time, each time, to ‘get the hang of it’.

It is just not possible to understand the approach and landing manoeuvres through the classic, repetitive pre- and post-flight briefings, together with 5-6 sec repetitive ‘grabs’, during a session of circuits.

The worlds’ textbooks, training manuals and YouTube clips remain silent on HOW to Land a Plane, because they are still trying to contain these ‘worms‘, while The Jacobson Flare has rounded-up ALL of the loose ends, since 1985. 


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.


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David Jacobson