captain-david-jacobson

Planning the final-approach commences at the end of it… NOT the start

From the time that a student pilot ‘escapes‘ the familiar bounds of the circuit area of his or her ‘home‘ airfield, a new challenge (among many others) is to understand how to plan the re-entry to the circuit, either at ‘home‘, again, or at a new an unfamiliar airfield, when starting to venture ‘cross-country‘. No two airfields are alike, for many reasons.

The generally-standard circuit entry tracking and altimetry procedures for both ATC-controlled and uncontrolled airfields and aerodromes are well documented by aviation authorities’ publications: But what about the considerations applying to the   re-configuring of the airplane with landing gear and flaps and the finer points of airspeed control? Has your flight instructor offered any advice, or referred you to a written explanation?

Have you ever been made aware of a universal technique – one that can be applied in any situation: Whether VFR or IFR? Small airplane or large? High performance or not? Many pilots haven’t and resort to just ‘winging it‘ (no pun intended) on each and every approach. That makes it hard to be safe, efficient and graceful.

There is such a simple and well-proven technique; however, interestingly, the planning starts at the END of the approach … NOT the start. It may prove quite helpful before and, perhaps, even after you gain further flying experience. We approach airfields in 3-dimensions, so why not add altitude into the mix?

For EVERY approach, in ANY airplane, the simple key is to decide on a ‘Height above (runway)threshold(elevation) – (HAT), by which the airplane should be fully re-configured for landing, and fully stable: That is, established on the runway centreline, on a standard 3º approach path angle – to the correct visual aim point for the subject airplane – and stabilised on the correct approach airspeed (Vapp). This ideal condition is often referred, colloquially, as being established ‘in the slot‘.

(Note: Vapp is based on Vref for the landing weight and landing flap setting, plus additives for variations in airfield elevation, ambient temperature and wind velocity. In turn, Vref is based on 1.3-times the stall speed for that landing weight and landing flap setting.)

This height will vary for each airplane size, weight and approach speed. For example, many airlines use 1000ft HAT, when in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and 500ft HAT, for visual meteorological conditions (VMC). Furthermore, the pilot not flying (PNF) makes the standard call, “1000 STABLE” or “500 STABLE“, as appropriate, or “500 GO-AROUND“, if the approach is assessed as unstable and, therefore, unsafe to continue the approach.

For much smaller RA and GA aircraft, figures of, say 300ft HAT (VMC) and 800 or 1000ft (IMC) may be considered suitable.

The point is, that this HAT becomes the basis of the approach sequencing, BACK from which the pilot computes when to make each successive flap and landing gear selection and reduce airspeed accordingly, until finally configured and stable by the selected HAT.

The following example illustrates the technique:

My former employer, Qantas Airways Ltd had a standard operating procedure (SOP), among many, that stipulated 500ft HAT (VMC) and 1000ft HAT (IMC) as the target height at which the aircraft had to be stabilised, with landing gear extended, flaps 30º or 40º (whichever was decided) and stabilised ‘in the slot‘ and on the selected approach speed. In the interests of simplicity – and safety, to avoid making a rushed approach, it was my practice to assume 1000ft HAT for all landings.

Now, in order to allow time for the flaps to run from 25º to 30º or 40º and for the airspeed to reduce and to stabilise on VApp, it was appropriate to select flaps 30º or 40º at 1200ft HAT. Experience on type proved that 500ft height intervals between the successive configuration changes were ideal. Working backwards up the approach, shows how the sequence plan is unfolded.

Note: It can be seen that the ‘end of descent‘ was located, nominally, at approximately 13nm from the runway threshold, at 3700ft, at Vref 40º +70 KIAS, at which point the first selection to Flaps 1º and Vref 40º +50 KIAS could be made, to be stabilised at 3500ft and so on.

It should be noted, also, that the technique is not restricted to straight-in approaches. A further advantage offered by the 500ft stepped configuration changes technique is that it lends itself readily to ‘bending‘ around a circuit or instrument approach procedure. 

                       

Similar flap extension schedules can be developed for other airplane types. Here’s an example for the Cirrus SR 22:

                                            

There are major benefits of this HAT-sequencing technique. The first is that it can be tailored to any airfield, simply by adding the runway threshold elevation to the preferred HAT figures. (If the runway threshold elevation was, say 430ft AMSL, then that figure could be rounded to 500ft and added to each ‘gate‘. So, in the Cirrus SR 22 example, above, flaps 50%/16º would be selected at 1500ft QNH, with the airplane stabilised at 85-90 KIAS by 1300ft QNH.  Then, flaps 100%/32º would be selected at 1000ft QNH and stabilised at 80-85KIAS by 8ooft QNH.

This intelligent technique can be applied to both a straight-in approach situation, or ‘bent‘ around the  applicable legs of a circuit. A further benefit is a smooth and stable re-configuring schedule that is comfortable for fare-paying passengers (remember them?) and un-hurried in its execution, improving flight safety, in the process. Finally, the 500ft intervals in the sequence provide some predictable ‘space‘, to re-assess, to execute landing checklists and to receive, consider and respond to radio calls.

May we suggest that you consider the above in reference to your airplane and then give it a go: It works.

 

Happy Landings

 

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

Read what pilots of all levels of experience have to say about the Jacobson Flare technique and the App, on our Testimonials page.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS or Android. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an airplane : You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT.

We invite you, also, to download our new, FREE companion app : the Jacobson Flare NEWS.

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for iOS

Download The Jacobson Flare for iOS devices now.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for Android

Download The Jacobson Flare for Android now.

“I’ve just lost my treasured aviation job: What do I do, now?”

Happy New Year 2021 to all of our friends and supporters around the world.

Thanks to the current and unrelenting Covid-19 pandemic, the world is witnessing unprecedented restrictions and shutdowns in trade, industry, commerce, education and transport, to name a select few. Aviation, particularly, has been hit hard. 20/20 hindsight has taken on a whole new meaning!

Airlines have stood-down entire fleets of old and new international and domestic jet transports, such as the A380, A350, B747 and B787 and positioned them in desert airports; Loyal, long-term staff, in many categories, including senior aircrew, have been stood-down; some have even been offered voluntary and forced redundancy packages. Fleets of training aircraft stand idle.

Some airlines and many general aviation companies, such as flying schools, have been forced into administration for various reasons. Many pilots have, for the first time, found themselves considering temporary and permanent re-employment and re-training alternatives to their cherished first choice: flying. And this hurts, badly, because a professional pilot does not regard flying so much as work, but as sheer joy. The trick is to find as secure a suitable and satisfying position as possible and then embrace it, fully.

We hope, sincerely, that all who wish to may find new positions in their chosen career, by reducing to turbulence penetration speed, tightening your seat belts and riding out the rough air. This will never be just a ‘storm in a teacup‘, but it will pass.

Nevertheless, it’s always tough when this stuff occurs and I wish to offer some reassurance that, sooner or later, other doors will open for you; the professionalism, knowledge and skills that you have honed will not be wasted. Over my 55 years in the industry, when things like this have occurred, I cannot recall anyone, who was totally dedicated to the profession, failing to secure a new position, better than the last and, hopefully, in no time at all. I wish everyone success for the future.

The airline scene and flight training will open up again and when it does, there will be many gaps to fill – perhaps more than ever before. Utilise this opportune time to upgrade your ATPL theory subjects and any other related qualification; apply everywhere that is of interest to you and update those applications: every 100 hours, every specialist rating or renewal, every airplane type endorsement, gas turbine theory, (almost to what you received at Christmas and what you had for lunch yesterday!), etc, etc. Add further value to your C.V. It won’t be wasted. Any excuse to make some clerk, somewhere, re-open and update your application file and maybe remark, to someone important, “Gee, this one is really keen”: They’ll get so sick of hearing from you, they’ll offer you a job! (It worked for me, back in 1969!)

DJ Beechcraft B23 (VH-CFG) at Mangalore VIC 18  September 1965

DJ B737-838 Melbourne VIC 22 June 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

May I commend some further reading: the blogs, https://www.jacobsonflare.com/from-our-logbooks/the-best-advice-i-was-ever-offered-by-the-best-pilot-i-ever-flew-with-captain-geoffrey-w-lushey-dfm-7-july-2020/ and

https://www.jacobsonflare.com/from-our-logbooks/just-sayings-building-pilots-resilience-in-aviation-august-16-2020/

In the meantime, understand that it doesn’t matter so much when something goes wrong: What matters is what you do about it.

Don’t wait for ’someone’ to fix it: Take whatever steps you see fit, to take command of your own destiny, as soon as possible. That’s how you will survive this regrettable situation and fly further, faster and higher than ever.

Happy Landings, everyone.

 

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

Read what pilots of all levels of experience have to say about the Jacobson Flare technique and the App, on our Testimonials page.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS or Android. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an airplane : You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT.

We invite you, also, to download our new, FREE companion app : the Jacobson Flare NEWS.

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for iOS

Download The Jacobson Flare for iOS devices now.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for Android

Download The Jacobson Flare for Android now.

Generation Next: Part 2 The Jacobson Flare was to be standardised at Soar Aviation, but … *

Following on from our last post, Generation Next, which highlighted a group of young aviators, comes another exciting story with amazing potential for Australian Aviation. This one focuses on a special group of dedicated flight instructors, open-minded, honest and totally professional who are already improving the shape of future aviation training.

On 15-16 December 2020, a total of 7 additional (9 in all) senior Flight Instructor/managers, at Soar Aviation’s YMMB (Moorabbin, Melbourne VIC) campus, demonstrated and subsequently were certified as proficient at applying and instructing the Jacobson Flare.

This completed another key phase in the implementation of the Jacobson Flare as the standard approach and landing training technique, at Soar. It follows initial mass briefings at Moorabbin, detailed Zoom briefings to both the Melbourne- and Sydney-based flight instructing staff, a comprehensive ‘App-open’ theory assessment of knowledge and thorough development of pre-flight briefing material, to be shared with Box Hill Institute in their joint collaboration. One pilot was honest enough to explain that, initially, he was a sceptic of the Jacobson Flare (as was I, when I first thought of it!); but now, he is a convert.

However, an additional, unplanned and unexpected aspect of the assessment occurred:

I was simply blown away by the highest levels of professionalism, conscientiousness, enthusiasm, competence, confidence and mature temperament, demonstrated by every single pilot with whom I had the privilege to fly. From weight and balance computations, walkaround inspections, fuel management, use of checklists and standard operating procedures (SOPs), passenger and take-off briefings, right through EVERY aspect of the conduct of each and every flight, these young, yet experienced pilots demonstrated the highest levels of that intangible quality, Airmanship. Nothing whatsoever was overlooked, ignored or neglected. They are a credit to themselves and their organisation.

It was really gratifying to be able to take a glimpse into the future of Soar Aviation … and it was looking good.

* BUT … a further, unexpected aspect then occurred:

Regrettably, Soar Aviation was put into administration on 29 December 2020, according to notices published by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). It wasn’t the only flight training organisation to cease flying**.

The Jacobson Flare Pty Ltd expresses its sadness in learning of these unfortunate developments. No-one wants to hear of aviation companies failing, at any time, but this has happened at a time when Australia was coming out the Covid lockdowns, that were endured during 2020.

One positive. at least, to come out of this is that this group of professional instructors is qualified to take the Jacobson Flare with them, into their future endeavours, their every next airplane and for the benefit of their future  students. We wish them every success, in the future.

** In addition, an old friend, China Southern WA Flying College, entered liquidation on 21 December 2020. Back in 1999, this college HALVED its courses’ average flying times to first solo, following their introduction of the Jacobson Flare, as their standard approach and landing training technique.

The official, original statistics from that time are available, on request, to info@jacobsonflare.com

 

 

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

Read what pilots of all levels of experience have to say about the Jacobson Flare technique and the App, on our Testimonials page.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS or Android. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an airplane : You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT.

We invite you, also, to download our new, FREE companion app : the Jacobson Flare NEWS.

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for iOS

Download The Jacobson Flare for iOS devices now.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for Android

Download The Jacobson Flare for Android now.

 

Generation Next and the Jacobson Flare: Australian Flying Magazine – Nov/Dec 2020

From the earliest stages, back in 1985-87, David Jacobson has shared all aspects of the development of the Jacobson Flare, with as many students, pilots, instructors and other key stakeholders as were interested – for a number of sound reasons:

He wanted immediate feedback, to confirm whether or not he had discovered something interesting, worthwhile and viable;

He would have been no less excited about the breakthrough in HOW to explain the landing manoeuvre, factually and with solid quantification, no matter who had discovered it;

He felt strongly that others could take immediate advantage of the Jacobson Flare, even as each stage was rolled out and refined and then re-refined, ignorer to improve flight safety; and

He needed others to make independent assessments of the technique and presentation, from the very raw and clumsy initial depictions of 1985, right through to the launching of www.jacobsonflare.com in 2008 and the release of the two editions of the Jacobson Flare App for the iPad (2014) and then for both iOS and Android devices, together with the free companion Jacobson Flare News App (2020).

David has always shared the Jacobson Flare, personally tutoring hundreds of pilots directly and thousands more, via the Jacobson Flare Apps. He is always overwhelmed by how far the acceptance of his work has progressed, since those early days, not to mention his original inspiration in 1965, while learning to fly as a 17 yo student pilot. Pilot comments made quite spontaneously, such as ‘having the elegant simplicity of the safety pin‘, ‘simple, unassailable, aerodynamic logic‘ and ‘you are the very first instructor ever to have taught me HOW to land an aeroplane‘, have provided valuable feedback and the continuing impetus to keep going and to do better at highlighting pilot awareness of its existence.

Encouraging flying schools and other flight training organisations to adopt the Jacobson Flare as their standard training technique, for the approach and landing manoeuvre has always been a big priority. Of course, we are aware of some, but it is impossible to know just how many have done so, but occasionally something very exciting pops up. The respected journal, Australian Flying, recently published an article, highlighting a group of young Australian student and licenced pilots, several of whom have trained at Avia Aviation, at Moorabbin Airport (YMMB), Victoria.

After considerable reflection and research on their part, Avia paid us the ultimate compliment of adopting the Jacobson Flare as their mandated approach and landing training technique and it is surely gratifying to learn of the steady and safe progress made by these young aviators, who have been introduced to the Jacobson Flare at such an early stage and will be able to rely on the incomparable benefits of this revolutionary tool, throughout their entire flying experience.

We highly commend The Australian Flarticle:   Generation Next

Happy Landings

 

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

Read what pilots of all levels of experience have to say about the Jacobson Flare technique and the App, on our Testimonials page.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS or Android. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an airplane : You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT.

We invite you, also, to download our new, FREE companion app : the Jacobson Flare NEWS.

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for iOS

Download The Jacobson Flare for iOS devices now.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare Apps – for Android

Download The Jacobson Flare for Android now.

 

 

Inviting Expressions of Interest: FREE Jacobson Flare Zoom Meetings with Captain David Jacobson

The Covid 19 world pandemic has prompted the widespread application of meeting apps, such as Zoom and this has prompted an immensely practical idea – especially if you are not flying very much, right now and wish to finesse your landings, before you start, again:

  • Are you a Jacobson Flare fan?
  • Are you a Jacobson Flare sceptic?
  • Are you thinking of purchasing the JF App, but want to know more, first?
  • Are you concerned that the Jacobson Flare is too complicated or mathematical?
  • Have you tried to use it, but were not satisfied with the results?
  • Have you a question or issue that you’d like to raise?

 

If any of these questions prompted a ‘yes’, then you are invited to contact us, at info@jacobsonflare.com and register to attend one of a series of FREE, English-language, non-complex discussion on ZOOM, about any aspect of the Jacobson Flare with the author, developer and director, Captain David Jacobson.

A highly experienced pilot and flight instructor, David would love to help you to finally understand the landing manoeuvre, whatever your level of experience – and whatever your airplane type – simply and clearly.

Perhaps you have a group of friends, club members, fellow students or flight instructors that you wish to have join us, too? They are welcome.

We will assess the number of interested pilots, together with their locations and arrange a suitable date and time to meet with you, on Zoom.

Come on, RSVP, asap and we’ll get going! Contact info@jacobsonflare.com

 

The Jacobson Flare – Simple. Logical. Quantifiable. Universal. Unassailable.  

 

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

Read what pilots of all levels of experience have to say about the Jacobson Flare technique and the App, on our Testimonials page.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS or Android. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an airplane : You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare App – for iOS

Download The Jacobson Flare for iOS devices now.

 

** NEW ** The Jacobson Flare App – for Android

Download The Jacobson Flare for Android now.