from-our-logbooks

Non-normal checklists don’t always cover the situation : the Jacobson Flare does

Throughout an aviation career spanning 55 years and 24,500 hours, a pilot is bound to encounter some non-normal situations along the way. Licence renewal checks, conducted in the modern and very sophisticated digital flight simulators offer fantastic, accelerated learning experiences for pilots at all levels, with zero safety risk to crews and airplanes. However, unless a company flight training department – or an individual flight instructor/examiner – has some imagination, most exercises rely heavily on the manufacturer’s Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) and its unique and quite definitive Non-Normal checklists for the airplane type.

The non-normal events that I experienced, over that 55-year period, were more often than not either a combination of issues from more than one system, or an issue out of ‘left field‘, that did not match, exactly, any non-normal checklist. The ability of pilots to think ‘outside the square’ is a definite advantage.

This is the fifth article in a planned occasional series, sharing some most memorable and treasured experiences. This one is also from my own career : We do plan to feature other, highly esteemed pilot friends and colleagues, who are only too willing to share their collective aviation experience. The crucial lessons that we learned along the way are just as valid today. They contribute, in no small way, to that intangible but essential quality known in aviation as ‘airmanship’.

A great example of this is a non-normal landing I once executed at Adelaide, South Australia, in a B737-400. On approach to runway 23, flaps 1º extended perfectly normally, with correct indications for both leading and trailing edge flaps. On selection of flaps 5º, The flap gauge L & R needles ’stuck’, just as the second stage, Flaps 5º was running. The anticipated change in trim seemed to suggest that the flaps had run to 5º, but my First Officer and I couldn’t confirm this on the flap gauge. Further, the B737 flap asymmetry protection system takes its signals from the L and R flap gauge needles – and the gauge was now u/s. The leading edge devices were confirmed as fully extended by their separate LED indicators and, cross-checking attitude, airspeed and thrust setting,  we believed that we probably had trailing edge flaps at 5º. We just couldn’t confirm this, as there are no painted ‘witness’ position calibration marks presented on the flaps, as they extend.

After referring to the Non-normal checklists, we established that there wasn’t a dedicated procedure for this particular issue. On conferring with our company engineers by radio, we decided it was prudent NOT to attempt any further flap extension or retraction in the air (in case of any uncontrollable flap asymmetry), and to make the conservative assumption that the trailing edge flaps were fully ‘up’, i.e., 0º and execute a Trailing Edge Flaps-Up landing, as per the non-normal landing checklist for that condition.

At our landing weight, the Vref 40 (1.3 Vs for Flaps 40) airspeed was 136 KIAS. Adding 5kts made the VApp airspeed 141 KIAS. With the trailing edge flaps at 0º, the further additive for the higher Vs was another 40 kts, so we made our final approach at 181 KIAS! That looked pretty fast, as we crossed the threshold.

I aimed at the standard B737 aiming point, at 1000ft from the threshold and flared as the glare shield passed the 500ft point – same as for a normal Flaps 30º or 40º, utilising my own ‘Jacobson Flare’ technique. The only correction I needed to make was to position the aim point 1 LOWER in the windscreen, due the much higher nose-up body angle (8-9º, instead of the usual 2.5-3º nose-up), using the autopilot-coupled ILS to confirm both glide path and visual eye path.

We actually touched down in the pre-determined spot – aiming point 1 – same as any JF landing and I rolled through to the full length of the runway, to spare the brakes, wheels and tyres from excessive heat – and to take full advantage of the Aviation Rescue and Fire Fighting units we had requested to attend, in the event of any tyre or brake failure or fire. When we shut down, the brakes were probably cooler than for a normal landing, when we might brake more heavily, to make a designated runway exit taxyway. On turn-around, the flap indicator gauge was replaced and the issue was resolved.

The lessons learned and offered are that:

1.    Sometimes, a non-normal event doesn’t exactly match a published non-normal procedure.

2.   The Jacobson Flare self-compensates for these non-normal flap configurations and airspeeds. Just remember that the aim point position in the windscreen might vary from its usual position for a normal landing, due to a different airplane body angle caused by the different flap configuration. The longitudinal flare fix of the Jacobson Flare also self-compensates, automatically, for uphill- and downhill-sloping runways, approach path angle variations and the classic cause of flare ‘height‘ illusions, runway widths different from those of our more familiar airports.

 

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.

Trust your instincts : your very own, built-in Master Warning system

Nearly 30 years ago while suffering from sinusitis, I had been on a few days’ sick leave. The lessons I learned, from a premature return to my airline flight duties as a B737 Captain were well worthwhile : and well worth sharing. Sometimes, things just don’t feel quite right …

This is the fourth article in a planned occasional series, sharing some most memorable and treasured experiences. This one is also from my own career : We do plan to feature other, highly esteemed pilot friends and colleagues, who are only too willing to share their collective aviation experience. The crucial lessons that we learned along the way are just as valid today. They contribute, in no small way, to that intangible but essential quality known in aviation as ‘airmanship’.

After about 5 days off duty, I telephoned Australian Airlines’ crewing department and advised that I was fit for reserve duty ‘tomorrow’. The response, “Great, DJ, but it’s not reserve duty anymore: It’s a Melbourne-Sydney return (MEL-SYD-MEL), early tomorrow morning.”

In the middle of a course of antibiotics, I returned to our kitchen to help my wife prepare dinner and promptly sliced my thumb, instead of an onion! Four hours later, with a freshly-stitched and bandaged thumb, I rang crewing back and advised I was back on sick leave for one more day, feeling well able to commence a 2-day trip on the following morning.

Two mornings later, while I was driving out to Melbourne Airport, I realised that I’d forgotten to pack my anti-biotic tablets. ‘Oh well, it’s only a 2-day trip – bad luck‘, I thought.

After parking and making my way to the MEL terminal, I signed on and prepared to flight plan our first day’s flying: Melbourne-Adelaide-Alice Springs-Darwin (MEL-ADL-ASP-DRW). As I reached in my jacket pocket for my reading glasses, I realised that I’d left them at home, too. ‘Oh we’ll, we’re only flying 6 sectors over the 2 days and only one is at night‘, I reasoned. ‘I do have my second, tinted pair of sunglasses and my first officer can fly the last leg: I’ll just crank up my cockpit lighting!’

We completed and filed the flight plan, headed for the gate, to pre-flight our B737-300; we even managed to push back on time – a minor miracle of logistics, I always thought!

After some time after take-off, well-established in the climb, we both became aware of a somewhat disconcerting irregular and intermittent noise that seemed to emanate from outside and under the nose of the aircraft. I thought it sounded ‘mechanical‘, like the ground engineer’s access panel for the headphone socket; my FO thought it sounded more like some sort of odd electronic signal, coming from the cockpit aural warning speaker, situated on the side of the centre pedestal, between us, by his left knee. We couldn’t resolve the issue, either way. It certainly didn’t seem serious and we wrote it up in the aircraft technical log, for the engineers in ADL to assess.

After arrival and engine shut-down in ADL, my first question to the receiving engineer after he plugged in, was whether or not the access panel was open on arrival. It wasn’t, so we started exploring other possible causes of the unusual sound we had experienced. In the middle of that discussion, he asked us to confirm our fuel uplift for the next sector to Alice Springs. I gave him the figure from memory, without first confirming from our flight plan.

The penny dropped as we were completing our cockpit preparation, while our passengers were still boarding: I had given the engineer the wrong fuel figure. 8.00 tonnes, not 11.0, as planned. There were no weather considerations, but we had planned to carry Mount ISA, in Queensland, the then nearest alternate aerodrome, as Alice has just one usable runway. Many experienced pilots take this precaution, in such circumstances: it widens the options. I asked the FO to radio our company and request the refuellers back to top us up to 11.0 tonnes.

The first officer seemed reluctant to do so; I asked again. He said, “We’ll be delayed”. I replied, “I don’t care, I want the fuel. He kept pushing: “But 8.00 tonnes is legal.” “But is it safe?”, I asked. He kept on resisting my request to call the company. We needed a circuit breaker.

I said, “Just give me a minute: I want to meditate.” “You want to WHAT?”, he asked. “I want to meditate.” I closed my eyes briefly, ignoring him and everything else, while I re-capped the day’s progress, so far. I’d left my tablets and my glasses at home, We still had the noise issue, unresolved by the engineers – and – I’d caused the wrong fuel figure to be loaded. After about 30 seconds, I opened my eyes and looked at my watch. It wasn’t even 0900 hrs.

The B737 Master Warning light would not have been any clearer than the instinctive message I had received: I turned to my FO and asked of him, “How many events does it take to create a decent incident, or even an accident?” “Oh, say 5-7?”

“That’s right”, I said, “We are already up to 4: Do you want to try for 5, or 6? I’m not enjoying today, so far. Now, are you familiar with the term, ‘Command Decision’?”  “Yes, of course”, he said.  “Well mate, this is one of them. Now please – call the company – I want that fuel.”  We had to wait ages for the tanker to return and we finally departed about 17 minutes late, self-chastened, but feeling much more comfortable. The paperwork could wait until later. (The unusual ‘noise’ issue was never actually resolved by the engineers – but neither did it re-occur on the subsequent 2 sectors.)

The leg above the Simpson Desert to Alice Springs was clear and as beautiful as ever and we commenced our descent into Alice.

This is absolutely true: As we passed through 7000 ft at about 25nm out and still at 300kts IAS, the Tower controller called us and asked, “What’s your fuel endurance (fuel remaining, expressed in minutes), right now?” My FO responded (- we had plenty of fuel to hold and/or to divert to ISA). “Oh, that’s good”, replied the controller, “Because we have a disabled aircraft on the runway, right now.”

The expression on my FO’s face was incredulous. “How did you know that was going to happen“, he asked, “Because you did know, didn’t you?” I replied, “No, I couldn’t have known that a Piper Navaho light twin was going to blow a main gear tyre on landing, but the signs were there, that something along those lines was bound to happen. They just stood out, like that Master Warning red light can.”

We had to hold above Alice Springs for about 50 minutes, so we took the opportunity to do some scenic flying around Alice and the famed McDonnell Ranges in the ‘red centre’, while engineers worked to remove the disabled Navaho from the runway, so we could land. A rival company’s B727, behind us and still well south of Alice, didn’t have any extra fuel to hold and had to return to Adelaide.

On shut-down, the company Traffic Officer boarded and she commented, “We saw the ‘delayed-departure-Captain-wanted-more-fuel’ report in the computer and wondered, ‘What’s he want more fuel for? There’s not a cloud in the sky! Then, we learned about the runway being closed. How did you know that was going to happen, because it hadn’t, at the time of your departure?”

There was nothing concrete that had warned me of that impending event.

I didn’t need it: My instincts had arced up, after I had recognised the way in which  the pattern of our day was unfolding. I was far from comfortable, so I insisted on recovering the situation with something that you can never have too much of: Fuel (- unless, of course, you are on fire!) Our original, flight-planned fuel figure was well researched, as it turned out.

The clear message is: ‘Learn to trust your instincts. They are an invaluable and innate Master Warning System: Something we were all born with. They cost nothing and they do work.

Sometimes, things just don’t feel quite right … it may well be that they’re not.

You can practise developing them further, by applying them as a cross-check of your more conscious thought processes, such as when ordering from a restaurant menu. (How many times have you had an initial instinctive impulse to order a dish, ignored it and then lived to regret it?)

The other great and obvious take-out for me, from this day, was ‘do not return to flying duties (or any critical work) from sick leave, until you have fully recovered‘.

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.

And 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.

A380 landings with The Jacobson Flare

We all make mistakes. It’s how you recover from them that counts – Former A380 & B747 Captain Gary Gould

This is the third article in a planned occasional series, sharing the most memorable and treasured experiences, not only from my own career : We plan to feature other, highly esteemed pilot friends and colleagues, who are only too willing to share their collective aviation experience.

Here, my great friend and colleague Captain Gary Gould, retired from active flying on A380s in 2015, following an illustrious career that began in 1969, shares the VERY SAME LESSON I LEARNED and SHARED*, but in a DIFFERENT CONTEXT.

(* See : The best advice I was ever offered : by the best pilot I ever flew with)

The crucial lessons that we learned along the way are just as valid today. They contribute, in no small way, to that intangible but essential quality known in aviation as ‘airmanship’. Here are Gary’s tales : tall and true.

 “Having spent most of my flying hours in high capacity heavy jet aircraft it is sometimes amusing to look back at things that have enriched one’s flying experience. There are many.

One that quickly comes to mind is when I checked out as a F/O on the 747 Classic. It was 1985 and my company had a consolidation policy that required four sectors within 28 days for newly checked-out pilots. Like all bureaucracies those rules sometimes slipped through the cracks.”

After 52 days, with no consolidation flying and only one complete licence renewal in a simulator, the scheduling panic button was finally pressed, and I was sent out on a multi-sector trip with the most senior Captain in the Company. Luckily for me, a man with a sense of humour. The trip went well and my landings, thankfully, did not reflect my lack of experience.

So, I found myself at ‘O’Dark:30′ flying a left base leg for a visual approach onto runway 03 in Perth WA, having done the night flight down from Singapore. No ILS on 03 in those days. A dark, cold and beautiful morning in Perth. Flying east I identified the ‘runway’ lights and continued on the current track thinking that things looked pretty good. Airspeed, altitude and configuration all good. No FMC’s in those days. Descents/speeds/crossing heights were all done by mental calculation. Flying and calculating, a novel idea these days.

After a while the Captain asked if I had the airport in sight. “Yes, but I can’t see the T-VASIS” was my answer. A few seconds later, the Captain again asked if I had the airport in sight. “Yes, but the runway lights seem a little bright”.

The Captain then tapped me on my left shoulder and pointed to the left, directly across his face and said, “What do you reckon this is?”. Looking out the Captain’s No 2 window I was horrified to see the real runway 03! We were about five miles out and flying directly across the centreline, heading east and by now, flying away from where we should have been!

What was I looking at? There is a railway marshalling yard to the immediate east of Perth airport and, on that night, it was lit with two parallel sets of lights that aligned 03/21, exactly the same as the main runway in Perth.

The shock of my error was hard to overcome. Foolishly I turned toward the runway leaving myself very little time and space to manoeuvre the 747 onto final, (whereas requesting ATC clearance for a RH 270º turn – or another circuit – might have been more appropriate … and graceful). “This will be interesting” said a laconic voice in the left hand seat. All I could think of was that I needed to rescue this error and do a good landing. By some miracle that is exactly what happened. But I really needed to concentrate.

Two days later we were in exactly the same spot, this time with the Captain flying and me doing the wireless. The marshalling yard was lit up in a completely different way. It looked just like a railway marshalling yard. The Captain said, “How anyone could mistake that for an airport is a complete mystery to me”. Talk about putting the knife in and twisting it! My reply is not on record. Runway lighting is bi-directional. Railway marshalling yard lighting (and pretty much all other lighting) is omni-directional.

 

 

Fast forward a few years. I was, by then, a 747 Classic Captain going to Seoul Kimpo in the winter. The F/O was flying, and it was to be a night landing on 14R. Manoeuvring to the north of Kimpo was always a challenge as the border with North Korea was quite close. Thus, both ATC and pilots had to take great care.

We were on a right base leg with about 8 k vis in light snow. We were cleared for final and told to change to the tower frequency. I was doing the radio and the F/O was hand flying. I looked down to change frequencies and felt a strange sensation. Looking back to the instruments we had about 40 degrees of bank on and the nose well down below the horizon, descending at about 1500 fpm. More than double what was needed. I took control of the aircraft and flew it back to where it was supposed to be. ATC were adding to the mayhem on the radio, having picked up our antics on radar. In the snow, streaming through the landing lights, the F/O had identified ‘the airport’ and started to fly towards it. It was a factory, that was well and truly away from the airport itself. He had become spatially disoriented.

Apologising profusely, he seemed OK to take over and complete the landing. I handed control back to him and we continued to the airport. His apologies continued and I simply put my finger to my mouth and said “Shhh”. The subsequent landing was a shocker and we had been told by ATC to hold short of the parallel runway because of departing traffic. As we got closer to the high-speed taxiway, I felt that the F/O was not going to stop so I took over (again) and stopped the aircraft at the holding point. A Korean Air A300 passed in front of us, climbing away.

By this time, I had decided that it was me who was going to complete the taxy to the terminal. The F/O started apologising again, and once again I put my finger to my mouth and said “Shhh”.

The debriefing was interesting. The first thing I said was that it was my fault for handing the aircraft back to the F/O after he misidentified the airport. An error on my part. BUT, had the F/O NOT gone visual so early and stuck with the instruments and the ILS, none of this would have happened. However, my biggest problem with the F/O’s actions was not his flying, but his inability to mentally overcome his errors and get back on the saddle. His bad landing was because he was still thinking of his approach error. His not hearing the “hold short” ATC command happened because he was still thinking of his bad landing. A sequence of self-induced errors that all related to each other. Two of those errors could easily have been fatal. But I did tell him about my effort in Perth.

We all make mistakes. But in aviation, you do not have the luxury of stopping to review the issue(s). You must quickly overcome your shock, self-induced or otherwise, and continue to attend to the aircraft and the path it is taking.

These things underline how something totally innocuous can have a potentially devasting effect. Here is another example, that involves snow and blue lights …

I was training a pilot on the 747 Classic and we had a night departure out of Nagoya. It had been snowing heavily and the whole airport was covered in snow except for the runway. We pushed back and the trainee started to taxy to the duty runway. All we could see was white with taxiway lighting poking through. There was no visual difference between the grass and the taxiway. There were no marks made by previous aircraft. We were the first after the storm.

As he started to move away, the trainee started to lay the tiller over to move further to the right. I said, “where are you going?” He said’ “to the taxiway centreline”. I then told him that Japanese airports had lighting similar to the USA. No green taxiway centreline lights, just blue edge lights. He was heading for the blue edge lights thinking they were the centreline lights. The beauty of this event was twofold. The very last question I was asked during my Command training years before was, “what colour are the taxiway edge lights”. One question out of hundreds. But there was purpose in the question. The other beauty was that my trainee would never repeat this error, following that night. He was, and still is, an excellent pilot.

Airline Training Sections rave on about “TEM”. Threat and error management. Mostly it involves the identifying of potential threats and how to avoid them. But not once during these discussions, have I ever heard anything about the human science of overcoming and errors ONCE THEY HAVE HAPPENED. (Review them when appropriate : in the standard post-flight de-brief.)

We all make mistakes. It’s how you recover from those mistakes that counts.

Gary Gould – June 2020

RPT Pilot: 1969-2015

 

 

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.

And 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.

The best advice I was ever offered : from the best pilot I ever flew with

If you have ever read the epic ‘Fate is the Hunter‘, by Captain Ernest K Gann, you will recall the respect, even reverence, that the author felt for his early mentor, a certain Captain Ross.

The then First Officer Gann inadvertently and prematurely retracted the landing gear of  their DC-2, prior to lift-off! The experienced captain was able to retrieve this critical situation : Accelerating the crippled airplane in ‘ground effect’ (a cushion of air, compressed by the close proximity of the wing to the ground), Ross skillfully manages to remain airborne at very low airspeed, somehow preventing the propeller tips from striking the ground while the gear retracts under them, before climbing away, safely. Just imagine being that in that situation, let alone being the cause!

Feeling utterly sick, Gann cannot imagine what the captain will say when he settles down on track and completes the after take-off checklist : and his pulse returns to normal. Quite naturally, he anticipates an abrupt end to his embryonic airline career, when Captain Ross files the flight report.

The captain’s considered and dry response? “If you ever do that to me again, I will cut you out of my will!” What a wonderful response and relief : and what an airman was Ross.

Well, Captain Geoffrey W Lushey DFM was my Captain Ross. Fortunately, I had already gained from Ernest Gann’s near-disastrous folly: I didn’t emulate that particular sin, but I still had so much to learn…

This is the second article in a planned occasional series, sharing some of the most memorable and treasured experiences. This one is also from my own career : We do plan to feature other, highly esteemed pilot friends and colleagues, who are only too willing to share their collective aviation experience. The crucial lessons that we learned along the way are just as valid today. They contribute, in no small way, to that intangible but essential quality known in aviation as ‘airmanship’.

Preface

This true story is recounted in the hope that it might benefit younger pilots, whether they be professional or recreational; for the lessons I learned are at once ageless and matchless.

My airline career began on 12 January 1970, when l Ianded my dream job with Trans-Australia Airlines – TAA, as a trainee First Officer.

My first airline aircraft, in fact my first ‘real’ twin-engine aircraft, apart from the Cessna 337 centre-line thrust ‘push-pull‘ twin was the Fokker F27 Friendship. It was a huge leap from 4300lbs max TO weight and twin 210HP engines in the Cessna, to 43,500lbs max TO weight and twin 2000HP Rolls Royce turboprop engines. It was also a beautiful first airliner : not hard to fly, but hard to fly well, with the huge increase in inertia especially noticeable, from that big difference in weight.

I had been accepted by TAA, with 1735 hrs in my logbook, not too bad for a 22-yo in those days; but: I had no instrument rating, not even a night visual flight rating and I had logged just 20hrs’ instrument flight time and 18hrs at night! My professional flight experience to that point, post PPL and CPL training which began in 1965, had been mostly flight instruction by day, in single-engine aircraft : Cessna, Auster, Beechcraft and a glorious 50-odd hrs in the ubiquitous DH-82a ‘Tiger Moth‘ biplane. The ‘Tiger‘ and the Austers were started by hand-swinging the propellers – very basic, but so rewarding when the Gypsy Major engines burst into life – and – I hadn’t lost an arm – or my head!

My new learning curve was almost vertical, as TAA’s world-class instructors guided my course cohort of 17 pilots through the gas turbine engineering course, followed by the F27 engineering, emergency procedures and instrument rating courses, all very thorough. These brilliant engineers became our technical guides and mentors, forever. There were 4 other pilots – experienced DC-3 and Vickers Viscount captains – on our course – Captains Col Tiller, Ivan East (also a part-time male model and Australia’s ‘Marlboro (cigarettes) Man‘), Jim Betts and Mal McDougall, all of whom I had the privilege and pleasure to crew with, later.

A vital hint that I should have embraced, totally

During the course, Col and Ivan missed a day while they completed their licence renewal base flying checks on the Viscount, at Mangalore VIC. When they returned next day, we asked them all about these renewal check requirements and processes, as a company check and training system was new to most of us. Col Tiller, a very intelligent and perceptive pilot, replied, “When you pass a check, it only means you’ve been operating safely for the last 6 months: it has no bearing, whatsoever on the next 6. On the other hand, if you fail a check, you haven’t just had a bad day: you’ve been unsafe for the last 6 months!”

Great advice but, in retrospect, I really wish I had applied it more diligently. It would have helped me, considerably, as things turned out.

We completed the F27 conversion in actual aircraft, as TAA didn’t ever possess a F27 full-flight simulator – only fixed-base trainers, for engineering and procedural training. I had wanted to fly the beautiful F27, ever since flying from Melbourne to our nation’s capital, Canberra, on a year-7 day-return high school excursion, just 11 years earlier, in a Mk 1 series Friendship, registered VH-TFF. It turned out that this same aeroplane happened to be the very second F27 that I ever flew! A very proud moment.

David’s image of F27-100 VH-TFF, taken at Canberra ACT on the 1959 school excursion. 

Following my F27 base conversion, conducted by the highly capable Captain Alan Judd (a former RAAF Dakota pilot), I then commenced my line training with a wonderful character, Captain Noel Knappstein  (a former RAN Fleet Air Arm Sea Fury pilot).

Our first line ‘pattern‘ of flying took us up the ‘track’: On the first day, we flew from Essendon to Adelaide SA, Leigh Creek SA and Alice Springs NT, where we over-nighted. Next day: Alice to Tennant Creek, RAAF Tindal (near Katherine, NT) and on to Darwin. On the third day, we operated an international charter flight (on behalf of Qantas) to (the then) Portuguese Timor (now East Timor) and return to Darwin. And, on the final day, we flew Darwin to Tindal, Tennant Creek and Adelaide, before ‘dead-heading’ (passengering) home to Essendon.

The rest of my line training was equally challenging, but Noel Knappstein was a great training captain and I passed my final check to the line with the F27 Fleet/Training Captain, Atholl Fraser, on 27 July 1970. At 23-yrs, I was now a fully qualified, single-striped F27 First Officer and I was thrown now into full-time line operations, the love of which has remained with me, ever since : real aircraft, real-time weather, real passengers and real-time events, not a scripted training exercise.


My first licence renewal check : a very bad dream : 16 September 1970

The months flew by and suddenly, my September roster indicated my first licence renewal check was approaching. I had about 3 weeks to prepare for a base flying check at Mangalore, north of Melbourne and just over the Great Dividing Range. It had been, for many years, the trusty alternate aerodrome for Essendon and was, sadly, the location of the training accident on 31 October 1954, that resulted in the loss of TAA’s first Viscount, VH-TVA and 3 crew members. One crew member survived : FO George McDougall (a former RAAF Liberator captain and no relation to Mal McDougall) was standing in the flight deck, behind the 2 pilots, when a simulated double engine failure (on the same side) asymmetric exercise went terribly wrong.

The wing was almost vertical at about 300ft AGL, when 38-yo George bolted for the aft cabin and wedged himself behind the last row of seats : and survived, although his hair turned snowy white, overnight. (He even survived flying with me, years later, on the B727 : (I think I can recall him saying : “My hair cannot possibly get any whiter!”)

On 16 September 1970, 5 or 6 pilots, including myself, were briefed by Captain Geoff Lushey, the new F27 Fleet/Training Manager. A former RAAF Mustang and Meteor sergeant/pilot, Geoff had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Medal – DFM, while serving in Korea. He was tall and slim, I thought with a passing resemblance to the actor, Gregory Peck. His demeanour was both impressive and imposing and already he had a reputation for demanding high standards from his licence renewal ‘checkees’. We had not met, previously.

 

Sgt Pilot Geoff Lushey DFM

My comfort zone rapidly evaporated as the briefing continued. I had a sinking feeling, as I realised that I hadn’t fully followed Col Tiller’s sage advice, 6 months earlier. (I was NOT nearly well-enough prepared for this check, today. I knew I was in trouble and it was my fault, entirely.)

Seated next to Captain Lushey in the F27 at Mangalore, it was finally my turn now to perform a range of aviation miracles, mandated by the Non-Normal checklists : engine shut-downs and re-lights, simulated engine failure and feather drills and all the rest of the base renewal check requirements. I had studied everything BUT the finer points of these extremely challenging non-normal exercises.

On this occasion, I couldn’t fly for nuts! I was doing dopey things like calling “Flaps UP”, following a simulated engine failure, without first checking that I had sufficient airspeed and other very basic errors. Nor was I able to put each error behind me and concentrate on the next ‘hurdle‘. Everything I stuffed up was compounding. Finally, Captain Lushey looked across at me, smiled grimly and said, clearly disappointed with my performance, “I don’t think this is going to get any better, today, do you? You’d better get out of your seat and give it to someone who CAN fly an aeroplane .”

Feeling utterly sick, just like Ernest Gann had, years earlier, I completely ignored my fellow checkees as I vacated the flight deck and sank into the last row of passenger seats, totally distraught; almost in tears, angry and frustrated : but only with myself and my dismal performance, certainly not the captain. Just like Ernest K Gann had described, I couldn’t imagine what this impressive captain who, I had been told, suffered fools badly, would say when he debriefed me later, back at Essendon. I just had to wait while the last several pilots demonstrated their proficiency in the base-flying skills, before, mercifully, the F27 turned for home. (I prayed that I would simply wake up and my nightmare would be over) : I knew my employment could and likely would be terminated, for it had been emphasised, during all the earlier courses, that we  junior FOs were on probation for the first 2 years. My brilliant airline career was clearly going to be history, very soon.

In a company briefing room, safely back at the Essendon terminal, Captain Lushey debriefed everyone else, signed their licence renewal documents and dismissed them, back to the line. They’d all passed, with flying colours, literally. Then, he turned to me, for the first time since I’d vacated the RH seat at Mangalore and said, “Let’s go down to my office.”  My recollection is that we  walked in silence, down to the separate wing of TAA executive offices, known colloquially as the Cathedral, where I gratefully accepted his offer of a cup of hot coffee. Then, we sat down, either side of his desk.

“Now, son”, he began, “Can you really fly an aeroplane?”  “Yes, I can“, I replied.  “Well”, he continued, “I saw no evidence of that, today.”  “Frankly, neither did I!“, I offered.  He smiled and seemed relieved that I had already self-assessed my own dismal performance and he seemed to relaxed a little. (As an experienced flight instructor, at least I knew how to assess myself.) He then enquired if there were any human factors or issues, marital worries or other concerns that might have contributed to my performance on this day and I replied in the negative.

He then enquired, “OK, then what just happened at Mangalore today?”  “I replied, “I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.” He asked, gently, “Do you know, now?”  “Yes“, I said.  With that, he smiled and produced a company licence renewal check report form and signed it, after inscribing something brief. Then he asked me to read and endorse it : ‘MINIMUM COMPANY STANDARD‘ : He had passed me. I was only too pleased to sign the form. (I would have failed me!)

Then, he became serious again, looking me straight in the eye: “Son, you and I are going flying for 2 days next week on the line and it better be good! Crewing will contact you with the details.”

The 2-day route check was scheduled for 26-27 September 1970. Starting out of Sydney, we were to operate 2 return flights to Canberra and back to Sydney. Plenty of opportunities to either stuff-up, again, or to quietly impress: it had to be the latter. Since I had officially ‘passed’ my base check, I was still able to fly in the interim period with other captains, one of whom was another check captain, so I sought his counsel and asked for any constructive feedback he could offer, regarding all aspects of my operation – either as pilot flying or pilot not flying, i.e., supporting. He offered a few good tips and I noted them carefully. I also had a few days off, to study – everything – and I did.

 

David Jacobson 1970

David Jacobson – a sketch from 1970  

 

The 2-day route check : My get-out-of-jail- card : 26-27 September 1970

Geoff and I – it was Geoff and David, now – were deadheading to Sydney on September 26th and there was now an opportunity to start to get to know each other a little and to discuss the day’s flying, the likely weather and other operational considerations, ahead of launching into it. He made no mention, whatsoever, of our last flight together. After flight planning, we located, checked and boarded the aircraft on the tarmac. The first leg to Canberra was flown by Geoff, as management pilots flew few personal sectors, themselves, due the dual workloads of admin and checking duties. His flying was impeccable, yet spirited and I recall thinking that I had a very hard act to follow, on my first return leg to Sydney.

After a couple of very pleasant hours in his company, I had relaxed just a little and that helped; I was content with the flight from Canberra, so far, as we began our descent into Sydney. Our arrival was straight in from a VOR radio beacon at Bindook, in the Blue Mountains, onto runway 07 (aligned nearly east – 068ºM), which had been reported as ‘damp‘. Regardless of the surface winds at Sydney Airport, I knew that we would have a likely prevailing tailwind of about 40kts (80km/hr), behind us. There was also the likelihood of ATC asking us for our best (highest) descent speed, to maintain separation from any faster, following jets. As pilot flying (PF), I planned and began the descent slightly earlier than I might have, normally :  It paid off.

We were maintaining our usual maximum indicated airspeed : 210kts IAS on the descent, when ATC called us and requested our ‘best-speed-as-long-as-possible‘, as they had one of the thenvery-new-and-very-large KLM B747 Jumbos behind us, following in sequence. Although normally much faster than us, ATC had already reduced that aircraft back to 250kts IAS, but the gap between us would still have been closing, with the 40kt difference in IAS.

Geoff  acknowledged the call and looked at me, studying my reaction. I was comfortable and quietly confident : we were already at maximum speed and I had some spare distance up my sleeve, to help facilitate our reduction in speed for the approach, when the time came. The 747 was ATC’s problem, not mine. However, I was still computing how I was going to manage the situation, given the tailwind and the extra groundspeed it created.

Normally, ATC would clear us down no lower than 3000ft at Glenfield NDB, 10nm on final, for the 07 straight-in instrument landing system – ILS. On this day, ATC very helpfully cleared us down to 2000ft at 10nm, which I knew would assist me in slowing the F27 from our present 210kts IAS back to 168kts (the maximum extension speed for the landing gear, our first decent drag-reducing device) in level flight at 2000ft, before intercepting the 3º ILS glideslope from beneath and then starting our final approach.

We levelled off at 2000ft and I capitalised on not having to decelerate whilst also descending. The F27 was a very ‘clean‘ (slippery) aircraft to slow down quickly, as it didn’t have a speedbrake, like the jets and modern turboprop aircraft. The laws of physics needed time, but I needed to be back to 168kts by the time we intercepted the ILS glideslope and started down again from 2000ft, at about 6nm, so I could use the added drag from the landing gear to decelerate further to our next target airspeed, 144kts, and start extending some flaps; and then to 126kts, so we could reduce further back to our final (runway) target threshold speed – TTS.

However, the aircraft needed further help to slow down. So I took a chance and made a somewhat contentious decision : At about 8nm out (without first seeking Geoff’s approval, nor forgetting for a second that he was the F27 Fleet manager), I closed both power levers (throttles), smoothly and fully, against the recommended and normal procedure of maintaining a minimum power setting of 40psi of torque. (This company requirement was stipulated to reduce propeller layshaft shuttling, causing excessive wear and tear, which occurred at lower power settings. But another captain had told me that the aircraft manufacturers, Fokker, had published advice that flight crew could obtain some instant drag – only if necessary – without hurting the props – by fully closing the throttles completely.) We were now a 20-tonne glider.

I felt, rather than saw Geoff’s eyebrows raise and his eyes narrow, but he said nothing. Neither did I : I was content, maintaining the 3º glideslope, perfectly : the airspeed was reducing well and I called for landing flap 40º and the landing checklist. ATC cleared us to land. The wind on runway 07 was actually a 15kt full crosswind, so still no headwind component to help reduce the groundspeed and there was the further consideration of the requirement for the judicious application of aileron and rudder inputs, to offset the L sideways drift, generated by the southerly crosswind, off Botany Bay. I never did advance the throttles from their idle stops.

The airspeed finally drifted back to our TTS of about 85kts, just prior to commencing the landing flare and I completed a full deadstick (non-powered), perfect touchdown on the windward (RH) main wheels first, then the LH main gear, finally lowering the nosewheel gently onto the damp runway. At 40kts IAS, I selected ground fine pitch on the propellers (a similar retarding effect to reverse thrust) and applied only slight pneumatic wheel braking. As we turned off the runway, I first heard and then saw the KLM 747 in full reverse thrust, raising much surface water as it rolled through after touching down only just behind us. We had honoured our commitment to ATC for ‘best-speed-as-long-as-possible‘ and the huge 747 hadn’t had to go around!

We swapped roles : Geoff taxied the aircraft after I obtained a taxy clearance to our parking bay on the TAA tarmac. As we taxied in, Geoff enquired, with a broad grin: “Are you the same guy I was with at Mangalore, last week?”  I replied, “I’m afraid so.”  He then offered a huge compliment: “I know a lot of captains who couldn’t have pulled that off!” I was just elated : Finally, I had scored some points on the board. We shut down and parted, briefly, as we prepared for the return sector to Canberra. The turnaround time was about 30 minutes and, after our traffic and engineering staff had cleared us, we started the engines again and taxied out for a departure to the south, on Sydney’s main north/south runway 16 (156ºM). We had a short dream run (no other traffic) to the take-off holding point and were cleared for take-off, before we even had to stop there. Geoff was again the pilot flying.

Geoff’s take-off and climb out over Botany Bay was perfectly normal : Until : I started to perform a normal geographic visual scan of every control, switch and instrument panel indication. On the LH overhead panel, above Geoff’s head, were 2 illuminated RED alternator failure warning lights. (‘Hang on, the alternators are completely separate animals: there cannot be a double alternator failure, can there?? – I was asking myself.  In the F27, the alternators supplied 208V AC to power the windscreen heat, wing and tail de-icing and engine nacelle and propeller anti-icing systems and some extra heating panels in the cockpit floor.)

Then I froze : My eyes had shifted to the 2 alternator switches – and BOTH were still in the OFF position. Then, the penny dropped : The alternators had NOT failed : They had not been turned ON at all, after we started the engines and neither of us picked that up because, in our haste to depart on time, we hadn’t completed the after-start checklist! Geoff had been distracted by something and I had failed to perform my primary support role as First Officer and remind him (something like, ‘Geoff, would you like an after-start checklist”.  ‘Oh GREAT WORK, Jacobson!’ After that glorious approach and landing, you’ve just blown all your points and gone back to square one!  But I couldn’t reflect or chastise myself any longer: Not now, anyway.) There was only one thing to do :

I spoke directly and clearly across the flight deck : “Geoff, I’m not sure we completed the after start checklist.”  He raised an eyebrow and asked, “Why do you say that?”  I just pointed to the panel above his head. The autopilot was by now flying the aircraft. He tilted his head and his eyes fell on the 2 RED alternator lights. Then they focused onto the switches. He turned back to me and said, very calmly, “Can I offer you a little piece of advice?”  (I had no idea what he was going to say, BUT, at this absolutely critical stage of my pathetic airline career, I certainly wasn’t about to say, “No, thank you.”)

It doesn’t matter when something goes wrong : What matters is what you do, when it does.”

With that, he returned his eyes to the offending panel and turned the 2 alternator switches ON. The 2 red lights extinguished. He turned back to his primary role – flying and managing the aircraft – and the matter was never mentioned again. Until now.

The rest of that sector went well, as did the following day. We flew from Sydney to Canberra again, then on to Essendon, Wynyard TAS and finally back to Essendon. Geoff debriefed me in his office, once again : very favorably and generously and I resumed my learning curve : one that hasn’t stopped, yet, even though I am no longer flying actively.

 

David’s logbook entries for September 1970

Captain Geoff Lushey gave me both the opportunity to save my career from oblivion and that best single piece of advice, I ever received. We went on to fly the DC-9 and the B727 together. He subsequently taught me many more things about what is and what is not a fair thing to do, in a jet. More than any other captain, he challenged me to keep improving, every single time we went flying together, without turning our operation into a competition.

I have been reminded recently, by another highly respected colleague, how Geoff always made his first officers feel that they were part of a team. In this regard, he was way ahead of his time in introducing cockpit resource management (CRM) principles that are part of standard aircrew training, today. I know many of us later modeled much of our own operation, as captains ourselves, from the examples he demonstrated. It almost goes without saying that his own personal flying was impeccable. He could fly a fully inverted instrument circuit, in the DC-9-30 simulator (with the motion turned off, to protect the sim), all within command instrument rating control tolerances! It took me all my instrument flying skill to perform the same manoeuvre, upright!

 

Captain Geoffrey W Lushey DFM

Of course, long retired now, Captain Geoff Lushey remains, to this day, the single best pilot and finest airman with whom I ever had the privilege and pleasure to fly. There were many other inspirational pilots, of course, but he was the stand-out.

It is no overstatement to say that I owe him my career and I am grateful to have had, still, the opportunity to say so : and for Geoff to have been able to read my version of these events!

 

 

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.

And 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.

“The worst landing I ever completed was the one I never actually made”

Fortunately, no damage was done – the only thing that really took a hit was my ego. The simple fact is that, back in 1978, many years ago, I ‘arrived‘ in a passenger jet well before I even thought I needed to commence the landing flare manoeuvre.

This is the first article in a planned occasional series, sharing the most memorable and invaluable experiences – and not only from the career of Captain David Jacobson, creator and developer of the Jacobson Flare: We plan also to feature other highly esteemed pilot friends and colleagues, only too willing to share their collective aviation experience with you, in the interests of improving flight safety. The invaluable lessons that we learned are just as valid today.

I was the (8-year-reasonably-experienced) First Officer (co-pilot) of a B727-200, one of the most forgiving airplanes to land (lots of ‘ground cushioning effect’). Yet, in perfect conditions on a cold, calm, moonlight night with unrestricted visibility, no rush and a completely stabilised approach, a visual illusion of our height above the runway caused me to not even commence the flare before the jet planted itself firmly on the runway surface. Firmly enough that it didn’t even skip or bounce.

Let’s backtrack a bit: On a cold but clear evening in June 1978, our flight plan originated from our base, Melbourne (Victoria YMML) to Launceston (Tasmania YMLT) and on to overnight in Hobart YMHB. The 55 minute first night sector was uneventful and flown by the captain. On the brief 25 minute turn around, he visited ATC/MET to review any changes; the flight engineer performed another walk-around inspection and I reset the flight deck and nav data (INS and radio aids, back then) for the short 15 minute flight to Hobart.

Our through passengers remained on board: one, easily recognisable, was the legendary Australian Rules football former champion player, captain and coach, Ron Barassi. We had a brief chat and he commented “a nice clear night to go flying?.” I concurred. He then enquired who had landed the aircraft, just then? I answered, “the captain.” “So”, he replied, “it’s your leg to Hobart, I presume?” I replied in the affirmative and that was the end of the brief conversation, as we had to get on with the departure. I didn’t feel under any added pressure but, perhaps, you can start to see a set-up coming?

The 158 nm flight down to Hobart went well; we climbed to FL 130 and back down again, for a night visual right-hand circuit around to runway 30 (into the North West: 300ºM), ideal for a first officer: I was seated as usual in the RH seat. It was a beautiful moonlit night, totally calm and just 5ºC: perfect conditions and beautiful reflections on the waters around Hobart Airport, as we circled to join final approach at about 4nm and 1200-1300ft AGL. The approach sequence went smoothly: flaps, reducing airspeed, landing gear, further flap, further airspeed reduction and so on. Shortly after I stabilised on the extended runway centre line, 3º glidepath (aided by a T-shaped visual approach slope indicator system of lights, installed non both sides of the runway) and our final approach speed, we completed the landing checklist. We were cleared to land and it felt like the 727 was on ‘rails’, as we approached the runway threshold.  It was a beautifully stable aeroplane to fly.

The next thing: Bang! We has ‘arrived’, firmly on the runway. As outlined earlier, somehow, on a night with unrestricted visibility, no rush and a completely stabilised approach, a visual illusion of our height above the runway caused me to not even commence the flare before the jet planted itself firmly on the runway surface. Firmly enough that it didn’t even skip or bounce.

Like me, both the Captain and Flight Engineer were also lulled into inaction … not even the normally-expected sharp intake of breath from either, just before we ‘arrived’; the illusion fooled them, also. There was much embarrassment all round, especially when (after clearing the runway), our Purser enquired, “Which one of you aces is responsible for the 6-rows of rubber jungle back here?”  Of course, she was referring to a collection of dropped oxygen mask panels.

Out of sheer embarrassment, I made sure I didn’t pass through the terminal before all our passengers had claimed their bags and departed; and there was no way I was going to let the famous Ron Barassi have a free laugh at me; after all, he knew that I was the pilot flying that sector. Later, at the crew hotel, it cost me a few rounds of drinks for my colleagues and cabin crew, in justifiable reparation!

Next morning, when we alighted from our crew transport and entered the terminal to flight plan and prepare for our single return flight to Melbourne, Ron Barassi spotted me and moved to intercept. Apparently, he’d been a guest speaker at a sportsman’s dinner and was returning on our flight, this following morning. He said, “Hey, what happened last night? I knew you were flying the jet and it was a really comfortable flight down here. In the circuit, I glanced out my RH cabin window, marveled at the reflection of all the lights on the water and then went back into my book again. Next thing, bloody bang! What happened???”

I enquired, “Have you ever done any flying, Mr Barassi?” He replied, “No”. “Then”, I offered, “let me put this into football terminology: Let’s call it ‘one off the side of the boot’!

So, the worst landing I ever completed was the one I never actually made.

The problem

That embarassing experience sure made me think about how we continue to land airplanes by guesswork and trial-and-error techniques that hark back 100 years to the end of WW1. The ‘conventional wisdom’ seemed questionable even when I was learning how to land a plane as a 17-year-old student pilot. Even at that very early stage, I had had an inspiration for a simple solution … from the RAF 617 Sqn ‘Dambusters’ operation, back in 1943. Now that solution was screaming at me.

Of all manoeuvres flown in fixed-wing airplanes, the landing flare remains an enigma to most pilots. It  should be the most precise flight manoeuvre that pilots are required to master. It’s critical to the safe and satisfactory conclusion of every flight. But historically, it has attracted little serious thought and attention.

The original pilots were self-taught. Their haphazard trial-and-error practices gradually blossomed into a loose collection of landing myths and methods that ultimately came to be regarded as gospel. Surprisingly, these have remained for the most part unchallenged by generations of flight instructors.

The best explanation for this may be the law of primacy in education: people tend to believe implicitly what they are first taught, creating unshakeable views about any given subject – especially on how to land a plane.

In accepting that ‘this is how it’s done’ and passing that baton on, pilots using conventional flare practices have:

  • Used educated guesswork and the repetition of trial-and-error methods to solve only the immediate problem – what about the next airfield, or a future airplane endorsement? And the next?
  • Prolonged unnecessary stress for students, instructors, passengers and airplanes;
  • Accepted the lack of consistency and predictability;
  • Wasted valuable training time and expensive resources trying to teach landing judgment;
  • Had no logical and constructive means to critique and troubleshoot the landing flare manoeuvre;
  • Suffered far too many landing accidents and incidents – worldwide statistics in this category have remained unacceptable for decades.

The solution

Conventional training practices have assumed that manual landings are non-quantifiable. This is no longer the case. Since 1987, the Jacobson Flare has enabled precise comprehension and command of a manoeuvre historically regarded as an ‘art’.

This technique discusses the development of a practical and tolerant method for establishing a universal and consistent landing flare that does not rely solely on a pilot’s peripheral perception of vertical height. Simple triangulation principles are applied to determine a visual fix for the commencement of the flare.

The key Jacobson Flare advantages are:

  1. It fully defines the entire visual landing manoeuvre;
  2. It enhances landing competence and confidence for pilots – at any level;
  3. Most of the variable factors affecting judgement are eliminated (as many variables actually self-correct);
  4. A visual fix eliminates the unreliable guessing of flare height;
  5. This longitudinal fix is 400-times more tolerant of errors;
  6. The increased tolerance enables its use on gravel and grass airstrips as well;
  7. It is universal. It works on all fixed-wing airplanes that flare;
  8. It is quantifiable from final approach to touchdown (a world first);
  9. It offers standardised and measurable levels of competencies;
  10. It simplifies ALL pilot training for students and instructors;
  11. It significantly reduces total training time and costs;
  12. It can be applied throughout a pilot’s entire career;
  13. It enables better consistency for ALL pilots at all levels;
  14. Runway occupancy times are substantially reduced. This is especially beneficial at busy airports;
  15. Wear and tear on wheels, tyres, brakes and runways are reduced;
  16. Flight safety is greatly enhanced through reduced damage and loss, due to fewer landing accidents;
  17. No device or modification is required, so there are no additional costs;
  18. It is perfectly compatible with modern Head-up Guidance Systems;
  19. Troubleshooting is simple and effective for any landing situation;
  20. Finally, pilots have a clear, simple and accessible explanation.

 

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.