Post from David Jacobson

** Important ** : iOS 13 Update for iPad – 27 September 2019

We have become aware that the very recent iOS 13 update for the iPad has created access issues for the Jacobson Flare App for the iPad.

Please be assured that we are now working actively on a long-term solution that will address this update issue as well as future iOS updates. This work will be completed as soon as possible.

IN THE MEANTIME, we suggest that you DO NOT UPDATE TO iOS 13, until our update is completed.

IF YOU HAVE ALREADY UPDATED to iOS 13, there’s a possible work-around to downgrade back to iOS12, if you have an archived backup, in iTunes: Open the link:   

OR Google ‘revert/downgrade to iOS12’ and.
try other links.

We regret the inconvenience and will rectify the issue as
soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

‘We’ve always done it this way! … What’s wrong with that?’ – 13 November 2018

“We’ve always done it this way.”

The ‘Law of Primacy’ in education is very powerful:  What we are first taught on any given subject often creates a strong, almost unshakable impression. We believe it, implicitly. Perhaps that’s why generations of flight instructors have resisted looking at landings in other way than the 100-year-old ‘conventional wisdom’: that pilots develop landing judgment and proficiency only by ultimately ‘getting the hang of it’, though repetition and practice. And again and again, on every subsequent aircraft conversion.

This is time-consuming and can be unnecessarily stressful and very expensive – for the student – and for the operator, in terms of wear and tear and damage to aircraft.

30 hours to first solo is not unusual. It is, however, unnecessary and quite harmful to a pilot’s confidence. If this sounds familiar, please read on.

When the elements of this ‘conventional wisdom’ are examined, they don’t stack up very well:

What’s wrong with conventional methods?

Simply stated,

  • Triangles have had 3 sides for a very long time.
  • We only ever used 2 of them – the hypotenuse for the pilot’s eye path (correct) – and the opposite side to guess the flare height for each type (highly inconsistent and mathematically flawed).
  • The opposite side (flare height) is invisible to the pilot (forgetting radio altitude call-outs); the conventional wisdom is to develop landing judgment by repetition and trial and error; this height changes with every aircraft conversion.
  • Because the final approach flight path angle (FPA) is exaggerated in books and manuals and all training aids and depicted at around 25-30°– instead of the normal – the actual FPA has been masked; 3° is near enough to a 1:20 gradient, a very flat gradient. The significance of this exaggeration is crucial:
  • It means that every vertical error in flare height judgment or control compounds, one way or the other along the runway, by 20 times  that vertical error.
  • Until the Jacobson Flare, no-one thought of using the 3rd side of the triangle: the adjacent side.
  • This is the runway centreline – effectively, a calibrated ruler (consistent centreline markings) and fully visible to the pilot (under most conditions and where not, options are available).
  • A visual fix (based on the RAF 617 Sqn ‘Dambusters’ operation of 1943) becomes available, using a ‘flare cut-off point’ on the runway centreline, short of the initial aim point, to identify the flare point, rather than a haphazard guess of flare height.
  • Any longitudinal error is reflected as only 1/20th, as a vertical error, making the technique extremely tolerant for use on grass and gravel airstrips, (without any central line calibration).
  • The Jacobson Flare addresses all aspects of the approach and landing, including where to aim; how to aim; the key difference – the use of a visual fix to identify the flare point, rather than a haphazard guess of flare height; how much to flare; and how fast to flare.

Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP

The Jacobson Flare App for iPad

Simple, Unassailable Aerodynamic Logic


‘Don’t just take our word for it’ … with thanks and acknowledgment to Marc Santacroce – USA …15 August 2018

This review, from Marc Santacroce, a CFI from the USA, was also posted on 3 February 2015, on our testimonials page,  .

So, once again in my flying life (started in 1965), I am faced with getting back up to speed on my aviation skills after another extended absence. I am not a high time pilot, just now 2000 PPSEL hours, and I’m probably the ONLY pilot you know who will admit he’s NOT the best pilot of all time. I don’t test well, I have to constantly study to stay on top, and I have to frequently practice my basic maneuvers, as well as my instrument skills.

This last two year hiatus has taken it’s toll, for one I’m older, and aviation has changed in leaps and bounds the past five years. I have to work harder to keep up, and consequently look for any way to make life easier.

The Jacobson Flare App is one of those aids that make life easier. The App will cost you about what an hour with a CFI will cost, and it is worth every penny.

When I was transitioning from my PPSEL to working on my instrument, I couldn’t find one, not one, instructor who could explain why we teach VFR flight one way and IFR flight another. Of course I’m referring to the perennial debate over whether power or pitch control rate or speed.

Capt Jacobson takes you through a rational analysis of what happens using both methods, then presents a compelling argument of why the “flightpath” method is more effective, and easier to master, than the “airspeed” method.

Three months ago, when I first started using the Jacobson Flare (coincidentally with flying an airplane I hadn’t touched in over 5 years), I found his techniques a struggle. Then, after three practice flights, I nailed it – consistently. Two more months passed (when I couldn’t afford to fly), and I lost my touch again. I emailed Capt Jacobson and he quickly diagnosed my problem as “fixation” on the aim point and flare point. “Open your field of vision”, he said. Today I went up, in a newer, more powerful model of the same airplane and bingo, I got it down.

After 45 minutes of air work, when I was probably too tired to do my best, I hit the pattern for 10 landings. All but one were spot on, and that one was just a longer landing because I hadn’t reduced power as much, and as soon as I should have. I intentionally flew some steep, and some shallow approaches to landing, as well as the optimum 3-4 degree approach, and the J-Flare method works.

Once you earn to work with aim point and flare point, and not be so concerned about HAT, your landings will become more consistent and more predictable. On my way back to home field, I gave a newly minted multi- engine pilot a lift. He couldn’t believe my landing. I took the opportunity to sing the Jacobson Flare praises and give him a 30 second tutorial. His only comment was that the method made total sense. Let me commend it to you too. Everyone says that mastering the landings was the hardest part of learning to fly. Do it the Jacobson Flare way, and they won’t be.

Marc Santacroce
San Francisco CA, USA’


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP

The Jacobson Flare App for iPad

Simple, Unassailable Aerodynamic Logic

Why inflict yesterday’s landing techniques on tomorrow’s pilots? … 6 August 2018

Of all manoeuvres flown in fixed-wing aircraft, the landing flare remains an enigma, It is usually the most precise flight manoeuvre that pilots are required to master as it is critical to the safe and satisfactory conclusion of every flight. I’t’s often stated that, ‘while take-offs are optional, landings are mandatory‘.

While everything else in aviation has developed throughout the last 100 years, landing training is still regarded, for the most part, as an ‘art‘. Conventional flare practices have involved a critical estimation of height  above the runway and are subject to quite a number of variable factors.


From the dawn of aviation, before and during World War One until 1987, there was no definitive, universal approach and landing technique and, even more puzzling, little recognition of the need for one. The original pilots were self-taught. Their haphazard trial-and-error practices gradually blossomed into a loose collection of landing myths and legends that ultimately came to be regarded as gospel. Surprisingly, these practices have remained for the most part unchallenged by generations of flight instructors.

It is being realised, by many countries, that there may soon be a significant shortage of pilots, world-wide. When this period arrives, the proper training of many new pilots will present huge challenges, especially if there is no change to the status quo.

We no longer have to swing the propellors of modern aircraft, yet most flight training organisations still cling to yesterday’s obsolescence. It is time now to move landing training from the ‘artistry‘ of 1918 into today’s world, where a totally proven, universal, quantifiable and consistent approach and landing flare technique can define new standards in competency.

The Jacobson Flare is the world’s precision tool that enables us to avoid inflicting yesterday’s landing techniques on tomorrow’s pilots. Together, we can help them to be more precise, consistent, efficient and, above all, safer than ever.


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP

The Jacobson Flare App for iPad

Simple, Unassailable Aerodynamic Logic


If you really want to impress another pilot with your landings, explain to them HOW you do it … 29 July 2018

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.


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP

The Jacobson Flare App for iPad

Simple, Unassailable Aerodynamic Logic