The Jacobson Flare
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.
Conventional landing training practices have assumed manual landings to be non-quantifiable. It has been the most neglected subject in aviation. 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’.
Along with clear guidance on ‘How to Aim’ and ‘How to Flare’ techniques, this treatise discusses the development of a practical and tolerant landing training technique 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 commencement of the flare.
The flare fix is derived from triangulation between the pilot’s eye path and a supplementary, pre-calculated longitudinal point on the runway centreline, positioned short of the aim point.
While maintaining an accurate eye path to the aim point, the pilot simply observes the transit of this supplementary flare cut-off point by the cockpit lower visual cut-off angle. This defines an accurate, consistent and tolerant flare fix, from whence the eye path to the aim point diverges and the landing flare commences.
“This (the path flown) is exactly what we have all been trying to achieve by guesswork; what is different here is the quantified explanation.” (The most common response to The Jacobson Flare by experienced professional pilots since 1985.)
No device or modification to the airplane is required, therefore no cost is incurred. Safety is enhanced and this landing training technique is pilot-portable across many airplane types. Now, landing an airplane can be explained logically, removing the mystery and the mumbo jumbo.