THE New and Free Jacobson Flare Lite

The Jacobson Flare LITE - How to land a plane explained.

THE New and Free Jacobson Flare Lite

For some time, we’ve been asked to produce a NEW and FREE Jacobson Flare LITE: a simplified version, free of diagrams and the geometry and trigonometry that underpins the Jacobson Flare. We understand that there are some who feel that they wouldn’t understand a formal approach and landing technique, even though based on some very basic mathematics.

A picture is always better than a thousand words, but a real picture is unassailable. We have a real approach and landing video, viewed from the cockpit.

This downloadable, no-frills PDF presentation presents the practical application of the Jacobson Flare at YPOK Porepunkah, a grass-surfaced country airstrip at the foot of Mount Buffalo, in NE Victoria, Australia. It’s based on a video from the Jacobson Flare App.  The example airplane is the C172 and the images are a carefully selected group of screenshots from the video assist pilots to identify, illustrate, resolve and integrate the five key elements of the approach and landing, namely:

  1. Where to aim;
  2. How to aim;
  3. When to flare;
  4. How much to flare; and
  5. How fast to flare.

Each step is explained as simply as possible, through some brief notes, appended below each image. We suggest that you run the video through first, without any interruption, as an overview, before reviewing each of the selected screen images, in detail. While the concept of using individual pages allows reading in your own time, it is useful to re-run the video at any time, to visualise application of the notes in real-time. The more times, the better.

A fundamental aspect of the Jacobson Flare is the relationship between the pilot’s eye position in the cockpit and the position of the main landing gear of the airplane. While the subject airplane was a late model C172, the criteria used in this example at YPOK is equally applicable for a wide range of comparable 4-6 place single- and twin-engine light airplanes.

The notes that introduce the following presentation define three key locations on the airstrip for an initial aim point 1 at approximately 300ft/90m from the approach threshold; a longitudinal flare cut-off point (used to create a visual fix in place of a conventional guess of flare height), located at 200ft/60m (or 100ft/30m short of aim point 1); and an additional aim point 2, located at the upwind threshold. These have been pre-calculated for airplanes of the above description and, in this case, located by measurement. (The Jacobson Flare App content and on-board calculators cover and simplify this once-only step.)

An unsealed gravel runway would be equally adaptable to the Jacobson Flare, as there are always discernible contrasting marks suitable for selection as the Aim Point 1 and flare cut-off point, respectively. (While these distances may need to be estimated, the use of a longitudinal flare fix is 400-times more tolerant of error, compared with a conventional guess of vertical flare height, when flying a standard 3º (1:20) approach path.)

A sealed and painted runway offers a calibrated ruler that removes all guesswork. For C172 and similar types, the ‘top’ of the first centreline mark beyond the threshold ‘piano keys’ at 300ft/90m from the threshold and runway numbers is suggested as Aim Point 1. This provides approximately 10ft/3m main gear threshold clearance.

The flare cut-off point, calculated and rounded to 100ft before Aim Point 1 (the C172 previously calculated and rounded flare cut-off distance), is located at the ‘bottom’ of this centreline mark (200ft/60m from the threshold). Aim point 2 is selected, as usual, on the runway centreline (i.e., on the ground) at the upwind threshold.

For smaller 2-place airplanes, such as light sport aircraft (LSA) or airplanes like the B77, C150 or PA38, the flare cut-off point would be around 60-80 ft/18-25m short of the same aim point 1.

For all other larger types of airplanes, a greater understanding and the one-off pre-calculation of these points, for each different airplane type/size, is necessary and it for this reason that the Jacobson Flare App was developed. We strongly recommend it, for the cost of flying just one less-necessary circuit.

We invite you to download and explore the Jacobson Flare LITE version, but please understand that this LITE version cannot and does not contain the comprehensive information that resides in the Jacobson Flare App for iOS.

Note: On mobile phones and tablets, it is suggested that the Jacobson Flare LITE is opened in a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat. After the embedded video in the PDF is played, selecting ‘DONE’ should return the reader to the PDF, to enable further progress through the presentation.


Wishing you many safe landings


Captain David M Jacobson FRAeS MAP


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

For starters, Download the FREE Jacobson Flare LITE, our no fuss/no frills introduction. Here we demonstrate, step by step, the application of the Jacobson Flare on a typical grass airstrip at Porepunkah, YPOK.


We invite you to browse the consistently positive comments on our Testimonials page. Many pilots, of all levels of experience, have downloaded our Apps. Read about their own experiences with the Jacobson Flare technique and the App.

Then download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare app – for iOS. You’re already possibly paying $300+/hour to hire an aeroplane: You’ll recover the cost of the app, in just ONE LESS-NEEDED CIRCUIT. Moreover, you’ll have an invaluable reference tool, throughout your entire life in aviation.

Download the COMPLETE Jacobson Flare App for iOS devices now.


We invite you, also, to review our new, FREE companion app,

offering a convenient way of staying abreast of our latest blogs.


Download the Jacobson Flare NEWS App for iOS devices now.

David Jacobson