Cessna 182 Landings

March 19th, 2010

I saw this discussion, on Cessna Owner Organisation’s forums , http://forums.cessnaowner.org/read/1/10123/page=2, pilots debating techniques to land a C182.

I had to add a bit of a rant, I’ll post it here, just in case the rant is felt unwelcome, so here it is:

C182s are just like any other plane with the odd difference:
They are less forgiving than C172s in terms of you must fly them at the right speeds, and you must apply positive control to keep them where you want them- they are quite twitchy, and too fast they balloon, too slow they drop! Especially with weight in the tail (the foam sometimes gets waterlogged and can cause different behaviour in trim).
I’ve seen students cock up landings, and I’ve cocked up a fair few myself when I was a relatively low time pilot.
A C182, IMHO, is not recommended for someone with low time (<60hours) but if you do try it, get some thorough training, and train till you really feel comfortable.
Landing techniques: All the Cessna high wings I have flown are quite happy with the same technique, only the speeds and weight on the controls change. This requires approach at the right speed, and height for the type of approach, then approaching the round out, smoothly power off, level off, then hold off, and, while level, wait for the tail to drop, which it will do as the speed drops if you keep the plane level – matching the amount of pull to the reduction in speed – avoiding a balloon or a sink, until the stall warning occurs. If this has been done at the right height, at this point you will be just off the ground, then simply the bum will drop and the main wheels will touch. (Easier said than done, of course!)
With a strong cross wind or flapless, you may want to touch down at a slightly higher speed.
(A colleague once said to me – advice on landing the C210: just get the a**e down, helped me tremendously, and 100% effective in reducing the potentially costly nose wheel landing, made me lol at the time, but I never forgot it)
Trimming up slightly if you find the elevator heavy for the flare, is quite acceptable, meaning you are flying the approach pushing forward. Glide approaches are fine but tend to be quite steep and bad for the engine, so power on approaches (approach not flare) are the recommended, and probably fit with the normal circuit approach more.
Keeping power on in the flare: my advice, to everyone I’ve seen who tries it, and I’ve heard it especially in C182s, C210s and C310s, is poor technique to cover up poor handling, and a few circuits later I have them convinced it’s not needed. Really sorry to be harsh, but it’s not recommended by the book, and quite unsafe, if you fly a technique all the time, there’s a chance you’ll do it when you need not to be (eg short field – see the Qantas accident B747 with motor habit on regular non use of thrust reverse).
My advice, and sorry this also may not be welcome advice, but to help curb the C182 accident rate, grab an instructor you know and like, who has some experience on the C182, and do some circuits, especially in bumpy crosswinds or on short field conditions.
Hate to see a good plane get a bad rep, personally it’s really my favourite of all I’ve flown from 150s to 737s, although the C150A comes a close second.
Hope this may be of help.

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