April 2013 Issue

Approach Configuration Management

The airspeed at which you fly an approach should be the climb speed you’ll use on the miss. If you configure the airplane the same way each time, you’ll nail it.

The concept was new to me when I first started teaching in high-performance aircraft: There are pre-chosen settings for aircraft power and configuration, i.e., flap and landing gear position, that result in predictable performance. Set the power, establish the configuration, and the airplane will perform as expected. Manage the drag (with gear and flaps) and power (manifold pressure and propeller, turbine speed or pressure) and the airplane will attain the proper airspeed and vertical speed for an approach or a missed approach.

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