March 2018 Issue

Procedure Vs. Technique

There’s more than one way to nail the 180-degree power-off spot landing.

If you’re lucky, you’ve gotten some of your aviation education from an instructor with extensive real-world experience. One CFI who fits that description—having flown freight, charter, airline and corporate without ever giving up teaching in the 35 years he’s had his certificate—likes to remind students of the difference between procedure and technique. The former is what you have to do; the latter is how you choose to go about doing it. Before landing, for example, a constant-speed prop should be moved to its full-forward high-rpm setting to prepare for a possible go-around. Whether it’s done after turning final, on base or immediately after reducing power on downwind is entirely at the pilot’s discretion, provided it gets done. Reasonable arguments can be made for each alternative.

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