Short field landing

Short field Landing


  • Land an aircraft safely on short runway.
  • With and without an obstacle on the descent path.


  • To prevent landing accident.
  • Many airports require this technique.


Review questions

  • What are the five legs of the traffic pattern?
  • What are the advantage of Flap extension during landings ?
  • How do you control your airspeed on the approach?

Short field landing: Basic theory

  • A short field landing is necessary when you have a relatively short landing area or when an approach must be made over obstacles which limit the available landing area.
  • The short-field approach and landing can be seen as an accuracy approach to a spot landing.
  • Touch down at the slowest possible speed with a touchdown point as close to the threshold as possible.

Short field landing without obstacle: procedure

The circuit for a short field landing is the same as the normal landing up to the final approach.

  • Control the descent with power.
  • Maintain the recommended approach speed (add speed if turbulence)
  • Extend the remaining flaps (check POH)
  • When you start to flare: reduce power to idle and touchdown in a full stall condition.
  • Touchdown with minimum floating, on main wheels first and nose wheel off with back elevator pressure.
  • When you roll: Gently lower the nose, retract flaps and brake heavily.

Short field landing with obstacle: procedure

  • Steeper approach angle.
  • Reduce power.
  • Full flaps (check POH)
  • Maintain a constant descent path over the obstacle.
  • After clearing the obstacle adjust the pitch for airpseed.
  • When you flare reduce power to idle.
  • Touchdown in a full stall condition, with minimum floating, main wheel first.
  • In roll, gently lower the nose, retract flaps and brake heavily.

Review questions

  • How do you control your airspeed on the approach?
  • What is the purpose of extending full flaps when executing a short-field approach?
  • What can occur if you maintain an excessive airspeed during a short field landing?
  • Why do we apply full back pressure when breaking (short field landing)?