Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ignorance is bliss

For your passengers at least.

We are on our way back from our somewhat shortened flight but everyone appears to be having a good time, pilot included.

But now it’s time for the fun part, the part they are going to remember.

The landing.

The winds have gotten up to the 20 knot mark, about 20 degrees off the runway. I’ve certainly done worse but it is getting up to the “sporty” end of my comfort level.

Still, it has to be done. I put all my attention into getting on a nice stable approach, my passengers mercifully responding well to my “I’m about to get a little busy here” and contenting themselves with much taking of photos.

I’m obviously giving this my full attention but once again I’m trying hard not to communicate any stress to my passengers, that’s not how I want them to remember this flight. I’m actually on a pretty sweet approach. I don’t normally pay much attention to the PAPI lights but I see white over red. I’ll take that for sure. A touch of power sees me right as I hit the inevitable gust of wind from Yonge Street, a local phenomenon that I’ve become all too familiar with.

I’m actually going to pull this off. I even have enough capacity to inform my passengers that the fact the engine is at full idle is normal. I’ve powered back, it hasn’t quit on us.

We land, remarkably within sight of the centreline!

My passengers are reasonably impressed, although completely ignorant of the fact that I’ve just completed an amazing shortfield landing without even trying. I could have been completely stationary by Charlie and I certainly didn’t need to drag it in under power.

Then again they are also ignorant of the fact that I flared a little early and a little high and brought her down just a little firmer than I’d like.

It all balances out I guess!


  1. My experience has been that passengers are very forgiving of landings. They are used to the thump of a commercial flight, and so a firm landing doesn't phase them. Multiple skips, and pilot-induced-oscillations in braking, are a different story.

    -- D

    1. pretty much exactly what they said to me re: the commercial stuff.
      Braking wasn't an issue I was pretty much stopped by Charlie :)