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A pilot performs two landings onto the same runway. Both are from 3º approaches, with the same conditions present.

Landing 1: The aeroplane passes the runway threshold at a height of almost 100 ft and the correct landing airspeed
Landing 2: The aeroplane passes the runway threshold at 50 ft but with an airspeed 5 knots higher than the correct landing airspeed.

Choose the correct statement.

  • A
    Landing 1 has a greater landing distance due to excess energy while landing 2 achieves the planned landing distance since the aeroplane touches down at the optimum touchdown point.
  • B
    Landing 1 achieves the planned landing distance since the landing distance starts at 50 ft while landing 2 has a greater landing distance due to excess energy.
  • C
    Both landings result in the planned landing distance being used since the landing distance allows for small deviations in height above the landing threshold and landing speed.
  • D
    Both landings result in a greater landing distance than expected, where landing 2 is less predictable as it depends on how excess energy is dissipated during the flare and subsequent ground roll.

In both these landing scenarios, the pilot has too much energy. In scenario 1, they are too high but with the correct speed. In scenario 2, they are at the correct height, but too fast.

Both these scenarios are going to end up with a longer landing distance than expected, as the aircraft has to get rid of the excess energy somehow.

In the 1st scenario, the aircraft will land long, but at the correct speed, stopping further along the runway than usual.

In the 2nd scenario, the pilot is too fast, so will either land correctly, and just take longer to slow down, or could flare too much (due to their extra lift), and potentially porpoise a little down the runway. This is much worse than just using extra braking, and can sometimes result in a go-around if it gets bad. This is why the correct answer includes a caveat about the unpredictability of landing 2, it very much depends on pilot actions.

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