Landing VS Question?

Normally when I land my VS is anywhere from -50 to -500. Lately my VS has been -650 to -700. My question is if my VS is to high is that indicative of to fast or to slow or could it be both?

It could be both. To stay on a 3 degree glideslope…the faster you go, the higher your rate of descent is going to be. On the other side, if you get too slow, you could be “mushing” and getting behind the power curve and end up sort of falling out of the sky with a nose high pitch attitude.

700 FPM is in the “carrier landing” category without a doubt. For most GA type planes you are probably looking at 400-700 FPM until the flare, then you really want to shoot for almost no vertical speed at the moment of touchdown if you are going for a greaser. If it is a short runway, or contaminated, you probably want a more firm touchdown so that you don’t eat up runway and get the speedbrakes and reversers out to move the weight of the aircraft from the wings to the wheels.

If you have an AOA gauge…that can really help you nail the proper descent rate.


These landings have been with auto pilot on till I cross the threshold. I dont think I’m flaring enough. I’m always afriad when I flare. I always think I’m going to climb.

That’s a pretty typical reaction, @weaponz248. The other reaction is to be afraid of smashing into the ground, so pilots will flare too much and actually start climbing.

My advice is to not think of the flare as a sudden and distinct change in sink rate, but a gentle gradual change. Instead of popping the nose up to try and go from 400 FPM to 0 in one motion, gently and gradually start adding some back pressure to lift the nose up and slowly start decreasing your sink rate. In a good sim, ground effect plays into all of this, greatly complicating it, but you’ll get the hang of it better if you start slowly than if you try to pop the flare all at once.

Cool. Another issue I have been having is not being able to tell my height. A lot of times I am surprised by the ground.

Whats a good pitch degree for the flare?

The actual pitch angle is going to be dependent on your aircraft weight, airspeed, etc. You might figure out a good pitch angle to use as a “about there” figure, but I’d caution against using that alone. When you’re more than a hundred feet or so above the ground, keep an airspeed (or angle of attack, if you have an indicator) and sink rate.

As you get close (close is subjective here, depends on the aircraft/approach), transition to visual cues outside the aircraft. Use peripheral vision to guesstimate your vertical speed. It’s hard to describe but with a little practice you can get a decent sense of your sink rate.

cool. That makes sense.