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Porpoising 

 

Flying Handbook Menu > Approaches and Landings > Faulty Approaches and Landings > Porpoising

In a bounced landing that is improperly recovered, the airplane comes in nose first setting off a series of motions that imitate the jumps and dives of a porpoise— hence the name. [figure8-37] The problem is improper airplane attitude at touchdown, sometimes caused by inattention, not knowing where the ground is, mistrimming or forcing the airplane onto the runway.

figure8-37. Porpoising.

Ground effect decreases elevator control effectiveness and increases the effort required to raise the nose. Not enough elevator or stabilator trim can result in a noselow contact with the runway and a porpoise develops.

Porpoising can also be caused by improper airspeed control. Usually, if an approach is too fast, the airplane floats and the pilot tries to force it on the runway when the airplane still wants to fly. Agust of wind, a bump in the runway, or even a slight tug on the control wheel will send the airplane aloft again.

The corrective action for a porpoise is the same as for a bounce and similarly depends on its severity. When it is very slight and there is no extreme change in the airplane’s pitch attitude, a follow-up landing may be executed by applying sufficient power to cushion the subsequent touchdown, and smoothly adjusting the pitch to the proper touchdown attitude.

When a porpoise is severe, the safest procedure is to EXECUTE A GO-AROUND IMMEDIATELY. In a severe porpoise, the airplane’s pitch oscillations can become progressively worse, until the airplane strikes the runway nose first with sufficient force to collapse the nose gear. Pilot attempts to correct a severe porpoise with flight control and power inputs will most likely be untimely and out of sequence with the oscillations, and only make the situation worse. No attempt to salvage the landing should be made. Full power should be applied while simultaneously maintaining directional control, and lowering the nose to a safe climb attitude.

{Bouncing During Touchdown}
{Wheelbarrowing}
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