After many lessons consisting of nothing but circuits, I still just wasn’t getting it. The landings were all, in my instructor’s words, “safe and unassisted”, but many of them were less than elegant. Some landings were smooth, some were hard, some were flat, some were hard and flat – the secret to making them all smooth eluded me. My instructor tried every trick in her book, including sending me for a lesson with a different instructor. Even that didn’t work.
I got on the internet to do research, but that didn’t help either. So I turned to my network, my fellow pilots. I asked every pilot that I met at the various flying clubs that I belonged to what advice they could offer.
Finally one of the pilots asked me where I was looking just before touching down on the runway. “Well, at the runway, of course”. “Yes, but where on the runway?” was his next question. When he heard that I was looking at my intended touch-down point, he said “Ah, that’s the problem! You should be looking at the far end of the runway”.
The next time I went flying, as I approached the runway, I transitioned my gaze to the far end of the runway”. The landing was so smooth that I hardly knew I had landed. My instructor was amazed! After several more circuits with the same result, we knew that was the breakthrough and a few days later, I did my first solo.
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