Short-Field Approach and Landing
Lesson Plan


  • To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with a soft-field approach and landing with emphasis on proper use and coordination of flight controls
  • References: FAA-S-ACS-6, FAA-H-8083-2, FAA-H-8083-3; POH/AFM; AIM


  • Research a mishap case study:
  • Discuss how the initial conditions developed into an incident/accident/mishap
  • Relate similar personal experience of the same type of incident/accident/mishap


  • The goal of the short-field approach and landing is to maximize aircraft performance in order to safely and accurately land when runway distance is limited
    • The approach is made with minimum engine power commensurate with flying towards the aiming point on the runway
    • This will result in a steeper approach than otherwise flown with other landing procedures
    • Speed must be reduced progressively as the aircraft's height reduces, and after reaching the airspeed for final approach it must be maintained accurately. After touch-down, the pilot applies maximum wheel braking and maximum up-elevator. Wing-flaps are sometimes retracted to allow better braking performance
    • Tips:
      • Touchdown as close to the approach end as safely possible
      • Utilize maximum braking available
      • Keep tires on the ground to keep friction
      • Land into a headwind
      • Land as the lowest weight possible


Short-Field Approach and Landing:
Review (quiz):
Case Studies:
Total Ground Time:

Required Materials:

  • Paper, Pen, Marker, Whiteboard

Instructor Actions:

Student Actions:

  • Complete assigned reading (see content above)
  • Ask pertinent questions
  • Make a go/no-go decision, as appropriate

Completion Standards:

  • Short-Field Approach and Landing (ASEL):

    Short-Field Approach and Landing (ASEL) Knowledge:

    The applicant must demonstrate an understanding of:
    • PA.IV.F.K1:
      A stabilized approach, to include energy management concepts
    • PA.IV.F.K2:
      Effects of atmospheric conditions, including wind, on approach and landing performance
    • PA.IV.F.K3:
      Wind correction techniques on approach and landing

    Short-Field Approach and Landing (ASEL) Risk Management:

    The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess, and mitigate risks, encompassing:

    Short-Field Approach and Landing (ASEL) Skills:

    The applicant demonstrates the ability to:
    • PA.IV.F.S1:
      Complete the appropriate checklist
    • PA.IV.F.S2:
      Make radio calls as appropriate
    • PA.IV.F.S3:
      Ensure the airplane is aligned with the correct/assigned runway
    • PA.IV.F.S4:
      Scan the landing runway and adjoining area for traffic and obstructions
    • PA.IV.F.S5:
      Select and aim for a suitable touchdown point considering the wind, landing surface, and obstructions
    • PA.IV.F.S6:
      Establish the recommended approach and landing configuration and airspeed, and adjust pitch attitude and power as required to maintain a stabilized approach
    • PA.IV.F.S7:
      Maintain manufacturer's published approach airspeed or in its absence not more than 1.3 VSO, +10/-5 knots with gust factor applied
    • PA.IV.F.S8:
      Maintain directional control and appropriate crosswind correction throughout the approach and landing
    • PA.IV.F.S9:
      Make smooth, timely, and correct control inputs during the round out and touchdown, and, for tricycle gear airplanes, keep the nose wheel off the surface until loss of elevator effectiveness
    • PA.IV.F.S10:
      Touch down at a proper pitch attitude with minimum sink rate, no side drift, and with the airplane's longitudinal axis aligned with the center of the runway
    • PA.IV.F.S11:
      Maintain elevator as recommended by manufacturer during rollout and exit the "soft" area at a speed that would preclude sinking into the surface
    • PA.IV.F.S12:
      Execute a timely go-around if the approach cannot be made within the tolerances specified above or for any other condition that may result in an unsafe approach or landing
    • PA.IV.F.S13:
      Maintain proper position of the flight controls and sufficient speed to taxi while on the soft surface



  • Advise students that this lesson will be used as a starting point for the next lesson
  • Assign study materials for the next lesson