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Feature Article: Introduction to Ground Reference
During the time that I am practicing flap descents and go arounds
I try to make at least one descent over a gently curved channel
or road that heads back home. I try to select one that will not
require steep turns. Flying into the wind reduces the ground speed
and required bank. For the last 'go around' I assign a recovery
altitude of 700 or 800'. I direct the student to follow the road.
He soon finds that the nose of the aircraft is an obstacle. He
must sight ahead and alongside the path desired to select points
of reference. He must anticipate the wind's effect in turns and
straight-a-ways. He must keep his eyes outside the aircraft with
only occasional referral to the altimeter. This is just a brief
introduction but will focus the student's attention when doing
the assigned reading about ground reference. Point out errors
of tracking and altitude but not critically. Help the student
locate rectangles for later use, and possible reference points
as to compliance to the FARs regarding distance from persons or
To most efficiently use the flight time to this ground reference
lesson I will climb to altitude enroute. I do this so that we
can practice power-off emergencies or descending spirals when
we arrive at the ground reference area. Partial power should be
applied during extended descents to prevent over-cooling. You
could end up with an actual failure. During these descents help
the student select ground reference patterns to be used. Once
at a practice altitude the ground reference maneuvers are judged
by smoothness, symmetry, and constant altitude.
Last Modified March 31, ©2023 TAGE.COM