4. LESSON 33 - LANDING UPHILL

Key points of attention:
Final approach (1):
  • Approach at a normal angle (half to two-thirds extended airbrakes descent path)
  • Choose a reference point that is suitable under the prevailing conditions
  • Maintain your approach airspeed with the elevator until the round-out phase starts, do not loose airspeed too quickly!
The round-out and float (2):
  • On ascending terrain you have to start the round-out in time to compensate for the increased angle at which the glider will land
  • Focus well ahead and do not fixate on your reference point
Hold off touchdown (3):
  • Keep your focus “well ahead”, hold-off touchdown with the elevator and keep the glider flying just above the ground
  • Keep the wings level
The ground run (4):
  • Fully extend the airbrakes and use the wheel brake if necessary
  • Keep the control stick pulled back (“stick to your belly”)
  • Use large aileron inputs to keep the wings level
  • Maintain directional control with the rudder
  • Touchdown at minimum airspeed

Landing uphill
If the surface of your landing area is not flat, landing uphill is sometimes inevitable. If you’re not used to landing uphill, keep in mind that you can easily make the mistake of approaching the airfield too steeply; seen from the air, a sloping terrain will apear closer by than a flat terrain. A second common mistake when landing uphill is to round-out (flatten your directory towards the ground) too late due to the increased angle that you have to take into account. Finally, be prepared that your glider will rapidly lose airspeed during the hold-off phase and that it will decelerate rather quickly after touchdown and during the ground run. Many clubs and schools that fly on sloping airfields prefer to land uphill, even with light tailwinds.