Time to Fly! (almost)
Highspeed taxiing is the same as regular taxiing, simply done on the runway, with a little more power, and moving faster to get you used to the control feel at higher speeds you will eventually be landing at. While you perform this during every normal takeoff, the point of this maneuver is to spend an extra period of time on the ground focusing on the feel and sight picture you get looking out the window while moving down the runway.
How it’s done:
Each instructor will have their own tips and tricks on teaching this, but I will go ahead and share with you how I teach my students to do this.
We typically start off taxiing the full length of the runway at around half of your stall speed (maybe 20-30 knots or mph) with the instructor managing the throttle for you. You (the student) simply focus on just looking out the window and controlling the airplane using the rudder and yoke (or stick).
We will do this back and forth several times slowly increasing the speed until the student is comfortable controlling the throttle and airplane on their own right around stall speed (where the airplane begins to lift off the ground and by reducing the angle of attack and reducing the power the student manages to keep the airplane on the ground with “positive control”). Check out the video above to get an idea of what this looks like.
Ultimately at the end of the day, my view on teaching landings is that there are two parts, the part of the landing before the wheels touch the runway, and the second part after the wheels touch the runway. I teach this as two separate parts, with high-speed taxiing first (the second half of the landing) and then low approaches (the first part of the landing when you fly the airplane low over the ground). With most students this is the fastest way to teach solid, safe landings with as little frustration as possible.
Safe landings are not always soft landings. Some of the key ingredients in a safe landing are controlling the airplane and making it do what YOU want, touching down at a safe airspeed and appropriate descent rate (don’t slam it in too hard) on the intended point of landing (the touchdown zone of the runway), not bouncing, and most importantly, maintaining positive control of the airplane all the way until you bring it to a stop (the landing is never over until the airplane is stopped!).
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