Returning to Earth…Softly.
The idea behind a soft field landing is to land as softly as possible, and most importantly be ready to go around if the field is too soft and you would be “sucked in” or get stuck on the runway. It may surprise you, but I have been on several soft grass fields in early spring when you are using 2,000rpm (75% power) just to taxi at a normal slow speed. Airplanes are not made to taxi on soft surfaces and can easily get stuck in the mud. In the video above we’ll detail what performing this landing procedure looks like.
- Use full flaps
- Keep the weight off the wheels as long as possible
- Never stop on a soft surface (you might not be able to start rolling again)
- Add a small “bump” of power just before touchdown
- Leave flaps full on rollout to keep weight on the wings and off the wheels.
- Expect to use LOTS of runway, make sure it is long enough!
- Sometimes fields are too soft to takeoff or land on. Work with your flight instructor to be able to recognize this!