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Highspeed Taxiing

Benefits of Highspeed Taxiing

  • Similar to performing a regular taxi, except performed on the runway with more power; moving faster to get a feeling for the controls at speeds similar to those at landing.
  • While technically performed 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 to get you looking out the window and 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.

  • Start by taxiing the full length of the runway at around half of stall speed (approximately 20-30 knots or mph) with your instructor managing the throttle for you. This will allow you to focus on looking out the window and controlling the airplane using the rudder and yoke (or stick).
  • Do this back and forth several times, slowly increasing the speed until you are comfortable controlling the throttle and airplane right around stall speed (where the airplane begins to lift off the ground and by reducing the angle of attack and power you can keep the airplane on the ground with “positive control”).

Ultimately at the end of the day, my view on teaching landings is that there are two parts.

  • The first part of the landing is before the wheels touch the runway. Low approaches are a great way to practice and build stabilized approaches.
  • The second part is right after touchdown; practicing highspeed taxiing allows you to build a feel of what the aircraft will feel like right after the wheels touch the runway.

The most beneficial approach we have found with most students is to practice low approaches and highspeed taxiing separately. Then all that is left to do is teach the transition between the two. For most students, this is the fastest way to teach solid, safe landings with minimal frustration.

Remember:

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!).