The Jacobson Flare

After my flight lesson yesterday, I haven’t been thinking about anything except my landing technique. I’ve been bouncing the topic around in my head, hashing and re-hashing my attempts at landing. I then remembered that my instructor had mentioned during my lesson that I should review the course DVDs. I thought about how I could expedite my learning process, and so I began reading my course book, reviewing the course DVDs and researching on the Internet. I started reading about landings on the web, on blogs and then I went on to YouTube and found a video that showed a landing technique. I saw it and really didn’t notice anything striking or new about this technique, and as always I read the comments below and one of them spoke about the Jacobson’s Flare and stated that, that’s what was being shown in the video. But more importantly for me, that it worked with any type of aircraft and that it took the guess work out of the Flare. Flare is a technique used in landing where the descent rate is gradually reduced until the landing gear touches the runway.

So I returned to the web and executed a search on the Jacobson’s Flare. I found the Jacobson’s website and found that Mr. Jacobson is a veteran Australian pilot who is the originator of this method of landing. There are a number of various PDF files on his website that talk about various aspects of flying and landing. However, there was one particular one I was searching for as a result of having visited another blog that recommended that it should be read, it was called, “The Jacobson Flare Paper – Where to Flare”. It’s a 17 page document that details the mathematics behind the technique. I read it, but it was too complex for me to understand and I’m not sure that I really need to. Toward the end of the article on page 10 (the remaining pages constitute references, appendices and acknowledgements), he summarises the entire technique in three steps. I am eager to try this method; maybe it might help me as it has helped other pilots of various levels of experience. So I emailed Tim, and he replied within a couple of hours. Here’s my email and his response below:

Hello Tim,

How are you? Tim I was disappointed with myself on Sunday about not being able to land the plane properly, and we didn’t have time to discuss it as you had a Check-Ride to examine. Anyway, I remembered you telling me to go on YouTube and to review the videos from the course material. Well I’ve been doing that quite a bit and found a method of landing called the Jacobson’s Flare. Have you heard of it? I’ve attached the pdf regarding the method, it goes into too much detail and I don’t think you really need to know it as he just explains the mathematics justifying the method. I’ve also added the video from YouTube using this method.

The method in 3 steps basically says this, and I’m quoting from the PDF:

1. Hold an accurate eye path to the nominated aim point, utilising ILS, VASIS, or PAPI if available, in the ‘slot’, within nominated limits.

2. When the aircraft glare-shield superimposes the pre-determined flare cut-off point, start the flare, reducing thrust as discussed above.

NOTE: Do not try to watch the cut-off point pass under the nose. Maintain most attention towards the aim point and note the visual flare fix occur in the lower peripheral field. This greatly reduces the possibility of a premature touch down before the flare is completed.

3. Fly the eyes progressively up the runway over 3-4 seconds until the new aim point is moving neither up nor down in the visual field, check that thrust has been reduced to a minimum and continue to ‘fly the eyes’ towards this point until touch-down.

And here’s the video showing how it’s done:


So, what do you think Tim and could we try this perhaps?

Thank you for your help and guidance.


Here’s the reply from my instructor:

Sure, let’s give this a try. I meant to touch base with you after our lesson. I was in the back just touching base with my next student really quick. When I came back out,  you were just pulling out of the parking lot. Sorry if I was unclear. No worries we can talk next time.

Timothy A.Wallace                         

FAA Certificated Flight                           Instructor                                                                                                                                                                                          


So that’s it, I’m eager to try this Jacobson’s Flare technique and hoping that it is as helpful (and easy) as it is supposed to be. I will keep you posted.


2 responses to “The Jacobson Flare

  1. It is great that you are pressing forward to find tools to improve your flying. Do not lose faith! I know you willl “get it” in the end. 🙂

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