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Add 5 KTS to your final approach speed for fudge factor

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

You have probably heard someone tell you during your training, “add 5 kts to your final approach speed, for fudge factor”. Is this a good thing to do?


I have been noticing many pilots in training using a higher indicated airspeed than published in the POH, and it is concerning. Carrying extra speed to your intended landing spot will result in a few problems. You will most likely not land on, or near your intended landing spot, and float well past it. If you decide to plant your airplane on your intended landing spot with excess speed, you’re still carrying too much speed after touchdown to safely apply the brakes, and you will not be able to stop your aircraft in the distance you calculated in the POH, and maybe even blow a tire, if you decide to use the brakes.


When you are in training, learning how to properly fly your approach to land your airplane, following the numbers published in the POH are going to help you fly safe consistent approaches to landings. Then when you throw in winds, and maybe a wet runway, you will be more prepared to deal with those factors.


You don’t want to end up like the aircraft below.



Aviation Flight Schools

Airmen Certification Standards (ACS)


CA.IV.B.S6 Establish the recommended approach and landing configuration and AIRSPEED, and adjust pitch attitude and power as required to maintain a stabilized approach.


CA.IV.B.S7 Maintain MANUFACTURER’S PUBLISHED APPROACH AIRSPEED or in its absence not more than 1.3 VSO, ±5 knots with gust factor applied.


These are just a couple of the ACS SKILLS you should know and are training to.


In the PA44-180 POH, to find your approach speed, it is calculated on the same chart you calculate your landing distance, Short Field Effort. It might look something like what is shown below. USE IT!



JPG Aviation Services

MAKE SURE YOU ARE READING, UNDERSTANDING AND USING THE APPROACH SPEEDS PUBLISHED IN YOUR POH, SO YOU DON’T END UP LIKE THE AIRCRAFT PICTURED ABOVE.


Good Reads



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