Publication Details

Palmisano, S. A., Favelle, S. K. & Sachtler, B. (2008). Effects of scenery, lighting, glideslope and experience on timing the landing flare. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 14 (3), 236-246.


This study examined 3 visual strategies for timing the initiation of the landing flare based on perceptions of either: (i) a critical height above ground level; (ii) a critical runway width angle (Y); or (iii) a critical time-to-contact (TTC) with the runway. Visual displays simulated landing approaches with trial-to-trial variations in glideslope, lighting, and scene detail. Twenty-four participants (8 private pilots, 8 student pilots and 8 non-pilots) were instructed to initiate the flare when they perceived that their TTC with the runway (30 m wide by 840 m long) had reached a critical value of 2 seconds. Our results demonstrated a significant effect of flight experience on flare timing accuracy and dominance of the height-based strategy over the runway-width-angle and TTC-based strategies.

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