Aircraft For Sale Quick Search

Help Reduce LSA Accidents

My name is Louis Mancuso, “The Landing Doctor”. I am a CFI with 6000 hours and 500 hours of incident and accident free hours in LSAs. I have owned 12 different models of light sport aircraft.  I am the importer for the BRM Aero Bristell Light Sport Aircraft. Here are some valuable tips on how we can fly LSA’s accident free!


Keep the plane on the ground until 45KIAS and ease it off the ground slowly.

Do not get airborne too soon and do not try to climb until you indicate 65 Knots-Vy, the best rate of climb speed.

 All takeoffs should start with the controls deflected fully into the wind. 


The LSA at 1320 lbs lacks the mass to maintain inertia. They quit flying quickly when there is a headwind and will not stop flying when there is no wind. Try this tip to make safer, softer, and more consistent landings.

Tip: Use my training technique, called Ground Proximity Awareness training. (GPA)

Pilots cannot make good landing decisions until their brain is fully engaged. GPA training will help pilots relax while flying near the ground resulting in better landings.

During GPA training pilots will learn to fly down the centerline with no crab or drift from a crosswind.  The pilot will master the side slip landing attitude and have the plane touch down gently on the upwind main gear. The pilot will learn to touch down within a defined range and become proficient in proper go-around technique. Master this training exercise before you start practicing landings.

GPA training, the short version:

Practice flight at MCA, minimum controllable airspeed, 45 knots with 20 degrees of flap.  Have your CFI demonstrate adverse yaw at 45kts with a cloud in front of the nose. Practice some rolls about a point. Learn how to mush followed with slips with full rudder travel.

GPA approach phase:

1.      Make a power on approach at 75 KIAS with 20 degrees of flaps. 4000 RPM will be a good power setting on a standard day with an average load. The plane must be properly trimmed to fly hands off in this power on approach. This configuration will result in a shallow approach attitude that will make the transition to level at twenty feet easy. Fly down the centerline and then fly to the left runway edge with coordinated use of aileron and rudder fly to the right runway edge. 

2.    Make a power on (about 3500 RPM) approach at 60 KIAS and use only 20 degrees of flaps. The plane must be properly trimmed to fly hands off in this power on approach. This configuration will result in a shallow approach attitude that will make the transition to level at five feet easy. At five feet, the height of a car, transition your eyes to the end of the runway.  Use a side slip to maintain a track down the centerline.

3.    Do the same approach with the airspeed indicator covered.

4.    On the next approach, use 20 degrees flap, 3300 RPM and 55 KIAS. Fly the plane to within 1-3 feet of the ground and level off. Your CFI will be working the throttle while the pilot attempts to hold the landing attitude for as long as possible. Apply rudder and aileron as necessary to remove all crab. Fly level along the ground until you feel comfortable. If your fingernails are white, you are gripping the stick or yoke too tight and you are not comfortable. Do not attempt to land until you can fly level with pink fingernails. Make numerous approaches and fly level until you can relax. You will need to perform many go-arounds before you can relax. Begin the go-arounds soon enough to allow for plenty of altitude to clear the trees by 300 feet.  The go-around point should be at a defined decision point such as the wind sock or runway intersection and should be briefed on each approach.   If you are a new student, when you level off at around 5 feet and fly down the runway between 3-5 feet, let the CFI work the throttle until you can hold the plane a few feet off in the landing attitude. When you do a good job of holding the plane off the ground in the nose high landing attitude, your CFI can then let you work the throttle.

Now you are ready to land the airplane. You should now be ready to make approaches aiming at the white line beyond the numbers, fly level, and then ease the plane onto the ground in the nose high landing attitude. Touch down on the mains, on the centerline, without any remaining crab. Keep the power on (3300 RPM), hold off the nose with the mains straddling the runway centerline, travel about 300 feet and then go-around without ever touching the nose. When you initiate the go-around be sure to not let the nose get too high as you want to stay in ground effect until your have plenty of speed, around 65 KIAS (Vy).  If you let the nose touch, the CFI takes over and makes a full stop landing. If you let the nose get too high, the CFI takes over and completes the landing.

Use these takeoff and landing techniques and help reverse the increase in LSA accidents.  Pick a day with a 6 knot direct crosswind.  The goal of GPA is to land within 400 feet of the desired touch down spot, on the back of the main gear with no side drift. The main wheels must straddle the centerline. Hold the nose off for 300 feet and then initiate a go-around without letting the nose get too high and accelerate within ground affect to 65 knots, Vy, the best rate of climb speed. When you can perform a controlled go-around to this standard you have graduated GPA and earned a Challenge coin. Bristell “The Art of Defying Gravity” coin with PLC, GPA, and DFGAP on the back.


For a copy of the complete training program including, “The Personal Limitations Checklist, Think like a Pro”, GPA, Ground Proximity Awareness training system, and DFGAP, the defined go-around point, visit our website:

My email is:  cell phone: 516-658-1847

Use my GPA training protocol to prevent accidents in LSAs.  

Happy Flying     Lou Mancuso, “The Landing Doctor”  CFI 1613084