A stabilized approach is described as an aircraft, including a small jet aircraft, which maintains a continuous angle glide path as it approaches a landing runway. An aircraft that descends on its final approach at a constant airspeed and travels in a straight line toward its landing destination is also considered a stabilized approach.
The spot in which the aircraft intends to land is known as the aiming spot. This is the spot that the aircraft’s wheels will touch down. If the small jet aircraft maintains a constant glide path without being flared for landing, it will land perfectly on the aiming spot. However, this is hard to achieve because some float will inevitably occur during the roundout (flare).
To combat this, many pilots will take this into consideration when selecting an aiming spot.
Aiming for the Aiming Spot
One of the most important skills a pilot must develop is using visual cues to precisely determine an aiming spot. This can be tricky to learn, especially at a distance on final approach.
When maintaining a stabilized approach, the shape of the runway can provide visual cues. Upon approach, a rectangular shaped runway actually resembles a trapezoid. The far end actually looks narrower than the approaching end. While practicing a stabilized approach that includes a constant glide path, the runway will continue to appear trapezoidal in shape. This is the most important thing to look for when practicing a stabilized approach.