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Extreme tail down landings possible only with flaps up, may cause the fins to strike the runway.

1. With the landing gear DOWN and the flaps at MANEUVER, START the approach at 120 i.a.s. When the approach is assured put the flaps all the way down and come over the fence at 110 mph. and flare off to about 80 mph and wait for contact.

2. If, for some reason the flaps cannot be lowered, land a little faster and allow for more flare off and a flatter gliding angle.


1. Tank selector valves to MAIN or RESERVE whichever contains the most fuel.

2. Mixture control AUTO-RICH.

3. Propeller levers to about 2600 rpm position.

4. Electric fuel pumps ON.

4a Check landing gear warning horn switch for ON.

5. Landing gear DOWN (not over 175 mph).

6. Pump the brake pedals a few minutes to ensure that brakes are working.

7. Wing flaps DOWN (not over 150 mph).

NOTE: Lift the flap lever trigger through the quadrant notch to place lever to DOWN.

8. Inter-cooler flaps OPEN unless operating in extreme low temperatures.

9. Flaps UP after landing.


Concentrate sharply on your approach because once you are fully extended the flaps and the landing gear or descended below 500 ft. you cannot again circle the field and you must make a landing. If however the flaps are not fully extended and your elevation is still 500 feet or more and you want to go around again, proceed as follows before beginning to circle.

1. Apply as much power as can be held at the same time milk up retracting and landing gear accelerate to at least 160mph and raise the flaps. Do not make turns into the dead engine unless trim and speed have been established.

(Note from Stan Wood: It looks as though the original is wrong. It should be retract landing gear, milk up flaps, accelerate to at least 160mph and raise the flaps. The original makes no sense. If you pull flaps up all at once close to the ground there is a good chance of stalling into the ground.)

  1. Turn aileron control booster OFF to conserve' hydraulic power for landing gear and flap operation.
  2. Start approach allowing 1,000 feet above field for each two miles away.
  3. Extend landing gear at 160 mph.

NOTES: Allow more time for landing gear and flap extension when only one engine Is operating.

  1. Extend flaps to MANEUVER position at 140 mph.

This material is courtesy of Stan Wood WW2 P-38 Pilot in the Pacific.

More about Stan Wood and his P-38 experiances: Click Here