If the airspeed on final approach is excessive, it will usually result in the airplane "floating" (Fig. 10-2). Before touchdown can be made, the airplane may be well past the desired landing point and the available runway may be insufficient. When diving an airplane on final approach to land at the proper point, there will be an appreciable increase in airspeed. Consequently, the proper touchdown attitude cannot be established without producing an excessive angle of attack and lift. This will cause the airplane to gain altitude or "balloon."
Any time the airplane floats, judgment of speed, height, and rate of sink must be especially keen. The pilot must smoothly and gradually adjust the pitch attitude as the airplane decelerates to touchdown speed and starts to settle, so the proper landing attitude is attained at the moment of touchdown. The slightest error in judgment and timing will result in either ballooning or bouncing.
The recovery from floating will depend on the amount of floating and the effect of a crosswind, as well as the amount of runway remaining. Since prolonged floating utilizes considerable runway length, it should be avoided especially on short runways or in strong crosswinds. If a landing cannot be made on the first third of the runway, or the airplane drifts sideways, the pilot should EXECUTE A GO-AROUND.