7. Focusing on the Wrong Target

Good Landings and a Mistaken Snapshot

During one of my flight lessons the instructor told me to “land on the first center line stripe after the numbers.” A typical runway contains various chevron-shaped warning marks—either yellow or white—painted on the pavement. These marks indicate where the runway begins and ends and where planes can safely taxi, takeoff, or land. Each end of the runway is also marked with a number, and usually a broken line—called the center line—runs down the center of the runway immediately after the numbers for the entire length of the runway until reaching the numbers at the other end. (Despite there being a single number, such as “24,” or “6,” the spot on the runway where numbers are ...

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