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The secret to smooth landings ?

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  • thecloudbuster
    replied
    Getting smooth landings

    Hi, with several thousand airliner hours and probably 5000 landings I hope I can help.

    First of all, a smooth landing isn't always a good landing, especially on wet runways when you could do with a bit of effort to help prevent aqua-planning, and also if the landing is smooth as a result of landing well into the runway!

    A good landing is with the aeroplane at the correct speed and attitude (correct landing energy) and on the touchdownmarkers on the centre line. (A bit like setting the optimum Aperture / Shutter speed on your camera) This is certainly more likely if the approach is stable such that the landing phase is commenced from a fairly consistent point. (i.e. sunny 16-rule!)

    Judging when to flare, and how much, and how certain variables are going to effect things is part of the skill of piloting, but is largely down to judging rates of closure with the ground. This is done largely by peripheral vision, which makes night and misty landings more tricky, also unusual runway widths. Although most modern airliners have a radio altimeter call out 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 which is useful. How much too flare, thats where looking down the runway helps as its easier to judge the pitch, and also keep from landing on the grass!

    When to take the power off is a key judgement, too early and you either run out of energy and "plop" to the ground or over flare in order to create enough lift which risks scrapping the tail, rotating the wheels into the runway (Big Thump!!!) or ballooning which means creating more lift than weight and increasing the distance between the aeroplane and the runway. (Not good)

    Leave it on too long and you have too much energy which means landing flat, floating or if you pitch to the normal attitude, ballooning, however I'd personally prefer to have (on a non length limiting runway) slightly more energy than too less and there is a very good argument for limiting thrust changes in the later changes of the approach because in most aeroplane there is a power pitch couple. This means taking power off will cause the nose to drop and vice versa.

    Bad weather, often really shocking landings are done at the end of a stable approach in calm weather, I guess the part of the brain which controls all the human elements of the landing just isn't up to speed! Windy weather has the effect of making it much more difficult to be energy stable and the energy in the flare can change, sometimes rather dramatically due to gusts.

    The Airbus that I flew had the facility to obtain a landing data printout which stated touchdown G, and all sorts of very interesting parameters, and yes if you landed too firm it did automatically let someone else in the office know!

    Happy Landings to all!

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  • Crunk415balla
    replied
    Here is the advice I was given from a friend when I brought up my floating situation in the Cessna, this person recently got their CFI, and claims that this meathod never fails them in the Cessna.

    ok when you come in in the cessna i usually come in at about 65-70kts full flaps and playing with the power a little just to keep the constant decent once your over the threshold cut the power get in ground effect level off to bleed off the airspeed and then just think when your applying back pressure think half an inch, half an inch,half an inch until you hear the stall horn grease it and keep applying back pressure until you cant pull back any more and just let the nose rest on the gear by its self and if you would like to stop shorter apply full aft yolk and hard brake pressure after you land but dont lock them up. thats what i do every time and i almost drop my instructors jaw every time my landings are greased.
    Never heard about the half an inch thing, anyone else do something similar to this?

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  • Crism
    replied
    Getting back on topic lol.....

    I'm a constant flight simulator player which usually is a bad thing. However, I've watched multiple landings and whatnot in FS using the virtual cockpit and whatnot and the technique seems to be to

    a. Come in at the correct speeds
    b. Know what the airplane does (for instance the C172 can sink pretty good if you are slow and nose it over)
    c. Get over the runway in or a little above ground effect
    d. Hold it hold it hold it hold it off the runway until your airspeed bleeds off
    e. When you start to sink, give the yoke a tug to get the nosewheel up and touch down nicely on the mains.

    It's kind of hard to explain.

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  • Foxtrot
    replied
    Re:

    Originally posted by screaming_emu
    Emu wins!
    Congratulations

    Foxtrot

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  • Chris@YYZ
    replied
    congrats Joe! do Jp.net guys get a discount on your services?

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  • MaxPower
    replied
    Thats great to hear, Joe ! Finally! Right !.. Btw its Senr

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  • screaming_emu
    replied
    Originally posted by Crunk415balla
    Congrats Joe!

    And who ever said Emu's couldn't fly?
    muchos gracias senor

    Leave a comment:


  • Crunk415balla
    replied
    Congrats Joe!

    And who ever said Emu's couldn't fly?

    Leave a comment:


  • screaming_emu
    replied
    Originally posted by Crunk415balla
    Good luck, Joe!
    Emu wins!

    Leave a comment:


  • Crunk415balla
    replied
    Good luck, Joe!

    Leave a comment:


  • screaming_emu
    replied
    well, I got my CFI checkride tomorrow morning, so if all goes well, I can now start charging you for advice Passed the oral this morning

    Leave a comment:


  • Crunk415balla
    replied
    Thanks Joe, that seems to be the advice I'm getting from most people and I'm eager to try it. The airport I usually fly at, SQL, has few markings on the rather short runway, just the numbers and a faded "San Carlos" written across the runway. So I think I'll just focus on the "30" on the runway, and hopefully I'll be done floating by the time I get to the point where I plan to touchdown.

    Leave a comment:


  • screaming_emu
    replied
    Chasen, sounds like you may be doin your approaches a we bit fast. Either that, or you're fixating on your landing point. Try aiming for a spot shortly before where you plan on landing. For example, if you want to land on the 2nd centerline stripe on a big instrument runway, aim for the one before it. If you're on a small runway, go for the numbers, by the time you flare and such, you will have floated past it and will hopefully land right on your spot.

    Leave a comment:


  • JordanD
    replied
    Originally posted by LRJet Guy
    Fly the proper airspeed, and pull the power out of it at the right time. Quite honestly its been so long since I flew a single that I'd probably crash the SOB, but that sounds about right.

    You've also got to pick your aiming point and adjust the sink rate to put the airplane on the proper spot. Looking down the full length of the runway rather than your aiming point helps a lot too. That's probably the best thing you can do to start helping yourself make better landings.
    Looking all the way down the runway is what helped me. I used to not be able to nail a landing ever, but since the day I quit looking right in front of the nose, I've done pretty well with landings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Crunk415balla
    replied
    Thanks LRJet Guy, I'll keep that in mind.

    Leave a comment:

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