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Greetings again,

Just wanted to cover another topic in the tips saga. This time we will focus on landing.

By the time you make it to the majors or the corporate world, most pilots are well established. By this point, most employers know that candidates have polished skills. The focus during the hiring process is personality, procedural/regulation knowledge and flight management. The most important aspect about flying is flight management. One important part of flight management is the landing phase. Believe it or not, the landing phase actually starts in preflight planning. Taking the time to become familiar with the airport, it's procedures, environment, weather, approaches and traffic flow is paramount. 100% of the field study is done during planning and a quick rehash is done before descent. You've heard numerous times that a great landing starts with a great descent. Before we get started, I'll give you an idea of the evaluation criteria I used when giving evaluations in my airforce days and currently.  

Area 15, VFR Pattern.

Q. Performed traffic pattern and turn to final/final approach IAW published procedures. Aircraft control was smooth and positive. Constantly cleared area of intended flight.

Q-. Performed traffic pattern and turn to final/final approach with minor deviations to procedures as published/directed. Aircraft control was safe but not consistently smooth and positive. Over/under shot final approach, but was able to intercept normal glide path. Adequately cleared area of intended flight.

U. Did not perform traffic pattern and/or turn to final/final approach IAW published procedures. Displayed erratic aircraft control. Did not clear area of intended flight.

Area 16, Landings.

Reference Table 2.2 for grading criteria specific to landings.

Specific items to evaluate include threshold altitude/airspeed, runway alignment, flare, touchdown, and landing in crab.

Airspeed tolerances apply to computed threshold speed.

Add 5 KIAS to all engines operating criteria for operations with an engine out criteria.

 

 

 

 

Q

Performed landings as published/directed IAW flight manual

Airspeed

+10 / -0 KIAS

Touchdown Zone

1000-3000 feet

Centerline

+/- 15 feet left or right

TCH

+25 / -0 feet

 

 

 

 

Q-

Performed landings with minor deviation to procedures as

published/directed. Landed in a slight crab

Airspeed

+10 / -5 KIAS

Touchdown Zone

500-3000 feet

Centerline

+/- 25 feet left or right

TCH

+50 / -5 feet

U

Landing not performed as published/directed. Exceeded Q- criteria

 Area 17, Landing Roll/Braking/Reverse Thrust.

Q. Performed as published/directed IAW flight manual. Braking action and reverse thrust actuation prompt and smooth.

Q-. Performed landings with minor deviation to procedures as published/directed. Braking action and reverse thrust actuation unnecessarily delayed or not smooth.

U. Landing not performed as published/directed. Braking or reverse thrust actuated prior to touchdown. Exceeded Q- criteria.

Area 18, All Engine Go-Around (GA). Required in-flight, only if a GA or engine-out GA was not evaluated in the simulator (not required if area 20 is accomplished).

Q. Initiated and performed GA promptly and according to flight manual and directives. Applied smooth control inputs. Acquired and maintained a positive climb.

Q-. Slow or hesitant to initiate GA. Slightly over-controlled the aircraft. Minor deviations did not affect mission accomplishment or compromise safety.

U. Did not initiate GA when appropriate or directed. Major deviations or misapplication of procedures could have led to an unsafe condition.

These are pretty easy and as you can imagine, one U in one area or multiple Q- grading leads to a failed checkride. There are a total of 60 areas evaluated, I only listed the areas associated with landing.

For starters, a good review and approach brief sets you up for a great landing. On average, a good point to start the brief is anywhere from about an hour from landing no later than 10 minutes from the descent point. Here is what I brief real world.

1. Approach Name (e.g. ILS 1L) or VFR Pattern

2. NAVAID Frequencies

3. Final Approach Course

4. Final Approach Fix / Glide Slope Intercept

5. DA / MDA / RA (Cat II ILS only)

6. TDZE / Min Safe Altitude / Trans Level

7. Runway lighting type

8. Missed Approach Instructions

9. Current WX and approach WX minimums / RAIM (if applicable)

10. Landing runway length vs. landing dist.

11. Stabilized Approach Criteria

12. Taxi Plan

While being a one man/woman show, utilize the automation as much as you can. This give you the ability to monitor approach and stay progressive. I normally hand fly once I'm on the slope or descending out of MDA. One thing to remember is to make small corrections. Some people will preach pitch and power, but in the days of heavy iron, it's not as relevant. Once configured and on approach, your power should be stable. There are a few techniques for good power settings. The other day in the IXEG 737, I noticed that at 100,000 pounds, power with flaps 30 on the slope was about 62%. So, 10% of your gross weight + 52 is a good base line in this jet. 100,000 pounds = 10% of 100K +52 = 10+52 = 62% N1 as a base line for flaps 30 ref +5 on approach.  In this case, my approach power is set and I don't want to touch it. If I’m a little high, I lower the nose slightly and gradually correct. As I approach the glide path, I take that slight correction out. The jet may gain a couple of knots or so, but once I remove the slight correction, the jet will tend to correct back to approach speed. If you get a little low, again, slight correction along with a touch of power and that's it. With speed corrections, remember your target power for approach. If you get slow, nudge the power and give it a few secs. If it doesn't respond, give it another nudge. The key here is small corrections, remember what you put in so you can take it out after correcting. Some guys use throttle knob width and half knob width for throttle adjustments. I basically us my wrist to wiggle in adjustments. Laterally, again you want to make small corrections and allow the jet to correct smoothly and gently back to center line. Again, the least amount correction you put in, the least amount you have to take out.  

The reason I don't like pitch and power anymore is due to jet performance. In jet aircraft, everything lags. If you got low and added power, you would be low and fast before you corrected. In prop aircraft, pitch and power works great. Some props will give you instantaneous lift effect over the wing. In jet aircraft, it's opposite unless you are flying a blown flap jet like the C-17. Like I stated before, we use target fuel flows and N1 settings to get into a baseline for approach speeds. A good technique is to put the weather down to minimums and hand fly the approach. This lets you practice small corrections and see how easily large corrections throws you off. A well trimmed aircraft will naturally seek approach pitch and speed.

Letting the autopilot fly for you initially allows you to calibrate your aim point. You want to drive the aircraft towards the captain bars (1000ft down). You want to be on glide path, speed, trimmed for approach and stable. When properly trimmed, your hands are relaxed on the yoke and throttles. You should only make inputs here and there, because a properly trimmed aircraft will fly itself down. In the IXEG 737, I use the 20ft callout for my flare point and power pull. The flare is only a 2 to 3 degree pitch change in the majority of jet aircraft. Just enough to diminish the sink rate. A text book touchdown is a little firm and occurs no less than REF-5 1000 to 1500 feet down. But Rick, what about my greaser? Greasers should be the last thing on your mind. Greasers are long forgotten while egressing the aircraft with your passengers after an over run. I’ve had guys struggle and get aggressive on approach, get lucky and put it down 1000ft down with a greaser. I still give them a U for landing because the landing is an equation comprising of the approach. You want to become consistent with text book landings before worrying about greasers. If someone puts it down firm, but with text book data, I rate it a great landing. Short, wet runways with marginal weather and low vis will make a believer out of you.

Once you are consistent with text book landings, you will naturally began to finesse the flare and power pull to get nice touch downs 1000 to 1500ft down. If you fly with me, I’ll send you around when you exceed the 2000ft down point.  

These are just some tips to assist those who may some minor issues landing. Being high, unstable, fast and off center line will definitely throw off your landings. Take a look at the landing criteria to judge your own landings.

Rick

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good stuff, thanks. Being a non pilot, I always assumed that the idea was to land as close to the touch down area as possible (obviously wrong). After all, that gives you the most runway to slowdown on. 

What is the reasoning behind touching down in the 1000-1500 area?

Edited by kneighbour
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Nice writing Rick, maybe you can tell me how to land on the centerline, because I even have lots of trouble to do so even with no crosswind component :(, and it's a shame because i'm starting to master the flaring. above 200 fts AGL, it seems that I'm aligned on the center line but below 200 fts, well i  notice that i'm no way correclty aligned with the center line

 

 

I've seen lots of pilot making kiss landing and in every conditions ( clear weather, rain, heavy wind, turbulence....) I think as long as you have plenty of runway length, you can afford a kiss landing but not so on short runways.

you can see that on this landing , i performed a firm landing knowing that i couldn't afford to float too much because of this short runway.

 

 

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12 hours ago, kneighbour said:

good stuff, thanks. Being a non pilot, I always assumed that the idea was to land as close to the touch down area as possible (obviously wrong). After all, that gives you the most runway to slowdown on. 

What is the reasoning behind touching down in the 1000-1500 area?

Good question! Recent years have shown that the majority of over runs occur from aircraft that touch down beyond the 1500ft area. Touching down in the first third of the runway usually ensures stopping distance. In the aircraft I fly now, the minimum runway length is 5000ft. 1000 to 1500ft is within the first third of the runway. Touching down prior to the 1000ft point puts you in another risk area. Most aircraft have the glide slope antenna located in the nose. This means that if the threshold crossing height is at 50ft, your nose passes over the threshold at 50ft. Your tail and landing gear will be lower than that(imagine a long bodied aircraft). Imagine how low an aircraft has to be in order to touch down at the 500ft mark. You run the risk of clipping something. This is why flight manuals have you aim at the 1000ft mark. Some runways may have terrain and obstructions on the approach path. Now, here's another perspective. Though my minimum runway is 5000ft, every blue moon we may have to land on a runway less than 5000ft. Our guidance is that the runway has to be at least equal to or greater than landing ground roll plus 1000ft. To accomplish this, we have a procedure called minimum run landing. We fly the approach normally all the way down to 300ft. At 300ft, we shift our aimpoint from 1000 to 500ft down. Shifting to 500ft with a normal flare puts you down between the 500 and 1000ft point. The premise in this procedure is that the departure clearways are obstruction free up to 400ft. Of course you would have to verify and confirm that the intended runway clearway is obstruction free. In general, aiming at 1000ft down will get you down by 1500ft. When I flew DC10s, we would fly the visual glide path with one white and one pink. At 300ft, we would aim for the 1000ft mark.

Rick 

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8 hours ago, cmbaviator said:

Nice writing Rick, maybe you can tell me how to land on the centerline, because I even have lots of trouble to do so even with no crosswind component :(, and it's a shame because i'm starting to master the flaring. above 200 fts AGL, it seems that I'm aligned on the center line but below 200 fts, well i  notice that i'm no way correclty aligned with the center line

 

 

I've seen lots of pilot making kiss landing and in every conditions ( clear weather, rain, heavy wind, turbulence....) I think as long as you have plenty of runway length, you can afford a kiss landing but not so on short runways.

you can see that on this landing , i performed a firm landing knowing that i couldn't afford to float too much because of this short runway.

 

 

Don't fret, just a couple of techniques and you will have centerline nailed. I've seen people have this issue in the real jet. I always teach that regardless of the seat you are in, keep your inboard foot on the runway and centerline. This works well in the airplane, but in your case, it won't do much. My technique for flightsims is to use the ADI. Draw an imaginary line from the runway and keep it right through the center of your ADI. This works like a charm, but you have to adjust it with crosswinds. I'm a wing low type of guy when dealing with crosswinds. Initially, you will have to be able to look at the runway and judge a drift killed heading to track it. At about 400ft, I use rudder to align the aircraft with the runway and center it using the ADI. Use the ailerons to move left and right and adjust for the rolling moment from the rudder. As you gain more detail as you approach the runway, fight for centerline using small inputs. Keep the aircraft aligned with the rudder and keep those crosswind controls in. After touch down, get the nose to the runway for assistance from rudder pedal steering. The biggest mistake I see in the real jet is that guys/gals will give up crosswind controls after touch down. Even though the jet is on the ground, it's still flying. If the nose isn't aligned with the runway, you are going to drift requiring some rudder correction. Where ever the jet is pointed, that's where its going. This is why I favor wing low versus the last minute rudder kick. I don't want to figure out optimum rudder and aileron input right before touch down, I have other things I'd rather be thinking about. The type jet I fly weather vanes easily after touch down. Ground spoilers and reversers aggravate the situation by diminishing aileron input and rudder effectiveness. I much rather get my crosswind controls warmed up at 300ft, have it wired through touch down and ready to feed in more control. I also noticed a little wing wag going on in your video. Once you start using the ADI technique, it should cancel it out. Just remember, small inputs and small corrections and you will be fine. 

Yea, kiss landings work on long runways, but it creates a habit pattern. You easily get accustomed to working a greaser, which leads to easily applying it in wrong situations subconsciously. You will start naturally landing long without noticing it. Here's a good example. When I flew DC10s, A technique was to use only the number 1 and 3 reversers  when landing in austere low support areas. The idea was if the number 2 reverser got stuck out, there would be no support to get a guy up to the engine to stow and lock it out. Over time, people would start doing this at every airport. It became a habit. During an evaluation, a guy landed on a short wet runway and only used 1 and 3. I gave him a minus in the landing area. He didn't intend to, in fact he briefed he would use all 3. Unfortunately, it became his bad habit. This is why it's a good idea to always use the text book flare procedure. Once it becomes a good habit, you will stay consistent no matter how long or short the runway is.

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4 hours ago, g650flyer said:

Don't fret, just a couple of techniques and you will have centerline nailed. I've seen people have this issue in the real jet. I always teach that regardless of the seat you are in, keep your inboard foot on the runway and centerline. This works well in the airplane, but in your case, it won't do much. My technique for flightsims is to use the ADI. Draw an imaginary line from the runway and keep it right through the center of your ADI. This works like a charm, but you have to adjust it with crosswinds. I'm a wing low type of guy when dealing with crosswinds. Initially, you will have to be able to look at the runway and judge a drift killed heading to track it. At about 400ft, I use rudder to align the aircraft with the runway and center it using the ADI. Use the ailerons to move left and right and adjust for the rolling moment from the rudder. As you gain more detail as you approach the runway, fight for centerline using small inputs. Keep the aircraft aligned with the rudder and keep those crosswind controls in. After touch down, get the nose to the runway for assistance from rudder pedal steering. The biggest mistake I see in the real jet is that guys/gals will give up crosswind controls after touch down. Even though the jet is on the ground, it's still flying. If the nose isn't aligned with the runway, you are going to drift requiring some rudder correction. Where ever the jet is pointed, that's where its going. This is why I favor wing low versus the last minute rudder kick. I don't want to figure out optimum rudder and aileron input right before touch down, I have other things I'd rather be thinking about. The type jet I fly weather vanes easily after touch down. Ground spoilers and reversers aggravate the situation by diminishing aileron input and rudder effectiveness. I much rather get my crosswind controls warmed up at 300ft, have it wired through touch down and ready to feed in more control. I also noticed a little wing wag going on in your video. Once you start using the ADI technique, it should cancel it out. Just remember, small inputs and small corrections and you will be fine. 

Yea, kiss landings work on long runways, but it creates a habit pattern. You easily get accustomed to working a greaser, which leads to easily applying it in wrong situations subconsciously. You will start naturally landing long without noticing it. Here's a good example. When I flew DC10s, A technique was to use only the number 1 and 3 reversers  when landing in austere low support areas. The idea was if the number 2 reverser got stuck out, there would be no support to get a guy up to the engine to stow and lock it out. Over time, people would start doing this at every airport. It became a habit. During an evaluation, a guy landed on a short wet runway and only used 1 and 3. I gave him a minus in the landing area. He didn't intend to, in fact he briefed he would use all 3. Unfortunately, it became his bad habit. This is why it's a good idea to always use the text book flare procedure. Once it becomes a good habit, you will stay consistent no matter how long or short the runway is.

 

thanls for the tips

 

regarding kiss landing i think it's also based on experience, when you have more than 500 hrs on an aircraft you can do kiss landing with minimal of floating, well thats what i see on the videos

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45 minutes ago, cmbaviator said:

 

thanls for the tips

 

regarding kiss landing i think it's also based on experience, when you have more than 500 hrs on an aircraft you can do kiss landing with minimal of floating, well thats what i see on the videos

Let me know how it works out

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