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what is the secret to a good flare?

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In fsx I mostly fly the heavies and have done numerous landings with both default and addon aircrafts but have not been able to consistently perform well timed flares before touchdown, sometimes I am late and sometimes I do it too early and drop. Also, I find the ils gp indicator dip down rapidly as I close in on the runway, PAPIs also go white.

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In fsx I mostly fly the heavies and have done numerous landings with both default and addon aircrafts but have not been able to consistently perform well timed flares before touchdown, sometimes I am late and sometimes I do it too early and drop. Also, I find the ils gp indicator dip down rapidly as I close in on the runway, PAPIs also go white.
You need to get a number of things right. Your descent rate should be about 3 degrees - usually translates to about 750-850 feet per minute. Your speed will depend on your weight, the winds and the available flap settings on your aeroplane. You need to be steady in the descent for long enough to align nicely with the runway. Unless you get descent rate and speed correct, your chances of executing a decent landing are remote. To get it right, you need to do some reading about the numbers applicable to your particular aeroplane because these do vary significantly. I hesitate to offer this because it could get you off to a false start, but as a VERY VERY rough rule of thumb, in a headwind of 5 knots try about 150 knots at your full flap setting.Maintain your descent to the runway threshold. You should be 50ft above ground level ("agl") as you cross the runway threshold. Then you will flare. Different "heavies" have different flare heights. But as a rule of thumb - and from memory - for the 737 and 757, you start the flare at about 25-30ft above ground level; the 767 starts at about 30-35ft agl; the 747 and MD-11 start at about 35-45ft agl. Pull back on the yoke to lift the nose by about 3 degrees pitch (typically) - then relax the yoke: there's usually no need to try to "hold" the nose up once it's in the right place. As you get to about 10ft agl, gently pull back the throttles to idle.This is easier with radio call-outs, but these are not absolutely necessary if you practice hard enough.Aim to touchdown at about 100 feet per minute. 240 feet per minute is as heavy as you want to go. 600 feet per minute is a very heavy landing, but should be a safe one. More than that and you are pushing the aeroplane beyond the specifications which it must meet to satisfy FAA regulations, as well as making life very uncomfortable, or dangerous, for everyone on board.You should touch down within the touch down zone: usually clearly marked on the runways at major airports - a bit like the "=" in this top-down view of an east-west axis runway assuming you approach from left to right:====-----------========-----------====Once you are across the runway threshold, you can forget about PAPI indicators and glideslope markers: they have done their job by now. The localiser marker is still relevant: it can guide you down the runway.Tim

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THis is actually easier in big fancy jetliners than in a small Cessna with crude avionics. At about 30 AGL per radio call outs bring the nose gently up to pitch of about 5 deg and hold it there while cutting the throttle - then simply wait for touchdown. Virgin Atlantic 747 captain Alan Carter (the one from the ITVV DVD) told me this was his technique landing the 747.

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Probably the one thing I am struggling with the most as a newbie is the flaring. Always seem to do it incorrectly and actually increase the altitude of the entire lane instead of simply lifting the nose up. Practice makes perfect I suppose.

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1. Have landing flaps set so the nose is lower for the given approach speed2. Fly the published approach speed3. When flaring look at the end of the runway, not the nose of the aircraft or out the side of the aircraft.4. When crossing the threshhold ease the throttle to idle. If you do it to fast you will cause a fast pitching moment that buggers up the lovely glideslope you go into.Do all those things and it should be good.Steven.

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THis is actually easier in big fancy jetliners than in a small Cessna with crude avionics. At about 30 AGL per radio call outs bring the nose gently up to pitch of about 5 deg and hold it there while cutting the throttle - then simply wait for touchdown. Virgin Atlantic 747 captain Alan Carter (the one from the ITVV DVD) told me this was his technique landing the 747.
wow, I have seen the video too, excellent effort from his side while actually flying. is he still flying 747s for vir?I will try this method and see if I get it right. btw, what other 744 tips you got to kno from him? anything about low visibility approach by any chance..I always get disoriented when I dont see the rwy after gp is active.

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Actually 'flare' is a misnomer for a jet. You flare a small plane to land, a jet you 'pitch up' and fly it onto the runway. Keep your speed appropiate for your flap setting, at 30 ft or so pull the nose up to 5 degrees or so, cut the throttle, and let her settle in. Be sure you have the spoilers armed if so equipped, then hit reverse thrust as soon as the nose wheel comes down.

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Jay is correct, you do not 'flare' an airliner, you fly the airliner to the runway. The reason is, that airliners tend to settle in ground effect as you approach half the distance of the wing above the runway. As you settle in ground effect you will bleed off speed in a flare and enter a stall which will have you dropping the last 10 or so feet to the runway (I did it on my IOE). So instead of making a soft landing you will enrage the old lady sitting in 24E as you knock her dentures around her mouth.Instead:1) A good approach technique makes for a good consistant landing. Concentrate on flying the perfect 3 degree glideslope on an ILS to the start of the TDZ. Practice a solid approach each and every time. Practice utilizing the proper speeds, proper flaps schedule and proper speed and pitch management (throttle for rate of descent, pitch for speed).2) Aim for Vref (+5-10kts for mom as needed) over the fence 3) Keep your gaze at the END of the runway but peripherally target the TDZ.4) At 10-20 feet AGL retard your throttles and keep constant back pressure on the yoke to assure main gear touchs first (as required), but DO NOT allow the aircraft to float, continue flying the aircraft to the ground. If you are floating down the runway then you are approaching too fast or your are flaring and in a real aircarft you will eventually bleed off all your speed and drop the last 10 feet.5) Your goal is for a SOLID (read: Firm) landing in the TDZ consistantly. Once you have your landings down where they are solid, consistant and you can place the aircraft on the runway where you want it, now go for the greasers.6) Arrest your rate of descent at 10-20 feet with your throttles...yep you heard it right, with your throttles NOT your yoke. The reason being, on your entire approach, you should be managing your rate of decent with your throttles and pitching for airspeed which is the proper technique for landing whether you are in a Cessna 172 or a B757. At 10-20 feet increase your throttles smoothly to bring your RoD to as close to 0 FPM as possible....this technique takes practice.None the less, practice your approaches until you can do them in your sleep. Greasers are a more an art from and are not a requirement for a 'good' landing. However, a consistant and stable approach and firm consistant landing technique are pass / fail.HTH,Mike T.

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In fsx I mostly fly the heavies and have done numerous landings with both default and addon aircrafts but have not been able to consistently perform well timed flares before touchdown, sometimes I am late and sometimes I do it too early and drop. Also, I find the ils gp indicator dip down rapidly as I close in on the runway, PAPIs also go white.
I feel your pain, hehe...I've spent the last 20 years trying to figure out a good technique for this as well and due to flaws in the MS aerodynamics engine you simply cannot fly it the same way you would in real life....this may not be completely realistic but it works best:try this - ....your airspeed will depend upon your weight but should be adjusted as far out as possible on approach so that you can maintain a 700-800 fpm descent rate with your nose attitude at about +2 degrees (just stick your nose at 2 degrees and adjust speed just right so youll be dropping at -700 to -800fpm), then about 5 miles out from touchdown get beneath the ILS g/s by about 1/2 tick - 1 tick and by 3 miles out cut your descent rate down to about -500fpm (at this point stop paying so much attention to the g/s indicaor and papi lights because youre coming in slightly under them). Within a mile or 2 of touchdown the papi lights should show 2 red and only 1 white (indicating youre slightly low, thats fine)...cross the fence or threshold at 50ft and -500fpm descent rate and start a flare by lifting your nose another 2 degrees - 2.5 degress so youll be at about 4-5 degress nose up....your particular plane and its flight model will dictate just how early or late youll need to cut the thrust, but genreally speaking youll be cutting thrust at about the same time your flaring.You have to know that the ILS g/s and papi lights do not take a "flare" into account so if you follow them all the way down to 50ft and THEN flare you will be long everytime...in order to follow those instruments perfectly all the way down to the ground and NOT be long youd have to forgoe the flare and touchdown at around -500fpm which is a pretty hard landing...try to shoot for less than 100fpm descent rate at touchdown...but as i said, to do this on the first 1,000ft marker youll have to come in under the g/s a bit and start slowing your descent rate a few miles out.Hope it helps!Dave

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All great advice above. The key that helped me the most (assuming a solidly flown approach including speed, glideslope, and trim) is knowing where to look.I will typically be laser focused on the touchdown markers (two large squares) until I hear the 50 callout. Up until this point you want the jet to track directly towards those markers. At the 50' callout, I will shift eye focus to the far end of the runway (I don't bother with any other instruments...this is completely visual) and begin to slightly bring the nose up. Most people tend to over-flare, but I just focus on slowing my descent and flying the plane onto the runway. Around 30' I will slowly pull throttles back (maybe a full 1-1.5 seconds to get them all the way back) and kick in any rudder/aileron I need to align the nose with the centerline. This usually works very well.With regards to cross-wind landings, I typically seperate pitch and rudder input into two maneauvers. Pitch up first to slow descent and then add rudder (and opposing ailerons) to line the aircraft up with the runway. Otherwise, you are moving the aircraft in 3-axies while manipulating the throttle...it quickly gets confusing.Hope this helps!Jeff

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anything about low visibility approach by any chance..I always get disoriented when I dont see the rwy after gp is active.
you shouldn't be hand flying when you can't see the runway

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you shouldn't be hand flying when you can't see the runway
hand flying is not a problem in IMC conditions as long as its not beyond published minimums for the runway and aircraft...thats why minimums are approved to begin with (to let the pilot know when its not safe to manually land the plane)...any weather that dips below minimums would require the plane and runway be approved for catIII approaches (which is basically an auto pilot controlled landing for which the plane and runway are specially equipped for)....just concentrate on your instruments the whole way down and dont bother looking out the window until you reach minimums, then switch to visual for the landing, but handflying the entire way down is fine as long as you break out and can see the runway lights at or above minimums (which for many runways and heavy craft are typically 200ft and .5m visibility). Publshed minimums should be checked for every approach on every runway because they vary, not only according to the approach being used but also by the TYPE of plane youre flying)

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you shouldn't be hand flying when you can't see the runway
But thats my only option in most of the airplanes I fly! That would take away a lot of flying days for me here in the Northwest if I couldn't fly when it is cloudy :)

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One other 'trick' I used to teach my students, and works just fine in FS:Once you have the approach stabilized, and you can see the runway, look at the spot you want to touchdown at. If it is starting to slide 'under' the instrument panel, you are going to overshoot it, if it moves 'away' from you, you will land short. Keep it in the same spot and thats exactly where you will touch the mains, within a few feet.

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wow, I have seen the video too, excellent effort from his side while actually flying. is he still flying 747s for vir?I will try this method and see if I get it right. btw, what other 744 tips you got to kno from him? anything about low visibility approach by any chance..I always get disoriented when I dont see the rwy after gp is active.
Alan Carter, last I heard, was flying for Asiana Airlines but he is still flying 747's. Alan Rattigan (FO) still flies for Virgin Atlantic. John Calloum is on workers compensation and no longer flies.Goran

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Unless you're making a short field landing, the idea should be to round out from the descent to a fairly level attitude, then allow the airplane to settle, and apply more up elevator gradually to ensure you don't land flat. I think most people make the mistake of flaring too quickly, which leads to the aircraft ballooning. Just give it a few seconds to settle down and bleed off some airspeed before bringing the nose up any.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but a key point for the flare is to remember this is a visual manuever. You should never know what your TD rate or airspeed is unless you're getting it from an ACARS or similar program after landing (not to say that these aren't important aspects of a safe landing though). Once you reach decision height (and often higher if your are VMC), you're eyes should be focused outside the cockpit. This is how you get used to how things should look at the threshold, at the start of the flare, at touchdown and so on. Then you will just naturally judge the right time to flare.I've always been taught throughout flight training that you want to fly visually whenever possible. Now of course, you back this up with instruments even in perfect visibility. So if I'm flying a visual approach, the track of the plane would look no different than flying an ILS because I'm essentially flying both, checking that I'm on ILS LOC and G/S every few seconds. The big difference is that in VMC I'll take my attitude indications from the horizon while in IMC i'll take it from the PFD/ADI/appropriate instrument. By it's nature, IMC is much more of a flying by the numbers exercise, which isn't bad but is an easy way to get disorientated and get behind the jet. By the flare you MUST be either visual on the runway or flying an approved CAT III autoland and then George or whatever name you give the AFD is the one worrying about the flare.

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I'm surprised no one has mentioned this, but a key point for the flare is to remember this is a visual manuever.
Agree with that one. I

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In real life, you do not follow the glideslope and the PAPI down to touchdown usually (During an ILS Approach). If they did, landings in planes would be very hard B). You want to follow the glideslope until you reach the threshold of the runway and then you can take it from there. I am doing work right now so I will give you only a bit of help. On approach depending on your payload, fuel, and aircraft you want to come in at the correct speed (VREF) + 5 knots. At DH (Decision Height) or usually called "Minimums" which is at 200FT AGL usually, you want to determine if its safe to land or if you need to execute a go around. Usually, if the pilot is too high above the glide slope he/she will do a Go around. If you are OK at DH then fly the aircraft down to the threshold of the runway and then after that ignore the glideslope and PAPI. Pitch up 5 degrees gently and retard the throttles slowly to VREF, this will "fly" the airliner down to the runway. The localizer is very helpful for landing the plane so you usually do not want to ignore it unless it is off in FS, it will help you land on the centerline of the runway.When visibility is low, I would let the autopilot fly the approach, that way you can scan outside and see if you can get the runway in sight, except for when you are doing an autoland in CATIII conditions.If you want to do things as close as you can to real life. Then in bad weather conditions with lots of precipitation at the airfield, land firmly. In real life this will give you a greater chance of contacting the runway surface instead of contacting the water and hydroplaning which can reduce braking power or make them ineffective. Maybe when Airsimmer comes out with their A320 you'll be able to simulate hydroplaning, because they said that weather will affect the brakes :(.Almost forgot! I highly recommend downloading the freeware programs FSCopilot and FSInn. They add lots of extras to FSX which will help improve your flying and how well you simulate your flights. The software is freeware and when you install both, you will get an option somewhere in the "Inn Control Panel" sub menu to turn on altitude callouts which work for every plane, and increase realism and help landing very much, They are Boeing callouts though.Download: http://www.mcdu.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4363This also the software people use to connect to VATSIM on FSX and FS2004. I prefer much more over SquawkBox 4 if you have heard about it, because FSInn has many more advance features and it choses the aircraft to represent when you fly online, unlike squawkbox 4 where you have to choose every single plane when you fly on VATSIM. Another great feature is its pushback option. Unlike the default FSX pushback, this will let you enter the number of meters you would like to pushback, and the number of degrees you want to turn (left or right), so instead of only being able to go 90 degress left or right, you have the whole 360 degrees, and it will give you a visual aid to give you an estimate of where the position of the aircraft will be :(. So try it out sometime and see, and have safe flights and happy landings. :(BTW, someone said in bad weather conditions, or approach (i forgot) just look at the instruments and don't take your eyes off the MFD, PFD, etc. This is the UNSAFEST thing to do in real life. You have to scan for traffic in good weather and especially in bad, because you never know if an aircraft is going to be approaching a parallel runway and if they will be off the localizer. There is a technique in real life taught to commercial transport pilots, to help them monitor outside and also check instruments. The workload is usually split between pilots though, which reminds me. If you fly FSX online and want to have a copilot, share your cockpit (with a password, so no one hijacks it), and do what they do in real life. Have one pilot monitor the altitude, glideslope, localizer, and speed, and check outside every once in a while on approach (usually the copilot) if they have a microphone, they can talk to you without pressing the transmit button, so have them shout out altitudes like "50, 30, 10" and call out speeds like "80 knots, 60 knots, reversers in", etc. Have one pilot mainly focus outside the cockpit and check speed and precision approach once every few seconds to make corrections (usually the pilot.) This will increase realism and increase safety for your virtual passengers, ensuring many accident free flights :). After all... you don't want the virtual FAA taking away your CPL (Commercial Pilots License).... :(

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gman makes good points, but I'd note that your approach speed requires Vref + 5 + wind correction. You cannot count on all that wind to be steady all the way to touchdown. Typically you correct with 1/2 steady wind speed + full gust excess just in case the wind suddenly calms down and you loose this speed over your wings.Depending on the aircaft you're flying, CAT II or III ILS may actually require autoland to be used.

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