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kmanning

Landing the 747-400

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Hi all,I was going over the PMDG 747-400 Flight Techniques Manual on the procedures of when to flare and retarding the throttles for a normal landing. In the manual it states: "Flare: At 50 feet radio altitude above the runway surface, the throttles should be moved to idle. At 30 feet radio altitude, nose up pitch should be increased from the approach angle to approximately 6º nose up." Is this procedure from a real world 747-400 manual?From observing several 747-400 videos on YouTube, including the Virgin Atlantic and the Cathay Pacific Videos, the procedure seems to depend on how quickly the pilot retards the throttles. If the throttles are retarded at 50 feet, they are retarded, but slowly to idle. If retarded lower than 50 feet, for example at 30 feet, they're retarded more rapidly. I've watched these videos repeatdely and very carefully and the procedure is very clear in the video. Of course, some of the procedures were slightly different. In all of the videos, the throttles are NEVER at idle at 50 feet, so apparently the manual must mean to begin retarding at 50 feet, but slowly. Most of the time, the flare was initiated at around 30 feet as described in the manual. In this video, the pilot appeares to start retarding the throttles at 50 feet, very slowly, but slams it to idle at 30 feet. It appeares he flared at about 30 feet:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO4Bxg8gh6Y&feature=relatedIn this video, the pilot seems to start retarding the throttles when 50 feet is called, but he does it slowly. He was not at idle until 10 feet was called. It appears he started the flare at about 50 feet but flared very slowly.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSeqy38SxUIIf any of you have the Virgin Atlantic video, I want to ask if any of you would view the portion of the video very carefully where Virgin 19 is on approach to runway 28L and see if we agree on what we observe. The portion of the video I want you all to observe is when the multiple shots come up on the screen. Observe particularly the shot on the bottom right where the camera is placed behind the crew. In this shot, you can observe Alan's hands on the throttles and also the control wheel. Here's what I Observe from the video: When 30 feet is called out, it appears that was when captain Alan Carter retards the throttles. From viewing the control wheel in the same shot, it appears that he pulled it back either slightly before 30 feet was called or at about the same time. If you observe the main shot, he seems to start the flare at around 40 feet. If you're wondering if all of the 5 shots are in sync, YES, they're all in sync. Let me know what you observed. Thanks, Ken.

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I think this is because different airlines have different procedures, and the PMDG manual has to be a "one-size-fits-all" thing. Besides, all pilots have a personal preferance. Assuming the landing is preformed within the limits of the SOP, you can expect every pilot to have a different landing technique.

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Let me know what you observed.
Not sure what's the point. Consider all the dynamics of pilot's hands movements (muscle inertia, etc) and relative rapidity of certain events (say between 50' and 30' callouts) and see if you can understand why all these techniques are essentially equivalent. And yes, I can confirm this is the technique that captain A.Carter prefers - I actually did exchange bunch of emails with him years ago on his 747 landing technique.

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Simmers (and a lot of new F/O's) really want to over complicate things, real world flying is dynamic, follow SOP but use your head and adapt to the situation, cross wind,tail wind etc etc... land on the numbers don't float and get it down just below Vref..simple

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Simmers (and a lot of new F/O's) really want to over complicate things, real world flying is dynamic, follow SOP but use your head and adapt to the situation, cross wind,tail wind etc etc... land on the numbers don't float and get it down just below Vref..simple
I know right! Well I did but never mind

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Simmers (and a lot of new F/O's) really want to over complicate things, real world flying is dynamic, follow SOP but use your head and adapt to the situation, cross wind,tail wind etc etc... land on the numbers don't float and get it down just below Vref..simple
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has that sentiment.

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Simmers (and a lot of new F/O's) really want to over complicate things, real world flying is dynamic, follow SOP but use your head and adapt to the situation, cross wind,tail wind etc etc... land on the numbers don't float and get it down just below Vref..simple
This is not about over complicating things. I was curious about the different techniques from different pilots when compared to the manual, and at first wondered if the manual was correct. It is. As far as landing on the numbers, you basically have to slam the aircraft onto the runway and I can tell you that most people that fly on commercial planes do not like it when the aircraft is slamed onto the runway. But there are times when a sudden change in wind direction and or speed can cause the aircraft to suddenly lose it's lift and drop onto the runway. I do not use crosswinds in flight simulator because it's way too over exagerated. Ken.

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This is not about over complicating things. I was curious about the different techniques from different pilots when compared to the manual, and at first wondered if the manual was correct. It is. As far as landing on the numbers, you basically have to slam the aircraft onto the runway and I can tell you that most people that fly on commercial planes do not like it when the aircraft is slamed onto the runway. But there are times when a sudden change in wind direction and or speed can cause the aircraft to suddenly lose it's lift and drop onto the runway. I do not use crosswinds in flight simulator because it's way too over exagerated. Ken.
Hi Ken,I'm not sure where you are getting your information from but if you are using youtube I can only assume that's where the problem is. Any pilot (real or simmer) that feels in order to land within the TD zone needs to slam the aircraft onto the runway needs to review his/her technique. Your aim is for a smooth but firm touchdown, do not try to grease the landing, if your unsure watch the autoland a few times. One of the few things PMDG got wrong with the 744 is the autoland is too smooth on touchdown however they did correct this with the MD11. Crosswind's may not be 100% realistic in FS but they work well in FS compared to the real thing, again watch the Autoland and you will see it's possible to land the 744 with the max crosswind component without issues.If your worried about a loss of airspeed on approach then follow SOP and add half the headwind to your Vref...simple if you use your head.Lastly, to some simmers reading this, if money's tight, instead of spending it all on the latest I7 etc go to your local flying school and book and hour or two and land an aircraft real! If you have a bit more cash, book a 744 sim for an hour, it's cheaper then the latest graphic cards!

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Lastly, to some simmers reading this, if money's tight, instead of spending it all on the latest I7 etc go to your local flying school and book and hour or two and land an aircraft real! If you have a bit more cash, book a 744 sim for an hour, it's cheaper then the latest graphic cards!
Agreed.But please don't show up and rant off on "well I'm a member of X VA and I have 700 hours," et cetera. They don't want to hear it, and I don't want to hear it, or hear about it. To be honest, for a private pilot, there are certain things the sim can actually impede, in terms of your learning and habits. That being said, any time an instructor hears how much time a new student has spent in flight sim, the initial thought is that of gladness, since he or she won't have to explain too much in terms of what the gauges are telling you, but also worry in terms of training the student out of how much they think they know and bad habits acquired. I'm a huge supporter of sim experience helping you in training - I got my private in 41 hours, Part 91, and I think the sim (in addition to study/knowledge) helped me do that - but I also strongly believe that you shouldn't think that being a simmer will by default make you a good pilot.And ask for an intro flight. Most flight schools give them for about $40-90 flat. Some won't let you touch the controls much, but some may. It's worth a shot.

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Hi Ken,I'm not sure where you are getting your information from but if you are using youtube I can only assume that's where the problem is. Any pilot (real or simmer) that feels in order to land within the TD zone needs to slam the aircraft onto the runway needs to review his/her technique. Your aim is for a smooth but firm touchdown, do not try to grease the landing, if your unsure watch the autoland a few times. One of the few things PMDG got wrong with the 744 is the autoland is too smooth on touchdown however they did correct this with the MD11. Crosswind's may not be 100% realistic in FS but they work well in FS compared to the real thing, again watch the Autoland and you will see it's possible to land the 744 with the max crosswind component without issues.If your worried about a loss of airspeed on approach then follow SOP and add half the headwind to your Vref...simple if you use your head.Lastly, to some simmers reading this, if money's tight, instead of spending it all on the latest I7 etc go to your local flying school and book and hour or two and land an aircraft real! If you have a bit more cash, book a 744 sim for an hour, it's cheaper then the latest graphic cards!
No, YouTube is not where the problem is. Referring to videos, such as the Virgin 19 video, is one of the ways to get your training. Of course, it's even better through a flying school. You mentioned "landing on the numbers," and I assumed you were referring to the numbers that's near the threshold. I've heard that phrase before and I do agree with you that you try to land within the touch down zone. I do use my head. I've flown real aircrafts so I know the difference between real world flying and flight simulator. It's true that FS9 or FSX will not make you a good pilot in the real world. By the way, thanks Petr for the document but I already have it.Ken.

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This is my two hours in the sim http://forum.avsim.n...a-real-744-sim/The "Flare" in the real thing is a lot different to PMDG. I found that out! You lift the nose by one degree and that's it. Pity I didn't have enough time to refine that! One day again maybe.
KLM pilots told me lift the nose by two degrees. But like everybody else said in this topic other companies have different procedures

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If you can tell the difference between 1 degree and 2 degrees while sitting behind the stick, you are a better man then me :(

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Dear Ken,see the attachment. Petr
Hi Petr,I said I already have the document but it turns out that I do not. I was thinking it was a portion of the 964 page version of the 747 manual that was released a few years ago but I found out it's not the same manual. I remember I had a document showing the runway but I can't find it. I also noticed that your document is a much later version than the one I have, so thanks for that document. It explains the procedure in a lot more detail. Is there anyway you can send me the complete 747-400 document?Ken.

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Dear Ken,I just sent you an email concerning the manual. The whole manual is Copyrighted, so I cannot post it here.But you are right. This is the latest valid version downloaded from Boeing few days ago.Best regardsPetr

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This is my two hours in the sim http://forum.avsim.net/topic/293112-two-hours-in-a-real-744-sim/The "Flare" in the real thing is a lot different to PMDG. I found that out! You lift the nose by one degree and that's it. Pity I didn't have enough time to refine that! One day again maybe.
Wow, one degree doesn't seem like much but I'm sure it slows down the rate of decent to some point. What flap setting did you use, how much did the aircraft weigh, and what was the Vref? Although the PMDG is a different simulator than the real one, I usually flare and hold 5 degrees on the PFD since the manual says to rotate the nose to 6 degrees. I would like to book a real 747 simulator but I don't know of one where I live. Ken.

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But I have real trouble slowing my rate of decent. I have the propper flaps and speed.Also when landing would you disengage the autothrottles?

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50' look down the end of the runway, 30' flare - about 2 degrees up, 20' ft retard to idle....works like a charmAT should be disengaged at minimums...or preferably before if you're visualNate

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This is my two hours in the sim http://forum.avsim.net/topic/293112-two-hours-in-a-real-744-sim/The "Flare" in the real thing is a lot different to PMDG. I found that out! You lift the nose by one degree and that's it. Pity I didn't have enough time to refine that! One day again maybe.
Not to burst bubbles here, but many simulators aren't really rigged to be exactly like the real aircraft, and are more geared for procedural trainers with motion for both crew familiarity, CRM and non-standard operations. "Real thing" can only be described as having air under your wings.
Wow, one degree doesn't seem like much but I'm sure it slows down the rate of decent to some point. What flap setting did you use, how much did the aircraft weigh, and what was the Vref? Although the PMDG is a different simulator than the real one, I usually flare and hold 5 degrees on the PFD since the manual says to rotate the nose to 6 degrees. I would like to book a real 747 simulator but I don't know of one where I live. Ken.
The flare is the change in pitch from the current pitch angle to the new pitch angle, so changing from 5 to 6 would fit with the suggestion to flare 1-2 degrees. Furthermore, it's not your pitch that fully determines your rate of descent, it is also your speed. If you're well under your speed, 1 degree won't slow down the rate of descent much, but it'll put you closer to stall.

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