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Lemond23

How do NG pilots know when to put flaps?

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Is there a technique, a procedure or something they follow? Or do pilots follow their own intuition and experience?Thanks,Teo Halfen

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Just keep an eye on your speed tape. If you've configured the aircraft correctly, all the speeds will be announced there.

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Check out the tutorial that Ryan has written, pretty good guidelines in there. As far as when, there are various speed constraints per different flap settings. I usually use the speed tape as a guide as it has little tickmarks (for example "1") when you should put the flaps up to 1 after takeoff. You can consult the operating manuals for more in depth information.As far as real world ops, I'm sure there are some NG pilots in here that could help...

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To give you an idea on take off you would select Flaps 1 at V2+15 and Select Flaps UP at 1. On landing you would usually select Flaps 1 downwind or approaching base at about 220 - 210 kts slow down to about 180 knots and flaps 5 turning final then gear down and flaps 15 capturing glideslope select Vapp for Flap30 and select Flap 30 on the 15 tape mark. There are variations to this but this is fairly usual.

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Is there a technique, a procedure or something they follow? Or do pilots follow their own intuition and experience?Thanks,Teo Halfen
Flying as a passenger in Norway (where most aircrafts are 737ng`s), Ive observed many times over how they sometimes just "drop" everything they have as quick as possible, while other timesits more "by the textbook". It all comes down to whether your on a visual, ils cat2 in minimums or a straight in approach regardless of type. At railway engineer school, I went to class with an ex-NG pilot from Scandinavian Airlines. (believe you me, i spent the whole year talking more about flying than driving trains;-)-He told me that the first few years flying the NG, pilots often came in hot and high, dropping their gears and hurtling flaps down and sometimes they where not stable until 300-500 ft agl.Later on Sas did a procedure on it, so now a days its "1000 stabilized" almost no matter what. (meaning gear down and flaps 30/40 for landing, aligned with the runway at 1000 ft AGL.)Gear down between 1500-1800 is "normal", but then again, it seems to depend on the situation your in.

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I haven't read the entire article yet but I think Mike Ray has written something along what you are looking for in the free version of "Computer Pilot" from AVSIM's front page.I have two of Mike's books, several of his articles and cannot wait for his NG book.HTH,Jim

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Is there a technique, a procedure or something they follow? Or do pilots follow their own intuition and experience?Thanks,Teo Halfen
The Vspeeds at takeoff and the landing Ref speeds for landing.You set your speed to the flap setting as seen on the speed tape on the PFD.(If you arm VNAV before takeoff it will select your flap speeds for you.)Since the introduction of the PFD and ND displays years ago, selecting flaps became simple.During takeoff, when you see flap 5 aligned with the current speed you select flaps 1. when you see flaps 1 you select flaps UP.During Approach, when you are at the UP speed you can extend flaps 1. At flaps 1 you extend flaps 5. Hold the flaps 5 speed until the glideslope starts to move downand then, landing gear down and flaps 15. Hold the flaps 15 speed until you are totally configured to land. ( Arm the Speedbrakes and Autobrakes )....................Select flaps 30 and reduce your speed to REF + 5. ( just park the speed bug on top of the green REF on the speed tape.)That is just a very general guide but a good one to learn. It should do for most lands,Fred.

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The Vspeeds at takeoff and the landing Ref speeds for landing.You set your speed to the flap setting as seen on the speed tape on the PFD.If you arm VNAV before takeoff it will select your flap speeds for you.Since the introduction of the PFD and ND displays years ago, selecting flaps became simple.During takeoff, when you see flap 5 aligned with the current speed you select flaps 1. when you see flaps 1 you select flaps UP.During Approach, when you are at the UP speed you can extend flaps 1. At flaps 1 you extend flaps 5. Hold the flaps 5 speed until the glideslope starts to move downand then, landing gear down and flaps 15. Hold the flaps 15 speed until you are totally configured to land. ( Arm the Speedbrakes and Autobrakes )....................Select flaps 30 and reduce your speed to REF + 5. ( just park the speed bug on top of the green REF on the speed tape.)That is just a very general guide but a good one to learn. It should do for most lands,Fred.
Simple and clear.. Thank you Sir!

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Also, remember that like most airliners, if you bust a flap speed (extend flaps when flying faster than the airspeed limit for any flap setting), you will have triggered a substantial maintenance check on the aircraft. You might not be too popular......Thanks, Bruce.

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Is there a technique, a procedure or something they follow? Or do pilots follow their own intuition and experience?Thanks,Teo Halfen
They read FCOM, FTCM sometimes.

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Flying as a passenger in Norway (where most aircrafts are 737ng`s), Ive observed many times over how they sometimes just "drop" everything they have as quick as possible, while other timesits more "by the textbook". It all comes down to whether your on a visual, ils cat2 in minimums or a straight in approach regardless of type.At railway engineer school, I went to class with an ex-NG pilot from Scandinavian Airlines. (believe you me, i spent the whole year talking more about flying than driving trains;-)-He told me that the first few years flying the NG, pilots often came in hot and high, dropping their gears and hurtling flaps down and sometimes they where not stable until 300-500 ft agl.Later on Sas did a procedure on it, so now a days its "1000 stabilized" almost no matter what. (meaning gear down and flaps 30/40 for landing, aligned with the runway at 1000 ft AGL.)Gear down between 1500-1800 is "normal", but then again, it seems to depend on the situation your in.
1000 stabilized means that:-FMA modes annunciation verified by both pilots.-PF: confirm FLARE ARMED on EADI (FMA), check stabilized approach, follow throttles-PM: at 1000 feet check FLARE ARMED on FMA and announce.Gear down between 1500-1800Gear retraction is not associated with height. On simple ILS approach it's retracted when the glide slope alive (entering the G/S path)

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start with the approach files you find in the FCOM. Then when you become familiar with those and have them memorized, you can now adapt the profiles for the the way the airplane needs to be flown.ie.are you being vectored for a really short approachare you being vectored for a really long finaldo you need to do the course reversal on a non-precision approach?the profiles are meant as guidelines. they are not going to fit exactly in every situation you find yourself in.I have been on flights where we have been vectored onto final very close to the FAF. the CA called for the gear and landing flaps well before what the profile called for.my point is......be a pilot and make the decisions according to the situation....dont let the book make the decision for you.

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There's an excellent article in the latest PC Pilot edition by Mike Ray, free.For environmental and financial reasons, the practice of a continuous descent path with delayed flap extension is gradually becoming a wordwide standard.

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I feel more confortable landing with flaps 30 even if the FMC states 40.Am I doing wrong ? I don't think so because with flap 30 I usually avoid or smooth the bouncing effect.

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1000 stabilized means that:-FMA modes annunciation verified by both pilots.-PF: confirm FLARE ARMED on EADI (FMA), check stabilized approach, follow throttles-PM: at 1000 feet check FLARE ARMED on FMA and announce.Gear down between 1500-1800Gear retraction is not associated with height. On simple ILS approach it's retracted when the glide slope alive (entering the G/S path)
I did not talk about retraction, and I suppose you ment gear extension? But if you enter the G/S path at higher altitudes (3000-4000 feet) youd be slowing everyone down in a busy airspace and it would not be very economical?Also, the "1000 stabilized" in Sas had nothing to do with FLARE ARMED on FMA, because this means that you got both CMD A and B, ILS freq on NAV1 and 2, i.e set for a CAT2 approach in minimum conditions. "1000 stabilized" was used on visual approaches as well in Sas, but this does not mean that you are wrong, im just saying what I learned from my colleague.

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There's an excellent article in the latest PC Pilot edition by Mike Ray, free.For environmental and financial reasons, the practice of a continuous descent path with delayed flap extension is gradually becoming a wordwide standard.
Any chance for a link? Can't find on their website.

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I feel more confortable landing with flaps 30 even if the FMC states 40.Am I doing wrong ? I don't think so because with flap 30 I usually avoid or smooth the bouncing effect.
Flaps 30 is fine especially for longer runways. The jet burns less fuel on final because of less drag so it's more economical.
I did not talk about retraction, and I suppose you ment gear extension? But if you enter the G/S path at higher altitudes (3000-4000 feet) youd be slowing everyone down in a busy airspace and it would not be very economical?Also, the "1000 stabilized" in Sas had nothing to do with FLARE ARMED on FMA, because this means that you got both CMD A and B, ILS freq on NAV1 and 2, i.e set for a CAT2 approach in minimum conditions. "1000 stabilized" was used on visual approaches as well in Sas, but this does not mean that you are wrong, im just saying what I learned from my colleague.
You're right; stabilized approach is more along the lines of properly configured, aligned with the runway of intended landing, rate of descent is less than 1000fpm, and airspeed is on the approach speed. 1000' for IMC conditions and 500' for VMC.

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You're right; stabilized approach is more along the lines of properly configured, aligned with the runway of intended landing, rate of descent is less than 1000fpm, and airspeed is on the approach speed. 1000' for IMC conditions and 500' for VMC.
500 for VMC`? I learn something new everyday:-)

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I did not talk about retraction, and I suppose you ment gear extension? But if you enter the G/S path at higher altitudes (3000-4000 feet) youd be slowing everyone down in a busy airspace and it would not be very economical?Also, the "1000 stabilized" in Sas had nothing to do with FLARE ARMED on FMA, because this means that you got both CMD A and B, ILS freq on NAV1 and 2, i.e set for a CAT2 approach in minimum conditions. "1000 stabilized" was used on visual approaches as well in Sas, but this does not mean that you are wrong, im just saying what I learned from my colleague.
Yes, I meant extension :) So, If you just passing 1000 feet, all frequencies are set and manual, but the flare mode did not arm, you still going to say stable? Olso I am not impressed, the you said that you have to check frequencies before passing 1000 feet. You have to set them for ils already on landing briefing, and set to manual on approach.Other words, why checking on 1000 feet, if on this height you already using ils for a long time.

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But if you enter the G/S path at higher altitudes (3000-4000 feet) youd be slowing everyone down in a busy airspace and it would not be very economical?
You have to extend the gear on the IAF. If you were vectored on final course or the STAR gets you on final before IAF you retract it simply on IAF. end of story :)

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Yes, I meant extension :)So, If you just passing 1000 feet, all frequencies are set and manual, but the flare mode did not arm, you still going to say stable?Olso I am not impressed, the you said that you have to check frequencies before passing 1000 feet. You have to set them for ils already on landing briefing, and set to manual on approach.Other words, why checking on 1000 feet, if on this height you already using ils for a long time.
Correct - you should make sure that you have the correct frequencies identified before you join the localizer (long before the stabilized approach).
You have to extend the gear on the IAF. If you were vectored on final course or the STAR gets you on final before IAF you retract it simply on IAF. end of story :)
Uhhhhh. What?

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Yes, I meant extension :)So, If you just passing 1000 feet, all frequencies are set and manual, but the flare mode did not arm, you still going to say stable?Olso I am not impressed, the you said that you have to check frequencies before passing 1000 feet. You have to set them for ils already on landing briefing, and set to manual on approach.Other words, why checking on 1000 feet, if on this height you already using ils for a long time.
Huh??? What are you talking about? I never said anything about not checking freqs before passing 1000ft with the intention to land... I know they set them long before your on final approach.. duh..I dont think you got me right, and youre just confusing what I meant at first. I only said that FMA will say "FLARE ARMED" when the MCP and radio stack is configured for an autoland..You said that "1000 stabilized" has got to do with the FMA modes, and that may very well be so, but different airlines do different procedures. What is normal for Scandinavian Airlinesto do in certain parts of the flight, may not be so for American Airlines and so on..Ive been in the jumpseat on 737 flights with Sas, and the PM would announce "1000 feet, stabilized" on any type of approach that I witnessed (which was mostly visuals..)
You have to extend the gear on the IAF. If you were vectored on final course or the STAR gets you on final before IAF you retract it simply on IAF. end of story :)
Yes.. as above.. What?.. Theres no manual in the world that dictates where pilots MUST extend their gear during an approach. There are many techniques in how to land an airplane depending on if your flying a full instrument approach or a visual one for that matter. This is at pilots discretion or company procedure if you will. I know pilots canextend gear even before they`ll go flaps 1, simply because they`re coming in too fast and too high... So no, not end of story.

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You have to extend the gear on the IAF. If you were vectored on final course or the STAR gets you on final before IAF you retract it simply on IAF. end of story :)
I know several airlines who would be very ticked off if you wrote the rulebook. FAF, maybe (as a procedure, not a rule), but IAF? No.Example: http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/1111/05100IL1R.PDFIf ATC clears me for the full approach across Casanova (CSN), you're telling me I have to drag gear for 33 miles?Yngve, the way the terrain is there in Norway, I can see why they stay a little high and dump flap and gear to get a steeper approach in. I've only ever flown into Stavanger a few times there, which is reasonably flat, so I haven't experienced it to comment on the rest.

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I learned -from a RW 737 NG pilot- to put a 10 mile circle (fix page) around the aerodrome of destination. Before reaching this circle, you should be at flaps 1. This to avoid a high energy approach.Bert Van Bulck

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Yngve, the way the terrain is there in Norway, I can see why they stay a little high and dump flap and gear to get a steeper approach in. I've only ever flown into Stavanger a few times there, which is reasonably flat, so I haven't experienced it to comment on the rest.
Yup, flat like a pancake here:-). On approaches into ENTC RWY19 visual, the "dump all you got" was the way they did it many times over as I witnessed seated at the wing, and often they did it while turning to final approach.. Its too much fun when they do it that way, cause you can really feel how all the drag that comes at once just tickles you in the stomach by the sheer loss of speed.
I learned -from a RW 737 NG pilot- to put a 10 mile circle (fix page) around the aerodrome of destination. Before reaching this circle, you should be at flaps 1. This to avoid a high energy approach.Bert Van Bulck
And i know a lot of pilots have such rules of thumb. Take Clayton Taylor for instance, whos written many a piece for Airways magazine in his column. He once wrote (while being an A330 FO) thatthe general rule he had, was to be at 10K ft 30nm out. That was his way of doing it from time to time. And one time he wrote about how he was way to low, looooooong before final approach, and howthe captain just had a weird grin on his face.There are many ways to do it, but every AC company like Boeing, Airbus etc. will always have manuals telling you the way to do it best, and the companys will be able to deviate from that again dependingon where in the world they fly.Try doing a 737 FCTM approach with a Concorde, or see how smart it is to have gear down at IAF with a concorde, which would be alot worse!!... just saying,..

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