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When do pilots turn on the seatbelt sign when going to land?

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Hi all

 

I was wondering at which FL or at which point in the descent/approach pilots generally turn on the seatbelt sign? There are of course many rules and situations but let us just assume there is no turbulence, extensive holding or anything else, just a normal approach.

 

I always put it on when at 10.000ft (the same where I put it off when climbing).

 

Thanks!


Peter Aerts

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At Delta Air Lines (and the FS2Crew 747 :lol: ) We turn them on at FL200 and double-chime at 10000 for extra-measures


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It really depends in the airline. It could e 20k, 10, or 18000... Or anything else really. I'm thinking 10000 is the norm for the lowest altitude.

 

Cheers


 

 

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Thanks for the quick and clear answers!

 

I have another small question which I will ask here, would be stupid to start another thread just for it.

 

I fly using RC4 and without sid/star, so it aligns me parallel to the runway and then it lets me make a 180° turn to intercept the localizer. Not the most realistic way without the star procedure, but it's fine for me. But I'm wondering about the speed settings.

 

I'm aware that you have to be at 250kt below 10.000ft. But what about the final parts of my approach?

When I'm parallel with the runway? => still 250kts?

Making the first turn? => still 250kts or starting to slow down to lets say 220kts?

The second turn to intercept the localizer? => you get the point :)

Intercept? => ....

Glideslope alive? => ... (I believe I have to slow down to the landing speed here, no?)

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. it doesn't has to be absolutely spot on, because it probably depends on many factors, but just the grand rules would suffice.


Peter Aerts

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You'd may like to check Smart Cockpit for this.

 

http://www.smartcockpit.com/

 

Check specially the flight patterns section for each aircraft.


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Luis Hernández 20px-Flag_of_Colombia.svg.png20px-Flag_of_Argentina.svg.png

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I was wondering at which FL or at which point in the descent/approach pilots generally turn on the seatbelt sign? There are of course many rules and situations but let us just assume there is no turbulence, extensive holding or anything else, just a normal approach.

 

 

When I flew ETOPS, I would turn on the seat belt sign as I started my descent out of our cruise FL. I would make an announcement to the passengers about 10 minutes prior that the seat belt sign was going to be turned on for the descent and this would be a good time to do anything they needed to do (like use the restroom or fiddle with their overhead bags), and also update them on the landing time, WX, etc. I would turn the seatbelt sign on because of unknown turbulence in the FL's below.

 

Some captains will just leave the seatbelt sign on for the entire flight, turbulence or no turbulence, especially on very short hops.


John Floyd

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Regarding RC4 and approach. Look in the RC forum here on AVSIM and in its manual.

 

As in the real world it depends on how you enter the current airport traffic pattern based on your arrival direction. You also can fly with a STAR in RC to a degree if you follow certain procedures in flight planning.

 

RC does NOT use a 180 degree turn from downwind to final intercept IF you are flying the correct speeds. You either if arriving from about 30 degree of extended final get you intercept vector directly or if not get an intercept to downwind, the base, and then your final intercept heading.

 

Go to flightaware.com for looking at traffic around FAA airports you are familiar with and close in on the range to see patterns in use. Couple that with listening to:

http://www.liveatc.net/feedindex.php?type=all

for the same airport. Flightaware also has the current METAR for that airport so you can see how it affects patterns.

 

I use 230 knots IAS for entering downwind, slowing to 210 on base, then slowing to 180 on the vector to final intercept adding initial flaps, for jetliners. Once you get to the outer marker slow and set up landing configuration being in the final configuration by the inner marker. In the FAA areas once between the outer marker and landing you "own" the approach to reasonably slow as needed for safe operation but without unreasonably holding up traffic behind you. Large airports do have minimum type of aircraft classes required to land at them.

 

Seat belt policies are dictated by airlines subject to government authority, insurance company authority, and their own calculated safety procedures based on weather and expected turbulence and aircraft attitude changes and approach timing.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Thanks for the quick and clear answers!

 

I have another small question which I will ask here, would be stupid to start another thread just for it.

 

I fly using RC4 and without sid/star, so it aligns me parallel to the runway and then it lets me make a 180° turn to intercept the localizer. Not the most realistic way without the star procedure, but it's fine for me. But I'm wondering about the speed settings.

 

I'm aware that you have to be at 250kt below 10.000ft. But what about the final parts of my approach?

When I'm parallel with the runway? => still 250kts?

Making the first turn? => still 250kts or starting to slow down to lets say 220kts?

The second turn to intercept the localizer? => you get the point :)

Intercept? => ....

Glideslope alive? => ... (I believe I have to slow down to the landing speed here, no?)

 

Thanks!

 

P.S. it doesn't has to be absolutely spot on, because it probably depends on many factors, but just the grand rules would suffice.

 

You don't have to necessarily be below 250kt when below 10.000ft (or more probably FL100) - although it's a quite common standard, mostly because of noise restrictions, reaction time and possible traffic I suppose. This is always defined in the local air law and may differ from country to country. Check the AIP in the country you fly in. Additional restrictions might apply in the airfield you are landing at and should be described in the STAR.

A basic rule of thumb is that you try to land as fast as possible (to free up the airspace) but maintaining speeds that are in operational limits. You have to keep in mind safety, passenger comfort and nowadays fuel economy. Often there are min and max speeds defined for different profiles of landing. The decision is up to the captain and operational procedures of his airline. They might differ from airline to airline. Sometimes the tower might ask you to go a little slower or faster, but you don't have to comply if it's not in safe operational limits of the airplane you are flying. Generally what I want to say is that there are no strict rules about this, it's all about common sense and legal requirements. That's why people fly airplanes not robots.

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Regarding your ILS intercept speed. In reality your speed would be given to you by ATC to maintain separation. However, the sim ATC programmes are not good at that because they don't maintain separation. In other words you have to set your speeds yourself. There is usually a speed limit in the final part of the STAR and or holding pattern. You should not be at 250kts. Typically 210 or 220.

When you make your final descent to establish on the localiser reduce your speed to 180 or 170 and add flaps. Also this makes it a lot easier for your AP to engage. The exact procedure differs between a/c but a good methodology is to do the following: 2DME from the glideslope reduce speed to 160 as the airspeed gets to that point add more flaps and put the gear down. Passing the OM select your Vat speed and as the a/c gets there add final landing flaps. So you should now be at your Vat as you cross the threshold. Yor a/c flight manuel should have a section giving the approach speeds and flap settings in the absence of ATC. They in turn in reality will give you safe speed advisories. Too many people on the sim do approaches that are way too fast and never done in real life.


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