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Guest bobsk8

ILS landings fall short

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I have never found out why so many instrument landings I make (with all aircraft as far as I can tell) end up, if left to their own devices until I take over at some 500 ft from touchdown, come down too fast and consequently want to land well short of the airport. The approaches are normal in all other respects, and the PAPI look good at the time the aircraft picks up the glidescope. But descent is then too rapid and the PAPI change to all red before long. If I don't disengage the AP and pull up I land amid houses and trees (or whatever). Am I doing something wrong? I find that setting flaps to only 15 - 20 degrees helps a bit. I leave the autothrottle engaged until shortly before touchdown - at about 160-165 KIAS for a B737 for instance. (The plane does not show a stall).Advice here appreciated ! Thanks.Martin S.

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Hi Martin,Firstly check your fuel load, you may be too heavy. 737-400, you want between 135-140kts with flap 30, try without the auto throttle and auto pilot, getting the aircraft stable and trimmed some 6 miles out. it should then happily fly itself down the glideslope without too many inputs.Cheers CG

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>Hi Martin,>>Firstly check your fuel load, you may be too heavy. 737-400,>you want between 135-140kts with flap 30, try without the auto>throttle and auto pilot, getting the aircraft stable and>trimmed some 6 miles out. it should then happily fly itself>down the glideslope without too many inputs.>>Cheers >>CGReal airline pilots use the auto throttle on almost all approaches to reduce the workload for the PF

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Don't tell that to the pilots at Southwest, the largest operator of 737s in the world. Their 737-200 and -300 aircraft do not have autothrottle.Note the AT switch on these SWA 737-300s:http://www.airliners.net/open.file/260727/L/http://www.airliners.net/open.file/382075/L/http://www.airliners.net/open.file/574572/L/That is not just a fluke either.I have a good friend who is a captain for them, and have been to their facilites in Dallas. No AT on the SWA -200 and -300, and with the exception of just one botched approach (non-fatal accident) over the years, they have had an excellent safety record.In fact, my captain friend attributes this in part to the need for their pilots to do more hand flying, and relying less on automation. For without an AT that means no autoland, and no VNAV. You'll note there is no VNAV button on the MCP either, just LNAV.Eric Ernst, of 767PIC fame, and good friend of mine, has told me he often shuts off the AT on approach on the 757s, for it can be too sensitive, and starts "hunting" too much. It's a distraction. When it starts doing that, he shuts it off, and controls power manually.Indeed, automation is great for reducing pilot fatigue, but it is never a replacement for flying skills.My suggestion to anyone flying jets in FS is to first master it by hand (okay, use the AP while straight and level to hold altitude). Once you can fly that ILS, SID, STAR, etc by hand, control speed manually, etc. etc., then start to bring in the automation to help you.That's how real airline pilots do it. They have all mastered it manually first, and need to demonstrate that and more during their proficiency checks to keep their jobs.On a smaller scale, imagine the Beech 1900 pilot: Not only does the Beech 1900 not have an AT, but many, yes, many, do not even have an autopilot!No autothrottle on the ATR series of aircraft either, but they do have a nice autopilot. ;-)Regards,Lou

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Friend of mine is a Senior Check Pilot for one of the nations largest carriers. He flys the 767 serties, but I don't think there should be a major difference in procedures between these Boeing planes. He told me that the AT is strongly encouraged since you can devote more attention to looking around for traffic on parallel runways and other things on the approach not having to focus on the the speed tape. I flew the 767-400 motion Sim at their training center and he had me use A/T on all my approaches.

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In fact, SWA removes the AT and VNAV from their new 737NGs. Turns out it is cheaper for them to take the aircraft with it, then remove it.So, there must be procedural differences, as here is a large airline flying Boeings that does not even have ATs, and they have a top-notch safety record.Here's the question though:If the AT fails or starts acting up (as I described above), how well can you manage power manually? That's they key to real flying: Being able to fly the plane without the automation. The airline can encourage all they want, but ultimately when that semi-annual check ride comes along, or when things fail, that's when the skills come into play.I spent some time back in early 2001 in the cockpit of a BA744, flying from LHR to JFK. The autothrottle had failed shortly after takeoff.No AT for that landing!So, why not try some landings without it, and get real good at it, just like the real pilots are able to do.That's true simulation! ;-)Regards,Lou

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>In fact, SWA removes the AT and VNAV from their new 737NGs.>Turns out it is cheaper for them to take the aircraft with it,>then remove it.>>So, there must be procedural differences, as here is a large>airline flying Boeings that does not even have ATs, and they>have a top-notch safety record.>>Here's the question though:>>If the AT fails or starts acting up (as I described above),>how well can you manage power manually? That's they key to>real flying: Being able to fly the plane without the>automation. The airline can encourage all they want, but>ultimately when that semi-annual check ride comes along, or>when things fail, that's when the skills come into play.>>I spent some time back in early 2001 in the cockpit of a>BA744, flying from LHR to JFK. The autothrottle had failed>shortly after takeoff.>>No AT for that landing!>>So, why not try some landings without it, and get real good at>it, just like the real pilots are able to do.>>That's true simulation! ;-)>>Regards,>Lou You don't really think that a Professional ATP is going to have trouble flying an plane without and A/T do you? ..... You have to be kidding.....

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>You don't really think that a Professional ATP is going to>have trouble flying an plane without and A/T do you? ..... You>have to be kidding.....>I fail to see how this comment relates to what Lou stated. And he clearly stated "...try some landings without it (AT) .. just like real pilots are able to do". But regardless (and I am guessing) every ATP, however he/she likes automation, must have so many hours flying done with NO automation so his/her skills don't get rusty. Rules may vary from airline to airline but basic issue remains - pilots must stay proficient in all "modes" of flight.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2, Omega 2.7.90 (4xAA 16xAF)

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Talk about derailed. Went from help on ILS to A/T in seconds?Perhaps you're too heavy with fuel? That speed sounds too fast to me. You should only have enough fuel for the flight and 4500 lbs. of reserve. Any extra should be for diversions or go-arounds.

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>You don't really think that a Professional ATP is going to>have trouble flying an plane without and A/T do you? ..... You>have to be kidding.....There's no need to "think" anything. Without constant practice, anyone's skills are going to suffer.

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>You don't really think that a Professional ATP is going to>have trouble flying an plane without and A/T do you? ..... You>have to be kidding.....Hmm- well lately I have been reading about some airline crashes over the past couple of decades -- and I have been completely amazed at just how bad some a/c Captains seem to be ie those that crashed. In fact, it seems that Professional ATPs are quite capable of doing things (and also NOT doing things) that a Fsimmer does (and doesn't do).Fact is - it seems that ATP Professionals are simply human beings like the rest of us -- they forget things, they think about their personal problems when they should be flying the a/c, etc, etc.It has made me quite nervous about just who is up in that cockpit - and whether he/she has got their mind on the job!!Barry

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Chris, thanks for gettin the discussion back on track. I agree with your comments on speed and fuel.Bob, the reason I suggested that the A/P and A/T should be disengaged is so that Martin can get the aircraft stabilised on the approach. It is very easy to end up in a PIO situation if it is deselected very late on, besides learning to land the a/c manually is much better anyway.You seem to be a wealth of knowledge on the subject, why not stop critising others, who are trying to help, and offer some useful advice?CG

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Almost sounds like you aren't really locked on the glideslope...Normally, even a heavy fueled jet should hold the glideslope. It just adapts and overcomes...Not that that's normal though, and the others comments about fuel load do apply...But I've had times where the autopilot in 2004 seems to have trouble locking in the glideslope. Always try to be below glideslope before you engage the a/p. Otherwise, many times it will ignore it, even if you pass through it. I don't know why it does that, and I don't consider it true to life, but it often does. Also a comment...A standard ILS landing is not the same as a true cat2,cat3, autoland. Either in the real world, or even often in the sim. I doubt the precision of the standard ILS would get you spot on, even in the real world. It's not really meant to fly to the ground. In fact, I've heard of many pilots that *thought* the ILS was good enough to fly to the ground, and are now toast. A guy I know worked at an airport in CA. where a guy in a turboprop tried to do a below minimums landing in heavy fog using his a/p as a psuedo autoland system. He's now toast. As far as MSFS, some autoland routines are better than others. My favorite boeing panels were Eric Earnst's 757-767 panels. They had a pretty good autoland routine, and the panel was pretty close to real as far as function. Much better than the micky mouse autopilot thats default in even 2004. Unfortunately, that panel won't work in 2004, If I had a wish list for a 2006, it would be a autopilot in the boeings that actually works like real instead of that fisher price thing they have been using since fs???. I know, then the "fly once a year dummies" probably couldn't run it, but who cares....Add a new proper a/p, but keep the present fisher price version for the rookies if they want it...:) BTW, you need more flaps...The usual approach in a 737 will usually use 30 degrees flaps as a final setting. With your 15-20 degrees, the approach speed is too fast. BTW...When I fly an autoland in fs2004, if anything, it wants to land me *farther* down the runway than I would prefer...So we must be doing things a bit different...I land by hand 90% of the time though. I'll usually run the ILS to about the inner marker, and disengage and fly the rest by hand. MK

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>Chris, thanks for gettin the discussion back on track. I>agree with your comments on speed and fuel.>>Bob, the reason I suggested that the A/P and A/T should be>disengaged is so that Martin can get the aircraft stabilised>on the approach. It is very easy to end up in a PIO situation>if it is deselected very late on, besides learning to land the>a/c manually is much better anyway.>>You seem to be a wealth of knowledge on the subject, why not>stop critising others, who are trying to help, and offer some>useful advice?>>CGCG ( if that is your name) ,Your post that I was referring, is the one where you stated that shutting off the AT and AP was going to help this person stabilize his ILS approach. My reply to your post stated that I have a friend with over 25,000 hours who has been training Airline Pilots for decades. He told me that the purpose of leaving the A/T on is to make it easier to stabilize a hand flown ILS approach and cut down on the " in the cockpit" viewing time. I am just stating a fact, not trying to criticize anyone. Sorry that this was not your perception.Since the poster was having problems already flying the ILS, he would probably have alot more success turning off just the AP and leaving the A/T on until he gets hand flying the ILS ironed out. After he can do that, then trying hand flying the throttle also , to me , would be the better way to go. Where did I pick this information up, from a +25,000 flight instructor who has instructed in the 737-757-767.

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"Always try to be below glideslope before you engage the a/p. Otherwise, many times it will ignore it, even if you pass through it. I don't know why it does that, and I don't consider it true to life, but it often does"Actually-this is very true to life. You always intercept the gideslope from below. This prevents receiving false glideslope signals usually found above the glideslope.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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Start by reading the Pilots Flying Notes & Reference speeds for the aircraft in question before flying and attempting to land it.You wouldn't jump in a car and drive off before learning how to drive it would you?I have the PMDG 737NG and always hand fly the ILS approach. It's excellent practice and great fun. Happy and safe(simulated)landings!CheersAdam

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>Start by reading the Pilots Flying Notes & Reference speeds>for the aircraft in question before flying and attempting to>land it.>>You wouldn't jump in a car and drive off before learning how>to drive it would you?>>I have the PMDG 737NG and always hand fly the ILS approach.>It's excellent practice and great fun. >>Happy and safe(simulated)landings!>>Cheers>>Adam>>The PMDG would be my suggestion, also, as a great plane to learn to fly especially for accuracy in ILS approaches. The PMDG handles pretty close to the real 737, has an FMC that calculates your approach speeds for different flap settings and loads, winds, etc and a AutoLand/AP/ that actually works. This is not the kind of FS default aircraft that you just jump in and start flying however. It requires some study and learning real procedures to even be able to start the engines. Once you learn it however, it will probably be the only FS plane you will fly.

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Always try to be below glideslope before you engage the a/p. Otherwise, many times it will ignore it, even if you pass through it. I don't know why it does that, and I don't consider it true to life, but it often does"Actually-this is very true to life. You always intercept the gideslope from below. This prevents receiving false glideslope signals usually found above the glideslope>>>>>>I know that is the correct procedure, but in the real world, if you passed through the glideslope from above, it should still lock eventually shouldn't it? I mean, it shouldn't ignore it and just let the plane fly into the ground...The fs2004 version will run you into the ground if you don't correct after it ignores the GS. Seems to me, the real aircraft would eventually lock on, even if you came from above GS. But, I'm not a real pilot, so not sure...I'm sure could probably vary to aircraft type also...MK

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