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icemarkom

Landings (unautomated)

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[ Starting a new topic, since the previous one went way offtopic ]

 

I am not a pilot in real life and all my understanding of flight comes from a game and… I do have the same issue as the original poster in the other thread :-)

 

In the last couple of months, I have progressed through about 300-400 hours of progressive flying from props to twin engines, turboprops, small jet and a few days ago I started using 737.

 

All of the other aircraft I spent considerable time in (Diamond D4, Beechcraft Duke, Cessna Citation Mustang) I can fly and land without autopilot pretty competently (in my opinion). 737 just gets me every time. Now, I understand the stigma of calling it manual landing, but it's about the language precision, so I will call it that way.

 

What exactly is the right procedure to land this behemoth correctly without autoland? Let me clarify - I understand the idea generally, but the issue is just that it seems sometimes too eager to move and sometimes too slow to react to commands. How do you slow the darn ting down, as well? I understand that due to its size, inertia is considerable, but still :-)

 

I'm not exactly sure what I'm asking for here, but I was hopeful when I saw that other thread that there would be useful guidelines, but other than "fly patterns", which is an excellent suggestion, not that many. I can fly a pattern with it, but landing I mess up every time. 

 

Thanks!

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Don't let the aircraft float. Don't try to make an incredibly soft landing, just land it.

 

Make your approach at the right speed it should just keep descending without much fuss, do not start your flare to early but don't over flare either, that'll cause you to float down the runway.

 

It's all about speed management, don't try and make major corrections late in the approach, it's too late. Instead have a stable approach where only minor corrections are needed.

 

At about 10ft above or 20 depending on situation- usually 10- cut thrust to idle and just let it gently come down...note that you should already be flaring by this time.

 

Lee

 

The biggest thing by your initial post seems to be your trying to make major corrections late in the approach and you get behind the aircraft.

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Well, here's my take to land the 737, hand flying.

 

It's not like a small GA where you fly it down to about 10-20ft round out and flare. If you do that she will float all the way down the runway.

 

The trick is that you'll be in a small flare about 400 ft out speed about 150 -155 knots and in full landing configuration (Gear down; full flaps). About 200 ft out if you're line up and can make the run, pull the throttles back to idle. Keeping a small flare...do not over flare or she will climb. Once you get the hang of it you'll know just how much to flare...but you need to look at the artificial horizon and make sure you are above it...not on it or below it. Flare should be no more than 3-5 degrees.

 

Good luck :-)

 

Also, here's what I did to practice it. Do an ILS approach...and use auto throttle/auto pilot, per spec (speed; flaps; gear)...and watch how she behaves. About 200ft disconnect auto pilot and auto throttle...pull throttles back to idle.

 

Also, keep in mine she lags behind controls...so you will need to anticipate her movements.

 

Also, if you every watch them in real life they are flaring way before touch down; about 300-400ft they are in a nose high attitude. Heck, if you're flying in one...and set in the very last row...you'll see the pitch angle.

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Oh, sorry - the original post wasn't mine. I was just a passive reader there trying to find answers to what seems to be bugging me.

 

My problem so far has not been floating, rather very high sink rate. With the very slow trim that's almost out of the question and it involves very heavy stick work (probably my error #1). I should probably focus more on the throttle, but engines are very lazy and my reactionary approach to using them, obviously doesn't work.

 

You know what would be awesome for us newbies - a PMDG tutorial #3: VFR pattern flown "by hand".

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rather very high sink rate

 

you are going to slow, your flare might be too high an angle too, causing less lift.

 

The radio callouts if you have them active, the 50, 40, 30, 20,10 ones should not be said too fast. If they are all said really quickly that means you are descending too quickly and your landing will be hard. Listen to some youtube videos of real world landings and listen to the callouts, then try to relpicate in the sim.

 

Might help you

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Thank you everyone so far. I've already read a couple of very good things. The most important one is this:

 

 

 

It's not like a small GA where you fly it down to about 10-20ft round out and flare.

 

Not so much about not flaring, but the bolded part. Making a transition from a GA aircraft to a 737 was a very big step in my virtual piloting career. Now, mind you, I'm rather sersiously approaching it all. I've read several FAA handbooks, but I've just never flown a real plane :-).

 

Hopefully in a next few hours of flying I get this thing to do what I want and when I want it :-).

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I don't want to confuse you or anything but a real airline pilot once gave me a good advice, one that I'm using in the sim and that has made my approaches much more stable.

 

You have probably seen it in videos already. I asked that pilot why they are always pushing and pulling and turning the yoke even when there aren't any corrections to be made. He told me that this is a technique to improve the aircraft's stability upon approach and that it is actually easier to fly the aircraft along the flight path towards the runway using this technique than not moving the yoke all the time.

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Well, here's my take to land the 737, hand flying.

 

It's not like a small GA where you fly it down to about 10-20ft round out and flare. If you do that she will float all the way down the runway.

 

The trick is that you'll be in a small flare about 400 ft out speed about 150 -155 knots and in full landing configuration (Gear down; full flaps). About 200 ft out if you're line up and can make the run, pull the throttles back to idle. Keeping a small flare...do not over flare or she will climb. Once you get the hang of it you'll know just how much to flare...but you need to look at the artificial horizon and make sure you are above it...not on it or below it. Flare should be no more than 3-5 degrees.

 

Good luck :-)

 

Also, here's what I did to practice it. Do an ILS approach...and use auto throttle/auto pilot, per spec (speed; flaps; gear)...and watch how she behaves. About 200ft disconnect auto pilot and auto throttle...pull throttles back to idle.

 

Also, keep in mine she lags behind controls...so you will need to anticipate her movements.

 

Also, if you every watch them in real life they are flaring way before touch down; about 300-400ft they are in a nose high attitude. Heck, if you're flying in one...and set in the very last row...you'll see the pitch angle.

Check out the Flight Crew Training Manual or FCTM. It has a lot of advice on this. Your method may work great for you in the sim, but it doesn't match RW techniques.

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The FCTM is indeed your definitive source of information regarding approach and flare technique. HOWEVER, FSX has limitations inherent to it in terms of how real-world flight physics mesh with the FSX simulation's shortcomings. With FSX, among these many limitations is the way ground effect in modeled. PMDG actually did an amazing job tuning the 737 NGX's behavior in the flare as compared to the real 737, but as with all FSX aircraft, there are compromises that have to be made.

 

In a real aircraft, if a constant AOA (angle of attack, or alpha) is maintained on approach, the CL (lift component) of the wing is also constant. When the wing comes into ground effect it will become more aerodynamically efficient and result in increased CL proportionate to alpha. However, with the compromises PMDG had to undertake to simulate ground effect within the limitations imposed by the FSX framework, the 737 NGX sim does not behave exactly as it's real-world counterpart.

 

With the PMDG NGX, maintaining a constant alpha will indeed result in increased CL in ground effect, but only to a certain point. If the AOA on approach falls below about + 2.4 units of alpha, CL will not increase in ground effect as it would on the real aircraft. This is apparently an FSX limitation, but this affects the way flare must be executed on the 737 NGX vs the real 737. Basically, if you maintain about + 2.5 units of alpha or above you can employ the FCTM flare and landing technique quite realistically with the PMDG 737 sim; wonderfully so in fact. The real 737NG will indeed float excessively in ground effect if the flare is too aggressive or initiated too soon. PMDG got it spot on in this regard.

 

HOWEVER, again, if you are below the aforementioned alpha figures, increased CL in ground effect does not happen as it should with the PMDG 737ngx sim and you will have to compensate by flaring higher or more aggressively than you would in the real aircraft.

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Hi, since I started this topic, can I ask you one thing guys, PLEASE? I really don't care how PMDG compares to the real aircraft or how the real 737 flies (likelihood of me ever sitting at those controls is 0%). 

 

I really, only care about the PMDG's 737 here :-). While I may be interested, theoretically in how the real 737 flies, I will ask those questions elsewhere.

 

THANKS!

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Hi, since I started this topic, can I ask you one thing guys, PLEASE? I really don't care how PMDG compares to the real aircraft or how the real 737 flies (likelihood of me ever sitting at those controls is 0%). 

 

I really, only care about the PMDG's 737 here :-). While I may be interested, theoretically in how the real 737 flies, I will ask those questions elsewhere.

 

THANKS!

 

Turn off crash detect, close your eyes, swig some Mountain Dew, and drive it like you stole it.       Should work for you.

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I should also point out that doing the patterns worked like a charm. I just finished the 5th one and I can already control the beast much better. All 5 manual landings were successful, albeit far from perfect. 

 

The information about the flare was spot-on. When I did too much of it, I saw it float, but this was done on purpose so I can see the effect. 

 

And yes, I will say it- nothing replaces practice. No matter what one reads, it won't help until you actually sit down and try it! I fell more comfortable now with the 737. 

 

There are oh so many more things to learn!

 

The funny thing is, being an IT guy, I kind-of figured out FMC pretty quickly, which I suppose is the most complex part of the 737. The rest is just a plane ;-)

 

-Marko.

 

P.S. Keep advice coming - all of it helped!


Andrew, the "alpha" value you mention, is that the one we can see on the upper-right corner of the PFD, just to the left of the altitude ribbon?


Turn off crash detect, close your eyes, swig some Mountain Dew, and drive it like you stole it.       Should work for you.

 

That's pretty much how my VATSIM landing in Atlanta looked last night. ATC gave me instructions to take the next intersection at I-81 for downtown ;-)

 

Please don't misunderstand my previous comment about not caring about the real 737. I do care about it, a bit, but the deep technical differences between the real one and PMDG are not helping me that much at this moment :-).

 

Sorry if I came off a bit abrasive, but having been on IT fora for decades, I know how more experienced members (guilty as charged) can side-rail the novice questions, which mine undoubtedly are.

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Andrew, the "alpha" value you mention, is that the one we can see on the upper-right corner of the PFD, just to the left of the altitude ribbon?

 

Yes, the little circle icon there.     It's also on your HUD when you are configured for landing.   

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Thanks, Andrew. 

 

Speaking of the HUD, I tried using it, but it was unintuitive at first go. I can see it being helpful, but I suppose I need to get used to it a little bit. All other simplanes I flew, I flew without the hud. Eyes want to wander, not stay fixed ;-)

 

-M.

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If you can nail 5 landings well, keep practising more and more.

 

What I do for ILS taining is T/O, extend downwind from the pattern (circuit) until I am passed the

ILS interception, then turning to intercept, touch & go, do the missed approach, realign(=fly back to ILS intercept) and start over.

But practise practise practise. Did about the same hours like you on GA acft.

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Do more hand flying. Fly to the top and back down by hand. You will get used to haw she responds at all speeds.

 

Thanks,

Ron

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Make sure the spd brakes are armed or even deploy them manually by pulling the handle up and all the way back.  The throttles need to be at idle by or before touch down.  At about the 20 ft call out start bringing the throttles toward idle.  Dont flare too much. These babies need land flat to avoid striking the tail.  Good luck

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and dont do what i did, my first landing was a manual one and i forgot the landing gear :blush:

 

I dont even know how i forgot the landing gear as im use to flying bigger aircraft like the 767, 757 A32x and the 732, shame as it was a really nice flight :)

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Now you can really confuse yourself, go land some taildraggers :lol:

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You have already found that the 737 is slippery, that jet engines are slow to react, and that trimming on final really doesn't work that well. But the fact that you are landing from the pattern means you are probably practising one of the required arts, even if you are not aware you are doing it; using pitch to control speed. You still use the throttles for longer term adjustments, but a little back pressure on the stick will bleed 10 knots off faster and with more control then anything else you can do, and because it is more immediate, you are far less likely to over compensate. This lets you adjust the throttles and have time for their effect to stabalise. 

 

To use the HUD properly, just remember that it is showing you your "velocity vector". If you change nothing, that is where you will contact the ground. 

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Quite right about the pitch. That's one of the first things I remember from my first contact with the flight sim (ages ago). I refused to touch any jet powered planes until only two weeks ago, but I succumbed to the lure of flying a jetliner :-) I'm loving how much I learn every time I fly this beautiful NGX creation.

 

Also, my landings have considerably improved in the meantime. I've done about 50 (and I fly on VATSIM these days almost exclusively, so there's an added challenge of other humans being involved). I usually turn off all AP functions at around the outer marker and take it from there.

 

I was doing a lot of auto-landings lately as well, but only for the reason that this is the first virtual plane I own that implements this feature and it was really fascinating learning the procedure to do it.

 

A wonderful hobby, indeed.

 

------------------------------8<------------------------------

 

That HUD/HGS thingymagic is still a mystery though. I never use it and find it utterly distracting at all stages of flight. What am I missing? :-)

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That HUD/HGS thingymagic is still a mystery though. I never use it and find it utterly distracting at all stages of flight. What am I missing? :-)

I think you're missing how much easier the HUD can make your landings since you're able to observe the instruments (speed, altitude...) and the runway at the same time. Also, as said above, it tells you where you are going to touch the runway with your current pitch, etc. :)

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I'm sure I'm missing it, but I find it more reassuring to scan all the instruments for some reason.

 

It's the practice I'm sure

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Now you can really confuse yourself, go land some taildraggers :lol:

Funnily enough, landing a 737 is similar to a tailwheel three point landing, insofar as one simply smoothly sets the landing pitch attitude whilst simultaneously smoothing reducing thrust, holds that attitude and effectively waits for touchdown.

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Don't forget that airliners, and particularly the big jets, are flown 'by the numbers' (boring but true).

 

Expected landing weight, temperature and pressure all play a part and thats where the FMC inputs come into their own.

 

The speed tape and flap indicators on the PFD are a good indicator...select your speed and practice maintaining it until the flare using your power levers and pitch (with yoke). As mentioned before, at 20-30ft close levers and gently pull back...careful not to pitch up!

 

regards, Russ

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