Sign in to follow this  
jcpg

Manual Landings

Recommended Posts

   Hi all, one question that actually I eventually got some courage to ask. I fly mainly pmdg's 737,T3, 747 among other planes and always do autolands as this is the only way I know. I've tried a couple of times to land manually when I started flying and usually they were not very good.  I went through the manuals, especially pmdg's and learned how to autoland nicely, so because the manuals don't teach manually landings, or at least I did not find anything there I only autolanded .

What is the pratical difference between manual and autolanding? How's thet done? I'm talking about what is engaged, the settings and so on? 

                      

                            Thanks indeed in advance.

 

                            Johngoncalves

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hi John,

 

I've no real-world heavy metal aviation experience, but I don't do so bad getting the sim ones on the ground - must be all those hours spent on Flight Assignment: ATP ;)

 

When the plane is almost on the threshold, say around decision height - have a look at what airspeed the autoland is holding. The plane should already be configured with full flap and gear down. Don't go below that airspeed when trying to fly it yourself ;)

 

Does the runway have PAPI lights visible? When landing manually keep an eye on those in addition to the ILS indicators on your instruments. Don't forget to arm the spoilers and set the autobrakes! Flare the plane so that you don't have much descent rate just before touchdown. Less than 500 fpm is ok: say 200fpm = good.

 

Be aware when disengaging the autopilot that it may have been compensating for a crosswind - the ATIS for the airport should indicate windspeed and direction ;)

 

Hope this helps, but no doubt someone used to PMDG's products and/or real aviation will add to this thread. Good luck and happy landings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For an autoland equipped aircraft, 90%+ of its landings will be hand flown; autoland is typically only used in very poor visibility or to keep the crew/aircraft current.

 

The aircraft and instrumentation setup for a handflown ILS approach is essentially identical (before anyone decides to jump all over me and point out the minutiae, I am aware of them but consider them irrelevant here), the only difference is that the autopilot (and possibly autothrottle) are disengaged. That means you'll have all the same instrument readouts, so you can simply follow the flight director (which shows you what autolanding would be doing, except for the flare). Your speeds will be the same at the same points, although obviously you'll be setting the power to achieve those speeds yourself. You can disconnect the autopilot whenever you like, perhaps after you've established on the localiser is good to begin with; the autothrottle can disconnected later, if you want to focus on other things to begin with (use of ATHR varies between aircraft types, some you are advised to leave engaged and others must be off before you touchdown). Start out with relatively calm weather (no major crosswinds) as that will require advanced techniques like crabbing and then kicking off the drift with the rudder just before you touchdown. Also try and engaged the autopilot later during departure, so you can get more experience flying the aircraft by hand (most aircraft will require you adjust pitch trim whenever hand flying but I believe the 777 autotrims).

 

Once you've mastered flying ILS approaches by hand (the system that drives autoland), you can then attempt visual approaches where you'll only have the VASI/PAPI (red and white lights at the side of the runway which show if you're too high or low). You may want to practise these in a light aircraft doing traffic circuits (like real world pilots do), before tackling this in a big jet.

 

The inbuilt lessons within FSX are a good start for hand flying landings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fly the PMDG MD-11F mainly and that plane autolands beautifully. You're even able to keep the auto throttle on and engage reverse thrust. For the Boeings I believe auto throttle needs to be disengaged or the reverse thrust won't activate for you. From videos I've seen the pilot will disengage autopilot at or around 1000ft. Weather being a factor of course. Also at some airports and runways you may need to do a DME VOR approach with no ILS beam. So it's good that you want to know how to land manually. I would suggest you look up real world cockpit approach videos of the planes you fly and you will most likely be able to see or hear the procedures used for certain aircraft.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Start with the 777, it will be easier than the 737 or 747. Do what you know to do already for an Autoland. Disconnect the AP by 500 feet and don't touch anything. VERY slight corrections in pitch and roll (no rudder needed unless there's wind). The yoke should be neutral by default because the aircraft will be in trim.

 

Once you reach 30feet pull back on the column gently to pitch your nose up some 2-3º. This will arrest the descent vertical/speed from around 700 to some 300.

 

Try over and over until it goes well. Each time disconnect the AP a couple hundred feet higher above the runway elevation.

 

Then the next thing is to do it with AT off. The only thing you'll need to do is smoothly retard the levers during the flare. Ideally you want to touchdown when the levers reach the idle stop.

 

Then the next thing is no Flight Director (i.e., RAW DATA).

 

Here's a pretty good example:

 

Then you'll want to do the LOC and GS intercept yourself.

 

Finally try the same thing but on the 737 :)

 

PS: See this video of mine in which I show how to fly Touch & Goes on the 777. T&Gs are flown for aircraft familiarization, I recommend you try it out once you're confident enough!


 

 


For the Boeings I believe auto throttle needs to be disengaged

 

On the 777 you can leave the AT on, it will drive the levers to idle at 25ft radio, 2 seconds after touchdown it will disconnect itself. I'm not 100% sure, but I would say that during those 2 seconds you CAN deploy the reversers.

 

In fact, and just as a side note, it might be even possible (depends on the aircraft) to deploy reversers with levers at idle and the aircraft still in the air, see here


 

 


Here's some more advice - http://www.avsim.com...tothrottle-ils/

 

Thanks for that reference! Very useful!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was interesting. That 737 in the video.   

 

Indeed. I was looking for the picture of an Airbus (I believe 340 or 330) with reversers deployed and still a couple feet above the runway. I couldn't find it... (found a lot of Russian planes with reversers deployed pretty high up, by the way, hehehe)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to like a stick in the mud, but you really need to go jump in a Cherokee or 172 and learn the basics of a stabilized approach, being on your numbers, and flaring.

 

Stick and rudder skills are vital and they are first leaned at the basic level.

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't want to like a stick in the mud, but you really need to go jump in a Cherokee or 172 and learn the basics of a stabilized approach, being on your numbers, and flaring.

 

Stick and rudder skills are vital and they are first leaned at the basic level.

I was going to post the same bit of advice. Learn how to hand fly small aircraft proficiently at first before trying to learn to fly or land an airliner. That's how it's done in real life and that's probably the easiest way to do it in the sim as well.

 

As far as the PMDG 737 and T7, both can be landed with the auto throttles on until touch down and reverses deployed without having to manually disconnect the AT button.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


Does the runway have PAPI lights visible? When landing manually keep an eye on those in addition to the ILS indicators on your instruments.

 

A lot of runways do not have the PAPI or VASI indicators on the same glidepath as the ILS, so though you may be on glideslope, you may see 3 red or all red. The approach plate will say this. Usually something along the lines of "VGSI and ILS glideslope not coincident"

 

Here is an example: http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1604/00414IL16.PDF

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's the reason to sim IMO, to actually fly the bird. Don't get me wrong, I use AP quite a bit. Especially in high workload planes, but to autoland isn't fun at all. Not to mention that autolands are rarely employed. Obviously depends on the carrier and location but usually it's a certification and "keeping current" type of practice. I do believe it's more common outside the US.

 

Other than that, practice. It's easy to learn how to fly the smaller slow planes to the runway and land smooth. The faster they fly the quicker they get away from you. The 737 for example can often have a pretty fast approach. The 800 and 900 are sometimes around 150 knots. I personally think the 737NG (PMDG) version is hard to land well. It can float and give you problems if you aren't doing everything right. I find the Dash 8 by Majestic to be a lot easier to land despite people saying it's the hardest. The RealAir Duke is easy to land too.

 

No matter what it's a practice thing. If I don't fly a difficult plane for a few weeks then my landings are rusty. People tend to jump from one plane to another in FS and that only compounds the problem. I fly three planes only in FS. The RealAir Duke, PMDG 737 and Majestic Dash 8. All handing much differently. I will also say that when I started years ago with MSFS I had nothing but aggravation when using a conventional joystick. As soon as I switched to a yoke with separate rudder pedals it was like night and day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good approach and landing is heavily influenced by flying the correct airspeeds .

These speeds will vary with aircraft weight , lower weight lower speeds .

The specific approach speeds range is unique to each type of aircraft that you fly .

 

Fortunately you are using an aircraft that has "autoland" , that makes finding your correct approach speeds easy .

 

Do 3 flights on "autoland"  , as follows ,

1. Light weight , set about  10% fuel .

2. Medium weight , set about  50% fuel .

3. Heavy weight , set about 90% fuel .

 

Compare , and note what your fuel gauges are reading for each instance .

 

If you wish you can also adjust passenger/cargo weight as , light , medium , heavy at the same time as your fuel setting .

 

Now during each "autoland flight , at each weight , note and write down the following ,

1. the airspeed during approach when you are  about 4 to 5 miles to go prior to landing .

2. the airspeed just prior to landing , when the aircraft is about 50' above the runway , or 2 hundred yards prior to touchdown .

 

For your manual landings you now have a table of airspeeds for approach and touchdown , 

check your fuel gauges early on approach  and fly the airspeeds that are applicable to your weight .

 

Having the correct airspeeds  during approach and landing make the whole process easier and neater  , also it

reduces the landing roll out distance on the runway .

 

Cheers

Karol

 

EDIT

Below right on the radar is an overlay gauge that I created for my panel  , the top portion is a fixed table of airspeeds vs  weight  ,

the lower portion gives you the current weight of the aircraft  ,

enter table at weight to ascertain current applicable speeds . 

fsx2013-07-0603-09-19-58.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

     Guys thanks a lot for all the input on manual landing. It was really what I needed to start landing by hand properly. Also note that on small planes I do always land manually without problems. It was the heavies that worried me. Your help is very appreciated. I'll soon be trying it out.

 

         johngoncalves

 

                  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now during each "autoland flight , at each weight , note and write down the following ,

 

1. the airspeed during approach when you are about 4 to 5 miles to go prior to landing .

 

2. the airspeed just prior to landing , when the aircraft is about 50' above the runway , or 2 hundred yards prior to touchdown

 

Just to complement,

 

1) Should be Vapp = Vref + wind correction. The wind correction depends, but usually it's a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 20 additional knots, typically it's half of the steady headwind component plus the full gust (if any). On the 777 if you use the AT, it's always Vref + 5 regardless of winds.

 

2) When 50 feet above the runway and before the flare, airspeed should still be Vapp.

 

During the flare, you're supposed to bleed the steady wind correction off and touchdown at exactly Vref (+ the gust). This is "ideal" conditions of course, in real life it will vary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this