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Does Ryanair really land hard as people say?

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15 hours ago, hogu_gtfr said:

Undertrained pilots, they think that they will learn over time. They have taken people with less than 50 hours of registered flying.

Do you mean inexperienced? Undertrained is quite a statement, I cant imagine any airline let alone one the size of Ryanair taking pilots that don't meat the requirements.

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15 hours ago, hogu_gtfr said:

Undertrained pilots, they think that they will learn over time. They have taken people with less than 50 hours of registered flying.

That's quite a big claim. Got a source for that?

There are some very strange statements going on here...

Reverse thrust: one very good reason for using lots of reverse is that the average RYR turnaround is very short. Using full reverse reduces the amount of energy put in to the brakes. Plenty of 737 (especially) operators do the same, and there are plenty of pilots for all airlines who will tell you that they would rather use a bit more reverse ALL the time rather than go off the end. You know, safety first...

I'm yet to meet a pilot from any airline (and I know several who do or have worked for FR) who says "yeah, the policy is to land at 1.8g every time to save the tyres" or that such considerations are even thought about. Pretty much universally, the approach is to aim for a safe controlled touchdown in the right spot, and, subject to the first two parameters being satisfied, make it as gentle as possible. But landings are fickle things and sometimes you crunch it in. The priority of any airline training department as far as landings are concerned is 1) don't break the aeroplane and 2) don't go off the end, so quite obviously, especially in a slippery jet like the 737-800, the emphasis is on putting it down in the right place and at the right speed over floating it three quarters of the way down the runway for a perfectly smooth touchdown and going off the end. But that's hardly unique to FR and certainly nobody is ever going to end up in the chief pilot's office because their landings are too soft.

Minimum fuel? Yes, absolutely, carrying excess fuel where unnecessary costs money and is discouraged. But that's not unique to FR either. It's a commercial decision: to quote an ops manual "the cost of an occasional diversion is less than the cost of routinely carrying excess fuel". That's not, incidentally, from Ryanair's ops manual either.

Minimum fuel is not in itself a problem provided a decision to divert is taken early. See above: the airline is quite happy to absorb the odd diversion rather than pay for everybody to routinely load an extra 200kg 'for mum' every time even when it's severe CAVOK and no delays are anticipated. Of course, if the weather forecast etc warrants it then it is the commander's prerogative to take extra -- all airlines (ANY airline) really want is that that decision is thought about properly and with some level of justification rather than just "oh, just bung on an extra tonne." Can you think of any company of any description where an employee would be permitted to spend hundreds or thousands of units of currency on a whim without any sort of formal justification?

To be clear, I'm not saying that pilots should not take the fuel they feel necessary. But it is reasonable to remember that at the end of the day there's a reason we talk about commercial pilots -- the role is about 1) ensuring safety but, subject to 1), 2) having some commercial awareness and responsibility, and just like any business that means avoiding unnecessary waste and expenditure.

We could take off with full tanks every time (or as full as possible taking MTOW in to consideration. That would make reaching the original planned destination highly likely because you could hold for hours if necessary. However, the cost of carrying that fuel around would quickly make it commercially unviable. Taking minimum fuel just means a diversion is more likely. As I say -- that is a commercial decision taken by the airline and as long as crews are prepared to make a decision to divert earlier it is not a problem. At the end of the day, what's the difference between arriving with minimum fuel, making an approach, not getting in and diverting immediately or arriving with 30 minutes extra fuel, holding for 30 minutes, making an approach, not getting in and diverting then? Both flights will eventually land with something very close to their final reserve fuel. Both crews could just as easily be caught out and end up landing with less than final reserve if anything further goes wrong.

For what it's worth: every pilot I have ever known who has worked for FR has said that the training is top notch and very thorough. Why? It's very simple: for all Michael O'Leary's faults, he does recognise that safety is cheap when you compare it to the cost of an accident...

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Simon Kelsey

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8 hours ago, Chock said:

This might have a bearing on what people experience with their landings, which in combination with them planting stuff down hard in order to get the wheels to spin up quickly upon touchdown and reduce the scrub wear on the tires, will have people noticing the way they make their touchdowns.

I've also heard that it's because they like to vacate the runway as near as possible to their touchdown point in order to reduce turnaround time.


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3 hours ago, skelsey said:

That's quite a big claim. Got a source for that?

There are some very strange statements going on here...

Reverse thrust: one very good reason for using lots of reverse is that the average RYR turnaround is very short. Using full reverse reduces the amount of energy put in to the brakes. Plenty of 737 (especially) operators do the same, and there are plenty of pilots for all airlines who will tell you that they would rather use a bit more reverse ALL the time rather than go off the end. You know, safety first...

I'm yet to meet a pilot from any airline (and I know several who do or have worked for FR) who says "yeah, the policy is to land at 1.8g every time to save the tyres" or that such considerations are even thought about. Pretty much universally, the approach is to aim for a safe controlled touchdown in the right spot, and, subject to the first two parameters being satisfied, make it as gentle as possible. But landings are fickle things and sometimes you crunch it in. The priority of any airline training department as far as landings are concerned is 1) don't break the aeroplane and 2) don't go off the end, so quite obviously, especially in a slippery jet like the 737-800, the emphasis is on putting it down in the right place and at the right speed over floating it three quarters of the way down the runway for a perfectly smooth touchdown and going off the end. But that's hardly unique to FR and certainly nobody is ever going to end up in the chief pilot's office because their landings are too soft.

Minimum fuel? Yes, absolutely, carrying excess fuel where unnecessary costs money and is discouraged. But that's not unique to FR either. It's a commercial decision: to quote an ops manual "the cost of an occasional diversion is less than the cost of routinely carrying excess fuel". That's not, incidentally, from Ryanair's ops manual either.

Minimum fuel is not in itself a problem provided a decision to divert is taken early. See above: the airline is quite happy to absorb the odd diversion rather than pay for everybody to routinely load an extra 200kg 'for mum' every time even when it's severe CAVOK and no delays are anticipated. Of course, if the weather forecast etc warrants it then it is the commander's prerogative to take extra -- all airlines (ANY airline) really want is that that decision is thought about properly and with some level of justification rather than just "oh, just bung on an extra tonne." Can you think of any company of any description where an employee would be permitted to spend hundreds or thousands of units of currency on a whim without any sort of formal justification?

To be clear, I'm not saying that pilots should not take the fuel they feel necessary. But it is reasonable to remember that at the end of the day there's a reason we talk about commercial pilots -- the role is about 1) ensuring safety but, subject to 1), 2) having some commercial awareness and responsibility, and just like any business that means avoiding unnecessary waste and expenditure.

We could take off with full tanks every time (or as full as possible taking MTOW in to consideration. That would make reaching the original planned destination highly likely because you could hold for hours if necessary. However, the cost of carrying that fuel around would quickly make it commercially unviable. Taking minimum fuel just means a diversion is more likely. As I say -- that is a commercial decision taken by the airline and as long as crews are prepared to make a decision to divert earlier it is not a problem. At the end of the day, what's the difference between arriving with minimum fuel, making an approach, not getting in and diverting immediately or arriving with 30 minutes extra fuel, holding for 30 minutes, making an approach, not getting in and diverting then? Both flights will eventually land with something very close to their final reserve fuel. Both crews could just as easily be caught out and end up landing with less than final reserve if anything further goes wrong.

For what it's worth: every pilot I have ever known who has worked for FR has said that the training is top notch and very thorough. Why? It's very simple: for all Michael O'Leary's faults, he does recognise that safety is cheap when you compare it to the cost of an accident...

As you say an aircraft flying below the required regulatory minimum fuel is not in an emergency situation. Obviously it isn't allowed but it isn't a safety issue, if it was we would have aircraft falling out of the skies and the minimum would be raised. The point of it is to introduce a factor of error rather than an absolute safety related obligation.

Ryanair has to comply with all safety regulation requirements as everyone else does and they do or they wouldn't have an AOC. The vast majoriy of incidents are not isolated to Ryanair.

Their ill treatment of pilots and staff however certainly deserves its own discussion...!

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Lawrence Ashworth

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On 10/23/2016 at 10:47 PM, skelsey said:

On the occasions I've flown with Ryanair, I've never noticed anything unusual about the landing.

 

Quite apart from anything else, it's absolutely impossible to do any sort of comparison. Unless you're sitting in the same seat, on the same type of aircraft, in the same weather conditions at the same airport then any comparisons between how "hard" one landing was compared to another are impossible. What feels hard in one part of the aircraft might feel smooth in another, and different aircraft types will feel different as well.

 

Ryanair pilots do not land any harder or softer than pilots of any other airlines. Yes, they employ lots of young/inexperienced pilots, but so do plenty of other airlines across Europe and the world. Whatever people might say, Ryanair have a huge emphasis on safety: they are smart enough to realise that an accident would be bad for business, and everybody I know who works for them says the training is to a very high standard and taken extremely seriously. It is also something of a fallacy to suggest that you just pay your type rating money and automatically get a job: the standard required is extremely high and there are many who do not make it.

 

FR do, of course, operate in to plenty of regional airfields with limiting runways, "interesting" approaches, etc etc. Naturally the emphasis in these sorts of places is to get the aeroplane on the ground in the touchdown zone and stopping, but that applies frankly whichever airline you fly for (except, perhaps, some less reputable operators in places like Indonesia where you may get a lovely smooth touchdown right up until the moment you go off the end at high speed. I know which I would prefer).

not necessarily true theyve been bollocked quite a few times for hammering it down the ILS's so much so that the controllers have had issues with them when theres been multiple aircraft on the ils  and managing the flow.  Our skippers at our airline have raised numerous asrs about them. 

Also at gatwick and FRA with slots they keep getting in the word not allowed for once again arriving way to early for example.

on the opposite side of the coin you have AURIGNY'S who had to get an embrarers to put into EGKK as their atrs and dorniers where too slow down the ils and EGKK kept getting asrs from Virgin, BA (777s) and Emirates as they kept going around behind them because they where too slow.   ryanair is the opposite they have in the past have gone too quick (hence the high energy landings) not too slow like AURIGNY'S

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The hardest landing I ever had was on a Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Bologna, Italy.  The pilot flared, the aircraft rose ten feet above the ground, stalled, and slammed into the ground hard, to the boos of the passengers and breaking one of my cologne bottles.  It was a clear day but there was some cumulus brewing over the area, indicative of strong thermal activity, since Italy like Florida is a Peninsula it is prone to strong t-storm activity and turbulence over its mountainous spine. 

I have flown in sailplanes before and all those landings were hard, spine jarring, whether on concrete or grass, because all the weight is put on one wheel with little or no shock absorption for reasons of weight.  I have a video still of my last landing in a sailplane, a 2 place Grob, a good soarer but what a spine tingling landing.  I had no fear of us not making the airport, I had fear of us making the airport knowing what the landing would be like.  The airport was Calistoga gliderport which served soaring pilots for years.  On rare days when lenticular clouds were overhead due to strong west to east winds, the glider pilots would call into Oakland center and reserve a block of airspace above Napa Valley's Mt. St. Helena.  They would climb into the flight levels, up to 25K feet, and soar for six to eight hours, until fatigue or the call of nature did them in. 

A popular soaring area in the Napa Valley, east of Calistoga and south of Mt. St. Helena, was called the Pallisades where one could wave soar for hours and hours.  My friend Mike and I built a wave soarer sailplane, and with just a hand toss we could get it to gain over 500 ft in elevation above the small hill just north of SF Bay we flew it off of, wave soaring back and forth, and bringing it to land back in my hand or his. 

I had a thermaling RC Motorglider, the Radian, which had 30 flights before a radio failure caused it to crash, but it accumulated 30 flights of 15-20 minutes each and soared well over 1000 feet above the community park where I flew it, usually gaining more than 500 feet in altitude on thermals, with the motor off.  Finding the thermals was easy, I would just look to see where the hawks were circling and I would add my glider into their pattern, to their astonishment, it was a beautiful sight to see a manmade aircraft and such regal birds flying together.  The company that made it, Horizon, sent me a new glider and radio free of charge but I never flew it again, since at 30 mph if it were to fail again it could be deadly and hurt a home, a car, or a person.  I sold it to a friend who was interested in flying and had the bandwidth to drive out into the country to fly it.

John

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4 hours ago, Cactus521 said:

to the boos of the passengers

One of the great things about flying boxes, they don't complain. 🤣

The downside is I have to make my own coffee and heat my own meals. 🙂

Grace and Peace, 

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I Earned My Spurs in Vietnam

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4 hours ago, Bluestar said:

One of the great things about flying boxes, they don't complain. 🤣

 

try working in ops.  we had a captain call us up the other day asking if he should "go to sleep now"  you couldn't make it up.  once there 10 years in, they cant do jack without someone doing it for them


 
 
 
 
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14 hours ago, tooting said:

ryanair is the opposite they have in the past have gone too quick (hence the high energy landings) not too slow like AURIGNY'S

Is the general rule not 160knts to 4 DME and then VREF - or does that only apply at Heathrow.  Seems to be a good rule to apply everywhere with appropriate aircraft

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57 minutes ago, tooting said:

try working in ops.  we had a captain call us up the other day asking if he should "go to sleep now"  you couldn't make it up.  once there 10 years in, they cant do jack without someone doing it for them

Or when they ask you: 'Do you think it needs de-icing?' lol. The usual reply is: 'Well, you're flying it mate, do you want to crash?' 🤣


Alan Bradbury

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2 hours ago, Chock said:

Or when they ask you: 'Do you think it needs de-icing?

Do you think this is due to lack of experience? in other words new pilots, etc. or do you get this from experienced pilots as well?

S.

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42 minutes ago, simbol said:

Do you think this is due to lack of experience? in other words new pilots, etc. or do you get this from experienced pilots as well?

S.

There could be a lot of reasons for this really, but I suspect that a lot of it is probably to do with human nature and the desire to feel one is absolutely doing the right thing, although there is probably an element of experience which comes into it too, as there is with most things.

Many people naturally want others to agree with them when they make a decision, in order to allow them to feel confident that they've made the right decision themselves, so they might have already made a decision, but could be reticent about expressing it until they know what others might decide, thus they might express that in the form of a question, to test the water so to speak. Thus when they say something like: 'Do you think it needs de-icing?' what they might really mean is: 'I think it needs de-icing and I reckon we ought to do so, back me up on this please, so that if someone pulls me up about it, I can say, well the guys on the ramp thought so too'. De-icing fluid is expensive and it's not as effective as it used to be either, since the newer stuff is 'environmentally friendly', so you might even have to do it more than once if you get held at the gate for a long time, so it's not as if you can just go for it all the time to be on the safe side without getting some kind of comeback from your employers at your cavalier attitude to what is a costly process.

It can also be to do with the fact that much of operating aeroplanes is dictated by checklists and rules, and deals in absolutes, i.e. on your preflight, you make sure this switch is on and that light is off etc. This is particularly true with modern airliners, where a lot of the decision-making process and responsibility is abdicated to the computer systems and the checklists, which as we know can lead to a lack of skill and/or knowledge, and when someone lacks skill, or even if they just feel that they do, they are not likely to to be confident in everything they do.

We saw this with perhaps most famously, AF447, where the pilots were so reliant on the systems doing stuff for them, that they simply did not know what to do when their situation was affected by something out of the ordinary, to the point where they were placed in the situation of having to take over and make decisions for themselves was literally something they thought they would never have to deal with. Of course it is easy for us to be wise after the event and suggest we would have done better under those circumstances, and I hope many of us would have, but we cannot know this for certain, so it is perhaps a little unfair to judge too harshly on this, particularly when we know that the way pilots are trained and checked was changed as a result of this particular tragedy.

There is no absolute where something such as icing is concerned; how to deal with it has to be a decision based on an assessment and to some extent experience too. This, coupled with the fact that paying for de-icing is something pilots might naturally feel they do not want to do if it ultimately is unnecessary, which may possibly have to do with a pressure - either real or imagined - which they might feel from their company to not spend money unnecessarily. We've seen this manifested in situations where pilots have felt compelled to take off in weather which, had it been purely their own decision to do so, would have had them not doing so, but pressure to not cause a delay, and thus a large expense, has made them go, perhaps against what, had it been solely their decision to make, would have seen them choose otherwise.

Of course it is easy for me to recommend doing things which ultimately cost money when checking aeroplanes over, and indeed I will, but I'm not the one who'd get it in the neck for having spent money unnecessarily, so the decision to say something is therefore easier for me to come to.

Edited by Chock

Alan Bradbury

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1 hour ago, simbol said:

Do you think this is due to lack of experience? in other words new pilots, etc. or do you get this from experienced pilots as well?

S.

I'm sure(I hope) it's a rhetorical question, what is probably meant is, has engineering arranged for deicing yet? and if not why not. Deicing requests are usually an engineering function initially, as part of the engineer's preflight inspection. 

With ice there is no grey area, it's zero allowed on the  upper wing surfaces, if you have to ask the question there is no question. There are times when experience comes into play, for example if there's a small patch of frost over the wing tanks you know that most likely adding fresh "warm" fuel will melt the frost, saving a large bill for deicing, but you have to weigh that up with the ambient temperature and how long until departure etc. Make the wrong call you still end up with a bill, plus a delay as well.


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On 12/6/2018 at 8:42 AM, ErichB said:

Is the general rule not 160knts to 4 DME and then VREF - or does that only apply at Heathrow.  Seems to be a good rule to apply everywhere with appropriate aircraft

The issue has been in gla / edi for example when they are gunning down the ils at 180 knots and there's regional twin props around it makes it a ball ache for the tower controller 

We had a skipper at Luton when I was at easyJet that used to show off to the new f/o's about how great the, 319/320 was that you could hammer it down the ils at 180 to 200 knots and then slam the gear down at 5nm to be just about stable for the landing.  The fo's used to talk about it on the bus to the car park with us in ops, and we had a girl leave occ to work in the tower at Luton and she told us this guy used to pee them off in the tower doing this type of stuff.  Luckily I belive he moved to another European base. 

Shame really, other than that he was an alright bloke all being said

 

 

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