TNguitar

Uhg, try to flare, plane starts climbing back up, frustrating

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As the title says, this just keeps happening and I have been flying FSX for years now.  What's the secret?  You know as soon as you sayn "SLOW DOWN", I'm going to say that I have slowed down and when I do then the plane drops like a stone and I hit too hard.  It's like the sweet zone is so tiny it is just a random chance to hit just the right speed between dropping and hitting hard or floating 3 quarters of the runway down because of trying to flare and the plane won't set down.

I'm starting to believe that FSX isn't modelling reality in this situation.  I watch many flying shows like Buffalo, and Flying wild alaska and I have rarely if ever seen a pilot flare and the darnplane start lifting back off. 

I am using Carenado planes mostly, twins like the B200, Twin Caravan and such.  The easiest one to flare and land nicely is the B1900D.  That one flares nicely and I seem to do a lot of good landing in it.  But most of the time if I cut to idle then the plane drops too hard, and if I don't cut to idle all the way I have to DRIVE the plane down right to the runway hiting either the nose wheel first or all 3 wheels at once.

 

In fact, if I didn't want to flare i could pretty much land with a good VSI like 150 fpm by just forcing the plane all the way down to the runway, but that just touches all wheels down together and I want to flare like I am supposed to. 

So should I go to idle at all, if so, when?  

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Hi Folks,

Ballooning - definitely a problem I had to overcome back when I started with real world training - it was fairly easy to do in a C172... My epiphany - if airspeed is good - make sure you're looking pretty far down the runway when entering a flare - initially my focus point was too close... Another thing I can think of - watch a cockpit video or two of how the pros do it - the yoke is almost a constant flurry of motion - making corrections before the issues become too large - even if it means using a great deal of deflection - I've noticed that helps in both RW and SIM flying... I fly A2A planes a great deal and in P3D it seems the ground effect is a tad overdone with them as ballooning is very easy to do - still some of the best flight models we have though... With practice - you should be able to overcome it...

Go idle - depends - on your plane type and school of thought... Most subscribe to a stable approach carrying power right before or into the flare - on larger heavier planes this is a must - on small single engine land I was initially taught the "chop and drop" method - once the field is made - even if a hundred feet or more off the runway - I kill the throttle - increase pitch to maintain speed - and glide at idle the last part of the approach into the flare... It's what I'm used to and my preferred landing technique - although it probably wouldn't carry over well if I ever move up the food chain...

Regards,

Scott

 

 

 

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What kind of airplanes are you flying?

Your answer really helps us to give you better help because there are different techniques for different types of planes.

As always, be on speed, even 5 knots will cause you to float and require to hold the correct pitch attitude longer to bleed off that extra airspeed.

If you are consistently on speed but still climbing when you enter the flare, then it's just going to take practice getting the correct pitch attitude for the flare.

As others said, look down to the end of the runway as you cross the threshold and keep your eyes there as you enter the round out.

These are just some simple things to help you. However, answer the first question and we can narrow some techniques down for you.

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I don't know how to reply to this.  It's something you learn with practice.  I remember flying became a night and day difference with a yoke and pedals for one.  I have no idea how anyone could use a joystick.  It's awful.

I also don't land the default planes very well at all.  They handle so poorly and different than payware add-ons.  Depending on the plane, you drop to idle at a few feet or up to 30 in a Boeing 737.  Over time it just becomes rather natural, and I don't have to look down the runway either.  Never understood that.  Don't get so hung up on greasers, that's an overblown concept.

Also, adjust your sensitivity to your liking.  The sim is very sensitive to input anyhow, but adjust it to your liking.

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5 hours ago, TNguitar said:

As the title says, this just keeps happening and I have been flying FSX for years now.  What's the secret?  You know as soon as you sayn "SLOW DOWN", I'm going to say that I have slowed down and when I do then the plane drops like a stone and I hit too hard.  It's like the sweet zone is so tiny it is just a random chance to hit just the right speed between dropping and hitting hard or floating 3 quarters of the runway down because of trying to flare and the plane won't set down.

I'm starting to believe that FSX isn't modelling reality in this situation.  I watch many flying shows like Buffalo, and Flying wild alaska and I have rarely if ever seen a pilot flare and the darnplane start lifting back off. 

I am using Carenado planes mostly, twins like the B200, Twin Caravan and such.  The easiest one to flare and land nicely is the B1900D.  That one flares nicely and I seem to do a lot of good landing in it.  But most of the time if I cut to idle then the plane drops too hard, and if I don't cut to idle all the way I have to DRIVE the plane down right to the runway hiting either the nose wheel first or all 3 wheels at once.

 

In fact, if I didn't want to flare i could pretty much land with a good VSI like 150 fpm by just forcing the plane all the way down to the runway, but that just touches all wheels down together and I want to flare like I am supposed to. 

So should I go to idle at all, if so, when?  

Just as a reference, the props on a 1900 are huge. If you bring it to idle thrust, the plane will drop.  Try landing with just a little bit of power.  I have flown a few varieties of the King Air and the differences between them can be rather large. The 4 bladed props will make you drop out of the sky without power, the 3 bladed props do the opposite, land with any power and you will float halfway down the runway.  Try to be at REF 50 ft over the threshhold and continue to slow back. The goal is to aim for the 1000 ft markers, you shouldn't touchdown there, but use that as your aimpoint. The 1st 1/3 of the runway is what I use to touchdown. Once you are in the aircrafts ground effect, the airplane will slow down and finally settle. Until that happens, you have to work the yoke, not much, but enough. If you balloon up dont over correct and allow the aircraft to fall back down. Keep control inputs small and feel what the aircraft is doing. Hopefully that helps.

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57 minutes ago, Orlaam said:

I have no idea how anyone could use a joystick.  It's awful.

Ask an Airbus driver......;-)

 

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This is a question which, beyond the very basics, is very type-specific and the only real authority is the manufacturer's flying manual for the aircraft in question. Clearly, the flare technique on a B747 is different to that for a C172 (and indeed, there are many amusing stories of guys that fly 747s for their day job turning up at a flying club at the weekend to rent a light single and instinctively trying to flare at 50-odd feet). Turboprops will be different again (both as a class and between types) and are really outside my experience.

However, the general advice listed above is good. Fundamentally the landing is a visual manoeuvre; look out at the end of the runway. Plus, great landings come from great, stable approaches; make sure you nail the speed, power setting and aim point/glidepath in plenty of time.

In a light single it would be reasonably normal to bring the power back to idle once landing is 'assured' (i.e. you are 'over the fence' and will definitely make the runway without power) and hold the aeroplane off, progressively increasing attitude to reduce speed and rate of descent with the wheels just a few inches above the runway surface until you touch down with the stall warner blaring. (The exception would be a short field landing, where Cessna at least recommend carrying some power in to the flare so that the slipstream aids elevator effectiveness at the lower than normal speeds being flown).

This is very much not the technique to be used in anything much larger than a C172.

In the average transport category swept-wing jet, the flare is typically started at between 20-50 feet and involves reducing power towards idle (Boeing's advice in most of their older (737/47/57/67) jets is to progressively reduce thrust to reach the idle stop before touchdown) and raising the nose somewhere in the region of two to four degrees. This is a very small change in attitude - it is judged visually by looking out at the end of the runway and you only need to raise the nose just enough to detect that the attitude has even changed at all. Swept-wing transport category jets as a rule are very slippery and will quite happily float very long way with idle thrust a couple of feet above the runway in ground effect; here's an example: 

Obviously I've not seen you fly, so please don't take this as a criticism or assumption, just a general comment: I've been involved in writing and running various FS flying courses over the last year or so. Since I started actually flying with people (in shared cockpit) and teaching them how to fly I've discovered that very many FS flyers have a tendency to be quite rough on the controls: smooth and progressive is the way forward. You can (and, indeed, in many cases should) be positive, but that is not the same as 'snatching' the controls around; if you do so you will 1) destabilise the aeroplane and 2) find it very difficult to fly accurately and repeatably.

Finally, Chris's advice:

1 hour ago, Orlaam said:

Don't get so hung up on greasers, that's an overblown concept.

Is very good. The objective is to land in the right place, at the right speed and at an acceptable rate of descent. The right place is on the centreline and in the touchdown zone, the right speed is whatever the aircraft flying manual says your speed at touchdown ought to be (in a typical jet, having flown the approach at Vref + 5 touchdown should, if you have executed the correct flare technique, typically occur at Vref to Vref - 5 -- again, in a light single touchdown may occur at quite a low speed with the stall warner going off). These are the most important parameters. If manage to get a 'greaser' then great, but otherwise as long as you are not really thumping it on and breaking the aeroplane then carry on. The very last place you should be looking in the flare is at your VSI.

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13 hours ago, SierraHotel said:

Ask an Airbus driver......;-)

 

I don't think I'd like that personally, lol.  Especially on the left when my left hand can barely hold a cup it's so uncoordinated. :laugh:

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37 minutes ago, Orlaam said:

 

I don't think I'd like that personally, lol.  Especially on the left when my left hand can barely hold a cup it's so uncoordinated. :laugh:

So how do you fly manually with a yoke from the left seat? (Think about where your right hand is going to be... not on the yoke...)

It's really not a big deal (more of an issue is the muscle memory for locating things when you switch seats -- I nowadays do most of my sim flying instructing from the right seat of a C172 with my throttle quadrant set up on the left of the yoke... I swap the TQ over to the right hand side for the occasions when I jump in the LHS of an airliner and the number of times I've reflexively reached out with my left hand for the thrust levers is ridiculous).

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I am going to approach this from a different standpoint. How is your fps? If you are taking a relatively complex aircraft, or an aircraft that is not that complex but coded mostly using .xml, into a highly detailed airport, with heavy clouds and AI Traffic, and your fps drops to single digits, then landing is going to be a nightmare. You may be doing things right, but the poor performance of your system is going to make all of those adjustments prior to landing out of sync with what you are seeing on the screen.

I'd take your favorite airplane to your favorite airport and make sure to run something like FRAPS to keep an eye on the fps. If you see constant single digits you have a problem. Even the low teens can cause minor issues.  

Try someplace such as CYLT with the weather set to fair and AI, Boats and Airport Traffic set to 0%. See how much your fps improves and see if your landing performance improves...

Then again it may be a problem with sight picture, control feel, or just having a stable approach prior to landing. In which there are lots of good advice above. 

Best of luck.

-Ken

CFI, CFII, MEI

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Yoke or joystick doesn't really matter, it's the effective travel that makes the difference. Compared to real control sticks and yokes almost all desktop versions have a much lower travel which means much more sensitive controls than IRL.

Talking about sensitivity. Besides fps a very important factor is the joystick sensitivity which should be at max (fully to the right) for fixed wing planes.

The term sensitivity is a bit misleading because the only thing this setting does is to slow down the flight control deflection.

The lower the sensitivity, the higher the chances of pilot induced oscillations. This is especially noticeable during the landing flare.

If you pull back on the stick/yoke to flare and the sensitivity is at (or near) the maximum, the pitch change will occur immediately and is identical with your control input. If it's in the middle or even less, your pitch input will be delayed and hence you tend to increase back pressure because the pitch change isn't what you would initially expect. Due to the artificial slowed/delayed response the elevator will reach the commanded position later than it should and the resulting pitch change will be too large.

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On 5/3/2017 at 4:12 AM, skelsey said:

This is a question which, beyond the very basics, is very type-specific and the only real authority is the manufacturer's flying manual for the aircraft in question. Clearly, the flare technique on a B747 is different to that for a C172 (and indeed, there are many amusing stories of guys that fly 747s for their day job turning up at a flying club at the weekend to rent a light single and instinctively trying to flare at 50-odd feet). Turboprops will be different again (both as a class and between types) and are really outside my experience.

However, the general advice listed above is good. Fundamentally the landing is a visual manoeuvre; look out at the end of the runway. Plus, great landings come from great, stable approaches; make sure you nail the speed, power setting and aim point/glidepath in plenty of time.

In a light single it would be reasonably normal to bring the power back to idle once landing is 'assured' (i.e. you are 'over the fence' and will definitely make the runway without power) and hold the aeroplane off, progressively increasing attitude to reduce speed and rate of descent with the wheels just a few inches above the runway surface until you touch down with the stall warner blaring. (The exception would be a short field landing, where Cessna at least recommend carrying some power in to the flare so that the slipstream aids elevator effectiveness at the lower than normal speeds being flown).

This is very much not the technique to be used in anything much larger than a C172.

In the average transport category swept-wing jet, the flare is typically started at between 20-50 feet and involves reducing power towards idle (Boeing's advice in most of their older (737/47/57/67) jets is to progressively reduce thrust to reach the idle stop before touchdown) and raising the nose somewhere in the region of two to four degrees. This is a very small change in attitude - it is judged visually by looking out at the end of the runway and you only need to raise the nose just enough to detect that the attitude has even changed at all. Swept-wing transport category jets as a rule are very slippery and will quite happily float very long way with idle thrust a couple of feet above the runway in ground effect; here's an example: 

Obviously I've not seen you fly, so please don't take this as a criticism or assumption, just a general comment: I've been involved in writing and running various FS flying courses over the last year or so. Since I started actually flying with people (in shared cockpit) and teaching them how to fly I've discovered that very many FS flyers have a tendency to be quite rough on the controls: smooth and progressive is the way forward. You can (and, indeed, in many cases should) be positive, but that is not the same as 'snatching' the controls around; if you do so you will 1) destabilise the aeroplane and 2) find it very difficult to fly accurately and repeatably.

Finally, Chris's advice:

Is very good. The objective is to land in the right place, at the right speed and at an acceptable rate of descent. The right place is on the centreline and in the touchdown zone, the right speed is whatever the aircraft flying manual says your speed at touchdown ought to be (in a typical jet, having flown the approach at Vref + 5 touchdown should, if you have executed the correct flare technique, typically occur at Vref to Vref - 5 -- again, in a light single touchdown may occur at quite a low speed with the stall warner going off). These are the most important parameters. If manage to get a 'greaser' then great, but otherwise as long as you are not really thumping it on and breaking the aeroplane then carry on. The very last place you should be looking in the flare is at your VSI.

As an old LSO (Landing Signal Officer) I can tell you those two approaches were VERY different.  The first approach was doomed from the start.  In the first one the airplane is too fast on the approach, assuming the second approach was at the correct speed.  You may notice in the video that the horizontal tail continually peeks above the wing on the first approach indicating that the airplane was much more nose-down (fast) than on the second.  On the second approach, you never see the horizontal stabs and the airplane maintains a stable pitch attitude until the flare.  The first approach was overpowered and fast, meaning the aircraft was going to use a lot of runway slowing to touchdown speed/attitude.  The second approach was much, much better.  Airspeed/AOA control is vital to a successful approach and landing.  If you are "hunting around" during the approach, as this pilot was on his first attempt, the landing will be pot luck.  A stable, on-speed approach is the best precursor to a nice landing as we saw on the second approach.  I have found the simulator to be every bit as demanding as RL in this regard, if not more so.    

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