kmanning

Manual Does not Cover This Procedure

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For this version of the 747, there is a procedure NOT covered in detail in any of the manuals. The procedure I'm referring to has to do with landing the 747 with the autopilot and autothrottle disconnected, and none of the manuals DO NOT make reference as to the procedure of when to reduce power to idle and WHEN to initiate the flare. This is the procedure used by pilots in most all landings, and I find it hard to understand why that procedure is not covered in ANY of the manuals. In the tutorial manual, it only discusses landing the 747 in the Auto-Land configuration. In the Flight Crew Operations Manual, there's NO mentioning regarding the procedure of when to reduce power to idle and when to initiate the flare when landing a 747. So, when landing a 747 with the auto-pilot and auto-throttles disconnect, WHEN or at WHAT Altitude do you reduce power to idle, and at WHAT RATE, and precisely WHEN or at WHAT Altitude do you initiate the flare? In the FCOM, all it says is: "If suitable visual reference is esablished at MDA, or DA, or the missed approach point, disengage the autopilot and autothrottle. Maintain the glide path to landing," then goes into another subject, leaving out much more information that's needed. There's more procedures that follow than just maintaining a glide path down to landing. If a pilot just uses the autoland system to land the 747, he's not getting any pratical experience in landing a 747.

The other thing I found differently about landing this version of the 747 is that it will NOT settle onto the runway, even when the power has been reduced to idle. It floats forever before it finally settles down onto the runway. And no, I'm not landing too fast, as I'm using the Vref speeds + 5 knots. So why is this version of the 747's landing characteristics different from the other PMDG 747? But I assume this version more closely memics the real one than the other versions.

Ken Manning

Edited by kmanning

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I assume this is a procedure that would be covered in flight crew training rather than appear in a manual. When you think about it, at that point of the landing phase, everything is happening so fast that you wouldn't be able to go off of a checklist to perform those actions in a timely manner. Also, I would think when you cut power and flare would ultimately be situation dependent. On a good day, you might cut it at 30 feet, but if the winds were to be quite powerful, you might cut the power closer to the ground. I don't know, I'm just making stuff up here.

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Hello,

5 hours ago, kmanning said:

In the Flight Crew Operations Manual, there's NO mentioning regarding the procedure of when to reduce power to idle and when to initiate the flare when landing a 747.

That's because you're looking in the wrong book. FCTM section 6, specifically 6.8 onward, has a great deal of information about landing technique.

Unfortunately, PMDG don't supply a copy of the FCTM, so here's one I wrote earlier: 

 

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15 hours ago, kmanning said:

. It floats forever before it finally settles down onto the runway. And no, I'm not landing too fast,

Perhaps you are over flaring? Most likely you are holding Vref+5 and not allowing speed to decay.  Remember, the aircraft is still flying at Vref+5 and you need to bleed the speed to keep from "floating."  Keep working on it, she is a very easy aircraft to land once you get used to your height above runway.

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2 hours ago, downscc said:

she is a very easy aircraft to land once you get used to your height above runway.

Could not agree more, Dan. Have not swapped to any other aircraft since I bought this.Everything about it is so immersive, a pleasure to fly, even prepping for a flight.

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Ken,

For a B744 manual landing in calm conditions you should always use Flap 25 and a target speed of Vref 25+5 (use Flap 30 if the runway is limiting). Ignore all visual aids below 300ft RA except for the PAPI's and ILS LOC/GS indications and keep the VSI, altimeters and airspeed in your scan down to the flare.  Your aiming point should be approx 1900ft into the runway and if you are misaligned laterally below 200ft RA then go around. At 100ft RA the aircraft nose should be very near the threshold and it MUST be over it by 50ft RA otherwise go around.  Start the flare at 30ft RA by raising the nose 2 degrees and then smoothly close the thrust levers.  Hold the attitude allowing the aircraft to sink onto the runway and adjust the back pressure as necessary so that the nose gear makes contact without delay to ensure maximum braking effort is available.  The Speedbrakes will deploy on mainwheel touchdown if you have armed them and then all you have to do is apply reverse and keep the aircraft on the centerline using rudder and differential brake if required (note: this braking will disconnect the autobrake).  Nosewheel steering should not normally be used until you are at a safe taxy speed (i.e. <20kts). 

As you have found, the landing can go wrong, especially if you raise the nose too high or allow the approach speed to exceed VRef 25 +15 kts.  The aircraft will float and quickly eat up the runway, so it is important to judge the correct nose up attitude every time; primarily by looking down the runway and keeping the wings level using the outside picture and glareshield as a guide.  If the NU pitch attitude exceeds 10 degrees during the flare then the aft fuselage will definitely make contact with the runway -  assuming you are still over it at the time  :-) !!

Happy (manual) landings,

Bertie Goddard

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Oddly enough, just completed a manual landing(no AP, no A/T), just bled speed to 5000', then via Flaps 25-30 with speed down to 153kts, followed the FD cross-hairs and landed 24R EGCC without any 'floating', etc. This aircraft is simply a joy to hand-fly an approach.

Edited by vc10man

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I don't find it hard to land at all.  In fact it's too easy.  I think like any aircraft, it will float if you are fast or high and unable to correct this over the threshold.  It seems best to me, depending on weight, to kill the throttle at 50 feet AGL and pull back.  If I try to land more like I do in the NGX I land more flat and don't flare enough.  My NGX landings are almost always textbook.  I've had some weird landings in the QOTSII a couple times.  A look outside during replay revealed the nose just wasn't high enough on touchdown. 

It's been ages since I flew the original 744 in FS9 but I seem to remember it landing better, if that makes sense.  I also dislike how the QOTSII will tip over if you hold aileron into the wind.  Seems really bizarre. 

ETA: To clarify the tip over comment.  I landed at SFO with a crosswind.  Mostly center-line and wind from the left.  I held the yoke left, not extreme pressure either.  Next thing I see is the bird tilting.  I'm like "what the....".  Pop outside and the right mains are off the ground and the left wing is headed to the ground.  I don't see how that's possible IRL.

Edited by Orlaam

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Hi,

I have a question to real airliner pilots regarding the flare and landing.

First I bet there may be some difference regarding the landing technic between a GA and an airliner.

I'm having lessons for the PPL in real and at the landing I sometimes flare too much which makes the aircraft climb back a little. My reflex is therefore to release the yoke a little but my instructor tells me that it is a wrong action because it may lead to a rough landing. He "forces" me to maintain the yoke, let the aircraft descent back as the speed bleeds off and then flare again progressively. I believe he is right because applying that technic the landing is soft. The only issue is that the landing distance is increased (which could mean a balked landing is the runway is too short).

In an airliner, if the aircraft climbs back a little during the flare maybe because the pilot pulled the yoke back a little to much, is the technic also to maintain the yoke not matter what until the aircraft descends back again (and eventually do a balked landing if you run down too much runway length) or to release the yoke a little and pull back again in an attempt not increase the landing distance too much?

The question is maybe wrongly phrased but English is not my native language and I hope it is clear.

Off course, the goal is not to flare too much at the first place, but sometimes in down draft, the aircraft may increase its down rate and it is not always easy as a non-professional airliner pilot to pull just the right amount of yoke with the fear of a rought landing.

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Great news, Romain, to read that you are going for your PPL. Good Luck. A very interesting post. Well worth looking out for the answers from R/W airliner captains.

Edited by vc10man
spelling mistake

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10 hours ago, Orlaam said:

I don't find it hard to land at all.  In fact it's too easy.  I think like any aircraft, it will float if you are fast or high and unable to correct this over the threshold.  It seems best to me, depending on weight, to kill the throttle at 50 feet AGL and pull back.  If I try to land more like I do in the NGX I land more flat and don't flare enough.  My NGX landings are almost always textbook.  I've had some weird landings in the QOTSII a couple times.  A look outside during replay revealed the nose just wasn't high enough on touchdown. 

It's been ages since I flew the original 744 in FS9 but I seem to remember it landing better, if that makes sense.  I also dislike how the QOTSII will tip over if you hold aileron into the wind.  Seems really bizarre. 

ETA: To clarify the tip over comment.  I landed at SFO with a crosswind.  Mostly center-line and wind from the left.  I held the yoke left, not extreme pressure either.  Next thing I see is the bird tilting.  I'm like "what the....".  Pop outside and the right mains are off the ground and the left wing is headed to the ground.  I don't see how that's possible IRL.

I don't have any trouble landing 747v3 either, but I don't agree that it's too easy. I never found landing a 744 FFS difficult at all. Of course that isn't necessarily exactly the same as the real thing but it is close.

i don't know why you expect it to land like the NGX.

I haven't encountered the tipping issue you mention, but I haven't had to deal with a strong crosswind yet. Obviously it is possible for the aircraft to tilt, which is why you would use into wind aileron. You may have put too much wheel in without realising and pushed the sim into an area where the ground handling model isn't that realistic. Bear in mind the aircraft is still partially flying so what appears to be impossible could actually be possible 

When you say "the right mains" do you mean the wing gear, or both wing and body gear? 

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I've read comments from line pilots here regarding the proper cross wind landing technique and I do not remember any of them referring to the raising the downwind wing.  Sure, it's how it is done in light GA aircraft and as Romain will soon learn the technique becomes automatic without thinking about it thanks to training and repetition.  However, this is done after kicking crab out for the sole purpose of not drifting downwind across the runway.  In a large aircraft I don't think the same applies. Kick the crab out during rotation and land with wings level, or even in some types land in a crab and let the mains take the sideways forces and straighten you out.  One of the most spectacular cross wind landing is performed by the B-52 which has mains that rotate to allow the crab after touchdown, it is really something to see.

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37 minutes ago, downscc said:

One of the most spectacular cross wind landing is performed by the B-52 which has mains that rotate to allow the crab after touchdown, it is really something to see.

Hi, Dan. Now that would be worth really watching. Is there a link to it, Dan? Those are some big beasts to land. I never tired of watching them at an RAF base.

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49 minutes ago, downscc said:

However, this is done after kicking crab out for the sole purpose of not drifting downwind across the runway.  In a large aircraft I don't think the same applies. Kick the crab out during rotation and land with wings level, or even in some types land in a crab and let the mains take the sideways forces and straighten you out.

You are quite correct in that the recommended crosswind technique for the B747 is to de-crab and land wings level (Boeing say you can sideslip (i.e. land "wing down"), but it is not recommended because of the high risk of scraping an outboard pod if you are over-zealous with the bank angle).

However, to state the obvious -- as you squeeze off the crab with rudder you will need some in-to-wind aileron in order to hold the wings level and thus you will touch down with crossed controls. If you do not, the roll-yaw coupling is quite powerful on the B747 and the aeroplane will roll quite sharply in the direction of yaw -- not good!

In-to-wind aileron (proportionate with speed, i.e. increasing slightly as the speed reduces, and proportionate to the amount of crosswind) will then be required during the rollout to ensure the upwind wing does not lift. Indeed, the FCTM says:

Quote

proper rudder and upwind aileron must be applied after touchdown to ensure directional control is maintained.

(my emphasis).

Watching Youtube videos of B747 landings it does seem quite normal for in-to-wind aileron (indeed, up to full deflection as the speed reduces) to be maintained during the landing roll. Of course, when landing there are no concerns around spoiler deployment compared to the crosswind takeoff situation where (as with any aircraft equipped with roll spoilers) the use of in-to-wind control wheel input must be kept to the minimum possible in order to avoid the drag associated with roll spoiler deployment.

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9 hours ago, Budbud said:

le. My reflex is therefore to release the yoke a little but my instructor tells me that it is a wrong action because it may lead to a rough landing. He "forces" me to maintain the yoke, let the aircraft descent back as the speed bleeds off and then flare again progressively. I believe he is right because applying that technic the landing is soft. The only issue is that the landing distance is increased (which could mean a balked landing is the runway is too short).

In an airliner, if the aircraft climbs back a little during the flare maybe because the pilot pulled the yoke back a little to much, is the technic also to maintain the yoke not matter what until the aircraft descends back again (and eventually do a balked landing if you run down too much runway length) or to release the yoke a little and pull back again in an attempt not increase the landing distance too much?

Hi Romain,

I suspect what your instructor is concerned about is the situation where you arrive slightly fast, over-flare, balloon slightly, then try to correct by lowering the nose - and if you're not careful the worse-case outcome is that you end up burying it on the nosewheel, something which has happened in the past on aircraft of all sizes and no doubt will continue to happen.

In general I would apply the same technique for a slight balloon as is recommended for a 'light' bounce -- which is to hold and/or re-establish the correct landing attitude. This invariably will require continued, if not fractionally increased, backpressure as the speed reduces. The two things you do not want to do are 1) raise the nose even more and risk a tailstrike (in a long-bodied aircraft - not so applicable to a C172 or a Warrior!), or 2) allow the nose to drop, a high rate of descent to develop and/or the pitch attitude to reduce to the point at which a nosewheel landing results.

Good luck with the PPL -- it should be interesting to hear the views of the airline guys here on this though!

Edit to add: of course, if the float is excessive and you are not going to make the touchdown zone then a go-around remains an option, all the way up to the point at which reverse is selected.

Edited by skelsey

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Hi Simon, 

You perfectly described what I meant to say in a much better way. So based on that my question is whether the same technic is applied on both the GA and airliners because though I start to master relatively well the landing with the 747, I caught myself the other day pulling a bit too much on the yoke because I felt I was going down too quickly. I tried not to release the yoke so kept a minimum of back pressure and did no allow the pitch to decrease. I ended up landing approx 1000m down the runway with the aircraft floating for quite some time. I was right at VF+5 when I started the flare with A/T engaged.

Obviously my first mistake was to flare too much. But then either I was wrong keeping the pitch up or the throttle closed too slowly but in either case it took a long time to get the aircraft on ground.

Off course the key to get a smooth and quick landing is to manage the descent rate before the flare and a correct flare. 

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The landing technique I described to Ken in my earlier post here is actually used on the real B744 for the majority of manual landings and the automatic radio altimeter callouts are normally used as an aid in this process.  However, there is no substitute for training and experience on the actual aircraft, because the B744 will handle slightly differently at different landing weights and at high altitude airfields when compared to sea level. For example, at an airfield such as Nairobi the flare should be started slightly earlier than 30ft, but the technique of looking down the runway to judge your landing attitude and reduced rate of descent is fundamentally the same in the vast majority of aircraft (not applicable to aircraft like the AV8B, Space X etc!). 

If you over-rotate during the flare simply relax the back pressure slightly to lower the nose to the correct attitude and allow the aircraft to sink onto the runway.  If you are going to float too far down the runway then it is usually safer to throw the landing away and Go Around.   The obvious difference here is that in a jet everything happens that much faster when compared to a GA (prop) aircraft, so you will need to react sooner rather than later if you misjudge the landing.  Unlike a GA aircraft there is no extra lift being generated by the slipstream from the propeller(s).  A jet aircraft relies on its airspeed for lift to get you out of trouble in this situation          

Incidentally, Simon is correct about the crosswind technique used on the B744; i.e. maintaining wings level and crabbing to compensate for the drift angle so that the cockpit is slightly upwind of the centreline at the start of the flare.  During the flare just squeeze the rudder to straighten the nose at the same time keeping the wings level and if you have judged everything correctly you will touch down on the centreline with the wings level.  The landing is not complete until you are at a safe taxy speed, so as the speed decays keep the aircraft straight using rudder and adjust the aileron input as necessary to keep the wings level.  Reverse thrust can sometimes aggravate a crosswind landing, so if you find yourself drifting off the centreline with Reverse Thrust applied you should either select Reverse Idle or even cancel it to regain control. When you are back on the centreline and under control you can then re-apply Reverse Thrust.

It is interesting to note that during an autoland the autopilots will cope with a crosswind (max 25kts) in a different manner.  Runway alignment starts at 500ft RA when the drift angle is reduced to 5 degrees or less with up to 5 degrees of bank by 200ft RA.  The wings are then levelled during the flare.

Bertie Goddard   

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12 hours ago, kevinh said:

I don't have any trouble landing 747v3 either, but I don't agree that it's too easy. I never found landing a 744 FFS difficult at all. Of course that isn't necessarily exactly the same as the real thing but it is close.

i don't know why you expect it to land like the NGX.

I haven't encountered the tipping issue you mention, but I haven't had to deal with a strong crosswind yet. Obviously it is possible for the aircraft to tilt, which is why you would use into wind aileron. You may have put too much wheel in without realising and pushed the sim into an area where the ground handling model isn't that realistic. Bear in mind the aircraft is still partially flying so what appears to be impossible could actually be possible 

When you say "the right mains" do you mean the wing gear, or both wing and body gear? 

It's easy compared to a lot of add ons.  The Majestic Dash 8 or A2A are way harder to land. I can come in pretty sloppy and still land like a boss in the 744.  Same for the 737.  Keep in mind I've been flying add ons with study level simulation since 2002 or earlier. My first was the Dreamfleet B737-400.  I've owned so many from top developers.  

What I mean by landing like the NGX is that the NGX comes in at Vapp nose high.  It easily flares with little back pressure as you idle the thrust.  It's just the easiest plane I have right now to land.  I can come in like garbage and recover to land like a pro.  The 747v3 will touch all wheels flat and I find that's it's harder to nose up to avoid that.  It's just different.  Plus the NGX will sometimes float just a tad (-800/-900 variant especially) at higher speeds and you can push the yoke forward but still land on the mains without the nose wheel coming down.  The 747 will typically nose down if you push it down resulting is a nose first or flat landing.  I know for a fact that pilots put forward pressure on the yoke during landings.  All pilots do this. Controls are pulled back, pushed forward and turned to correct for wind and such.  Make sense?

I think the tipping issue was due to the ground modeling.  I do not wing down on approaches, I crab.  Only wing down I do is to correct for heading but I prefer to crab and that's what you'd do in a large plane anyhow.  I was on all wheels (mains and nose) and keeping my aileron into the wind.  Probably not necessary in a sim but I can never tell if it helps for crosswinds.  Next thing I know I'm leaning and outside view reveals my wheels on the right side are off the ground and only the wheels on the left are on the ground, along with the nose gear.  I quickly dropped my aileron and it leveled out. 

I know people hate YouTube videos, but this one shows the pilot putting forward pressure on the yoke, like nearly all I've seen through the years. The QOTSII will totally level out and lose its flare.  And I'm not too fast.  I idle at like 50 feet and always do the right speed. 

 

Edited by Orlaam

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7 hours ago, Orlaam said:

I know for a fact that pilots put forward pressure on the yoke during landings.  All pilots do this. Controls are pulled back, pushed forward and turned to correct for wind and such.  Make sense?

Small point of order:

In your video, I would say that the PF relaxed the backpressure briefly during the flare -- which is not quite the same as pushing forward! Relaxing backpressure is OK: pushing forward in the flare in any aircraft is a recipe for a hard/nosewheel-first landing.

When you reduce power in the flare, the aeroplane will nose-down due to the thrust-pitch couple - most of the backpressure is going to counter this. As Bertie mentioned, the change in attitude in the flare in the B747 is very small -- only two degrees (I'm not sure what the B737 manual says as it's not a type I'm familiar with, but the A320, by comparison as a similar-sized aircraft to the B737, has a typical pitch change in the flare of up to four degrees -- twice as much as the Jumbo).

Two degrees is a very tiny movement -- when you are looking out at the far end of the runway, the very moment you detect the glareshield moving up (i.e. the pitch attitude increasing), that is more than enough. It is literally just barely enough to be perceptible as a change in attitude.

14 hours ago, Budbud said:

I was right at VF+5 when I started the flare with A/T engaged.

And there is part of your problem ;). The B747 was not designed to be hand-flown with A/T engaged: I'm not even sure that it will (or should) reduce the power to idle in this situation. It's something that would need to be confirmed by someone with type experience (Bertie?) or checked in a 'big sim', but the FCOM says:

Quote

Flare
The flare maneuver brings the airplane to a smooth automatic landing touchdown.
The flare mode is not intended for single autopilot or flight director only
operation.

Flare arms when LAND 3 or LAND 2 annunciates. At approximately 50 feet radio
altitude, the autopilots start the flare maneuver. FLARE replaces the G/S pitch
flight mode annunciation.

During flare:
• at 25 feet radio altitude, the autothrottle retards thrust levers to idle
• IDLE replaces the SPD autothrottle flight mode annunciation
• at touchdown, the FLARE annunciation no longer displays, and the nose
lowers to the runway

(My emphasis)

My reading of that is that the IDLE A/T mode is itself a submode of the FLARE mode. If you are hand-flying then you will not get LAND 2 or LAND 3, therefore you will not get FLARE mode. If you do not get FLARE, you will therefore not get IDLE and the A/T will sit there quite happily maintaining Ref + 5!

Edited by skelsey
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3 hours ago, skelsey said:

A/T engaged: I'm not even sure that it will

I have hand-flown several approaches now with the A/T engaged, and it has bled the IAS to the speed designated at the flaps selected, and had no problems, making clean ever so- slightly flared landings irrespective of it was not designed to do so..

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10 hours ago, Orlaam said:

The 747v3 will touch all wheels flat and I find that's it's harder to nose up to avoid that.  

If your normal approach comes in with the "wheels flat" you are either coming in too fast or too steep. At 50' you should be at ~2 degrees nose up and at main wheel touchdown, 4-5 degrees nose up. That's per the FCTM. And you definitely should not be chopping the throttle at 50' like you said earlier. The best technique is to begin flare at 30' and AFTER beginning the flare, bring the power back smoothly to idle. Why after?? If you pull the power back first, the natural tendency for engines mounted below a low mounted wing is to cause nose down pitch. That's the last thing you want when close to the ground. Starting the flare first counters some of the pitch down tendency. 

When you hear the RA anounce "30" just gently pull back the yoke and immediately after applying back pressure, smoothly bring the throttle back. Shoot for a 2-3 degree increase in pitch. The mains should settle down at 100-150 FPM (less or more depending on the Gods of Landings). Since doing it that way, my landings have become much better. 

Edited by adamant365
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11 hours ago, Orlaam said:

It's easy compared to a lot of add ons.  The Majestic Dash 8 or A2A are way harder to land. I can come in pretty sloppy and still land like a boss in the 744.  Same for the 737.  Keep in mind I've been flying add ons with study level simulation since 2002 or earlier. My first was the Dreamfleet B737-400.  I've owned so many from top developers.  

What I mean by landing like the NGX is that the NGX comes in at Vapp nose high.  It easily flares with little back pressure as you idle the thrust.  It's just the easiest plane I have right now to land.  I can come in like garbage and recover to land like a pro.  The 747v3 will touch all wheels flat and I find that's it's harder to nose up to avoid that.  It's just different.  Plus the NGX will sometimes float just a tad (-800/-900 variant especially) at higher speeds and you can push the yoke forward but still land on the mains without the nose wheel coming down.  The 747 will typically nose down if you push it down resulting is a nose first or flat landing.  I know for a fact that pilots put forward pressure on the yoke during landings.  All pilots do this. Controls are pulled back, pushed forward and turned to correct for wind and such.  Make sense?

I think the tipping issue was due to the ground modeling.  I do not wing down on approaches, I crab.  Only wing down I do is to correct for heading but I prefer to crab and that's what you'd do in a large plane anyhow.  I was on all wheels (mains and nose) and keeping my aileron into the wind.  Probably not necessary in a sim but I can never tell if it helps for crosswinds.  Next thing I know I'm leaning and outside view reveals my wheels on the right side are off the ground and only the wheels on the left are on the ground, along with the nose gear.  I quickly dropped my aileron and it leveled out. 

I know people hate YouTube videos, but this one shows the pilot putting forward pressure on the yoke, like nearly all I've seen through the years. The QOTSII will totally level out and lose its flare.  And I'm not too fast.  I idle at like 50 feet and always do the right speed. 

Ah, I see. You are equating "difficult to land" with "realistic". Landing a Dash 8 is very different to landing a 737 or 747. Every power change in the Dash 8 causes reactions in pitch roll and yaw. In a jet it's just a pitch change. I find the A2A GA addons very easy to land. Maybe it's your technique that is the problem?

Have you flown a 747 in real life? If not you aren't really qualified to comment on its landing characteristics. I've only flown a 747 Full Flight Sim, not the real thing, but it feels "right" to me. Bear in mind PMDG used real world pilots to evaluate this wonderful sim. Using a youtube video as a guide and trying to copy the pilot's inputs is useless since you aren't flying through the same disturbed air that pilot is. That push forward would be in reaction to something the aircraft did. Not something to replicate every time you land. Similarly, only feed in enough aileron to counter the into wind wing rising. If it isn't rising, don't put any wheel input in.

I'm away from home, so not able attempt to replicate what you saw in terms of being able to get the wheels to lift off the ground by using an into wind wheel input. That may well be an issue to be addressed.

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Hello PMDG 747 drivers,

I enjoy reading stuff like this where the SIM community strives for reality. Keep it up as long as you keep having fun. Flying is meant to be enjoyable whether it be real or simulated. 

FWIW I flew the 4 holer for a few years before large twin engines became popular and compared to other Boeings the queen will hold the top spot in royalty for many more years to come. Remember folks she's very complicated and can get very cranky if not treated well particularly below 1000' during the landing. However she's surprisingly easy to fly and that's because it's a fly by numbers aircraft. If she's setup well by 1000' on final, chances are the landing will go well.

The FCTM is where you'll find the most helpful stuff. If you want to learn how to land her without reading pages and pages of manuals, first set her up with an ILS autoland and watch how Mr Boeing does it. Watch the flare pitch, watch when the thrust levers move to idle and finally have ago manually.

During the initial type rating training some instructors would get the pilots to watch an autoland along with the go-around  to illustrate how it should be done.

IM

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Hi all,

I've been reading all the posts about landing the 747. I already knew the techniques for landing the 747 from previous versions of the PMDG 747s I had, but this latest version has a totally different landing characteristics than the previous versions. I got to thinking about it and thought I would set the aircraft up for an auto-land and observe how the 747 reacts. Guess what? It was very sloppy. The airplane literally was SLAMDED onto the runway, and I know something had to be wrong. I was using runway 24 at KBHM, or Birmingham Shuttlesworth International. I know 747s make a firmer landing when doing an auto-land, but they DO NOT slammed it onto the runway. I also observed the auto-land from the control tower view, and when I watched it touch down, it was a VERY hard landing. I got to thinking about some of the things that I will discuss shortly that may play a part in why it's landing so hard and sloppy on that runway when I use the auto-land.

I tried runway 6, performing the same auto-land, and it was perfect, just like what I've seen in videos of 747s performing an auto-land. I even tried landing the 747 myself, with the auto-pilot and auto-throttles disconnected and my landing was much better. But I'm still on occasions landing too long, especially if I wait until the 20' or 30' callout to cut the throttles rapidly as the pilot did in the video above. I start my flare at 30 ft. After flaring the airplane, the PFD shows that the nose up attitude is about 4 or 5 degrees, which means I should have flared the airplane 2 or 3 degrees. If I start to cut the power at 50 ft, but at a slower rate, it seems to land much better. Is that how the real 747 performs?

Now, to discuss the situation about runway 24. The airport file I'm using is a modified file, because I made some changes that were not correct in some of the AFCAD files I was using. The taxi way locations were not correct as well as the PAPI lights and the localizer and glideslope. These should be right on the money because I used a satellite image to place these in their correct locations. The other thing is that the scenery used for this area is the Alabama Scenery file put out by Mega Scenery Earth. Also, just to the N.E. of runway 24, there's a hill that rises about 100 ft above the runway threshold of 650 ft, over a distance of 5,100 ft. And lastly, runway 24 may not be certified for auto-lands, but I'm not sure on that. I remember reading the requirements that certifies a runway for auto-land but I don't remember now. Does anyone know where I would look that up for any airport?  

And one more question. When approaching the airport runway, do real 747 pilots maintain their Vref 30 + 5 all the way down to the runway when they begin the initial flare, or do they reduce speed slightly as they're approaching the runway, say for example, Vref 30 + 0?

Ken Manning

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On 5/22/2017 at 8:30 AM, kevinh said:

Ah, I see. You are equating "difficult to land" with "realistic". Landing a Dash 8 is very different to landing a 737 or 747. Every power change in the Dash 8 causes reactions in pitch roll and yaw. In a jet it's just a pitch change. I find the A2A GA addons very easy to land. Maybe it's your technique that is the problem?

Have you flown a 747 in real life? If not you aren't really qualified to comment on its landing characteristics. I've only flown a 747 Full Flight Sim, not the real thing, but it feels "right" to me. Bear in mind PMDG used real world pilots to evaluate this wonderful sim. Using a youtube video as a guide and trying to copy the pilot's inputs is useless since you aren't flying through the same disturbed air that pilot is. That push forward would be in reaction to something the aircraft did. Not something to replicate every time you land. Similarly, only feed in enough aileron to counter the into wind wing rising. If it isn't rising, don't put any wheel input in.

I'm away from home, so not able attempt to replicate what you saw in terms of being able to get the wheels to lift off the ground by using an into wind wheel input. That may well be an issue to be addressed.

I never said I was a real pilot at all.  I also never criticized the PMDG 744 either.  I simply said it was easy to land IMO, in the sim.  People are reading between the lines with my comments.

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