Billkhaled

HELP! I LANDED WITH A RATE OF -888 FPM

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How can I do smooth and soft landings? I fly in PMDGs 747, 737 and 777 and today I was flying Aerosoft's Airbus 320 when I landed with a rate of -888fpm. I honestly just shut the computer down and walked away in shame after 2 years on flight sim I have STILL not yet mastered smooth landings. I have seen many videos including MattyBoo2's great video on how to land smoothly and flaring which is also a major problem for me. I will end up floating way too high and not lose any altitude. Does anyone have any tips for 'greasing' a landing. I will either go smack down, all wheels on the runway at once or float down then touch down a thousand metres from the touchdown zone. Thanks, I would really appreciate any links to tutorials on how to bring down an aircraft smoothly, especially jets and how to grease a landing. All tips and tricks and links to tips and tricks would be appreciated very much.

Kind Regards, Bill Khaled

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The best thing to do is to learn how to land in a small plane like a Cessna 172.  Take off from your favourite airport and do a circuit and then perform a series of touch and go's.  After lift off climb at 75 kts to 400 feet and make a right turn, keep climbing to 800 feet then make a right turn.  At this time reduce engine speed to 2300 RPM (normal cruise RPM).  As you cross midway along the airport grounds  check to see that you can see the runway on your right side, you shouldn't be too far away, adjust your turns accordingly to stay close to the airport.  As you reach the point where the aircraft is 45 degrees off the runway reduce your engine to idle, keeping the nose up to slow to 70 kts, turn right on your base leg.  You will notice the aircraft starting to descend slowly without the use of flaps.  Turn right to final lining yourself up on the runway ahead, at this point you should be around 500 feet in the air, keep descending and watch for the PAPI lights, you should see 2 white and 2 red lights.  Adjust altitude drop by adding a little throttle, try not to pull back on the yoke.  As you approach the runway you should be at 70 kts, if you are too fast and still dropping altitude use your yoke to control speed and throttle to control altitude.  Fly through the runway number's at or below 100 feet and set throttle to idle.  Keep your eyes on the far end of the runway and start pulling back on your yoke, less air will go over the wings and your aircraft will descend, don't stop pulling back on your yoke.  Once you land push the throttle back to full, use a little right rudder to stay on the center line and pull back on the yoke and perform another circuit.  Keep practicing, you'll get it.

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Look at the far end of the runway when your at 100' or less. At 30 feet start your flare and pull power to idle smoothly. This will put you in a position to at least have a firm but smooth touchdown.

Think of the flare as you only trying to arrest your descent. Don't think of it as "I'm flaring now." If you think of it as "I'm shallowing out my descent and that's all I want to do at this very moment....just shallow out the descent," then that will help soften the touchdown.

Cant really give you specifics but these two ideas should get you started in the right direction.

The finer points of when to actually start your flare and when to pull power as well as what pitch you need to bring the nose up to will only truly be figured out through practice. It's different for every airplane.

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Never try to "grease" a landing. If, after many hours of practice, you can do that and still land in the landing zone then good on you but do not go out of your way to try greasing every time. You will inevitably float or veer especially if there is a crosswind.

In any of the jet aircraft you mentioned: You MUST be stable at 1000' AGL. That means on the localiser, wings level, your descent rate at approx. 700-800fpm and your speed at Vapp +5 (ballpark figure for reference only) or let the autothrust do its job. The GS (glidescope indicator) should be centred. No crosswind scenario - hold this attitude all the way down until over the piano keys at 50', then gently pitch up and at about 20-30' retard the thrust levers to idle. Don't obsess about landing rates. 

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Here's a story, and it's true too, maybe it will help you...

When I was learning to fly, because I'd been obsessed with aeroplanes since being a child, always reading about them and making models and stuff (there were no flight sims when I was a kid), I knew a lot about aeroplanes by the time I got to actually learning to fly, this served me well for learning, but that sort of knowledge is inclined to make you think you know it all, which is never a good thing. So when it came to landings, I would grease it down every time, absolutely perfect; my instructor said it was impressive that I could do that, but he told me I shouldn't, because one day I'd get it wrong and do a heavy landing. Me on other hand got all egotistical about that and considered that I must be some kind of 'born flier' or something. Cold hard reality had other ideas about that though... 

Well, being a smart@ss, I decided to keep on doing it, after all, why shouldn't I always be able to grease it down if I always had before? My instructor simply looked at me, knowing what he said was true and knew I'd cock it up one day. Well, pride comes before a fall of course, and sure enough, soon after, with that same instructor on board, I flared a little too late on one occasion and really piledrove the thing onto the runway pretty hard.

Two things hurt more than my pride on that occasion (and let's be honest, my pride needed a good kick for being like that), one was that I cracked a wheel spat fairing on the aircraft, not badly, just a hairline crack in the glass fibre, but a crack nonetheless and it was embarrassing and disheartening to know I'd damaged an aeroplane, even though it was only cosmetic damage you'd have to look really closely to see, but to me it might has well have been a write off in how it put a well-deserved dent in my smugness, and all through being stupid and not listening to someone who of course knew better than me. But worse than that, it being a tandem seat aeroplane, the instructor, whom I really liked very much and who was a great teacher whom i owe a lot to, hurt his back a bit in that landing because the wheels cushioned the hard landing more for me in the front seat and less for him in the rear and I know his back was sore for a few days. That hurt me more than anything to know I'd done that to him, and all from being a smart@ss and not listening to his good advice.

Considerably chastened, but toy instructor's eternal credit, we took off again in that same aeroplane (see, I didn't damage it that badly) after having done a thorough inspection of it, which is when I spotted the crack in the fairing. He simply said: You wanna try landing it the proper way now? Which I did, and have done ever since. I learned more than how to land that day, i learned how to be a great teacher too, which is what i do for a living now, and it was all thanks to learning from someone who knew the best way to teach someone who is cocky with their ability, is to give them just enough rope to almost hang themselves.

So, here is the proper way to do it...

You fly down toward your aim point on the runway on your final and you look at it until you can make out detail in the runway surface, the moment you can spot detail in the surface, at that point, you shift your eyes up and along to the horizon at the end of the runway, keep them there and start to ease the stick back, and you feed in just enough back stick to keep it from touching down until that thing is just about to stop flying, by which point the stick will be nearly all the way back, and then you let it touch down. you use your peripheral vision on the views to the sides to gauge it (which is admittedly a bit easier in a real aeroplane than in a sim looking at a monitor). If you do that, you will get it down right every time.

And I'll dedicate that tale to Mike Cater, who was my instructor in that story. What a top bloke, a great pilot and one of a couple of instructors who not only taught me how to fly properly, but also taught me how to teach properly as well.

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 Here is a very nice video tutorial on landing, made by a real 737 pilot and using the PMDG 737NGX.

 

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23 hours ago, Billkhaled said:

.....when I landed with a rate of -888fpm. I honestly just shut the computer down and walked away in shame....

Do not be disheartened, Bill! You could always get a job with Silkway...:tongue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjuiB8JPFC4

Sorry, couldn't resist. A lot of great advice in this thread, with the probable exception of myself :biggrin:

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Guys thank you all very much and I have after some practice flights in the NGX at EGCC I have managed to lower my landing rate to -247 however how do I ensure my landings are stable and on the centreline. I will often be turning quite a bit only a few miles out and will land with metres from the centreline

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The localiser is your friend. Follow it in and you should be on the centreline. When you transition to visual keep glancing down to ensure you are still centred. Depending on conditions the aircraft will tend to drift a bit and will need minor corrections to keep it on course. Eventually, you will get used to the visual clues to help stay on the centreline but be aware that each add-on has a slightly different eyepoint.

To get an idea of how this works position yourself on a runway centreline using the slew function and an outside view. Then transition inside the flight deck and note the relative differences between the aircraft. Use either the PFD or the ND as guidance relative to the centreline. 

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