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Unusual Approach Technique - Flaps Setting Related  
User currently offlineMastropiero From Spain, joined Dec 2005, 125 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

Hi everyone, first post here. Always been passionate about flying, aircrafts and all that surrounds them. Unfortunately, what I work in has but little to do with all this world....

So, to the topic: last week I flew from MAD to CIA with VY. As you may know, at the moment they only fly A320-214. Well, on approaching I realized that the captain was waiting very long to extend the flaps. When he did, it was exactly two minutes before touchdown, already inbound. He also waited that long to lower the landing gear as well. Of course, this led to a moment of big sudden deceleration, something most pax didn´t enjoy too much. I have to say, it was up until that moment the fastest descent/approach I´ve ever seen.

Could there be any particular reasons for doing this? Would it be considered "bad" flying? Could he actually have been instructed to keep such high speed until that point?

I´ve flown a fair amount of times in the last 5 years, and I´ve seen many different approach techniques, but this was quite intriguing. At one point I even wondered whether he was considering landing with no flaps. I know that´s an absolute no-no, been discussed here not too long ago, actually, but for a moment I thought it´d happen.

So, any ideas?

Thank you very much.

[Edited 2005-12-17 20:42:37]

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3451 posts, RR: 47
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2600 times:

Quoting Mastropiero (Thread starter):
Could there be any particular reasons for doing this?

Sure. Being asked by ATC to keep the speed up as long as possible is seen regularly here in USA.

Quote:
Would it be considered "bad" flying?

Maybe, maybe not. Would need a whole lot more details from the cockpit perspective to even make a guess.

Quote:
Could he actually have been instructed to keep such high speed until that point?

Yes, see above.



*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1557 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 2593 times:

Its not unusual,to keep higher approach speed until the final stages of the approach.The ATC may ask you for a high speed approach to create enough seperation or the pilot may delay the flaps depending on his operational needs.

Quoting Mastropiero (Thread starter):
Would it be considered "bad" flying?

No.



Widen your world
User currently offlineKeta From Germany, joined Mar 2005, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 2571 times:

Something similar happened to me two weeks ago. On a flight from MAD to BIO on an IB A319, we were already on finals and no flaps were deployed. Then the landing gear was lowered, but still no flaps. I was thinking "what, are we going to land with no flaps?" We were very close. But half a minute or so before touchdown they lowered the flaps, and a normal touchdown. But I also thought why they did that. Shortly after us, another plane arrived, so maybe they were, as you guys say, asked by ATC for high speed.


Where there's a will, there's a way
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8646 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2559 times:

Gear speed is normally above flap speed, so to slow down on the ILS, get the gear down (at idle thrust clean you will gain speed on a typical ILS), decelerate, and run the flaps as you reach the limit speed (company of manufacturer) for that stage.

Often can get a pitch down with this sort of approach as the flaps run, which the ears will pick up as deceleration as well as the real deceleration, its how an airline simulator tricks pilots ears in thinking they are accelerating in an aircraft.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineStoicescu From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

Landing without flaps dangerous? --> Depends of the pilot's skill but I will say not really!

Will it get you fired if there wasn't a problem that kept you from extending them? --> Very probable!

The problem with no flaps landings is that you come fast and you will need more rwy in ground effect to bleed off speed.

And no I don't think it was bad flying I believe they ware instructed by ATC to keep the speed up or dive a bit for the rwy. Me as a pilot I want to do my Landing Checklist as soon as possible I don't see any reason to postpone it until the last moments. And I am sure other pilots think the same way and if it was indeed bad flying it was probably bad Workload Management and also bad CRM (not the case I believe)


User currently offlineArcticTern From India, joined Dec 2005, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 2455 times:

Hi,

About the sudden deceleration, this is caused due to suddent use of flaps, usually you gradually increase the flaps but if use tend to lower your flaps suddenly from 0 to 40 degree, the camber or the curvature of the wing is increased and this attracts alot of drag.

If your inside the airplane, you will be able to feel a sudden drop.

About lowering of flaps 2 minutes to touch down, i would not be able to comment, It all depends on the conditions, ATC instructions and also what the pilot was thinking at that moment.

Hope this helps and correct me if i am wrong.

Regards,
Sushant



I wanted to fly even before I knew how to pronounce the word 'Pilot'
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31580 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 2414 times:

Since We don't know what exactly the crew was doing.Its all speculation.
I would think also that ATC instructions to speed up had something to do with it.
Also remember Landing Gear & Flaps both have a do not exceed speed for Extension respectively which has to be kept under control to avoid structural damage to the related equipment.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineMastropiero From Spain, joined Dec 2005, 125 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2389 times:

Thanks for your replies. BTW, my mistake, it was MAD to FCO, not CIA.

ArcticTern, I was very much aware that once they�d deploy the flaps there would be a strong deceleration, I was expecting it. It was the rest of passengers that didn�t look very happy about it....


User currently offlineChksix From Sweden, joined Sep 2005, 345 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2382 times:

Could be fuel consumption issues too...

Delaying the "dirtying up" of the plane and flying idle power approaches saves fuel.



The conveyor belt plane will fly
User currently offlineBuckFifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

Quoting Chksix (Reply 9):
Could be fuel consumption issues too...

Delaying the "dirtying up" of the plane and flying idle power approaches saves fuel.

I don't think any airline will endorse late flap deployment as a 'fuel saving technique'. If there was any saving at all, it would be quite marginal. So this concept is benign, so to speak.

But late flap deployment does happen sometimes, although different SOP's will have different limits set on how late the aircraft must be in landing configuration. We have been on finals where flaps don't come out until 2500 feet or so, and have everything configured by 1500. Non-standard gear deployments aside, this happens more frequently than you think. As said above, in the U.S., to keep separation, this happens on a daily basis.

Again, it is safe to do it, as long as you're within company guidelines.


User currently offlineVuelingAirbus From Spain, joined Aug 2005, 113 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2351 times:

I fly the route sometimes and I have some comments about it. First we have a monitoring system and if we are not stabilized by 1000 feet (fully configured, spool up and check list done) a go around is mandatory. Second the approach to 16L/R goes via TAQ VOR and gives you a very long base (descend planning is kinda difficult in FCO). Sometimes they vector you for 40 miles and sometimes you get almost unreal shortcuts (hard to predict). So if that was the case they might just dived down and decelerated at the last minute. Third (and in my opinion the most probable) it was a standard approach considering the following. We have medium loads in winter and we are therefor about 10 tons below max landing weight. That gives a low clean speed which is around 190 to 195 kts (Flaps 2 can be selected below 200 kts). So they intercepted the ILS probably in clean configuration and thats at 2000 feet in FCO. It is not uncommon to have up to 15 kts tailwind there in approach and you land with about 7-10 kts tailwind and they still prefere 16 L/R for noise abatement. That gives about 2,5 to 3 minutes before we start to extend flaps and gear. And by the way the terrain is falling a lot coming from TAQ or BOL VOR and so the visual suggest you are very close to the ground, however you are still high above threshold elevation.

hope that helped


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2319 times:

Quoting Stoicescu (Reply 5):
Landing without flaps dangerous? --> Depends of the pilot's skill but I will say not really!

Sorry, but your guess is wrong.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/132497#7

Quote:
"A no-flap landing is a very serious event. It is much more serious than an engine failure or fire.

You will have the crash trucks standing by. You will very probably blow all the maingear tires. You are about 70/30 going to have to evacuate the passenges down a slide, unless you flew around long enough for them to position a stair truck with the crash trucks.

In a big jet airliner you are never going to do a no-flap landing unless it is absolutely unavoidable."

If you don't like that thread, try these:

Landing Without Flaps (737) (by Tg 747-300 Aug 24 2002 in Tech Ops)
RE: Dangerous To Land Without Flaps? (by A320FO Jan 5 2001 in Tech Ops)

Quoting Stoicescu (Reply 5):
The problem with no flaps landings is that you come fast and you will need more rwy in ground effect to bleed off speed.

At 1000 ft/min descent rate, above max tire ground speed, and a nose-up angle high enough to only narrowly avoid a tailstrike, you're not spending any time in ground effect. An A320 has some significantly different flying characteristics from your training aircraft.

Quoting Stoicescu (Reply 5):
Will it get you fired if there wasn't a problem that kept you from extending them? --> Very probable!

I disagree. If you, as the PIC, have plausible reason to believe there is an emergency, and especially if you declare one, you are allowed to deviate from any regulation necessary to achieve safe outcome of the situation. An investigation may show that (for example) the flap fault indication was not accurate, but if you acted correctly in the situation, you would not be fired, fined, cited, or otherwise punished for such actions.

It's always OK to interpolate the facts, stretch the data, and even make a guess, but it's wise to qualify your statements as such, especially in this forum.



Position and hold
User currently offlineSean377 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1225 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2300 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 12):
Sorry, but your guess is wrong.

Not according to Capt. Lim!



Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

Capt. Lim has a problem with spelling, too. Maybe the fire engines were there for looks? By the way, the plane in that funny story did land with flaps. The consequences of landing without them are not discussed there. Please refer to my post above for relevant information.

Edited to be less harsh

[Edited 2005-12-19 09:40:25]


Position and hold
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