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Gear Down Timing  
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2828 posts, RR: 14
Posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2526 times:

This caption got my curiosity:

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"Inbound to 13L, less than 2 miles from touchdown, surprisingly the landing gear has not yet been lowered."

What would a reason be to wait this long to extend the landing gear in a jet? Less than 2 miles from touchdown on a normal glideslope would mean this plane is at about 500-600 feet AGL. I remember reading either in this forum or somewhere else that usually, airlines typically require the plane to be fully configured for landing at 1500' AGL in IMC, and 1000' AGL in VMC. Could it be that perhaps the pilots simply...forgot?! Maybe it was caught during the checklist or a warning sounded with the last flap extension?

Landing on 13L at JFK involves a right hand turn after Canarsie VOR, and the turn is rather late on the approach, not quite Kai Tak but it's still 1500' or less.


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User currently offlineCancidas From Poland, joined Jul 2003, 4112 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2516 times:

i dont think he's at only a couple hudred feet. maybe 1000agl, depending on the glideslope. he may also be coming in quick, or he forgot. i hope he didnt forget! he would still have enough time after the turn over CRI to drop the gear.

"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
User currently offlineGoboeing From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 2828 posts, RR: 14
Reply 2, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2483 times:

A 3 degree glideslope at 2NM is 636' AGL. CRI must be crossed at or above 1500', yes, but it still seems late to put the gear down.

People who fly jets: when is the typical point when you extend the landing gear? If you're on a visual approach in the middle of the night with no other traffic? If your cramped in the approach sequence with planes in front and behind? If it's going to be an autoland or an ILS to minimums?


User currently offlineLHR340 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 877 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day ago) and read 2475 times:

I think they normally put the gear down at 12 miles.


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User currently offlineM717 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 608 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (12 years 9 months 1 day ago) and read 2457 times:

12 miles out is a bit far from the airport to normally be extending the landing gear. In answer to Nick's questions:

Middle of the night, visual approach, no traffic--maybe 3 miles out.

Cramped in the approach sequence with traffic in front and behind--depends on ATC instructions. If they don't give you any specific speed instructions, where you need to "slow to final approach speed" or anything like that, then around 5 miles, or G/S intercept. If you get the "slow to minimum approach speed" (which happens occasionally here in ATL when they have them packed in on final, and you're following a 757 a bit too closely  Smile ), then at that point to reduce to your final approach speed.

Autoland or ILS to minimums--just prior to G/S intercept. (If you're doing it "by the book".)

User currently offlineDash8tech From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 732 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (12 years 9 months 23 hours ago) and read 2452 times:

Maybe he's already made a "go around" decision at this point. Flaps don't appear to be set too far down either for landing.

GPWS will warn you with a "too low gear" aural alert if you're descending below (if memory serves me) 500' and less than 200 knots.

User currently offlinePilothighflyer From Canada, joined Jul 2003, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (12 years 9 months 21 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Maybe the aircraft is farther out than reported by the spotter and the pilot is trying to accommodate ATC by making a faster than normal approach.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 18
Reply 7, posted (12 years 9 months 17 hours ago) and read 2365 times:

Maybe the aircraft is farther out than reported by the spotter and the pilot is trying to accommodate ATC by making a faster than normal approach

The first part I can agree with, the second part is awfully iffy. You can always put your gear down early to slow the plane down for sequencing, but not leave the gear up till short finals. It's a safety issue then (and the SOP's won't allow it), not a pilotage one.

The go around theory sounds okay, though. But then the photographer must have heard the engine sounds spool up for that.

User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6805 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (12 years 9 months 17 hours ago) and read 2388 times:

In my airline, and on my fleet we are required to have full landing configuration and landing speed by 1500ft agl. If not, then it is a mandatory go-around.

Everyone does it slightly differently, but the norm is to have Flaps 1 at around 18miles to touchdown. Flaps 5 at 15miles. Joining the ILS at flaps 5, the aircraft may accelerate from the flaps 5 speed in it is heavy, especially a 777-300. In this case, we lower Flaps 15. If the speed holds, then at around 2400ft, I ask for "Gear down, Flaps 20" At around 1900ft I ask for Flaps 30. On days where the speed is a little slow to come back I might go to Flaps25 first, which has a slightly higer limit speed before going to Flaps 30. We always land at Flaps 30.

So to answer your question, we normally lower the gear at 8miles or so, at around 2300-2500ft. If the aircraft is having trouble slowing up, we may drop the gear a little earlier.

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