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Landing On A Short Runway Questions  
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5056 posts, RR: 15
Posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 4711 times:

This is about ferry flights of DC10 (and even 747) that are flown to boneyards with a short runway. The one nearest me is GWO, runway of 6500 ft. They receive a lot of Dc10s, most recently on Thursday an ex-CO bird.

Naturally the planes are empty which makes it easier, but do you pilots have any special procedures to use when you land on such a short runway? Such as, reducing your final approach speed/altitude even more than normal or making your touchdown point early? I imagine there is no margin of error. Do airlines use specially trained or experienced pilots for these types of flights?

also, how about takeoff. I dont think its possible but can an empty Dc10 or 747 take off from a 6500ft runway?

bruce


Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
24 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 4662 times:

I cannot speak for the DC-10 or 747 (I wish I could...  Smile/happy/getting dizzy ) but I do fly from short runways.

Every airplane has performance limitations. When a long range airliner like these two fly empty they require ridiculously short runways. I have seen an empty 747 depart ZRH and it was airborne after a T/O roll which had to be seen to be believed.

Regarding landing, the same thing in reverse is true. There are performance charts and calculations based on weight, wind, barometric pressure, braking action, slope, etc. A good pilot will not deviate from the published speeds or a proper glide slope for the runway, unless there is a really good reason for it.

Most of the time in the case of a landing on a short runway the landing will be performed with the maximum flaps, auto braking (if available) to max, and the Vref speed will be flown precisely. But sinking below the glide path or flying below speed is dangerous.

Many airliners have performance characteristics that are quite astounding, especially if the airplane is light.




smrtrthnu
User currently offlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4200 posts, RR: 37
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4646 times:

A DC-10 on a short runway will do a Flaps 50 landing with the approach flown at Vref, like previously stated. At empty weight, a landing on a 6500 foot runway would be quite easy with the right effort.


Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4632 times:

Dc10 or 747 take off from a 6500ft runway

Have seen AirForce1 take off from both BTR and MSY's 6900ft runway with no prob whatsoever


User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4597 times:

Bah, a runway isn't short until it's less than 150 feet long.  Big thumbs up


09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4593 times:

Ralgha, you sound like a Helio Courier pilot.  Big thumbs up

User currently offlineDFWCapt From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 33 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4520 times:

Contrary to popular belief, approach speeds are based on the weight of the airplane, not what you're trying to land on. If that weren't the case, landing on an aircraft carrier wouldn't be such a pain! Big grin

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1651 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4514 times:

Ralgha: I knew a J-3 owner who wasn't concerned about how long a runway was but how wide it was.

User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5056 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4484 times:

Ahhh....I didn't realize it, I guess they do it all the time (land on "short" runways).

so if app speed is based on weight, then does that mean a lightly loaded or empty plane could have a slower approach speed??


bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4479 times:

Bruce,
typically it will indeed have a slower approach speed. The basic idea is to keep a safe margin above the stall, and stall speed is lower at a lower weight.

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Approach speed is based largely on weight. There are other factors but weight is the dominant one. Landing distance required, however, is based on factors in addition to weight. Like I mentioned above, these include, runway co-efficient (braking action), slope, headwind component, etc.




smrtrthnu
User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6603 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 4422 times:

Landing distances as per flight manuals are heavily factored to ensure good safety margins. I assume that when an aircraft is being ferried without passengers to short runways, these factored distances don't apply. Actual landing distance can be very very short with a light aircraft, max braking and full reverse.

Maybe someone can elaborate, but I guess spacial circumstances can apply to the ferry flight of aircraft, even though they are airliners.


User currently offlineSaab2000 From Switzerland, joined Jun 2001, 1610 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4369 times:

Cx Flyboy,

Off topic question: I may soon be looking for a new job. I currently fly for SWISS. Is it even worth my effort to apply at CX? I am not trying to sound negative, but I know that SARS affected that region very badly and I am wondering what the situation looks like.

I have JAR licenses, but am a US citizen.

Thanks for your answer. If you like, we can discuss this by e-mail

Cheers!

Saab2000



smrtrthnu
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2438 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

I have been on a 747-100 that landed on a 7,300 ft runway. It was a positioning flight that had about 30 passengers on board and enough fuel for a 3 hour flight.
However, later that day that same 747 took off from the 7,300 ft runway with a full load of passengers, luggage, and enough fuel for a flight from ICT to SFO (about 3 hrs). This occurred in June with the temperature in the mid 80's.

[Edited 2003-08-18 19:35:18]


Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4269 times:

With small aircraft, the technique for a short field landing (don't do this on your PPL or you will be failed) is to slow the plane to the minimum safe foward speed, have the lowest possible weight, land as close to the approach end as possible, then apply maximum breaking and get the weight on the wheels as quickly as possible... This usually means holding the nose off and retracting the flaps. On large aircraft, they do not have to luxury of lowering the approach speed, I'm near 100% sure that they have to fly the approach "by the book" or they will get excessive sink. They can't hang the plane on the prop as we do. They can, however, lower the weight by taking only the minimum. Also, they can land as close to the approach end... if they have a good pilot. Maximum breaking and weight on the mains would be accomplished by autobreaks and spoilers. There is no need to retract the flaps immediately.

From my meager knowledge of larger planes, they are specifically prohibited from going slower than the published approach speeds because of problems with sink rate... I think that because of the design of the wings, flying "behind the power curve" doesn't bode well.


User currently offlineCx flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6603 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 4258 times:

Saab2000,

Write me an e-mail and let me know how much experience you have and I can let you know everything I know (Which isn't much!).


User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4220 times:

A transport airplane landing distance is computed this way...
The aircraft is flown at speed Vref - 1.3 times its stall speed -
Airplane passes 50 ft AGL above theshold of runway -
After touch down, wheel brakes and speed brakes (spoilers) are used -
Engine reversers are NOT TAKEN IN ACCOUNT...
xxx
The above is the "landing distance" for an aircraft...
However, in commercial operations, the "field length required" is a runway where the "landing distance" is 60% of that available runway...
Example, if your airplane can stop on 3,000 ft landing distance, it would legally require a 5,000 feet runway for commercial operations.
xxx
That is the "safety factor" required in commercial operations, the plain "landing distance" would be legal for non-commercial flights...
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper



User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4176 times:

I have the pleasure of training RJ 100/146 pilots to operate at London City/LCY with its 1199 meter runway. Don't have any performance manuals with me, so from memory - no landing weight restriction, although there will be for take-off.

The aircraft has to be configured flap 24 (settings are 0, 18, 24, 30 which is not routinely used, and 33) and gear down in level flight before descending on the glideslope. A dot and a half before the glideslope, i.e. just about to nose over, flap 33 is selected and airbrake extended.

The speed flown is exactly that for a "normal" approach, as mentioned in previous replies, except we would only add a max of 5 knots for gusts, as opposed to the normal 10.

If you can find a photo of the approach at LCY, note the white lights in the runway approx 1/4 of the way down, at the end of the touchdown zone markings. The deal is that if you're not on the ground by then a go-around is mandatory.

In practice, at "average" weight, we can stop with reasonable braking in what seems like half the runway, but in the simulator, programming max weight and a wet runway teaches the trainees that touching down even slightly past the lights is going to be embarrassing. Standing on the brakes stops you about an aircraft's length from the other end.

A few years ago another operator ran one off the end when the co-pilot instinctively used the procedure from his previous aircraft, (called reverting to type), and pushed the control column forward of neutral. Standard for some aircraft, on the 146 this reduces the weight on the main gear. Braking was reduced and it luckily stopped before going into the water. I suspect there were more contributing factors in that incident though, as there are substantial safety margins built in to the procedures.

The glideslope angle at LCY is 5.5 degrees. The 146/RJ is capable of 6.0. Normal is 3.0. LCY was 7.5 when it opened, only DHC Dash 7s could do it.

Crosswind limit for LCY is 25 knots, normally its 35. Tailwind limit is zero, normally its 15. We fly the approaches manually or automatically, auto or manual throttle, visually or on the ILS (PAPI lights replicate the ILS glideslope) depending on experience level, weather, workload and serviceability of the ILS or auto throttle.

On three engines we'd divert. The 146/RJ isn't certified for a three engined take-off at LCY. I'm not surprised. All stopping aids must be serviceable (Spoilers, anti-skid, air brake). If used, autopilot must be disengaged by 160 feet. We select Steep Approach mode on the GPWS to de-sensitise it. Otherwise it would be calling "SINK RATE" as we approached the ground.

Autoland isn't an option! Usually ours are Cat 3B capable, 150 meters vis and 50 feet Decision. Hey, we're in Europe - meters and feet!

Trying to grease it on, as most of us instinctively try to do all the time unless the weather dictates otherwise, takes second place to getting it down before the white lights. One has to adopt a carrier landing philosophy, but after a few tries pleasant landings are easy. The 146 was designed for rough strips and abuse so has very accommodating landing gear. You have to try really hard to bounce one, and greasers are easy.

Its over a month till I'm next in there for real, I'll have to make do with a couple of simulator visits between now and then. That'll be it, as I'm scheduled for a 737 course shortly after. Since ours aren't new generation, its a bit of a sideways step at best. They're a bit primitive compared to the RJ, which I'll miss, apart from its unreliable APUs!

Short take-offs on other types I've seen - took off (in the jumpseat) at Cape Town from the half way point in a 747-300 bound for Jo'burg. Pitch angle was about 20 degrees.

In case anyone remembers the old Singapore Airport at Paya Lebar, DC-10-30s bound for Jakarta (1 1/2 hours away) started on 02 and were airborne abeam the terminal. Can't remember the distances involved, but it was impressive.

But as said previously, anything will be impressive if its lightly loaded, particularly a long haul type, with such a high proportion of its max weight taken up by fuel.

Regards - Musang


User currently offlineCovert From Ghana, joined Oct 2001, 1451 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4117 times:

This is about ferry flights of DC10 (and even 747) that are flown to boneyards with a short runway. The one nearest me is GWO, runway of 6500 ft. They receive a lot of Dc10s, most recently on Thursday an ex-CO bird.


also, how about takeoff. I dont think its possible but can an empty Dc10 or 747 take off from a 6500ft runway?


If these aircraft couldn't take off from that runway, why would they land it there in the first place?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
After all, a lot of aircraft in these places are just there for long term storage.



thank goodness for TCAS !
User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5056 posts, RR: 15
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 4060 times:

Nope, they go to GWO and never come out. They get scrapped. I was just curious if one could actually leave if they wanted to, for some reason.


bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 3974 times:

The Helio Courier is exactly what I had in mind. Pick up the tail, spin around on one wheel, roll a few feet, liftoff, and climb in a tight radius circle. Who needs a helicopter?

Landing is the opposite technique.

 Big thumbs up



09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineAdmiral Ackbar From Canada, joined May 2002, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 3933 times:

Here is a picture of the previously mentionned lights at LCY


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Etienne Klotz



User currently offlineAaron747 From Japan, joined Aug 2003, 8153 posts, RR: 26
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3907 times:

Jetliners, even heavies, routinely have rather short takeoff runs at low weights. I've seen 747s flying ferry flights out of SFO and OAK use less runway than a normally-loaded 737.


If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
User currently offlineMusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (11 years 4 weeks ago) and read 3799 times:

Further to my last - I heard from a Production Test Pilot that the RJ100 has demonstrated 9 degree glideslopes, but only certified to 6 degrees.

Regards - Doug.


User currently offlineD-aqui From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 203 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (11 years 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3686 times:

In March 2003 I have witnessed a 747 freighter on FRA's runway 18 from the observation point that is approx. 4000 feet down the runway right opposite the fire brigade. First of all I did not believe my eyes but at that point the 747 was already some 100 feet in the air. Must have been totally empty for a very short ferry flight.

regards


d-aqui


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