Braybuddy
Topic Author
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### How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

The 747 below is taking off, which I know from reading the caption. Without a caption, I am unable to tell if it's taking off or landing. What are the telltale signs for the non-flyers amongst us to show whether it is taking-off or landing, the angle of the flaps, the angle of the aircraft?

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Photo © Sam Chui

Lando
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:29 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Well, I am no expert, but one way you can tell is if the plane is still near the beginning of the runway its landing...no plane would be touching down that far down the runway...it would have to go around...

Leezyjet
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Smoke from the tyres is a tell tale sign of a take off or landing too !!.

"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"

Richard28
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Another way to tell is to look at the position of the flaps.

For take off they are generally at about 5 degrees, whereas for landing they are lowered to around 30 degrees.

You can see on the UA photo posted that the flaps are only slightly lowered, as it is taking off.

Rich.

OPNLguy
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):What are the telltale signs for the non-flyers amongst us to show whether it is taking-off or landing, the angle of the flaps, the angle of the aircraft?

Generally speaking, the flaps will be out much further on landing. Takeoff flap settings are usually lower than landing flap settings.
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Starlionblue
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Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

If slats and flaps are only partly extended, it's normally a takeoff. If they are close to fully extended, it's a landing.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

satx
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:26 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Land

Landings...

Flaps and smoke:
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Thrust reversers:
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Photo © Chris Starnes

Take-off is similar but no smoke, less flaps, and no thrust reversers.

Obviously, there are exceptions to every rule thanks to possible MX issues, pilot error, bizarre weather conditions, funny camera settings, and post-processing. However, these are some general guidelines you can use.

[Edited 2005-08-25 00:53:11]
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flanker
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

The easiest way is the flap setting/TR.
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Braybuddy
Topic Author
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Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 8:14 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Thanks guys. It's looks as if the tyres on one of the wheels are barely touching the runway so I wouldn't expect the absence of smoke to indicate anything here. And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

satx
Posts: 2775
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:26 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

Yes.

I guess when you said "the non-flyers amongst us," you REALLY meant it?!
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SkyexRamper
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

UP and DOWN...need I say more!?!??
Good Luck to all Skyway Pilots! It's been great working with you!

HAWK21M
Posts: 30002
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway

Not All.There are exceptions.
The Position of the TE Flaps around 1,2,5 for T/O & 30 or 40 for landing normally.
Check for T/R deployment on Landing.
Check for Speedbrake Deployment on landing.
regds
MEL
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satx
Posts: 2775
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:26 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Land

 Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 11):Not All.There are exceptions.

Wow. I never knew of (and never experienced to my knowledge) any cases where thrust reversers were intentionally in operation while the plane was still in the air.

1. If only the main landing gear were on the runway, wouldn't deploying the thrust reversers risk slamming the nose gear too hard against the runway?

2. If none of the landing gear had yet made contact, wouldn't deploying the thrust reversers risk the loss of smooth and continued control over the plane itself?

I guess what I'm really asking is "What are the exceptions?"
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lehpron
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Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Braybuddy (Thread starter):How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Two words: flaps setting.

Most large airplanes takeoff with some flaps and land with full. Just look at the angle they 'flap' down, if it is steep, it it about to touch down. It's the only way I could tell. But if it were crusing at low speed and needed it's takeoff flaps setting, I would not be able to tell.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.

Olympus69
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting SATX (Reply 12):Wow. I never knew of (and never experienced to my knowledge) any cases where thrust reversers were intentionally in operation while the plane was still in the air.

You will never see thrust reversers activated in the air on planes with engines below the wings. A rearward force below the center of gravity would cause a downward force on the nose. However, with rear engined planes the thrust is closer to the c. of g. and has less effect on the pitching moment. Even so, the only aircraft that regularly employs thrust reversers in the air is the Russian IL-62. There could be others but that plane is the only one I personally seen doing this. Here's one example

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Photo © Red-phoenix AirPics

HAWK21M
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Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 10:05 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting SATX (Reply 12):What are the exceptions

 View Large View MediumPhoto © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages View Large View MediumPhoto © Johan Ljungdahl

Heard of the IL62.
regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!!

Starlionblue
Posts: 17633
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Olympus69 (Reply 14):Even so, the only aircraft that regularly employs thrust reversers in the air is the Russian IL-62. There could be others but that plane is the only one I personally seen doing this. Here's one example

Other examples of planes that can use idle T/R in the air:
C-17
VC-10 (IIRC)
Concorde
DC-8
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

kilavoud
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing.

Cheers. Kilavoud.

satx
Posts: 2775
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:26 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

Mucho THANKS Olympus69, HAWK21M, & Starlionblue!

 Quoting Kilavoud (Reply 17):When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing.

This doesn't really seem like a consistent rule to me, even if just based on the photos here on A.net.
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bond007
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

SO....the true answer is unless you can see the location on the runway, there is no way of telling 100% in this configuration!

Might not use thrust reversers - might take-off at lower angle-of-attack - might land with only small amount of flaps....etc. etc.

Of course, if you see smoke, or flaps are fully deployed, or you see thrust reversers - it's landing.

Jimbo
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Halophila
Posts: 457
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2005 11:44 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Braybuddy (Reply 8):And don't the thrust reversers only come on when all the wheels have made contact with the runway?

I believe at least one accident (an AC DC-8) occurred when T/R were deployed while the aircraft was still airborne above the runway, causing a hard landing, forcing a go-around, but the damage to the aircraft caused the plane to unfortunately crash while on repeat descent (I believe with all hands lost). Of course there's also the Lauda 767 which crashed when one T/R deployed at altitude, again sadly resulting in the loss of the aircraft and all souls aboard. Albeit the Lauda accident was not during T/O or landing.
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Olympus69
Posts: 1571
Joined: Sat Jun 15, 2002 11:21 pm

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting Halophila (Reply 20):I believe at least one accident (an AC DC-8) occurred when T/R were deployed while the aircraft was still airborne above the runway,

Not true. It was spoilers being deployed that caused the hard landing, not thrust reversers.

Posts: 2906
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### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

 Quoting SATX (Reply 18):When taking off the incline of the plane is much steeper than when landing. This doesn't really seem like a consistent rule to me, even if just based on the photos here on A.net.

It is a general rule, though, like all the other rules posted so far. Most planes will take off between 5 and 10 degrees and land almost flat (usually 2 or 3 degrees).

Of course, if you see a shot taken *during* takeoff rotation, it might look closer to a landing attitude, but then to think it was a landing you would expect to see trailing smoke because the wheels would be on the ground, which would rule that out. Plus, there'd still be the flaps to look at.

The shot at the top, I could tell was a takeoff just from the angle. 747's don't generally land with such an extreme angle of attack (that'd be about a 15 degree AOA, by the looks of it).
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TimRees
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Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2001 2:09 am

### RE: How To Differentiate Between Take-off And Landing

I think you can 'just tell' somehow

That UA 747 just looks like it's taking off....the angle of attack is just too steep and there are no flaps worth talking about.

If this aircraft was landing a tail strike would be a strong possibility.

Perhaps it's just that I've watched thousands of take offs/landings and you jet get a feel for it.

Of course if something isn't set up right a landing can look like a take off and vv!

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