avi8tir
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744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:48 am

2 weeks ago, I was able to take my first 744 flight (finally!!) on AF. All of my other long trips have always been a mix of 767's and 777's on various airlines. The landing @ CDG was incredibly smooth, perhaps one of the smoothest I have experienced. Is this common for the 744 or was it just a "good landing"? I just expected it to be a little more rough. thanks!
*Long live the Widget*
 
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airbuseric
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:50 am

I've never had anything else then smooth landings on several JL 744's. Maybe it's the pilot... maybe it's the aircraft. I don't know Big grin
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
SNATH
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:53 am

Wasn't it one of Boeing's test pilots who said (about the original B747) that it "almost lands by itself" (due to its huge wings)?

Tony
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YULYMX
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:54 am

The 747 help but pilot got alot to do with it!
 
stormbringer
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 2:56 am

I've had a couple rough 747 landings at ICN and BKK in 744s but the weather was a bit out of sorts at the time.
It's not road rage. It's COURTESY ENFORCEMENT.
 
AlanUK
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:04 am

I agree that the 747 generally lands smoothly, but I would say the 777 lands even better, maybe due to the position of its undercarriage (the back of the 3 wheels gently touches the tarmac before the rest of the gear hits the ground). It makes me think of an eagle reaching for the ground with ease and experience...


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ehho
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:04 am

I had a horrible landing last year with BA at ORD (BA297 on 08/28/05 to be precise). The plane (G-CIVG) jumped up twice before it was steady on the tarmac. Nah, I guess it's just the pilot and the circumstances that make it good.
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
 
EasternSon
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:09 am

Flown the 747 a couple of times, and each time the landing was very smooth. I mentioned it in passing to a friend who flies for United (not 747's) and he said that it has to do with the size of the aircraft. He says it creates a pillow of air beneath itself as it descends and almost prevents putting it down too hard.

He's been known to be full of crap sometimes. Anybody care to back him up?
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
AADC10
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:12 am

An old TWA 747 captain told me that the plane has great glide which is one of the reasons it can land smoothly. It is also just bigger and heavier so it is less likely to be knocked around by wind.
 
krisyyz
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:15 am

I too have only experienced very smooth landings on my B747 flights. Soo smooth sometimes ,the only indication that the plane has made contact is the spoilers extending.

KrisYYZ
 
 
TGV
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:42 am

Usually AF pilots are quite good for landing smoothly.
I have heard (is this an urban legend) that US pilots tended to land more hardly than others ?

But I had a very hard landing with an AF 744 in May at CDG. As the weather was fine the shock was really unexpected, and many in the cabin were a little scared.
So you never know.
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
stormbringer
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 3:42 am

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 5):
I agree that the 747 generally lands smoothly, but I would say the 777 lands even better

I've never had a rough landing in a 777. Though my experience in them is more limited than the 747, I'd say all aspects of the ride were better.
It's not road rage. It's COURTESY ENFORCEMENT.
 
tozairport
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:15 am

One of my former airplanes was the 744 at UA. It was a very easy airplane to fly and land smoothly. Kind of like driving a big Cadillac around. It was unique in that at around 200 feet, you had to make a conscious push forward and power reduction or else the ground effect would cause you to sail long. All in all, my second favorite airplane to fly next to the 757.
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
 
jtamu97
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:18 am

Years ago I flew SAA 747 from ATL-CPT and back. We also had a 747 on the return from JNB going JNB-CPT-SAL-ATL. All 4 landings were as smooth as can be. I asked a pilot for them who was also an anetter about the landings..He simply said...It is just like a Cessna, just with more restrooms! I too was amazed at how smooth the landings were for such a large aircraft.

Later,
J
Propeller, we don't need no stinkin propeller
 
BishopOfPHL
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:27 am

I've noticed this as well, sometime you don't even notice you've made contact.

However, I've always noticed on takeoff that there's a distinct wobble and shudder to the 74's on takeoff roll and initial climbout. Maybe it's just me though.
 
LY777
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:34 am

the worst landing are with A320s and 737s
Flown:A3B2,A320,A321,A332,A343,A388,717,727,732,734,735,738,73W,742/744/748,752,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W,D8,D10,L
 
brownbat
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:34 am

Quoting TGV (Reply 11):
I have heard (is this an urban legend) that US pilots tended to land more hardly than others ?

And where did you hear this I'm curious?
 
vs773er
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 4:46 am

Quoting EasternSon (Reply 7):
He says it creates a pillow of air beneath itself as it descends and almost prevents putting it down too hard.

Yeah, i've head this. There used a be a documentary on Discovery Wings which a few 747 pilots commented on the 'pillow'. Tozairport also comments on this.
Makes sense I suppose!

Quoting LY777 (Reply 16):
the worst landing are with A320s and 737s

I second that!
Communicating. Keeping up foreign relations...
 
cxb744
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:14 am

Quoting EasternSon (Reply 7):
Flown the 747 a couple of times, and each time the landing was very smooth. I mentioned it in passing to a friend who flies for United (not 747's) and he said that it has to do with the size of the aircraft. He says it creates a pillow of air beneath itself as it descends and almost prevents putting it down too hard

It's not a pillow, and the pilot should know better. Its called "ground effect". Simply put, its the interference of the ground with air flow patterns around the wing.

Ground effect is felt within a wing span of the ground. 744 = BIG wing span.

The weight of the jet helps bring the B744 through ground effect, but there is still resistance, thus a smooth landing, or "greaser."
What is it? It's A 747-400, but that's not important right now.
 
TGV
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:18 am

Quoting BrownBat (Reply 17):
And where did you hear this I'm curious?

From friend who travelled a lot some years ago and was positive about this fact. According to him it was safer to do like that. But as I said I have no idea if this is true !
Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
 
AA777
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:30 am

I heard that it was the 747's 4-gear truck system that always made for a rather cushioned landing. I myself have always ALWAYS had lovely landings in the 747. The next best I ever had was the MD-11. It seems that the less number of main wheels, the worse the landings. 737/A320, then 757/767/777... then 747... in order of my opinion of the worst to best landings  Smile

-AA777
 
mbj2000
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:28 am

I've been only once on a 747 and I can't remember how the landing was, but what I can tell is that all the A340/A330 landings I experienced till now were really-really smooth...
Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:29 am

Smoothest landing I have ever tried was onbard an SK A330-300 CPH-IAD two years ago.. barely felt it when we hit the runway
 
LawrenceMck
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:36 am

I had a hell of a hard landing last year here at MAN in a 742. We slammed onto the runway with some force! We hit the tarmac so hard that several of the overhead storage bins opened, but I have to say, it was one of the most exciting landings ever!  Silly

Also had some very smooth landings in the 744 and 772, to be honest I prefer the harder landings, much more fun!  Smile

Lawrence
Love It To Live It
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:41 am

Worst landing I have had has been onboard 767s.

Years ago, I flew with SK on their 767-300ER CPH-HKG (Kai Tak). The landing was the scariest landing I have ever tried as there was so much crosswind that the wings went up and down constantly and almost touched the runway as we touched down.

On a second place was onboard Air Canada 767-200ER last year on a flight from YVR to OGG . We touched down in the middle of the night, but it felt like the captain gave the aircraft too little throttle so right before touchdown, he raised the nose a lot and gave it full throttle. We bounced twice before the plane was on the ground.

[Edited 2006-07-18 23:41:48]
 
N754PR
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:59 am

Rather silly post this as the landing is upto the crew. If they do a nice landing its smooth, if they slam it down its not... simple as that.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
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ThrottleHold
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:06 am

Quoting N754PR (Reply 26):
Rather silly post this as the landing is upto the crew. If they do a nice landing its smooth, if they slam it down its not... simple as that.

Totally wrong. How long will it take people to realise that a smooth landing is not necessarily a good landing?
A landing may be smooth, but if the pilot has ate up 3000ft of runway in order to grease it on then it's not a good landing.
A good landing is one inside the TDZ and firm. Not hard, just firmly. This enables prompt deployment of the lift spoilers and wheel spin-up so that the anti-skid and auto-brake can engage properly.
 
tito
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:40 am

Its the pilot, either great skill or luck, usually luck. I've had my share of "landings" that really pounded the pavement as well as greasers. I don't find the 744 any easier or harder to land smoother than anything else. Now the BAe-146 is a different sort of beast... even a "hard" landing gets compliments.
 
hz747300
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:42 pm

Quoting LawrenceMck (Reply 24):
I prefer the harder landings

I agree! There is nothing more fun than when the plane smacks the ground and you feel it in your bones. Sometimes the luggage bins pop open debris begins to sprinkle onto the passengers.
Keep on truckin'...
 
siafan
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:01 pm

I remember once i flew back SIN-FRA on QF the landing in FRA was so smooth that you hardly noticed that you where on the ground already. The captain was a very experienced pilot i suppose. Altough the plane had a hard landing in BKK in the past (VH-OJH) this has proven it is possible to land softly with this machine.
 
VHTAE
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:25 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 23):

I agree, the landing of a A330 is very smooth. I have flown on a Qantas A330-200 and landing was great.

Thanks VH-TAE.
 
erela
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:59 pm

I recall a really rough landing at AF 742 some 10 years ago at NBO when all gas masks came down as well as much of the luggage above, so it's the circumstances!

Then again bigger airbuses A330 and A340 have been excellent, but aren't the new airbuses from A320 family up to 340 dead easy as riding a bike?? These pilots have to go gliding on sailplanes at freetime to get the feeling of really flying yourself..
 
skyhigh777
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:38 pm

A month ago I flew the SAA flight from IAD-JNB with a stop in Dakar. The landing in Dakar was really really rough, so much so that the woman sitting next to me kinda just let out a gasp and grabbed the arm rest where my hand was! Strangely, I was expecting another rough landing in JNB but it was quite smooth! I think it has a lot to do with the pilots flying the plane.
Prepare for take-off.
 
jbguller
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:07 pm

I've only ever had one bad landing on a 747 - August last year, flight from LAX-SYD approaching SYD at nighttime - the plane hardly had time to flare, it crunched onto the tarmac and opened a few oxygen mask covers, dropping a few down onto the unlucky passengers. 'twas very funny to watch them all jump with fright when a mask fell on them!
 
LPLAspotter
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:19 pm

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 5):
I agree that the 747 generally lands smoothly, but I would say the 777 lands even better,

Agree totally. I flew my only 777 with SQ from MNL to SIN and I didn't realize we were on the ground until the thrust reversers deployed.

LPLAspotter
Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:23 pm

Ive flown dozens of 747's from various different airlines..
(UA, SQ, AF, BA, NW, LH, VS)


honestly its down to the pilot and the local weather conditions.

Two of the best were both with UA.. a landing at SFO once I only new we'd touched down when I felt the brakes going

Another time was in LHR when we touched down so lightly, so slowly and stopped in what seemed like 200m or less hardly feeling the brakes at all - i'm sure leaves from trees fall harder.
(I remember the flight attendant saying "You dont bring a 747 down better than that" after we touched down)


Two of the worst:

SQ in Hong Kong, we got struck by lightening just before touch down, we shook violently and aborted and did a go around

BA in Bangkok on landing we must have used the entire runway and the pilot took the last exit off the runway at 30mph at least..every one leaned to the left as we went round the corner and hung on !
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
monkeyboi
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 8:51 pm

The reason the 747 usually lands so smoothly is due to the mass of the aircraft producing a large cusion of air, once the aircraft is in close proximity of the ground.
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:00 pm

Quoting CXB744 (Reply 19):

It's not a pillow, and the pilot should know better. Its called "ground effect". Simply put, its the interference of the ground with air flow patterns around the wing.

Ground effect is felt within a wing span of the ground. 744 = BIG wing span.

 sarcastic  I'd suspect that a pilot with many times your experience does "know better."

He gave the typical "in a nutshell" explanation, playing to his audience. No need to be overly technical 100% of the time...geeze.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
Nohag
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:49 pm

Quoting SkyHigh777 (Reply 33):
A month ago I flew the SAA flight from IAD-JNB with a stop in Dakar. The landing in Dakar was really really rough, so much so that the woman sitting next to me kinda just let out a gasp and grabbed the arm rest where my hand was! Strangely, I was expecting another rough landing in JNB but it was quite smooth! I think it has a lot to do with the pilots flying the plane.

I don't know what the problem is with Dakar but I have never ever experienced a smooth landing there. (2 times very hard or "firm", 3rd time a go-around followed by a rough landing)
But hey it was some years ago while IB still used the B727 from Las Palmas to Dakar. Apparently the B727 is a "hard lander".
"Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people." E. Roosevelt
 
bestpilot
Posts: 78
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 1:33 pm

RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:07 pm

Quoting SNATH (Reply 2):
Wasn't it one of Boeing's test pilots who said (about the original B747) that it "almost lands by itself" (due to its huge wings)?

That test pilot was Jack Waddell, he's the guy who said that. The combination of the huge 4 bogie gear and the massive flaps make for a big cushion of air.
 
727forever
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:07 pm

In my experience,

The 767 is the most consistant hard lander, but the 727 typically gives the hardest and yes, it is very difficult to achieve greasers on a regular basis. In fact last night we had one of the hardest landings that I've seen in the 3-holer. But, she's so tough it didn't phase her.

One of the large variables is that airplanes are designed to have enough support in the struts to handle max weight landings. If you are very light weight that support is still there giving the airplane rather stiff legs. I always enjoy heavy landings for this reason and because a heavier airplane pushes through ground effect easier.

As far as the 747 goes, I too have never had a hard one though I'm sure it is quite possible.

727forever
727forever
 
EasternSon
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:13 pm

Quoting CXB744 (Reply 19):
It's not a pillow, and the pilot should know better.

It's not that he should know better, he probably does, but in explaining it to a layman (such as myself) he probably dumbed it down a bit.

He's a very smart man and a very good pilot, but like I said, he's just full of crap sometimes.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
birdbrainz
Posts: 422
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:18 pm

Quoting BishopOfPHL (Reply 15):
However, I've always noticed on takeoff that there's a distinct wobble and shudder to the 74's on takeoff roll and initial climbout. Maybe it's just me though.

That is due to either 1.) an out of balance wheel spinning down, and as the landing gear retracts, the gyroscopic force changes direction, -or- 2.) some chatter from light contact of the brake pads and the brake rotor as the wheel spins down.

I've felt it once on a BA 744 leaving LHR, and it was a little unsettling.
A good landing is one you can walk away from. A great landing is if the aircraft can be flown again.
 
bond007
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting Tito (Reply 28):
Its the pilot, either great skill or luck, usually luck.

Correct! A smooth landing sure needs a stabilized approach and correct flare, and speeds etc. etc., but luck plays a fairly big role.

As an aircraft get's bigger, I guess it obvious that less external factors effect it, and the more airframe there is to cushion any hard 'knocks'. A 737 is going to be affected by a sudden updraft over bthe threshold much more than a 747.

Quoting ThrottleHold (Reply 27):
How long will it take people to realise that a smooth landing is not necessarily a good landing?
A landing may be smooth, but if the pilot has ate up 3000ft of runway in order to grease it on then it's not a good landing.

Which is why a fully automated landing is often a fairly hard landing (although many say otherwise, it's rarely true). This due to the fact that the aircraft WILL touch down in a specific portion of the runway, regardless of that extra 10 kts due to sudden wind or whatever. When the pilot has control he'll often control his flare and land at a different place on the runway to get the best compromise between safety and comfort.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
gregarious119
Posts: 399
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RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:28 pm

I'm not sure if we had some pretty big crosswinds or if he just came in off-center, but last time we flew BA from LHR-JFK, we had a pretty rough time on the way down.

It wasn't as if we hit hard, but we were thrown pretty hard to the right as soon as the gear stuck to the ground. Took a pretty big correction the other way to get us straightened out.

I'm a fan of turbulence and such, but this one made me hang onto the armrest a little tighter  Smile
 
dc10s4ever
Posts: 700
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 3:46 am

RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:03 pm

There is an old saying "It is almost impossible to have a bad landing in a 747"

..."The 747 is a big pussycat"....Joe Patroni
 
NW747-400
Posts: 364
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 1999 4:42 am

RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:21 pm

Could be the autoland feature that makes it smooth  Wink
 
longhaulheavy
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:52 am

RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:31 pm

Quoting TGV (Reply 20):
According to him it was safer to do like that. But as I said I have no idea if this is true !

My brother-in-law flew for the air force, and once told me that pilots would get grief from other pilots if they made landings that were too smooth. It was considered showboating to some extent. So rather than landing smoothly, pilots preferred to "stick" it.

As mentioned above, I'm sure there is a factor of safety there too. It's not the best practice to land smoothly if you have to eat up a lot of runway to do it.
 
flyabunch
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2004 1:42 am

RE: 744 Landing Smoothness.....

Wed Jul 19, 2006 11:36 pm

Quoting Dc10s4ever (Reply 46):
There is an old saying "It is almost impossible to have a bad landing in a 747"

..."The 747 is a big pussycat"....Joe Patroni

Well, good old Joe never met a TWA captain that my wife and I had the misfortune to fly with on a flight from Rome to JFK in 1980. He really abused that plane. It started with a slam the throttles takeoff to a slam the deck landing. Even the head flight attendant/purser commented "and there's another fine landing by Captain Gus". It was so bad and hard that I have always thought about that landing and comment when I fly 747's. Fortunately the other 100 or so landings in the big bird have all been among the smoothest I have ever had.

Mike

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