hjulicher
Posts: 665
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:26 pm

AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:38 am

Have I just been on a couple of very distinct flights, or is this a practice that AF pushes. Everytime i watch an AF jet land, whether by being a passenger on the jet, or by watching from outside, it seems to me that AF pilots land at much slower speeds than other airlines... However, I've noticed this more frequently at CDG than other airports. Is this a practice so that planes can leave runways sooner to allow for more frequent landings? I could be completely wrong too, but i've physically felt the difference on board.

What are your thoughts?
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panaman
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 1999 2:24 pm

RE: AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:42 am

If it landed on the wheels and taxied to the gate safely, what difference does it make?
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Caspian27
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:48 am

RE: AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:00 am

Takeoff and landing speeds are all derived from using TOLD cards (Takeoff and Landing Data) based on the aircraft weight, temperature and airport elevation with the data coming from the aircraft manufacturer. This gives a Ref speed which will give adequate stall margin, and not over-stress the landing gear or airframe. These speeds should be consistent for every airline using the same equipment, since the airline's data comes from the manufacturers operating manuals for the aircraft. Although I don't fly for AF, I don't think that there ref speeds would be slower than other airlines using the same equipment.

A very strong headwind will translate to a slower groundspeed, and on days with strong winds aircraft on final can seem like they're hardly moving. Just the other day I was landing into a sustained wind of over 50 knots with a ref speed of about 125. Although our airspeed prior to touchdown was approximately 125 knots, our groundspeed was only 75 knots. If you watched us come in the previous day in calm winds you really would notice a difference. Maybe you've just caught them on days with some decent winds.

C27
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
Lemurs
Posts: 1320
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:13 am

RE: AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:11 am

Quoting Caspian27 (Reply 2):
These speeds should be consistent for every airline using the same equipment, since the airline's data comes from the manufacturers operating manuals for the aircraft. Although I don't fly for AF, I don't think that there ref speeds would be slower than other airlines using the same equipment.

There's been some discussion on Tech/Ops that some airlines have differing SOP on the same aircraft in terms of flaps that would directly translate into different landing speeds on their cards...so it doesn't have to be 100% consistent across every airline, but it will be 100% consistent within a particular set of SOPs.
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highflyer9790
Posts: 1189
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:21 am

RE: AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:43 am

i dont think you would have noticed a 10kt difference on final due to an airline's SOP, but io think it may have been a very strong headwind which contributed to a slower groundspeed=landing at a much slower speed=very litttle deceleration needed.
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Caspian27
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:48 am

RE: AF Landing Procedures

Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:33 pm

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 3):
so it doesn't have to be 100% consistent across every airline, but it will be 100% consistent within a particular set of SOPs.

Granted. I should have used the phrase "relatively" consistent. But they should be pretty close across the board. Different options/engines, etc can make a difference. However the certification data has to come from the manufacturer and every airline needs to conduct it's operations within the limitations. There is some room for different procedures. For example on the CRJ the Bombardier limitation on flaps 8/20 is 230 kts. My company limits flap movement to below 215 kts to help prevent flap twist. Or we might add 5 kts to our ref in gusty conditions. Another good example is when the temp at PHX went above 50 C a few years ago. Very few of the manufacturers POH/AFMs had data for temps above 50, meaning the company CFM didn't have data for temps above 50, meaning we didn't go anywhere until the ATIS reported 50 or below. (That day wasn't very fun!)

I'm sure you'll agree that in the end, the core premise of every SOP is operating safely and consistently. (translation: whatever your SOP is: accurately calculate V speeds so you don't break anything or get violated!)

C27
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...

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