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Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 2:40 pm

In reference to the Alitalia pilots thread:


Pilots are taught to hit the deck as hard as possible.


Consider this - you are an aircraft tyre. You are sitting under a jet in a 180mph wind rotating very slightly. You then have to hit the runway and accelerate yourself from 0 to 180 mph very quickly. If your pilot 'greases' you onto the runway he will smear a whole load of rubber onto the runway. If he slams you down as hard as possible, you will rotate quicker and won't leave as much rubber.


Now, can we have a little less of those 'My favourite airline's pilots must be better than yours becuase they always land really smoothly' posts!
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RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 3:24 pm

Eg777er, I think we need to compare apples with oranges. Your definition of a good landing applies to tire wear and airline procedures. However, this is vastly different from a passengers' definition: smooth and gentle. Thus, there are numerous interpretations for a good landing. It depends on your perspective. The other day, I was on a flight where the pilot made a rough landing; he apologized for the hard hit. Now maybe he prolonged the life of the tire, but as far as passengers were concerned, it was bad. As always, there are multiple ways to interpret a situation...just be sure you see every point of view. However, I agree that it is ridiculous to make generalizations about which airlines have the best pilots. The skill (or lack thereof) of one pilot CANNOT AND MUST NOT be used to characterize the skill of the other pilots in that airline. You're basically saying that after eating one good apple, that every apple in the world is also good. Sorry...but that doesn't work!
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RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 3:28 pm

Which is cheaper; replaceing the tires. Or repairing the stress damage on the landing gear and airframe caused by the hard landings?
Working Hard, Flying Right Friendly....

RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 6:03 pm

I'm inclined to have to agree with Modesto2. What the pilots are taught and what the passenger thinks of landings are two totally different things....
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RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 6:50 pm

Pilots are surely not taught to SLAM the aircraft onto the runway as hard as possible! Thats exaggerating it.
They do, however, try to land firmly when the runway is wet.
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RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 6:50 pm

I am a pilot myself (although only to PPL). I have been taught (and have confirmed through flight experience) that the best landing varies over the situation. If there is heavy crosswind you HAVE TO hit hard the runway because you need your tyres to take over, not the wings. If you try to land smoothly with a heavy wind, the wind can get you off runway with a small gust. If there is no or little wind, then it's the pilot's skill that makes the smooth ("kissing") landing.

Conclusion: Best landing is the one that gets you on the ground safely first and comfortably second.

RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 7:08 pm

LOL! Now why didn't I think of that? I guess your right. When my uncle and I were landing his cessna 182, he tried bringing it in for a nice touch down landing but a huge gust came up and the right wing tip lightly struck the runway. That could have been much worse that it was....


Wed Jan 03, 2001 7:32 pm

You have wisdom beyond your hours my freind...

Ovelix is absolutly right. A smooth greaser is wonderful, but landings vary with the situation. Short fields demand that you not eat up valuable space trying to grease it on. Wet and snowy runways are the same. You need the distance to get the beast stopped as your breaking effectivness will be compromised. I have landed in some strong crosswinds where I have ben happy that all 6 wheels (Dash 8 and ATR) have remained attached to the airplane and firmly planted on terra firma.

As for the comment that airlines teach people to land firmly to reduce tire wear... I've never been taught that, nor has it ever been suggested to me. What has been emphasized, however, is to judiciously use the breaks to prevent flat spotting the tires.

RE: Good & Bad Landings - A Misunderstanding

Wed Jan 03, 2001 8:04 pm

ATRpilot, who were you talking to about wisdom beyond your hours?

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