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Hard Landing At SNA

Thu Oct 30, 2003 2:29 pm

Just a couple weeks ago I was returning to John Wayne Airport from STL on an American 757. The landing was very hard or at least it seemed to be. My question is was that normal for 757s landing at SNA or did our pilot just make a very hard landing? Also upon disembarking I just happended to look out the airport terminal window and I saw a United 757 come in just as hard as it felt like we did. The main runway at SNA is kinda short for a commercial airport maybe thats the reason. Any ideas?
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:14 pm

I'm sure that all the pilots on here will follow explain the technique but the fact is that SNA has a 5700' runway (or something like that). It can obviously be operated out of safely but one doesn't really have room to mess around. It's just like my short field procedure in a C172, just in a 757. Make sure you hit your mark, there's not too much room left if you float...
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Thu Oct 30, 2003 3:54 pm

For our company, we can distinguish between two different types of landings (that passengers may feel are "harder" than usual). We classify them as firm landing and hard landing. A firm landing may be required for a number of reasons including weather conditions or runway conditions. A hard landing is typically referred to as a landing which exceeds G force specifications for that aircraft type.

So you may have just been experiencing a firm landing that was required for any number of reasons!

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Thu Oct 30, 2003 7:24 pm

Firstly it is extremely unlikely that the landing you experienced was anywhere near the structural limit of being classed as a "hard landing".

Secondly as others have said for a 5,700ft runway a firm touchdown on the aiming point is highly preferable to minimise stopping distance.

If you're at O'Hare or something there's not so much need for that and the pilot can make a softer touchdown, maybe float it a bit beond the aiming point since the runway is nice and long. At SNA that is not a consideration.

But like I said before, an official "hard landing" (one that requires post-flight inspection of the landing gear) is very very hard indeed. I have absolutely smacked the 757 / 767 down before and still been nowhere near the limit. The aircraft can take it.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:22 am

As someone who has flown into SNA many times I have an idea of what you are talking about. This is probably due to the fact that a plane landing at SNA is going to be using heavier braking and yanking back on those reverser levers real hard. Thus giving you the impression that the landing seems a bit "rougher".
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Fri Oct 31, 2003 12:47 am

Without experiencing your actual landing it is impossible to say if what you experienced is "normal" for SNA or not. Probably is though. And just as probable that the pilots are not regular flyers to SNA. Those of us who fly there regularly (I'm based there) attempt a "normal" landing but with no time for smooth corrections. Get it wrong and you just plunk it down... NOW! OTOH, I have ongoing competitions with my FO's to see who will get the "grease job" and who will get the most pax complements... SNA pax are very stingy with those.  Nuts
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
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RE: Hard Landing At SNA

Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:24 am

I've landed at SNA a couple of times. The actual touchdowns were normal, but the braking was hard....moved me forward in my seat. I've also found that flying in very windy conditions, no matter what airport, the touchdowns I've usually experienced were "firm".

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