JAM747
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Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu May 26, 2005 11:11 pm

When a plane is coming in for landing and the nose is flared a bit, can the pilot still see the runway? Does he/ she line up then flare and use instruments to navigate the aircraft onto the runway? I noticed the drooping nose of the Concorde allowed pilots to see the runway better when landing.
 
AJ
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu May 26, 2005 11:22 pm

In a word....yes.

Some taildraggers and the like require some use of sideways vision or sideslip to ensure adequate depth perception during the flare.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 12:30 am

For the most part, landing is a visual maneuver (not talking about Cat III ILS approaches). So the pilot shouldn't be looking at the instruments during the landing flare.

Forward visibility is very limited in a tailwheel aircraft necessitating some of the maneuvers you'll see them do, like S-turns down the taxiway, etc.
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AeroVodochody
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 4:00 am

It really depends on the type of A/C....
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Birdwatching
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 4:39 am

Well, I'm sure HE can see the runway!


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VSIVARIES
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 5:18 am

In a P28, and in order to make best use of runway, I was taught to cut the power to tickover at the threshold (you should be at 50ft now). With drag flaps you need to then plant the nose down to the runway to keep 70knts IAS.
At 10 feet you level and then with eyes on the end of the runway flare when it feels right.
Believe me during the last 50 feet I can see nothing BUT runway (no horizon). Only the letters 26 or 08 approaching with what to the casual observer would look like impending doom.

In a small plane last instrument scan about 250 feet.

Every landing is different mind.

B/R

[Edited 2005-05-26 22:27:15]
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762er
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 6:30 am

In a long body mooney (i.e. a bravo, ovation, or eagle) you can't see much out ahead of you just prior to touchdown (at least the way I like to do it). On the ground the airframe sits at a positive pitch angle of about 5 degrees, so your typical landing attitudes are in the area of 8-10 degrees nose up. If it's relatively calm I tend to like to be closer to 10 degrees. It makes for a smoother landing and ensures that the mains touchdown first (nosegear-first landings are a common and costly mistake on the long bodied mooneys). At the 10 degree point I'm usually only a couple feet from touchdown but am also blind out the front as a result (and I'm 6 feet tall). If I've got some serious gusts to deal with I'll keep the pitch closer to 7 or 8 so as to maintain a visual of the centerline. It's tougher to land her smooth but at least your longitudinal axis is in allignment with the centerline and I'd take that over smooth and crabbed every time (landing with a high crab angle is really tough on the gear and the airframe).
 
B744F
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 6:49 am

The concorde has an usually high pitch altitude when landing but if you can't see the runway when flying a commercial airplane, prepare for a tail strike
 
Ralgha
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 11:48 am

Quoting AJ (Reply 1):
Some taildraggers and the like require some use of sideways vision or sideslip to ensure adequate depth perception during the flare.

A sideslip doesn't help you see the runway out front, and if you land in a forward slip in a taildragger, you'll be practicing your ground loops quite quickly.

If the airplane you fly obstructs your view of the runway during the flare, then you deal with it. Use peripheral vision and look to the side of the nose.
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vaporlock
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 12:56 pm

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 8):

If the airplane you fly obstructs your view of the runway during the flare, then you deal with it. Use peripheral vision and look to the side of the nose.

Ralgha, you said it!!! This technique always works....no matter what!!

Phyllis
 
schooner
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri May 27, 2005 6:22 pm

Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing?

Not when I have my eyes closed!

Cheers.
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dw747400
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Sat May 28, 2005 8:24 am

As said above, it depends on the type of aircraft... I fly a 172P (1985) where I need to use peripheral vision to land. On an older 172 (technically a T-41 circa 1962) I get a bit of forward vision thanks to the smaller panel, but peripheral vision is still critical. In a 152, I can see out the front just fine--even during steep climbouts (of course, with 110HP... steep climbout is not the best term to use).

Just for reference, I'm about 5'9".
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Ralgha
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Sat May 28, 2005 9:05 am

Interesting, I've experienced the opposite. Forward vision in a 152 sucks in climb and during landing, while it's much better in a 172 in all phases of flight.
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jamesbuk
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Sun May 29, 2005 4:54 pm

when i fly the 152 on landing all i do is flare up and look out to the side as you can tell were the line is with that and also how far down the runway you are
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pilotaydin
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Mon May 30, 2005 3:29 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
Well, I'm sure HE can see the runway!

haha right on!


Excellent question by the poster, some of my students have troubles with their landings, purely because of this reason! They don't adjecy their seat height in the 172 when they board. Every flight they're sitting on a different eye level, this messes up everything from landing to steep turns!

Im not sure about airlines, but i know that in the 172, if you're tall, not short, u have more trouble seeing the runway. One would think the taller would see better, BUT since they have to sit back so far, they lose the depth view, bc of the cowling!

so the answer is yes, some pilots have trouble seeing the runway
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modesto2
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:10 am

When I flare in the 172, I just cross my fingers and hope the runway is still beneath me!
 
Santhosh
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:41 am

In Airliners pilots can adjust the seat height. Wouldn’t that help them see the runway better during the flare?

Regards
George
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SlamClick
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:33 pm

Unless you've landed off-airport!

I don't need to. I just fly the glideslope until I hear my copilot gasp - then flare. Anyway, when the tail hits the ground, you get a nice leveling bounce.

Edit to give more useful response:

As has been stated, with the exception of some long-nose taildraggers, yes, you can see it pretty well. Concorde was an anomaly in many respects and the delta wing does produce some pretty high angles. I recall watching F-102 and F-106 landings that were also very nose-high.

In the rest of the airline fleet, you can see the runway down to a few yards in front of you, and you are going to get a better landing if your gaze is way down the runway anyway. Start looking right in front of the nose and you are not going to get any compliments on your landing.

[Edited 2005-06-14 15:38:18]
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F1ISBEST
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:26 am

You can always look to your left and right windows and usually always see the RWY
 
Ryanair737
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri Jun 17, 2005 5:14 am

Don't think so on this one! Big grin


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Ryanair737
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DCrawley
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:35 am

Ryanair737 - Now THAT'S what I can nose-high landing.. jeez, that's horrible! Almost looks like he was about to activate the stick shaker. If he slammed down that hard, might have lost lift (stall). Wonder what his speed was?

Interesting food for thought,

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bsergonomics
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri Jun 17, 2005 12:11 pm

I have an acronym for you:

DEP - Design Eye Point.

This is the point at which all pilots' eyes should be in order to avoid parallax error on mechanical displays (also, it is within the tolerances for LCD displays). It also means that, from this point, all vital controls and displays are visible.

In the documentation that I've seen for some civil aircraft, this is translated into a, "Design Eye Range", which is a small area (a couple of inches cubed), in which the pilot's eyes should be. Remember that, for military aircraft, we're now designing for people at least in the range 5'1" to 6'3" (154-191cm) (5th percentile female to 97th percentile male, using UK military pilots (male) or personnel (female), as defined by Def Stan 00-25)

In theory, this means that all pilots should have the same visibility, irrespective of whether they are below or above average height. The taller pilots should, in fact, lower their seats in order to make sure that their eyes are at the DEP or within the DER. Everything else (e.g., pedals) is adjustable so that you can achieve this.

It should also be noted that, when you first sit in the seat, you tend to sit upright, with a straight back. However, once relaxed, your eyes drop by to 2-4 inches (5-10cm). This means that, when you set yourself up in the cockpit, you MUST do it from the position in which you will normally be sat, not in the position that you think that you 'should' use. Just to confound matters, your spine shrinks by up to 2 inches (5cm) over the course of the day. This isn't too much of a problem for your average Spamcan pilot, but it may/will have an impact on long haul pilots.

Many aircraft (particularly in the military world) have a couple of markers on the side and front of the Main Instrument Panel and on the side of the windscreen, in order to help you set up the correct position.

While this isn't too important during the cruise, it does become very important when you start thinking about Head Up Displays, not only for bombing runs (using CCIP), but also for Enhanced Runway Recognition (EHR) and other civil references to the outside world.

I should also note that aircraft manufacturers are not great at pointing this concept out to users. In addition, flying instructors aren't 100% reliable for passing on this information.

So, ask your instructor what is the DEP. If he/she doesn't know (and there aren't any markers or helpful tips in the manual), write to the manufacturer.

As a last point, the view out of the front is (usually) only good for assessing your position with respect to the centreline (and spotting obstructions). Your peripheral vision is much better for assessing your speed (with six degrees of freedom). Therefore, assuming you are set up correctly on the centreline before entering the flare and you have correctly assessed any crosswind, your peripheral vision should be more than sufficient to assess and provide inputs to your landing manoeuvre.

Enjoy!
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wingscrubber
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:45 pm

A friend of mine was telling me just yesterday about a flight he'd had in a Yak-52, apparently no fun atall on a approach - it's all about lining up first with the nose down, drop the gear and flaps and then HOPE because you simply can't see over the engine cowling once you flare.
I also seem to remember reading that spitfire pilots used to have to make curved approaches so they could keep the strip in view for as long as possible before they flared - the RR merlins were sorta big to see over Big grin
In a tricycle undercarraige aircraft with no engine in front of you I would imagine it's probably a lot easier!

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monteycarlos
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Tue Jun 21, 2005 9:50 pm

I think its a good question - I've noticed that the A330 has a pretty high flare angle (it seems that way but is it really?)


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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:43 pm

Without going into a long post here may I just remind you that on landing you're looking way out in front of the a/c not directly down at the runway. I've never flown a tricycle gear plane, especially a jet a/c, that I would lose sight of the runway. Most normal flares are somewhere around 5 or 6 degrees. At about 10 to 12 you will be in the tailstrike regime (on all the jets I've flown). Actually having the seat too high will give you an abnormal sight picture resulting in probably a bad landing. In the MD-11 I adjust my seat lower than the sighting balls would dictate.
Yes in taildraggers you can lose the runway in the flare but my goodness pilots looked out the side and down the runway for decades with no problem.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:31 pm

to get back to the OP's question, think the answer is, depends on the aircraft in question.

On the 717 and MD-11, I saw that there is a device just under the glareshield that, using parallax, allows you to adjust your seat to the optimal "eye height"

Does that feature exists on other aircraft, I don't know.

cheers,
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:13 pm

Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 25):
On the 717 and MD-11, I saw that there is a device just under the glareshield that, using parallax, allows you to adjust your seat to the optimal "eye height"

Does that feature exists on other aircraft, I don't know.

On most planes yes, even the 727 had little painted stripes to use but it's really to give the pilot regardless of his/her size the same sight picture. As I said I prefer to have my seat slightly lower than this but it really has nothing to do with the nose of the a/c. On all the jets I've flown you can't even see the nose because it curves away such that you couldn't see it if you wished.

In the old J-3 Cub I used to have you just looked out to side no big deal.
 
AA777
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Tue Jun 28, 2005 1:18 am

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 23):
I think its a good question - I've noticed that the A330 has a pretty high flare angle (it seems that way but is it really?)

The A330 also has an usually slow sink rate at touchdown.... I have never ever seen an A330 do a hard-ish landing. They are always greasers, in fact when the rear set of wheels touch down, you rarely see smoke....its like this light touchdown and then slooooowly the second set comes down. I feel like this is dangerous..... but obviously its not since there are hundreds of A330s flying w/o incident.... check out Flightlevel350.com, you will see what I mean.

-AA777
 
Ryanair737
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu Jun 30, 2005 7:22 am

Quoting Monteycarlos (Reply 23):
I've noticed that the A330 has a pretty high flare angle (it seems that way but is it really?)

Yes it does. The A330 flares at around 7-8 degrees, while most other airliners flare at around 3-4 degrees. That said, the A330-300 flares slightly higher on touchdown than the A330-200.

Ryanair737
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MD-90
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:09 pm

Patty Wagstaff once wrote that she would get chills when landing a plane other than her Extra. "Wow, there's the runway!" It's impossible to see over Extra's cowlings while landing. You get used to using your peripheral vision pretty well.
 
sudden
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Fri Jul 01, 2005 9:41 pm

Hi guys,

this thread was one of the most funny threads I have read in a long while!

Not because of the main question, but more of the amusing comments and photos. Big grin

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Sudden
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Notar520AC
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:54 pm

I can't see out of the 172 when I'm landing & I'm 6'4"...

Wouldn't the GPWS on airliners help quite a bit while landing? I mean once you hear "ten [feet]" wouldn't you just kinda flare by touch & not really have to worry about seeing the runway (hoping you're lined up, of course)?
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highflyer9790
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RE: Can A Pilot See The Runway During Flare At Landing

Sun Jul 10, 2005 10:10 am

http://images.airliners.net/open.fil...=173&prev_id=192059&next_id=189436

A normal flare for an A340 in the picture

As a rule of thrumb when you reach the threshold and begin to flare, you shift your focus from the nubers the the end of the runway. the slower the airspeed, the better the flare. a fast moving aircraft doesn't need much of a flare. you'll know your flare is too big when you lose sight of the end of the runway. if you are plane spotting, the normal flare for an aircraft is from 3-8 degrees. above 10, its then over rotating.

i have noticed Airbuses flare very early and often are at a steep angle-anyone know why?
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