Is the way to land the MD-11?
Quoting Captain Michael Meiser:
I was lucky enough to fly the MD-11 from 2001 through 2006. I loved this airplane.
Quirky? Yes. Magic? Definitely. Impossible to land? Hardly.
There is no airplane that can't be wrecked. So, some landing rules that served me well and apply to most jet transports:
1. Easy does it: Do not over-control this or any other airplane. If you are making lots of big control inputs in rapid succession, that's a mistake. Remember your primary flight instructor's lesson that control pressures and not control movements are the secret to smooth, efficient flying. Breathe, Buddy. Breathe.
2. Fly a stable approach.
Corollary: If you're not stable, go around and get stable next time.
3. No airplane can take high sink rate landings. If the GPWS says "Sink Rate!", go around. By about 50' above the touchdown zone you should have slowed your sink rate to less than 600 fpm.
4. Land on speed and in the touchdown zone.
Corollary: If you are too fast or will be out of the touchdown zone, go around.
5. Land straight. No crab. No drift.
Corollary: If you are drifting or not aligned with the runway, go around.
6. After touchdown, confirm the ground spoilers deploy and autobrakes, LOWER the nose gear onto the ground GENTLY, and apply reverse thrust.
Corollary: No "aerodynamic" braking. It doesn't work, and it will bite you.
7. If you bounce, go around. Next landing get stable, land on speed, be straight, confirm ground spoilers and autobrakes, land the nose wheel gently, reverse, stop safely, and EAT WHATEVER CROW IS REQUIRED LATER.
To me, the MD-11 and the 727-200 landed pretty much the same. Everyone loved the 727. I don't get it why the MD gets such bad press. About the only difference is that the MD-11 lands faster, so the descent rate for a 3 degree glideslope is almost 1000'/minute. You gotta slow that descent rate to something reasonable in the last 50 feet, or it will hurt when you land.
I don't think any of those things require super airmanship to master.
About making go-arounds and eating crow: It's better to eat crow than have crows eat you.
Be nice to the MD-11. It's a great airplane.
[Edited 2011-07-26 13:37:00]