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According to Airbus:

‐ After the flight crew selects reverse thrust, they must perform a full stop landing.

Does it really make sense to have this limitation, and why? What happens if you realise there's not enough space to land, and you've still got adequate speed?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The biggest problem is that thrust reversers take time to move. During that time they are still producing reverse thrust (even if only at idle) and slowing you down. They must all completely close before you get forward thrust and can add power to start accelerating again. Then, what happens if they don't stow, or only part of them stow? Now you've used up valuable runway that could have been used to stop (or at least slow down more) and are no longer in a position to takeoff from. The consequences can be pretty severe.

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Once they're out, you're committed to stop because you don't know if, and how quickly/symmetrically, they'll stow. Even with a long, long runway, if you push up the power and one reverser is still out, you're going off the side -- one side of the aircraft is producing forward thrust, the other is producing reverse thrust, you're done!

All the safety interlocks & features in the TR's are all about preventing uncommanded deployment -- since that might well be unsurvivable in flight. But when you HAVE commanded the deployment, those safety features are all satisfied. There isn't any similar level of engineering to guarantee that they stow, and do so simultaneously, because you're simply TOLD, don't try to take off once the TR's are out.

If one fails to stow at the end of the landing roll, the effect is pretty minimal with the power at idle and the aircraft at or near taxi speed, so in general there aren't great issues with the TR's perhaps still out after you're done with them. The one case where it's a grave issue is handled with a policy solution ("don't") rather than an engineering solution.

As far as realizing that you touched down too long and you need to take it back airborne rather than trying to stop, that IS possible... right up until the point that you deploy the TR's. Then you're committed.

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