I'd like to have explanations of these landing descriptors - what do they mean?

  • deep landing
  • bounced landing
  • hard landing
  • nose pointed down landing
  • technical landing
  • "smooth" landing
  • belly landing
  • landing gear up landing
  • partial landing gear up landing
  • $\begingroup$ They are not types, just a landing with a description, like in "good landing". $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ I bet you understood my doubt, and I appreciate your answer, thanks a million. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 17:28

1 Answer 1


From European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions 1.0, Appendix E- Aircraft Operators:

Deep landing – a certain distance behind the glide slope touchdown point

Short landing – touching down before the glide slope touchdown point

Belly landing (or pancake landing or gear-up landing)- The aircraft lands without its landing gear fully extended and uses its underside, or belly, as its primary landing device.

Belly landing

"Thunderbolt II 080325" by U.S. Air Force photo/Brad White - Official USAF Website 1. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Partial gear up landing- One/or more of the landing gears fail to extend. Similar to belly landing, but in that case, all the gears fail usually.

Hard Landing- The aircraft impacts the ground with a greater vertical speed and force than in a normal landing. The actual speed varies from aircraft to aircraft. This kind of landing usually requires some inspection afterwards.

Nose pointed down landing- Aircraft usually land at a positive attitude (i.e. with nose pointed up). However, in some cases (usually due to some problem), the landing can be carried out with nose pointed down. This is normally in violation of standard procedures.

Arrested landing- Usually done in carriers; an arrester cable is used to bring the aircraft to stop.


"FA-18 Trap". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Smooth landing- If the landing has no problems like given above, it can be called a smooth landing. It is subjective though.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Deep landing – a certain distance behind the glide slope touchdown point Should this be "beyond" the td point? I read "behind" as the same as short landing $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Dec 29, 2015 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ @TomMcW Yes. It should be 'beyond'. it would have made things more clear. $\endgroup$
    – aeroalias
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ I think the answer is interesting, but I'd suggest to make two categories: known landing techniques (e.g. gear up landing) used in some circumstances that can be explained, and cases that are unexpected and the consequence of how the landing was conducted or how the environment played a role (e.g. hard landing / nose down landing after wind shears). The question itself could be improved to ask for how much in such or such landing is intended or a mistake). Just a suggestion. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 12:37

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