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Certain aircraft like the A318 are able to do steep approaches for landing. What are the limits (Angle of descent, airspeed, and the like) for this type of landing?

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    $\begingroup$ Most aircraft are capable of steep approaches. The pilot's proficiency, passenger needs, and company sop will usually be the primary limiting factors. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jan 8 '16 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ @JonathanWalters Capable yes, certified no. There's a very big, very important difference there... $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Jan 11 '16 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ It's not part of airworthiness - an aircraft can be airworthy without being certified to perform steep approaches. For example the EU (EASA) requires special certification in order to operate in/out of London City airport and other steep approaches. Also see 4.3.1.5 of this document (and other sections of that document) for some information on FAA's take on it. I'm not sure whether they require the aircraft to be certified or not. faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC120-29A.pdf $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Jan 11 '16 at 17:57
  • $\begingroup$ Just something else to add to this: b737.org.uk/limitations.htm "Maximum and minimum glideslope angles are 3.25 degrees and 2.5 degrees respectively." Admittedly not a Boeing source, but tends to be a reliable site. $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Jan 15 '16 at 1:25
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This presentation gives the following limitations for A318 steep approaches:

  • Maximum authorised Flight Path Angle: -5.5°

  • MLW unchanged (57.5t)

  • FWD and AFT CG limits unchanged

  • Maximum altitude for landing: 2000ft

  • Tailwind limit for landing: 5Kt

  • Crosswind limit for landing: 26Kt gust included

  • AUTOLAND is not allowed

  • CATII and CATIII are not allowed

  • All engines operative only

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  • $\begingroup$ The penultimate point is interesting, I hadn't realised it limited the aircraft to Cat I ILS $\endgroup$ – Jon Story Jan 11 '16 at 13:51

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