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When is it safe to land a Cessna-172 after a commercial airline jet has landed?

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    $\begingroup$ Personal experience after a KC-135 is about 3 to 5 miles. $\endgroup$ – SMS von der Tann Mar 15 '16 at 16:31
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It depends on the size of the preceding aircraft. ICAO PANS-ATM-Doc 4444 Air Traffic Management has some values.

5.8.2 · Arriving aircraft

5.8.2.1 Except as provided for in 5.8.l.l a) and b), the following separation minima shall be applied.

5.8.2.l.l The following minima shall be applied to aircraft landing behind a HEAVY or a MEDIUM aircraft:

a) MEDIUM aircraft behind HEAVY aircraft- 2 minutes;

b) LIGHT aircraft behind a HEAVY or MEDIUM aircraft- 3 minutes.

Note that in case of A380, it is more- 4 minutes.

In case of distances, the light aircraft are to be landed 5nm after a medium aircraft, 6nm after a heavy and 8nm after A380.

Note: The categorisation of aircraft is done as below:

4.9.1 Wake turbulence categories of aircraft

4.9.1.1 Wake turbulence separation minima shall be based on a grouping of aircraft types into three categories according to the maximum certificated take-off mass as follows:

a) HEAVY (H)- all aircraft types of 136 000 kg or more;

b) MEDIUM (M)- aircraft types less than 136 000 kg but more than 7 000 kg; and

c) LIGHT (L)- aircraft types of 7 000 kg or less.

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    $\begingroup$ Even after waiting the required 3 - 5 minutes, you should still follow the standard advice of Staying above the glide-path of the previous plane, and touching down beyond where they touched down. When landing: "Stay Above; Land Beyond" $\endgroup$ – abelenky Mar 15 '16 at 19:06
  • $\begingroup$ What if it's windy out? $\endgroup$ – fbynite Jun 30 '16 at 9:02

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