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Source: YouTube, higher quality file here.

Example 2: YouTube

Is it normal? Just a different technique? Or do certain situations or aircraft types call for it? The training manuals I've seen advise against excessive changes, or call for constant back pressure, or both.

Avoid rapid control column movements during the flare (737 FCTM).

But it won't be the first time that a rule has an exception.

An example of minimal changes here: YouTube, albeit a different type, hence the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure that the aircraft wasn't in auto-land mode, the flare and column movement don't seem to match, something seems very off... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Jan 24, 2018 at 23:03
  • $\begingroup$ He generates large movements with only two fingers of one hand - there don't seem to be any control forces. A 737 requires serious effort to deflect the column & wheel, about 1N/mm. And where is the landing bump? I'm with Ron, there is something unrealistic about this set-up, looks like a fixed base sim with no control loading and a good visual to me. $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Jan 25, 2018 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah there is a bump indeed, you're right it seems a real flight. Still really odd that so little effort is required to move the column. Perhaps the autopilot correcting for gusty conditions, pilot just has his hand on the yoke for an override? $\endgroup$
    – Koyovis
    Jan 25, 2018 at 3:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It’s a technique. It’s not recommended, but it’s not exactly rare. There are better ways to land the 737. In an -800 or -900, pumping the yoke like that is a risk for a tailstrike. In a -700, not as much. Movements like that are NOT needed in landing a 737, you aren’t landing on a carrier deck to catch the 3-wire. It’s not 2 fingers being used, you just don’t see the rest of his hand gripping the yoke. But it is - you wouldn’t land a 737 holding it without the other 3 fingers. The control forces (pumping the yoke or not) are too high in both roll & pitch for that. $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Jan 25, 2018 at 8:08

2 Answers 2


He’s not pumping the yoke per se; rather the pilot is making a series of quick, precise corrections to the yoke in order to track a precise glideslope to an aimpoint while on short final. This process can be exacerbated by gusty winds on final, poor throttle control, etc.

Here’s a better example from the cockpit of a C-2 Greyhound CODS aircraft making a Case 1 trap aboard Carl Vinson (CVN-70). Note the hundreds of minute inputs the pilot makes to the yoke, rudder pedals and throttle on lineup, in close and at the ramp. He’s applying pitch inputs to correct for deviations from glideslope, throttle inputs to correct for airspeed deviations from Vref+5 kts, aileron and rudder inputs to correct for deviations from lineup on the groove, and rudder inputs to correct for yawing brought on by changes in power. It looks exhausting.


Well In teaching a private you would teach always move the controls back and farther back, you can stop moving back, but never move forward. JUST BACK, after bringing power to idle that is round out, level off and flare. All back. But to a commercial student you will explain the wing loading that starts and small multi engines and goes up with aircraft size. When you flare if the airplanes continues to float you can unload the wing and land at the current airspeed. This can be used in a short field technique, but it also requires you land at minimum controllable airspeed so you will want to hear a stall warning horn before unloading the wings with a small burst forward on the the controls. If your level off is low enough you will be fine, if not be on the controls re entering a flare and you will still be able to grease it on if you hit the sweet spot, but you may miss your point.


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