Is there a specific combination of pitch angle and vertical speed at touchdown that would be usually be considered a "good landing" in a B737NG?

  • $\begingroup$ I changed your wording a little; don't hesitate to roll back or edit again if I changed it too much. And I removed your second question about what a long landing is because it would be best to ask that separately. We prefer to avoid having multiple questions in one on this site. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 22 '20 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ Probably, but there are many other factors as well, and "good" is pretty subjective. For that reason I don't think the question can really be answered objectively. Can you help us understand what you are trying to achieve? (i.e. programming a simulator?) $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Dec 22 '20 at 0:51
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    $\begingroup$ This question and this one might be helpful. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 22 '20 at 1:14
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    $\begingroup$ No a good landing so much, but a "hard landing" yes, because of the need to assess whether or not to do special inspections, rap the crews' knuckles, and such. When I was with a Regional OEM I used to help assess FDR downloads sent to us by a Chinese operator to tell them what happened (most operators did that sort of thing themselves). The main factors are closure rate and touchdown G load as recorded by the FDR sensors, but speed and pitch attitude and other parameters were all part of the assessment. New airplanes with ACMS record all that stuff and even flag bad landings. $\endgroup$ – John K Dec 22 '20 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall And a "great landing" is one where you can use the airplane again. $\endgroup$ – Terry Dec 22 '20 at 2:26

A "good" landing with a 737NG as described in the Flight Crew Training Manual (FCTM) is flown with a pitch that has increased by 2 to 3 degrees during the flare. The resulting vertical speed is not specified, but will only depend on the airspeed at a given pitch increase. Remember, that a good landing requires a stabilized approach first, so you should cross the runway threshold at Vref + wind correction and at the correct height (usually 50 ft for typical glideslope).

Initiate the flare when the main gear is approximately 20 feet above the runway by increasing pitch attitude approximately 2° - 3°. This slows the rate of descent.

After the flare is initiated, smoothly retard the thrust levers to idle, and make small pitch attitude adjustments to maintain the desired descent rate to the runway. Ideally, main gear touchdown should occur simultaneously with thrust levers reaching idle. [...]

737NG typical touchdown attitude

Typically, the pitch attitude increases slightly during the actual landing, but avoid over-rotating. Do not increase the pitch attitude after touchdown; this could lead to a tail strike.

Shifting the visual sighting point down the runway assists in controlling the pitch attitude during the flare. A smooth thrust reduction to idle also assists in controlling the natural nose down pitch change associated with thrust reduction. Hold sufficient back pressure on the control column to keep the pitch attitude constant.

Avoid rapid control column movements during the flare. If the flare is too abrupt and thrust is excessive near touchdown, the airplane tends to float in ground effect. Do not allow the airplane to float; fly the airplane onto the runway. Do not extend the flare by increasing pitch attitude in an attempt to achieve a perfectly smooth touchdown. Do not attempt to hold the nose wheels off the runway.

(Boeing 737NG FCTM 6.10 - Landing, emphasis mine)

Typical touchdown vertical speeds are then between 60 and 180 ft/min as explained in this answer.


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