Questions tagged [pilot-technique]

Questions about different techniques that pilots may use when flying.

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48 votes
9 answers
53k views

How close is X-Plane experience to real flying?

I started using X-Plane and am surprised at the easiness of flying (using a flight controller). Does this simulation software reflect how it is to fly (in any way) in reality? From using the ...
Hrach Ghapantsyan's user avatar
38 votes
6 answers
16k views

How do pilots foresee turbulence?

During a normal flight at cruise speed and altitude, amid the delicious airline meal and the enjoying a latest movie, all of a sudden the seat belt sign turns on. Then a few seconds later we enter ...
Farhan's user avatar
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75 votes
10 answers
39k views

Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

In a commercial airplane, when a landing has been a bit firm, a passenger may think it was not perfect, or maybe performed by an inexperienced pilot. (Source) A perfect landing is seen by passengers ...
mins's user avatar
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35 votes
3 answers
5k views

When might a pilot hand-fly a jet at cruise altitudes, and is it difficult?

How difficult is it to hand-fly a jet at cruise altitudes? Other than autopilot failure and just doing it for the fun of it, when might you want to hand-fly at those altitudes? I suspect the answer ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
34 votes
2 answers
10k views

Why is it not recommended to hold the nose up on the A320 after touchdown?

I was recently told by a trainer in my airline that on the A320 if we hold the nose up after main gear touchdown then the flight control laws logic will memorise that pitch attitude after 5 seconds ...
Jai's user avatar
  • 1,492
16 votes
6 answers
5k views

What is the optimal bank angle to accomplish a given turn in a glide?

For an aircraft in a glide, what—if any—is the optimal bank angle to make a given turn while maximizing glide distance and maintaining published best glide speed? In other words, at a constant ...
J W's user avatar
  • 16.6k
12 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is aerodynamic braking really effective?

(YouTube) In the frame above the pilot is pulling back, as evident by the stabilator's position, and this technique is usually cited as a means of slowing down. But wouldn't the brakes have better ...
user avatar
26 votes
5 answers
3k views

Piloting as a perishable skill - what skills go first and how to self-assess and mitigate skill loss?

I know that in accident reports they will typically say the total number of hours the pilot had, but also the total hours in type and total hours in the last 90 days. I know from personal experience ...
Canuk's user avatar
  • 8,432
20 votes
1 answer
4k views

Is the main landing gear of a large airplane designed for sideways (crabbed) touchdowns?

Is it just my imagination, or is it a fact that many large airliners actually touch down "crabbed" on difficult crosswind landings? Here's what I mean in this video, or as shown in this picture: Is ...
Philippe Leybaert's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
9k views

Was the miracle on the Hudson saved exclusively by the APU?

In the film Sully, (staring Tom Hanks) the APU is switched on straight after both engines rollback, why was this step necessary; Airbus said this was the "15th thing" to do on the checklist. How or ...
cmp's user avatar
  • 821
19 votes
3 answers
14k views

How does a commercial flight pilot handle turbulence?

In general, passengers dislike turbulence. Avoiding all turbulence sometimes is not viable, as it would make the flight too long, too expensive (fuel consumed), or simply not having alternatives. How ...
woliveirajr's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
2k views

How do pilots fly an MLS approach?

There is not much information on the cockpit aspect of the Microwave Landing System. Apart from Wikipedia, there's this excellent 15-minute FAA video from 1974 on TRSB (time reference scanning beam) ...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does it really take 9000 feet to recover from a spin in a P-51 Mustang?

I was a bit surprised to hear from this P-51 pilot (9:33 into the video) that the Mustang requires 9000 feet to recover from a spin. This seems high to me. The Mustang POH does not confirm this, but ...
bclarkreston's user avatar
  • 3,686
16 votes
6 answers
5k views

Can gliding your plane save fuel?

Aimed towards lighter piston planes including a powered glider, if a pilot wants to extend a plane's range unconventionally, could flying like a glider by climbing and then gliding down or would ...
Justintimeforfun's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why is "heavy braking" recommended in an aircraft with carbon fiber brakes in order to prevent brake wear? That seems backwards!

I get that standard brakes and carbon fiber brakes are made out of two different materials, but some of the procedures are different between them. For instance, they recommend "heavy" braking on ...
Lnafziger's user avatar
  • 58.8k
16 votes
6 answers
25k views

What is the difference between a forward slip and a side slip?

I am having a hard time understanding what differentiates the two types of slip. I understand that in a forward slip, the longitudinal axis is tilted with respect to the flight path, whereas in a side ...
KBriggs's user avatar
  • 569
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

How are aircraft controlled that have no forward view out of the cockpit?

Modern aircraft tend to have quite reasonable cockpit visibility. But throughout history there were some that had literally no visibility directly forward. The best known example is probably Ryan ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
  • 56.2k
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

How does turn radius change with velocity between Vm and Vs, as in a 180 degree turn in a canyon?

I just heard a briefing on mountain flying, and it was stated that the first thing, or the most important thing to do in the event you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in a blind canyon with no ...
Charles Bretana's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
808 views

Are there any manoeuvres that would be considered unrecoverable in a General Aviation / Training Aircraft?

I'll try to make this question a little more manageable by applying the following constraints, though of course all answers would be welcome: By "General Aviation / Training" aircraft, I'm talking ...
Dan's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How does flying a helicopter compare with flying a fixed wing plane?

There has been a lot of interest in the ease of flying a helicopter recently, and questions have arisen on how easy it is to control a helicopter in less than ideal circumstances such as low ...
Koyovis's user avatar
  • 61.6k
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Can one fly up side down while a glass of water keeps full due to g-forces?

If one makes a looping for example with a plane and the g-forces that the planes makes will keep the water in the glass, but if one is at the top of the loop is there still enough g-force to keep ...
Marijn 's user avatar
  • 197
27 votes
4 answers
11k views

Is 'bouncing' an airliner on landing in high winds a deliberate technique, or something always unexpected?

Last week, 767 landing at Newark, high winds, a good deal of rocking in the last few minutes, some passengers quite distressed. The landing was harder and noisier than usual, and we immediately ...
Party Ark's user avatar
  • 12.5k
26 votes
5 answers
8k views

How hard is it to fly with night vision goggles?

I was talking to a Sheriff's Department helicopter pilot and he was saying they fly around at night with night vision goggles. I know the military does too. What are some of the considerations that ...
Canuk's user avatar
  • 8,432
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to land the aircraft when the flight deck is full of smoke?

If a fire occurs in flight, the crew will likely try to land on a diversion airport. However landing presupposes seeing the primary instruments, switches and controls. Source In case the fire is not ...
mins's user avatar
  • 71.8k
17 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do large airliners have a short-field landing technique?

Other than extra braking and reverse thrust, is there a specific short-field landing technique for large jet airliners? In discussions about the famous landings at St Maarten, it is sometimes said ...
Ben's user avatar
  • 14.1k
14 votes
1 answer
23k views

How do pilots respond to wind shear?

I am aware that wind shear is the geostrophic wind between two pressure levels and am also aware of the catastrophic effect microbursts can have. If informed, can the crew avoid wind shear? And if ...
Speedbird1237's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there any disadvantage to slipping as a way to lose altitude?

I learned how to slip during my powered training as a way to lose altitude when too high and, of course, a way to track the runway center-line during a crosswind landing. Quite a bit more emphasis ...
bclarkreston's user avatar
  • 3,686
11 votes
4 answers
8k views

How do I keep a C172 straight on the centerline during landing/rollout?

During rollout upon touching down, I'd often find myself veering off the runway centreline to the left. Every time I input rudder, I have this feeling that I am getting pulled out of the turn (while ...
shogunnyan's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
3k views

On which part of the descent does a pilot begin to flare?

On which part of the landing process does the pilot begin to flare?
Madhav Sudarshan's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do radio altimeter systems compensate for objects on the ground?

My understanding of a radio altimeter is that it can provide more accurate altitude readings below the transition level. It occurred to me a number of days ago whilst sitting beneath the glide path ...
J.FLLT's user avatar
  • 1,231
11 votes
2 answers
5k views

How does rudder lock occur?

Citing Wikipedia article on the Vertical Stabiliser: Rudder lock occurs when the force on a deflected rudder (in a steady sideslip) suddenly reverses as the vertical stabilizer stalls. This may ...
mezzanaccio's user avatar
  • 1,739
10 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why do some aircraft require type ratings to fly them?

I know it might seem like a silly basic question, clearly some of these aircraft are awfully complex. I doubt anyone questions the idea of a type rating for a 747-400. But where is the line ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
  • 24.1k
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

How to handle vacuum and turn coordinator failure in IMC?

I just earned my FAA instrument rating and a considerable amount of time was spent training partial panel. This meant flying with no vacuum gyro instruments - attitude indicator and directional gyro. ...
Hawkman's user avatar
  • 233
8 votes
4 answers
12k views

Can the ILS glideslope be intercepted from above?

Is it recommended to intercept the ILS glideslope from above? Are there any special considerations like unstable approaches or GPWS warnings?
Eduardo Guilherme's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What are the symptoms of vortex ring state?

What are the signs and symptoms a pilot can recognize, that the helicopter is approaching vortex ring state (VRS) and measures should be taken? A related question discusses how to prevent or recover ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.7k
7 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the typical sink rate during a well-executed carrier landing at the moment the main wheels touch the deck?

What is the typical sink rate during a well-executed carrier landing at the moment the main wheels touch the deck? And how has this changed over the decades?
quiet flyer's user avatar
  • 22.2k
7 votes
1 answer
605 views

What does "stuff it in the back right corner" mean?

I'm still catching up with Flightchops, and came across this episode about his first tail wheel solo. As he touches down for his first landing (around 5:03 in the video) he says "Get ready to stuff ...
bclarkreston's user avatar
  • 3,686
6 votes
4 answers
510 views

Are there tricks or training to handle spatial disorientation?

For spatial disorientation, are there tricks to block out certain inputs like focusing on what the eyes see and blocking out the ears? I am curious if there are training techniques to practice on the ...
Lilibete's user avatar
  • 564
5 votes
1 answer
642 views

How are rotary engines controlled?

Listen closely to the engine sound here. It seems to me all rotaries continuously sound on/off. Is that a pilot application to manage the engine's torque (with the whole block rotating), or as ...
user avatar
4 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why so much throttle work on navy fighter during final approach?

• Look at his left hand: why so much throttle work while flying? What is he doing? • Is the throttle response very slow? It seems to me that the fighter don't accelerate so much when he gives full ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why does the pilot need to manually retard the thrust levers in an A320?

The Airbus A320 FCOM (Autoflight - Flight Guidance - Flare Mode) says: At 30 ft RA, the AP/FD aligns the yaw axis with the runway centerline and the aircraft flares on the pitch axis. If the ...
user67133's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why did the pilot flying pull back in the moments after the auto-pilot disconnected on AF447?

In the AF447 disaster, one of the elements that contributed to the crash was an "excessive" nose-up input shortly after the disconnection of the auto-pilot. This caused the aeroplane to climb and ...
Daniele Procida's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
1k views

Which way (if at all) do the ailerons need to be deflected in a full-rudder sideslip in a Cessna 152 or 172?

Do you typically have to maintain an aileron deflection in a constant-heading full-rudder sideslip in a Cessna 152 or 172? If so, in which direction? And why -- what is the source of the roll torque ...
quiet flyer's user avatar
  • 22.2k
2 votes
1 answer
758 views

How do I know when to use flaps in glide approach or force landing?

During glide approach or practice force landing, I can see the aim point moving down. It means the aircraft will overshoot the field. But I am not sure when should flaps be used or which stage of ...
John's user avatar
  • 195
1 vote
5 answers
926 views

How to land using horizon?

source I recently heard pilots discussing a landing technique that some instructors are now teaching. To assist new pilots in flaring, they instruct the pilot to adjust their attention toward the ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
  • 11.4k
0 votes
2 answers
261 views

Is it normal to choose a left or right pattern based on the wind direction? [duplicate]

I fly at Las Cruces International (KLRU) which is in an area with high winds (20 knots or more). My flight instructor wants me to fly the traffic pattern according to the crosswind direction on ...
DLH's user avatar
  • 5,789