Questions tagged [pilot-technique]

Questions about different techniques that pilots may use when flying.

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75 votes
10 answers
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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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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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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
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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
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33 votes
7 answers
7k views

Why pull up on the rollout after landing, after the nose wheel is down?

I'm a student pilot learning on a Piper Cherokee 180. When I land and the nose wheel touches down my instructor wants me to keep pulling back on the stick through the landing roll. For soft field ...
DLH's user avatar
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30 votes
8 answers
10k views

Why don't B747s start takeoffs with full throttle?

Why does the 747 start takeoff with partial power and increase to full throttle later down the runway, when the A380 for example starts on full? Source This is not the same question as: Is it ...
jwzumwalt's user avatar
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29 votes
7 answers
5k views

Why don't we treat all takeoffs as short field in GA?

Depending on the airframe, there are a number of techniques to reduce the Take Off Distance required. For example, deploying flaps. What advantage is there to NOT using short field take offs, even ...
Dan's user avatar
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28 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is it safe and effective to have "glider pilot mentality" when landing single-engine fixed-wing aircraft?

I am a low-time pilot, of approximately 200 hours. I trained on the DA20 and DA40, designs that are derived from the Diamond touring motor glider design(s) of the early 1990s. I anticipate getting my ...
Steve's user avatar
  • 476
27 votes
4 answers
12k 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
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27 votes
4 answers
6k views

How to slow down a seaplane on water?

A seaplane cannot use brakes to slow down, like a land-based aircraft. So how does one slow it down? I am asking this in the context of landing, taxiing, aborted takeoff etc., as long as the plane is ...
kevin's user avatar
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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
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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
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25 votes
2 answers
7k views

How to avoid or cope with a bad day where my flying felt sloppy?

This morning I went out to do a flight and I wasn’t my usual self. I was just sloppy in the pattern, not hitting my speeds, overshooting the final, radios were sub par. Backstory. Last week I was ...
youngpilot's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is this aerodynamic braking procedure normal in a 747?

I found this instagram video via YouTube: The description in the YouTube video states that: This aerodynamic baking procedure is applied to reduce wheel brake and engine wear I have two questions: ...
nodapic's user avatar
  • 1,817
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
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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
4 answers
4k views

When approaching a stall, is the first priority to apply power or lower nose?

I’ve always wondered. And I’d assume it’s the same regardless of aircraft? But when approaching a stall would the main priority be adding more power? I ask because what if a crew was on final for ...
George Clooney In a Mooney'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
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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
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does an F/A-18 require a lot of rudder in turns?

I am an aspiring Navy fighter pilot and I use an X-Plane add on for FA-18 Hornet as a fighter. It's made by a creator named Colimata. I think the turns are unrealistic. When I begin a bank a lot of ...
Emmet H's user avatar
  • 370
19 votes
4 answers
11k views

When to reduce power on takeoff (Cessna 182 or similar)?

There are two sides I've heard when taking off in a Cessna 182 or other small airplane with a normally aspirated engine driving a constant speed propeller: As soon as your wheels are off the ...
Canuk's user avatar
  • 8,442
18 votes
5 answers
6k views

(Updated) Why do vertical distances appear much larger than horizontal distances?

Note: I have reformulated this question and provided more concise examples to avoid confusion and allow for better discussion. According to Google Earth, the distance from where the photo below was ...
Charles Nicholson's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

What are the most challenging taxi manoeuvres that a typical commercial airline pilot must execute?

I am currently involved in a University level modelling excercise which looks to investigate the handling qualities of a novel nose wheel steering system. As part of this study, I am interested in ...
GDCcraft's user avatar
  • 183
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
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
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
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
4 answers
4k views

How can I land a PA-44 (Seminole)?

I’m trying to get my ME endorsement now, and I find I can’t land very well. My instructor told me to forget everything I know about the Cessna, and that this aircraft should be landed with power. He ...
Mercer's user avatar
  • 169
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
  • 58.9k
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

For airliners, what prevents wing strikes on landing in bad weather?

For any low-wing aircraft, particularly the MD-80 or some of the private jets, CRJ's, the wings appear about 5ft or less above the ground. It seems that just few degrees of roll before touchdown would ...
mike's user avatar
  • 591
16 votes
3 answers
9k views

Is it normal practice to use 25 degrees of flaps when taking off at max weight in a PA-28-181?

I recently started renting a plane (PA-28-181) from a new flight school and had to get checked out before I had the "OK" to rent. I had brought 2 family members ...
Ryan Griffith's user avatar
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
16 votes
3 answers
2k views

Does adding flaps during ground roll perform better in short-field takeoff?

In most POHs, the flap configuration for short-field is usually recommended as partial flaps, for instance 10˚ for C172. I remember the arguments are that full flaps would reduce the acceleration ...
CrepuscularV's user avatar
  • 3,361
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

When to climb and when to descend when faced with icing?

(YouTube) The flight faced icing at FL 90 inbound to Germany from the UK on a world tour. Earlier they were flying above an overcast layer. After they saw the icing they requested FL 70, and asked ...
user avatar
14 votes
5 answers
8k views

Why, on a short-field takeoff, are we taught to run the engine to full power before releasing the brakes?

TLDR; See Update #2 and #3. The FAA on the one hand says "It has not been established that this procedure results in a shorter takeoff run... " but then requires the same procedure as part ...
Kenn Sebesta's user avatar
  • 5,092
14 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why are the B-52 thrust levers advanced inside-out?

As I understand, the standard procedure for advancing the throttle (for take-off) is as follows: Advance throttle to desired engine input & output (N1 & N2) Release brakes Gradually increase ...
TayE's user avatar
  • 6,605
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
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
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

In light aircraft, non-instrument flight, apply (nearly) full aft elevator before beginning the takeoff roll or at some predetermined speed?

Consider a small, light, nose wheel tricycle aircraft, something along the lines of a C152 or similar, sitting at the end of the runway ready for takeoff, with no issues and with all pre-takeoff ...
user's user avatar
  • 6,984
13 votes
1 answer
7k views

In the US, will the tower likely think my aircraft has been hijacked if I taxi with the flaps down?

In the US, will the tower likely think my aircraft has been hijacked if I taxi with the flaps down? Related: Why are flaps retracted when an aircraft is parked on ground? https://fsims.faa.gov/wdocs/...
quiet flyer's user avatar
  • 22.3k
12 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why do pilots move the propeller lever full forward before landing?

Is it because aircraft can get more "instant" power for go-around, with throttle full-forward? Or is it for protecting the aircraft's engine from high RPM, low PROP stress in case of go-...
Student412's user avatar
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
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
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
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
3 answers
8k views

How can I avoid floating during short-field landings?

I fly a Piper Cherokee PA-28R for my training and have a question about the techniques used for a short field landing. What is the difference between a normal landing roundout/flare and a short-field ...
Mun's user avatar
  • 1,837
11 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why should one not slip a Cessna 172 with flaps extended?

The POH strongly recommends not slipping the AC with full flaps...why? It seems natural in a crosswind approach to allow the horizontal lift component to cancel the airmass movement across the ...
Mark Anderson's user avatar
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
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