Questions tagged [pilot-technique]

Questions about different techniques that pilots may use when flying.

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73
votes
10answers
34k 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 ...
45
votes
9answers
44k 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 ...
39
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
36
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
35
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
32
votes
7answers
5k 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 ...
31
votes
8answers
9k 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 ...
28
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
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 ...
26
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
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 ...
25
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
25
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
2answers
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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
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 ...
19
votes
2answers
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 ...
19
votes
1answer
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 ...
18
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
17
votes
4answers
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 ...
17
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
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 ...
15
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
22k 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
11k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
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 ...
13
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
2answers
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Can you ride a storm to save fuel?

Cargo sailboats, of the old, depended on wind direction. Like these ships, planes also save time by flying with the wind. On the extreme end, could a plane use storm fronts or hurricanes by flying in ...
10
votes
3answers
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?
10
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the preferred way to slow down an airliner on a long runway?

EDIT: Another way to phrase the question is, given an extra long runway, does it make sense to substitute mechanical braking (which is the primary way to slow down in a typical situation) partially or ...
10
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
923 views

How do pilots of big jets determine if they are clear of the runway after landing?

The pilots of small aircraft can easily determine if they're clear of the runway by visually looking back through the side windows. How do the pilots of big commercial jets determine that all parts ...
10
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
342 views

What is the english term for “vol en ficelle”?

From what I have read online and understood, "vol en ficelle" is basically a low altitude flight preparation method that requires calculating a set of altitudes to be followed in order not to crash. ...
10
votes
1answer
1k 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) ...
9
votes
5answers
571 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...