Hot answers tagged

151

Google Maps and Google Earth are made by stitching together many different images to create the illusion of a single massive picture of the globe. The image you are seeing was almost certainly made by an aerial photography plane passing overhead of another plane landing. In multiple snapshots, it captured the same plane on final, touching down, rolling out ...


110

The aircraft flares just before touching down. It descends with a constant velocity, and just before touching down pulls the nose up to reduce the descent. This results in a higher angle of attack, more lift, and a vertical deceleration of the airplane. A passenger perceives this vertical deceleration as a force. Direction of the force is straight down and ...


108

The plane is probably taking off. The flaps are hard to see but they don't quite look to be extended enough for landing (Looks like flaps 20). On a 747 they extend to around 45 degrees (flaps 30, but they curve around more than that) for landing and have a huge, unmistakable profile. Further, we know it's KBFI and we know the plane is on 31L from the ...


107

"Sterile Cockpit" refers to the concept that pilots should not discuss anything not related to the flight during certain phases of flight (often defined as below FL100). A passenger occupying the lavatory while the flight is on approach and passengers are supposed to be in their seats definitely does have an impact on the flight, so it does not fall under ...


96

First of all, the landing should be in the touchdown zone. Often I see pilots try to achieve a very smooth landing but floating far out of the touchdown zone before touching terra firma. Then they have to brake hard and taxi of at the far end. There are no points for landing outside the touchdown zone, even if it is the smoothest landing imaginable. In many ...


93

Airplanes prefer to land in a headwind. This reduces their groundspeed compared to landing with the same tailwind. Braking distance grows quadratically compared to groundspeed. So any significant reduction in groundspeed is worth having. Successive airplanes should all come from the same direction to land. This removes any danger of collision when a plane ...


84

Aircraft land on the main wheels. For aircraft with nose wheel it is the back ones, but for aircraft with tail wheel (also called “tail-draggers”) it is the front ones. In either case the main wheels are very close to centre of gravity and carry most of the aircraft's weight, the nose or tail wheel only carries a small fraction of it. The aircraft must land ...


74

TACA Flight 110 made a deadstick landing on a grass levee. Engines got replaced and it took off using a nearby NASA facility. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TACA_Flight_110


70

Short answer: ILS is rather sensitive to interference and not all electronic devices take much precaution in avoiding the generation of interference. The pilot wants to be sure that the readings he's getting on the localizer and glideslope are accurate, since he can't actually see the runway to verify the final approach path visually. Longer answer: ILS is ...


69

I've heard about lots of bird strike incidents that occured during a takeoff roll or the early phase of takeoff climb but hardly heard of bird strikes on approach or landing. This is always a dangerous thing. Only because you hear more bird strikes that occur on takeoff, it does not mean there are more at takeoff. I found, for example, this report about ...


68

Please don't link to media articles in the general press, but especially not the Daily Mail who generally don't worry too much about facts and have no-one on staff who has a clue about aviation ("activate their tyres in time", "With its landing gear ejected, the plane comes perilously close to hitting ground level too early"). Just look ...


65

The flight in question is most probably an evaluation/calibration flight for radio navigation systems at Ust-Kut. The aircraft is a Yak-40 special version designated for such tasks: Aviamuseum - Yak-40 "Calibrator"


61

"Sterile cockpit" doesn't mean abject silence; it means no idle chitchat. An issue relating to the safety of passengers is not idle chitchat, so it can be discussed at any time during the flight.


60

You should wait until clearing the runway before performing any non-essential checklist items because you are still in a critical phase of flight and at a relatively high risk while still on the runway. You should focus 100% of your attention to controlling the airplane (don't stop flying the airplane until you come to a complete stop) and watching for ...


59

An interesting feature of your question is the apparent double-exposure of runway number in your image. And I suspect it will also account for/explain why you see a kink in an image. Occasionally, runways change number. The reason for this is basically that runways only have 36 possible designations (1-36) however a runway designated 18 may be orientated ...


59

The energy unit costs for companies in Germany are much lower than for households. Where as a citizen you pay approximately 30 ct / kWh, the airport will pay much less, probably around 15 ct / kWh. Adjusting your calculation for this price, we have 37.5 k€ per year in terms of energy cost saving to offset the depreciation and maintenance of the ...


56

Neither technique is "preferable" - the assumption that one is superior to the other is one of the most common false dichotomies (and over-simplifications) in aviation. With some notable exceptions (like the Ercoupe which is incapable of a slip and lands crabbed) a proper crosswind landing should involve elements of both techniques. Crabbing ...


55

Why does the 747 not have its gear down yet? Based on the image it is hard to say how far these aircraft are from the runway. The 747 could still be be quite far from the runway and thus does not need to have its gear down yet. The 747-400 FCOM (NP.21.47 Normal Procedures) says: At glideslope alive, call: "GEAR DOWN" "FLAPS 20" It looks ...


54

I don't care how good the pilot's eyes were; there was zero visibility outside that airplane. That fog we were in was the metaphorical "pea soup", and he could not possibly have landed visually. What you see from a passenger window has little relationship to what the pilot is looking for and can see out his windshield. The pilot is looking for lead-in ...


53

The approach to Paro is unbelievably complicated. It is flown visually through a valley with high mountains all around and no sight of the airport until the last moment. Here is a cut of a map with the approach paths: Approach to runway 15, marked in red, is worse in this regard. The ridge is rather close to the airport, so the final turn usually ends over ...


52

Sure! An Ex-Interflug Ilyushin Il-62 was landed on the 900 m runway of Stölln/Rhinow airport (EDOR) in the German countryside in 1989 to be turned into a tourist attraction. Here is a short video of the event. As can be witnessed from the clouds of dirt, the pilot Heinz-Dieter Kallbach wasn't too concerned about using reverse thrust - the engines were not ...


52

It depends on the airfield. Landing on grass is only recommended if the ground is maintained to a reasonable standard and clear of obstructions. Some airfields have grass strips maintained for that purpose, on others the grass has lights, wires and cables, or just lots of holes/ruts which will be far worse than the tarmac. Some airfields are only grass, ...


50

Ex-Royal Air Force helicopter force here, spent a lot of time around Chinooks. I think the main answer is "because I can", but I can think of a legitimate combat use. You are heavy, and forced to land downwind into a narrow strip because there is a hazard on the upwind side of the landing zone. There is not enough room to turn around. You could hover ...


50

Most modern aircraft, which includes long range airliners since around 1970, all airliners since not much later, and basically anything with glass cockpit, do have very accurate accelerometers for all three axis, as part of the inertial reference system. They are important instruments for the autopilot, as they provide faster feedback on the effect of ...


49

If an aircraft encounters a serious problem quite soon after departure that forces it to land immediately, the aircraft may be above its certified maximum landing weight. This is because there is still a lot of fuel in the tanks, which adds a lot of weight. As @RonBeyer mentioned in a comment, landing overweight can have a number of serious consequences. ...


48

For many medium and large sized jets the maximum gross takeoff weight is higher than the maximum landing weight. If the airplane has an emergency that requires an air return or other landing in the early part of flight, it is very likely overweight for landing. The plane has 3 options at this point: Land overweight Dump fuel (if able) Fly around at low ...


48

Please skip to the edit after the picture to see my actual answer. I'm leaving my original answer intact though, since other answers have referenced it. I'm guessing that's it's taking off because: The wheels appear to be spinning (though the picture is kinda grainy so...) There isn't any smoke behind the tires, even though it would have just touched down....


48

What's the procedure? The procedure is, be creative to save as many lives as possible! Really. The procedure is to determine a course of action which will likely result in the best outcome for everyone, utilizing all resources and given all constraints. Period. It is as simple as that. There are infinitely many scenarios, and one cannot be trained for ...


47

There are two problems linked to the wind after accidents: Inflating the slides. Running away from the aircraft when on the ground @DavidRicherby listed the reasons related to running away upwind to try to avoid the effects of flames and fumes (visibility, heat, toxicity). This is part of the IATA guidelines for post-evacuation: Post-evacuation. Once ...


47

Bouncing a landing is neither intentional nor desirable. There are several reasons why a student pilot might bounce, but for a professional pilot, it's most likely related to wind gusts, which are a challenge no matter how much training and experience you have. Gusts are by their nature unpredictable, and if one hits the plane right as it's touching down, ...


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