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100 votes
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Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

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 ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.6k
73 votes

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

But my question is how do pilots stay at their A game The answer is they don't, and don't try to. I have ridden motorcycles most of my life and that was my first realization of being on some days, ...
Max R's user avatar
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54 votes
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Is this aerodynamic braking procedure normal in a 747?

This is not a recommended procedure for landing the 747 (or any other jet airliner I know of). The FCTM (Flight Crew Training Manual) says this: After main gear touchdown, initiate the landing roll ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 56.9k
54 votes

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

In a short field takeoff things happen fast, the window for an abort is small, so the main reason for running the engine to full power is to make sure full power is available before you start to roll. ...
GdD's user avatar
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47 votes

Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

A perfect landing is seen as one where the contact with the runway is almost imperceptible. No, the perfect landing is firm. The aircraft should touch down with a not strong, but still perceptible ...
Jan Hudec's user avatar
  • 56.4k
47 votes

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

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 ...
StephenS's user avatar
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41 votes
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Why don't we treat all takeoffs as short field in GA?

Short-field take-off techniques often achieve a shorter ground run by hurting climb performance. While having more runway is great for safety, planning to use less of the runway is not a huge benefit: ...
Dan Hulme's user avatar
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39 votes
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Why pull up on the rollout after landing, after the nose wheel is down?

It is a soft field technique but is generally applied on hard surfaces for the sake of the aircraft. There are a few main reasons; Take stress of the nose wheel and nose gear assembly which is a bit ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
38 votes

Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

are there other technical or regulatory explanations? A few points to add to the excellent answers already given: Different aircraft models vary widely insofar as getting smooth landings. If you fly ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
38 votes

How to slow down a seaplane on water?

Unless you're planning on trucking a seaplane out of where you have landed it, you usually don't need to worry about slowing down on landing since you can land in a far shorter distance than you can ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.2k
38 votes

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

I have some time in a Seminole. The issue with twins that causes most of the difficulty is the speed brake effect of two propellers when you pull the power off and they go to full fine pitch. It's ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
35 votes

Can a Boeing 737-800 make a smooth landing on a 7000-foot runway?

You're probably being hard on them... it was not windy or gusty as we debarked (disembarked) The conditions you feel on the ground can be very different 50 feet in the air. Even from one end of the ...
Ron Beyer's user avatar
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33 votes
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Does an F/A-18 require a lot of rudder in turns?

I used to be an avionics instructor teaching maintenance type courses for the F/A-18. I have plenty of hours flying in the simulator where I would get the students to conduct navigation flights to ...
Craig's user avatar
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32 votes
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Is 'bouncing' an airliner on landing in high winds a deliberate technique, or something always unexpected?

Bounces are bad news on airliners because you are becoming airborne again just as the lift dumpers pop out, which makes the second touchdown even more exciting and often leads to hard landing ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
31 votes
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Was the miracle on the Hudson saved exclusively by the APU?

Yes, the solution to start APU was important. The ditching procedure directs the use of maximum available slats and flaps for the final approach and touchdown (source, chapter 10.3). This is not ...
h22's user avatar
  • 12.1k
31 votes

Can you ride a storm to save fuel?

Not storms, but there is a concept called "Pressure Pattern Flying" where you plan routing to stay in favourable circulation around Highs and Lows, to the extent that deviations to follow ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
30 votes

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

This is a psychological illusion, roughly similar to the one that makes the Moon look huge when it's close to the horizon, even though you can still cover it with a fingertip at arm's length. ...
Zeiss Ikon's user avatar
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29 votes
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When approaching a stall, is the first priority to apply power or lower nose?

The instinct drilled into a pilot's head from the beginning as the primary response is "lower the nose" to lower AOA. If you learn in a glider, that's the only option, so it's easy to drill the ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
28 votes

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

will the tower likely think my aircraft has been hijacked if I taxi with the flaps down? No. For the twenty-some-odd years I owned my plane, I only taxied with the flaps down (for important ...
Peter Duniho's user avatar
  • 1,354
27 votes
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What is the difference between a forward slip and a side slip?

There is no difference aerodynamically. The only difference is in intention and presence of the wind. The airplane does not care about the ground track, all it feels is the movement through the air. ...
Martin's user avatar
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24 votes
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How to land the aircraft when the flight deck is full of smoke?

Smoke is a real challenge on an aircraft. The first course of action, other than extinguishing the source of the smoke, if possible, is to evacuate the smoke. In some aircraft windows can be opened. ...
TomMcW's user avatar
  • 28.6k
24 votes

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

Objects on the ground are negligible because the radio altimeter is not designed nor used to such high precision. There are several uses of the radio altimeter. The first one is for timing the flare ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.8k
24 votes

Can gliding your plane save fuel?

This approach of using an engine is called pulse and glide. It generally works because each engine has an optimal power setting at which it converts fuel into power most efficiently. If the most ...
h22's user avatar
  • 12.1k
22 votes
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Why don't B747s start takeoffs with full throttle?

I can't give a 747 specific answer, but generally, on some engines it's desirable to let the engines stabilize at a moderate power setting, with the N1 equalized there, before advancing them to TOGA ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
21 votes

Is a firm landing an indication of the pilot inexperience?

As it relates to large aircraft, a hard landing means something very specific, defined in EASA CS 25 ยง473 and in its FAR equivalent, which is an event in which the aircraft design parameters may have ...
Trop de Richards au dancefloor's user avatar
20 votes

Why don't B747s start takeoffs with full throttle?

Mentour Pilot talks about this in his video. The answer is Stabilization. It takes an engine several seconds to spool up from idle to TO/GA. That's long enough that the engines don't get there at ...
Harper - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

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

"Most challenging" is a matter of opinion, but if I were to pick, it is probably the 180 degree turn. The purpose of the maneuver is to turn the aircraft around and face the opposite direction. The ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.8k

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