Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exposing Some Of “The 35 Secrets Your Pilot Won't Tell You” About Landing



landing It has often been said in aviation circles that a landing is nothing more than a controlled crash and to a certain extent that is true.

Although passengers might disagree, most pilots consider a good landing one that does not require any paperwork to be filled out.




Picture 029 Now a great landing that is a horse of a different color. It is one where passengers are hardly aware that the airplane is on the ground.








Picture 044Landing at Princess Juliana International Airport, St Maarten



A smooth (great landing) can happen at any airport with the right conditions and piloting skills despite the following secret your pilot won't tell you. 

“At some airports with really short runways, you’re not going to have a smooth landing no matter how good we are: John Wayne Airport; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Chicago Midway; and Reagan National.”

Although these airports can present pilots with some unique challenges I have experienced some smooth and not so smooth landings at most of them.


VSI There are several factors that go into a smooth landing but the basic concept is that the aircraft must have a near zero rate of descent when it contacts the runway.

This is the goal of every pilot if he or she wants to make a smooth landing. With a shorter runway there is not much room (landing area) for finesse therefore the flight path to the touchdown area  must be adjusted accordingly.





Picture 1571 Weather conditions like wind, rain or snow can affect a pilot's ability to make this happen as the airplane transitions from a descent to a landing.

Experience and skills allow some pilots to compensate for these conditions better than others. However, I am sure even the likes of Chuck Yeager has had a few notable landings every now and then.






Emirates Air Landing Emirates Air Landing


How can you tell the smoothness of a landing if you are not a passenger?

Just watch for the amount of smoke produced when the main wheels touch down. If your eyes start burning then you can bet a few passengers on board are going to need to see a chiropractor.



catch2 However, you can rest assured it was not the airplane or certainly not the pilot's fault, it was the asp-fault!






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