Approach speed

Good evening colleagues. Just a minor issue here. Why does my plane tilt upwards when I reduce speed to 180 knots on approach?
I’ve tried adjusting weight, flaps and all but it still remains the same.

What is your aircraft type

It happens with all aircrafts

Hi! What aircraft are you using, what flaps setting, trim, and what is your AGL altitude when this issue occurs?

I can help more if the aircraft type is A359 or the B777 or F16.

Generally speaking, if your aircraft weight is above MLW then your approach speed needs to be higher. The altitude of the airport does matter as well. The higher up the airport AMSL, the higher your approach speed has to be.

Coming from someone who has only flown the 359 and 777(used to) frequently, it doesn’t make sense to me the landing speed being that high unless the airport is a couple of thousand feet AMSL.

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If your flying on autopilot,
As you reduce speed the reduce the amount of lift generated on the wings, to maintain your intended path increasing the angle of attack (in this case pitching up) will be the result. There would come a point at the the critical angle when the wing stalled.


Aircraft is mostly the 737,
Flaps around 5-10
Altitude at 3000ft
Trim at 0

@Thomas_Bennett gave you the correct answer. It happens regardless of weight or elevation.

The best way to combat this nose-up attitude is to lower your flaps. These increase drag and lift, allowing you to fly at a slower speed than without losing altitude.

Hope this helps!


For the 737 I’ve used the following flap configurations and I’ve been fine.

220kt: 5 degrees

190kt: 15 degrees

Final approach speed roughly 145 kt (flaps 40)

Also, the most stable trim setting I’ve found is 25%.


I am using -13% or -14%, it works fine for me

Maybe it’s just me, but the nose of the plane pitches upwards immediately I lower the flaps. Plane is always stable before that.
And is it necessary to apply trim for landing?

That occurs because the wings are generating more lift as you lower the flaps, causing the aircraft nose to pitch up before the autopilot corrects for it. Also, as the aircraft slows down for landing, overall lift decreases, forcing you to put more back pressure on the yoke to keep the aircraft level. Adjusting the trim can help alleviate this problem so that if you have to re-calibrate, you don’t just fall out of the sky. 😉

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Not sure about the B737 since I do not fly the narrowbodies. However, as a general rule of thumb for me is if the aircraft starts to pitch up above 2.5 degrees start to lower some more flaps.

Yes, @Thomas_Bennett has given you the answer. If you’d like some reference speeds you can either experiment with different weights or just get someone to post some speeds for you. I am honestly not sure.

I do not bother applying the trim. I just let it be for whatever phase of flight it is. You can say that it isn’t realistic but let’s be honest, I’d prefer letting be the way it is unless there is an issue for me. I’d be honest I am also just too damn lazy :)

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