Flaring and greased landings

All, i have been doing countless experiments on landing and trying to find a consistent process to land well and with great flare. I have watched many youtube videos and read many different threads on the community. I will try and summarize my findings.

  1. One interesting thing I found on a youtube video is that lift increases greatly on the aircraft when you get about one wingspan from the ground. This means your rate of decent will automatically slow as get closer and closer to landing. If you do not take this into account and flare too soon, you will just hover at 20 or 30’ until your plane stalls and you fall to the ground at greater than 400FPM. So… watch how your pitch changes and descent slows as you get closer to the ground.

  2. TRIM DOES NOTHING (in my opinion) to VS. All trim is doing for you is changing how much you need to tilt your pad/device as you land. I have done 0-50 and saw really no advantage to butterieness (if that is a word).

  3. All aircraft need different flare to reduce VS. I have found the heavies need about 5-7 degrees, while A320-737s need almost none. The ground lift effect does it all.

  4. Airspeed is key. I stay at right about VREF or VREF+5. VREF is calculated by current load and wind. There are a few sites that do this. Check the third party category to find them. But if you are too fast, when you flare, you will fly not fall. So don’t be going too fast. Going below Vref is just a recipe for disaster. You will just start falling (stalling) out of the sky.

  5. Stay on glide slope. Too steep you will come in with too much VS. Too shallow you may slow to a stall.

  6. Turn off spoilers. I find these drop the nose right away after rear wheels touch down.

  7. This is the toughest one. I have found you need nerves of steel to land well. All the real life videos i have watched from A380s to 737s, flares don’t start until 15’-20’. This means as you begin to hear 50, 40, 30… wait for it, wait for it… 20… then start to flare. I have found this daunting, because at 50’ (runway threshold if you are doing it right) i am still flying at >700VS and want to pull up. BUT if you wait to about 20’ to flare, at about 3’ you are at a VS of around 10! But i tell yah, it is so hard not to start flaring at around 40 or 30. Just think about the times you did and just starting flying above the runway at 10-20’. This means if you would have waited to flare you would have had a perfect landing.

Anyways, if you have reached to this part of my message, thank you. I just wanted to share my findings with the community.

Data was collected by doing numerous landings (>100) with multiple aircraft while waiting for my 3 year old to fall asleep.

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This is true for most airliners, especially when they come in at the appropriate approach speed. Some of the older IF models don’t have ground effect physics (increased lift within a wingspan of the ground) so that makes it a little more difficult for those models.

The CRJ family is an enigma because it’s approach angle is actually level if not nose DOWN at its appropriate approach speeds so they do need to be flared at 100 ft (200) and 50 ft (700/900). I fly the 200 irl so I can’t say for sure on the 700/900 but that’s what we’ve been trained

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Many true points in there, thanks! I don’t agree with Nr. 6 though.
And while the trim doesn’t do anything for the vertical speed it can really help to have an easier and smoother approach.

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Agreed. The reason your nose is dropping after touchdown is because you most likely do what most airline pilots do even irl which is release the back pressure or even push down upon touchdown. Or if using autoland, the brakes do activate on landing which doesn’t help. Always try to land manually unless the weather visibility doesn’t allow for it (CAT III)

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Nope. My average landing without trim is like -230 but with trim is -100.

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I haven’t really had that issue i have a 3’ to 5’ flare in these aircraft perhaps you should try landing at slower speeds i find 137kts on touchdown is perfect when using the A320s and the 737s

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MaxSez… @Spartandefense.

Interesting experiment. Suggest you Repeat this experiment by utilizing the proper landing procedure/ technique which is found in the FAA Airplane Flying Handbook & YouTube presentations among other formal Flt training materials,

This tried and true procedure/ technique is not included in yr commentary.

The missing element is know by many name but in common Aviation usage it know as a “Round Out” which alway proceeds the “Flair”.

For tech accuracy suggest a revision to yr experiment.

MaxSez

(Butter is an IF construct. “Grease” a Landing is an
Accolade recognized worldwide by those who dare consort with Eagles 🦅 “)

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The trim tab is used to " trim ", or counteract the aerodynamic force on, the control surface and thus stabilise the aircraft in the axis of rotation associated with the primary control. Trim tabs can be either flight adjustable or fixed.

Source: skybrary.aero

So in English it pretty much means it’s easier for the aircraft to maintain a flight as it is countering the airs force on the control surfaces, so easier, and safer landings

This is not done in real life. Spoilers help break the airflow over the wings causing you to slow down easier. However, this doesn’t not make the nose slam into the ground. If you want to keep the nose up then upon landing, give the plane some back pressure and pull up a bit. The spoilers will allow you to stay on the ground and keep your gear up until your speed is slow enough that it will automatically drop.

Trim while it will have no affect on the real touchdown itself, it will help your angle of attack and help ease the pressure (and weight) as you come in to land. This will also lead to an easier flare. Of course, it is less noticeable on a device as it is in real life but I can definitely still feel the difference. I usually land with about 20-30% positive trim.

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Love the discussion! Thank you for responding.

700/900 are probably different because they land much lower right? Don’t you guys land at 160 or something?

Actually, spoilers in IF come up too fast, so maybe that does actually help.

That sounds about right. In IF I lawn dart but in my PC sim I usually do a bit of a 3sec floater once I reach 20’ then flare somewhere between 20’-10’ and get some buttery landings every time.

interesting… Sounds like differing physics between the sims.

so touch down and pull back more?

Yeah the physics are quite a bit different between the two. Plus you also have to consider that on PC most people fly with a yoke giving them a bit more control.

160 is way too fast. At max landing weight, the Vref for the 200 and the 900 is 142 KIAS. We always approach at ref + 5 so that would be 147 KIAS. 700 is lower since it’s in approach category C

Oh lol I just know you guys land faster than bigger CRJs cuz no leading edge flaps or something.

Anyways I’ve watched a CRJ2 land next to the runway once and I’m pretty sure it was noticably faster than a A320

That point number 7 is so true… It is sooo hard to resist that urge to start your flare by the “30” call-out. Perhaps it’s a fear of a ‘nose-dive’ landing haha. Great article though. Please continue sharing your future experiments.

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