Help with flaps

I have been noticing as I am landing that if I skip a few flap settings, my plane starts and keeps a nose dive without disrupting my descent. Does anyone know a way to stop this from happening?

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First of all, you need to know why this happens. Some physics for starters:

After a surface area is expanded, the drag created expands and increases at the same time. Because of the flaps, it forces air to bounce off and go underneath the airfoil. This is what causes drag. Drag produces lift, so naturally your aircraft would want to increase its pitch.

Now when we extend the flaps say from 1+F to 3 (Airbus) that means that we’ve extended a large surface area. Because you’re descending, the flaps will want to then increase the positive pitch due to drag. Because of the positive pitch that the drag is creating, the Aircraft itself then counteracts the flaps’ drag by increasing the V/S even more. This is why an almost nose-dive happens.

In order to decrease the effects of this, you should;

  • Decrease Speed
  • Decrease vertical speed
  • Hold at an altitude until flaps are retracted

The first 2 are the most ideal. It’s important to always be monitoring your pitch and speed, or else it could leave to disaster.

Hope this wasn’t too complicated. Just ask if you’re stuck!

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Adding on to @AlphaSeven’s incredible post, always remember to add flaps in stages don’t go from 0 flaps all the way to 45 degrees, add in stages and hold at an altitude while it’s happening like what Bravo said.

Hope this helps as well! 😝

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This isn’t necessary at all, but the other points mentioned by @AlphaSeven and @Sashaz55 are very important for flap usage.

Also keep an eye on the maximum flap deployment speeds (e.g. found for the A320 on a sticker in the center console). No worries though as you will develop a feeling for when to deploy the flaps over the time.

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I have seen it happening with a very steep decent profile, so I just wanted to put it up there. 😉

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