How much reverse thrust should I use?

When landing, how much thrust of reverse thrust do I use? If i’m landing at an airport with a shorter runway, should I use more reverse thrust?

I use about 75% N1. Anything more in my opinion is over powered.

but if I’m landing at Innsbruck which has a shorter runway, should I use more reverse thrust?

I use around 70% - 80% N1

75%. I’ve gone in to LOWI with n A330, and if you over run the runway, you’ve done the approach wrong.

If u are landing on a shorter RWY then ofc u need to use more reverse thrust some are saying 70 some are saying 80% take that info and u make ur Decision😁

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@Philippe_Gilbert I would say for long runways like EGLL, KLAX, KSFO that are around 3,350 plus meters you should use about 70% reverse thrust. Shorter runways like Instrubuk, London City; you should use 80% reverse thrust

I just don’t use reverse thrust. Unless I know the runway is short enough to the point where I need to use it, I just stick with the rudder brakes and the spoilers. I know in the real world it’s used pretty commonly, but it’s loud for the passengers and uses fuel, compared to the brakes which are quite the opposite. So to sum it up,
I don’t use reserves thrust unless it’s in the best interest of the safety of the aircraft and the passengers on board.

It depends at which taxiway you want to exit the runway at. If the aiming taxiway is closer to the threshold, you should use about 80%.

This is why there is light, medium, and full braking.

@Philippe_Gilbert However, this all depends on where you land. The figures I gave you are if you touch down in the vicinity of the landing zone, and the Papi lights are 2 red 2 white. If you touch down later than the landing zone ( Papi is all white) by a good amount you either have to make the decision to go around or apply 90-100% reverse thrust depending on the runway length. For EGLL, KLAX, KSFO, just apply a more reverse thrust. If its Instrubuk, go around. If you land way before ( all red) just apply less reverse thrust like 60% to 70% depending on runway length, or go around if you are too low.

  • Justin Duval

@Philippe_Gilbert, @AlphaSeven for braking use 70-80% for a long runway, and 80-95% for a short runway. All relative to the aircraft too. An E170 might be able to land on a shorter runway while a A350 can’t.

@Jack_Q you should always use reverse thrust, in the passenger’s interest they would want that too because it decreases your margin of error such as overrunning a runway, especially when it is wet. @Philippe_Gilbert REMEMBER DON’T USE REVERSE THRUST BELOW 65knts.

About 50-60% in normal situations. Using the 757, 747, and Dash-8 with their crazy powerful engines, I go closer to 50%. If the runway is shorter than normal (under 8,000 feet,) or I’m using a massive aircraft, I bump it up to 70%

But sometimes when I’m landing a tiny plane at a super long runway for example, E170 at JFK runway 22R, I sometimes omit reverse thrust and slow down using spoilers. Believe it or not, this is sometimes a procedure followed in real life to preserve the engine’s service life. But rarely.


To make it as realistically as possible, I use just enough so it goes to taxi speed before the final taxiway. The braking to me seems overpowered.


IRL there is a thing called “Idle reverse“ on the Airbus (320 family at least), which is used on most runways.

You could use only a very low reverse number (around 20-50% and should be fine). On longer runways more reverse thrust is needed/used (or if you don’t want to have too hot brakes with a heavy aircraft), from what I heard.

I use 70-90% N1 with reverse thrust. Once I get to 70 knots GS, I go to idle reverse, then I turn it off at 60 kts GS.


All the comments made me realize I’ve been doing it all wrong. I’ve been using 93-98% N1 for all my landings.


Same here, I just drag the throttle ALL the way down lol

Remember that using reverse thrust also has to do with where you plan to exit the runway.
If landing at around 145GS one needs to plan which taxiway to exit the runway on. Makes no sense to use all the runway on at JFK (for example) only to exit at the very end. It will interfere with landing traffic behind. Most airports cater to an aircraft being on the runway for around 60-90 seconds before the next arrival. So that should also be considered when using reverse thrust.

One other thing that wasn’t mentioned was the weight of the aircraft upon landing. The weight has a lot to do with the deceleration and exit point as well. Sometimes I’ll use more than 80% N1 reverse thrust to meet the requirements of my exit point. Now I’m not saying come to a dead stop but if an airport has 3 exits after the half way mark I usually aim for the second exit if in a Heavy and the first exit if in a lighter aircraft.

Runway length, aircraft type, aircraft weight, weather conditions, landing speed, airport altitude, arriving traffic all play a part in how much reverse thrust is used after touch down.

Hope it helps.

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Usually I apply 10- 40% reverse and 10-20 % brakes via rudder control.