How to use reverse thrust correctly

I was watching some landing clips on youtube and some pilots would use the reverse thrust when the back landing gear touched the runway and others used reverse thrust when all the wheels were on the ground so which method is right

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I normale do it 1sec after touchdown and at longer runway I use less and shorter more reverse.

Ps there are loads of more topics just Search it and you wil get your answer.

Depends on many factors, such as the configuration of the aircraft and company SOP’s. You could look up these materials and make a judgement call based on the data.

For example, in the KC10, I use reversers as soon as the mains hit, but I also purposely keep my nose wheel off the ground (back pressure on the yoke) to act as an aerodynamic brake, putting less “wear” on the engines. This is more possible in the DC/KC/MD models, as they are more back heavy than other planes.


What Dubya is talking about (keeping the nose up) is aerodynamic braking. Something I also do and want to teach my pilots in GLVA to save on wear and tear. If I do use reversers I almost never go 100 percent unless I’m positive I’m not going to stop in time.

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I always use reverse thrust when all of the wheels touch the ground (unless it’s a short runway) however one thing that drives me crazy is when IF pilots use full reverse thrust every landing, in real life pilots don’t use reverse thrust all the time.


Yep as mentioned, it all depends, and usually I do what’s most comfortable for me, unless the runway’s shorter or I’m heavy, then the sooner the better. And regarding reverse thrust, two more things I do to keep it realistic:

  • I never use 100% reverse thrust; it’s the same as 100% forward thrust, the N1 goes above 100%. Usually between 75% and 85% reverse thrust.
  • while it’s true not to use reverse thrust below 60 knots, pilots still do leave the reverse thrust open below 60 sometimes, but the engine is idle. So the engine isn’t in danger of blowing debris forward and then sucking it back in, but whatever little thrust it makes at idle will still contribute to braking.
    So after 60 knots, I’ll continue reverse thrust at 5-10% until 40ish knots.

Short runway -back wheels
Good size runway- either back wheels or all wheels

reminder Don’t forget use reverse thrust until 60kts🙂


I use 50% reverse thrust 1 sec after touchdown (the shorter the runway, the more RT) and I apply brakes once reached 60kts.


The C-17 can use reverse thrusters in flight for steep appraches … Juuust … not in IF

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Just want to add to the usefulness of this thread and correct this bit. Reverse thrust is seldom used in the Q400 and most operators forbid it under normal operation. Idle (called DISC on the Dash 8) provides a slight amount of reverse action which is sufficient for landings and bringing the aircraft to a stop while taxiing.

Fun tip: If you see some Dashes while plane spotting or on videos, pay close attention to them as they stop and start moving during taxi. It may be noticeable that they roll backwards a tiny bit before and after the parking brake is set.

I’m sorry, Thank you

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I use it when I’m a few seconds on the ground and when the spoilers are up. I never use them immediately when I touchdown because that’s unrealistic. I also never use them 100% because in real life it can damage the engines. Most of the time I won’t use it more than 70 - 80%

This can vary from plane to plane, airline to airline (sop), pilot to pilot, and environment (weather, runway length, noise abatement procedures etc.)
When I’m on a long runway I normally wait a few seconds apply idle reverse(±1%) and if the runway is short or the plane is heavy/fast I’ll go up to 60%

I wait until all of my wheels are down and then apply around 65% thrust on it

Most planes don’t require all wheels to be on the ground, the only planes that I know that require all wheels to be on the ground are DC-9s,MD-80s and 717 since the reverse thrust buckets can strike the runway

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