Issues while approaching for landing


I am a very beginner pilot, and I have some problems while approaching for a landing.
When I put my flaps, my plane is “dropping” down :


I have this problem with all type of plane (specially Boeing and Airbus).
Can you please help me?

Kind Regards,
Captain M. :airplane:

It’s dropping down to maintain the ALT and it must be slowing down and is close to stalling so I think it’s dropping the nose to regain some speed

It happens to me all the time


Well, let me see what we have here with importance for the vertical behavior:
Autopilot ON
ALT Mode and Speed Mode engaged.
Flaps 20
0 Trim

Every aircraft has a so called COG, the center of gravity and a COL, the center of lift.


The aircraft always turns around the COG if it pitches up or down. The COG also moves along the axis due to burning fuel, but thats not an issue in IF.
In your case it seems like the lift created by the flaps (important to know and simplified: LIFT = (wing+flaps setting) x speed) is too strong. The Autopilot tries to compensate this to maintain the 3.000ft and thus reduces the Angle of attack (AOA) of the wing, meaning dropping the nose.

Try to fly the same thing, just with 10kts less and then maybe 15kts and 20kts.

And then I need to know the load?
Light, normal or heavy?

I will try to reproduce this and see where we get.

Until then, may I suggest you read my posting regarding approach speed/attitude in the tutorial section. This should help you.

In addition, please bear in mind this is a simulated aircraft, meaning we do not know how close the program comes to a real A340-600.

Happy landings



Thanks you both for your answers! Especially Clipper747PA. When I fly, my plane is never light, never heavy, always normal :-). I will try out your advices!

Thanks again!
Captain M.

Easy reason “you are going too fast for your flap settings”

Easy solution: “Slow Down!”

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Take it off autopilot until you know all the dynamics. Learn by the seat of your pants so to speak.

Try not to put the flaps down in one go, a stage at a time is the way to go. Works for me.

I took note of your advices! Thank’s again! :blush:

Hi Clipper,

Your articles as always are very thorough and helpful. I was facing similar issues while landing and thought the landing gear was the issue… :stuck_out_tongue:



I have an issue when almost at the end of approach am at 2000ft, 150 kts, flaps 30, on the AP and then I turn off the AP to manually land the plane, it nose dives sharply and to compensate the drop I end up increasing speed and have a very high speed landing at ~190kt. Please help

It happens to me too. The TRIM feature should be there to correct this, however, I dont use it. What I do to correct the Nose Dive is to quickly pause and calibrate the device right before I turn off AP. When calibrating, do it like this:

•Move device forward just a little bit (like you are descending in the game)
•Touch “Calibrate” button
•Move device back to your viewing position.
•No such step 5. Enjoy :smile:

I don’t mean to offend. As a pilot, the use of AP on takeoff and landing seems to be thwarting the whole experience. The plane needs to be balanced by the application of the ailerons, elevators rudder and throttle. By using them actively you are learning to control an airplane just as you might in the real world.

No one learns to fly with autopilot first, as knowing the proper AP settings comes from knowing how to balance the aircraft actively using the controls, not the other way around. So I recommend not using AP until you have “mastered” the use of the controls for a particular aircraft. Then, when you apply the AP, you probably won’t have the wild aircraft changes that are occurring now. And the mid-flight calibration technique? That in my opinion really defeats the purpose of using IF.

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I absolutey agree with you there

I watch some landings and it seems like most of them are just one motion. No flare what so ever. But don’t get me wrong some of us know and realize what to do.

Well, the question was on the basis - if there is a technical issue in the SIM ?.. Ofcourse, landing w/o AP is not a problem but why would a sudden drop happen like this? Am sure, a lot of us can even land on air strips w/o ILS but that doesn’t mean we won’t use the ILS where it is available.


Hi SD,

before coming to a possible solution for your problem, I need to ask you some questions:
which aircraft do you fly and whats the load?
which device do you use to run infinite flight and which AP modes are engaged, when you anticipate this behavior?

Why is this important?:
…When using a device like the ipad and while flying with the autopilot in ALT HLD Mode some of us “humans” tend to tilt the ipad a little bit forward, without noticing (happened to me a lot of times). While the AP holds the plane on the path, the device anticipates a steering command, that would lower the nose of the simulated aircraft. As soon, as you disengage the autopilot, even though you do not move the device any further, the nose will drop.

The rest of the story is just a logical consequence:

  • Increased sink rate also increases the speed.
  • Increased speed + extended flaps increases lift
  • A plane, fully configured for landing, flies in a very narrow operational envelope and does not forgive abrupt and heavy inputs easily

Any pilot will try to compensate these effects, but what is the right action?

  1. ? Fast lifting of the nose to a higher pitch to get the speed down?
    -> will get you above the glideslope
  2. ? extend the spoilers?
    -> no good in a fully configured plane, at least well out of operational standards unless your plane has a so called steep approach capability
  3. ? pull back the throttle?
    -> not bad, but do not forget to bring them up again. One does not fly an airliner in idle down the glideslope.

Well, in the end its a combination of inputs that might help:
First of all, easy on the controls! “haste makes waste”
Lift the nose gradually, but not too much, reduce thrust but do not forget about your speed.
Lower the gear if it is not already extended and
Try to stabilize the approach. You still have time.

At 1.000 ft, make the check and be honest to yourself: Were you able to stabilize your approach?
yes? -> continue
no? -> go around

In general, I sometimes recalibrate the device before i start the approach. You need to have 0ft vertical movement and leveled wings

happy landings and if I get your answers, I will refly your situation.
Do not hesitate to ask further questions


Hi Clipper,

Thanks for putting your thoughts on that… here are a couple of answers to your questions

  1. Airbus A330… load medium ( pretty much happens with all aircraft)
  2. I generally fly it on the Ipad… AP modes engaged - HDG (once locked on ILS), Ht - 3,000ft, Speed -140-150 knots, Spoiler - Armed, Landing Gear (some times down), distance: usually 6-7nm away from the airport, Flaps 20…

This has happened multiple times, so now when I hit the localizer I just use everything in the manual mode. I did notice the Ipad is much more prone to this than the iphone btw.

Btw in real time situations does the pilot use an AP similar to ours while landing (not taking into case when the whole landing is on AP mode)?


Eric I am also a pilot and you are right about learning to fly the plane before using the autopilot. I have spent several weeks doing touch and go’s with the 172, adjusting the weight and balance and using the trim. I also downloaded the Citation X and trying to hand fly it is almost impossible especially shooting an approach. What do you suggest is the best method to learn with the higher performance airpcraft?

In a nutshell, you need to apply the controls much more gradually and anticipate the movement of the large mass of these planes and their powerful engines. Get stabilized by at least 1000 above the runway and just use throttle at the end (mostly).