Note: This is different from the existing tutorial of EGLC operation which focuses more on the procedures. This is a flying guide.
London City Airport is famous for its abnormal glide slope angle of 5.5 degrees. The steep angle causes a dramatic increase of descent rate and difficulty to control. After watching some real world operations and having many attempts, I came up with some tips and tricks.
Before Approach-Things To Remember
- If you’re using IFA or anything that has GPWS callouts, DISABLE THEM. Otherwise the “glide slope” warning will annoy you throughout the approach or even cover up the altitude callouts, make it almost impossible to know when to flare.
- Check the wind condition. If the tailwind component is at or above 10kts, consider change to the other end of runway or divert.
- Follow TFR. Anything larger than A318 are not allowed, and still not recommended even not in Expert Server, as larger aircraft may risk overshooting the runway.
- APPR is not recommended. I tried using APPR and it just cannot intercept the GS properly, maybe because of the unusual angle of descent.
First, you want to set spoilers to FLIGHT instead of arming them. This helps reduce the negative pitch of the aircraft and betters handling.
Next, you need to trim the aircraft well. For A318, I use 30% trim. This reduces the stress to pull the yoke and is crucial during flare.
Follow the GS until at around 1000ft, where you should see the runway. Aim for the numbers, NOT THE BIG WHITE MARKING. Otherwise you may have a long landing.
You need to turn visual at this point. Glide slope should not be followed from here on.
A little negative pitch is expected, but not too much. Constantly adjust your speed so that you can glide to the aiming point while maintaining 0°~-1° pitch. From this pic you can see that I no longer follow the GS but visually aiming for the touchdown zone.
Due to the increased descent rate, the flare should start earlier. When hearing the “50” callout, you need to gently pull back the yoke and start your flare. This is different from normal A318 operations where you flare at around 20ft.
Touched down at around -110fpm
Upon touchdown you need to do the following:
- Reverse thrust to the maximum
- Meanwhile, use the rudder to maintain on the centerline
- After the front gear touches down, immediately set spoilers to ARMED for better braking efficiency.
Step 1 & 2
Reversers should be idle at around 60kt. Manual braking from this point. You can now choose the nearest exit and vacate the runway.
It’s really hard to fly this approach, so if you want to butter here, it’s important that you practice, practice, practice. You can utilize the “20s ago” feature in Solo mode and try finding the perfect aiming point and flare time.
Hope you find this helpful! Comment below if you have any questions!