So…I’ve seen a lot of people mentioning Ryanair when talking about bad landings. I just thought the airline deserved a bit of a defense as to why that is.
To start off, the 737 is an inherently difficult plane to land. Along with the large amount of drag from the flaps, the plane’s fuselage has been stretched quite a bit since the original 737-100 was built, meaning center of gravity and the amount of room to flare has been significantly changed. I have flown may airlines’ 737-800s, and never once has the landing felt perfectly smooth.
The main reason for Ryanair’s specific targeting is because their landings are often noticeably firmer than others. Many people blame the airline and/or their pilots for this, stating that Ryanair does not train them so they do not know what they are doing and can’t put it down smoothly. I will say they are directing the blame in the right place, but for the wrong reasons. When compared to most other airlines’ landing procedures with the 737, Ryanair probably has the safest. The pilots are trained rigorously and up to every standard they need to meet, and know exactly what they are doing every time they land a plane. Ryanair flies into many different airports in many different countries and climates, with fast turnarounds and high passenger demand. This means the pilots need to be able to land no matter what the weather or runway condition/length. So, Ryanair trains their pilots for so-called “positive landings”, slightly more firm than most others, but by far the safest. By getting the plane on the ground in an efficient manner, they are ensuring the safety of the flight and reducing the runway and brakes needed to stop. The planes are perfectly made to take it, and it is actually following Boeing’s SOP when it states that “a soft landing is not always a safe landing” (yes they actually write that in there).
I hope this shed some light into what has become a meme in the community (both IFC and aviation in general), and next time someone talks about a Ryanair landing, maybe you can let them know how lucky those passengers were to be on one of the world’s safest 737 landings ;)