Ryanair's "Bad" Landings - Explanation


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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 ;)

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“Any landing you walk away from is a good landing” - my instructor 😂

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Haha yep! That is pretty much my entire point lol

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Ah, one of the best quotes of all time, imo

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And if the plane is still able to fly, then it is an exvellent landing!

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Is it because they don’t flare as much to avoid a tail strike?

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And as I have stated previously, Boieng recommends firm landindings as opposed to soft as the way that the gear tilt is designed a soft landing can very well damage the gear. Rynair has had 0 crashes. That’s pretty good yes?

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I think the seats Ryan Air uses has some effect as well.

Hopefully people see this. I’m tired of seeing the jokes about Ryanair from people trying to fit in and be cool. It’s not cool. It’s how they do their business. “A soft landing is not always a safe landing.”

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Yeah that’s exactly why I made this. It’s a joke shared by people who can’t fly very well and think it is funny to play it off. Next time someone overruns the runway, should I call it a Skylease landing? Exactly

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I totally agree with you on that one I never really hated Ryanair or thought they were a bad airline but a lot of avgeeks bash them a lot which gives them a bad reputation. Also you better hope Swiss001 doesn’t see this post 😂😂

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Maybe I am hoping he sees it ;)

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Excellent explanation! Too many people that arent pilots dont know what a “good/average landing is”. Especially here on the IFC everyone thinks that the average landing is around -100fpm when talking about VS (G force is more important for safety) but the data says the average landing (aka a good landing) is around -300fpm. Too often I see people on IF missing the touchdown zone and landing long because they are looking for that -100 landing every time. A pilot isnt aiming to put itdown as softly as possible. A pilit looks to get the aircraft on the ground within the margin where no check will need to be on the aircraft because of the force exerted. That means upwards to 1.5G is acceptable for landing where the aircraft doesnt need to be checked. Too many critics and not enough experts or well researched critics out there. Good work @Cameron_Stone

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Yeah definitely. I’ve seen some landings, usually from newer pilots but some from more experienced, where they float down the entire runway, butter the main gear, then slam the brakes to stop in time. Some people even put it in videos where they touchdown 3/4 of the way down the runway but still expect praise from everyone. Obviously I fly more professionally than a lot of people, so not everything needs to be done 100% right, but people need to understand why things are the way they are (as in runway paint/markers in this case). I am admittedly guilty of a few floats for smoothness, but usually I will get it down within the markers, and if I don’t I’ll go around and try it again.

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“a soft landing is not always a safe landing” how come?

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A lot of runway overruns are caused by pilots trying to touch down soft, and as a result, sure, they touch down soft, but they have landed too late and now they are off the end of the runway.

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The planes that Ryanair flies does not have double or triple bogey gear. Also, how would a smooth landing do any damage to the actuating mechanism…

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As @WestJet737767 stated, pilots can overdo it trying to put it down softly. The main problem is traction though. A soft landing can mean the wheels don’t stick, especially in wet weather. This can cause runway excursions/overruns, which is obviously something nobody wants.

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Very cool thread! Interesting to get to learn some physics of the plane and how that affects this company!

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Interesting! I knew that they did this in bad weather / on wet runways, but I didn’t realize they might intentionally do this during calm conditions as well.

@Swiss you have some explaining to do… haha

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