Touchdown zone

when someone refers to the touchdown zone what markings are they exactly referring to? I thought the touchdown zone, where your wheels are supposed to touch down, was the thickest rectangular box on the runway but watching spotting videos I see almost no airplane touching down there it is almost always after that point.

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It depends on the size of the runway and the country you’re in. Generally speaking, on a runway long enough for a jet, the touchdown zone will be around 1,000 feet passed the end (beginning depending on how you look at it) of the threshold, and the touchdown zone markers occur every 500 feet.





for some humour? :)


so I assume after the touchdown zone if you are not on the ground safe bet is to go around, where would that ending point be?

Of course pilots aren’t the most precise when landing on the exact point of the touchdown zone unless your Sully. But you’ll see some nice pilots pull off a touchdown zone landing. The touchdown zone of the runway usually is the first quarter of the runway.

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It would depend on the aircraft and how much stopping distance is needed. If I had to take a guess, I would say it would be ≈ 1/2 of the required stopping distance before a go-around would be initiated.

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Good question - I wonder this myself… At what point should I decide to terminate the attempted landing and go around? (When “hovering”, etc…)

Rivers don’t have markings, silly goose…

Well yes, every landing won’t be perfect (enter Ryanair), but the touchdown zone is indeed there…well…to land in (for 1 landing, not 6 points). I’d aim for it every time, unless there isn’t one (smaller airports, smaller runways), or if you need a bit more runway.


Usually, it’s once the markings on the runway come to an end. It rarely happens unless you float too much.

The touchdown zone markings refer to the set of line parallel to the center-line of the runway. Check out the screenshot below.


The Best place to land is the aiming point making. If you land past that but within touchdown zone, it is a long landing, anything before is short. Most of the time anything too long or short should conduct a go-around.

so what is considered the end of the touchdown zone?

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Found this online… perhaps after the last set of “threshold markings”

I normally use the second or third pair of lines after the touchdown zone as a reminder to G/A if I am floating too much!

@tyleraviator99 - check out the article I got that screenshot from, I just read the whole thing and learned quite a bit… so thanks for asking this question! :)

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So, this is a very bad picture, but was the only diagram I found.


Notice how the runway has the centerline the whole length? Well for 75% of the runway, there are additional lines. You see white lines thick and thin on the left and right side of the centerline. Notice how under the word “runway” there are no other lines besides the centerline? That is what a normal section of runway is. Those lines on the left and right sides show the “touchdown” zone. Each one represents how much of the runway is left. I would go around after one set of lines after the really thick white ones (Number 8 on the diagram) As that is the optimal touch down zone.


So the red circle those markings?

Yep, you should land no longer then those 2 small lines. The 2 thick ones is your ideal landing spot

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Actually the two thickest ones are the ‘aim point,’ sometimes called the 1000-foot markers. The aim point coincides with one of the pairs of stripes drawn after it. That appropriate stripe-pair is the touchdown zone.
If you’re nerdy like I am, and interested in a little math behind the aim point vs the touchdown zone, check this out:

I won’t land in Touchdown zone because I want butter landing

Hello, if I can clarify, touchdown zone is theses two larger white marks :

By the way @Fung_Sum-sum there’re so many ways to butter there, I used to often do. Just anticipate theses white marks and you are good.