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  1. #1
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    Default Flying commercial jets, some questions-- oh, and it's HR.

    Friends, from the back of a plane, I think flying it must feel just like riding a good dressage test.

    So, pilots, I have some questions:

    1) I appreciate a landing that "steps forward into the lower gait." You know what I mean, a plane that just steps onto the ground with plenty of hind-end engagement. Do you guys care about a great landing, too?

    2) Do individual planes have feels the way horses do? Do the commercial jets, flown by everyone and their dog, feel like school horses?

    3) Do y'all like it when people applaud a nice landing? I only saw this once on a flight to Germany and I thought it was civilized in a techno kind of way.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  2. #2
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    Well, my dad retired from the airlines, and I can tell you he took great pride in smooth landings. He also liked to arrive at the gate early (destination), even if the flight was late departing, (so he would make up time while enroute).

    My dad never mentioned individual planes, but types...He didn't like DC-9's but liked 727's, then later 757/767. The only thing he didn't like about the 757/767 is that it was so computerized he said it didn't feel leke you were actually FLYING it.

    The pilots I knew, LOVED that the passengers would applaud. Because they took pride in what they do, and the applause was saying "well done". Most pilots are consummate professionals who truly LOVE to fly.



  3. #3
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    We like the kind of landing where you can't tell the wheels have touched the ground. Of course, the old saying among pilot types is any landing you walk away from is a good one.

    Yes, different types airplanes have different handling qualities. My only flying of big airplanes was the B727 and the B747. The B727 was like a cutting/reining horse...very manuverable and responsive and able to make a sliding stop. From
    250K airspeed clean a few miles from the airport to fully configured for landing and at approach speed by the inner marker. The B747 was more like a large warmblood/draft horse....had to plan the transitions a lot earlier and manage the energy better. And be prepared to use a lot more leg in the event of an engine failure.

    Applause is always appreciated although I don't know if the crew can hear it and
    are pretty busy slowing the airplane, exiting the runway, taxiing, getting flaps up, etc. and communicating with ground control. However, a thumbs up by passengers when deplaning or a comment goes a long way.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  4. #4
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    Default

    Nice insight!

    On my last flight, I asked the flight attendant up front if the cockpit had enough drink holders. I wouldn't buy a car without a drink holder, let alone a plane.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  5. #5
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    Yes, cockpits have drink holders....don't want to be spilling liquids on that electronic gear. They may even still have ashtrays....the no smoking stuff doesn't apply to the cockpits although company policies may not permit it.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  6. #6
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    I don't usually applaud smooth landings in pristine conditions but I do appreciate good landing when the conditions are tough.

    Landed at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Major cross wind in a 737. I kept seeing the plane go sideways with the big gusts. I was thinking the pilot was coming in hot but he stuck that landing with no bounce (suspect he was a Navy pilot with carrier experience). That was applause worthy.



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasqueMom View Post
    We like the kind of landing where you can't tell the wheels have touched the ground. Of course, the old saying among pilot types is any landing you walk away from is a good one.
    And even better if you can use the plane again.

    I never came anywhere close to flying anything commercial, but have lots of hours in smaller planes. There was a huge difference between different models. We had a Beech Bonanza that was quite a trick to fly, quite "athletic" but not as stable as say, the Cessna 150 I learned in. (The Bonanza is called the doctor killer because it's a popular choice among that set, and has a habit of getting away from hobbyist pilots, with bad results.) I got into tail draggers for a while and that was an entirely different type of flying - open cockpit and all. Lots of fun, more like trail riding I would say, as we could land almost anywhere.

    Best of all was a Mooney M20, small, maneuverable and fast as h*ll. Like a racehorse
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BasqueMom View Post
    The B747 was more like a large warmblood/draft horse....had to plan the transitions a lot earlier and manage the energy better. And be prepared to use a lot more leg in the event of an engine failure.
    Which leads me to another question. In movies, cockpit shots of dying planes falling out of the sky shows some poor pilot physically wrestling with the stick.

    I don't get it. Isn't all that power assisted in the way that trucks have power steering? I can't imagine creating controls for a machine that large that weren't powered.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Which leads me to another question. In movies, cockpit shots of dying planes falling out of the sky shows some poor pilot physically wrestling with the stick.

    I don't get it. Isn't all that power assisted in the way that trucks have power steering? I can't imagine creating controls for a machine that large that weren't powered.
    Depends on the type. If the hydraulics fail on certain types of aircraft, it's like having your power steering fail in a car.
    look up the Sioux City crash, and you can see an example of pilots struggling to control a plane that according to aviation experts was uncontrollable. They tried to reenact the scenario in the simulator and none of the simulator pilots were able to control the aircraft the way the Sioux city pilots did.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post
    Landed at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Major cross wind in a 737. I kept seeing the plane go sideways with the big gusts. I was thinking the pilot was coming in hot but he stuck that landing with no bounce (suspect he was a Navy pilot with carrier experience). That was applause worthy.
    Something similar happened in a dinky little commuter POS I was in on one leg of my trip. The a$$ of the plane is sliding sideways all over.

    Thinking like a rider, I wonder why the pilot doesn't care that the hind end of his plane is squirrelly. Is he just settling for having control of the nose? What kind of hand riding crap is that if he expects to have the hind legs of the plane step onto the ground first and in a straight line? Of course, maybe 1,000 feet up (or where ever, or maybe a reasonable "three strides out") from the landing, the plane straightens out.

    Sometimes I think that flying small planes must be like riding green horses. You don't expect the perfection you'd get from a schoolmaster. You *do* expect basic go, whoa and steering that will keep you safe, but other than that, you don't nitpick the plane to death.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Nice insight!

    On my last flight, I asked the flight attendant up front if the cockpit had enough drink holders. I wouldn't buy a car without a drink holder, let alone a plane.
    I never think horses have enough cup holders. I'm constantly adding more on and never understand why dressagies don't put them on their models.

    jetsmom, sounds like our dads have a lot of planes in common

    My experience is almost all with schoolies and they are definitely less sensitive. They lack impulsion, yet are stubborn about being stalled as well. Each one has its own quirks.

    Of course a good x-wind approach is like a nice haunches-in and the plane must be travelling "through." While staying light on the forehand, at "A" the plane will travel straight for the minimum distance to perform the movement correctly, transition down from back to front but without lingering in the transition as with the lower level "normal landing." My tests usually involved halting before X (or getting laughed at) and always, always remembering to salute the judge's box.
    An auto-save saved my post.

    I might be a cylon



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    look up the Sioux City crash, and you can see an example of pilots struggling to control a plane that according to aviation experts was uncontrollable.
    Actually, the DC-10 was all hydraulic, so there was no struggling at all, the wheel was just dead with no feedback at all.

    The 737 is about the only mainstream jet that has hydraulic controls with cable backup. Without the hydraulics, it is one heavy SOB. With the hydraulics, it can be flown with fingertips.

    The MD-80 (DC-9) is mostly flown by cables and has some hydraulic assist. The controls are moved by small tabs so the control forces are manageable.

    Most new airliners are fly by wire and there is no connection between the wheel and the control surfaces. The Airbus jets have no feel or feedback whatsoever.

    Boeing got it right on the 757, that is one sweet machine. Barrel racer and warmblood all in one.

    Absolutely flying has a feel to it, and every machine is different. Even identical jets are all slightly different. Some learn to fly by numbers and routine, others can do it by feel. Just like feeling foot falls and the horses balance, the machine can be felt too. Knowing what happens before what happens is part of the deal, but at the end of the day, it comes down to timing feel and balance.

    Yes, a big crosswind landing is a bit like shoulder in, but once you straighten out you start to drift with the wind, so the upwind wing needs to be lowered to stay on the centerline. One must not only be aligned with the runway, but also traveling down the center of it. A 30+ knot crosswind landing in gusty conditions can be a real challenge. We can be traveling 250 feet per second at touchdown so there is not a lot of room for error. Stopping margins can be pretty slim under certain conditions and even an extra 3 or 4 seconds of float can put you very close to the far end of the runway.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by airhorse View Post
    Actually, the DC-10 was all hydraulic, so there was no struggling at all, the wheel was just dead with no feedback at all.

    The 737 is about the only mainstream jet that has hydraulic controls with cable backup. Without the hydraulics, it is one heavy SOB. With the hydraulics, it can be flown with fingertips.

    The MD-80 (DC-9) is mostly flown by cables and has some hydraulic assist. The controls are moved by small tabs so the control forces are manageable.

    Most new airliners are fly by wire and there is no connection between the wheel and the control surfaces. The Airbus jets have no feel or feedback whatsoever.

    Boeing got it right on the 757, that is one sweet machine. Barrel racer and warmblood all in one.

    Absolutely flying has a feel to it, and every machine is different. Even identical jets are all slightly different. Some learn to fly by numbers and routine, others can do it by feel. Just like feeling foot falls and the horses balance, the machine can be felt too. Knowing what happens before what happens is part of the deal, but at the end of the day, it comes down to timing feel and balance.

    Yes, a big crosswind landing is a bit like shoulder in, but once you straighten out you start to drift with the wind, so the upwind wing needs to be lowered to stay on the centerline. One must not only be aligned with the runway, but also traveling down the center of it. A 30+ knot crosswind landing in gusty conditions can be a real challenge. We can be traveling 250 feet per second at touchdown so there is not a lot of room for error.
    The Sioux City crash was amazing...if I remember correctly they only had engine speed to control direction. For those unfamiliar with it, it's very interesting, especially the pilots verbal communications with the controllers..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Airlines_Flight_232 . If I recall, michael Matz was on the flight, and helped rescue some children that were trapped onboard after the crash.
    When I was in the AF I got a chance to go up in a T 38 on a dog fight training flight. What a blast! Kind of like the difference between a cutting horse and a western pleasure horse, if you were comparing it to a commercial airliner.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    Nice insight!

    On my last flight, I asked the flight attendant up front if the cockpit had enough drink holders. I wouldn't buy a car without a drink holder, let alone a plane.

    Yes, but they are bad, and no heated seats....



  15. #15
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    Use to fly old B727 freighters....we were lucky to have cockpit heat and not much of that...muchless heated seats.
    Julie
    www.centaurfencing.com
    Safer, Stronger, Lasts Longer!
    Godspeed BARBARO--Run fast and free!



  16. #16
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    My dad was a corporate pilot for years. One of his marks of a good landing is "putting it down right on the [runway] numbers." Naturally I equate it to getting a "9" on my centerline/halt/salute.
    -my life-
    Translation
    fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
    skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by airhorse View Post
    Most new airliners are fly by wire and there is no connection between the wheel and the control surfaces. The Airbus jets have no feel or feedback whatsoever.

    ...
    Yes, a big crosswind landing is a bit like shoulder in, but once you straighten out you start to drift with the wind, so the upwind wing needs to be lowered to stay on the centerline. One must not only be aligned with the runway, but also traveling down the center of it. A 30+ knot crosswind landing in gusty conditions can be a real challenge. We can be traveling 250 feet per second at touchdown so there is not a lot of room for error. Stopping margins can be pretty slim under certain conditions and even an extra 3 or 4 seconds of float can put you very close to the far end of the runway.
    So you mean that wires takes out the felt relationship between the controls in the cockpit and what you are doing to flaps on wings and whatnot? You can't learn that "fanny feel" 1:1 correlation?

    And that's worse for the little commuter planes? Actually, I think those pilots work the hardest of all.


    With respect to landing:

    So the wheels are turning at a rate similar to ground speed when they touch? Rotating freely? Whaddup, then, with any skids or smoke?

    And can you put the jets "in reverse" for a landing that used up too much runway in the air? I think I was in a landing like this at SFO once-- we landed but then there was a big roar of the engines and the whole plane shook. It seemed to me that the pilot really wanted a reining horse-- where "whoa" means "and you had better be thinking about backing up."
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  18. #18
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    Flying a Pitts Special is roughly the equivalent of riding a horse like Totilas ;-) Immediate response to all aids and no room for error! However, since it is a taildragger, it can also get on the forehand, i.e. do a wheel landing.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    We had a Beech Bonanza that was quite a trick to fly, quite "athletic" but not as stable as say, the Cessna 150 I learned in. (The Bonanza is called the doctor killer because it's a popular choice among that set, and has a habit of getting away from hobbyist pilots, with bad results.) I got into tail draggers for a while and that was an entirely different type of flying - open cockpit and all. Lots of fun, more like trail riding I would say, as we could land almost anywhere.

    Best of all was a Mooney M20, small, maneuverable and fast as h*ll. Like a racehorse
    I learned in a Cessna 152 and we have had a Bonanza V35B for several years. Mr Akro even has his doctorate in physics. Luckily, he also has extensive aerobatic training, and even survived flying as my safety pilot in competition, so I think we are safe ;-)

    I have to say, the 152s I learned in weren't as stable as your 150. The rigging was a little off on one of them and it was all too easy to go into a spin at MCA, lol. Luckily, my boss/CFI trained me well in spin recovery and it was actually rather fun.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post
    With respect to landing:

    So the wheels are turning at a rate similar to ground speed when they touch? Rotating freely? Whaddup, then, with any skids or smoke?

    And can you put the jets "in reverse" for a landing that used up too much runway in the air? I think I was in a landing like this at SFO once-- we landed but then there was a big roar of the engines and the whole plane shook. It seemed to me that the pilot really wanted a reining horse-- where "whoa" means "and you had better be thinking about backing up."
    The wheels don't turn before landing, that's why you get the smoke with the initial touchdown. Skids can happen for the same reasons that a car will skid, not enough friction between the wheels and the surface they are on. Sometimes it's snow or water or other types of contamination on the surface of the ramp or runway, but sometimes it can be from strong winds pushing the plane around. Planes are a lot like horses, a really large thing with all it's weight on a tiny little surface area...

    The roar you heard was from the thrust reversers, basically the engine exhaust is directed forward by various methods depending on the aircraft type which helps slow the plane down in addition to the regular brakes. Some aircraft can actually back up using that method, often called a power-back, however they don't really have a reverse gear like your car. Power-backs have gone out of favour because of fuel costs plus the wear and tear on the engines. It was most common on types with high mounted engines like the DC9 since the under wing engines are basically giant vacuums and sucking up debris from the ramps can cause damage.

    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique


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