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  1. #1
    75+ Posting Member davek's Avatar
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    Approach Procedures

    Didnt know where else to ask this so...

    When approaching for landing at what times and distances do you

    1. slow down - ie at blw 10000 you are restricted to 250kn. How far from the airport do you slow down to set up for finals. I know speeds are ac dependant and refer to V-speeds, but I am not sure when to use them. I think I tend to slow down too far away, but not sure

    2. put gear down - what distance from AP?

    any additional info would be appreciated as well
    Cheers
    Dave

  2. #2
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    Re: Approach Procedures

    Hi Dave,
    Let me preface my answer by saying I am no expert, and not a real world pilot! I'm sure this thread will get quite a few answers too.

    I fly the A320 mostly. All these procedures are specific on the type of aircraft you fly. The way I fly my approach is based on the documents I found at www.smartcockpit.com. There are documents there to show the correct approach sequence for each aircraft. In my case, due to a lot of bad landings in the past, I approach below the glideslope at about 2500 (assuming no ATC) and when I am just below it I drop the gear. I use that wind resistance to assist in slowing the aircraft and maintaining my descent as more flaps are applied. I used to come in too high a lot, and this works for me.

    As to when I drop the flaps.... Harder to say! The Airbus switches into Approach mode usually within 30 miles of the airport. Remember that descending AND slowing at the same time is difficult. You may miss either or both targets as a result. I would aim to be below 200 knots at 20 miles out, flaps 1 at about 15, flaps 2 at 10 (and hopefully on the glideslope around 2000 above), Flaps 3 and gear down at about 6 miles. Then full flaps.

    They say that the aircraft should be 'stable' at 1000 above the touchdown. This means in landing config and within certain limits of speed, heading and descent rate. Those limits can be found on smartcockpit. If you are not in those limits, you must go around.

    Looking back on that, I am not sure if it's helpful!

    Nigel.
    Last edited by NigelD; 01-18-2010 at 06:27 PM. Reason: spelling error
    I can't see the light but I think I found the tunnel...
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  4. #3
    75+ Posting Member
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    Re: Approach Procedures

    I will echo Nigel's disclaimer: I am neither nor (that is neither an expert nor a professional).

    I typically not lowering the gear before I have glide slope capture. Also at capture is when I go for full flaps.

    When I lived in Europe and flew (simulated) quite often (several times a week), I sometimes found myself working with controllers that imposed minimum speeds like "keep 220 kts until OM" or something similar. It sure gives an interesting approach. At times you'd also find controllers that would notify you that you could expect a late clearance to land. This was particular tricky as there is an inherent lag in both server updates and voice communications, but very much fun and very demanding.

    Back in those days, I used to be able to handle approaches into, say London Heathrow, in the middle of an overload event. I am not sure my abilities are that honed still... I may need to refresh.
    Thanks,

    Boaz
    KSEA
    Lose money - ask me how.

  5. #4
    75+ Posting Member davek's Avatar
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    Re: Approach Procedures

    Thanks Nigel.

    I appreciate the input.

    I have downloaded all the SID and STAR plates for the airports I use and that makes it easier to do approaches and intercept the glide slope.

    I have a link to Smart Cockpit but didnt think to look for the info in that... will check it out.

    I will have a go at your method and see how it goes. I alway tend to slow down at the first waypoint of the STAR, then progressively slow so that I am doing about 140 at the last waypoint before the glideslope. Maybe I am doing it right, just didnt have anything to compare it to.

    Flaps would be dependant upon the speed, but wasnt sure about gear. On RPT flights I have been on, they seem to put the gear down at different times on the same approach? Different captains? Different conditions? I am not sure.

    Now just have to practice the landings as most of the time I am one of the first at the scene of the accident.
    Cheers
    Dave

  6. #5
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    Re: Approach Procedures

    I'm an Instrument Rated GA pilot so have flown a few approaches in my years. Your exact speed on the approaches are usually dictated by ATC for commercial traffic. Light aircraft only get told to expedite as they hold up the big boys! However the general Rule of Thumb is:

    APPROACH CATEGORY Speed (Knots)
    A 0-90
    B 91-120
    C 121-140
    D 141-165
    E Above 165

    Approach category is based on VREF of your aircraft (or 1.3 x VSO at max weight).

    If you look on the approach plates you should see FAF to MAP timings for various speeds from 60 to 180 knots. You can pick the most suitable for your category and use those times to map your progress for go-arounds.

    I use the gear down to actually start slowing the aircraft (Gear down limits are higher than flaps limit). So I put gear down at about 8-10 miles out, then flap 1 stage soon after if Im using them - I often fly flapless approaches to keep speed up a bit and keep stability as I am assuming bad weather in real instrument approaches. That way you can concentrate on flying the plane on the approach and then only put flaps down on finals with glide slope established.

    Hope this helps!
    Stuart

  7. #6
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    Re: Approach Procedures

    I came across this method somewhere on the net:I find it good.

    30nm - 10.00ft - 250 kts
    Descend to 3500ft

    20 - 15 nm - Spd - 210 - Flaps 1
    Spd -180 - Flaps 5

    GS Alive - Gear Down - Spd 150 - Flaps 15

    GS Captured - Spd = VRef + 5 - Flaps 30

    Landing Checklist

    Bill
    Last edited by Holclo; 01-19-2010 at 05:18 AM. Reason: Presentation
    Bill
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