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Handflying the T7 for the approach and landing

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    Handflying the T7 for the approach and landing

    Hi Mates,

    Little by little, to comply with what is done in the real world, I disconnect the AP and handfly the T7 for the final approach and landing on ILS equipped runways.

    I would have 3 questions:

    1) Constant actions on the yoke
    I have watched many real life videos and I noticed that, even in 'calm' conditions (not too much wind or turbulence) the pilots do many constant and rapid corrections on the yoke until touchdown: left, right, forward, barkward... I also happen to fly helicopers in DCS and that reminds me of the constant corrections to be made on the cyclic (and collective) to hover! My hardware is a CH Fighterstick and I know that sim hardware is in no way equivalent to real world yokes. My experience is that I do not have to make constant corrections on my stick as in the videos to make a manual landing on the T7. I think that is the way it is? What are your thoughts?

    2) VS at touchdown
    Yesterday I bought this addon https://www.fsipanel.com to practice my manual landings. I discovered that after touchdown, an info strip displays the VS at touchdown. I would like to know the 'norm' for a good landing. I am aware that sometimes a 'hard' landing is required, and that it also depends on the weight, etc. But I would appreciate a bold indication to know if I'm doing rather good or bad.

    3) Autothrottle
    At this time, I leave the Autothrottle ON, as generally recommended I believe. However I have tried to disconnect it and found that it is hard, due to the latency of reaction of the engines (among other things). So here I would appreciate some tips or rules of thumb for manual management of the throttle.

    Tony Argaud @ LFPG - P3DV4.4

    #2
    1) Honestly, not sure. Do what you need to keep the aircraft on glide slope and on centerline. As long as you’re not over controlling, I wouldn’t sweat it.

    2) Don’t even look at your V/S. It’s irrelevant. A smooth landing is not in the criteria for a safe landing. Forget that it’s there, don’t even look at the number in the report. As long as your landing rate doesn’t structurally cause damage to the aircraft, you’re doing good.

    3) Any large engine with have delays. Just keep your scan going and anticipate throttle. Boeing does recommend to keep the A/T on at all times for the 777, so don’t feel bad if you continue to keep it on like you have been.
    James Ward

    Comment


      #3
      Hello James,

      Clear! I appreciate your inputs and guidance.

      Thank you very much.

      1) Regarding constant/frequent corrections on the yoke:

      KSFO


      WSSS



      Tony Argaud @ LFPG - P3DV4.4

      Comment


        #4
        I wouldn't think to compare a PC simulator 'game' controllers with the real feel of hand flying an aircraft, large or small. There's very little comparison.

        First of all, unlike driving a car, one does not move the controls but rather one applies pressure to the control. So what seems like a lot of movement in a video is not perceived by the pilot flying as applying lots of pressure. Control inputs during final approach use light application of pressure to effect the trend of where things are going.
        Dan Downs KCRP

        Comment


          #5
          I can only talk in general terms as I am not at all familiar with the B777 either real or simulated, however:

          - As a general rule when it comes to control inputs, in any type of aircraft, less is more. There are plenty of rather eyebrow-raising examples on Youtube of pilots flailing the controls around all over the place (I have to say that the two videos you have linked are not examples of that) to a sum total of pretty much zero effect. Large aircraft with lots of inertia take time to respond. As Dan says, smooth, progressive inputs are the name of the game -- gentle pressure, allow the aeroplane time to respond and don't over-control.

          - Yes, large high-bypass ratio turbofans take time to spool up and down. Learn the pitch and power datums for a typical approach, set them and broadly you should barely need to touch the thrust levers. I have no idea what numbers you would see on the B777 but as an example, for the B744 at 250 tonnes and flap 25 you would set about 1.15 EPR and about 3 degrees pitch attitude and you shouldn't need to deviate very far from those datum positions to maintain the glidepath. Again, if you are shoving the thrust levers back and forth all the time you are probably doing it wrong.

          - VS at touchdown -- forget it. There is no such thing as a "typical" or "good" vertical speed at touchdown -- it is about the worst and most ridiculous measure of a landing that could possibly exist for the following reasons:

          1) The speed at which you hit something tells you nothing. Humans do not feel speed. What they feel is acceleration (G) and that is a function of the time it takes for the speed to reduce from whatever it was to zero, and that is a function of the suspension system of the aeroplane along with all sorts of other factors. If you hit a concrete wall at 30 mph you will experience an almost instant deceleration to zero (lots of G). If you hit a large, deep, impact-absorbing feather cushion at 30 mph you will experience a gentle, slow deceleration (not many G). The speed at which you hit the object is irrelevant to the outcome.

          2) It considers none of the parameters which are actually important measures of a landing, like:

          - Was it on the centreline?
          - Was it in the touchdown zone?
          - Was it at the correct IAS?
          - Was the correct FCTM technique used?
          - Were the pitch attitude and bank angle appropriate (i.e. zero or very little bank and pitch attitude in line with the FCTM)
          - Was the drift removed appropriately if there is a crosswind?

          etc.

          Rather than focusing on an irrelevant number, I would suggest you gauge yourself against the above criteria instead!
          Simon Kelsey

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Dan and Simon,

            Thank you very much for your inputs.

            Guys, it looks like you are all saying the same things more or less, and it is consistent.

            I'll follow your guidance for my next flights.
            Tony Argaud @ LFPG - P3DV4.4

            Comment


              #7
              The stabilizer in the 777 attempts to streamline when trimmed. If you’re flying at the trim reference speed, any input in the elevator control will command the stabilizer to streamline after approximately 3 seconds. I’m not sure if this is modeled on the PMDG product, but in the real world if I change pitch during approach, I hold it for 3 seconds (ish) then no longer need the correction, as the stabilizer has streamlined. This reduces the constant need for control inputs. Just keep it smooth if possible.

              Roll control should be smooth and as much as you need. I find myself using less roll than pitch. The 777 is much smoother than other smaller aircraft I’ve flown. Once you get the “sight picture” down you’ll nail it every time. Sorry I can’t be more helpful or specific. It’s really as much or as little control input you need. Less is more, but gusty turbulent conditions will mean it’s a handful.
              Regards,

              Aaron Zylman

              Comment


                #8
                As my helicopter flight instructor used to say, "Whatever it takes", in reference to how much you need to move the controls, even in fixed wing. I used to think while flying heavy jets I needed to be oh so smooth on the approach. But, I have found that again the adage, "...whatever it takes" works well.

                Rob Roberson
                Rotorcraft-Helicopter
                SEL-MEL Airplane Instrument

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thank you Aaron and Rob.
                  Tony Argaud @ LFPG - P3DV4.4

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Another thing that is quite difficult in the sim you don't get that in-your-pants feel. IRL, you can actually feel the aircraft needs more power on final approach before you see that airspeed needle dip, because you 'felt' it. This is at least common in my part of the world where it's always hot and humid and dealing with lots of thermals. But I'm speaking from a experience with an LSA and not a big jet. In the sim, you don't quite get this feeling, and best guess is to anticipate by maintaining your scan, v/s, airspeed trend, and glide profile to give the needed control inputs to make the airplane do what you want.
                    Best regards,
                    Romano Lara

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Simicro View Post

                      My hardware is a CH Fighterstick and I know that sim hardware is in no way equivalent to real world yokes
                      For any simmer who can afford it, I highly recommend the Precision Flight Controls column yokes. Because each push and pull is moving a heavy structure, it reproduces the jetliner handling dynamics wonderfully. As simmers we still lack the other sensory inputs Romano mentions, but it’s as real as it gets (as Microsoft used to say). My PFC yoke and rudder are over 10 years old and still rock solid and worth every penny.
                      Last edited by frantzy; 14Jul2019, 19:25.
                      Mike Frantz
                      Simming since 1986 / PMDG Customer since 2005
                      Real World ratings: Instrument / Commercial / Multiengine / Seaplane

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by frantzy View Post
                        For any simmer who can afford it, I highly recommend the Precision Flight Controls column yokes. Because each push and pull is moving a heavy structure, it reproduces the jetliner handling dynamics wonderfully. As simmers we still lack the other sensory inputs Romano mentions, but it’s as real as it gets (as Microsoft used to say). My PFC yoke and rudder are over 10 years old and still rock solid and worth every penny.
                        I guess apart from cost issues, you'd need a bit of space for a column yoke. I certainly don't have any space for one. In any event, the lack of a hat switch is one reason I stayed away from the PFC yokes. Makes it a little hard to pan around the flight deck to do what you need to do when you don't have one on the yoke, especially if you're trying to do the IGS runway 13 into Kai Tak or the VOR 13R at JFK. I do, however, have their rudder pedals.
                        Captain Kevin

                        Kevin Yang

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I agree on what was pointed out regarding impact and that landings are "measured" in multiples of gravitation. "Measured" in quotation marks because they aren't measured in real life but by the passenger's butt and spine. Flightsim doesn't offer us the measurement of Gs, at least for what I know, and your butt and spine always feel the same no matter how hard you crash your plane onto the runway.

                          So we have to resort to feet per minute. 600 ft/min roughly equals a 2G impact. Such a "landing" would require a hard landing inspection. We can assume then that a 300 ft/min landing equals a 1G landing. Generally speaking, 100 ft/min = 50cm/sec = 1,66 ft/sec. That's quite smooth when you think of the big suspension struts of a 777.

                          I've seen quite some videos on YT where simmers smash their aircraft agains the ground with 1000 ft/min (5m/sec = 17 ft/sec) and don't even notice that they just brought their virtual passengers to the hospital. I once commented on such a landing, the video was taken down shortly after...
                          Cheers
                          Lars Wüst

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
                            In any event, the lack of a hat switch is one reason I stayed away from the PFC yokes. Makes it a little hard to pan around the flight deck to do what you need to do when you don't have one on the yoke
                            Mine actually has 4 rocker switches, 2 per side, and the right hand rockers I have programmed to pan view up down left right. That said, I don’t fly in virtual cockpit much so I can’t speak to whether it works just as well or not.

                            Mike Frantz
                            Simming since 1986 / PMDG Customer since 2005
                            Real World ratings: Instrument / Commercial / Multiengine / Seaplane

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Captain Lars View Post
                              I agree on what was pointed out regarding impact and that landings are "measured" in multiples of gravitation. "Measured" in quotation marks because they aren't measured in real life but by the passenger's butt and spine. Flightsim doesn't offer us the measurement of Gs, at least for what I know, and your butt and spine always feel the same no matter how hard you crash your plane onto the runway.

                              So we have to resort to feet per minute. 600 ft/min roughly equals a 2G impact. Such a "landing" would require a hard landing inspection. We can assume then that a 300 ft/min landing equals a 1G landing. Generally speaking, 100 ft/min = 50cm/sec = 1,66 ft/sec. That's quite smooth when you think of the big suspension struts of a 777.

                              I've seen quite some videos on YT where simmers smash their aircraft agains the ground with 1000 ft/min (5m/sec = 17 ft/sec) and don't even notice that they just brought their virtual passengers to the hospital. I once commented on such a landing, the video was taken down shortly after...
                              Not quite Lars, this would be true if there were no suspension in the landing gear. However, the landing gear is engineered to provide safe and comfortable deceleration during the touchdown sequence. Thank goodness, for otherwise Navy/Marine pilots would be entitled to one carrier landing in their career and thence forth be crippled with crushed spines.
                              Dan Downs KCRP

                              Comment


                                #16
                                i could swear somewhere in the fctm it says to aim for 150fpm




                                page 6.11

                                actually it sounds more like an assumption not a goal

                                Last edited by kvuo75; 15Jul2019, 18:18.
                                Mike Teague - p3dv4.4 - B736 B737 B738 B739 B77L B77W B744 B748

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by kvuo75 View Post
                                  i could swear somewhere in the fctm it says to aim for 150fpm
                                  That would more likely be in the FCTM; in fact, that is on pg 6.11. However, I doubt that any pilot is watching the gauges at touchdown as one should have eyes outside on the landing environment so this is really a moot point. Descent rate takes care of itself if you land at the correct speed and flare technique, which are the variables that you are controlling.
                                  Dan Downs KCRP

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    yeah they definitely seem to emphasize touchdown airspeed. which if im reading right should be vref, the +5 gets bled off in the flare
                                    Mike Teague - p3dv4.4 - B736 B737 B738 B739 B77L B77W B744 B748

                                    Comment


                                    • DDowns
                                      DDowns commented
                                      Editing a comment
                                      Exactly, speed is the key to landing and of course proper flare which in itself varies with weight. It is all about the speed, even in light GA aircraft.

                                    #19
                                    Originally posted by DDowns View Post

                                    Not quite Lars, this would be true if there were no suspension in the landing gear. However, the landing gear is engineered to provide safe and comfortable deceleration during the touchdown sequence. Thank goodness, for otherwise Navy/Marine pilots would be entitled to one carrier landing in their career and thence forth be crippled with crushed spines.
                                    I'm by neither a physician nor a pilot, but that's comparing apples and oranges. You sure agree that an aircraft that's built to land on a carrier has a different structure than an airliner. Also, a pilot that does carrier landings is supposed to be in a better physical condition than an average passenger.
                                    Cheers
                                    Lars Wüst

                                    Comment


                                      #20
                                      Originally posted by Captain Lars View Post

                                      I'm by neither a physician nor a pilot, but that's comparing apples and oranges. You sure agree that an aircraft that's built to land on a carrier has a different structure than an airliner. Also, a pilot that does carrier landings is supposed to be in a better physical condition than an average passenger.
                                      I am both a pilot and an engineer, and the difference between the main landing gear of a carrier qualified aircraft and a commercial airliner is not as great as you would think. The B777 can safely handle vertical descent rates of over 500 fpm (I've read 800 fpm but don't recall the source) thanks to the landing gear, which absorbs a tremendous amount energy. It's the difference between hitting your head against a block wall and hitting your head against a pillow held up to the block wall.
                                      Dan Downs KCRP

                                      Comment


                                        #21
                                        Originally posted by DDowns View Post

                                        I am both a pilot and an engineer, and the difference between the main landing gear of a carrier qualified aircraft and a commercial airliner is not as great as you would think. The B777 can safely handle vertical descent rates of over 500 fpm (I've read 800 fpm but don't recall the source) thanks to the landing gear, which absorbs a tremendous amount energy. It's the difference between hitting your head against a block wall and hitting your head against a pillow held up to the block wall.
                                        Hi Dan. Great to hear you’re a pilot in the real world! Which type do you currently fly? Always nice to meet others.
                                        Regards,

                                        Aaron Zylman

                                        Comment


                                        • DDowns
                                          DDowns commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          I'm not an ATP holder, hope I didn't imply as much; rather I hold a CPL/MELI ticket and have flown many single and twin GA since 1974.

                                        • azylman1
                                          azylman1 commented
                                          Editing a comment
                                          Very cool!

                                        #22
                                        Originally posted by Captain Lars View Post
                                        600 ft/min roughly equals a 2G impact.
                                        Except this is impossible to say that for exactly the reasons I outlined above. What matters is how rapidly that 600 fpm reduces to 0 fpm, not the fact it was 600 fpm in the first place.

                                        If the deceleration occurs over 0.15 seconds then you would be correct. If it occurs 0.05s slower then it is only 1.5g. If it occurs 0.1s slower then it is only 1.2g. But if it occurs over 0.1s instead of 0.15s then it is 3g. Quite a a large margin of error, compounded by the fact that the precise instant the ft/min value is recorded will result in even more uncertainty (do you know what exactly triggers a 'touchdown' event to be recorded? I certainly don't, but I know I have seen some very questionable values from such software in the past).

                                        I know last time I landed the 744 I over-flared slightly, floated, and touched down quite firmly and several knots slow at the end of the TDZ markers (fortunately on the longest runway in the UK so no harm done).

                                        I think the ACARS system reckoned something like -75fpm, which was nonsense in the first place. However, if we assume it was accurate -- good landing or not?

                                        If you look only at the FPM figure then I suppose it was 'good'. If you actually looked at what happened I would say 'must try harder'!

                                        Originally posted by kvuo75 View Post
                                        i could swear somewhere in the fctm it says to aim for 150fpm
                                        Assuming the B777 FCTM is similar to the B747 FCTM -- that figure relates to the assumptions they have made in creating the body clearance graphs: essentially they are saying that they are assuming sink rate is constant and airspeed is the variable (thus, physics dictates that pitch attitude is going to be higher for a given weight). If they didn't define a sink rate in that scenario the graphs would be meaningless (you could touch down at Vref -10 in the normal landing attitude but the sink rate would be rather higher!).

                                        What you could infer I suppose is that Boeing consider/have established that if the correct technique is applied (airspeed, flare technique etc) then that should result in a sink rate at touchdown of approximately -150fpm (i.e. it is an outcome rather than a target). However, the really key paragraphs (from the B747 FCTM, but I assume the B777 manual will say similar) are:

                                        Fly the airplane onto the runway at the desired touchdown point and at the desired airspeed.

                                        Note: Do not trim during the flare. Trimming in the flare increases the possibility of a tail strike.

                                        Prolonged flare increases airplane pitch attitude 2° to 3°. When prolonged flare is coupled with a misjudged height above the runway, a tail strike is possible. Do not prolong the flare in an attempt to achieve a perfectly smooth touchdown. A smooth touchdown is not the criterion for a safe landing.
                                        (My emphasis).
                                        Simon Kelsey

                                        Comment


                                          #23
                                          Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
                                          I guess apart from cost issues, you'd need a bit of space for a column yoke. I certainly don't have any space for one. In any event, the lack of a hat switch is one reason I stayed away from the PFC yokes. Makes it a little hard to pan around the flight deck to do what you need to do when you don't have one on the yoke, especially if you're trying to do the IGS runway 13 into Kai Tak or the VOR 13R at JFK. I do, however, have their rudder pedals.
                                          I'd say if you have the money to buy a yoke like this you also have the money to buy a VR headset. Then you don't need a hat switch for panning.
                                          Karsten Sandleben

                                          Comment


                                            #24
                                            Originally posted by KVSandleben View Post
                                            I'd say if you have the money to buy a yoke like this you also have the money to buy a VR headset. Then you don't need a hat switch for panning.
                                            That ultimately depends on what it is you're trying to do, though. The following is my setup. Most of the time, when I fly, I'm doing a live stream of said flight. The center screen is for the flight itself. The right screen is for the chat and everything stream related. The left screen is for my charts, flight planner, weather information, anything pertinent to the flight. So in my case, a VR headset wouldn't solve anything since I wouldn't be able to see what was on the other two screens.
                                            Captain Kevin

                                            Kevin Yang

                                            Comment

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