I have been reading post after post about landing and trying to make a smooth and decent landing. My problem is that I seem to hit the ground quite hard on the main gear and the nose kind of just gets knocked almost onto the runway due to the hard main gear hit.
I activate the APP button and set flaps to 40 on a CRJ900 and I approach the runway at around 150. I am fully configurd to land at around 5 miles out. At about 300 feet out, I dis-engage the AP and conitnue in manually keeping the current descent rate. When I cross the thresh-hold, I reduce power to idle and flare. The flare just does not seem to do much at all and the plane just hits quite hard as it starts dropping rapidly once I reduce power. I also have the same issue when landing a B737.
This is extremely frustrating!!! Could anyone give me any clues on how to make a better touchdown?
Thanks in advance
It is difficult for me to say as I have never flown a CRJ900. I can only suggest that you try to flare earlier and just before you touch down make sure it's up to around 7 degrees.
Do I still reduce power to idle or should I have some power in the engines?
you should always reduce power don't to idle. that way you don't have to worry about losing precious time waiting for the reversers to kick in
I am not sure whether this would help..But i would still like to take a shot at it..
First i would like to know whether you are clear about the word IDLE?Bringing the thrust to IDLE does not mean bringing the thrust axis on your joystick the whole way down..This way you would bring the thrust to zero and not IDLE.
When i flew I myself had a wrong notion of idle thrust and always brought the thrust levers back to zero..But later on i understood that this is not the case.
Second when you disengage the autopilot make sure that your thrust axis on your joystick is approximately at the same configuration as the thrust set by the autopilot..Because when you disengage your autopilot and move the thrust to IDLE this causes a sudden drop in the thrust and leads to higher descent rate and leads to hard landings..So make sure that before disengaging the autothrottle the thrust axis on your joystick is at approximately the same thrust configuration as that generated by the autopilot..Eg: if you have engaged max thrust on your joystick while take off and later flew the whole approach on autopilot..Then you come down to 200 ft AGL and disengage the autopilot..Before disengaging the autopilot the autopilot would be generating approx 60-65 % N1 thrust while the thrust lever axis on your joystick is at 100% N1.So when you disengage the AP and bring the engine to IDLE this causes sudden increase and decrease in thrust and a sudden increase in descent rate and hence the hard landings...Hope you understood this and is helpful to you..
to_coolguys - I think I may have had the terminology a little wrong. I bring the thrust lever on my flight yoke to zero which is all the way back.
Also, when I engage the APPR for lining up and descent, I turn off the autothrust and control this myself for the reason that you have stated - and that is when I disengage the AP the engines don't start screaming in case I forgot to adjust the lever.
The engines won't scream.But you will see the sudden increase in descent rate...
i'll do the same I don't like having the autothrottle on during landings because I'll always forget to turn it off
CRJcapt (amongst others ) will be able to comment better on this; but isn't your landing speed a bit high for a CRJ900? A B739 lands fine at 25kts slower, providing you've had a fair share of practice... Hard to believe you would need 150 in a CRJ900.
Speaking from personal experience, (I Sim-Fly the B739 a lot) if your approach speed is too high, you're likely to make a hard landing.
Usually when I come in too fast, when I flare, the plane starts to float (or even climb) Speed then drops rapidly, because of the idle thrust, and next, your vertical speed increases rapidly. Result, a slam-down on the runway.
One approach I once took, for the sole purpose of learning by practicing, rather than believing the specs and ref.charts was the following (perhaps you'll find it useful)
Load your plane to Max Landing weight, and fly level at a low altitude (but not too low!). Enter full landing config, flaps & gear down. Slowly (meaning knot-by-knot) start reducing speed and let the A/P maintain altitude. Wait for the stall horn to sound, immediately disengage AP, push the throttles and pitch down (NOT UP - as your instincts will tell you) a few degrees to let the aircraft recover from the stall.
Do this a few times and you will get a very good feeling on how to slowly let a plane descend, and how slow you can fly during approach without things going horribly wrong..🙂
WOW - ARD-DC - thaks for the tips. I will definitely try thay out. The reason I was approaching at 150 was to keep the plane level. I have found before that when you come in to land where the nose of the plane is already upwards, it makes flaring tough as I ended up with a tail strike. I guess I am still figuring out all the nuances of the planes When you try and get more realistic, it just gets tougher and tougher.
Thanks again for the thought on flying until it stalls. I completely understand about pitching down when the the stall alarm sounds - makes sense to get speed up quicker to recover from the stall.
ARD-DC - Thank you so much for the advice. I tried what you suggested and my landings are now much softer and not slammed onto the runway. I am still a ways off from being a really smooth touchdown, but so much better non-the-less.
Thanks again to everyone for helping me with this.
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