On approach, what is that loud bang you hear when turning?

Pro Member Trainee
Edward Clarke (Ed_) Trainee

4 times now I've heard a loud bang from the rear [I think] of the plane [both Boeing and Airbus] when it's on approach and needs to swing the tail around quite sharply. On holiday, I normally sit over the wings so I can hear the mechanicals but this is different so not the landing gear.

Is it the speed brake? perhaps a flap on the rear to assist sharp turning? any ideas anyone or am I imagining it?


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Pro Member Captain
Doyley Captain

Are you sure it's not the landing gear? I've flown many times and that's the only thing I can think of.

When the flaps or the speed break is used you can fell the plane slowing down, you move forward in your seat like being in a car that is breaking.

Pro Member Trainee
Edward Clarke (Ed_) Trainee

I don't always hear it though, which means I wouldn't have thought it's the wheels.

Two notable occasions were when I was off to Imola to watch a Grand Prix in Italy and it was a RyanAir 737. We were landing in some pot-shed airport somewhere and had to weave between the hills.

Another occasion was when flying to the Dominican Republic in an Airbus. On the down leg we were so close to the runway I thought that perhaps there was another airport in front of us, but no, the captain banked sharply, turned tight, and then landed it.

The bang happens just before hard turning, almost like a hydraulic rudder is being activated for rear-steer because the bank was particularly hard. From my experience, typical 737/757 landing gear can be felt through the floor and then there's a thump as it locks in place. I'm sure it's not the same thing as the sound is different.

Last time I heard it I asked the attractive cabin lady what that noise was and she said softly "nothing to worry about, its normal" which I didn't want to hear. I'm a very technical person and want to know mechanically whats going on out of interest.

When the speed breaks kick in you can feel the plane shimmy and as I sit in the middle I tend to look for these so I'm not sure it's that either.

What a puzzle!

Edutcatedjerk Guest

Crying or Very sad Sorry dear boy but, 737's are prone to have servo problems with the rudder. the servo will sometimes reverse for no known reason and the rudder experiences a quick reversal than it's direction is supposed go.
and will reverse back again when the servo finally realizes its proper direction that it was supposed to go. Then the rudder slams back with a loud bang noise("THUMP")!! Don't worry i think there were only about 7 ta 10 accidents because of B-737 Rudder reversal failers Surprised
happy flying 😀

Pro Member Captain
Doyley Captain

That wouldn't account for the airbus though.

Another thing, sometimes the speedbrake is used to aid banking like the ailerons, could it be that?
I don't think arming the spiolers makes a noise in the cabin does it?

Pro Member Trainee
Edward Clarke (Ed_) Trainee

Now that sounds interesting.

The 737 that I flew on that had that noise initially off-loaded us, reloaded with a fresh set of souls and took off so I'm guessing it's not that serious but you mention there have been accidents with regards to this.

It does sound like you describe because it really is a proper bang, very mechanical sounding, so must be a hydraulically controlled wing/tail component.

The only thing I'd say is that I heard it on an MyTravel Airbus A320-231 as well.

Pro Member Captain
brownbox Captain

maybe it was the plane disintegrating... Did you feel a slight falling feeling, then by any chance did the plane crash? 😂

Pro Member Trainee
Edward Clarke (Ed_) Trainee

brownbox wrote:

Did you feel a slight falling feeling

I did actually...but we were landing Wink

GForce123 Guest

This happend to me on a flight from Crete, It was a very loud bang, The passangers all jumped! The Captain explained it was the circuit breakers switching or jumping. it was a airbus.

just a possibility.

Pro Member First Officer
CaptDennison First Officer

Pilot is dumping the crapper

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