I need some advice on performing the last stages of an ILS approach and having a smooth touchdown. Now I do know how to use the ILS and when to activate APP and everything goes pretty good; the aircraft lines up properly with the runway, the descent rate is also correctly monitored, etc... but the problem occurs at touchdown. From what I've read, you should switch off the autopilot and control the aircraft from a certain altitude but my question is when? I tried doing it at 500 feet AGL but things go a bit ugly. When I switch off AP should I throttle up or down? When should I cut the throttle and raise the nose?
The problem is as the speed is monitored by the Autothrottle, when switching off A/P and A/T the aircraft begins to overshoot the runway and that's when I cut throttle and begin flaring....resulting in my aircraft floating over the runway rather much and having a hard landing.
I just need some suggestions on what to do when to get the aircraft to land just perfect.
I have been practicing this too... it's not easy, but it can be done.... here is what I do... maybe it will help.
(Bear in mind I am NO expert)
get clearance from tower, and hit APP...
drop speed to like 150 (I am in a 737-800)
ride it all the way down....
at 500' I turn off autothrottle and keep my manual throttle around 149-150
at 100' I turn off APP, by which time my glide slope is good enough that I can use gentle movement on the stick if needed to bring her onto the runway. by time the system is done counting down to 10' I have power cut and 9 times out of 10 I will gently kiss the runway.
On crosswind landings... ugh... still working on it.
One important thing. make sure your decision height is set to your actual ground height. (usually should be zero) If it is set any higher APP will not get you all the way down if needed...
I hope this helps, like I said I am no expert, I am practicing it myself.
Cut AP at 500 feet, but desingage ATH when you line up with the runway, that way you already control the speed when you dissengage the APP.
depends on the weather too... if it is true IFR weather you better believe that sucker is staying on APP till I see runway lights out my side windows!!! I'll turn it off just as I flare.
It can be tricky, I use ILS quite a bit and if I am flying a plane that I can trim slightly nose high, I'll stay on autopilot until touchdown. If I cannot get the plane to trim properly, I come off autopilot and taking control just prior to touching down, and then flair as I do with a normal landing. As far as when to throttle back, I try to go to idle as I cross the thresh hold. It may take a little more runway, but I would rather take a later turn off than to land short.
It began as trial and error until I got comfortable with the ILS.