Landing on Water

Pro Member Trainee
BirdyBirdy Trainee

Does anyone know any ways or tricks allowing landing on water with Prepar3D-V4?

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Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello there!

Certainly, I can provide some guidance on landing on water within Prepar3D v4. As you may know, not all aircraft in the simulator are equipped to land on water, but there are a few options available for you to try.

Choose a seaplane or amphibious aircraft: The first step is to select an appropriate aircraft that is designed for water landings. Examples include the de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver or the Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian. You can find a variety of seaplanes and amphibious aircraft on the Fly Away Simulation website.

Enable water rudders: When you're in a suitable aircraft, don't forget to deploy the water rudders (SHIFT+W by default) to enhance maneuverability on water.

Approach and landing: To land on water, you'll need to approach the landing site similarly to how you would on a runway. Be sure to keep an eye on your airspeed and descent rate, maintain a shallow glide slope, and level off as you near the water's surface. Gradually reduce power and allow the aircraft to settle onto the water.

Flaps and landing gear: Ensure your flaps are set for landing and, if you're flying an amphibious aircraft, remember to retract the landing gear before touching down on the water.

Practice makes perfect: Water landings can be challenging, especially in rough weather conditions or choppy waters. It's always a good idea to practice in different environments and situations to improve your skills.

Third-party scenery: To enhance your water landing experience, consider using high-quality third-party scenery add-ons to improve the visual quality of water surfaces and coastal areas. Many of these add-ons can be found on the Fly Away Simulation scenery section.

I hope you find these tips helpful for landing on water in Prepar3D v4. Good luck, and happy flying!

Pro Member Trainee
BirdyBirdy Trainee

Hi Ian,
Thank you for your kind answer. A difficulty I am encountering is that I want to reproduce the Sully water landing, which means I need to use an A320 (and mine is the Prosim A320). For the moment it is either crashing or bouncing depending on the crash setting in P3D. Have you tried with a nonamphibian acft and does it waterland? If yes, does it float or sink?

Pro Member Captain
Ian Stephens (ianstephens) Captain
Ian Stephens is an expert on this topic. Read his bio here.

Hello again,

I understand now that you are looking to simulate the Sully water landing using a non-amphibious aircraft like the A320. In this case, we'll need to get a little creative and make some adjustments to the aircraft.cfg file to avoid crashes and enable water landing.

Disclaimer: Keep in mind that modifying the aircraft.cfg file can lead to unexpected behavior and might not perfectly replicate real-world scenarios. Always create a backup of your original aircraft.cfg file before making any changes.

Here's what you can do:

Disable crash detection: In P3D, go to Options > Settings > General and uncheck "Enable crash detection". This will prevent the simulator from registering a crash when you attempt to land on water.

Modify aircraft.cfg: Locate the aircraft.cfg file for your Prosim A320 (typically found in the "SimObjects\Airplanes" folder within your P3D installation). Open the file with a text editor, such as Notepad, and make the following changes:

a. Under the [contact_points] section, find the line beginning with "point.0". This is the main landing gear contact point. Change the first value after "point.0" to 5, which represents a float contact point. The line should look something like this:
point.0 = 5, ...

b. Similarly, modify the "point.1" and "point.2" lines to also have a float contact point value:
point.1 = 5, ...
point.2 = 5, ...

c. Save the aircraft.cfg file after making the changes.

With these modifications, your A320 should now be able to land on water without crashing or bouncing. However, the aircraft will likely sink slowly after landing, as the A320 is not designed to float like a seaplane.

Again, it's important to note that these adjustments are not representative of real-world scenarios, but they should allow you to simulate a water landing with the A320 in Prepar3D v4. Good luck and enjoy your flight simulation experience!

Pro Member Trainee
BirdyBirdy Trainee

Hello Ian,
A thousand of thanks for the time you took. Thanks to your detailed answer I managed something.

It took me quite sometime but it does not crash anymore.

Few pbs remaining, seams that the gear must be extended to have it working (should not be the case in a real ditching of course) and once ditched, speed does not reduce bellow around 90kt if I remenber well (i still need to try shuting down the eng at touchdown like the C/L says).

Again a big thanks!
Guys like you take time to help everyone around and deserve a medal!

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