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Squawks & HeadlinesA Pilot's Take on Landing Gear Problems

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A Pilot's Take on Landing Gear Problems

Gear problems are great fodder for the media machine, but seldom if ever deadly. Published in Slate magazine. (www.slate.com) More...

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Er.A.K. Mittal 2
A query from a layman.
While landing to touch down , the nose touches later. And this is achieved by 'certain' adjustments of flaps, ailerons and all that. Is it possible, at least hypothetically, to keep the nose up for certain distance OR raise it after complete touch down? For what ever reason?
If yes, was this maneuver possible to be adopted in this case?
Jim Anderson 3
Go back and review the landing video of the JetBlue Airbus at LAX some number of years back. The nose gear was cock perpendicular to the direction of travel and the pilot did keep the nose of the ground for an extended period of time. I believe he was interviewed saying he did it on purpose to bleed off speed so when they inevitably had to put the nose gear down, they were moving slow to lessen the change of it snapping the strut off.
preacher1 2
As he says in the story, this was totally unexpected. Normal landing touches mains and then nose. If you have an expectation of a problem, you can hold the nose up longer than normal. It doesn't really minimize weight but it touches at a slower speed, AND, if there is a problem, your overall speed is down, reducing your on the ground if it does collapse.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Wow! Quite a Boeing fan.
preacher1 1
No brag, just fact. Airbus will eventually get there, but as with the difference in lawyers, experience teaches and Boeing has been at it a lot longer.
Er.A.K. Mittal 1
Experience teaches, yes. Some learn in 5 years, some in 10 and some - never.
All depends on inherent ability(or inability).
preacher1 3
Well Said!!!

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1 1
Tim Duggan 2
Valid points in the article, especially about situations involving a known landing gear abnormal, and a planned emergency that has plenty of time to brief, first.

Although this was unexpected, it's interesting to note, upon looking at the photo accompanying the article, that the flight deck crew apparently did not thoroughly accomplish the "Evacuation" checklist from the QRH. Since the speedbrakes and ground spoilers are still up (extended). I am presuming that WN (SWA-Southwest Airlines) utilizes the QRH procedures as written and recommended by Boeing, and adopted by most major air carriers? (Anyone working for WN who can verify this?). Link to a QRH below:


The relevant page found by clicking on tenth item down on the QRH front cover, or the PDF index on the left of screen.

My experience (24+ years) at a major U.S. airline did not include any real-life Evac, however we were trained to comply with the QRH of course, and especially in the event of any need to Evac then it should be commanded only at the appropriate point in the checklist procedure (barring any immediate and dire threat such as fire)..because, speaking of fire, it is also important for the flight crew to be made aware of the situation, in order to specify on the "Easy Victor" PA if there are exits that should not be used. "Left side only", for instance (in case of fire on the right-hand side)...or in a ditching situation, often the airplane might float tail low, so aft-most doors should not be opened, etc.
Michael Neilan 1
Good catch on the speedbrakes and spoiler, also thanks for the QRH link.
Larry Horton 1
heard one report that indicated plane flared for landing but then suddenly hit nose wheel first. Note heavy clouds in photo. Was weather a factor in some last second wind event?
carlos3366 1
I would think that for safety, all lift has to be removed immediately right after the wheels touch down. I am not a pilot.
PhotoFinish 1
Heard the same. That he had flared, but then the nose was rotated down quickly, and the plane hit nose first. Could be wx as some have suggested (maybe a last minute microburst), or premature rotation before touching down.
Tim Duggan 1
Impossible to remove "all" lift after touchdown, but basically that is what (on airliners and other large jets) the Ground Spoilers' function is. Second, by helping to "kill" the lift, this makes the wheel brakes more effective, as the tires get a better grip on the pavement. Reverse thrust (when available) is useful (although not considered "necessary" in landing length calculations) for reducing wear and tear on the brakes.
preacher1 1
You normally would not consider RT on landing length calculations, but we all know there have been times when you hit the deck on a short field and hope they deploy and work OK. As Tim says, you don't really use them in calculating length but they are the best thing since cotton candy, when they deploy and feel so good when they take hold.LOL
preacher1 1
Look a up top at the comment Phil Rudd posted. Makes more sense than anything on here.
PhotoFinish 1
Yes, it would make sense that way. I'm trying to accomadate reports that he did flare, but then rotated thR nose down quickly before touchdown.

On second though, I didn't notice any sudden rotations in the videos, so high and fast into nose first seems a reasonable explanation.