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Ryanair's landings!


RumziGal

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Just read this in the paper this morning, about an enquiry into Ryanair, and how the pilots are under so much pressure timewise that they are prone to indulge in dangerous landing techniques.  http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,2016787,00.html

I think this won't be any surprise to regular Ryanair passengers!  [:)]

But anyway, I did smile at Mr O'Leary's defence of dangerous landings.  En bref, "It's not because they're under pressure timewise or because we're a low-cost carrier, it's because some of them are jet jockeys deliberately carrying out irregular manoeuvres". 

So that's okay then!   ROFL!!!  [:D] [:D] [:D] 

 

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The article didn't say that time pressures made pilots prone to dangerous landing techniques.

The issue concerns three isolated incidents which occured since July 2004 where individual pilots breached the airline's standard operating procedures and air traffic control regulations. Each event has been subject to the mandatory investigation by the national aviation authorities concerned, and in each case, there was no finding against the airline itself.  As you would expect, disciplinary action has been taken against the individuals concerned and internal airline procedures have been reviewed.

The article merely mentioned pilot stress in low cost carriers as a potential issue.  None of the previous investigations highlighted this as a contributory factor.

Note:  A "go-around" is a standard procedure which typically occurs when an aircraft is not properly stablished on its final approach to the runway.  Under strict operating procedures, the pilot must abort the landing and climb on a predetermined course to a designated holding point, usually 20 miles or so away from the airport before obtaining authorisation from air traffic control to recommence the landing.  Airport approach controllers may also "wave off" an approaching aircraft if ground conditions make the landing marginal - a previously landed aircraft has not yet fully cleared the runway, poor visibility, or even a cow wandering onto the airport, etc.

 

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I've never experienced a bad landing with Ryanair. My worst landings have been with Aeroflot in St Petersburg and Aer Lingus in Boston.

My daughter who flew into Limoges with Ryanair did say though that she thought the pilot was on a YTS scheme.

Hoddy
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I used to fly regularly into Stansted(about once a week),not Ryanair;the planes were fitted with automatic landing system and you could always tell when it was turned-on;the landings were smoother than when on manual-well, after they got the system properly calibrated.
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Go arounds are standard proceedures in flying. The problem is, and I have done it myself, it is difficult to decide at what point to initiate a go around or complete a landing. Air traffic control have little authority in this area as they are an advisory service and the pilot is the one who is in charge of the aircraft at all times.

One rule that seems to have been broken here is the 500 foot rule. This is stated in the Air Navigation Order (which is criminal law) and states that an aircraft may not fly within 500 foot of any person, building or structure unles in the process of taking off or landing. If a go around has been initiated then the climb out should be to at least 500 foot strait aghead before turning onto the downwind leg. The aircraft should not decend to less than 500 foot till it is on the approach (ie landing).

Pilots on the whole do not try to do anything too dangerous as they are risking their lives too. If they do not comply with the Air Navigation Order they can expect a prison sentance.

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What is the point of making a heavy landing?  Are they trying to put the plane out of service to get a bit of paid leave?  I would have thought that it was a matter of pride for a pilot to make as soft a landing as possible

I've been of a couple of aircraft that have do a 'go around' neither of them Ryanair, and to my untrained eye we were a lot closer to the ground than 500 feet

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Just to clarify a few points:

The "500 feet rule" does not actually say that an aircraft may not fly below 500', just that it may not fly within 500' of any person, building or structure. So, you could legally fly at 300' above ground level so long as you are 400' horizontally from said person, structure or building (see Pythagoras!). Of course, any airliner flying at this height when not landing or taking off would be risking it.

The Pilots' instructions issued by Boeing are quite clear that 737s must be landed firmly and pilots will normally fly them right onto the runway. A 'soft' landing in a B737 could see you leaving the far end of the runway! I've flown a lot with Ryanair and their landings are no harder than other airlines using 737s. In certain conditions (e.g. strong side wind) this may seems to passengers to be extremely firm, but never in my experience as hard as a BA flight I once made to Jersey, in a Tristar I think, when after the first officer had landed the pilot came on the PA and said "Welcome to Jersey. Five feet lower than when we left this morning."

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Hi

I find this thread to be amazing. It seems to be a peculiar British trait to condemn those who succeed. Ryanair changed flying within Europe forever. They gave us ordinary mortals the means to travel extensively, not just the corporate fat cats. I think that most sane people invariably assume that the pilot thinks that his life is as important as the passengers, so why would he take a risk ?? Newspapers love to knock Ryanair because invariably O'Leary's quotes and gives them an easy story. This makes the journalists live easier. The "Pilot" seems to be telling us that the landing of their planes is in keeping with the way you land these 100 ton monsters, so let's give credit where it is due.

For all of us B&B and Gite owners on this web site Ryanair has done nothing but improve our business. Why knock 'em. do you think BA are any safer ?? 

Happy landings

Wilko 

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I'm not knocking Ryanair and I assume the flight crews are not on suicide watch and want to get safely home like everyone else.  I take a lot of Ryanair flights and I certainly wouldn't if I had any safety issue.  You get what you pay for and in this case you don't pay a lot so........... No nice cabin crew to tuck you in and bring you a nice drink and a bun.   For a flight of an hour or so I really don't care, at least I have a seat, which is more than I can say for many, many longer journeys at greater cost on British Rail (or whatever they are called now).  I love the explaination of landing a 737 firmly or even extremely firmly. Last landing I had was so extremely firm that all the passengers let out an involuntary 'OOFFFF' as we hit the ground, then lifted a bit and down again.  Still, what is it they say, any landing you can walk away from is good, if you can use the plane again it's great! 
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There was a saying that used to go around when I was flying, "If you need full thottle to taxi to the ramp, then you have forgotten to lower the wheels". A good thump on the runway used to let me know that I was back on terra firma and the aircraft was (hopefully) not going to bounce!

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As has already been said, this is a daft premise, based on the theory that a professional pilot (somehow because he / she works for Ryanair) is going to want to make a mess of every landing made.  The article cited 3 or 4 'incidents' over the last 3 yrs. How many flts over that period?

I reckon that going in to most of the French destinations that RA use must be bliss for the crew - virtually no ATC restrictions, perfectly adequate runways, rarely any weather extremes.

Now, if they were flying in to Funchal (Madeira), that would be more interesting.  Downwind over-sea leg past the (tucked in to the mountainside) airfield.  Hard 90d turn towards the cliff - straight on - 90d again at the last minute - touchdown (on a fairly short runway).  Applause from the (Air Portugal) cabin passengers.  Moral: always fly TAP in there - their guys know the way!

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I also often fly BA on 737s and it just seems odd to me that BA can manage a comfortable landing at Gatwick and Luxenbourg whereas RA 737 landings are nearly always 'extremely firm' (I love that expression) at Frankfurt Hahn and Stansted.  I'm going with RA this weekend - is there any simple way I can measure the downward G force when we land? (other than counting the number of teeth that have fallen out)
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  • 2 weeks later...
Just so you know what a real heavy landing is like in a Boeing 737, take a look at this picture from Indonesia taken just over a week ago! [http://foto.detik.com/index.php/home.readfoto/tahun/2007/bulan/02/tgl/21/time/194233/idnews/745338/idkanal/157/id/1]
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[quote user="Pilot"]

The Pilots' instructions issued by Boeing are quite clear that 737s must be landed firmly and pilots will normally fly them right onto the runway. A 'soft' landing in a B737 could see you leaving the far end of the runway! I've flown a lot with Ryanair and their landings are no harder than other airlines using 737s. In certain conditions (e.g. strong side wind) this may seems to passengers to be extremely firm, but never in my experience as hard as a BA flight I once made to Jersey, in a Tristar I think, when after the first officer had landed the pilot came on the PA and said "Welcome to Jersey. Five feet lower than when we left this morning."

[/quote]

I was once told by a person in charge of 737 maintenance at a middle eastern carrier that the 737 landing can be thought of as a controlled crash. I suppose your term "must be landed firmly" confirms that.

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[quote user="fulcrum"][quote user="Pilot"]

The Pilots' instructions issued by Boeing are quite clear that 737s must be landed firmly and pilots will normally fly them right onto the runway. A 'soft' landing in a B737 could see you leaving the far end of the runway! I've flown a lot with Ryanair and their landings are no harder than other airlines using 737s. In certain conditions (e.g. strong side wind) this may seems to passengers to be extremely firm, but never in my experience as hard as a BA flight I once made to Jersey, in a Tristar I think, when after the first officer had landed the pilot came on the PA and said "Welcome to Jersey. Five feet lower than when we left this morning."

[/quote]

I was once told by a person in charge of 737 maintenance at a middle eastern carrier that the 737 landing can be thought of as a controlled crash. I suppose your term "must be landed firmly" confirms that.

[/quote]

I suspect that the need for "firm landing" is something to do with the hydraulic design of the undercarriage, particularly the non-return valves in the main legs. A very gentle landing doesn't 'pop' the valves properly and they do not seat adequatly. The hydraulics then equalise slowly and the aircraft 'sags' on its undercarriage. Not a major problem but it needs maintenance input which takes the aircraft out of cash-earning service.

The same used to happen with Hawker Hunter fighters, I have had occasion to 'ask' a pilot to hit the runway harder when he landed so that the above situation did not occur. It was a pity really because he was a very very smooth pilot, his landings were like silk.

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Just had a couple more Ryanair flights over the weekend.  Landed at Stansted silky smooth, the wheels just carressing the tarmac ...Ahhhh.  Different story last night at Frankfurt.  Came in at a funny angle, starboard wing dipping alarmingly.  Starboard undercarriage hit the deck first and hard, followed 2 or 3 seconds later by the port side then the nose wheel joined in by trying to cut a furrow in the runway.  Long run out to the very end of the runway with reverse thrust going for ages.  When we eventually taxied back to the terminal and got of, it was a very still night, no wind at all. I suppose you can't expect perfection every time
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Its nowt to do with hydraulics. Just to reiterate what "pilot" has said Boeing doesn't recommend smooth as silk landings for any of his products. The aim is to get the aircraft onto the runway with the minimum of delay, get the lift off the wings so that the aircraft weight is onto the wheels and the brakes are working to maximum effect ASAP - and that is especially important on short runways and/or in wet conditions. Whilst filling jarring landings aren't ideal  I'd rather a firm landing any day than a low flypast......        

 

It always strikes me as strange  that pilots can fly people thousands of miles, avoid thunderstorms, turbulence, other aircraft, land in decidely poor weather etc, etc, get to destination on time, yet as far as most of the paying public are concerned the only thing that he/she does that matters is the "firmness" of the landing.....ho hum

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