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  1. #1
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    Default Landing gear down just before landing?

    Hey, not sure if this video has been posted before. Is what happened in this video common? Is it safe? on purpose or by mistake? Shouldn't the landing gear be down way before landing? The creator of the video said something in the comment section about this possibly being a cost-cutting measure, could this be? Sorry for all of the questions, this just seems very weird to me

    -Rene

    http://youtu.be/KDgvWa-EbbE

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    Member Taliesin's Avatar
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    I havent seen anything like this before, but it's not dangerous, because if you dont get a good landing gear indication, you'll just go around.
    It could be a cost-cutting measure, but I'm not sure how much fuel you can save by keeping the landing gear up for a minute or two longer, besides, if you ever have to go around because of it, you're going to have to do many approaches like this to get the burned fuel of the GA back.

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    Super Moderator brianw999's Avatar
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    Just 18 seconds from gear seeming to be down and locked to actual touchdown is cutting it rather fine in my book. I'm rather glad that that pilot files inanimate freight, I wouldn't want him flying me !!
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Once I was at Phoenix Zoo(about 3nm from Sky Harbour airport, for a jet, its about 1 minute to landing) and saw a dash 8 (America West Express or US airways Express)approaching gear up, and didn't see it put the gear down. The gear was still up when it disappeared behind the trees, I guess he put it down at the last minute(or should I say seconds?)

    "There are two types of pilots, those that have landed gear up, and those that will"
    (hope its not too true)

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    Many Airlines now have a operating procedure (that Ive read in the Industry Journals) that hold the gear as long as possible. There is a lot of Fuel Savings by holding the gear. Lots of gas ate up once you put the sneakers down.

    At the Test Lab here at Boeing Field the 747-8 Test Bench I work at has a great view out over Boeing Field, I also have SEATAC approaches (when landing south) and its amazing how many dont have the sneakers down passing over us. Once in a while I see them coming down and sometimes I see them already down. Depends on the airline.

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    Member hongmng's Avatar
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    In Mainland China every airline flights put gear down at around 2000ft, and always at the moment the flight attendants announcement for landing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    Just 18 seconds from gear seeming to be down and locked to actual touchdown is cutting it rather fine in my book. I'm rather glad that that pilot files inanimate freight, I wouldn't want him flying me !!
    18 seconds is plenty of time to check for 3 green.

    Here it was clearly a case of the FedEx flying the approach fast, they even land without full flaps. 28 is a 13,000ft runway, I don't think anything dangerous occurred here.

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    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftseat86 View Post
    18 seconds is plenty of time to check for 3 green.

    Here it was clearly a case of the FedEx flying the approach fast, they even land without full flaps. 28 is a 13,000ft runway, I don't think anything dangerous occurred here.
    Of course, but several of those 18 seconds happened with the airplane already overflying the runway, flaring, reducing thrust before touching down.

    It's a very high-workload scenario where the green light indication (or lack of) could be overlooked, or if attention is focused on paying attention to the lights to see and verify that it got green, then it's diverted from other critical tasks in this, again, high workload situation.

    So you risk missing a lack of green-light and landing with an unsafe gear, or making another mistake from diverting your focus to the landing gear lights.

    If the green lights doesn't come on in time, the best-case scenario is a very very low go-around whcih, while it should be safe, it's not nice for a best-case. It's an even higher workload contition and it has its own risks.

    And, if nothing of that satisfy you as an explanation, then you must know that Fed-Ex, like most airlines, have a "stabilized approach" criteria in their SOPs that say, among other things, that the airplane must be fully configured for landing (including landing gear down and safe) by a given "gate" altitude that tyically is between 500 and 1000ft. And this airplane was with the gear not-safe way way below 500ft. So, as a minimum, they violated their airline's SOP and hence the federal regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Of course, but several of those 18 seconds happened with the airplane already overflying the runway, flaring, reducing thrust before touching down.

    It's a very high-workload scenario where the green light indication (or lack of) could be overlooked, or if attention is focused on paying attention to the lights to see and verify that it got green, then it's diverted from other critical tasks in this, again, high workload situation.

    So you risk missing a lack of green-light and landing with an unsafe gear, or making another mistake from diverting your focus to the landing gear lights.

    If the green lights doesn't come on in time, the best-case scenario is a very very low go-around whcih, while it should be safe, it's not nice for a best-case. It's an even higher workload contition and it has its own risks.

    And, if nothing of that satisfy you as an explanation, then you must know that Fed-Ex, like most airlines, have a "stabilized approach" criteria in their SOPs that say, among other things, that the airplane must be fully configured for landing (including landing gear down and safe) by a given "gate" altitude that tyically is between 500 and 1000ft. And this airplane was with the gear not-safe way way below 500ft. So, as a minimum, they violated their airline's SOP and hence the federal regulations.
    I agree with your "of course" and all of your "but". Basically I was commenting on the fact that I think it is clearly an intentional move here and that everything appeared well under control, not whether or not it's a smart thing to do or within permissible established procedures.

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