Pilot Career -
Monday, 07 January 2008 20:16
Dear Captain Lim,
I am afraid I am another of the legion of Flight Simulator (now FS2004) fans that bugs you for answers. Some of our pilots our having a small 'debate' on our forums at present about use of reverse thrust. Could you share with us the Standard Operating Procedure you follow on landing, please Specifically, is it usual to engage the reverse thrust before the nose wheel has made contact with the runway. Why or why not?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
Liam S. Dunch
Senior Captain - CX744
Chief Pilot, Cathay Pacific Virtual Airlines.
If reverse thrust is to be used to reduce the stopping distance together with the brake and tire wear, it is most effective when selected at high speed. That would means, immediately when the airplane's main wheels come into contact with the runway. At this point, the nose wheel is still off the ground. So, as soon as the reverse thrust is used, there is a tendency for the nose to drop. This can be controlled by gently lowering the nose wheels. The reverse thrust can be maintained up to maximum until the airspeed reduces to 60 knots (69 mph). Below 60 knots, the effectiveness of the reversers is very negligible and its usage only contributes to noise pollution. Many airports prohibit maximum reverse thrust on landing except for emergency use only.
So you can engage the reverse thrust before the nose wheel comes into contact with the runway otherwise you loose its effectiveness. Some argues that selecting the reversers too soon may cause the nose wheel to drop, thus causing stress to it. Hence the pilot has to be gentle in handling the lowering of the nose wheel.
Enjoy your simulator, Captain Liam!