Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 5 years ago

How do planes land with full throttle?

Ive noticed just before touchdown the pilots increase the throttle to full and I kinda understand why, I've tried landing with low throttle on fsx and my nose dropped too quickly and I crashed...

So my question is, how do they land with the engines working at maximum power? Shouldnt that increase lift and cause the plane to go up and not down? If the plane has too much lift there is no way you're going to land, or do the speed brakes, flaps etc change the situation? Or is it completely unrelated to them? Can any pilot please explain how does the plane land with all that thrust?

Thank you :)


I'm not planning to become a pilot or anything, and I don't think I should be used by disappointed old pilots who lost their jobs to release their anger on me, just because they dislike the new pilots...I'm just a curious person wondering why airplanes need a lot of thrust on landing, example look at the Heathrow crash, they crashed cause they didn't have any thrust in the end of the flight when they apparently needed full power. That's what the question is about. Thank you.

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Basically, they don't. What you are trying to do when you land is lose lift, not gain it.

    However, the angle of the approach path is controlled by the throttles, not by raising or lowering the nose, if you are dropping short, you increase power, if overshooting, reduce power, while maintaining the same nose attitude.

    So while we might try to keep a stable combination of power, attitude and speed down to the fence, it may be necessary to increase power, a little bit, if we are dropping short. Of course, on a big jet, this is usually sorted by the auto-throttles. This might be what you hear.

    Landing, however, is always done at idle power. If not, the aircraft will float rather than settle and, with the throttles in any other position but fully closed, you cannot engage reverse thrust.

    Reverse thrust is throttled by how much you lift the reversing levers. Full reverse, which is not used unless required, is a fairly noisy business.

    Source(s): Retired Airline Captain
  • Joseph
    Lv 7
    5 years ago

    The only ones who land at full throttle are Navy pilots when landing on the aircraft carriers. They compensate for the full thrust by flying with the airbrakes fully open. There is a reason for this: if they bolter and have to go around, the brakes close faster than the engine will spool up from the flight idle to full power.

  • 5 years ago

    Airplanes do not land using full throttle. They use a power setting of maybe 50%-60% (as a very general estimate) on approach, and the throttles are ALWAYS pulled to idle before touchdown. What you might have heard was the prop RPMs increasing before touch down (assuming the aircraft has propellers and not jets), which SOUNDS like the engine power is increasing, but it is not. Prop RPM and engine power have separate controls. Pilots select high RPM prior to touchdown in case they need to make an emergency go-around.

  • 5 years ago

    Pilots do not land at full throttle, except on aircraft carriers where they must prepare to go around if they don't catch an arresting cable.

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  • 4 years ago

    i was on a flight yesterday in a md 82 jet and just before landing i heard the engines at idle and then,about 10 meters above the ground,i heard the engines goes about at least 50% of throttle and AOA little bit high and then back to idle again and the plane settled on the ground.

  • 5 years ago

    what planes?

    i've landed real planes many times and the only throttle action you ever do is fine-tuning the sink rate on soft-field landings. most of the time it's throttle to idle over the threshold then flare.

    one thing real pilots learn very early on during landings is that speed is controlled by pitch and sink rate is controlled by power. they interact. this is why landing is the highest workload phase of flight.

    later: i'm always amused that the fsx crowd use a340s and such as primary trainers. i learned to fly in piper cherokees and cessna 152s. the most fun i've had in a plane was in a citabria, real stick and rudder seat-of-the-pants flying. great!

    still later: ba38 was an anomaly. it was not standard operating procedure. please provide a reference that says otherwise. they got low, they needed power, they didn't have it, they crashed. airlines do not generally approve of crashes as standard operating procedure. the paperwork is murderous.

    as an exercise on my last flight i did a gliding approach (i.e. no power) from downwind to the threshold. whee!

    have you ever landed a real plane?

  • 5 years ago

    FSX and equivalent games are NOT airplanes -

    Engines do not produce any lift - except for the AV-8 Harrier -

    All airplanes I have flown from Piper Cub to 747 land with power near or at idle -

    What pilots do upon landing is go to or near full power in REVERSE -

    You "noticed" that pilots increase power to full thrust upon landing -

    Suggest you see an eye doctor -

    The only airplanes landing with high power are Navy pilots on air carriers -

    In case they miss a cable, they end doing a touch-and-go -

    I do not think your FSX use engine bleed air for boundary layer control -

    So continue to crash when you land it with full power...!

    Or go and play with marbles - easier technology to understand -

  • 5 years ago

    Some pilots will spool the engines up when they hit the thrust reversers.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    They do not.

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