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Landing Gear down SOP

  • 24-02-2019 11:43am
    Registered Users Posts: 316 ✭✭


    I was walking in Windsor near Heathrow this morning, planes on approach were on flight path straight over my head. What struck me was where/when the landing gear was deployed. Some had it deployed long before reaching me, others almost above my head and others closer again to Heathrow.
    Presume there are SOP's for aircraft type but do airlines then have their own SOP's?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 643 ✭✭✭duskyjoe

    Average is around 5 miles from Threshold gear should be down. Heathrow like many busy airports have strict speed limits at certain distances. If an aircraft is a little speed unstable ie finding it difficult to maintain the assigned target speed with flaps and speed brakes not achieving same, dropping the landing gear early with its aerodynamic drag will solve this issue, hence the difference when you see some aircraft with the gear down early......usually applies to heavies with their greater momentum.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,370 ✭✭✭b757

    In my airline we pretty much have two variants in our SOPs for when to take the gear down, one for VMC and one for IMC.

    VMC: Gear/F15 at 4nm, latest 3.5nn. Stable/Cx to lights by 500ft.
    IMC: Gear/F15 at 5nm. Stable/Cx to lights by 1,000ft.

    If ATC want a specific speed, we’d obviously configure earlier to accommodate it. I.e, DUB/LGW with 160/165kts to 4nm or final approach speed earlier if requested.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭tnegun

    Asked in the FR24 thread and then saw this one :o LX410 passed over Maynooth about 11.10 yesterday morning with the gear down on approach. Any reason to have it down so early?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,729 ✭✭✭martinsvi

    my airline/type (q400) doesn't have a specific SOP stating when the gear should come down, there is a recommendation that it should happen around 2000ft agl (radio), but we are free to drop it later, if we like - our stabilization gate for ILS or visual approaches is 500ft radio and that's when everything MUST be in place. In reality most of us deploy it at around 1800 or so feet. With turboprops, adjusting the blade angle to fine pitch is a much more effective way to slow down than dropping the gear

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,340 ✭✭✭basill

    Apart from airlines each having their own SOPs on the latest the gear should be down the aircraft type, variant, ATC requirements plus weather conditions will all dictate when it goes out. I have flown approaches on 330s with gear going out at >15nm due to inversions, strong tailwinds and ATC wanting certain speeds for sequencing. The 330 has a final approach speed not dissimilar to the 320s due to its huge wing and lift generation. Put simply she isn't going to go down and slow down unless you do something about it.

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