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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How to Land a Boeing 747-400

Main Checklist

  • Get on the radio, and tell whoever's listening that you are landing a 747.
  • Engage a single channel of the autopilot — light one of the buttons labeled "CMD." Point the heading indicator in the direction indicated to keep the plane straight and level.
  • Find the checklists in the side pocket of the pilot's and copilot's seat. If the plane is a 747-400, engage the Automatic Landing System (ALS). If it is not a 747-400, see below under "Landing Without ALS."


  • If you can't find the checklists, use these:

    1. Before Descent

      1. EO's system check completed.
      2. Pressurization set.
      3. All a/c packs on. Set the airfield altitude so the plane is depressurized on landing.
      4. Humidifier off.
      5. HSIs: Radio. Switch horizontal situation indicators to radio navigation mode.
      6. Auto brakes: set.

    2. Approach Checklist

      1. P.A. cabin call: "Cabin crew 15 minutes to landing."
      2. Cabin signs and exit lights: on.
      3. Ignition: on. This sets the engine igniters for landing.
      4. Fuel system: set for landing.
      5. Fuel heat: check/off
      6. QNH: Set. So the altimeters read the airfield altitude on touchdown.

    3. Landing Checklist

      1. Gear check: handle down, handle in, light green.
      2. Speedbrake: armed.
      3. Hydraulics: checked.
      4. Landing flap: set at 25 degrees.
      5. SCCM's report: received. The cabins are secure for landing.
      6. Find the Jeppeson charts. Locate the radio frequency.
      7. Find the flight management system's buttons on the glareshield marked LNAV and VNAV.
      8. Put the Jeppeson map on a 100 mile scale using the EFIS control panel on the front panel. You'll get a yellow FMC message on the middle screen when it's time to land.
      9. On the control display unit between the pilots' seats, twist the knob until the little numbers go down to 100 ft. above field elevation in the Jeppeson notebook.
      10. Get the aircraft set to land: press the LOC and G/S buttons on the glareshield. All three CMD lights will go on, and the system will automatically tune to the right ILS frequency.
      11. 1Turn on the autobrakes when the plane starts descending.

      12. Landing Without ALS

      13. Retard the throttle: four levers for four engines.
      14. Keep the nose up and descend to 20,000 feet. At 20,000 feet, bring the throttles back up.
      15. You have to drop below 250 knots when you descend to 9,000 feet. Keep the nose up and throttle down.
      16. When the tower brings you down to 5,000 feet. You need those flaps out so you can fly slow.
      17. Drop airspeed by setting flaps to 5, then 15, when you're down to 4,000 feet.
      18. As you start descending to the runway, you want flaps 20, then 30. Keep them there.
      19. When you reach 50 feet or so, the radar altimeter will start talking.
      20. When it says, "30," bring the throttle back to idle.
      21. At 10 feet, raise the nose to slow down.
      22. Lower the nose, reverse throttles, and apply the brakes.
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