How to land a 747.
OK, so you’re a frequent flier like me. You need to be prepared for that occasional instance when there’s an accident and you need to land the plane. Simply commit the following to memory and fly with confidence!
- Get on the radio, and tell whoever’s listening that you have a problem and don’t know exactly what to do.
- 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 turns out to be a 747-400, you’re in luck: just engage the Automatic Landing System (ALS). If it isn’t a 747-400, see below under “No ALS.”
- If you can’t find the checklists, use these:
- Before descent.
- EO’s system check completed.
- Pressurization set.
- All a/c packs on. Set the airfield altitude so the plane is depressurized on landing.
- Humidifier off.
- HSIs: Radio. Switch horizontal situation indicators to radio navigation mode.
- Approach briefing: understood. This is where you get a full briefing by the landing pilot, but since that’s you, you might as well skip this step.
- Auto brakes: set. Hopefully the brakes start working when you touch down.
- Before descent.
You probably won’t make it, but hey — might as well try.
- Retard the throttle. Four levers for four engines.
- Keep the nose up, and descend to 20,000 feet. When you get there, bring the throttles back up. You’ll still be going 300 knots or so.
- You have to drop below 250 knots when you descend to 9,000 feet. Keep the nose up and throttle down.
- When the tower brings you down to 5,000 feet.You need those flaps out so you can fly slow.
- Drop airspeed by setting flaps to 5, then 15, when you’re down to 4,000 feet.
- As you start descending to the runway, you want flaps 20, then 30. Keep them there.
- When you reach 50 feet or so, the radar altimeter will start talking.
- When it says, “30,” bring the throttle back to idle.
- At 10 feet, raise the nose to slow down.
- Lower the nose, reverse throttles, and apply the brakes. Cake.