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This is a basic, emergency - only description of how to land an aircraft. You should only do this if there is no other option. However, it could come in handy someday, so read on, and find out how to land a plane yourself.

Step 1: Step One: Take the Seat and Level Off

A pilot usually sits in the seat on the left, as there will probably be two seats up front. Sit down, being careful not to touch any controls. There will be plenty of confusing stuff on the dashboard - just ignore it for now. The first thing to do is level off the aircraft.

Examine the artificial horizon (Shown in the image below - it's the blue above the brown, with a little pair of wings in the middle). The blue up top represents the sky, and the brown below represents the ground. Gently take the yoke (The stick controlling the aircraft), and pull up or down accordingly to make the little wings in the middle, between the blue and the brown.

If it seems that this is not working, look outside, and visually level off.

Levelling off means that you will fly straight, and not hit the ground or stall and start dropping fast.

Step 2: Step 2: I've Made the Little Wings Go in the Middle, But the Plane's Falling Like a Rock.

ONLY FOLLOW THIS STEP IF YOUR SITUATION MATCHES THE FOLLOWING:

If you've levelled out the plane, but you're falling fast, and you're hearing this strange insistant buzzing or wailing sound, you've stalled. This is very, very bad. It means that the plane is no longer flying, but falling.

The thing to do is pitch down and go into a nosedive. As you near the ground, slowly pull up, so you don't crash. If you continue to fall, then buckle your seat belt, 'cause it's gonna get bumpy. Level out as you approach the ground, and try to belly land (Land without the gear down).

Step 3: Step 3: Okay, It's Level. Now What?

Okay, so the plane is level. Now you can start yelling for help.

There is something called a radio stack in every aircraft, which allows radio communication. Grab the microphone, and look for a button labelled "PTT", which stands for "Push To Talk". Grab the pilot's headset as well, and put it on. Push the button, and yell "Mayday! Mayday!" into it. Then, still holding down the button, describe your situation (E.g. "I'm on a 747 bound for Germany, and the pilot's just died!"). Release the button, and wait for a reply. After 10 seconds, try again. If there is still no responce, change the frequency to 121.5 as you would with a normal radio. Then repeat what you did before. 121.5 is the emergency frequency.

If you get a reply, explain your situation again, and you will recieve help. Follow instructions exactly.

If you can't set the frequency, and/or you still hear no reply, look at the bottom screen on the stack. This is the transponder. Set it to 7700. This will alert ATC (Air Traffic Control) to your emergency.

Step 4: Step 4: Okay, I've Done What They Said, Now What?

You've followed their instructions, and now you've got to land. This is the tricky part.

The first thing to do is line the plane up with the runway. Make sure you are headed right for it, and flying parallel, so you won't start veering off. Point the nose slightly down, and start to decend. Make sure the wheels are down! ATC should explain which lever does this, as it varies from aircraft to aircraft.

From Phil B:
"There is also the matter of slowing the plane for landing speed, but not so much that it stalls. Slowing is a combination of pointing the nose up slightly while manipulating the throttles to keep speed up, but also not too much extra throttle to keep the plane from climbing. Adjust the throttle so the plane descends about 500 feet per minute. Add a notch or two of flaps so the plane has enough lift at lower speeds without stalling and dropping as if it were a rock."

"Lining up with the runway can be deceiving. It is easy to aim for the end of the runway and not notice the plane is not really lined up. It is a lot like looking down the length of a board to see if it is straight or warped. Looking at the whole length of the runway at the same time helps to know if the plane is too far right or left of the runway so there are no surprises at the last few seconds. Aim for the large numbers painted at the end of the runway."

As you approach the runway, gently pull up, so the main wheels touch down first. When you hit the ground, slowly put the nose back down, and apply the brakes (Which usually come one automatically - if not, ask ATC which button to press or lever to pull).

More from Phil:

"Pulling up just before the wheels touch down is a fingertip sensitive operation. If you pull up too much the plane shoots back up into the air. You pull up just enough to hold the plane off of the runway while it settles down gently onto the runway. (When planes bounce back up into the air a few feet on landing, it means the airspeed was too great, yet.) All of this also is based on the infrequent circumstance that there might be no crosswind that will cause the plane to drift off to one side of the runway during the approach. In the event of any crosswind you need to know to use a combination of dipping a wing slightly into the wind to make the plane pull toward the wind while also adding a little rudder in the opposite direction to keep the plane from going too far toward the wind and keeping it headed toward the runway."

Keep the plane going straight, and slowly come to a stop.

Step 5: Step 5: Exit the Plane and Be Borne Aloft by Your Fellow Passengers.

You've done it! Exit the plane via the emergency doors (Assuming you haven't exploded), and allow the other passengers to lift you up on their shoulders and travel as a hero to the airport.

thank you I know many controls to many planes (INCUDING HEICOPTERS)and how to land
Airplane is one of my favorite movies. "Hanging Lady: Nervous? Ted Striker: Yes. Hanging Lady: First time? Ted Striker: No, I've been nervous lots of times. "
&quot;I just want to tell you, good luck. we are all counting on you&quot;<br />
funny -- Airplane movie<br />
Surely you can't be serious.
I am serious, and don't call me Shirley.<br />
Also...There should be a height indicator on the runway.If you see two reds and two whites,you are good to go.If it is different,you are either too high or too low.
Sorry.I meant angle.
There is also the matter of slowing the plane for landing speed, but not so much that it stalls. Slowing is a combination of pointing the nose up slightly while manipulating the throttles to keep speed up, but also not too much extra throttle to keep the plane from climbing. Adjust the throttle so the plane descends about 500 feet per minute. Add a notch or two of flaps so the plane has enough lift at lower speeds without stalling and dropping as if it were a rock. Pulling up just before the wheels touch down is a fingertip sensitive operation. If you pull up too much the plane shoots back up into the air. You pull up just enough to hold the plane off of the runway while it settles down gently onto the runway. (When planes bounce back up into the air a few feet on landing, it means the airspeed was too great, yet.) All of this also is based on the infrequent circumstance that there might be no crosswind that will cause the plane to drift off to one side of the runway during the approach. In the event of any crosswind you need to know to use a combination of dipping a wing slightly into the wind to make the plane pull toward the wind while also adding a little rudder in the opposite direction to keep the plane from going too far toward the wind and keeping it headed toward the runway. Lining up with the runway can be deceiving. It is easy to aim for the end of the runway and not notice the plane is not really lined up. It is a lot like looking down the length of a board to see if it is straight or warped. Looking at the whole length of the runway at the same time helps to know if the plane is too far right or left of the runway so there are no surprises at the last few seconds. Aim for the large numbers painted at the end of the runway. I think most of the times any of us might have to land a plane would be in a small aircraft rather than an airliner. Let some former military jet pilot handle the large airliner. Imagine, instead, a friend takes you up for a ride and passes out with a heart attack during the flight. Know the emergency frequency (121.5) and ask someone to talk you down.
Wow, thanks for the info, Phil. I hope you don't mind if I put some of it in my instructable (P.S. That bit you said about "some former military jet pilot handle the large airliner" keeps reminding me of the movie "Airplane" XD ).
Go ahead and use the stuff. I really do think a good instructable on landing a small plane could be useful. The scenario of a pilot having a heart attack while giving you a ride has happened a number of times in the past. The Worst Case Scenario book series has one page instructions on landing a small plane in an emergency, but those instructions leave out some helpful and necessary details. I have a friend who is a pilot. He has shown me things I have practiced at home with the MS Flight Simulator 98. The flight sim programs are pretty realistic, too. Two things people do not always know or realize: 1) the numbers on the end of the runway are the compass heading for that runway. Add a zero (Runway 26 lies with a 260 degree heading.), and 2) the red lights you see at the end of the runway when driving past are red and white if you are making an approach in a plane at the correct rate of descent. They are white if the plane is too high.
Maybe I could make one on how to land a C172 in an emergency.
there is an old pilots' saying: <em>all red and you're dead</em><br/>
I always wondered what those numbers meant.... Thanks!
You may wonder why the runway in one city is 26, but 10 or 35 in another city. They try to make the runways face into the dominant wind patterns. Where I live the runways are most often 28 or 30. (The opposite ends would be numbered 10 and 12, that is 180 degrees different.) Most of our wind comes out of the northwest. Most takeoffs and landings would use Runway 28. But, if there is no wind or if the wind comes from the opposite direction, Runway 10 would be the runway of choice. As a plane approaches an airport without controllers, it is important to determine the wind direction and speed. At some very small airports there is no weather radio for the locale. Pilots look for a wind sock. Failing that, they look for the drift on smoke from a chimney or a burn pile.
also, pullling the nose up makes the plane stall and that is the main purpose of this manouevre.
You can see how this works if you watch a video of a water fowl landing on the water. At the last the angle of attack from its wings increases sharply and its forward speed bleeds down. It also has the luxury of being able to flap its wings to slow its motion. When all goes as it should, it settles down onto the water very smoothly. The bird engineers a stall immediately above its landing point. I should have mentioned that pilots usually cut the power shortly before touchdown, too. That helps bleed off speed. An exception would be landing with more power on and basically flying the plane onto the runway. Sometimes that is necessary in windy conditions to counter the wind.
What NOT to do... ATC: "ok... first make sure the pilot is really dead..." panicked passenger: "ok, hold on... *struggling and gagging sounds in the background*... ok, now what..."
LOL
I think that automatic brake thing is a little knob which has options like off,rto,1,2,3,max but that's just from flying a 737 in FSX.
lol nice instructable exit the plane via the emergency doors (assuming you didn't explode) realy good very informative and yet makes it sound so simple.
Wow. Lucky I knew how to do this, 'cause you'd never believe what happened. Well, you might. There is a warning I'd like t mention: Don't try landing planes on the top of mountains as a stunt. I knocked some guy off Everest doing that last Summer. The pilot had passed out due to alcohol. Last Spring, I saw a big red carpet and landed on that, but I killed Matt Damon. I guess it was win/win/win (the third is for the movie-watching community)

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