How to Land a Plane, a DIY Guide

We've all thought about it while flying, "what if the pilot and copilot are somehow knocked out and it's up to us to land the plane?" (Well, it's the plot of many a movies anyhow!)

The Art of Manliness has the how to guide that may just one day save your life. Here's the complete guide to emergency airplane landings:

When you first arrive in the cockpit take the left seat if possible, this is generally where the Captain or Aircraft Commander sits and often has easier access to some of the instruments you’ll need to fly. However, the majority of dual seat aircraft can be flown from either side.

As soon as you sit down take a deep breath and look outside to see if the aircraft is in a dive (you see more ground in the windscreen than sky), climb, turn, etc. If it appears to be straight and level then don’t touch the flight controls, the autopilot is most likely on and there’s no need to interfere. If, however, the airplane is racing towards the ground or in a steep turn, then you need to use the stick or yoke (pilot speak for steering wheel) to bring it back to wings level flight. Just like in the video games, you pull back on the yoke to make it climb, push forward to make it descend, and turn it right or left to turn.

I'm sure all those hours playing Flight Sim would be well worth it: Link

(Photo: hartlandmartin [Flickr])

Oh my.

"As long as you follow instructions (over the radio no less) to the letter, you'll be fine."

It is incredibly challenging to land an aircraft.

I've been flying for 25 years, have my own very high performance airplane, and fly half a dozen other ones on a regular basis. I was put in a 777 simulator this year, and crashed it the first three times I tried to land.

Thank god this scenario rarely, if ever, gets tested!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
You'd think planes could land themselves, what with Mac and Micro battling it out while competing with Google. I had a pilot buddy once offer me a ride in his Cessana if I agreed to either take off or land it. I passed, because I didn't believe his assertion that both are actually quite easy.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
As long as it is an Airbus, my little brother would essentially be a god as far as cockpit controls go. His hours of flightsim surpasses the lifetime of Chuck Norris...
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The left seat in an airliner has no better access to any control than the right seat, with the usual exception of the 'tiller,' which is only used to steer the plane during taxiing. Which is the last thing your neophyte pilot probably should be worrying about.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.
Click here to access all of this post's 7 comments

Email This Post to a Friend
"How to Land a Plane, a DIY Guide"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More