Re: landing flaps

From: (Mark Stappenbeck)
Organization: SouthWind Internet Access, Inc.
Date:         17 Aug 95 04:58:50 
References:   1
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There is no reason from either an operational or safety standpoint the
gear cannot be extended before the flaps on any model of the 737. In
fact, there are distinct advantages to deploying the landing gear
before the flaps. In locations like LAX the ATC system tends to
frequently change the speeds of the aircraft to the point that the
crew might find themselves faster than they would normally be on their
arrival. The extension of the gear acts as a speed brake to slow the
aircraft to a normal flap extension speed. One does not normally think
of landing gear as an aerodynamic control on the aircraft, but at
speeds higher than allowable flap extension speeds it makes an
EXCELLENT speed brake. In fact we refer to them as "Goodyear
Speedbrakes" in our lighter moments. There is nothing abnormal or
unsafe about what you experienced. Undoubtedly, it was simply the
flight deck crew using all of the methodologies available to them to
operate the aircraft safely and efficiently.

Don't be concerned. I'm glad you asked though. Most of what fear is
all about is lack of knowledge. If you have any other questions I'd be
happy to answer them.

>Is it unusual to not extend the wing flaps until after the landing gear
>has been deployed?

>When I was coming into LAX the other day on a 737, we were cleared to
>land (I was listening on the headphones to ATC), when the gear was
>deployed....and then the flap were extended.  I wanted to ask the
>pilots but they never came out of the cockpit.

>thanks...from a slightly scared flier

Mark Stappenbeck,
Fidonet 291/5,
"Don't ask me, I'm just the pilot."