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Old 22nd Mar 2016, 18:36
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Deploying flaps - when?

Have always been used to flaps deploying a little (maybe 1 or 5) when above 3000 or 4000 feet, and maybe something like flaps 20 on long finals, then full flaps on short finals or DME 5 (please bear with me, spotter and SLF estimates here). Last week inbound to LHR aboard TK1985, A330-300 the aircraft was full flaps up until levelling out for finals on 09L over White Waltham. Looking at the TV screen in front of me ground (I know not airspeed) had fallen to about 123mph (wasn't calibrated in knots). I know it wasn't a windy day, probably less than 10kt on the ground. FR24 playback shows the aircraft at 145 kts at 700ft, I know that can be unreliable, and falling to about 128 knots by 200ft.

I just felt that the flaps went out far too late, they were fully stowed on the base leg, not even flaps 1. I have a photo of the wing over the Dorney boating facility with flaps just gone out (maybe 5 or 10?). FR24 estimates 1975ft there, at 158kt.

Any thoughts from flight crew more in the know than me? Is the big wing an advantage here? The flight was maybe 80% full.

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