View Full Version : b737 ng landing difficulties - due to change in seat height

3rd Oct 2015, 20:33
Hello All

I have approximately 1700 hours on type(right seat).

I have had no problems landing the aircraft until now. Reason being my seat position initially was set to 3 unit high (vertical position of the seat). But I have been told by my captains that 3 is way to low for my height (170 cm).

Since then I have raised my seat position to 5 units (vertical adjustment). And after this change I am finding it extremely difficult to get a good perception of flare. What has been happening is I feel at this seat height setting that the aircraft is sinking way to fast and I flare early which ends up floating a lot.

Can anyone explain on what should be done. I know it's difficult to explain landing on text, but I would request you to do the best you can to help me

Thanks a lot

3rd Oct 2015, 21:00
Change your seat position back, it has nothing to do with the captain!

3rd Oct 2015, 21:00
3 units? What's that? I've never noticed any settings on the 250 or so 738 aircraft I've flown. Anyway, some seats are more worn than others, some ratchet settings are missing etc, so I have to find my seat height, distance and pedal positions by trial and error on every flight.

Seat and pedal position is a personal choice. Some pilots like to sit upright, others like to sit lower. Provided you can see out of the window, I don't see why you shoudn't stick to your old system. The only caveat is that a flap 40 landing necessitates a slightly different seating position.

However, if you aren't sat comfortably you will struggle.

3rd Oct 2015, 22:07
Have you tried simply holding your aim point half a second longer before you look to the end of the runway? The flight path to 50' hasn't changed, just your perception of it.
Cross the threshold, hold the aim point for a second, then look to the end would be my advice.
In your new position, can you see the White of the radome? My experience is that I adjust my seat on every flight so that I can just see the radome, then go down one notch.

3rd Oct 2015, 22:29
Why not follow Boeings seat position guidance?

Forward 7 inches, you should be able to reach the MCp without much leaning and see all of the PFD over the control wheel without moving and just on top of the glare shield.

4th Oct 2015, 00:59
I've got over 4500 hours in type in both seats.

I've never gotten the seat set in the same position twice. I swear, I think they just guess where to put the seat when they install it.

4th Oct 2015, 07:06
I'm so glad I'm not the only one to have issues finding the right seat adjustment.

By the way, my "golden number" for the 737 seat's height is 7. Anything different from that is a complete disaster.

I'm a short fella (1,64m)... And probably that adjustment is still low for me ! I believe that the correct adjustment would be 8 or even 9. But I just can't fly that way.


Check Airman
4th Oct 2015, 07:12
Can anyone explain on what should be done.

If your landings were good before, I'd suggest going back to 3. Presumably you can reach all the switches etc from position 3. Unless he's trying to diagnose a problem with your technique, that has got to be the most extreme case of micro managing I've heard of.:ugh:

4th Oct 2015, 07:18
Thanks everybody for your inputs

I understand now everyone has his/her own seating position.

But my question what can i do now to get a perception of flare and sink, now that i have found out my proper seat position is 5 units (vertical)??

Now that I have put my seat to a higher position i feel the aircraft sinking way too fast and end up flaring early when then causes it to float

4th Oct 2015, 09:42
Now that I have put my seat to a higher position i feel the aircraft sinking way too fast
What part of the runway are you looking at below 50ft?

4th Oct 2015, 10:39
If you have 1700 hours in that seat, and still have problems landing, you have an underlying problem which I doubt is 'seat position' related. Start reading the FCTM again, and look how your captain lands.

4th Oct 2015, 12:32
Seat position is vital.

You can listen to all these different opinions and come up with many different answers.

I think its a personal thing, you found a height that worked for you, I suggest very strongly you go back to it.

It took me a while to find an ideal seat height on the different aircraft I have flown and it wasn't always what the manufacturer recommended.

As long as you can see everything you need to inside and out as well as operate all controls as required go with the height that works for you.

It is a big part of making consistently good landings.

4th Oct 2015, 13:01
The correct eye position is important for visibility and field of view, both on the ground and for LVP approaches. If the eye position is incorrect, the field of view in front of the nose will also be incorrect.

Airbus have a device on the centre window pillar to set both pilots' eyes in the correct 'design eye position' - in terms of height and forward/aft. You simply adjust your seat so that a red and white ball exactly line up when you look at them. Do Boeings not have this?

If you have inadvertantly learned to land with your eyes in the 'wrong' place, my suggestion would be to move your seat little by little, keeping a note of the settings in your log book perhaps, and get used to each small change before moving it again - until you have the seat set in the right place.

4th Oct 2015, 13:55
Boeings don't have such a device Uplinker.

Incidentally, as far as I recall the FCTM mentions a requirement to sit higher when performing a low vis approach from which I would infer there is no universal seating position.

Another interesting thing: my preferred seating position is quite different in the left seat as compared with the right. I have no idea why it changed. :confused:

I've only landed the 737-800 about 2000 times but I'm with HalinTexas on this! No two planes seem the same!

4th Oct 2015, 15:01
You can listen to all these different opinions and come up with many different answers.

I heartily dislike instructors, check pilots etc who insist I have the arm-rests down when I prefer to have them up and out of the way. Some even sulk and write you up for not taking their "advice":ugh:

4th Oct 2015, 15:17
Centaurus- why don't you be clever about it and have the arm rests down and adjust them so they are out the way :ok:

Guys, its really simple, look at the Boeing FCOM it tells you where you eye line should be. Then adjust the rudder pedals to allow for full movement - Done

5th Oct 2015, 04:23

Not that simple at all ! :p

If I follow what's written in the FCOM, I'll have some really really bad time to land the acft.

I'm with the other guys, just find a right adjustment for you. One that make you feel comfortable and confident about what you're doing.

The most important thing in my opinion is to be able to firewall the throttles and apply full rudder/brakes both sides.

Land Safe :ok:

No Fly Zone
5th Oct 2015, 12:46
It is simply a matter of what you have learned and what you are used to. With ~1700 hours of experience on your bird, for better or for worse you have adapted the eye/hand/motor memory coordination to whatever eye position results from using "three clicks' of seat elevation. As I see it, you have two choices: 1) Continue to fly with what you are familiar with st 3 clicks or 2) Adapt to your captains' polite suggestions that you use 5-clicks - and suffer through the motor muscle and hand-eye realearning process.
There is only ONE pilot that direct you toward the correct course - and of course that ONE is YOU!
We do not know who you fly for or in what environment. With 1700 hours on type, you may be close to an upgrade and be in need of some "Captain's Recommendations," or not. Again, only YOU know what is the correct seat position for you. And yes again, it really IS a matter of what you have learned and/or your motor coordination functions have adapted to. I better answer I simply cannot offer. Other questions that you must ask and answer on your own include how serious were the 'suggestions,' and how much weight to captain's comments carry at your company, concerning upgrades? Whether it it so be 3-clicks or five, the choice ought to be about safety - and I suspect that you already know that. Good luck!

No Fly Zone
5th Oct 2015, 12:56
A tad more, simply because you asked yet again...
For Gawd sake, set the darn seat where you want it, can command the levers, controls and switches easily and fly your airplane!
I guess I was trying to be diplomatic earlier. TO heck with that! Set that damn seat where YOU want it and fly. If your landings were satisfactory to you at "3", then that is where you seat should be. Whatever happened to common sense?:ugh:

Con Catenator
5th Oct 2015, 13:05
Without exception - no matter what type you fly, make sure your eyes are at the end of the runway below 50 ft.

Eyes at the end of the runway = much better depth perception = much better flare judgement.

I'm also in the common sense department. If an earlier seat adjustment worked better for you, then go back to it.

Good luck ! :ok:

5th Oct 2015, 19:51
Spent a lot of years training. Seat height need to be good, but me thinks the problem has more to do with where are the eyes looking. If looking right over the nose at the runway, there is little feel for the sink rate. Pull your eyes up and look at the far end of the runway and horizon. That is where you can see not only sink rates but also runway alignment.

Good luck

5th Oct 2015, 21:01
FWIW, this is Boeing's recommended procedure (details specific to the 737NG, check your manual):

Pilot Seat Adjustment

Adjust the seat position with the appropriate controls to obtain the optimum eye
reference position. Use the handhold above the forward window to assist. The
following sight references are used:

ē Sight along the upper surface of the glareshield with a small amount of
the airplane nose structure visible (A)

ē Sight over the control column (in the neutral position) until the bottom
edge of the outboard display unit is visible (B).


6th Oct 2015, 08:17
In all the commercial aircraft Iíve flown, Iíve found the recommended seat position unnatural and difficult to operate from. So I set them up how I like it.

As long as you can get full control deflections, move the thrust/power levers over their entire arc, access things like TO/GA and A/T disconnect plus be able to see the ground out of the front window, then whatís the problem? Especially if you get more accurate landings with your own seat settings...

I remember once being told I was *maybe* sitting a bit low and that *possibly* on a marginal CAT IIIB (DH) I *might* miss seeing a light. My reply was to thank them for the observation and that I would bear it in mind next time I did a marginal CAT IIIB (DH) approach. :rolleyes:

6th Oct 2015, 09:11
Listen to Mustange and Con

7th Oct 2015, 12:24
But, after a while they started looking over the nose again and the landings got worse. Luckily they realized this and managed to correct the urge to look for the ground.

I've seen this technique used, and sometimes it works. I noticed some students then lifting themselves up at 50' to see over the nose; to compensate. The worse case comes, similar to the F15 error, where they lose sight of the TDZ at 50' and push. Ouch.

7th Oct 2015, 12:42
Airbus have a device on the centre window pillar to set both pilots' eyes in the correct 'design eye position' - in terms of height and forward/aft. You simply adjust your seat so that a red and white ball exactly line up when you look at them. Do Boeings not have this?

It depends on the Boeing and the airline. Some Boeings simply have a black cross affixed to the side window post, some have the 3 balls on the centre post. As I'm sure you know, this won't suit all arm and leg lengths, it will give maximum visibility of the instruments and the outside.

Eye alignment device seen 12 seconds after the start of this video


11th Oct 2015, 08:30
Just passed 10.000 hours on the 737 and I am positive that the guys and gals on the manufacturing line are playing a trick on us and use different rail positions for the pilot seats on every single 737 they produce.

During a dinner at Boeing with some hotshot engineers I mentioned this as a joke...they were not amused...