Ask the Captain: Do pilots usually land airlines manually or by computer?

How does a pilot know when the wheels are on the ground when landing?

– CD, Alexandria, Virginia

If you are fortunate enough to “roll it on” and the landing is very smooth, you can feel the vibration from the wheels as they spin. Additionally, in a jet airliner you will feel the airplane squat as the ground spoilers deploy causing the weight of the airplane to transfer from the wings to the landing gear.

Usually, there is a noticeable contact with the runway. Occasionally, that contact can be a bit firm.

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