We were in Toledo recently for training at FlightSafety. A blog reader who works at a local FBO took some pretty sweet pics of us and shared them with me, so I'm sharing them with you. Thank you, dear reader! :)
Just about to touch down.
The moment of touchdown. We were landing in a slight crosswind, and the procedure there is to touch down on one wheel first, then the other wheel, then finally the nosewheel. You can see a puff of smoke indicating that our right tire has just kissed the pavement.
This pic is pretty cool, it shows the thrust reversers engaged. I'm gonna beat that subject to death at the end of the post, so be warned.
Taxiing in to await the tender mercies of US Customs.
So lets talk about thrust reversers for a bit. On most turbine-powered aircraft there are ways to reduce or redirect the thrust generated by the engines and/or propellors. This is useful to help slow the aircraft on landing, which is easier on the brakes and uses less runway, making operation out of more airports feasible.
This is how our engines normally look. Quite tidy.
This is how our engines look when the thrust reversers are engaged. They are a 'clamshell' design - Basically they swing back and deflect the engine thrust forward so it slows the plane down. Thrust reversers make lots of noise and are pretty fun to operate :) You still have control over the engine speed, but the more you rev the engines, the faster you will decelerate.
Once we slow below a certain speed (60 knots for us) we disengage the thrust reversers - we don't want to accidentally blow stones or gravel into the front of the engine and the reversers can kick up a pretty big cloud on a dusty runway.
Oh, you can also see a speedbrake extending above the wing on the right. There is a speedbrake on the lower part of the wing just under the upper speedbrake, but you can't see it because the extended wing flaps block it from view.
Here's a video of a 737 landing and engaging their thrust reversers (and speedbrakes). Same thing, just on a larger scale.