Interesting question. I have made landings so smooth that we did not know that we had touched the ground. I have also slammed them on so hard (maybe the next day) that I have told my First Officer’s to keep the flight deck door shut until the passengers got off, LOL! I have found that “auto land” landings are the same way except that for the most part, they are usually pretty good. BTW, after an “auto land”, the aircraft will even apply its own brakes based on a pre-set switch.
On my last flight as a captain on the B-777 my companion was on board back in first class and we were flying the “red eye” from LAX to EWR. It is not commonly known that the captain and the First Officer switch legs….I fly out and they fly back or vice versa. I told the F/O that I wanted that final leg because it was my last flight as a captain on the B-777 before I went to the B-787 and, of course, he agreed.
So, we blasted off from LAX in the middle of the night and as we flew across the country I was watching the weather in EWR which continued to deteriorate to the point where I expressed my concern “are we going to have to do an auto land in EWR on my last flight?”…..“You’re kidding me!”
Well, we DID have to do an auto land in EWR which means the airplane landed itself instead of me. I got off the aircraft, it was about 5:30 am and walked up the jetway. My companion was standing at the top in the concourse and she said, “Honey, that was the best landing I have ever seen you make.” (She flies with me a lot.) I just said, “well, sometimes we get lucky”. I did not have the heart to tell her that the airplane did it, not me.