Performing a planetary landing was done when the use of transporters was not possible or when the captain of the vessel decided so. The landing itself required a significant amount of energy but could be performed when deflector shield strength was low.
To commence a landing, main engineering would need to take the warp core off-line and vent all plasma from the nacelles. After that, all available power would be diverted to the atmospheric thrusters and the bridge crew was brought on standby. Code blue would then be given to all personnel on board the ship, who would need to report to their assigned code blue stations. The landing struts were brought on-line and inertial dampers set at maximum. When all decks had reported condition blue, the officer at the conn station would then commence the landing.
After a declining glide trajectory, just before the landing, the landing struts were extended and locked, inertial dampers were adjusted to match the gravity of the planet the ship was landing on, and the vessel landed on the surface. After the landing, the ships engines were disengaged and thruster exhaust secured. The crew could then leave the ship.
To leave the surface of a planet, all stations needed to prepare for code blue. Anti-grav thrusters were brought on-line and enabled, inertial dampers were set to flight configuration and impulse drive was set to standby. After all stations had reported code blue, the officer at the conn position performed the take-off.
- In 2268, Captain James T. Kirk told Boss Bela Okmyx that the USS Enterprise "won't land" telling him that they will beam down. It's not certain whether he meant that the Enterprise was incapable of landing, implying that it had no landing gear or landing struts; or if he simply couldn't land such a large spacecraft in such a small area. One other possibility was that he was trying to uphold the Prime Directive and not show a Pre-warp civilization like the Iotians a warp ship. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action")
- In 2285, the HMS Bounty, a Klingon Bird-of-Prey under the command of James T. Kirk, landed on Vulcan and then on Earth when it went back in time to 1986. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
- In 2371, the USS Voyager landed, for the first time, on a planet to examine a strange radio signal. Due to atmospheric interference the use of transporters was not possible. (VOY: "The 37's")
- In 2372, while under Kazon control, the USS Voyager landed on a class M planet to offload Starfleet personnel. (VOY: "Basics, Part I")
- In 2374, the USS Voyager landed on a class Y planet to rescue Tom Paris and Harry Kim, and to replenish their deuterium supply. (VOY: "Demon")
- In 2376, Voyager landed on the Vaadwaur homeworld to avoid attackers in orbit. (VOY: "Dragon's Teeth")
- In 2377, Voyager landed on an uninhabited planet to conduct extensive maintenance on the warp drive. (VOY: "Nightingale")