PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Automation versus "Mandraulics"
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Old 28th Feb 2009, 21:33
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Nigeria
Age: 53
Posts: 4,614
The CAA have issued a new Standards Doc 28 - guess what - includes policys and an appendix about the use of EFIS and Automatics, practically demanding full use during OPC/LPC
And they did so after lobbying by trainers in industry, such as HC and myself, who have a pretty firm grasp of how automation should be used. I can assure you that the new CAA perspective is 180 degrees out from where it was only 5 years ago, and that is also assisted by the fact that the FOTIs and FOIs are now getting real world experience on these new types.

I agree with HC - a slightly less accurately flown manual element is generally not a problem. On the other hand, letting someone who can fly an entire check ride manually, to perfection loose, in an automated machine and who then decides to "push a few buttons to help out" one dark and dingy night, is a recipe for disaster.

Helicopter pilots will always get a lot more handling time than their FW cousins, so the degradation of skills argument is lfar ess valid. I've just stepped off a 17 hour A340 flight from LAX-SIN, with a 4 man crew and one landing, so clearly the issue is different there.

The keys to automation use are standardisation, logical use and understanding (by the pilot.) There is no need to reinvent the wheel either - the FW world already have some pretty clear guidelines that are generally equally applicable, such as the "Golden Rules of Automation" published by Airbus, but based on those agreed by the Flight Safety Foundation.

Remember also, that it's not just the use of 'automatics' that's the issue - it's the use of displays and overlays that's equally important, as they are the key to situational awareness which in itself should be enhanced by the reduced flying load of automation. It's situational awareness that stops you flying into the ground, other a/c, running out of fuel, landing at the wrong destination etc etc.

Interestingly enough, one of the 'Golden Rules' is that the best level of automation to use may be no automation at all i.e. hand flying! It depends on the situation.

(sorry for typos - it's 0600 on Sunday but my body thinks it's 1400 Saturday!)
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