Old 28th Dec 2010, 03:55
  #24 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Prescott, AZ
Posts: 35
All pilots should have the ability to take over from an autopilot and be able to control the aircraft AND THINK at the same time.

Manual flying skills can only be acquired and kept by practice. I first discovered this as we transitioned to glass cockpits. After a few months of mostly autopilot use I found my manual flying skills were not up to my standards. I then started doing more manual flying and less autopilot use which corrected the problem. Since manual skills may be needed at altitude as well as other times your practice should include cruise too. By manual flying I mean no autopilot or autothrottles.

It must be realized that if your manual skills are rusty it will take more mental capability to fly the aircraft and leave less mental prowess to think about your next course of action or how to correct whatever problem you are dealing with. Your manual skills should be almost second nature. Do what ever it takes to accomplish that and when the day comes and its your turn to do your best to save a ship you will be ready.
N1EPR is offline