Old 28th Dec 2010, 06:26
  #26 (permalink)  
Loose rivets
Psychophysiological entity
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Tweet Rob_Benham Famous author. Well, slightly famous.
Age: 80
Posts: 4,695
At the end of the day, those pilots that have spend years hand flying, will not have a mental demand-overload if they suddenly have to grab the controls.

The thousands of hours I spent on Viscounts, Heralds and F27s, left me with an autopilot somewhere in my brain. After 5 years of not flying, I suddenly found myself height-holding to the thickness of the needle, without really thinking about it. I was typical of every single pilot I flew with in those days.

Summer nights on Viscounts without radar were something of a baptism of fire for young pilots. The guy in the left was just glad he didn't have to avoid flack, so when in the middle of a CB, the horizon bar became lost behind the edges, he would think little of it. It was also a good education in containing one's fear.

I would hate those days to return, but what has taken its place is some kind of hybrid operation - neither skilled master of the machine, or possessor of a computer that is capable of calling on a wide enough spectrum of learned data. It is not a desirable compromise.
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