Old 1st Jun 2011, 02:43
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: various places .....
Posts: 6,513
I recall back to the introduction of the 733 to replace the 732 in one airline .

After an initial, short, Flight Standards romance with the bells and whistles, the boss issued an edict along the lines of "Fly it how you prefer, but know how to do both - make it work well and don't embarrass me".

Appeared to work well.

Some pushed buttons to their hearts' content (but, consider, they had the manual skills well and truly established previously).

Others (including folk like me) preferred to push and pull on the yoke. Indeed, more than a few of us would hand fly entire sectors on the shorter routes, preferring to use the autopilot for important things .. like having lunch. I recall, on my check to the line, flying all bar the last sector by hand. The checkie, on the other hand, opted to fly a sector and preferred to spend his drawing pictures on the FMS - no problems, to each his own.

I suggest that, overall, there is a cost argument to emphasise the automatics. However, that cost argument is only part of the overall potential cost argument. Perhaps the optimum position is somewhere between the two extremes ?

Now, I have never flown Airbus so I cannot make any specific observations. However, I recall when the 320 was being introduced to Oz, the then Regulator's TP spent quite a bit of time on the aircraft and was utterly seduced by its magic. On the other hand, having flown with him on a number of occasions on test work, I have to observe that his stick and rudder skills were somewhere between very excellent and exceedingly excellent .. he was not the sort of chap to let his guard down with button pressing to extremes.
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