Old 2nd Jun 2011, 06:44
  #12 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,402
Actual scenario in a 737 NG. Visual approach to Sydney at 30 degree angle to ILS track. 17 miles from touch down and closing the localiser. The F/O as PF asks captain for permission to disengage AP for hand flying practice because of up-coming simulator instrument rating. Captain says no problem go ahead. F/O surprised, says gee thanks - most other captains don't allow me to hand fly.

But she does not disengage the AP. Captain reminds her. F/O says I won't disengage AP until it has completed localiser intercept in case I overshoot the centre-line. Eventually the aircraft is established on ILS and F/O switches off the AP. Captain says aren't you going to turn off the flight director to practice your raw data hand flown visual approach? No says the F/O, I will need the FD on in case of a go-around....

It is this sort of timorous attitude by some pilots to what are basic flying skills is the direct result of blind adherence to automatics and nothing but automatics. Blame the company simulator training environment where 90 percent of flying is on automatic pilot and associated button pushing.

Is it perhaps because the powers that be in the top echelon of training departments, cannot be bothered to read accident reports where loss of control because of poor instrument flying skills has been the problem? Certainly there has been no shortage of relevant accidents in the past few years. The increasing accent on superfluous politically correct SOP minutae seems to blind the trainers to the pressing need for pure flying skills.

One wonders why companies continue to encourage this lemming type attraction to automatics when Blind Freddie himself can see it leads to lack of self confidence in manual instrument flying skills?

As the ever increasing trend to hiring first time cadets into the second in command position on jet transports becomes the norm, loss of control accidents will also become the norm and inevitably due to lack of pure flying ability.

Last edited by A37575; 2nd Jun 2011 at 07:02.
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