Old 2nd Jun 2011, 10:09
  #13 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Third planet from the sun
Posts: 381
Don't blame low time cadets, blame the training department!

A3757 said:
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.
I don't think the low time cadets are the problem, but more likely the training department. My company also hires the low time cadets fresh out of flight academy. Most of them do a great job at handflying, once they're released on line.
Here's what I wrote about it in an other post.

In my company it's done like this: Starting in the type-rating sim sessions the F/O's in training are learned to fly the Airbus manually (A/P, F/D & A/THR off) on many occasions whenever the exercise permits it. (And, for training, having one engine out is NOT a good reason to keep the A/P on. ) Then, during base training they'll fly a few touch and go's, again without the automatics. Later on, during the initial line training, they will be asked to fly manual raw data approaches, whenever the conditions permit it. Believe me, once they're fully released on line they'll handfly the A320 pretty well, or ... they won't be released on line.

Unlike many others my company encourages pilots to keep their handflying skills up to date. Most of the time, I don't have to suggest my F/O's to turn the automatics off. they will have asked me before if they can. More often it happens, especially with the newly released kids, that I have to suggest them that it would be wise to fly with the automatics on when the metar warns us about low clouds and moderate visibility or when flying into a busy airport we are not familiar with! It's not they are not smart enough to know that, it's just that they were so used to raw date flying during their training, that using the automatics for approach has become the exception, rather then the rule.

I'll admit that sometimes those new F/O's are not so great in using the automatics. For instance, the first time they have to intercept a G/S from above with the A/P, they will often have a problem. Not amazing, they've trained it once in the sim and then they were expecting it! So confronted to this situation these guys (and girls) will disconnect the A/P when it captures the initial approach alt before the G/S iso using the Airbus procedure for this. (dialling the altitude up and using V/S to get to the G/S.) Oh well, manually intercepting the slope and then re-engaging the A/P gets the job done just as well and it gives me something to talk about during a friendly post-flight debrief.
There is really no excuse for Airlines who forbid their pilots to keep their raw data handflying skills up to date.

Last edited by Jetdriver; 2nd Jun 2011 at 12:38.
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