Old 19th Jun 2011, 15:25
  #109 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 3,182
Originally Posted by Tee Emm View Post
I honestly don't mean to denigrate your sentiments but I believe you do need to have been a jet transport pilot with both significant hand flying and automatic pilot monitoring experience to understand the subject under discussion.
Really? A lot of NTSB investigators (including Greg Feith) never flew the line, and I like to think I do my research properly (My well-thumbed copy of HTBJ is never far away). I may have worded things badly, so...

Hand flying these aircraft should be a normal accepted skill whatever the weather conditions. The automatics are there as an aid to navigation in general - they should not be treated as a crutch because of a pilot's lack of competency in pure flying ability. Judging from accident investigation reports pertaining to jet transports it seems the latter is now the norm.
I agree with you completely (except for maybe the last sentence - there are still accidents and incidents where premature disconnection of the automatics increased flight deck workload). I think that airlines limiting hand-flying time is counter-productive, but at the same time I believe there's a time and a place to practice when you've got a planeload of people in the back. Would you disagree that practicing handflying through severe weather is something that largely belongs in the simulator - for the safety of pilots as well as passengers?

Parabellum has done a good job of putting what I wrote more succinctly.

Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
more relevant in the days sans Flight Engineer.
Precisely. The role of F/E has not "disappeared" as such - the troubleshooting role that the F/E once filled has been divided between the two flight crew at the controls (with the aircraft systems management role being handled by the automatics). The troubleshooting role becomes a lot easier to play when you're not trying to manually handle the jet at the same time. Again, I think that parcticing handflying in a troubleshooting situation should definitely be part of recurrent training, but in these modern times that also belongs in the simulator. Any other time, as long as you're confident of your handling skills, go knock yourself out! Just please understand that along with the rest of the human cargo, I want you to be *really* sure you can handle it...

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 19th Jun 2011 at 15:37.
DozyWannabe is offline