Old 19th Oct 2011, 00:20
  #213 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: DFW
Age: 58
Posts: 246
Cozy, no offense intended with the question. Your perspective is actually fairly apparent in your writings, but I didn't want to assume.

Please don't assume that I am attacking the Bus. It's not my favorite transport category aircraft but I'm not a "hater". I'm a relatively intelligent, fairly well educated, PILOT. I'm not an engineer, nor a techno-geek of any sort. I'm your typical American civilian trained pilot with 29 years of flying in my logbook. In our system (at least when I was in training) the FAA requires excellent stick and rudder skills and minimal academic knowledge. For example, knowledge testing consists of a multiple choice written (the answers to which are available beforehand) and a few oral questions given during the flight check. I don't mean to portrait American aviators as uneducated, I've got two college degrees and am typical of my peers; I do mean to show that the FAA emphasizes hands on flight skills.

That's where I'm coming from, a background of "flying". To me, flying is like riding a bicycle. I don't have to think about riding my bicycle. My bicycle always reacts the same and gives me the same "feel" no matter where I ride. My bicycle doesn't require any conscious consideration to change course, ever. No matter what goes on around me, no matter the trail's condition, the connection between my feet and the pedals - my hands and the bars - my butt and the seat remains faithful and true. The same can be said for the yoke of a Lear and my hands - it's seat and my backside- the rudder pedals and my feet.

The same can't be said for the Bus. I've hand flown a DC9 at altitude, both fast and slow, etc. If the maneuver is in the McBoeing DC9 production flight test guide, I've done it , including full stalls. (some inadvertent ). But this isn't about me, it's about how a pilot flies an airplane.

Which is why I say that the Airbus requires a masters level of learning when things go abnormal. Simply, one can't rely on flying being an "auto" function when flying the Bus because: 1. No feel exists, and 2. the control response changes with flight law degradation. It's all a visual/mental exercise. One must focus on the PFD, understand the meaning (in a time critical way) of small and seemingly insignificant symbols, process the info while dealing with a cacophony of other signs and noise in order to derive a course of action. None of which allow me to rely on thousands of hours of experience actually flying the aircraft.

i'm a bit tired of non-Airbus pilots judging the AF447 Airbus crew from a non Airbus perspective.
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