Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Non-Airline Forums > Accidents and Close Calls
Reload this Page >

Training "Big" aircraft pilots in "little" planes...

Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Training "Big" aircraft pilots in "little" planes...

Old 7th Jul 2015, 17:44
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 601
Training "Big" aircraft pilots in "little" planes...

Inspired by some drift from another thread, the topic is training big aircraft pilots in little planes. I see two distinct points of view, each with merit:

If a pilot is destined to fly big planes, could train in simulators and big aircraft only, as they really don't need to spend time on learning to fly light aircraft, they do need all the time they can get flying big.

Or,

They must fly light aircraft first, to develop the basic skills, which will extend onward to their big aircraft flying skills.

This is an A&CC topic, because it has ended up too often that a lack of very basic aircraft handling skills, usually associated with stalls or slow flight has resulted in a crash, which probably a light aircraft pilot would have been better able to handle, simply for more and more recent practice flying in that regime...

Thoughts?
9 lives is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2015, 17:51
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,638
I can think of one accident where a large aircraft was destroyed by flying it like a little aeroplane (Queens), several where good handling skill from little aeroplanes saved the day (Hudson, Gimli) and at least one where better basic stick and rudder skills would probably have saved the day (AF447). I can also think of a larger aeroplane pilot who destroyed a smaller aeroplane and killed himself because he didn't understand the differences, and a second just the aircraft (both known to me, prefer not to declare source)

So, that seems to put things in favour of little aeroplane training, but that big/little aeroplane differences ALSO need to be carefully trained into big aeroplane pilots.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2015, 12:18
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Who cares? ;-)
Age: 69
Posts: 673
They must fly light aircraft first, to develop the basic skills, which will extend onward to their big aircraft flying skills.
Yes, the basics learned while flying small planes is definitely of advantage. But you must keep practice in both types to avoid typical errors....example, not landing low enough My ex was an airline pilot and what once bothered him was having new co-pilots that had no "real" basics but only knew how to fly computers.
WestWind1950 is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2015, 13:09
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,309
As one who flew the "Heavy Metal" for far too long, but also flew the little stuff {and still do fly both} there is no doubt in my mind that flying the small stuff produces a FAR better big aircraft driver than such scheams which omit basic handling, aerobatics, float flying and all the other avenues available, in this respect we in Canada have a much greater cross section of fields one can build survival skills than most other countries, in fact most operators of the big stuff give priority to such backgrounds when hiring pilots.
clunckdriver is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2015, 13:13
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: In the boot of my car!
Posts: 6,000
I would see it as someone learning to sail in a small basic sailing boat or starting off in a big sailing boat like a Swan 65. Ok they are both sailing boats one basic one sophisticated and far more complex but both sailing boats.

You need to strip everything away to learn to fly with your soul and that has to make you a better pilot when you move onto faster more sophisticated, bigger and more complex aircraft.

let me bring in another element to this discussion. replace bigger for faster higher and in more complex airspace! we are now talking automation.
Flying a business jet the automatics go in a few hundred feet up and go out a few hundred feet up on landing flying a simpler slower aircraft you are flying most of the time and you need a solid grounding in that first before becoming a monitor to the automatics and sophisticated systems in the fast or bigger aircraft

Pace
Pace is offline  
Old 8th Jul 2015, 16:13
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: LKLT
Age: 42
Posts: 42
I can think of one accident where a large aircraft was destroyed by flying it like a little aeroplane (Queens)
are you referring to AA 587 flight? excessive use of rudder when dealing turbulences?
never heard about this practice in small planes.
Heebicka is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 05:52
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hong Kong SAR
Age: 76
Posts: 289
Energy Management

It's not only faster and higher. It's also much heavier. Heavier and faster vastly increases the kinetic energy to be managed.
The energy is proportional to the mass and the square of the speed.

Gimli and Hudson were examples of finely tuned energy management, as well as basic stick and rudder skills.

Last edited by CISTRS; 9th Jul 2015 at 07:10.
CISTRS is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 08:50
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Do I come here often?
Posts: 880
Another area of importance is airmanship. I find colleagues who fly little aeroplanes a lot, or who spent a lot of time instructing in flying clubs have far better airmanship and mechanical sympathy than those who just did the 200 hr frozen ATPL course and straight onto a jet. Few skills cross over between the jet I fly (MTOW 45 178kg) and my weekend toy (MTOW 670kg) but awareness of weather, traffic, airspace, systems, and procedures all seem better built on light aircraft and then caried over to the bigger stuff.

SND
Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 09:50
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,638
Originally Posted by Heebicka View Post
are you referring to AA 587 flight? excessive use of rudder when dealing turbulences?
never heard about this practice in small planes.
In a little aeroplane use of large rudder inputs to solve large sideslip values isn't necessarily regular, BUT it won't break the aeroplane. It will a big aeroplane - as distressingly proven there.

It's an area where big aeroplane pilots who are used to throwing little aeroplanes around need to be more knowledgeable about the differences than the handling pilot, very unfortunately, was on that occasion. That's all.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 13:01
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 866
Pilots tend to be obsessed about handling skills, the majority of jet transport accidents arnt caused directly by lack of handling skills, they are caused by error chain human factors

Neil Williams was an excellent handling pilot and an aerobatic champion but he killed himself and his wife by flying below safety altitude. A PPL with 5 hours solo could have prevented the accident.

At Kegworth some of the passengers with no flying skills where more aware of what was happening that the two pilots.

At Staines none of the four pilots realised the aircraft was stalled.

Improving the handling skills of any of the above accidents wouldn't have prevented these accidents
Pull what is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 15:27
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: The World
Posts: 1,223
Sorry, I don't get the idea of the thread. As far as I know every ATPL has to start from PPL, which means she or he does have to do typical around 40-60 hours in small aircrafts until PPL. So, I assume there always is a basic knowledge on how to fly a little plane.

Does a fully blown, full-time airliner captain need to keep flying skills for a little plane? I doubt that one. Yes, I know quite some flying big and enjoying little for leisure, but are they "better" pilots? I would not sign that.
ChickenHouse is offline  
Old 9th Jul 2015, 16:03
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: In the boot of my car!
Posts: 6,000
Any training to be current has to be ongoing and that includes handling skills. There have been some accidents with the airlines where the FAA have noticed a lack of currency in basic handling skills and are requiring more in that area under test.

it may well be that ATPLs initially flew light aircraft but can become totally engrossed in automatics.

we make a habit of hand flying where possible below RVSM airspace in corporate jets and I know even Easy Jet are encouraging that now when conditions permit as there is a tendency to get wrapped up in automation and to become button pusher pilots

Pace
Pace is offline  
Old 10th Jul 2015, 13:59
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Nowhere near Shinbone Waterhole
Posts: 201
Does a fully blown, full-time airliner captain need to keep flying skills for a little plane? I doubt that one.
When time permits I go jump in my light aircraft taildragger...

1. For the pleasure of it.
2. To keep what piloting skills the automatics haven't sucked out of me yet.
3. To remind myself why TF I took up flying to begin with.
mikedreamer787 is offline  
Old 12th Jul 2015, 23:59
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,638
Originally Posted by Pull what View Post
Pilots tend to be obsessed about handling skills, the majority of jet transport accidents arnt caused directly by lack of handling skills, they are caused by error chain human factors

Neil Williams was an excellent handling pilot and an aerobatic champion but he killed himself and his wife by flying below safety altitude. A PPL with 5 hours solo could have prevented the accident.

At Kegworth some of the passengers with no flying skills where more aware of what was happening that the two pilots.

At Staines none of the four pilots realised the aircraft was stalled.

Improving the handling skills of any of the above accidents wouldn't have prevented these accidents
This is in many ways the classic argument for CRM and variations thereon - and in principle I don't disagree.

However, in my opinion, the concentration on CRM / teamwork / comms - call it what you has missed an important point. Historically things would have been far worse if there weren't people up the front with good handling skills: from wherever they'd come before - instructing, military flying, bush flying, whatever.

There seems to have been a perception that because all the big historic prangs were essentially about CRM failings, that was all that mattered. In reality, it wasn't, because handling related accidents were being avoided because those pilots were very good at handling.

So, in my opinion, handling is as important as it ever was - and we must guard against pilots losing that skill because of the concentration upon CRM.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:24
  #15 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 58
Posts: 4,237
When I think of Air France 447, Colgan Air near Buffalo, and Asiana in SFO, there could certainly be discussion about CRM failings, but ultimately if the pilot flying had applied good very basic flying skills, thing would have turned out better. CRM can help, but it should not be considered to make up for basic flying skill deficits.....

When I'm flying right seat to a new pilot, whom I'm mentoring by agreement, I assume that I might have to work within CRM to apply some of my basic flying skills to "fix" something. If I'm right seat to a senior Captain, I sure hope not!
Pilot DAR is online now  
Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:30
  #16 (permalink)  
Gender Faculty Specialist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Stop being so stupid, it's my turn
Posts: 1,702
But you can only apply those skills if you know they are needed.

If you don't recognise a stall/low speed, for instance, it doesn't matter how skilled you are.
Chesty Morgan is online now  
Old 13th Jul 2015, 11:33
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,638
Surely recognising that the aircraft has departed from controlled flight *is* a handling skill?

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 13th Jul 2015, 12:32
  #18 (permalink)  
Gender Faculty Specialist
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Stop being so stupid, it's my turn
Posts: 1,702
I'd say it's an awareness skill and once aware you use your handling skill to recover.

If you never become aware or become aware too late then it doesn't matter how skilled at handling you are. Turkish - Amsterdam.
Chesty Morgan is online now  
Old 19th Jul 2015, 21:13
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: England
Posts: 866
Surely recognising that the aircraft has departed from controlled flight *is* a handling skill?
Recognition is a management skill, recovery is a handling skill
In both the Air France and the BA Staines accident the pilots did not recognise what had caused the loss of control yet all of the pilots possessed the handling skills to recover the aircraft as would any PPL student with around 10 hours dual.

You do not need to practice handling skills regularly to be able to move the CC forward when you experience a loss of control but you do need a through understanding of what can make an aircraft not respond to normal control inputs by way of Threat & Error management
Pull what is offline  
Old 20th Jul 2015, 14:09
  #20 (permalink)  
Moderator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Age: 58
Posts: 4,237
So would the common training in the "big" plane environment afford the pilot frequent opportunities to practice recognition of impending loss of control? Surely this is not being done with pax aboard, so training must capture it. Is simple avoidance by rote enough? If the avoidance effort fails, then what, long expired PPL training handling skills from the first days as a pilot?
Pilot DAR is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.