View Full Version : How to keep proficient

1st Nov 2007, 14:53

just talked to a friend of mine. we both fly 737 and we both are based in one city. we both fly the aircraft for 3 years. so he thinks that flying always the same routes makes no proficiency, so in other words, flying wide variations of destinations in europ makes more skill etc. so i like to fly rotations out of one city, makes the routing to less distinations, not so wide variety. but im home every night and i like that.

so what do you think? do i have to have a bad mind now? is he more skilled than me? shall i make thoughts of that?

one more point: is flying 3 years short range ok to change on long range ops?what would you say?

appreciate your opinions

good day


1st Nov 2007, 19:00
I don't think it depends on the number of airports you have flown to. If you pick 10 airports in Europe that are, in one way or the other, special, then the job could be much more challenging than flying to 30 airports where you go in and out with no problems at all.
And there is another challenge: if you fly to a limited number of airports, you get to know them pretty well after some time. Still you have to maintain the same level of alertness whether it is your first or your 50th approach into the very same airport. Being able to do so certainly adds to your proficiency.
About your second question: why should 3 years of short-haul experience be too little?

Dream Land
2nd Nov 2007, 06:07
Not having flown long haul it's impossible to say, I would enjoy upgrading to the 777 or 330 but feel it would be a bit boring, I quite enjoy the four sector days and non-precision approaches. Very few airlines give you the opportunity to do both at the same time, a good situation if you can get it.

2nd Nov 2007, 09:20
I would say that 3 years full time flying shorthaul is about the stage at which a transfer to a solely LH fleet could be done - wouldn't recommend it with much less than that.

LH flying is 'operating the aircraft' and a way of life more than 'hands on flying' which is why you need the experience of lots of sectors to fall back on. It takes a while to get used to - and no - it doesn't suit everybody. I would however recommend that you take the opportunity to find out for yourself, and not to listen to other peoples perceptions, as they may well not match your own.

You will never feel quite as skilled as a proficient SH pilot, operating as an FO you may only handle 1 or 2 takeoffs and landings a month as compared to 20 or more in SH.

By flying LH you do add quite a few new dimensions to your portfolio though, some of which spring to mind as being Africa (the ITCZ, elevations and HF comms:eek:), Russia and China (language and metrics), North America (volume of traffic, rapid fire ATC and rwy changes, uncontrolled VFR traffic within 500ft etc), Australia (ATC think they fly the aircraft, Aussie rules!).

Throw all of that into the mix and then fly a Carnarsie approach to limits with a stonking tailwind into JFK and you still get enough excitement.

Tee Emm
2nd Nov 2007, 13:23
thinks that flying always the same routes makes no proficiency

Simply flying into lots of different airports does not necessarily ensure you are a proficient pilot. Hands on raw data flying without all the bells and whistles of automatic flight directors, autopilots and autothrottles will certainly improve you flying skills; but could also arouse the ire of management. Some managements encourage manual raw data flying providing it is conducted with commonsense and in appropriate flight conditions. Others insist on full automatics at all times even in the best of weather. Unfortunately full use of the automatics at all times inevitably result in a marked erosion of basic flying skills. Whether or not that is an important flight safety matter is open to wide interpretation

Unless you are equally competent at both the operation of automatics and manual flying skills then some would argue you are not really a proficent pilot.

Dream Land
3rd Nov 2007, 06:30
TopBunk, great information for us SH people, cheers. :ok: