View Full Version : Cast yourselfs back...

20th May 2008, 19:11
I'm not sure if this is the best place to post this, however I wonder if could cast yourself back the the first time you flew a large jet (or large jet simulator). What did you find the most difficult thing to get used to in terms of handling qualities and control inputs? Is there anything on a very basic level that you could recommend as a good starting technique for the first time in a large jet sim?

I have a 737-300 sim session booked in order to assess not my ability to fly a 737, but to listen to instruction and perform simple tasks on the flight deck to gain a place on a training course (no prizes for guessing where!). To get the most out of this for myself, not just to impress the training captain(:E), could give me some basic tips, techniques, things to watch out for, basically anything that will make it as fun and interesting as possible?

Thanks in advance (and please note: V1 or flex power will not be a consideration! :})

Right Way Up
20th May 2008, 19:22
The 737-300 is a very stable machine and if the sim is a reasonable one then the handflying should be fairly straight forward. Its a while since I flew the 737 but from memory it is good not to overtrim. When I say that I mean don't hold down the trim switch waiting for it to feel right. I found it easiest with a change of configuration to give it a few blips on the trim then assess. Like most big jets using the datum thrust settings vs pitch attitudes makes life much easier. Hopefully someone more current will give you those or maybe the assessing company already has.
Good luck!

20th May 2008, 19:43
The larger the airplane, generally the more stable in terms of mass an inertia. The larger the airplane, the greater the concept of mass management comes into play. The greater the need for stabilized operations such as approaches, early corrections, and small corrections.

When I started flying ag, time was money, and we stayed busy. We'd fly nearly to the runway at low level, roll into a steep turn to align with the runway while retarding power to idle, slow down so quickly it threw us forward in the seat, and touch down as we rolled out of the turn. When I began flying tubojet airplanes and big airplanes, I found that slowing down early, much farther away, and getting configured early was the key to making things work out.

In a small airplane, problems can often be handled on power alone, one can tolerate quick control inputs, and errors are often soon apparent. In a large airplane, power inputs must be planned in advance, and one may have to lead the power; put in more than required then take some back out, to achieve the same thing, make smaller, slower control inputs...and errors may take some time to show up. If not caught early, they may grow to the point recovery is difficult or even impossible (getting slow on an approach, for example, when heavy).

Probably one of the most important things to bear in mind after mass management, I think, is that a cockpit is a cockpit. There's a lot of airpalne beneath you and behind you, but the same principles apply in a Classic B747 that apply in a Cessna 172...the difference is that you can get away with bad habits more in the 172. Things don't happen fast, but should be done methodically, relying on procedure, coordination, other crewmembers, and the checklist.

The single biggest two helps to flying a big airplane, in my opinion; know the airplane and learn to work as a team. You can never learn enough about the airplane; systems, procedures, etc. You will never stop learning to work with others as you experience different skill levels, mentalities, backgrounds, experience, etc, among those who share the cockpit with you. What formerly was second nature and something you handled yourself suddenly becomes a subdivided task in which everyone plays a part. Others in the cockpit, be it a captain or first officer, or flight engineer, are people, professionals, and like your instruments and controls, required equipment and a part of the airplane. Learning a large airplane is as much about learning to coordinate your efforts with everyone else as it is about manipulating controls or learning systems.

Good luck!

20th May 2008, 20:22
The first time that you fly a sim it is not to be the best hand flying pilot on that plane. I would suggest to be methodic with the procedures. Don´t forget a single checklist and always follow the flight director. To fly the bars means also to select the correct mode on the mode panel. Never get nervous even in the worst scenary (a crash). Think that more important than having perfect hands skill is to mantain a good actitude. Try to enjoy and learn, more than think you are in a exam. Chewing gum helps to concentrate and relax. Good luck :ok:

20th May 2008, 21:01
Learn to trim. Pitch control was always more sensitive than roll in the sims I have flown. Figure out how to use the flight director and follow it considering that it is a trend instrument. Some people (including myself) find that using the armrest to rest your elbows on helps. And remember, mass management.

Pugilistic Animus
20th May 2008, 21:05
I would add ---try to learn the good and bad habits of the AP/FD ---such as [not sure about the 737] but some will send you to a 25 deg bank for a 5 DEGREE HDG CHANGE!!!, but it give you a rough idea of required attitude changes--learn from the ship itself:)

20th May 2008, 21:10
From my own experiences most people cannot relax. Drop your shoulders and also read the breif.

RTFQ = 1/2 TBA

And realy enjoy the time:ok:

21st May 2008, 00:09
I have no idea what the training course is or your experience if any…so sorry if this is a little basic.

1 RELAX a light grip on the yoke and be aware of your body tensing up and moving forward, plant your shoulder against the seat back, or you will over control.

2 Fly the pitch attitudes they give you religiously.

3 Know where, when and how you will ask for any checklists or config changes.

4. If it all gets too much and you are struggling to control the a/c…let go for 2 seconds, it will settle down and you can start controlling it again. Be SMOOTH and deliberate with the control inputs.

5. Most manoeuvres take 5 seconds. T/o… takes 5secs from pulling back to 15 degree nose up. Landing… when the threshold disappears from view count to 5 and pull back a little. Roll…about 5secs from wings level to 25-30degree AoB will be comfortable.

6 Be confident, if the examiner is trying to engage you in conversation don’t just reply with yes or no…be chatty but not at the expense of the task. He/She will be looking at your capacity to do two things at once and your personality, can you hold a conversation.

7 Unlike a piston a/c if you require a speed change you must advance or retard the throttle by ‘a good handful’ and then reset the power setting. (perhaps some one else could explain this better)

8 See tip 1

Good luck:ok:

21st May 2008, 20:16
Performance is important...

Yes, you really need to get to grips with performance...

by means of the ten Ps...

Power Plus Pitch equals Performance

Proper Preparation Prevents P***-Poor Performance

Dream Land
22nd May 2008, 03:34
Can't really add much to the excellent advice you've already received on handling, may I suggest that when you do your assessment you fully initiate proper CRM practices, while you are the handling pilot you want to do things at a pace to help the other crew member, to begin with, practice your takeoff briefing, be smooth, logical and NOT too long, when cleared for take off, ask the other guy if he is ready, use the other crew member, don't operate like a single pilot, request "lights on", instead of reaching up on your own. Treating the other crew member in this fashion will not only impress the check pilot, it will insure that you receive ample help when needed from the non flying pilot, good luck. :ok:

22nd May 2008, 03:45
The 737 is a tractor. The underslung engines have a marked pitch change when used, just remember any thrust change will require a corresonding pitch change to maintain the balance.....or if your like me and like it basic...Thrust lever forward means control column forward and vice versa.
Good luck and for every check ride fly the plane to the tightest of margins and if they offer you a play at the end............Fly like you stole it and have some fun.

22nd May 2008, 04:29
Suggest that the biggest problem initially is overcontrolling .. significance will depend on your Type experience. Suggestions -

(a) use the outboard armrest to support your elbow and then fly with your fingers/wrist .. not your arm

(b) know the pitch attitudes and thrust settings .. set them as accurately as you can first up without wasting time and then do the small change... assess .. small change thing.

23rd May 2008, 10:49
Thankyou all for the advice, I read all of your posts with great interest!

I passed the assessment day, I certainly owe a portion of that to you guys ;)


Dream Land
23rd May 2008, 11:27
Congratulations, well done. :ok:

23rd May 2008, 11:56
Congratulations Kerosenite.:ok:
I was writing you, but I have seen your last post.
Anyway I want to talk about the excellent advices here, and what good it would have been to all of us on our very beginnings. I have found especially important what John said about the elbow because it is not only for a good handling but also it is the first impression that you give to the instructor, your position, arms on particular. :D

Right Way Up
23rd May 2008, 12:08
Well done Kerosine, good news.

Now you've done the sim assessment, what would be your recommendations?