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View Full Version : Automatics versus flying skills - Are some pilots scared to fly by hand?


Centaurus
20th Oct 2008, 08:38
I am not certain which forum is appropriate for this question but here goes anyway.
Subject. Flight Simulator Recurrent training. There has always been a marked divergence of opinion on the relevance or otherwise of raw data manual handling skills in modern aircraft; particularly taking into account the superb reliability of automation.

Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, October 13th, 2008, has published an article by Frances Fiorino called "Back to Basics." The opening paragraph says technological advances are shifting the pilot's role to one of flight manager - and at the same time are underlining the need to maintain basic stick and rudder skills. Nothing new in that statement of course.

The author quotes Rory Kay, executive safety officer of the US Air Line Pilots Assocation, which represents 55,000 pilots in North America, as saying he has flown the first automated cockpits to their most advanced...he praises their safety benefits, such as engine monitoring, which present pilots with status messages they would not be aware of in older cockpits until it was too late. He stresses that proper training in automated cockpits is "absolutely paramount" as is reinforcement of basic stick and rudder skills.

Kay goes on to say "pilots must remember how to apply basic skills, basic airmanship... so you should have two ends of the evolutionary scale - basic training and advanced technology - side by side in the cockpit to complement each other." The NTSB wants to be certain that "if automation breaks down, the pilot knows how to take control and operate the aircraft."

That's all very good stuff of course, but in real life there is evidence that airline managements don't want a bar of manual flying skills and may even actively discourage pilots from disconnecting the automatics until forced to do so in the last few hundred feet from the threshold. During simulator recurrent training, and even type rating training it is rare to see time devoted to raw data skills, let alone actually flying the aircraft by hand sans autothrottle and FD.

A captain decided to disconnect the automatics and hand fly from 15,000 feet on descent. He also switched off the flight director knowing it would be a simple matter to switch back to automatics if needed operationally. Not a cloud in the sky and aircraft maintaining dead on flight planned track.

The first officer immediately objected and became quite vocal saying it was increasing his stress levels because instead of "monitoring" the captains "monitoring" of the automatics, the first officer was forced to sit bolt upright in his seat to closely "monitor the captains flying". The captain proceeded to fly a perfectly safe approach and landing and afterwards asked the shaken first officer why he objected to the captain keeping his hand in on basic skills. The first officer replied he was not used to watching hand flying in any of his other airline jobs as first officer and it was just pure luck this time that the descent and landing was within "tolerances." Pure luck of course was sheer nonsense. The captain was a skilful operator because he kept his hand in

Granted, this may seem an extreme case of a twitchy first officer, but it was obvious here was one pilot who lacked the confidence to keep up his own basic skills and derided the captain for "risking lives."

When even the manufacturers advise that automation skills need to be practiced either in the simulator or airborne - naturally depending on circumstances at the time - and also that manipulative skills must complement automation skills - why is it there are pilots out there that are so lacking in self confidence that they perceive manual skills as unnecessary and even dangerous? And these are the captains of the future! Scary isn't it?

Why have not these pilots who are so utterly dependant on automatics for comfort, exposed in their recurrent simulator training and forced into keeping their skills from eroding whether they like it or not? Is it because most simulator sessions are filled with pushing buttons and staring fixedly at MAP modes and the check pilots themselves are not convinced that basic stick and rudder skills are essential? That being so - and I suspect that is the case - then the authors of all the articles on automation complacency are simply wasting their writing skills because no one believes there is a problem..

Denti
20th Oct 2008, 10:12
I dunno about other countries requirements, but over here a mandatory part of each six months check is a manual raw data one engine inoperative go around, radar vectored pattern and precision approach, that has to be done following a normal FD manual flown one engine inoperative ILS down to minimum or below with FD failure at go-around.

My company encourages us to fly raw data, however at the same time we should take into account the general situation, workload, weather situation and other factors so most of us tend to do it at their homebase and smaller airports with less traffic which results usually in less workload. Some of course grow lazy until they realize its only a month til they have to do their SIM training and start doing raw data approaches again, most try to keep on the same level of training at all times which means fairly regular raw data flying throughout the normal flying schedule.

despegue
20th Oct 2008, 10:42
Every sim session we have includes Raw Data one-engine ILS approach with minumum Cat1 weather and some 15kts. crosswind,
A non-published manually flown holding, followed by a procedural NDB approach,
Airwork, such as Stalls and Steep turns. This is where the simulator is for, not for flying the MCP!!

My collegues and me normally always fly the approach sans FD, except in bad weather conditions.
Mostly Belgian Cockpit crew.

rubik101
20th Oct 2008, 11:32
Having been flying for some years before the Collins FD 108 was introduced on B707s, using such things as Decca and Omega for navigation and a rudimentary PDCS to assist the Flight Engineer in manually setting engine power, I can assure you that piloting skills were very different then, compared to today. Different.

All we ever did then was 'basic' flying. NAV switch, what is that?

Now we have Auto-pilots engaged at Take off, Lnav and Vnav engaged almost as we lift off and spend our time 'monitoring' the automatics.
If you lose all your automatic systems then a pilot without 'basic' flying skills will have a very hard time keeping the show on an even keel until he can land and get it all fixed.
Observing and monitoring the closed loop system from outside is very different from being in the loop itself, much less constituting the entire loop if all is lost.

However, my advice would be to look at the statistics from Mess'rs Boeing and Airbus regarding FD failures in the last 20 years (almost zero) and compare that with the number of incorrectly calculated performance data, engine failures/flame-outs, incorrect configurations, loss of spatial awareness, lack of ability in adverse weather and all the other elements that cause the majority of accidents and practice accordingly.

Flying a departure or an arrival without a FD hardly constitutes an increase in one's 'basic' flying skills. It merely removes those features built into the very system that has been installed to increase flight safety.

If your reasoning is that you ought to 'practice' raw data flying in case the automatics fail, then what is the point of doing such practice when the weather is severe CAVOK? Surely, you are reasoning that you need these skills in the event it all goes tits-up when the weather is awful? If the weather is fine then simply look out of the window and keep some power on until the wheels touch the ground.

Much better to hone your flight planning, briefing, performance calculations, normal and non normal procedures and getting the flare right than wasting your time flying around with the FD switched off!

Priorities.........

BelArgUSA
20th Oct 2008, 12:02
For the past 15 years, I have averaged an estimated 25 landings per year.
Do you really believe I would use the autoland...?
Yes... if maintenance/engineering wants to know if it works...
And then, that will be the F/O's sector... NOT MINE...
I practice autoland in... simulators.
xxx
I reserve the right to handfly from takeoff until about 10,000 feet in climb.
And handfly the approach and landing. Is that too much to ask...?
I know it is strange to you Geeks and Nerds to fly "needle, ball and airspeed"...
Well, after all, I fly the old 747s... with technology similar to Tiger Moths.
Never got trained to fly with a TV screen in front of me.
If at least they had good aviation movies, I might try...
xxx
I have 3 more landings to go... then RETIREMENT...
And glad to retire with the way aviation/airmanship has become.
xxx
:suspect:
Happy contrails

SNS3Guppy
20th Oct 2008, 12:02
I can't imagine that pilots in general, or very many at that, are afraid to hand fly the airplane. We normally hand fly through at least FL180, and I usually hand fly my approaches. We have operational requirements when on RNAV arrivals and when flying by RNAV to have the flight director operational and the autopilot available...doesn't have to be engaged.

The flight director can be a help or a hinderance. Our standard policy is to bias the vertical bar out of the way so it doesn't form a distraction. After takeoff, we'll usually call for airspeed-hold on the FD, but the rule as always is to fly through the flight director, rather than follow it. One should still be flying the airplane, rather than simply following behind it.

I find that if I have questions regarding what the autopilot is doing, my first action is to disconnect the autopilot and handfly. I see that nearly everyone around me does the same.

The autopilot or FD are nothing more than tools; the airplane flies fine with or without them.

411A
20th Oct 2008, 13:41
The first officer immediately objected and became quite vocal saying it was increasing his stress levels because instead of "monitoring" the captains "monitoring" of the automatics, the first officer was forced to sit bolt upright in his seat to closely "monitor the captains flying".

Really?

There is, of course, quite a valid solution to this 'problem.'

Simply trade the present first officer in for a new one, allowing the former to quietly exit through the HR door... permanently.:D

bucket_and_spade
20th Oct 2008, 14:02
My company has just tacked on an hour of manual handling for each pilot at each OPC/LPC session with no real syllabus - it's up to you what you want to practice. Sounds like a good idea to me :ok:

UK charter operating medium twinjets.

B&S

finncapt
20th Oct 2008, 20:22
"The passengers expect you to use the automatics" was posted in the KLM simulator in Amsterdam and I agree with that statement.

Would you be happy if your surgeon said he was going to do your hip replacement with the 1950's equipment just to practice his hand skills?

barit1
20th Oct 2008, 22:31
Would you be happy if your surgeon said he was going to do your hip replacement with the 1950's equipment just to practice his hand skills?

Not a very good analogy, hip replacements weren't there in the 50s. Better tools available today, but still a lot of "hand flying".

parabellum
21st Oct 2008, 04:15
No obejection to a hand flown approach provided you are not upping the workload of the NHP above a reasonable level in a congested and busy terminal approach area with frequent RT as well as speed and height changes and configuration changes.

Loose rivets
21st Oct 2008, 04:39
However, my advice would be to look at the statistics from Mess'rs Boeing and Airbus regarding FD failures in the last 20 years (almost zero) and compare that with the number of incorrectly calculated performance data, engine failures/flame-outs, incorrect configurations, loss of spatial awareness, lack of ability in adverse weather and all the other elements that cause the majority of accidents and practice accordingly.


Maybe that's because the black boxes get all the practice.


Seriously, this is just an extension of the thread last week. Search Davis.

The Da Vinci machine does a lot of the 'Handling' in surgery these days. In Canada, a brain surgeon abandoned the machine he was using to go manual. That piece of kit cost 5 times that of the Da Vinci. Basic skills are what you are paid to carry onto that aircraft. Abandon those, and you will watch black boxes take off without you within 20 years.

SNS3Guppy
21st Oct 2008, 06:16
Abandon those, and you will watch black boxes take off without you within 20 years.


Unfortunately we're not that far removed as it is now.

I suspect whether we like it or not, it will be the reality in 20 years.

I'm fortunate to be flying a machine presently that requires good situational awareness and basic flying skills, because there's a lot the airplane just won't do for you...which in my view is as it should be. I come from a crop dusting, hands-on, background, and I see hands-on skills as important, be it stick and rudder or instrument flying. However, I do see what I'd deem to be a significant decrease in stick skills today, and with increasing automation, perhaps an over reliance upon automation.

A few years ago I saw a report on the TV about an aircraft upset involving a regional turbopropeller airplane. The description sounded somewhat like a tailplane stall, with reports of a roll to the inverted and a nose down pitch of 30-45 degrees. I was absolutely horrified to see the captain on that flight be interviewed live, and say (I kid you not) that the airline needed to seek better instruments because "my instruments gave me no meaningful information." He was upset, and rather than keep shut and appear the fool, he proverbially opened his mouth and removed all doubt. He admitted, live on national television, that he couldn't read his instruments during the upset, and said he couldn't figure out which way was up.

I shudder to imagine that one day any of my family might be on a flight commanded by someone such as this, or even that someone such as this managed to pass one or more checkride. Yet he did. Worse, he became a captain. He did so in a company where the choices were among those who bought their jobs, who attended a school run by the airline, and subsequently went to work...so the airplanes were staffed by inexperienced pilots who knew nothing outside what they'd been told in a classroom...having been taught by other inexperienced pilots.

I refer to this as the "heritage of inexperience," and it's rife throughout the industry today. We've just come from one of the largest hiring booms in the history of the industry, on a global scale, and we see a lot of pilots in seats what have never proven themselves. Pilots who've never actually experienced an emergency outside a simulator, who refer to their seniors in respectful tones such as "dude," and upon reflection of the miracle of aviation are inspired to say "way cool." A crowd that's affectionately referred to in the cockpit as "children of the magenta line."

I flew with one a few years ago. Never mind partial panel. Cover up his EHSI display, and take away the map, and he couldn't navigate to save his life, let alone fly a straight line. I forwarded a letter to the chief pilot recommending his dismissal...as did every other Captain I knew. He eventually busted out of a recurrent...didn't make it through the oral in the ground school...but he should never have been there in the first place. I watched him get lost, completely disoriented, five times in the traffic pattern on a VMC night...with me bugging him around using the magic magenta line....he was that bad.

The same kid, one night out of Tampa, engaged the yaw damper on me before I asked. He did it about the same time as we got some wake turbulence, and while I was trying to use the rudders, the airplane was trying to prevent it. I kicked the yaw damp off, and he reached up and reset it. I told him to leave it alone...he didn't understand, didn't listen. He didn't understand why someone would want to fly the airplane instead of turning the airplane over to the automation and hoping the automation would handle it.

Yes, they're out there. I can only hope that they are few, and in the minority. With or without them, however, I suspect that the time is fast approaching when pilots will be relegated to observers rather than participants.

Carnage Matey!
21st Oct 2008, 08:01
He admitted, live on national television, that he couldn't read his instruments during the upset, and said he couldn't figure out which way was up.

Do you think these incidents didn't happen before automation? Aircraft have been crashing since long before the flight director was invented because humans got disorientated and couldn't interpret their instruments.

flightleader
21st Oct 2008, 08:19
There is nothing wrong if the captain wants to enjoy a little or practise/refresh a little hand flying. A little CRM to communicate with the FO before knocking the A/P could have help.Nonetheless,not a cloud in the sky doesn't necessary means that there would be no other threats until touch down.How about traffic,complicated ATC vectors and of course,a weak FO that couldn't cope with the workload? These factors sure play a bigger role than having a little bit of manual flying fun.

It is also the FO's right to speak up to the captain if he is finding it hard to cope.Send him back for some training if you have to after the flight,but for that very moment,noone need a distressed right hand man.

SNS3Guppy
21st Oct 2008, 09:03
Do you think these incidents didn't happen before automation? Aircraft have been crashing since long before the flight director was invented because humans got disorientated and couldn't interpret their instruments.


I'm well aware of that. However, this brilliant one should have kept his mouth shut instead of appearing right after the fact, live, on television. Furthermore, he wasn't claiming disorientation. he was claiming that modern instrumentation is inadequate and unuseable past a few degrees up and down. In particular, he was seeing a field of brown on the indicator, and had no idea based on what he saw how to recover. He didn't understand the concept of a sky pointer, or how to read his instruments. It wasn't just disorientation...it was a very basic lack of flying ability. Going way back to basic instrument training...instrument interpretation, crosscheck, and aircraft control. If one can't even understand the instruments, then the rest is an academic impossibility, or at best, a gamble.

He was gambling by being in the airplane, and the company, by putting him there. In my book, that's criminal.

Tmbstory
21st Oct 2008, 09:07
BelAgrgUSA:

Thanks for the good post. In my opinion a pilot should be capable of hand flying from take-off to final cruise level and the reverse to a landing. To be capable you need to practice from time to time.

All the best in your retirement, it is normal to find out that there is never enough time to do all the things that you may have planned.

Well done

Tmb

toolowtoofast
21st Oct 2008, 09:36
For the past 15 years, I have averaged an estimated 25 landings per year.

Good grief! Some of us can do that in a DAY!

Happy retirement :) Don't stop looking skywards

framer
21st Oct 2008, 10:05
Try before lunch! ....granted they weren't in a 747 though:)
Congratulations BelagrUSA, hope you enjoy your last three flights. I enjoy your posts and expect you to post more regularly with all the spare time coming your way:ok:

parabellum
21st Oct 2008, 11:12
"you will watch black boxes take off without you within 20 years."

It will never happen. Apart from the passengers not accepting it, (they are nervous enough now with human crew), there is the security issue.

Terrorists are becoming ever more sophisticated and the idea that you can have aircraft aloft, full of PAX but no pilots is, to be honest, quite ridiculous.

It would be Oh so too easy for terrorist to either, a). Take over a ground controlling station and then cause mayhem or b). Set up transmission equipment that will over-ride the official ground equipment. A few dedicated suicide terrorists for case a). and a few dedicated hackers for case b). Every new computer security invention is hacked within weeks at the moment.

Next, try to find insurance cover that will even look at you when you tell them you want to fly a pilot less aircraft worth $150,000,000 and 350 passengers at liability coverage of $1,000,000 each into major airports where third party insurance requirements run to thousands of millions of $, as I said at the beginning, it will never happen.

Dream Land
21st Oct 2008, 12:44
Most of my flying is with Ab-Initio pilots and they have never had a problem with my hand flying, IMO if this stresses out a crewmember, he needs to find a new profession, if you don't use it, you lose it.

pool
21st Oct 2008, 12:50
Some good posts. We should however not get stuck on the litteral "hand flying". There's more to it. Observation of the average new pilot today on the biggies shows the weak spots. Hand flying to me is also the part where the FMS/managed flight is left and the FCP sets in. It's mind boggling to see that one in two of todays jockeys are unable to extrapolate a decent flight path in the absence of the virtual GP. Some are completely lost when abeam at FL 100 and cleared for a visual. Not even talking about bad speed management when nothing is programmed. On a recent checkride we were instructed to hold over a NDB instead of the expected VOR, the NDB beeing 2nm ahead. I flew the good old tear-drop entry just to discover the FO and the instructor lost in space ... both desperately trying to set up the FMS with heads down on the right set to bring them into the loop again!
These skills are beeing lost just as much as the hands on stuff. Remembering the Lufthansa 320 in x-wind and many more lovely examples on Youtube show that these skills really need to be upheld. In some companies the amount of unstabilised approaches are quite frankly frightening. Lame excuses: Unexpected tight vectoring. No wonder the ATC controllers start doubting our skills and build in more separation and approaches with step-downs that make sure the jockeys get down, even if they burn a few hundred kilos more .
I just do not believe that these manual Cat1 flydowns in the Sim prove enough as training. The Sim is the Sim, not more. We need to train the guys to be on top of the situation at all times, irrespective of tight vectoring, FMS absence or funny reclearences. If so, they are much better suited to judge REALLY unstabilised or dangerous stuff. To force pilots to use almost only automatics, in the name of safety, is the wrong approach, i'd go so far and pretend it's counterproductive.
Best use of equippment should always INCLUDE the pilot.

PPRuNe Towers
21st Oct 2008, 13:00
Many touching on the safety aspects of automation.

What about the commercial? If the MEL allows flight without parts of the automatics for days at a time how can you as an individual pro or as a cog in a company SMS justify an automatics and flight director only culture?

I particularly invite reactions and observations to loss of just autothrottle as a kick start to a trying day on the line.

Rob

low n' slow
21st Oct 2008, 13:31
It's sad to hear that a few unlucky souls have managed to create an image of the new generation as having inadequate flying skills and being generally useless as pilots. It's very true that many of us have a lot to learn, but please don't generalise.

I reacted to SNS3's post indicating that you fly through the flight director?
I find this interesting, this is no critique, but it's interesting to hear different philosophies about this topic. In my outfit you either fly the flight director or you don't display it. Having the FD on the display indicates your intention to follow it's guidance and thus is a help for the non flying pilot to monitor the handling. Of course, it entails a lot of ordering to set headings, speeds, vertical speeds and etc. In short that type of flying requires a lot of communication. If one wants to fly rawdata, the FD is deselected and thereby one level of "help" is taken away and also a lot of the communication.

Flying manually following the FD is not about being behind the plane. In fact, I find it helpful in planning my next step since I have to come up with the correct order to set the new setting. It forces me to think ahead.

/LnS

411A
21st Oct 2008, 13:34
I particularly invite reactions and observations to loss of just autothrottle as a kick start to a trying day on the line.


We have autothrottle of course, as well as thrust management (for use in climb/cruise to avoid excessive throttle 'hunting' found on some other types) however its unserviceability is not especially a detriment to ops, not that I have noticed, anyway.
Now, I don't do five sectors a day, either.
Might be a tad different for the busy short haul guys.

BOAC
21st Oct 2008, 13:34
Having known a senior manager in a company WITHOUT such policies almost stall a manual throttle (sorry, 'thrust levverrrr') 737, I would suggest that any Captain in such a company as you cite has good grounds for refusing MEL dispatch for such a failure? That could focus the blind.

At least one would be 'up-to-speed':rolleyes: by the 4th sector............

SNS3Guppy
21st Oct 2008, 14:16
I can't see failure of an autothrottle as much of a hinderance at all. Then again, while we do have some airplanes with functional autothrottles, we have many that aren't, and don't get used. It's not uncommon to nurse the thrust levers all the way across the Atlantic, as a result. I don't see autothrottle deferral as something I'd think twice about. It's nice to have...but just not that big a deal.

The autopilot system, on the other hand, can mean changes to the ability to operate with RVSM, and consequently changes to where and how one operates, fuel, etc.

If one out of three autopilot channels is out, then again, not really something to lose sleep over. Two out of three, for that matter (we've usually only got two, so we start the day down one to begin with)...but it does signify additional planning is in order for the eventuality that the remaining one might be lost.

Flight director is out...in our system it's possible to have an inoperative FD with a functional autopilot (had that the other day). In that case, both vertical and horizontal FD guidance might be out, or just one or the other. A few days ago it was just my vertical, so I biased it up and out of the way and had the azimuth bar for guidance. Flight director out isn't the end of the world, either, and I would hope one wouldn't think it is. It's nice to have, but the full scan should always be going, flight director or not.

Someone above questioned my use of the phrase "to fly through the flight director." I mean just that. While they're called "command bars," they're really not. A better term might be advisory bars, and in my opinion one should always fly through them, rather than follow them blindly. If one is simply following the crosshairs, or putting the doghouse under the banana, without regard to altimetry, heading, course, airspeed, etc, then one has abdicated flying the airplane to the machine, and that's never a good thing. Particularly if one is handflying and using the FD.

If one is simply going to blindly follow the flight director, what if someone inadvertantly turns the heading bug too far, or turns it the wrong direction? Are we going to follow it the wrong direction, or simply turn in the right one, bank to what the FD would normally command (25 deg), and enter the turn while the PNF corrects his heading bug entry and the FD catches up? I'm going to fly through the flight director. I'm not going to ask someone to reach across the cockpit, turn it off, go back and correct the heading bug, then reach back and turn it on again. That would be more confusing and wasteful than simply flying the airplane around the turn.

A few months ago on arrival at JFK, we were given a hold, due to the airport closure. The PNF, a check airman, got busy with the FMS trying to put in a hold. The hold feature is great, but this was a direct entry and we were nearly on top of the fix. I crossed the fix and entered the hold maually, setting the VHF radios and inbound once I had made my intial turn. We were thorugh the second turn before the check airman managed to get into the box what he wanted in the box...making it far more complicated than it ever needed to be. While I appreciate the love of automation and the little magenta line, I submit we can fly just fine without it, be it the box itself, or the systems it commands.

Now a common practice which I see frequently, and of which I am equally guilty due to my ensconced laziness and general mindless malaise, is to fly an ILS off the victor radios, but go to the FMS for the missed approach procedure. This is easy, and simplifies a lot, but it can be too easy. Especially if the missed involves any complexity. What I usually do is ensure the procedure is loaded, check the hold on the missed and the procedure against what I have on the chart, and then fly the procedure off my VHF radios. If I have to go missed, I'll go back to the FMS...partially because it's got everything there in order with all the turns and the hold...but largely because I've become lazy. Lacking automation, that would my biggest (and really only) gripe should equipment fail or be deferred for maintenance...owing only to my own mental fatness and sluggishness and not to any compromise in safety it represents.

After all, that's what they pay us for (not the lazy and sluggish part...that comes free of charge :E).

Intruder
21st Oct 2008, 14:22
I find this interesting, this is no critique, but it's interesting to hear different philosophies about this topic. In my outfit you either fly the flight director or you don't display it. Having the FD on the display indicates your intention to follow it's guidance and thus is a help for the non flying pilot to monitor the handling.
Part of my standard brief when flying with a new guy (someone I have not flown with before, regardless of experience): "If you want to do something non-standard, just brief me first."

FD is one of those things in my personal "nonstnadard" bucket... When on a visual, PAR, or VOR final, I will have the FD set via MCP to 800 fpm down. I use this as a reference point only (and I brief that to my FO), not clear direction. That gives me one more quick reference to a "nominal" rate of descent.

Every now & again you MUST resort to hand flying in order to land at all. Just yesterday going into CAtania Sigonella, Visual approach was the only option. ATC had us at 3000' until we got the runway visually. That was at about 5 miles. The autopilot is NOT going to get you down safely in a case like that! If you're not comfortable and proficient at hand-flying, you're no longer a good pilot.

Tee Emm
21st Oct 2008, 14:30
Excellent discussion. I recall cruising at 35,000 somewhere over Europe 20 years ago. Lovely day and I advised the newspaper reading No 2 that I would fly manually without even the aid of the FD including no autothrottle and tracking the various VOR's on the flight plan for the next five minutes or so. He sat up white with fright and said "If that is so I must put on my shoulder harness." He was genuinely frightened. A few minutes later I re-connected the automatics and he let out his pent up breath. "That was nice flying he said - I have never flown by hand above 5000 ft and never switched off the FD ...."

I am convinced that most pilots who protest that the automatics way is the only safe way, are deluding themselves. Either they are too damned lazy to keep their hand in despite numerous opportunities to do so - and I suspect the majority fit this bill; Or they are simply incompetent for the task - they know it but would never admit it.

BOAC
21st Oct 2008, 14:30
I can't see failure of an autothrottle as much of a hinderance at all. - nor can I, nor, I suspect can PPT, but you have missed his point.

PPRuNe Towers
21st Oct 2008, 14:39
Precisely BOAC,

For the last 8 or 9 years I've found myself sitting next to people who reflect the apparent 'fear' mentioned at points in this thread along with a genuine and significant downgrade in their normal performance. And this with just loss of autothrottle.

I also see the magic glass display flexibility not being used when someone does decide to fly non flight director. Flying an ILS with just a pair of dancing magenta diamonds to chase seems daft when a simple, but not regularly done, switch change gives a traditional and big picture display with all the trend information you could want in view.

..... and then let the fmc fly the missed approach:ok::}

Rob

SNS3Guppy
21st Oct 2008, 14:52
I also see the magic glass display flexibility not be used when someone does decide decide to fly non flight director. Flying an ILS with just a pair of dancing magenta diamonds to chase seems daft when a simple, but not regularly done, switch change gives a traditional and big picture display with all th trend information you could want in view.


In our displays, we don't have that option...FD on or off, we don't have the ability to switch to a different display. For those operating analog, of course, it's never an option, and while a component failure will bias the analog FD out of view (or should), the transfer from automation to otherwise is really nothing more than it was before anything failed.

A separate EHSI, for us, can switch between a traditional HSI display or a map...but that's it. Perhaps that's why loss of any particular component (in our airplanes, at least) presents little concern...it doesn't really change anything we're seeing in front of us, and requires just a little more effort on our part.

- nor can I, nor, I suspect can PPT, but you have missed his point.


I don't think so, but if so, what then, is the point?

If you're referring back to discussion regarding flying through the flight director, it may come down to operational differences in technique from one operator to another. I rather think that regardless of whether one elects to discontinue calls and remove the FD completely or not, the technique remains the same, and flying through the director becomes nothing more than simply utilizing all the resources one has before him rather than blindly following only one.

This then, points to the larger discussion regardin loss of automation, because whereas the transition to flying the airplane should be seamless in the case of the FD (where one is continually scanning and not just following the automation), so it is with all components. Loss of the autothrottle or autopilot or AFCS means little more than flying through those systems and continuing manually.

Perhaps your point is that it's lacking today, and that may be the case. I would hope not. I've seen some glaring examples of basic skils lacking or rusting away in the cockpit, but in my limited experience and view, those cases are by far the minority.

As for the FD issue itself, whether I display it or not, I still need to request headings be set, airspeeds be set, etc...and thus not a lot has changed between having it on or off. If it's truly completely failed then of course one will shut it off and remove the distraction...but otherwise I'll keep flying through it as need be. Was that part of the point or did I miss that, too?

low n' slow
21st Oct 2008, 20:43
Ok I see what you mean Guppy. Ofcourse, when flying with the aid of the FD, I'll check that the speed the pitch is giving me is something I can live with and that it headingwise is doing the correct thing. It's something that you pick up when doing your basic scan. I interpeted your "flying through the FD" as flying against it, ie. turning the plane in one direction and having the FD going somewhere else just because there's a lazyness of not setting the FD correctly.
Despite our SOP, I see it frequently and that's what I thought you were referring to.

/LnS

Semu
21st Oct 2008, 22:26
All of this is very good, but I want to interject a (non safety related) point. I came into this game to fly airplanes, and the beat up 747s I am dragging around the world with lying flight directors do rather fit the bill. When I am forced into the -400 video game, I will seriously look at a desk somewhere, or look for a job as a pilot somewhere. Not to say that the operators of the new (working) automated aircraft don't do a complex job, and do it well, it just happens not to be a job that is particularly attractive to me.

As to the original post, are some pilots scared to fly by hand, I am not, but I think some of my captains are beginning to be...

Pugilistic Animus
21st Oct 2008, 22:45
I thought that the CDI WAS the FD:}

just a quick question----
don't some companies altogether forbid handflying?--I remember--some discussion of this on an earlier thread--but I may have my wires crossed--I'm not talking about RVSM--I mean they feel that "automatic flight should/must be engaged as soon as practical to ensure blah, blah, blah",--something like that

Loose rivets
22nd Oct 2008, 04:53
So, no horizons and just basic instruments would prove a bit of a challenge then?



Years ago, I got flamed for suggesting that One could fly jet transport aircraft when down to basics including a turn and slip indicator, yet I'd done it dozens of times in a DC3, and a few times in a 1-11. Sure, we were empty - cos the timed turns were a bit jerky, but it was do-able.

When one really rough night all the screens went out, my -soon to be captain - F/O, was 'Not at all happy.' to use his words as he pulled and reset circuit breakers, yet I felt quite flush having a standby horizon...Luxury, as they say.

Frankly, I'm horrified by the contents of this thread. Things are a lot worse than I realized. Roll on the days of Captain Black-Box. Won't happen? Think on.

Despite the valid comments about the security issues, electronics and software are becoming more and more secure. We're not dealing with a system that's literally connected to the entire world, but an enclosed system, that in 20 years will be so 'intelligent' that an intruder will have to first get at it by some extraordinary means, but then hack some of the most difficult software on the planet. Remember, there'll be no cockpit to break into, just electronics bays hidden deep in the works.

Of course security will still be breakable, but compared to two or so, possibly tired, fallible mortals...it'll be no contest.

A flight manager on board? Now, there's the weak link.

BEagle
22nd Oct 2008, 07:01
Quite appalling that so many tales of these Nintendo-kids have appeared on this thread - a sad reflection on modern times if they haven't ever flown the aircraft manually.

About 6 years ago when I was instructing on the VC10, on the first trip in the aeroplane the copilots would fly the thing manually until top of climb in the mid-'30s, then a period of straight and level followed by a 30 deg AoB turn. Just so that they knew how hard it was and the reason for the autopilots!

Normally we flew the thing on autopilot until 'beacon outbound'; from then on it was all manual - although the FE would set the thruse setting called by the pilot since it took both hands to move the yoke.

Remember a TV series a few years ago about pilots competing to fly a Lancaster? Everything from a young PPL holder to an airline pilot - and one of the worst was the airline copilot whose manual flying skills were pretty dire.

And this certainly won't get better with the advent of the Microsoft Pilot Licence.

All this CRM headshrinker horse$hit is unlikely to help when all the little screens take time out either.

parabellum
22nd Oct 2008, 07:14
Sorry Loose Rivets but I strongly disagree. You may have the technology for a black box captain that is terrorist proof but you will never get it past the public and you will never get it insured.

Loose rivets
22nd Oct 2008, 08:05
Of course, I can't see into the future, but as far as insurance is concerned, I can envisage a time when insurers won't want people that can't fly, even being near, let alone touching the controls of 'their' aircraft.

It's just statistics...if the black boxes can do it better, they will be the ones that get the job as far as the underwriters go. The public? Mmmm...might have to have an actor or two seen boarding before the flight.

Sounds a bit like we've already reached that situation.


That was nasty, but if there is a single pilot boarding $150,000,000 worth of kit, that can't master the darn thing if something goes wrong, then...well, if the cap fits and all that.



Remember, there will be hundreds of man-years going into the programming. The amassed total of man's knowledge gained over 100 years of flying. A pilot can take up just so much history, but a black box will be able to apply the logic of every known accident...ever. Chess? One big difference.


When IBM and others set out to beat chess champions, they did a fair job, but certainly did not win all the time. There are two reasons that this shouldn't give comfort to pilots. One is of course that software and its associated chips are now so much more powerful than they were 5 years ago, almost an exponential rise in processing power, giving 'What ifs' a total virtual library.

The other comparison is that the chess players had time to search for possibilities...far too much time to for a quick reaction to a nasty situation in an aircraft. The black box could search for every known piece of history, allow it to modify the prime parameters if needed, and do all this in much less than a second. With world cooperation, it would never, ever, make a mistake...mistake...mistake...

Stanley Eevil
22nd Oct 2008, 08:36
Excellent discussion. I recall cruising at 35,000 somewhere over Europe 20 years ago. Lovely day and I advised the newspaper reading No 2 that I would fly manually without even the aid of the FD including no autothrottle and tracking the various VOR's on the flight plan for the next five minutes or so. He sat up white with fright and said "If that is so I must put on my shoulder harness." He was genuinely frightened. A few minutes later I re-connected the automatics and he let out his pent up breath. "That was nice flying he said - I have never flown by hand above 5000 ft and never switched off the FD ...."

I am convinced that most pilots who protest that the automatics way is the only safe way, are deluding themselves. Either they are too damned lazy to keep their hand in despite numerous opportunities to do so - and I suspect the majority fit this bill; Or they are simply incompetent for the task - they know it but would never admit it.

One of the reasons I `ve remained a military pilot. I want to be able to hand fly when the circumstances warrant it, and not be a glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkey.

Mshamba
22nd Oct 2008, 09:15
I am an "ab initio" pilot and working as an FO now since half a year. I do so well remember my very first "real" flight after the typerating, my first supervision flight.

I made the takeoff, as we had the acft clean and our 250 knots, 3000 ft height or so, i turned on the AP - as used from the SIM. My supervision captain switched everything off immediately. AP off, FD off - and even my beloved magenta, leaving my flying manually all the way up to cruising level. 10 minutes after cruising level he allowed me to switch on the automatics.

Descend: 10 miles before top of descend the same story. All switches off, and me, the poor desperated FO who's mind was still on the gate had to manage to fly the whole approach manually - raw data. Well - i did manage and despite i cannot remember every detail i'm quite sure i managed it well.

After this experience i was cured. I learned most probably the biggest lesson of my flying-life: you CAN fly manually, even if you are a bloody beginner - the whole flight. You don't need any automatics! Today i laugh about that - but at that very day it was new for me.

I am quite sure most of the pilots fresh out of the factory number next do not expire such a supervisor, nor do they fly that much manually. So where should they get this so desperately needed self confidence from? If you never experience a manual flight from the beginning to the very end, if you always use FD/AP/AT/magenta line - no wonder you are "trained" to be frightened by any manual and/or raw data flying. The reaction of the quoted frightened FO's are understandable. And my kind advice: drop them into the cold water and let THEM fly manually, that they get their self confidence what they obviously do not have.

I am thankful 'til today to my supervisor for that lesson (thanks Gerry :ok:) - and love to fly manually as much as i am allowed by my "magenta-loving" captains...

PS: I experience quite a lot captains who fly the automatics from 500 ft to 500 ft... even a visual approach must be put into the FMC to be flown... asked about the answers they're always the same: for economical reasons, to see deviations from the descend path, better management in general or the beloved sentence "i flow more manually in my life than all other pilots put together, so now i enjoy the automatics". Cheers, dude.

Atlantean1963
22nd Oct 2008, 09:23
Please excuse an SLF jumpingin here, but from an SLF perspective, the response to the original question

"Are some pilots scared to fly by hand?"

can only be to point out that if the pilot is scared to fly by hand, then there are several hundred people sat behind him who are bloody terrified...

I suspect that as SLF we're not really bothered if you do or you don't fly by hand - but we really, really, really, want to feel confident that you can if you have to... :)

Best Regards,

Atlantean.

Tee Emm
22nd Oct 2008, 12:39
and flying through the flight director becomes nothing more than simply utilizing all the resources one has before him rather than blindly following only one.


A re-occuring event I often see during simulator training (B737) is the difficulty of some pilots when conducting a single engine go-around and trying hard to follow the flight director commands. At the moment of go-around, these chaps press the TOGA button which normally causes the FD needles to guide the pilot to the correct roll/pitch angles. In the 737 on a single engine approach the autothrottle is switched off (Boeing recommendation).

But what sometimes happens is the pilot presses TOGA but momentarily forgets to push open the thrust lever because in his two engine go-arounds the TOGA button also operates the autothrottles (if armed of course) and the pilot is used to instant thrust application from one push of a button. By now the FD needles are all over the place and the grim chase to centre them is on. Even if the pilot does push the live engine thrust lever to the go-around N1, the resulting yaw and roll, if not immediately countered correctly, leads to more FD needle gyrations and I have observed significant angles of bank accompanied by significant changes of heading as the pilot concentrates his efforts on trying to satisfy flight director signals.

The point made of "seeing beyond" the FD needles or flying "through" the FD is valid. In fact, in preparation for the early simulator lessons on single engine go-arounds, one teaching method that works remarkably well is to first practice the go-around procedure raw data - that is FD off. After the first couple of attempts using basic ADI scanning, where the actual planned body angle can be readily seen on the ADI, unhindered by two needles jerking in seemingly random directions while blocking the view of the "little aeroplane", we found that pilots could do a perfectly satisfactory job of a go-around.

One good piece of advice offered to pilots who find the FD needles a hindrance in a single engine GA, is to scan the standby ADI and use that instrument to keep wings level and body angle pinned until the FD needles settle down and give you more precise commands.

The point I am making is that in the iniitial flurry of activity associated with a single engine FD go-around, we see more excess bank angles, heading changes and varying of airspeed, when eyes are glued to following FD commands, than in the theoretically more demanding raw data go-around. Of course a pilot should be equally competent at both types of single engine go-around. But, that seldom happens - especially where recurrent simulator training is months apart and most of that is on automatics anyway.

Denti
22nd Oct 2008, 16:31
A re-occuring event I often see during simulator training (B737) is the difficulty of some pilots when conducting a single engine go-around and trying hard to follow the flight director commands. At the moment of go-around, these chaps press the TOGA button which normally causes the FD needles to guide the pilot to the correct roll/pitch angles. In the 737 on a single engine approach the autothrottle is switched off (Boeing recommendation).


Boeing made some changes in its later models to cater for the automation folks. Since CAT IIIa single engine approaches, which includes automatic go-around capability, is now available it is of course easier to fly the one engine out go-around (because the automatics fly it), however it is allways very interesting to see the gyrations once a different vertical mode is selected and the automatic rudder kicks out and it is the pilots responsibility to care about yaw and associated stuff. I certainly don't want to sit in the last row of any airplane with an untrained crew where that happens :)

Pugilistic Animus
22nd Oct 2008, 16:52
I liked to watch when folks used the FD on the 757/767 as a "TO director" in the sim a nasty surprise may await---you'll learn to fly through it:E

the Cirrus aircraft's G1000 is maybe 100X more capable than that of the Boeing amazing but:\
I still have not checked out you need about 25 hrs to fly and that's VFR-only ---IFR--I don't know:sad:---give me a Mooney or a Bonanza sooo much easier---and yes one can make real compass turn if you know your latitude

oxenos
22nd Oct 2008, 17:21
The latest report on the Quantas Airbus emergency landing ( R & N ) states that the pilots disengaged the auto pilot and hand-flew the aircraft for all but a few seconds following the initial problem. I am sure no-one would question their wisdom in doing so. How well would the "auto-pilot in at all times" brigade have coped?

Carnage Matey!
22nd Oct 2008, 17:37
Probably equally well given that it's a fly-by-wire Airbus!

GearDown&Locked
23rd Oct 2008, 14:50
How well would the "auto-pilot in at all times" brigade have coped?


See the example of the BA038... as far as we know, A/P only disconnected by itself when out of operational range. If we remove the fact that the A/C was too close to the ground to allow other options and if it ocurred at 2000ft AGL would hand flying the A/C made any difference to the outcome?

And to the non-magenta pilots: Would you have felt safer/more confident shutting off all automatics and hand-flown the plane to the ground on a similar situation?

Excellent discussion between all of PPrune's heavy weights BTW.

GD&L :ok:

SNS3Guppy
23rd Oct 2008, 14:58
One of the reasons I `ve remained a military pilot. I want to be able to hand fly when the circumstances warrant it, and not be a glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkey.


Your assertion,then, is that nonmilitary pilots can't fly, or are "glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkeys?

Stanley Eevil
23rd Oct 2008, 19:55
One of the reasons I `ve remained a military pilot. I want to be able to hand fly when the circumstances warrant it, and not be a glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkey.

Your assertion,then, is that nonmilitary pilots can't fly, or are "glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkeys?

You may think that; I couldn`t possibly comment.

BelArgUSA
23rd Oct 2008, 20:19
Stanley -
xxx
What do you expect in this day and age of MCL licences...?
Takes a lot of training, practice and airmanship to move an "ON & OFF" switch...
xxx
Somewhat similar to that American lady last month in Madrid.
I was in a car hire office... She asks me "do you speak Spanish...?"
I say yes...
"Could you ask them to give me an automatic transmission car instead...?"
She could not drive a regular transmission...
xxx
:*
Happy contrails

Loose rivets
23rd Oct 2008, 21:06
Odd that. A couple of life-long lady friends at home, have never held a license that entitles them to drive a manual transmission.


I suppose we were lucky that there were no simulators about when the first 1-11s were delivered. Upper air work included aileron through to the spoiler, and stalls through to the push. Quite innocuous really, but I would hate for it to have happened on a 'dark and stormy' without having practiced it first. Well, I'd hate for it to happen then anyway, cos of the tea and bikkies conversation that it would have prompted, but you know what I mean.

The memories come flooding back. 1500' QFE over the threshold at SEN in a Viscount, then being told 'Now land it.' And at Teeside training on the new 1-11 doing the bad weather circuits. Just fabulous fun. One liberal type let me charge round at 500' on full noise with 60 deg bank. I can still see him, way up above me, laughing his head off. When did aviation stop being fun?

My attempts at doing BW circuits in the sim, were pathetic. Just guessing angles in the haze really. No comparison.


I don't know what the solution is. Even if all the airlines pooled their resources, and tried to follow Davis' logic, it would still be too expensive to run an aircraft large enough to be of use. That is enough aircraft for crews to all get a go at real handling. Not being on type wouldn't matter for this detail, first and foremost it would be the g-forces during these maneuvers that would be the main difference. When things go wrong, simulated gravity sucking at you from the wrong directions is very disconcerting. A sim that could replicate that would be a trick, wouldn't it?

Denti
23rd Oct 2008, 22:50
Well, there is at least one simulator that can simulate some g-force for longer than the usual level D simulator can. But i guess access to it is not easy.

NASA Ames Aviation Systems Division: VMS (http://www.aviationsystemsdivision.arc.nasa.gov/facilities/vms/index.html)

SNS3Guppy
23rd Oct 2008, 23:58
One of the reasons I `ve remained a military pilot. I want to be able to hand fly when the circumstances warrant it, and not be a glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkey.

Your assertion,then, is that nonmilitary pilots can't fly, or are "glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkeys?

You may think that; I couldn`t possibly comment.


You already did comment, you see. You said it. Clarification sought, none given, your statement thus stands.

Simply because one is not a military pilot does not make one "glorified computer programmer/autopilot monkey," and believe it or not, airplanes get hand flown outside the military, too.

Tee Emm
24th Oct 2008, 01:41
There is a simple and effective solution to all this. The cyclic, recurrent and type rating simulator sessions should include a significant proportion of hand flying without the aid of automatics and that includes the flight director. Touch and go circuits and landings are very good for sharpening instrument scan on basics. Of course there are very obvious limitations to "practicing" on revenue flights, and commonsense should prevail. Switching off a flight director in flight is not exactly dare-devil stuff - although there are many who shudder at the thought.

The majority of simulator practice is on automatics when already 95 percent of actual flight is also on automatics. If the ideal is to be one hundred percent competent at both skills (automatic monitoring or basic handling), then equal time must be allotted in the simulator. Inordinate time spent taxiing a simulator to a holding point a mile away is time wasting. A landing configuration stall at 500 feet on final is not a time waster - nor is a stall recovery at 37,000 ft. These have happened yet the only time stall recovery is practiced is in initial type ratings. Even then the landing configuration stall is usually limited to 5000 ft agl for goodness sake.

Some regulatory authorities permit unrestricted use of automatics for an instrument rating test. A hand flown steep turn is about the only "test" of manipulative skills. Yet the tolerances allowed in the instrument rating test remains whether the automatic pilot can fly "within tolerances" or the pilot.

Simulators are invaluable devices for training pilots to fly aeroplanes. But if it is agreed that a high level of competency is required of flight crews both in automatics and basic manipulative skills, then operators need to stop just paying lip service to the need for basic flying skills and schedule adequate simulator time to cater for this.

misd-agin
24th Oct 2008, 03:36
Geardown&locked - See the example of the BA038... as far as we know, A/P only disconnected by itself when out of operational range. If we remove the fact that the A/C was too close to the ground to allow other options and if it ocurred at 2000ft AGL would hand flying the A/C made any difference to the outcome?

And to the non-magenta pilots: Would you have felt safer/more confident shutting off all automatics and hand-flown the plane to the ground on a similar situation?
********************************************************

The question could also be asked if hand flying would have made the incident worse? I say no, hand flying would not make it worse. The worst they could have done hand flying was to slow to the stickshaker and then have the automation kick in while they fell to the ground.

BelArgUSA
24th Oct 2008, 08:57
I had, one day, having only 2 hours of simulator available...
And 3 captains to give a recurrent 6 month check.
Of course I knew each of them as competent pilots.
So I did each of them, in what I called a "quickie"...!
xxx
Located the simulator "on the runway" engines running, short training check list completed.
Conditions 800 meters visibility, ceiling 200 feet, crosswind 10 knots.
Weight selected at maximum landing weight...
1. First takeoff, engine failure at some 5 knots below V1... Rejected T/O...
Reposition at takeoff on runway, all engines running again.
2. Second takeoff, outboard engine failure at V1... Continue T/O.
Climb to 800 AGL, level off, flight director/autopilot inoperative. Complete check lists.
Request return to airport. Reposition downwind about to turn base.
3. Engine-out ILS down to minimums, visibility/ceiling zero-zero. Missed approach.
4. Engine fire inboard same side as failed engine, during missed approach.
Climb to 800 AGL. Complete check lists, request return, reposition to downwind.
Ceiling now up to 600 feet, visibility is good.
5. Two-engine NDB approach, using the OM...
6. Landing to full stop. End of check ride.
xxx
The above takes 30-35 minutes to complete.
What else could I dream to ask...? You do the above, you can fly a 747...
xxx
Why would I ask you to fly on all engines, if you can fly with 1 or 2 engines "out"...
Why would I ask you to put flight director and autopilot "on". I know you use them when flying.
I know you can call the check lists. It is the PNF and F/E who handle them anyway.
All these things would take an extra hour of wasted time.
xxx
With the same philosophy, I could do a F/O check in 20 minutes.
F/Os do not require 2 engine approaches...
So, all they would get is a V1 engine failure takeoff, with engine fire on same engine.
And they would complete an ILS to minimums with engine-out. Full stop.
No autopilot, no flight director.
xxx
:}
Happy contrails

Denti
24th Oct 2008, 09:42
These have happened yet the only time stall recovery is practiced is in initial type ratings. Even then the landing configuration stall is usually limited to 5000 ft agl for goodness sake.


Interesting, we do it a bit differently over here, stall recoveries are a fix part of every sim check and training (one each every six months) and of course landing stalls are done on where they can happen, fully configured below 1000ft AGL. Sadly we dont often do high altitude stall recovery though, that could need some improvement.

SNS3Guppy
24th Oct 2008, 10:41
We do all the air maneuvers on each recurrent. Initial is 32 hours in the sim, and recurrent is eight. That includes stalls.

Tee Emm
24th Oct 2008, 12:51
. First takeoff, engine failure at some 5 knots below V1... Rejected T/O...

That brings up some interesting points of view and this is not criticism of your training method by any means.

An engine failure at five knots below V1 and thus a reject on a limiting wet runway will almost certainly result in an over-run. Probably same result on a dry runway, too. The rate of acceleration on all engines at V1 minus five knots is so fast that it is a good bet based on previous accidents the aircraft would be beyond V1 by the time you closed the thrust levers. No problem on a long runway - but should we not be training for limiting length runways where a decision to stop or continue could go either way.

When training or testing (if you like) a pilot for competency in the rejected take off procedure, the purpose of the exercise (or practice) is the correct management of braking, thrust levers, speed brake operation and subsequent actions after stopping.

To "test" the lightning fast reaction of a pilot to decide stop or continue when you are talking about a five knot decision point is open to argument. There is no shortage of accident reports and research into the danger of high speed aborts near V1 on limiting runways. In most cases the accident would have been averted if the pilot had continued the take off albeit from below V1. There is evidence that pilots should generally be "go-minded" when approaching V1 on a limiting runway. With a fire warning five knots below V1 it may be safer to continue the take off and shut down the engine once safely airborne.

Of course in theory the aircraft should be able to stop if all actions to stop are perfect at just below V1. But from what I have researched and observed during simulator training, the chances of a stuffed up aborted take off on a limiting length runway are considerably more than the chances of a crash into the trees in the go case.

If an engine failure during the take off run is required as part of the training syllabus, then I suggest 15 to 20 knots knots below V1 makes it obvious a reject is required and the instructor can then assess the crew actions rather than face the possibility of quibbling over a five knot below V1 stop or go. Keep in mind that research has also shown that with a tyre burst during the take off roll, it is generally safer to continue the take off when within 20 knots below V1 to cater for loss of braking efficiency.

As tyre bursts are more common than engine failures at V1, then giving the pilot a tyre burst at V1 minus 20 knots and opting to continue the take off, is perhaps better training than the engine failure at V1 or a smidgin below. In any case the instructor could if he so desires (the bastard..) cause an engine failure due debris ingestion just as the simulator gets airborne. But that wouldn't be nice, would it?

One exercise that should be considered during simulator recurrent training is where a landing gear (nose or main) collapses without warning on touch down or in the early part of the landing run. The FCTM and QRH for the 737 (for example) gives instructions and advice for the planned situation of partial or gear up landing - mentioning use or otherwise of speed brake, reverse thrust, fuel pumps among other things. In other words it assumes you have time to read the good stuff.

With an unplanned event such as an unexpected partial or gear up landing on touch down, the majority of crews observed in the simulator were unable to instantly recall whether or not quickly cancelling reverse, or not operating the speed brake or not, switching off the fuel pumps or not - were vital actions under the circumstances. Some pilots cannot be bothered to be familiar with the advice contained in non-normal checklists unless the items are boxed Recall Items. Ostrich head in the sand, comes to mind. In a landing gear non-normal as described above - ie no prior warning - their lack of knowledge could have serious consequences. This is why simulators are so valuable in the right hands.

BelArgUSA
24th Oct 2008, 14:45
Tee Emm -
xxx
The "rejected takeoff" you quote from my lines is from a simulator exercise...
I would never reject at V1 minus 5 on takeoff in a real airplane...!
I should maybe have said V1 minus 10... not that critical in a simulator...
xxx
As to tyres bursts, yes, you are correct... but -
Read the Nationair DC8-61 accident report in Jeddah in 1991.
They got one tyre burst on takeoff, then a fire,
They attempted a return, and crashed 500 metres short of the runway.
The fire apparently burned through the floor of the wheel well.
Recalling that accident, I have second thoughts about retracting wheels on fire.
xxx
:8
Happy contrails

Tee Emm
25th Oct 2008, 08:34
As to tyres bursts, yes, you are correct... but -
Read the Nationair DC8-61 accident report in Jeddah in 1991.
They got one tyre burst on takeoff, then a fire,
They attempted a return, and crashed 500 metres short of the runway

I agree that was terrible accident but if I recall the crew were not aware of tyre(s) shredding during the take off run until shortly after lift off. Certainly the over-all incidence of tyre problems that have been the cause of aborts are significantly greater than the classic engine failure V1 abort situation. Of course that statement is from my limited access to accident reports whereas there must be hundreds of serious incidents the average pilot will never hear of.

One that sticks in my mind is the Spantax (?) DC10 at Madrid(?) that had a tyre blow-out near lift off and aborted. The aircraft over-ran and caught fire with many dead.

BelArgUSA
25th Oct 2008, 08:59
Tee Emm -
xxx
The Spantax DC10-30 accident you mention was AGP, in the 1980s.
There were 3 sister-ships for these DC10-30CFs - ONA airplanes.
The first was lost at JFK, birds in engine on T/O
Everyone got out. They were ONA crewmembers proceeding to JED for Haj season contract.
Second was lost, same year, also Haj with ONA, landing at IST.
And the third you mention was when leased to Spantax...
xxx
:(
No happy contrails for these three planes

Rananim
25th Oct 2008, 21:24
Favorite topic.
Agree with:
i)Manual flying raw data should be done not just in CAVOK
ii)Fly through the FD's
iii)Never go heads down and try and set up a magenta line if you're given a last minute clearance below TEN
iv)Disregard any SOP that discourages raw data manual flying FD AT off.
v)Always have a contingency plan in your mind in case of FMC failure.Know where you're going and dont just sit looking at the pretty colors on the TV screen.
vi)Use the automation most of the time.Just keep your hand in so that you can revert to manual flight with conventional HSI at any time without hesitation or trepidation.
vii)If youre ever lucky enough to get an instructor like Mshamba had,thank your lucky stars and praise the Lord.We always remember our initial training..this moulds us as pilots for the rest of our careers.
viii)The best pilots are those who are equally happy with everything ON or everything OFF.

Disagree with:
i)Asking if you can take it manually.Lets assume we're all grown-ups and you're not going to do this when tired or overloaded.Otherwise,announce it,and do it.This asking "if its okay" is CRM malarkey.

mid_life_pilot
25th Oct 2008, 23:19
In my opinion, if I was in the RHS and the Captain announced that he was disconnecting the FD to have a go at flying by hand my only response would be 'let me know when it's my go!'.

Clearly the majority of training has to be focused on SOP's as I would imagine 98% of sectors wouldn't offer any opportunity that would force seat of the pants flying however ignoring the 2% is foolhardy in my opinion. I personally wouldn't be happy with myself if I had any doubt in my abilities to bring the plane back to ground (in one piece obviously) if the computers failed. As a PAX you just have to hope that the people in the pointy end feel the same way. Such is life though, just one big risk!

411A
26th Oct 2008, 01:34
This asking "if its okay" is CRM malarkey.

Well said...and certainly true.:)

NonFlushingLav
26th Oct 2008, 18:01
Personaly I can't see hiring any pilot that can't hand fly and navigate the aircraft without all the goodies. Secondly, as this thread moved to V1 aborts...there still seems to be this idea that flying a bad aircraft is better then just staying on the ground and stopping it. If you have the numbers...your golden...and many times you have runway to spare...unless, you specificaly chose some form of reduced thrust, your overgross, ect ect...

Pugilistic Animus
29th Oct 2008, 22:46
I would never reject at V1 minus 5 on takeoff in a real airplane...!




BelArgUsa---many times especially nowadays-- you don't know which limitation you are up against--climb gradient - obstacle - ASDA/EMDA---so it would be very dangerous for someone not in possesion of the exact performance facts-
with just a maximum weight allowance for the RWY--so an accelerate-Go at V1 - 5 could be disasterous--for the uninformed - I know, you know but perhaps others can't possibly be allowed to make such a decision--because they really DON'T know---of course you have some that want to stop at V1+5 :}--I think that particular person--- never really could have adjusted their seat height with the reference eye position indicator because their head is in their behind:}:}:}

They got one tyre burst on takeoff, then a fire,
They attempted a return, and crashed 500 metres short of the runway.
The fire apparently burned through the floor of the wheel well.
Recalling that accident, I have second thoughts about retracting wheels on fire.
xxx

:eek:
I understand how destructive a tire burst can be but on OTOH it could endanger the second segment [if at all limiting] as the gear retraction is assumed to have taken place within the first segment---but I worry about the same thing:\