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View Full Version : Control column flailing during the flare - a dangerous practice by some pilots.


sheppey
19th Aug 2018, 07:39
Frantic "see-sawing" of the control column, otherwise technically known as gross over-controlling, is a common characteristic seen both during simulator and line operations. Often the habit is ingrained from ab-initio days. Although it may or not result in a smooth touchdown, this rather distasteful technique invariably uses up extra runway which in turn is usually countered by heavy manual braking and passenger discomfort.

It appears not to be a deliberate landing technique, but rather an unconscious "twitch" factor habit where the pilot is feeling for the runway in the hope of making a smooth touch down. Interestingly, it often does seem to work on most occasions; thereby reinforcing the pilots belief that it is the best way to achieve a smooth landing. The usual ensuing float before final touchdown may also be a factor in over-runs, although this is never mentioned as a contributory cause in accident reports.

For any PM, it is a wise precaution to keep valuable bits of his/her anatomy well clear of the control column full aft movement when their compatriot is feeling for the deck in such a manner, as well as knees well spread to avoid being speared by the excessive lateral lashing of the control wheel. That danger to boobs, balls or knees fortunately does not exist with a side stick controller which may be a factor in the good safety record of the Airbus series of airliners.
Have any other Pprune readers witnessed at first this hand appalling landing technique by some pilots, which is quite distressing to those of us who consider a beautifully executed smooth and gentle flare and touch down on the right spot on the runway, an event of consummate skill?

172510
19th Aug 2018, 09:14
In French we call that technique "faire de la mayonnaise", as it reminds the way to make a mayonnaise with a fork.
I think that a good remedy is to send the pilot to a glider club. Have him look at the instructor's technique while spiraling in a thermal, hand him over the controls, and he'll see by himself that the mayonnaise technique won't make the glider climb. Hand flying is all about angle of attack perception, it's an extremely difficult skill to acquire, as it can't really be taught on the ground. Gliding is a very cheap way indeed to improve one's visual perception. Once your perception is accurate enough so that you can perceive not only a variation of AOA, but also the rate of variation, then you can anticipate accurately enough not to over control.
Light helicopter flying (R22 for instance) is also a good school for visual perception, but by far more expensive.

RVF750
19th Aug 2018, 09:33
We used to have an ex Navy Helicopter pilot do this a lot. Never made the blindest bit of difference to the flightpath though....it was an ATP after all. :ugh:

back to Boeing
19th Aug 2018, 09:36
Question for you Sheppey,

do you fly the 737?

It’s something I used to see a lot when I flew it. Don’t see it as much these days now I fly something bigger.

sheppey
19th Aug 2018, 10:15
Question for you Sheppey,

do you fly the 737?
Answer: Yes, but that was many years ago although I still see it often in the 737 simulator. I first saw this habit or addiction, as a 17 year old standing behind the crew in the cockpit of a DC3 cargo plane as the aircraft landed. The captain was a former RAAF Mosquito pilot who had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during WW2. Being an impressionable lad, I thought at the time if a DFC winner landed a DC3 like that it must be the right technique i.e. thrashing the control column in all directions and constantly greasing the landing.

When I later joined the RAAF and began flying training on Tiger Moths I must have been close to knee-capping my instructor in the front seat with the wooden joy stick which I was waving around in the back seat. His profanity instantly cured me of that technique..

dcoded
19th Aug 2018, 10:27
Splendid!

This thread gave me a much needed laugh on this gray sunday morning :D

"For any PM, it is a wise precaution to keep valuable bits of his/her anatomy well clear of the control column full aft movement when their compatriot is feeling for the deck in such a manner, as well as knees well spread to avoid being speared by the excessive lateral lashing of the control wheel."

"In French we call that technique "faire de la mayonnaise""

"When I later joined the RAAF and began flying training on Tiger Moths I must have been close to knee-capping my instructor in the front seat with the wooden joy stick which I was waving around in the back seat. His profanity instantly cured me of that technique.."

Hilarious comments indeed!

I have seen this technique as well among the more nervous flyers.

Chesty Morgan
19th Aug 2018, 11:12
It usually starts as soon as the autopilot is disconnected.

back to Boeing
19th Aug 2018, 11:20
I’ll admit it’s something I used to do when I first started flying. And that was on the 737. No idea why. I’ve moved on to larger aircraft and I don’t do it anymore. Whilst I fly significantly less sectors per year than I used to, perversely I hand fly more per sector than I used to when I was on shorthaul.

Maybe it’s because on a larger aircraft “stirring the pot” visually does absolutely nothing. Whereas on a 737 the responsiveness of the flight controls is much higher (though it has been nearly a decade since I last flew one).

Just my musings on the subject rather than being any kind of fact.

vilas
19th Aug 2018, 17:44
You move a flight control to change or maintain a bank or pitch. If flight controls are randomly moved you are inducing bank or pitch and cancelling it before it takes place and feeling good about it. In conventional aircraft one can literally feel the resistance of flight controls against the airflow and you can judge when intervention is required. In B707 during base flying it was very evident who is giving unnecessary input because it used to react late with lateral rocking while it was possible to fly it rock steady with proper handling.

F-16GUY
19th Aug 2018, 17:57
Watched this video a while ago and thought to myself that this guy is over controlling his aircraft. Though its not only during the flare phase, it seams quite unnecessary to me, to make such violent control inputs in both pitch and roll during approach, even in gusty conditions.

What do you think?

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ryanair-pilot-films-boeing-737-10050106

CHfour
19th Aug 2018, 19:09
Watched this video a while ago and thought to myself that this guy is over controlling his aircraft. Though its not only during the flare phase, it seams quite unnecessary to me, to make such violent control inputs in both pitch and roll during approach, even in gusty conditions.

What do you think?

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ryanair-pilot-films-boeing-737-10050106
Totally agree. In my 10 years on the 737, with it's highly responsive controls, I've never needed to make such enormous inputs so close to the ground (except when checking full and free). If he stays on twins he'll probably get away with it but any attempt to apply that technique on a 4 engined aircraft will probably end in tears and a nacelle strike. I do find it odd that some pilots feel the need to make constant control inputs in calm conditions. Maybe it's just nervous energy?

A Squared
19th Aug 2018, 19:30
Yeah, the "yoke pumpers". I don't do this, but I know some who do. It seems strange to me, but I have flown with some "yoke pumpers" who fly the airplane quite well, and couldn't in any way be considered "nervous". It's their technique, and it they're producing a good outcome with that technique, the fact that it's different than my technique isn't going to cause me to miss a lot of sleep.

FullWings
19th Aug 2018, 19:42
I’m on the 777 at the moment, which is a pretty stable aeroplane (especially the -300). Most people I fly with are smooth in pitch and roll but the odd few just can’t stop giving little sharp inputs all the time, which on a 200ft+ wingspan machine generates ripples that wang up and down the wing bouncing us all around but with little to no effect on the flightpath. Same for the elevator. I spend most of the time after takeoff thinking “please put the AP in, please...” as any turbulence is almost entirely self-generated.

I haven’t been able to find a common factor yet, although many have come off the FBW Airbus...

Chesty Morgan
19th Aug 2018, 20:22
Totally agree. In my 10 years on the 737, with it's highly responsive controls, I've never needed to make such enormous inputs so close to the ground (except when checking full and free). If he stays on twins he'll probably get away with it but any attempt to apply that technique on a 4 engined aircraft will probably end in tears and a nacelle strike. I do find it odd that some pilots feel the need to make constant control inputs in calm conditions. Maybe it's just nervous energy?
I guess you’ve never been to Funchal on a bad day then.

misd-agin
19th Aug 2018, 20:52
I’m on the 777 at the moment, which is a pretty stable aeroplane (especially the -300). Most people I fly with are smooth in pitch and roll but the odd few just can’t stop giving little sharp inputs all the time, which on a 200ft+ wingspan machine generates ripples that wang up and down the wing bouncing us all around but with little to no effect on the flightpath. Same for the elevator. I spend most of the time after takeoff thinking “please put the AP in, please...” as any turbulence is almost entirely self-generated.

I haven’t been able to find a common factor yet, although many have come off the FBW Airbus...

The vast majority of control inputs by some, or many, pilots are completely unnecessary. Left, right, left, right, ad nauseam. If the input is too large, or reversed, the plane responds - pilot induced turbulence.

back to Boeing
19th Aug 2018, 22:32
I guess you’ve never been to Funchal on a bad day then.

I have, far too often for my liking. And whilst large inputs may be required, this “cool cat” was putting in large inputs and then instantly reversing them. Probably doing sweet FA.

And be as others have said, try that with large wingspan aircraft, it will end in tears. Unnecessary. I’ll admit I overcontrolled early in my career and you could get away with it in a 737, anything bigger and you’re suspended pending investigation at best.

jack11111
20th Aug 2018, 00:19
Quote:
"What do you think?"

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-...g-737-10050106 (https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ryanair-pilot-films-boeing-737-10050106)

The best part of that whole sequence was the orgasm at the end.
.

Judd
20th Aug 2018, 02:49
The best part of that whole sequence was the orgasm at the end.

Spoiled when he didn't light up a cigarette.

Having said that, if ever a picture is worth a thousand words, then jack11111 provided it. A brilliant demonstration. The equivalent of Children of the Magenta Line except it was a lesson on how not to fly manually. Should be mandatory viewing during type rating training, under the title of threat and error management on the flight deck. The threat being the flailing control column. That should keep the aficionados of TEM happy too.

One way to convince a perspiring pilot the utter uselessness of this addiction to over-controlling, is to use CWS steering mode mode which makes it more resistant to large inputs. Better still, direct him to keep his hand on the control wheel during a coupled approach and autoland and tell him to emulate that in future.
If all else fails it should be back to simulator training until the perpetrator sees the folly of his ways.

Pugilistic Animus
20th Aug 2018, 02:55
I've seen quite a few CFIs that start that nonsense immediately on finals, that's one possible source ..I NEVER flew like that

Judd
20th Aug 2018, 04:08
It usually starts as soon as the autopilot is disconnected.
And that is the common denominator on practically every occasion.

Romasik
20th Aug 2018, 06:01
Well, I used to move the yoke (not that much the control column though) on 747 the same way in gusty conditions. I was not reacting on the bank change, but rather on the tendency of the change, barely visible. It prevents the aircraft from developing more bank. If you react later your wll be more visibly banking. And yes, on the conventionaly controlled aircraft you have to immediately move the yoke in the opposite direction to stop it from going into deeper bank.
It’s more comlicated then the way you are discussing it here.
On FBW aircraft it’s whole different story.

Dan Winterland
20th Aug 2018, 06:32
I haven’t been able to find a common factor yet, although many have come off the FBW Airbus...

The poor technique is apparent in all types; there is not one individual type that creates the issue. It comes from poor instruction and a lack of understanding of the control system and how best to use it. On Airbus FBW types, I often see the stick stirring commencing as soon as the AP is disconnected regardless of what the air around the aircraft is doing. If you ask the guys what they are trying to achieve, the say they are "controlling the aircraft" when in reality the aircraft needs little controlling. The artificial stability of FBW systems largely means that if the aircraft is on the LOC and GS at the right speed when the AP is taken out, it should fly itself to the touchdown point itself with minimal correction. Any unnecessary control movements will only exacerbate the deviations and make the landing problematic in gusty conditions. I have often heard pilots complain about the Airbus control system with comments like "I was moving the stick right against the stops and it still wasn't enough". In this case, they were making demands against the stability system and not giving the aircraft a chance to respond. Probably a good thing as if it had, the aircraft would be deviating drastically. in reality, the A330 is the easiest aircraft to land in a crosswind In my experience. Components of 40 knots present no problems - providing it is flown properly.

A lot of this stems from poor training. I frequently hear pilots talk in terms of using the controls to move the nose up or down, or to roll - whereas what they should be doing is using the controls to select an attitude. It's basic stuff, but with current training systems such as the MPL where pilots can be at the controls of a large jet with less than 100 hours flying experience, the basics are either quickly forgotten as a result having not enough time to consolidate skills, or just not being taught correctly in the first place. We are creating aircraft drivers, not pilots.

vilas
20th Aug 2018, 07:36
On Airbus FBW types, I often see the stick stirring commencing as soon as the AP is disconnected regardless of what the air around the aircraft is doing. Pilots in type rating on to Airbus initially do that trying to get a feel but that is not going to happen. On Air bus sidestick out of nuetral is a demand to the computer to bank or pitch. Do it only when you want the aircraft to do that. Otherwise you are destabilzing the flight path and then correcting it.This needs to be taught in simulator by frequent intervention to tell them to let go of the sidestick otherwise it gets carried in the aircraft.

Paulm1949
20th Aug 2018, 08:05
I wonder how many of the control inputs are actually translated into control surface movements though? As some inputs are that quick and in reverse of the previous input.

vilas
20th Aug 2018, 09:36
It's poor under confident handling. This is similar to what a person does when thrown in water the first time.

27/09
20th Aug 2018, 10:24
I've seen this done by pilots that were certainly not nervous. I wondered why they did it, and figured it came about from poor technique learned early in their flying career. They made an easy landing look very hard.

Paulm1949
20th Aug 2018, 10:42
Does the technique matter if it’s safe and if it produces the results? like criticising someone’s golf swing!

Fursty Ferret
20th Aug 2018, 11:21
Does the technique matter if it’s safe and if it produces the results? like criticising someone’s golf swing!

Yes, if it's making the passengers feel sick! Still see it occasionally on the 787. I'm most impressed when I see little control wheel movement in gusty conditions, and invariably it results in a good landing.

Genghis the Engineer
20th Aug 2018, 13:24
I had a PhD student a few years ago looking at piloting technique in the simulator - he noticed that when flying a precision tracking task, if he plotted stick position against time - the pilots with the largest range and rapidity of movement both usually had the last hours, and the lowest ability to handle handling related emergencies (we were throwing loads through the sim at the time as part of a research project).

That said, I used to fly with an F/A-18 pilot from the USN who did this all the bloody time in a Hawk - and with the throttle as well. It seemed to make him happy, but the aeroplane responses were far slower than his inputs, so it made no difference whatsoever. He thought it was something to do with habits picked up on carrier landings!

Testing and teaching on light aeroplanes on the other hand - it can be positively problematic in ground effect as it makes it far too easy to enter a PIO.

G

Dave Gittins
20th Aug 2018, 13:36
There is an interesting comment on the subject of high gain and low gain pilots by John Farley in his book "A View From the Hover."

"Over-control is a common problem with learning to fly, almost regardless of the task but with experience we get better at relaxing, better at trimming, better at letting it fly itself for a bit and then coaxing it back to the desired state. In fact better at becoming a low gain (relaxed) pilot rather than being a high gain (overactive) one. Airplanes take time to respond and it is a waste of time to oscillate controls.”

I am not going to argue with such an eminent personage and it's the way I have always tried to do it.

Mach E Avelli
20th Aug 2018, 13:39
A few years ago I went to Dublin to get revalidated on the B737. The TRE tried to tell me that at the flare, both hands would be required on the yoke. What for? says I. Because it is so heavy and you will have more precise control says he. Bull**** says I , and who will select reverse? The FO does that says he. Not on my watch says I, unless he did the landing.
It was an interesting insight into some fckud up training inspired presumably from watching too many B grade WW II movies.
But I did note that wearing white gloves seemed to make it work for him.

Dan_Brown
20th Aug 2018, 13:58
Very close formation flying aside, we should try and do as the auto pilot does. To me the autopilot is the smoothest guy/gal in town. Now they're real smooth. In case you haven't noticed, on a non FBW aircraft, the control column will hardly move most of the time, when the A/P is strutting it's stuff. I have seen pilots manipulate the controls almost as smooth as the A/P but not quite.Some people will never be smooth. some people are "natural" pilots some aren't. However in airline operations, piloting skills/smoothness appear to be well down the list priorities. Apart from extra fuel burn, passenger discomfort. lack of finesse and wearing yourself out, not many people seem to care. The smoothest I've witnessed in my long career was an Ex WW2 mosquito pathfinder pilot. You either have it or you haven't. Period. Would loved to have flown with Bob Hoover for eg. he was of course good to see outside the cockpit but my money is on he would have been equally impressive inside the cockpit also.<br /><br />IMHO, of course.

FCeng84
20th Aug 2018, 19:49
I have noticed this tendency for some pilots to be very active on the controls - particularly during final approach and through flare. I am very curious what others who have noted this would have to say regarding the frequency range for such inputs. Particularly at low speeds (such as approach), transport category aircraft have response bandwidths that are half a Hz or less. Inputs at frequencies higher than this (less than two seconds per cycle) will have little impact on the airplane's attitudes (pitch or roll) and even less impact on flight path. One theory I have for this is that some pilots feel that they want greater bandwidth out of the airplane response and thus tend to drive the controls aggressively at higher frequencies thinking it will help.

A few entries back a question was posed as to whether or not this stirring the mayo actually causes the surfaces to move. The answer is yes. Transport category airplane control systems that I am familiar with have surface rate capabilities on the order of 50 degrees or more per second. For a control surface that has a stop to stop travel range on the order of 50 degrees, sawing the pilot controls back and forth half travel at 1 Hz will drive the corresponding surface(s) at their rate limits through a range of 25 or more degrees.

Abrupt inputs at higher frequencies will tend to stir up flexible structural modes. For larger transports the associated modal natural frequencies can be as slow as 2 Hz or less. Feeding energy into body flex modes does nothing toward controlling airplane attitude or path, but sure degrades the ride quality. One name for this is pilot induced turbulence as mentioned earlier in this thread! I wonder if pilots with experience on larger airplanes that tend to exhibit more flex effects have learned to resist being aggressive on the controls because of the negative impact of driving the flex modes while pilots on smaller airplanes don't get as much feedback from the seat of the pants that high frequency inputs are not a good idea.

FBW airplanes with stability augmentation control systems use both pilot controller inputs and stability enhancing feedback signals to command the control surfaces. If the pilot is really stirring the pot with large, higher frequency inputs the result can be that the surfaces spend most of their time sawing back and forth at their rate limits. When the surfaces are rate limited due to pilot input they are not able to simultaneously respond to stability augmentation feedback commands. The augmentation is essentially lost - not a good situation for a relaxed stability configuration.

VinRouge
20th Aug 2018, 20:00
For great examples, you have to look no further than youtube... Good milk churning going on there.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAqYvD190s0

Banana Joe
20th Aug 2018, 20:19
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r29XmF3-l_M

911slf
20th Aug 2018, 20:28
Vilas said B707 during base flying it was very evident who is giving unnecessary input because it used to react late with lateral rocking while it was possible to fly it rock steady with proper handling.

I remember one particular day in late 1964 watching aircraft landing on a very gusty day at Heathrow, and noticing that the 707s were rocking quite a bit but the VC10s not at all. Anybody remember the VC10 being easier to control, or was I imagining it?

Meikleour
20th Aug 2018, 22:55
911slf: In 1964 you were probably watching B707s which had the parallel yaw damper fitted. This had to be off for take-off and landing and hence there was often a mild Dutch Roll evident in these aircraft. (https://www.pprune.org/members/247738-911slf)

Judd
20th Aug 2018, 22:59
but the VC10s not at all. Anybody remember the VC10 being easier to control, or was I imagining it?

The VC 10 was probably on automatic pilot coupled to the ILS. That is always smooth unless severe turbulence. Otherwise 90% of the time it is the pilot that is overcontrolling while flying manually. That is the theme of the thread. It usually is simply poor technique.

hans brinker
21st Aug 2018, 00:48
I haven’t been able to find a common factor yet, although many have come off the FBW Airbus...

That is interesting, because on the bus the less you move the stick the better, it will pretty much stay on path with ap off in gusty conditions.

jack11111
21st Aug 2018, 01:28
To me, that kind of control flogging screams, "I'm so afraid the aircraft is going to get away from me, I have to stay on top of it". It's fear.
I'd doubt the airmen can ever admit that to themselves.

pineteam
21st Aug 2018, 02:14
I agree with you Jack11111. From what I've seen, the more nervous is the fellow next to me the more unnecessary inputs are done.

Vessbot
21st Aug 2018, 02:18
I'm sure the nervous explanation is true in many cases, (as a light plane instructor, new students is where I saw the same thing) but not all. For example, the guy in the video with the aft-facing camera in front of the yoke, is an airshow pilot. Pretty sure he's not cowed by the guppy.

pineteam
21st Aug 2018, 04:58
True. Well hopefully this airshow pilot is not an instructor:}

Bergerie1
21st Aug 2018, 10:42
I flew both the VC10 and the 707 as a line pilot and as an instructor. I thought the VC10 was the more stable of the two, it had very powerful controls and was a very steady instrument platform. It felt solid and predictable. The controls were powered by electrically driven PCUs with artificial feel that I thought gave heavier control forces than were strictly necessary.

The 707 had a very clever manual tab system system for the ailerons and elevators with hydraulic boost for the rudder. It was the more sensitive of the two, you could feel the aircraft better and it was the more satisfying one to fly. Whereas the VC10 was more forgiving when mishandled, the 707 certainly told you when you didn't do it right.

On both types, I took great pleasure in flying them with the minimum of control movements - it not only produced a smoother ride but was marginally more economical (every control movement slightly increases drag), while this may not have been measurable, it certainly gave me greater satisfaction. As Dave Gittins quoted in his post 31, John Farley said, "Over-control is a common problem with learning to fly, almost regardless of the task but with experience we get better at relaxing, better at trimming, better at letting it fly itself for a bit and then coaxing it back to the desired state. In fact better at becoming a low gain (relaxed) pilot rather than being a high gain (overactive) one. Airplanes take time to respond and it is a waste of time to oscillate controls.”

I was a great believer in trimming correctly, not only did it let the aircraft fly itself but it saved a lot of effort and gave one more time to think.

I once flew with a co-pilot to whom I gave the sector into Istanbul. It was a calm day yet his control inputs became larger, faster and more furious the closer we came to the ground. After the landing, I said to him, 'Just hold the controls lightly and feel what I do'. I than waggled them as furiously as he had done on the approach and landing. He was completely oblivious to what he had been doing and he didn't believe me. It was only when the flight engineer confirmed that what I had shown him was indeed correct that he sort of believed me, but I don't think he was convinced. I told him it was fortunate his inputs were so fast that the aircraft had had no time to respond to each one but that the average of his inputs was about right and so it had flown roughly where he wanted!

Although he had many hours on type, he had a distintly below average record.

We then talked about being self-aware, to think about his control movements and to take time to trim accurately. It would make his life much easier!

TOGA Tap
21st Aug 2018, 11:15
I hope that does not happen during approach down to real minimums. If that happens frequently I would then rather travel by train.

Bergerie1
21st Aug 2018, 12:05
TOGA Tap,

I don't think it is that common, mainly just a few individuals who would probably benefit from some extra tuition. Most people I flew with were very smooth and precise on the controls.

Dave Gittins
21st Aug 2018, 14:06
I occasionally fly around Colorado Springs in a 160 HP 172S. Last year on a 100 F day flying from Pueblo (4729) to Meadowlake (6874) I was acutely conscious of how much the slightest incorrect amount of elevator or rudder added to drag and stopped the climb (that was only about 100 fpm at best) or risked overheating the engine with the increased power requirement.

That's the stuff that teaches you about aeroplane performance, far more than bimbling around from Redhill. That's when you learn about setting best trim (elevator and rudder) and using fingertips on the controls.

Bergerie1
21st Aug 2018, 14:18
Dave,

Hear, hear! It also applies to large aircraft when doing performance climbs on C of A airtests.

stator vane
21st Aug 2018, 14:48
My first flight as a student in a C150: the instructor did the takeoff and climbed to a safe altitude and then gave me controls.
after about a minute, he yelled at the top of his voice, “I have control” then started moving the controls rapidly and almost to full movement and continued yelling, “did you see me flying like this???how does it ******* feel when someone flies like this ****???!!!!”

Then he calmed down and said (as best I can remember from 1978) “pressures....control pressures. Not movements. remember you’re flying through a liquid...air is much like water....most displacements will correct themselves if you only hold the controls in the position that has been working for most of the time before the displacement by the air. You only need to maintain pitch, roll and power. The rest will take care of itself”

he had been a Huey pilot in Vietnam. Perhaps some on this forum will remember him? Gordon S. Hall.
his instructor techniques were not always PC but his heart was in the right place and he took a genuine concern for his students and wanted them to strive to be as smooth as silk as well as safe as houses.

I suspect most of the new FOs only are doing what they see their instructors do. Even in calm conditions, the minute the A/P comes off, the control column is constantly moving too much, correcting the overcontrol they just did for no reason.
i find that when I try to point out what they’re doing, most get angry like I was cursing their mother or girlfriend. A few listen. Very few. Most take it personal.

The ones I think might listen, I try to show, “let go of the controls....see...nothing happens! It stays on the same path quite well. Don’t move the aileron or elevator unless you really need to. And then, think pressures...hold the airplane where you want it to be”

CISTRS
21st Aug 2018, 14:59
In the 1970s at a gliding club, we advised students to trim for airspeed, and then hold the stick the way a Duchess would hold a dustman's d!ck.
Finger and thumb, pressures only.

Bergerie1
21st Aug 2018, 15:15
I was told that an aircraft likes to fly unless a pilot disturbs it, but helicopters have always to be saved from crashing..... or words like that.

Icanseeclearly
21st Aug 2018, 15:34
Having just watched the video above of the 737 pilot and am amazed at the amount of control inputs made by the pilot. I have not flown the 737 but just can’t see how those inputs are required, I was a training captain at my previous airline, admittedly on turboprops, and when I saw a new FO “stir the porridge” I would get them to gently hold the control column in a central position and lo and behold the PIO’s would stop and the aircraft would become stable again, if in doubt release the column let it settle and then continue. Currently on the Airbus and don’t tend to see it but then I don’t have a column moving to bring it to my attention.
In a previous life I flew helicopters in the military in the SAR role where over controlling could have a rather detrimental affect on the mission in hand, funnily enough we used to use the same phrase as CISTRS above...

FullWings
21st Aug 2018, 18:16
Having just watched the video above of the 737 pilot and am amazed at the amount of control inputs made by the pilot.
Yes, I was too. Having flown several variants of the 737, I don’t think it was twitchy but it did have a lot of control authority. In that video I see pretty much full roll control being used in one direction, then full control in the other: in the couple of thousand hours I spent in that airframe, I can’t recollect having to use full deflection outside of some sim exercise. I think the second application was almost all to counteract the effects of the first! PIO by any other name...

notfred
21st Aug 2018, 18:27
Is there a risk that this churning on the controls could result in a similar failure to AA587?

Aircraft weigh many tons, that's a lot of momentum going on. How on earth do people think they need churning like that?

Pugilistic Animus
21st Aug 2018, 18:39
I was told that an aircraft likes to fly unless a pilot disturbs it, but helicopters have always to be saved from crashing..... or words like that.

Do you mean airplane? as a helicopter is also an aircraft ( Sort of) :}
:ouch:

VinRouge
21st Aug 2018, 20:38
I'm sure the nervous explanation is true in many cases, (as a light plane instructor, new students is where I saw the same thing) but not all. For example, the guy in the video with the aft-facing camera in front of the yoke, is an airshow pilot. Pretty sure he's not cowed by the guppy.

Someone needs to politely tell him that high gain inputs are fine for an extra 300 with neutral stability in all axes, it's not in a modern transport category aircraft certified to FAR25.

for the non-test community, a good article covering high gain low gain pilots is here:

http://www.innerairmanship.com/blog/2016/07/01/are-you-a-low-gain-pilot/

High gain - strafing run on ground target,re-establishing wings level from a twinkle roll.

Low gain - large aircraft approach, large aircraft level off, a well flown ils

Bergerie1
21st Aug 2018, 21:22
Pugilistic Animus,

You are right of course. But I did not mean an airplane, I meant an aeroplane.

Vessbot
21st Aug 2018, 22:21
Someone needs to politely tell him that high gain inputs are fine for an extra 300 with neutral stability in all axes, it's not in a modern transport category aircraft certified to FAR25.

for the non-test community, a good article covering high gain low gain pilots is here:

Are you a low-gain pilot? | Inner Art of Airmanship Blog (http://www.innerairmanship.com/blog/2016/07/01/are-you-a-low-gain-pilot/)

High gain - strafing run on ground target,re-establishing wings level from a twinkle roll.

Low gain - large aircraft approach, large aircraft level off, a well flown ils

I can guaran-goddamn-tee you that these aren't the right control inputs for an Extra 300 either! In non-aerobatic flight, I don't know that I ever moved the stick more than an eighth of an inch at a time. If that.

Pugilistic Animus
21st Aug 2018, 22:34
I don't care if I were an FO or a CPT on such I flight I would say 'stop that'

ah aeroplane!

Judd
22nd Aug 2018, 00:58
then hold the stick the way a Duchess would hold a dustman's d!ck.
Finger and thumb, pressures only.
What a charming expression.

I prefer that which a Boeing Seattle instructor pilot told me. That was to hold the control wheel as gently as if you were milking a mouse.
Clearly the subject of PIO has brought quite a few Pprune contributors out of the wood work. It must be a lot more widespread addiction than one would have first thought. Like heavy smokers, gentle admonishment simply will not get through to the addicted. Well chosen words are more effective. Thrashing the control column around as soon as the autopilot is disengaged can have its own unintended consequences and if nothing else, is poor airmanship.

compressor stall
22nd Aug 2018, 01:14
On a similar vein (no pun intended:O ) when established on an stabilised OEI approach on the bus with no AP it's an interesting exercise to challenge students to see for how many seconds they can keep their hands and feet off the controls and still have it accurately fly alt/az profiles. When they've nailed the trim, they free up brain space for the go around, circle whatever.

misd-agin
22nd Aug 2018, 01:19
1. You’d be better a low gain pilot if you’re trying to be an accurate strafer!

2. What’s the right amount of grip pressure? Imagine you’re flying with your best friend and holding onto a penis, his... that’s the correct amount of pressure.

Pugilistic Animus
22nd Aug 2018, 04:32
Those videos are pitiful, just pitiful

A37575
22nd Aug 2018, 07:34
Those videos are pitiful, just pitiful

Agreed. But the wonderful Biggles type drama of man battling the elements is mana to the great unwashed.

sabenaboy
22nd Aug 2018, 08:43
Here's another fine example (starting at 50 sec in the movie)
AIRBUS SIDE-STICK OPERATION

Concours77
22nd Aug 2018, 10:21
I was told that an aircraft likes to fly unless a pilot disturbs it, but helicopters have always to be saved from crashing..... or words like that.

As a young student, I flew the Skylane. On an approach, I felt increasing “turbulence” and it seemed to worsen the more I tried to maneuver in response to it.

Short finals, and the tower called. “Cessna Nxxx wind is calm.” I was convinced he was wrong, and continued to horse the controls.

“Cessna Nxxx, CALM”. It occurred to me he might be right. I neutralled the controls, and the Cessna found the rails I was avoiding due to my self induced “turbulence”.

Oops.

Dan_Brown
22nd Aug 2018, 10:46
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roS6oFjCDhc

Including rudder this time

Here's what it looks like from the outside. Is it over controlling, leading to PIO in the yawing plane, or is the A380 that unstable??

Porto Pete
22nd Aug 2018, 13:02
I've just given up and accepted this is now a fact of life in airline flying, having seen it on both the B737 and the A320. I'm prematurely turning into a grumpy old man trying to persuade people against their will why this is so wrong. I've just decided it's easier to let it be, it's like fighting the tide.

Now I just mutter under my breath on short final:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

misd-agin
22nd Aug 2018, 14:01
I used to turn the auto thrust off, set a mid range power setting, turn the a/p off, and then sit back with my hands on my lap or hold onto the glare shield with my left hand so that it was obvious that no control inputs were done. It was especially useful on windy days. The AB is just a ballistic bullet, it goes straight ahead.

With the typical 10 kts wind you could get away with as few as 3-4 inputs from 1000’ to 200’ at which point minor guidance corrections became more frequent but nothing like the the flailing some guys subject the plane, and passengers, with.

Its Maui
22nd Aug 2018, 17:43
What are people's thoughts on this technique? Beginning at 13:50.

https://youtu.be/-QAt_pOQwZQ?t=13m50s

Dan_Brown
22nd Aug 2018, 19:38
For starters I can't see there being a great deal of turbulence there with the wind coming off the sea. Fixed wing A/C are inherently stable. He was in a high wing so lateral stability should be good. I say be lazy and let the a/c do the work. It will fly itself, as mentioned in previous posts.

From when he started doing the "Mayo" to when he touched down, the mayo would have been rock solid in that short time. He did appear to have nailed the centre line which was good.

If he was a pilot carrying out very low level ops performing like that, his left arm would probably have given up after the first sortie.

Maybe it's me being too old and out of touch. Please correct me should I be.

Vessbot
22nd Aug 2018, 19:42
Heh... starting at 13:50 and for a while, it seemed to me about normal for a gusty day in a light plane (never flown a Caravan, but speaking generally...) and then it got to the part just before the flare and holy schnike! :ooh:

C195
22nd Aug 2018, 20:01
Maybe the pilots posting this stuff online do this intentionally for dramatic effect to gain attention and admiration? After all, if you make very small and gentle inputs it doesn't look so difficult and exciting.

jack11111
22nd Aug 2018, 20:42
Look at the death grip on that side-stick! Then notice his finger tip control of the nose wheel steering. Go figure.

VinRouge
23rd Aug 2018, 02:54
Maybe the pilots posting this stuff online do this intentionally for dramatic effect to gain attention and admiration? After all, if you make very small and gentle inputs it doesn't look so difficult and exciting.
If you want to prove your balls are as big as your ego, go military rather than cash 100k oF mummy/daddy/rbs cash down the integrated route.

Got a lot of time for the guys who work their ways through modular, scraping time doing local instruction and single engine/light twin pax stuff, even crop dusting, than the guys proving the big man on YouTube by waggling a stick wearing raybans whilst the computer makes hight calls.

A lot more finesse and passion for the job

stilton
23rd Aug 2018, 04:38
I cant watch anymore of these, this thrashing
around goes against everything I’ve learned
and practiced in flying an aircraft


The same kind of pilots that ‘kick the rudder’
to straighten out on touchdown!

pineteam
23rd Aug 2018, 04:44
Well not all military pilots are ace pilots. To have flown with some ex fighter pilots, some of them were very average to say the least... I guess pulling 7G and flying raw data are 2 different skills. :}

India Four Two
23rd Aug 2018, 05:20
Quote from John Farley's book A View from the Hover: My Life in Aviation (http://www.innerairmanship.com/blog/2016/05/29/test-pilot-airmanship-a-view-from-the-hover/):

Over-control is a common problem with learning to fly, almost regardless of the task but with experience we get better at relaxing, better at trimming, better at letting it fly itself for a bit and then coaxing it back to the desired state. In fact better at becoming a low gain (relaxed) pilot rather than being a high gain (overactive) one. Airplanes take time to respond and it is a waste of time to oscillate controls.

Bergerie1
23rd Aug 2018, 08:10
pineteam,

I think you are right. I remember one very well qualified ex-RAF Lightning pilot who clearly had done well as a fighter pilot, but who, when confronted with difficult conditions at Chicago, was unable to cope. As a fighter pilot, under the direction of a ground controller he had obviously been well able to perform, but maybe with only a few tasks at any one time. In the civil environment, when faced with the multiple inputs of flying on instruments in a three-crew aircraft in a hectic ATC environment in a complex area in bad weather he experienced great difficulty. These same issues had arisen during his simulator training, but they became a major problem during route training.

Was this a limited ability to multi-task? He continually forgot things and over-controlled. He did not complete the course.

VinRouge
23rd Aug 2018, 11:10
pineteam,

I think you are right. I remember one very well qualified ex-RAF Lightning pilot who clearly had done well as a fighter pilot, but who, when confronted with difficult conditions at Chicago, was unable to cope. As a fighter pilot, under the direction of a ground controller he had obviously been well able to perform, but maybe with only a few tasks at any one time. In the civil environment, when faced with the multiple inputs of flying on instruments in a three-crew aircraft in a hectic ATC environment in a complex area in bad weather he experienced great difficulty. These same issues had arisen during his simulator training, but they became a major problem during route training.

Was this a limited ability to multi-task? He continually forgot things and over-controlled. He did not complete the course.

Not all mil blokes fly fast pointy things .. my point being, if all you have ever done is the dutchess, a JOCC then straight onto a 73 or 320, I'm not surprised at the result. You haven't had long enough to finesse your trade. Please don't let the parochial I once flew with an ex military bloke who was useless tar us all with the same brush.

I'm sure those with a background in SEP or twin flight instruction for a few years wouldn't struggle, nor would a guy who has done a few years crop spraying. You really earn your spurs during those early first hours.

wiggy
23rd Aug 2018, 11:23
Please don't let the parochial I once flew with an ex military bloke who was useless tar us all with the same brush.
.

Agreed, and I’ll be absolutely honest and say that given the skills that were required to be selected and be successful in the Air Defence role, most especially single seat, I am really struggling with the idea of a Lightning pilot being unable to cope with high workload in an Instrument flying environment on a multi crew flight deck. I wonder how early in his civilian career this happened and what else was or wasn’t going on around him on the flight deck?

mustafagander
23rd Aug 2018, 11:26
When I was doing upgrade training one of our checkies used to have you fly downwind properly trimmed at 1500 ft in the B767. Then he would quickly slam the controls from stop to stop and nothing happened. A good lesson in leaving it alone. He also taught me to let go the column about every 15 seconds to ensure that we were in trim. Boeings tend to PIO if you waggle the ailerons.

capricorn23
23rd Aug 2018, 12:55
If I can brinag a contribution to the discussion, such a "practice" was blamed announcing: "don't self masturbate", historical "callout" of the 2nd W.W italian air Force pilots, which has still some fans nowadays...

misd-agin
23rd Aug 2018, 14:35
I cant watch anymore of these, this thrashing
around goes against everything I’ve learned
and practiced in flying an aircraft


The same kind of pilots that ‘kick the rudder’
to straighten out on touchdown!

What?!? Real pilots use the rudder to track straight in a crosswind. They probably don’t thrash the yoke to death.

Bergerie1
23rd Aug 2018, 15:16
VinRouge and wiggy,

I certainly don't look down on fast jet pilots, or indeed pilots from any other background. What disturbed me about the ex-Lightning bloke I mentioned is that no-one could find a way round his problem however hard they tried. He was the exception - nearly all the others were excellent.

wiggy
23rd Aug 2018, 15:34
OK fair enough, I guess there will always be an outlier. I do recall at one time many on both sides of the fence at or joining a certain airline underestimated the differences between Civil and Military aviating. I still remember how gobsmacked the Training Captain was on my very first line training sector on the 747 when I revealed that: “ er, no, actually, I’ve never had to obtain an oceanic clearance......”

Anyhow, back to stick stirring :}..or how not to.

Dufo
23rd Aug 2018, 15:57
This is from my line training: (skip to 8:05)

https://youtu.be/sygrqeh0FRE?t=8m4s

stilton
24th Aug 2018, 07:16
Interesting



I never heard so much talking in a cockpit

Judd
24th Aug 2018, 08:50
Interesting.. I never heard so much talking in a cockpit
I would say utterly boring rather than interesting. Good example of the worst in back seat drivers.

Capt Fathom
24th Aug 2018, 11:41
Anything else on flailing controls/sidesticks we haven’t covered?

Banana Joe
24th Aug 2018, 12:17
What about old captains flaring with stab trim starting at the 50 ft RA callout?

Judd
24th Aug 2018, 13:27
Well there is always the old idle thrust - whopping great handful - back to idle before it even had a chance to spool up brigade...

True. Seen it a hundred times in the 737 and 727 and you get to know the pilots that have that habit. They cannot help themselves. Perfectly stable approach, a well judged flare then suddenly a completely unnecessary stiff arm burst of power followed half a second later by rapid throttle closure. It becomes a reflex movement by some pilots who think they sense a windshear and apply power to prevent the aircraft from falling out of the sky from six inches above the runway. All it does is cause a float.

PJ2
24th Aug 2018, 16:37
It usually starts as soon as the autopilot is disconnected.



Any FOQA/FDM data, (always de-identified), will show this - with AP engaged, there is minimal flight control movement until disconnection.

Whether such movements have a material effect upon the flight path can also be examined, but perhaps all the fore-aft and/or left/right movements cancel one another out. Besides, mass alone would tend to dampen changes in the flight path, (but not pitch/roll attitude!).

PJ2

Jimbo2Papa
24th Aug 2018, 17:00
This has been a lively, excellent discussion - I've enjoyed reading all of it - especially some of the old boy's stories.
I've always felt the "Mastaflailers" are doing something more than simply flying the aircraft. It's a nervous thing if you ask me.

rogerg
24th Aug 2018, 17:14
Stick shake as you flare and stick push to get the nose wheel on. That the way to do it!!!

Vessbot
24th Aug 2018, 18:02
When I started in the CRJ, I had a similar nervous habit: I would flail not on the elevator, but on the trim. With a tunnel visioned field of attention, I would trim for an elevator pressure (just what you're supposed to always do, right?) except that was the elevator pressure was what existed only in the last milliesecond. But when you're new, nervous, and tunnel visioned, that last millisecond is effectively your whole world.

Of course, with any amount of turbulence, there are constantly varying elevator pressures, and when trimming for them all, I would never establish a baseline. The trim and elevator were in constant motion (the trim being appropriate for a parcel air already far behind me) toward no particular end, and my already high workload was therefore only increasing, in a chaotic and positive feedback loop.

After I realized this, I taught myself after trimming to not touch the trim for at least a few seconds -- and handle any pitch needs with the elevator only. Then, if and only if I notice that a preponderance of my inputs were in one direction, I would retrim for that... and then repeat: leave the trim alone, fly for a bit, and then reevalutate whether my last few seconds of elevator use are equally up/down, or biased one way; rinse and repeat. Then things calmed down a lot, my workload decreased, which allowed more of my attention to the bigger picture, etc.

abgd
24th Aug 2018, 18:42
If you wait until you are at the end of an escalator before starting to walk, you risk stumbling badly, so we all learn to start walking before we need to - it's easier and faster for the body to adjust your gait to recover from the stumble, than it is to initiate a discrete movement to recover (whilst of course starting to walk).

On what I assume is the same basis, somebody advised me to alternate gentle light left/right pressure on the pedals prior to landing my tailwheel aircraft - if it starts to diverge to the left then I'm more likely to make a good recovery if I make the next rightwards stroke slightly longer and heavier than if I wait for the aircraft to diverge, then have to consciously recognise that I'm turning to the left and that I have to wake up my lazy right foot and mentally calculate how much I have to push it down.

I suspect the neuroscientists would explain this in terms of 'central pattern generators' which are fairly autonomous mechanisms in the spinal cord that control walking and many other repetitive movements. Whether similar mechanisms are enlisted for the manipulation of joysticks, I couldn't say, but I wonder whether making continuous movements is a fundamental part of how we fly - just that some people perhaps take things a little too far.

Mach E Avelli
24th Aug 2018, 20:28
Abgd the problem that would appear to afflict the pilot population here is nothing to do with the spinal cord or stepping off escalators. or pre emptive lateral strokes on the rudder.
There is a chemical generated in the brain called PEA. Look it up, but it does seem that for some sad sacks it gets turned on by the erotic aroma of kerosene and sight of a curvaceous fuselage.
In my day the preferred mechanism for manipulation of joysticks was a randy woman. Lacking that, a photo of same provided a measure of redundancy.
And the strokes are better if done by hand in the vertical plane - not feet. going left, right. left. Or threads going around and around and around.

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 00:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roS6oFjCDhc

Including rudder this time

Here's what it looks like from the outside. Is it over controlling, leading to PIO in the yawing plane, or is the A380 that unstable??
He never actually crabbed.

Vessbot
25th Aug 2018, 01:03
He never actually crabbed.
You mean never de-crabbed

And he actually tried, (see the big initial left rudder application) but it was way too late; it was a fraction of a second before touchdown which is not enough time for the yaw to occur. Then the yaw due to left rudder combined with the yaw due to the tricycle directional stability added up to way too much. Big overshoot to the left, late recognition and then the opposite yaw to the right happens, etc. and off into the PIO

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 01:20
Vessbot No, I mean he is not even crabbing just making rudder displacement that looks like crabbing but in crabbing you don't use the rudder to crab and also his 'Recovery procedure i.e. a late "decrab" resulted in PIOs

Vessbot
25th Aug 2018, 01:23
Crabbing does not involve rudder displacement. What kind of rudder displacement "looks like crabbing?"

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 04:12
Crabbing does not involve rudder displacement. What kind of rudder displacement "looks like crabbing?"
I know how to crab...what I'm trying to say is that he holds the rudder so that the nose is into the wind...he's crabbing incorrectly

Vessbot
25th Aug 2018, 04:36
I don't follow. First you said he didn't crab, which is incorrect seeing as he was clearly in a crab before landing.

Then you said that he is "making rudder displacements that look like crabbing" but in the same sentence note (correctly, but in contradiction with the prior part) that you don't use rudder to crab.

Lastly you say that "he holds the rudder so that the nose is into the wind" but there is no rudder needed (or applied in the video) to hold the nose into the wind. Nose into the wind, aka a crab, is the default state when the wings are level and the ball is in the middle.

It takes rudder to move the nose away from the wind and toward the centerline (aka decrab, aka slip). Maybe by "hold" you meant "no displacement," but that is what a crab is, which you maintain he didn't do.

We've agreed that he decrabbed incorrectly (by doing it too late) but what is incorrect about the crabbing?

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 04:56
He's using the rudder back and forth to crab instead of making a coordinated turn and neutralizing all control surface except for tiny movements of the ailerons or at worst the spoilers too in order to accomadate for gusts

Vessbot
25th Aug 2018, 05:11
"rudder back and forth to crab" :confused: The conditions are turbulent, which requires rudder to stabilize yaw. (Some amount coming from the pedals, some from the yaw damp; how much of each, who knows) What does this have to do with the crab?

[crab] "instead of making a ... turn" These things can't be instead of each other. They are necessarily two separate phases of the landing, regardless of any technique variation. The turn is the termination of the crab, and the initiation of alignment of the nose to the centerline

"movements of the ailerons ... to accommodate for gusts" that cause roll deviations. What does this have to do with the rudder?

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 05:44
Actually there's no need to decrab....that didn't look like YD inputs to me.. I believe that that PF was trying to crab with the rudder at least that's what it looked like to me.

Vessbot
25th Aug 2018, 05:46
What does "crab with the rudder" mean? This phrase makes no sense. It is like saying that someone was "trying to cruise with the rudder."

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 06:27
I perhaps should have put the word 'Crab' in quotes.

Uplinker
25th Aug 2018, 12:10
Gentlemen, please.

One can adjust one’s crab angle with the rudder - incorrect technique while airborne , but it can be done. After all, that’s how you do it when de-crabbing.

Maybe the PF wanted to keep the wings level to avoid a pod strike but wanted to adjust the crab angle?

Pugilistic Animus
25th Aug 2018, 13:08
Uplinker then this video illustrates what improper technique could lead..and I used to feel a little bad about using the rudder to push of the crab to fly runway HDG but I did

Dan_Brown
25th Aug 2018, 19:52
Yes and so you should, keeping the into wind wing slightly down. Slip into wind. If the into wind wing is slightly raised from level, then you may expect a pod strike on the DW wing. Re: A320 DUS,Germany. D/W wingtip strike.

If you de crab at the last second, or don't attempt to, the main wheels then nose wheels may not contact the concrete, where you want them. I.E., on the C/L. Correct me if I'm wrong, if you aim to land on the C/L but don't, then you don't have full control of the A/C, or do you?

I prefer to gently and gradually begin to cross the controls early. Say 200 to 300 ft gal.at least. I've seen it done, by past masters of early 4 underslung eng, jets. At "max demonstrated" with no side loading on the U/G at touch down. The time and place to hone these skills is on tailwheel aircraft or aircraft on floats. Tailwheel, C of G behind the main wheels and floats, when they hit the water, you're on rails. You go where the floats are pointing.

I am well aware the book and a lot companies don't encourage the above. You have to get it right. However I can't think of anything worse, sitting in an a/c, or watching someone not attempting to decrab and hitting the R/W at high drift angles. The tyre companies love it and so do the A/C manufacturers of course.

Two's in
25th Aug 2018, 22:43
Unsurprisingly this is also a characteristic of low-hour rotary pilots when hovering. The cyclic is whipping around the cockpit like something from a cooking lesson, rather than a flying lesson. Eventually, they begin to understand that rapid application of left cyclic followed immediately by right cyclic equals exactly zero, and as confidence grows, they begin to calm down. The other parallel with these videos and comments is when on more advanced helicopters the auto stabilization was deselected, most pilots reverted to stick-stirring, but pilots who had more hours on manual only control systems instinctively understood that less control inputs made for smoother flight.

It all comes down to understanding primary and secondary effects of controls, understanding input lag and aerodynamic reaction times, and ultimately understanding that inertia is your friend, not your enemy. Plan early, plan often. Experience is almost certainly a factor of confidence, and unfortunately if flying with the autos disconnected is rarely practiced, it's hardly surprising experience and confidence levels suffer.

Sometimes it's just better not to know what's going on the other side of that door.

vilas
26th Aug 2018, 06:27
This landing is in extreme and variable conditions. So the required crab angle is also varying. In these conditions recommended technique is not to fully decrab but land with partial crab (five degrees). I am sure the pilot knows the technique but it hasn't worked to perfection due to conditions..

Judd
26th Aug 2018, 08:51
I prefer to gently and gradually begin to cross the controls early. Say 200 to 300 ft gal.at least
Generally agree with that technique. One has to be careful of the amount of wing down aileron that is used since spoiler operation has been known to give increased sink. Pilots forget there is a fair amount of inertia taking place once you starting applying rudder to straighten up before touch down whether you are squeezing in some aileron to have the upwind landing gear touching the runway just before the other wheels or not.

The problem we see in the simulator is the hurried shove on the rudder at the flare and the aircraft hits the deck with drift still there because the rudder should have gently be applied earlier. Often during type rating training in the simulator copilots are given practice at only a 10-15 knot crosswind on landing instead of a steady 35 knot crosswind. The rationale being that in many airlines, copilots are only allowed to land in nothing more than 15 knots. This policy ignores the fact that the type rating should be a command type rating - not a co-pilot rating. In event of incapacitation of the captain, where the co-pilot is now flying solo, it may be a grim experience for the passengers if the co-pilot is not fully qualified and competent to be able to land his aircraft up to the AFM maximum.

Mach E Avelli
26th Aug 2018, 10:18
In true proon style we have drifted from flogging joysticks to tramping on rudder pedals. There is a new thread on crosswind landing technique elsewhere here.
As much as I am a true believer, I have yet to find a simulator that properly replicates the way an aircraft reacts to inputs during a maximum crosswind component landing. Perhaps the latest sims do, but even the good level D devices from earlier days do not. I never bother to give trainees more than 20 knots crosswind because it is easy enough for the instructor to observe correct technique at that value, regardless of what the sim thinks.

Judd
26th Aug 2018, 11:55
I never bother to give trainees more than 20 knots crosswind because it is easy enough for the instructor to observe correct technique at that value, regardless of what the sim thinks.
True statement indeed. However there is a psychological aspect to be considered. It is not uncommon to fly with a pilot who is quite apprehensive when faced with a significant crosswind landing. Indeed I know of one case recently where the captain offered his first officer the "leg" into a capital city airport where the forecast at the flight planning stage indicated the probability of a 15 knot crosswind. The F/O had 1000 hours on type. The F/O declined to take up the captain's offer.
The captain detected the F/O was worried and insisted the F/O operate the leg and added he would take over if the crosswind was beyond the capability of the F/O. On long final for the landing runway the ATIS indicated a 15 to 20 knot crosswind as forecast. The F/O became increasingly agitated and it reached the situation where the captain took over and landed. During later talk over a beer, the F/O admitted he had lost confidence in his ability to handle crosswinds correctly. Moreover his captains were always happy to conduct the landings themselves thereby relieving him of the possibility of making a fool of himself trying to land without drift. He did not seek extra simulator training at strong crosswind landings because he was concerned it would go on his records. This fear had festered for years.

Some pilots need to build up their confidence and the simulator can work miracles if the instructor is understanding and patient. All in takes is about ten strong 35 knot crosswind landings in the simulator and these can be done by starting from a short two mile visual final which gives the candidate practice at tracking the centre line rather than the usual curve of pursuit. Ideally manually flown without autothrottle and flight director.
Once the candidate can perform the approach and landing in a 35 knot consistently well in the simulator his confidence will soon return and he should take this new found confidence into the real world of crosswind landings on the line. Been there-done that. Until that remedial simulator training is provided a nervous pilot will sweat out every crosswind landing on line. So will his hapless passengers and the airline reputation on social media...

xetroV
26th Aug 2018, 12:13
Better still, direct him to keep his hand on the control wheel during a coupled approach and autoland and tell him to emulate that in future.
In my experience, the 737 autopilot itself is quite a high-gain controller, stirring the pot all over the place in comparison to the 777 I flew before. Of course that's partly due to its much lower mass (hence inertia), but I think it's also just a characteristic of its control system.

During my first 737 approach in turbulent and windy weather conditions I actually decided to disconnect the AP earlier than I had planned, believing that the rapid fluctuating control inputs were signs of some control system malfunction. I later learned that these kind of control inputs are normal system behaviour for the 737 autopilot.