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Merged: To hand fly, or use the automatics?

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Merged: To hand fly, or use the automatics?

Old 19th Feb 2010, 13:52
  #161 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: In command
Posts: 53
The manual I am familiar with tells me that I should use automation whenever it is available to improve safety...! So what are you trying to say?

Don't tell me that hand flying is now safer?

This management logic is confusing...
positivegee is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2010, 15:16
  #162 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Stratosphere
Posts: 223
Nadzab: interested to know why you think hand-flying increases noise footprint? I refer to your comment regarding noise abatement departures, citing LHR as an example.

As a regular operator in/out of LHR, I'd have thought that, provided you followed the departure track (i.e the FD in LNAV), you'd fly over the monitoring points? How can they tell from the ground (well, based on noise anyway) that you are hand-flying?

There are other good reasons for not hand-flying in busy environments, but that's not the topic.

TM
trimotor is offline  
Old 19th Feb 2010, 21:21
  #163 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sydney
Age: 9
Posts: 25
tri-motor: you are correct in that I shouldn't have said autopilot use was a state requirement for noise abatement, rather a company recommended procedure. The company recommends it for a reason and its probably got to do with "excessive noise violation penalties". You could probably hand fly the aircraft well within the limits of the noise footprint but why risk it when the book recommends using the autopilot?
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 01:02
  #164 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Seat 0A
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Positive G,
The manual I am familiar with tells me that I should use automation whenever it is available to improve safety...! So what are you trying to say?

Don't tell me that hand flying is now safer?
I hope you are not "in command" of a jet as you appear to have a poor understanding of an issue about which you should be very much aware. It's called automation dependency.

I suggest you have a good read about almost every jet accident in the last few years. There is a common thread, and that is loss of aircraft control by the crew because allegedly they couldn't fly the aeroplane when the automatics played up or had given up.

While your "manual" is correct when it says "use automation whenever it is available to improve safety", that is merely a motherhood and brotherhood statement. If the automation is working correctly, it is the safest option. But when it is not, you must be able to fly with your bare hands...safely. That is what this topic is all about.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 05:08
  #165 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 166
With an airbus even if you turn off the a/p your still using one. The only time time you would truly hand fly one would be in an abnormal config which never happens and only happens in the sim every 6 months.:
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 06:26
  #166 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: AUS
Posts: 290
What a load of rubbish. Started drinking early today 777?
Back Seat Driver is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2010, 07:22
  #167 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: S.H.
Posts: 171
With an airbus even if you turn off the a/p your still using one.
Do you want to have a bit of a rethink on that one tunedog?

BSD..............a bit harsh! But, then again, maybe you're right!
chainsaw is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2010, 07:40
  #168 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 2,383
A37 there are way too many people that occupy a control seat that are scared/terrified of flying/aeroplanes in general for this to happen.
Mr. Hat is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2010, 10:13
  #169 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: australia
Posts: 109
Any pilot flying Boeing short haul a/c get enough hands on flying. Turn off the F/D and fly an ILS to the minima will pick up the scan rate. Don't peek outside and cheat though. I am talking about real aeroplanes that you can disconnect the autopilot and fly with manual thrust and control not the scarbus.
schlong hauler is offline  
Old 20th Feb 2010, 10:35
  #170 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Pointy End
Posts: 189
These days in fly by wire aircraft there is no such thing as manual flying. The computer flies the aircraft at all times and "manual" flight is still via the flight control computers, aka control wheel steering. The only time when you have to revert to real manual flying per se would be when a series of failures takes out all your flight computers.

Having said that, there is still a valid argument that pilots should master the skills of flying without the autopilot so to be ready for the occasion when the autopilot is not available.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 11:22
  #171 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Past the rabbit proof fence
Posts: 242
I am talking about real aeroplanes that you can disconnect the autopilot and fly with manual thrust and control not the scarbus.
It is possible to control the thrust manually on the Airbus too - just not sure how often its is tried.

By the the way, as an engineer, it is interesting to see the general reactions of different fleet crews when you tell them the autothrottle doesn't work. 767 drivers seem to be concerned, but 737 drivers generally couldn't give a rats! Any idea why this might be? Not trying to stir - just wondering?
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 21:01
  #172 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 166
Listen clowns. I'm sorry if you don't like what I posted but really you are just driving around an autopilot in normal law when hand flying a bus. You don't trim you just point and rest your hands on the thrust levers and she'll go where you need. Oh and if flying a visual circuit make sure you select TFPA and flight directors off.
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Old 20th Feb 2010, 23:04
  #173 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
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you are just driving around an autopilot in normal law when hand flying a bus.
And that's exactly the law that was in use when two crews crashed airbuses during go-arounds. Exactly what makes the control surfaces move is irrelevant. Take out the AP (and more importantly the ATS) occasionally and practice your IF.
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 02:03
  #174 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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You may not always agree with what Captaintunedog777 says (including myself), but in this instance he's pretty much hit the nail on the head: the only time you will ever truly hand-fly a FBW Airbus is when the system has degraded to the point of operating in Direct Law. Otherwise you're just twiddling with a $50 Tandy joystick while the computers trim out the aeroplane and point it in the direction you want to go.
The Bunglerat is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 03:24
  #175 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 1999
Location: AUS
Posts: 290
If your (777 et al) argument is, that if you don't have to TRIM the stab, then it's not hand flying. Then Boo Hoo, someone's feeling less than adequate. The Airbus difference is in not understanding the mode you are in. In designing the 777, Boeing canvassed whether pilots would prefer a control column or a sidestick. Either system could be used. The control Column won, because more pilots said they would feel more comfortable with the traditional 'two fisted' grip.
Bungle, with the autopilot off the computers will not point it in any direction that you didn't leave it in, (except for Y* law on Take-off) and you've got to love that one.
Back Seat Driver is offline  
Old 21st Feb 2010, 04:52
  #176 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Oz
Posts: 753
Don't mind me butting in on what seems to occasionally resemble a pi$$ing competition.......

There are merits and flaws in both automatics and hand flying. For an example of each - hand flying is a higher brain processing and physical workload (simply because of the continuous motor inputs & corrections required in addition to everything else happening) which might not be wise in very brain-busy or physically demanding environments, so it's nice to be able to enlist a robot's help somtimes. Automatics is dependent on fully and accurately understanding the nuances of what you are asking the machine to do, so if it's not doing what you want, you need to know how to sack the robot and man-draulically force it to do what you want. Ultimately, neither way has prevented accidents all together. And both ways are a backup to the other.

Anyway, kinda funny about the 777 control column thing. I would've thought a joystick is essentially a "two fisted" approach too. It's just that your fist is over on the side panel rather than your knee. In both cases your other one is on the thrust levers. What a strange reason for wanting one over the other! I'm wondering if that survey wasn't slightly biased by our inherent resistance to change. Most convertees between Boeing/Airbus I know get quite use to the other system pretty quickly, in any case.
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 06:31
  #177 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 166
A380-800 driver

Do you fly one as your name suggests. I have no issue with the autothrust system and find it remarkably easy. There are plenty of cues as to loss of speed which include speed reduction, attitude increase, noise reduction, a supporting pilot call etc What do you do? Give it a squirt and it sorts it out. I find the system if you are hand flying you use manual thrust quite interesting.
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 06:32
  #178 (permalink)  

Metrosexual
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Enroute
Posts: 624
I suppose F16 pilots fly an autopilot too.

FBW and Autopilot/Autoflight = two different things.
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 07:41
  #179 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Age: 51
Posts: 6,876
and I will extend that to include Unusual attitude recovery training.
May have helped save the AF A330..........perhaps!
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Old 21st Feb 2010, 07:49
  #180 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: S.H.
Posts: 171
Summary of the state of play so far:

captaintunedog777 (post #167):
With an airbus even if you turn off the a/p your still using one.
Back Seat Driver (post #168):
What a load of rubbish.
Me (post # 169):
Do you want to have a bit of a rethink on that one tunedog?
captaintunedog777 (post #174):
Listen clowns. I'm sorry if you don't like what I posted but really you are just driving around an autopilot in normal law when hand flying a bus.
Oh dear! Looks like more clowns didn't like what you said tunedog, because...

Jet A Knight (post #181):
FBW and Autopilot/Autoflight = two different things.


A380-800 driver (post 182):
Autopilot off and Fly by wire are two completely different things. Not the same as you are alluding to at all.


I guess it's over to you again tunedog for your next attempt at explaning to us how the 'bus actually DOES work. Remember though, it's better to offer no excuse rather than a bad one (George Washington).
chainsaw is offline  

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