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Teaching "work cycle"

Old 14th Aug 2013, 02:30
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Teaching "work cycle"

I recently took over a PPL student who has already about to enter navigation stage. Due to him not flying for over 3 months and new to me, I did some general handling flights just to refresh.

His handling is good. However, when during debrief I asked "what do you do while flying straight & level", he's not sure. But he maintained heading, altitude, wings level perfectly.
I asked about the work cycle "Attitude, Lookout, Instruments", he's forgotten it.

Next time flying straight & level, I asked him to consciously do the work cycle "Attitude, Lookout, Instruments", his flying was not as good because he was consciously doing 'more work'.

Should I break his bad habit of not knowing what his doing (but flying perfectly - out of luck maybe?) & to make sure he does the "work cycle"?
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 05:52
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The sequence should actually be 'L A I':

LOOKOUT - first wingtip to wingtip, then back to directly ahead to assess whether the ATTITUDE being maintained is the desired attitude; this will be confirmed by checking the INSTRUMENTS; in this situation those will be altimeter, DI and slip ball..

Last edited by BEagle; 14th Aug 2013 at 05:53.
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 08:58
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I would have a word with the boss as well.

Sounds like you need some standardisation meetings at the school.

Just keep them at it. The work load increases when they do something new then when it beds in the work load will reduce and the flying will improve again.
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 14:07
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As MJ suggests the student is having to make a concious effort to follow your guidance and I would imagine that his capacity has reduced meaning a loss of concentration on other things. Once te new routine becomes more automatic then the capacity will increase and you might even see a better performance when the appropriate technique is used effectively.

We get this a lot with students that have say 150/200 hrs doing something a particular way. When we introduce the correct technique or company method their performance deteriorates as the try to unlearn and relearn something.

Standardisation is the key.
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Old 14th Aug 2013, 20:54
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Shumway states the student is flying accurately, so I wouldn't try and change
anything in the Attitude/Instruments part.

Why be mean to the student by insisting they have to do something in a
certain way (which is difficult for them) in order to achieve something
they are already doing.

The only reason for breaking something down in to parts is to be able
to teach it to someone who cannot do it.

I would, however, want to confirm that the Lookout isn't just looking
straight ahead to see the position of the horizon but is a good scan
to the front and sides of the aircraft - level, below and above.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 02:15
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There was an article in Flight International a few months ago about a survey done on airline pilots when they fly manually in IMC. They managed to do everything perfectly. But when a survey was done on their scan method (looking at their eyes I think), there was no proper scan pattern at all! But they managed to 'pass' because the end result was good - maintained heading & altitude etc as necessary.

The conclusion? Sheer luck they passed. They have completely forgotten the instrument scan pattern. An accident waiting to happen?

The same can be said about visual flying too I guess...
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 08:05
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It appears your student has mastered the the Attitude Instruments part but when you add Lookout to the equation he can't cope. It would therefore seem that his Lookout is fundamentally deficient and needs to be rectified.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 11:45
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Shumway I would agree with that.

Well the fact that my scan now is completely different to when I learn instrument flying.

Safety wise I don't think its a problem as the initial instrument scan taught is a starting point to ensure the required information is acquired. After you have the knack the full scan isn't required. A lot just reference the VSI in cruise and level and ignore the Alt. Also as the sub conscious use of periphery vision won't be taken into account. You might not be able to read the numbers but you will be able to see needles moving and only when you see movement is your focus drawn to the instrument.

The scan is also dependent to what you are doing. If they did a similar study while the pilots were doing emergency training you might find that they go back to a full scan because then you require the full set of info instead of the cut down set in the relatively low stress cruise with everything working.
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 17:10
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(Flying manually in IMC.) They managed to do everything perfectly. But when a survey was done on their scan method (looking at their eyes I think), there was no proper scan pattern at all! But they managed to 'pass' because the end result was good - maintained heading & altitude etc as necessary.

The conclusion? Sheer luck they passed. They have completely forgotten the instrument scan pattern.
I beg to differ; they presumably just acquired a way of achieving the desired result (knowing what the airplane was doing by looking at the instruments) that suited them better than the initially taught textbook method. I won't pretend to have any expertise in instrument scan, but I suppose it's just the same as with other skills (e.g., a text passage I recall from a motorcycle magazine, where an instructor concluded that almost the whole editorial staff (all highly experienced, fast and skilled riders with lots of road and racetrack experience) "lacked head and eyes technique". Or my father's remark as he took me to a tennis competition when I was a kid learning to play: "You won't see beautiful tennis here except while they are warming up").
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Old 15th Aug 2013, 18:27
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I normally find that students suffering from poorer flying when workload is increasing are rushing through the "attitude" bit. Encouraging them to look at the attitude (not AI, window!) properly (seconds, not half a second) before resuming the scan, and even scan
lookout - attitude - instruments - attitude - lookout...
helps.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 07:59
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There was an article in Flight International a few months ago about a survey done on airline pilots when they fly manually in IMC. They managed to do everything perfectly. But when a survey was done on their scan method (looking at their eyes I think), there was no proper scan pattern at all! But they managed to 'pass' because the end result was good - maintained heading & altitude etc as necessary.

The conclusion? Sheer luck they passed. They have completely forgotten the instrument scan pattern. An accident waiting to happen?

The same can be said about visual flying too I guess...
I recently asked a very experienced (20,000 hrs) ex RAF, ex Airline pilot about the cadence of his instrument scan. He did not seem to know what I was talking about, so I asked him how he did the scan. His response was that he looked at all of the instruments all of the time.
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 08:24
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Hi,
I think it is totally natural and actually required to "automate" certain functions to free up your mind for other tasks (f.e. flying straight and level while listening to the ATIS of the destination airport, in a single pilot operation). In the process of automating things it is also normal that you forgot how certain things are done, because they are delegated to your subconciousness. I guess if you ask some very high hour pilots how much elevator they use during flare an often heared answer will be: "As much as it takes". If we were thinking about all things we do during a typical flight we wouldn't get far as we would be lacking the mental capacity.
Anyway, it is important that "the goal" is reached, in your case the goal for the student would be to maintain straight and level flight and also maintain the outside scan. If he is able to archieve this it is okay, no matter what scan sequence he uses. Actually, I was never thought any specific instrument scan sequence during my IR training, I just get the information I need unconciously (this will result in situational awarness).
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Old 5th Sep 2013, 09:51
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Really.. is there only one way of doing things in England? I know you guys like your procedures.. but "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

If everything is alright, altitude, heading, slip/skid why bother the guy with some memorized work cycle, "Attitude, Lookout, Instruments" ?? When I was taught how to drive I was told how to scan all mirrors in second long intervals. If I was to do that today my brain would be exhausted after a few miles of highway.

The only thing I would emphasize is to always keep a good lookout and that he/she's able to accomplish straight & level without having to stare down the instruments. But how that's accomplished, let it be up to the individual without forcing a "work cycle" on them.

There was an article in Flight International a few months ago about a survey done on airline pilots when they fly manually in IMC. They managed to do everything perfectly. But when a survey was done on their scan method (looking at their eyes I think), there was no proper scan pattern at all! But they managed to 'pass' because the end result was good - maintained heading & altitude etc as necessary.

The conclusion? Sheer luck they passed. They have completely forgotten the instrument scan pattern. An accident waiting to happen?
Who came up with that conclusion? You? Keep in mind that the "text book" scan is very exhausting and with experience you will develop a more convenient and relaxing way of scanning. I am sure as workload increases an experienced capable pilot will revert to a more active scan focusing on the relevant instruments for the phase of flight.
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Old 6th Sep 2013, 05:41
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LOOKOUT - first wingtip to wingtip, then back to directly ahead
Try and keep yourself up to date Beagle the Tiger Moth way of looking out went out with the aircraft.

The block method of lookout is the one that should be taught, as described in this safety sense leaflet with emphasis on, LOOKOUT-GLANCE IN

http://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/413.pdf

Last edited by Pull what; 6th Sep 2013 at 05:43.
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