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CX SFO (main thread)

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CX SFO (main thread)

Old 26th Sep 2019, 00:01
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Originally Posted by norfolkungood
Few of the guys I fly with have any interest/desire of flying the jet manually. Even when offered most will disconnect at a 1000 ft when fully configured. It is a skill that is quickly being eroded and thereís always a reason not too...LH sector, too tired, too busy etc. Apparently the next guidance from on high will be autopilot in at 200ft after takeoff....
I think it should be a convention to hand fly until clean with some exceptions (threats). On the arrival, I certainly understand allowing the autopilot to fly until fully configured because there are many more threats (than on most departures) and fatigue is quite often a significant consideration. On days when the weather is good, traffic is lite, and fatigue isnít a problem; I highly recommend hand flying below 10kí, even / especially on raw data.
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Old 26th Sep 2019, 00:56
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Originally Posted by Oasis
Its been a while since they trained visuals or circuits in our rotating sim scedule. Although this is more of a question of not breaking visual contact with the contact traffic, it would be nice to get back to some more manual handling, other than the same old jet upset stuff. (And donít get me started on that bloody mouth music they make you do these days)
Well said.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 12:30
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This thread has been a very interesting read, as someone whoís potentially considering applying for the position as a First Officer I just have one question with regards to company procedures/policy. What is the company policy on manual and raw data flying, is it allowed or are they very restrictive on it?
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 13:06
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Manual flying there are no restrictions.

Raw data is not allowed.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 15:57
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Originally Posted by SloppyJoe
Manual flying there are no restrictions.

Raw data is not allowed.
Cheers for the info, it is much appreciated! Whatís the overall opinion of the skippers at CX when it comes to manual flying, is it encouraged or frowned upon?
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 16:11
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Originally Posted by CessNah


Cheers for the info, it is much appreciated! Whatís the overall opinion of the skippers at CX when it comes to manual flying, is it encouraged or frowned upon?

Very little is generally done. Some on climb out until clean (or up through mid teens) some on arrival usually after fully configured or on or turning final. There are various reasons I guess ó not defending or not defending it ó just telling it like it is. Skippers donít mind one way or another unless traffic is busy and/or weather.
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Old 9th Oct 2019, 16:34
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I will add that there tends to be an concerted effort at CX to fine tune the profile to meet all the stated FDAP configuration, speed, and vertical speed requirements / restrictions whilst at the same time flying an efficient arrival (minimum fuel burn). This lends itself towards Autopilot and Autothrottle engaged until fully configured and on speed for landing. Iím not saying itís right or wrong, but thatís how itís typically done.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 04:41
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Originally Posted by SloppyJoe
Manual flying there are no restrictions.

Raw data is not allowed.
Sorry Sloppy, but where are you getting that from? While itís true that no F/D departures are no longer allowed as of a few years ago, there are no restrictions on raw data approaches as far as I know? Not that anybody does them.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 05:09
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main_dog is correct. and people do do raw data approaches. me for instance.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 05:22
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That’s good to hear because I do too on occasion, was worried that I had missed some change and had been doing so “illegally”
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 07:36
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Originally Posted by cxorcist
I will add that there tends to be an concerted effort at CX to fine tune the profile to meet all the stated FDAP configuration, speed, and vertical speed requirements / restrictions whilst at the same time flying an efficient arrival (minimum fuel burn). This lends itself towards Autopilot and Autothrottle engaged until fully configured and on speed for landing. Iím not saying itís right or wrong, but thatís how itís typically done.

You guys must have different STAR codings? Because when in a 5 mile arrival trail, CX always seems very low on profile. Figured it must be a long haul fatigue thing not to bother with profile finesse ?

I always tell my colleagues the easiest 5 to get on command training is your raw data assessment. You know itís coming so get the proficiency with captains who are happy to let you hand fly. KA you can do them but thereís a bizarre flow chart to follow.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 11:35
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My personal observation is ,and sadly this comes from the training dept as well.
Hessitation to use VS in later stages of approach.
A sickening LNAV VNAV/ managed mode operation.
I got told off on a linecheck for using VS on radar vectors to maintain 3 times table.
New CX pilots are not pilots anymore but FMA observers, not looking outside
for other traffic and anticipating what could happen next.
At home base dragging a widebody in from 1700 ft flying level.
embarrasing!
And if you try to help they look at you like you committed a crime.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 13:58
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Originally Posted by sjimmy
My personal observation is ,and sadly this comes from the training dept as well.
Hessitation to use VS in later stages of approach.
A sickening LNAV VNAV/ managed mode operation.
I got told off on a linecheck for using VS on radar vectors to maintain 3 times table.
New CX pilots are not pilots anymore but FMA observers, not looking outside
for other traffic and anticipating what could happen next.
At home base dragging a widebody in from 1700 ft flying level.
embarrasing!
And if you try to help they look at you like you committed a crime.
This is exactly right. The problem is... the VNAV unaltered brings the aircraft in low and fast with deceleration much closer to the field than realistically occurs. I find that altering the VNAV to decelerate earlier and stay higher (3 times table or even above if slowed) helps, especially for our lesser experienced aviators. That said, I still go to VS or ďspeed on elevatorĒ the moment VNAV starts doing something I donít want or like. You can always go back to VNAV if it suits. Why training doesnít teach these concepts is beyond me???

If I were in training (which I never will), I would insist my trainees know the approximate track miles to touchdown and correlated altitude at all times. It is much the same as knowing what airport to go to at all times if there were to be a severe emergency enroute requiring an immediate diversion. At the end of the day, it is basic airmanship. CX doesnít value this anymore, they want rote seat warmers doing little more than a robot could do.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 14:08
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Originally Posted by CessNah
This thread has been a very interesting read, as someone whoís potentially considering applying for the position as a First Officer I just have one question with regards to company procedures/policy. What is the company policy on manual and raw data flying, is it allowed or are they very restrictive on it?
No idea what your background or experience is btw. If you are used to light airplanes and hand flying (or military fast jets and/or trainers) it is a completely different environment and mission (having done both) ó no matter where you go. More of that of a systems manager with defined roles. Again just the way it is.
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Old 10th Oct 2019, 15:26
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Originally Posted by cxorcist
If I were in training (which I never will), I would insist my trainees know the approximate track miles to touchdown and correlated altitude at all times. It is much the same as knowing what airport to go to at all times if there were to be a severe emergency enroute requiring an immediate diversion. At the end of the day, it is basic airmanship.
Exactly right. That and knowing the basic attitudes for all main phases of flight are the absolute foundations of our job. I must be becoming a dinosaur.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 05:09
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SFO guy here. I would humbly suggest that if a crew is unable to comfortably execute a visual approach, with or without automation, that some additional training may be in order. In recent years US carriers have recognized the decaying of basic airmanship skills amongst many of us hey drivers, and at my airline we're seeing a significant emphasis on basic handflying skills during recurrent training.

The culture at my airline regarding automation is usually, we'll handfly up to 10,000' in VMC conditions. On arrival, in IMC conditions the AP remains engaged until visual contact with the runway environment. But in VMC conditions it's quite common to go raw data (no AP, no FD) at some point before intercepting the final approach course.course. I gather this is not a common practice at Asian carriers?

And as for SFO, in VMC conditions if you all insisted on a full ILS, we'd all be stuck with hours of flow control. Yes, the parallel approaches get a bit interesting, but the idea of inadvertently crossing into the protected space of the parallel runway's approach corridor is something we religiously brief before every arrival. It's alarming to see a carrier like CX commit that error. (If it had been China Eastern, it wouldn't surprise any of us one bit)...

Be careful out there!
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 23:23
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Yes, our once illustrious airline screwed up big time. However, if you spent 5 minutes in our dispatch area and had a look at the faces wearing our uniform, you would have thought you were in a fairly well funded flight school. If I sold razor blades for a living, I wouldn't bother trying to gin up business there. Expect more such headlines in the years to come. Sad decline of a once great company. Greed and malfeasance have brought us to the point of no return. The end result will be tragic.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 01:02
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Originally Posted by Air Profit
Yes, our once illustrious airline screwed up big time. However, if you spent 5 minutes in our dispatch area and had a look at the faces wearing our uniform, you would have thought you were in a fairly well funded flight school. If I sold razor blades for a living, I wouldn't bother trying to gin up business there. Expect more such headlines in the years to come. Sad decline of a once great company. Greed and malfeasance have brought us to the point of no return. The end result will be tragic.
That is unfortunate indeed. I remember in the 1980s, my dad was posted to HK for a number of years, and every summer holiday (I was in grade school) I would fly out to see him on CX. The thrill of flying into Kai Tak (the ol' checkerboard approach) was something I'll never forget. When I'd fly with my dad, we'd travel in Business or First on CX, and it was a magical experience.

Then just last year I flew CX SFO-HKG-Ho Chi Minh City-HKG-SFO in Business class. What a difference from my memories. I never thought I'd see the day that United's international business-class product would be superior to basically anyone's, but CX Business was essentially the same experience as Premium Economy.

Of course, none of that has anything to do with airmanship. I will make one comment on the discussion about the UAL crew's non-response to the RA. At our airline, if we have the conflicting aircraft in sight and are maintaining visual contact, we can ignore the RA and continue to land. Once about every 20 approaches into SFO, when they're running the parallel visuals, our TCAS will lose its mind. So I'm not entirely surprised that the UA crew did not automatically respond to the RA. Of course, I wasn't there, and have precisely zero detailed knowledge of the event.

And, let's face it, lining up for the wrong runway is something many Western crews have done (Air Canada, anyone?) Not long ago, in clear VMC on the Tip Toe arrival, we were told to expect the visual to 28R, which we had programmed into the FMS, in addition to tuning 111.7 (LOC frequency for 28R). We were then advised to expect 28L instead. We swapped the LOC frequency correctly (in our airline under VMC conditions, we can use either the LOC or the FMS to track inbound on the final approach course -- we must, however, use the LOC in IMC conditions). The PF entered 28L into the FMS and hit Execute, but the button-push must not have registered -- and I made the grievous error of not verifying that the FMS had registered the change. As we neared the 28L approach course, still in white needles but with the standby LOC needle starting to move, we both realized the airplane was going to fly through the LOC if we didn't intervene immediately. Autopilot off, left turn to intercept, and we were properly established -- it was only then we realized that while the LOC was correctly tuned, the FMS was still taking us to 28R. No harm, no foul -- we never crossed the centerline -- but given how closely spaced the runways are, it's not always immediately obvious from 15 nm out which runway you're actually lined up for.

My point with all this blather is "There but for the grace of God go I."
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 07:29
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Originally Posted by Air Profit
Expect more such headlines in the years to come. Sad decline of a once great company. Greed and malfeasance have brought us to the point of no return. The end result will be tragic.
Cathay will be a case study of "you get what you pay for". The erosion of experience has been largely masked by a cadre of very senior Captains but they are quickly fading in to retirement. Manually flying an aircraft for three or four minutes a month doesn't maintain the skills of a 20 year pilot and it certainty doesn't develop the skills of a 130hr cadet. Unfortunately, CX has chosen to put profit ahead of experience.
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Old 20th Oct 2019, 04:11
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Originally Posted by ACMS


yes agree, now factor in that:-

The CX crew were not in ďtheir own backyardĒ
The CX crew had flown 12 hours through their night time and were arriving at a circadian low period.
The CX crew may only do 2 to 3 PF sectors a month.
The CX crew have to deal with many many different ATC systems all over the World and cannot be expected to be familiar or current on SFOís quirky procedures that they may only be exposed to once every six months.

The UA crew are exactly the opposite, flying a LOT of sectors in their own backyard and probably frequently into SFO.

This is exactly why SFO ATC should NEVER use this type of visual approach with foreign Long Haul carriers....... ever.

Some countries ATC will not allow visual approaches by foreign Carriers into their Airports following previous incidents for exactly the above reasons I mention above.
They didn't turn to the heading as instructed, they accepted the visual approach clearance. The one thing i dislike most about the US is the failure to accept personal responsibility (you can sue McD if the coffee is too hot), pls don't use this excuse, the missed the turn, and accepted the clearance, and fd up.
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