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Dash Eight operations at low level on Border watch

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Dash Eight operations at low level on Border watch

Old 31st Jul 2012, 06:48
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Dash Eight operations at low level on Border watch

Question on hand flying the Dash Eight at night below 1000ft over water. Anecdotal evidence (therefore open to personal views) that the Coastwatch Dash Eight operation policy is to hand fly if operating low level below 1000agl. Reason given is that monitoring the autopilot overloads both pilots and thus it is "safer" to have one pilot hand flying. Of course it may be there is an AFM limitation on use of autopilot below 1000ft.

This seems to contradict general opinions that hand flying is potentially dangerous since the PNF can be "overloaded" watching the PF fly by hand.

I must say that the PNF would be watching the other pilot like a hawk hand flying below 1000 ft from water or terrain and that it would a far more comfortable proposition to to have the autopilot engaged during that period especially on a dark night over the sea. Unless of course there is an AFM limitation. Any thoughts?
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 07:00
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Sustaining DHC8 can only be engaged above 1000 AGL on departure but able to be used below that during flight.
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 09:01
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Depends on your comfort level.

The hawk watch depends on your comfort level of of the other operator, regardless of whether the autopilot is engaged or not.

The reality is that even with a good crew you would expect both crew to be alert when operating at this level.
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 10:28
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I am not a pilot but I think the minimum altitude at night over water is 1500ft.
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 11:39
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Much lower

Operating height much lower.
It all depends on what your operation is authorized for, it can be much lower (legally) than 1500

Last edited by Turbine Overheat; 31st Jul 2012 at 11:39.
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Old 31st Jul 2012, 11:46
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down to 200ft by day and 600ft by night but a whole lot of other boxes need to be ticked (safety bearings, type of vessel, distance from land) before descending below 1500ft at night
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 03:30
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A lot of these guys are also ex-RAAF P-3 drivers too, accustomed to operations at LL over the sea.

Last edited by Trojan1981; 1st Aug 2012 at 08:33.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 05:09
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A lot of these guys are also ex-RAAF P-3 drivers too, accustomed to operations at LL over the sea, not your bog standard Qlink bus driver.
Ouch!!
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 08:32
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Yeah, I'll edit that. I didn't mean that the way it sounded. I mean they are trained and experienced in LL ops, rather than RPT sectors.

Last edited by Trojan1981; 1st Aug 2012 at 08:33.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 09:14
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*Facepalm*

j3

Last edited by j3pipercub; 1st Aug 2012 at 09:15.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 09:56
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200/600'?

Pussies,
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 10:09
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Below 1000' at night? Never done it, besides landing and taking off, but would I use the AP....No Way!

Chuckles

Last edited by Jabawocky; 1st Aug 2012 at 10:11.
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Old 1st Aug 2012, 10:46
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Originally Posted by Chimbu chuckles View Post
200/600'?

Pussies,
Absolutely. We got nosebleed if we went above 200ft, day or night.....
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 04:02
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A lot of these guys aren't ex p3 or RAAF pilots, they just find it hard to get jobs any where else! Although it is a good transition out of the military for ex RAAF pilots. Too scared to go lower I guess cause they don't have the same training standards as the RAAF?
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 05:12
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Could it be a flight manual limitation?

The C-130J Super-Hercules II has a limitation regarding operating the autopilot below x feet AGL.
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 07:29
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L382 autopilot Limitations

Pass -A - Frozzo:

Not sure about the "Super" Hercules but the L382 model limitation page had the following:

Autopilot Limitations (E-4 and AP - 105).
1. Do not operate with the Autopilot on during take-off and landing.
2. Do not operate the AP - 105 autopilot when the TRIM FAIL or AP FAIL annunciator lights are illuminated.
3. During ILS coupled approach, do not operate with the autopilot engaged:
(a) below 200 feet above ground level (AGL).
(b) When flying over the Localizer transmitter.

Tmb
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 08:07
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Nothing beats the old jew canoe that Skywest had down low level at night time.
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 09:16
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Aerorescue drop rafts from 200 ft and photo passes at 100 ft day ops.
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 09:39
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There are currently no ex-RAAF P3 drivers, or any other ex-RAAF drivers, employed at present. The only ex RAAF driver recently left. Ooops sorry, there's at least one driver with some RAAF training. Few, if any, experienced ex-RAAFies would put up with the terms and conditions.

Last edited by exmexican; 2nd Aug 2012 at 10:16.
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Old 2nd Aug 2012, 12:09
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In any case.. A profile decent to 600ft at night 20 mile offshore with the flight director on in a 2 crew machine and a great big radar should not present too many issues...
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