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Pilots Losing Basic Flying Skills

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Pilots Losing Basic Flying Skills

Old 27th May 2019, 22:53
  #21 (permalink)  
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Hand flying smoothly with precision for more than a few minutes in the higher flight levels is all but impossible.

How strange. Used not to be a problem 30 years ago ... but one does have to be in practice, of course. A half decent manipulative pilot, in current practice, can pole the aircraft with more than respectable smoothness.
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Old 27th May 2019, 23:09
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They haven’t lost an aircraft until they do.
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Old 27th May 2019, 23:14
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
They haven’t lost an aircraft until they do.
And they same could be said for the Austronaut “real pilots”. We have come pretty close in this country and it’s only really luck, not supposedly superior skills that have saved us.

I wonder if anyone is willing to point out the rate of airliner crashes was much higher back in the days of “never used the A/P real pilots”, and has come down markedly in the days of these “autopilot babysitters”.

Last time I checked the same hand flying stick and rudder skills are needed to land a jet in a gusting crosswind off a turbulent approach in 2019 as they were in 1979, so today’s generation of “autopilot babysitters” must still have something up their sleeve.

Last edited by dr dre; 27th May 2019 at 23:47.
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Old 28th May 2019, 02:50
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Ironic really that in the modern era of automation airlines still require the sim evaluation (without the use of all the toys)
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Old 28th May 2019, 07:44
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Originally Posted by ADawg View Post
Ironic really that in the modern era of automation airlines still require the sim evaluation (without the use of all the toys)
Maybe they are smarter than they know!
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:34
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Australia was in a very lucky position to have Airlines such as Ansett with it's unique philosophies, influence, capabilities and high operating standards that inspired and taught generations of Aussie Aviators.

Alas, now as each year passes more of those Ilk retire and our industry is poorer for their absence.

Perhaps in years to come the internet and threads like these will be our only reminders of the golden years of manual flying?
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:55
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Was it a TN or AN DC9 skipper who allegedly used to have his FO taxi out at YMML while he was dropping cigarette ash out his LH window while he studied the racing form? Once lined up, so the story goes, he would throw his cigarette butt out the window, fold his racing guide, button up, take over and head for Sydney.
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Old 28th May 2019, 15:06
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Hand flying smoothly with precision for more than a few minutes in the higher flight levels is all but impossible
It should certainly not be impossible to a competent instrument rated pilot. After all, it wasn't all that long ago RAAF pilots flying fighters in the old days regularly flew in close formation in cloud at high altitudes with no automatics. The Canberra bomber was a single pilot aircraft that had no autopilot and regularly flew at 45,000 feet for four hours often in IMC and without the benefit of weather radar. Todays military pilots are taught to use all the whizz-bang automatics available yet their training still strongly accents manual flying skills which may be needed if the automatics are knocked out of action. I guess it all depends on your training and personal flying ability.
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Old 28th May 2019, 18:06
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By higher FLs I’m talking about 450 and above. By precise, I’m talking about +/-50 ft. and +/- 5 degrees. Reduced damping requires a constant eagle eye on PFD and the smallest of control inputs. Gets old after 5 minutes.
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Old 29th May 2019, 04:56
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
By higher FLs I’m talking about 450 and above. By precise, I’m talking about +/-50 ft. and +/- 5 degrees. Reduced damping requires a constant eagle eye on PFD and the smallest of control inputs. Gets old after 5 minutes.
I always fly up there FL430-490 (usually in a block) & have had a go at hand driving whilst not on radar & it's pretty much impossible to retain high accuracy for any length of time. I see no need for it unless of course George took a break then all bets are off for normal Ops anyway:-)
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Old 29th May 2019, 07:49
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
By higher FLs I’m talking about 450 and above. By precise, I’m talking about +/-50 ft. and +/- 5 degrees. Reduced damping requires a constant eagle eye on PFD and the smallest of control inputs. Gets old after 5 minutes.
lucille,
Re. this and your first post, are you serious??
Have you ever tried it??
And there was/is no FBW in a B707 of B747 ---- or any aircraft of that era.
Indeed, demonstrating you capability to do just what you seem to think is so difficult (for you, it may be) was once mandatory, and practice hand flying at high levels in cruise was encouraged --- because it kept your scan sharp.
I grant that long periods could be tiring --- after two colleagues and myself flew a B707 Singapore/Djakarta/Perth/Sydney one night with a u/s autopilot, we all slept very soundly after the necessary cleansing ale.
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Old 29th May 2019, 11:49
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Flying is not that difficult! It’s not rocket science.
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Old 29th May 2019, 18:15
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It’s not ‘skills’ per se, it’s currency. If you want to do something well in the air then you need to practice it often.
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Old 29th May 2019, 18:39
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There are indeed some impressive male members being waved about on this thread....Austronoughts notwithstanding, let us not forget that in days gone by there was no RVSM, a lot less traffic and of course Nav accuracy was measured in miles rather than meters...so let’s dispense with the BS shall we?
The degradation in manual handling skills is real, and we can lay the blame at the doorsteps of the safety managers, aircraft manufacturers and the bean counters.
I keep myself in regular practise but am forbidden from removing the FD and A/T, and yet recently I was required to operate a 77F from HKG to home base 8hrs distant with no operable A/T system. Amazingly some safety manager might say, it was no issue flying with manual thrust, who’d have thought?
Lets be realistic here, most of these policies are written by the non flying troglodytes who through a combination of envy, stupidity and pure inadequacy have collectively decided that they know more about aviation than the aviators....it’s up to you to stand up and reverse the trend.
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Old 29th May 2019, 20:54
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Originally Posted by Capt Fathom View Post
Flying is not that difficult! It’s not rocket science.
Awe those things hanging off the wings are kinda like rockets ...

Yes some interesting reading.

New gen or old new gen (ie A320) are no doubt why there are less incidents. However as we have repeatedly seen when shite hits the fan... Growing up on the 6 pack (not physically unfortunately) I really do feel swings in some automatic muscle memory when needed. Even if the ole whizz bang glass has issues.
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Old 29th May 2019, 21:15
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Originally Posted by dr dre View Post
...
Last time I checked the same hand flying stick and rudder skills are needed to land a jet in a gusting crosswind off a turbulent approach in 2019 as they were in 1979, so today’s generation of “autopilot babysitters” must still have something up their sleeve.
Usually, folks somehow manage a visual approach as soon as they are properly lined up with the runway on final.
In my experience, automation-dependent pilots are a lot more scared by the maneuvering it takes to get lined up with the runway. Judging the correct turn and descent rates and points in time without a FD seems nearly impossible for some.

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Old 30th May 2019, 01:50
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Originally Posted by AviatorDave View Post
Usually, folks somehow manage a visual approach as soon as they are properly lined up with the runway on final.
In my experience, automation-dependent pilots are a lot more scared by the maneuvering it takes to get lined up with the runway. Judging the correct turn and descent rates and points in time without a FD seems nearly impossible for some.
It’s a matter of needs rather than “nice to haves”.

For instance in Australia at all airports apart from Sydney you’ll fly a STAR or an FMS generated profile right to final. Even Sydney will furnish you with a simple track miles to run to judge your profile and vector you onto final. Visual approaches are still be made on the track of a STAR or instrument approach. ATC isn’t in the habit of letting aircraft join downwind for circuit practice at major airports.

However when you’ve got winds gusting and shearing 25-40kts all the way down final in Mod/Sev turbulence and you need to put the aircraft in the TDZ on a shortish runway Autoland isn’t going to help you, you’ll need stick, rudder and thrust management skills to do it accurately. And it happens most of the time all around the world even in this “automation dependent” generation.


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Old 30th May 2019, 01:52
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Somewhat ironic that about 75% of this thread would get you demoted if you tried it on today. Imagine 787 captain turning off the autopilot at FL420 just to test out his scan rate! The safety department would go mental. The regulator would be calling for blood. Emails galore with the AIPs/CAO/CARs/Ops Manuals cut and pasted into them pointing out the myriad of laws broken....

In reality what needs to happen is the whole concept of Sim needs to be reinvented, and moved away from the 1960s mentality of testing the same stuff annually and into a real training environment. That however would require the regulator to move away from their box ticking bureaucratic mindset.
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Old 30th May 2019, 02:57
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sunfish View Post
Was it a TN or AN DC9 skipper who allegedly used to have his FO taxi out at YMML while he was dropping cigarette ash out his LH window while he studied the racing form? Once lined up, so the story goes, he would throw his cigarette butt out the window, fold his racing guide, button up, take over and head for Sydney.
Not a bad effort from the FO with no tiller, but a bit of asymmetric brake and thrust would do the tight turns I guess.
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Old 30th May 2019, 03:12
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Todays military pilots are taught to use all the whizz-bang automatics available yet their training still strongly accents manual flying skills........
And this is exactly as it should be.......
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