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Eroding flying skills

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Eroding flying skills

Old 12th Jul 2013, 06:16
  #1 (permalink)  
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Eroding flying skills

Hi fellow aviators,

Some years ago there was a conference by ALPA chairman Rory Kay regarding the lost of flying skills by airline pilots since the introduction of more and more automatization onboard the airliners. He was focusing on the Turkish B737 accident in Amsterdam as an example.

ALPA safety chief: Basic flying skills eroding

That is the link to the article on Flight International.

I was wondering if any of you has a link to the video or know where I could get the video from, I would like to review that video. I think it became current again since the Asiana crash in SFO.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 09:54
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I think you have posted this twice. For the other ppruners, here is the link to the other thread with the video: http://www.pprune.org/north-america/...ng-skills.html

Last edited by PigeonVoyageur; 12th Jul 2013 at 09:56.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 10:25
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Flying skills are eroding. We should do something about it. Any ideas?

Mandatory visual approaches during check rides? (To start off with)
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 10:32
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I don't think anyone can argue that flying skills are eroding but until we can rein in the bean-counters and get them to spend more on training I fear that the situation will not improve.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 10:40
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Flying skills are almost inexistent at entry level in an industry where the previous experience, other than those 500 hours on type, is not taken into account anymore.

God save the MPL! ( but please Lord, teach these guys how to use the rudder)

Last edited by IXUXU; 12th Jul 2013 at 10:52.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 11:12
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You pay peanuts, you get monkeys. QED.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 11:56
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if you keep passing sim rides every six months are you sure you dont have more skills than you think?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 11:59
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My background is in physics and later, when I couldn't stomach the academic world, IT (which is even less palatable). Both fields suffer from the same problem - reliance on "qualifications" without any real testing for aptitude. In physics, we have people who are good at kissing ass and passing tests. They fill the ranks at most schools - mediocre beyond description, incapable of making a real physical argument, no intuition. Thank them for string theory, inflation, multiverse, dark matter/energy, cosmological wanking, etc. etc. an endless list of bullsheet. In IT, we have paper qualified drones who are around just to cause trouble for the 10% who do all the real work.

So what's happening in your field is happening everywhere. You can change it by testing for aptitude. Flying is a physical skill. Being good at it requires spatial perception beyond the norm, good reflexes, situational awareness. You can test for that. No one should get a commercial license who cannot pass some fairly rigorous battery of aptitude tests - not specifics of any particular airplane or system, but something to test the ability to juggle mental factors while performing a complex physical skill.

I wish we had aptitude tests in theoretical physics and in IT. We don't, and our people suck. Join the club.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:16
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All this "blame the beancounters" is gross exaggeration. Every company I know is continually adding more training into their annual budget to cope with the never ending stream of new requirements. In a time when most airlines are struggling to stay profitable of course there is tension with the costs, but no-one is reducing training.
As for only allowing people into the industry based on passing aptitude tests, if you brought this in then the airlines would be short of pilots by about 30%. Do you want to see all the airlines closing due to lack of crews? Not to mention, of course, that that means facing the reality that some of us are in that 30%....
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:21
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I'd conjecture that these days, the best natural pilots are probably found in Africa where they don't train people with no ability and idiots can kill themselves quickly, and of course in the military. But neither of the above are necessarily well equipped to be a flying branch manager, paid to "monitor" a slow lumbering computer with wings stuck on that flies itself except when it doesn't.

In the first and probably last analysis, the ground guys at SFO who deprived landing planes of automatic aids are statistically responsible for the Asiana crash. There was bound to be one crew that couldn't fly a visual approach.

This time it was Asiana was the one which couldn't find a seat when the music stopped. But the whole industry is dancing. The NTSB will determine the precise sequence of events, but the cause -eroding flying skills all over the industry, with no changes in the rules to accomodate them- is now well documented.

As for what deSitter says, yes I've seen it too. But the economics work against recruiting people with good native 3D or dynamic skills in a mass industry; because skill requirements excessively narrow the pool of applicants.

Last edited by edmundronald; 12th Jul 2013 at 12:36.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:22
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There are plenty of people with piloting skill who for whatever reasons are "not viable within the system" (to paraphrase a former president's weasel words about how to avoid the draft.)

You can find these people if you change your system.

I met a woman who had been a 737 pilot. She had no interest in flying or aircraft, no particular intelligence beyond normal, no interest in the technical things associated with aviation. I wondered how on earth she ever ended up in an airplane.

Your statement is right on the money I think. Better to admit that some people can't fly and insist that the automation be working, to accommodate the incompetent.

Last edited by deSitter; 12th Jul 2013 at 12:37.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 13:44
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Button pushing seems like the norm for new pilots. The old guys still know how to fly and don't care if pushing a button works or doesn't. Not entirely true with most recently certified pilots. My first few thousand hours were 99 % hand flown. Even after 23,000 hrs I didn't care if the autopilot worked or not. It just made reading the newspaper easier.
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Old 16th Jul 2013, 19:34
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The CAA have been banging on about degradable skills for a decade at least....the FAA have started to get seriously concerned about it more recently. Unfortunately few are listening....results clear to see.
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Old 18th Jul 2013, 00:11
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Dont you think that just like there's a requirement for cat-2 approaches, there should be a requirement for hand flying.. though i frequently fly manually as much as possible but, every captain is'nt comfortable. would be good if there was a regulation.
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Old 19th Jul 2013, 14:07
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One way of ensuring reasonable instrument flying skills is that instrument rating tests should be manually flown on raw data. This includes autothrottle and FD off. And not just one ILS, either.

There should be just enough use of automatics to ensure the candidate is reasonably proficient at button pushing. Currently in Australia at least, 90% of the instrument rating test in the simulator is use of full automatics. Automatics does nothing for basic instrument flying skills. The solution might be a compromise with the test being 50% on automatics and the other 50% of the test hand flown raw data.
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Old 20th Jul 2013, 03:09
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Less pay for using the A/P.

That should crudely improve things.
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