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This is not about better stick and rudder skills.

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This is not about better stick and rudder skills.

Old 1st May 2012, 07:51
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Hello PH,

Absolutely agree about ATHR and TCAS - the imperative is to avoid a mid-air and playing with the TL could detract from the miss distance! Non-precision approaches are an ideal opportunity to fly fully manually from visual or DA so I encourage that but make sure it's understood that ATHR engaged is always an option.

Fully agree about moving thrust levers. A pity it wasn't base option! The non-moving TL rob the pilot of a tactile indication of aircraft performance and therefore degrades instantaneous situation awareness. It makes it more difficult, in my opinion, to effect a smooth "recovery from a windshear recovery". In my experience, the biggest problem people have in this area is not the windshear encounter itself which is usually dealt with well. It's regaining normal flight parameters following recovery from the shear - A FLOOR, TOGA LK, followed by rapidly increasing speed as the shear abates and no idea how to prevent the flap overspeed despite the pre-briefing! Some are not even AWARE of the A-FLOOR/TOGA LK FMA. Often the gear is left down. Its all exacerbated by this reluctance you mention to move the TL from whatever gate they're in. I refer them to the good attitude and power advice contained in the Unreliable Airspeed procedure and advise them to use that as a starting point. And to disconnect ATHR with all haste, control the thrust manually to stabilise speed then select a "known" attitude/power combination e.g. 10 degrees/CLB power then clean up and reselect ATHR on the FCU. Making the standard Go-Around call (not an SOP in these circumstances) serves to prompt a known set of actions and the gear is then not forgotten.

But it really shouldn't be this way.
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Old 1st May 2012, 11:08
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Re stick and rudder skills. Many years ago on the BA One Eleven we had a page in the manual which prescribed the pitch angles plus power settings applicable to all stages of the flight, to use when deprived of airspeed indication. When we practised in the sim, we were shown, briefly, at various points, the airspeed reading. It was usually within 5kts of the correct speed. The exercise rammed home the point that the basics worked. Incidentally, never having used one, does a sidestick have stick shake and stick push inputs ? If not, why not ?
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Old 1st May 2012, 12:21
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The QRH on my company's A320 fleet has the same. And we have practiced the attitude power combinations. Plus, the more recent airframes have the Back Up Speed Scale (BUSS) which uses GPS information to provide a ball park speed and altitude reference should the ADIRS fail.

Airbus FBW sidesticks have no tactile feedback. As, in normal law there is virtually no possibility of stalling - they are not required. In Alternate law, if getting near the stall, the pilot will have no doubt about the situation with the audio "STALL STALL" warning.
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Old 1st May 2012, 13:16
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Northbeach, re #22. A very interesting observation.
So Mr. Voss' comments appear to propose a solution – different training, but without first considering (or even understanding) the problem or consequences of change, and particularly the historical objectives of automation?
If the intent is to redefine the role of automation, then much more has to be considered, e.g. certification, reliability, and system interface; I agree with your concerns; humans have the higher level of intelligence (even if at times we fail to employ it), and thus must stay in control.

Children of the Magenta – a lengthy video for the key message (click click; click, click), and this misses the main problem. Knowing when to disconnect, then doing it. Many changes during flight are routine and crews are expected know when to fly manually as opposed to use technology (and vice versa), but on occasion, situations are misjudged or not understood, which provides opportunity for error – automation dependency.
Petrolhead "Use the proper level of automation for the task", "Take Over", I agree, but how do crews judge these. What is the task demand, the situation, workload. The video provides little guidance apart from the routine; how is management of non-normal situations taught?

Re "He who does not truly master hand flying skills cannot truly master automated flying skills."
A pedantic point, but neither of these skills is fully defined. If the hand flying skill are limited to ‘handling’ (stick and rudder), then using the same categorisation, automatic skills may only involve the switching selections and button pushing. I suspect that many posts do not mean that.
The problem is in managing situations and therefore it is the management skills for that task which are lacking.
Managing, either manually or with automation involves similar skills – awareness and decision making, according to the situation.
Are these management skills being taught, practiced, reinforced; or do we decide to delegate them to technology thus both manual and autoflight competency deteriorates?
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Old 1st May 2012, 14:19
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What does "stick and rudder" actually mean here?

Don't know whether it is indeed a useful distinction, but after having read the thread IMHO a quite crucial question is whether "stick and rudder skills" refer to a) handling an aircraft at the edges of the flight envelope (stalls, aerobatics) or b) feeling at ease flying an airliner by manually operating the flight controls and referring to raw instrument data.

While increased skills in a) certainly do no harm I doubt that putting the emphasis there would make such a significant contribution to safety. Here, I agree with Voss's initial quote. By contrast, becoming overwhelmed and falling behind the aircraft and one's current situation as soon as one has to make the usual maneuvers by hand-flying is IMHO a completely different story.

So, if "stick and rudder skills" means being able to aileron roll a 707 (or a Decathlon) I agree with the claim that "this is not about better stick and rudder skills". On the other hand, profoundly knowing and understanding one's aircraft and its systems (which is IMHO the point) would include being at ease manually flying it through the normal gaits and maneuvers, wouldn't it? Nice side effect: without the need for organizing and scheduling extra hours in gliders or aerobatic spam cans or relying on simulators that lack an authentic seat-of-the-pants feeling, b) can largely be trained and kept up to par in day-to-day operations.

BTW, I think that the outstanding performance by Capt. Sullenberger and the rest of the flight crew(!) is not even remotely limited to pure handling skills acquired in glider training (and AFAIK the PF in the AF accident had been trained to fly gliders, too).
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Old 1st May 2012, 19:23
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It is not about what kind of pilot would do that, in the example of AF447 you have to take into account that those guys were in a situation that probably a lot of pilots would not have walked out of it.
Take turbulence (probably moderate/severe) precipitation and other Wx related factors that might make you want to go out of there as fast as you can, then you have an aircraft that is basically dying in front of you, and most important , the aircraft lost the ADR's and you need at least ADIRS #3 to maintain the ISIS working and they lost it aswell , so at night inside of a Cb you don't have any visual cue to maintain 5 degrees NU.
Any way back to topic I think pilots will never be backup to automation and You do need to hand fly the aircraft whenever you can
Just IMO.
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Old 1st May 2012, 19:26
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Armchairflyer, good points.
Adding to – “knowing and understanding one's aircraft and its systems”, it’s also the understanding of their relationship to the situation and the task. Pure aircraft/systems knowledge, or even aircraft automation handling skills, is of little value without the ability to apply that knowledge. To some extent this depends on experience – being in situations, learning from them, and being able to relate these items to similar situations.
Thus, also agreeing in part with Mr Voss – (This is not just about better stick and rudder skills), the choice of ‘backing up automation’ is a poor analogy. Crews require existing or enhanced skills adapted to technology, enabling the human to remain in command.

Re ditching in the Hudson. I also agree that physical flying skills were irrelevant; it was the decision to choose the ditching option, and at a time where it could be completed safely, which contributed to the success. The Captain understood the situation, the options, and chose wisely: – how do we identify, teach, and improve those skills.
Many are normally regarded as skills of airmanship – managing flight situations; this is not “new kinds of pilot training” (Voss), but the use and/or adaptation of old skills, many of which have been discarded with the advent of automation.

P. S. see http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/48135...ml#post7166053 EASA Automation survey.

Last edited by safetypee; 1st May 2012 at 20:17. Reason: P.S.
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Old 1st May 2012, 20:02
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safetypee; 100% ACK, even though situational awareness in the sense of being on top of both the aircraft (whether actually flown by George or oneself) and its (prospective) environment could IMHO be seen as a topic of its own not directly related to aircraft handling skills.

Concerning the successful Hudson ditching, I don't think that Sully's flying skills were not an asset, but fully agree that it was his decision skills and the effective functioning of the whole crew that saved the day. Put differently: a pilot with less stick-and-rudder prowess but equally outstanding situation awareness and decision making would IMHO be much more likely to achieve the same or a similar outcome than a mere stick-and-rudder ace.
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Old 1st May 2012, 20:24
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John R

I'm sorry for the innocent question, but how is it possible to obtain an ATPL / type-rating if the above statement is true? I understand entirely that for many new entrants to professional flying, the first jet they may fly is a 737/320, but these new pilots must surely have had to demonstrate their proficiency in basic flying skills as part of their professional licence/type-rating training?
They have done it in light piston-engined aircraft, the handling techniques of which are not like those of a swept wing jet. They have never been taken up to 40,000ft in a jet aircraft, and experienced the different control response, lack of engine power and the effects of compressibility. They will have read about it but that's all. The will never have been trained in recovery from unusual positions or stall at high altitude. The jet orientation course will be in a simulator and the type rating in a simulator. They will then be base-checked in the circuit in a B737 or an A320 and thereafter everything they do above traffic pattern altitude will be with the autopilot and autothrust engaged or following the flight director. Very often they really do not know the basic attitude and power to set in order to fly the aircraft without the automatics. I spend a lot of my time trying to plug these gaps in their knowledge and experience.
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Old 1st May 2012, 22:59
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sometimes I read things here and just shake my head. Sure, there are issues of swept wing planes that need covering in any transition. Indeed, it is my opinion that the most difficult planes to fly have been non swept wing.

The B737 is a pussycat compared to a turboprop known as the MU2.

AT 40,000 feet there is a drop off in performance...but come on...what terrain is that high that you have to out climb?

in 37 years of flying, I will say that getting the job done in an underpowered light twin is more demanding than any jet transport built in the last 40 years or so. in a jet, you don't have to ''feather'' a prop and get it right the first time.

there is not so much difference...but one must use their mind to be a better pilot. one must think faster and be prepared for all the little things that a piper cub pilot would have to think about....even a total power failure.

Sully and the hudson have been mentioned...oh come on...looking for a place to set her down in an emergency is private pilot stuff...its just we don't think it will happen in a jet.

4 pilots in the sim were given the sully scenario and all 4 made it to LGA for a landing...of course they knew what was coming. Adding thirty seconds to actually grasp what happened made the hudson a better choice due to the change in energy, altitude and options.

BUT IF WE HAD been as prepared as a private pilot in single engine plane on evey jet flight, the miracle on the hudson would have turned into an incident at LGA.

I encourage anyone moving from a light plane to a jet to invest in a copy of the following books: "handling the big jets" by DP davies, and "Fly the Wing" by Webb.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 03:11
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I don't think second guessing Sully on a downwind landing hoping he could make it is appropriate. They were stunned by the geese and had to react to the condition of their aircraft. In the sim all they had to do was turn and land because they knew what the conditions were. Sully didn't know the condition of his aircraft so landing downwind took time to consider and that time, in his opinion, didn't give him the option. If he had done an immediate turn back to land at LGA, yes, he probably would have made it but we don't fly airliners that way. First you find out what is wrong and what your options are, you do not dive down and land downwind with no checklists, no restart procedure and no thought process on how we can fix things.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 03:35
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SSR, I am agreeing with you, Sully did the right thing. As a private pilot I would have probably just landed downwind but you can't do that in an airliner because of procedures we are required to follow. Earlier I got into a debate about how pilots can avoid large birds by looking out the window and maneuvering around them. Most disagreed but I did it for years with success in a valley in Honduras known for hundreds of turkey buzzards in a 757. That would have avoided the whole Hudson miracle. But you have to look out the windshield to do it.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 04:13
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bubbers

I'm trying to instill a mindset that you can't fly , fat, dumb and happy all the time...especially the first five minutes of flight and the last five.

our airline had a guy takeoff in a DC9 and both engines quit after he was airborne. well...he didn't do a checklist, or anything,...but he did put it down on the runway, burned out the brakes and stopped the thing.

landing downwind happens all the time (within limits), its just we have forgotten how to fly by the seat of our pants, instead checklists galore...so long that they can't be done before gravity wins.

somethings like relight don't really take that much time...fuel, ignition, engine rotation and it either starts or it doesn't. Fuel should be on, Ignition should be on for most planes during takeoff, and you only have so much speed.

it is my contention that we have been breeding the barnstormer out of us...but the barnstormer can save the day...so, let us have the barnstormer at the ready...just in case the checklists don't work.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 04:26
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'our airline had a guy takeoff in a DC9 and both engines quit after he was airborne. well...he didn't do a checklist, or anything,...but he did put it down on the runway, burned out the brakes and stopped the thing'


Quite something.


Do you have any more information on this incident ?
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Old 2nd May 2012, 07:41
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Indeed, it is my opinion that the most difficult planes to fly have been non swept wing.

The B737 is a pussycat compared to a turboprop known as the MU2.
Probably true. I've never flown a turbo-prop and my experience of twins was many years ago and, yes, it was hard work at times. That's not the issue - basic attitude and power for safe flight is the issue. Recently I asked a young FO what attitude and power he would set if he were to suddenly lose all airspeed indications at cruise level. He did not know. In a FBW Airbus a malfunction such as that would drop the aircraft into Alternate Law and the AP is not available.

AT 40,000 feet there is a drop off in performance...but come on...what terrain is that high that you have to out climb?
Not terrain but Cb avoidance. I refer you to all the AF447 threads. There we had three pilots who did not recognise that their aircraft had stalled at altitude and did not know what to do. There is a gap in airline training and AF447 found it. I think just about any ex-military jet pilot would have flown out of that situation easily but, and here's the point, they have had the hands-on training in manual flight at 40,000ft and would have flown their jets in the corners of its flight envelope many times. They would have recognised the crisis and known what to do. Graduates of modern airline pilot programmes do not have this skill, knowledge and experience on which to draw.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 12:17
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these new pilots must surely have had to demonstrate their proficiency in basic flying skills as part of their professional licence/type-rating training?
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Yes and No. Most will only have flown light twins such as the Diamond, Seminole et al. Obviously basic flying skills will have been learned although these pilots on graduation will have a commercial pilots licence and perhaps in addition they would have passed the theory examinations for the airline pilot licence. But flying a Seminole is light years from flying a Boeing 737 or Airbus. Keep in mind it is well known that students trained for example in China are not necessarily willing keen and enthusiastic. They are ordered to train as airline or military pilots even though they may have previously entered University with another career in mind.

They learn strictly by rote and it is no good pussy-footing about this because it is a fact of life in that part of the world. It has always been thus.
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Old 2nd May 2012, 12:48
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Graduates of modern airline pilot programmes do not have this skill, knowledge and experience on which to draw.
And
They learn strictly by rote and it is no good pussy-footing about this because it is a fact of life in that part of the world. It has always been thus.
Like my colleague just mentioned to me concerning this thread:

Someone finally gets it!
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Old 2nd May 2012, 13:43
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There are several who have posted here who “have it” – and among the first to indicate that fact were RetiredF4, bobdazzle, and SLFinAZ … but the first poster who put it all in context was clearly Northbeach when he said …
I run the automation and the flight, I access all the resources available to me including the automation, but I am in control here; not the programmers, the software version or some remote drone operator buried in a corporate bunker somewhere.
Too many times I’ve seen pretty good aviators turn over complete control of the airplane to “George” (the vernacular reference many of us in the US use to indicate “the autoflight system”). Don’t get me wrong – “George” is great – but I think that putting George “in charge” of the airplane is a huge mistake. George doesn’t “think” – he processes data without thinking, caring, or knowing – and responds within his capability. The benefit that George brings to the cockpit is that he processes a whole lot more data, a whole lot faster, than you or I could. He also follows what he has been taught (i.e., programmed) very faithfully – and exceedingly quickly – again, a lot more quickly than you or I could. However, really good pilots “fly” their airplane at all times – they “use” the “stick and rudder” (and all the other associated bits that go along with sticks and rudders … like throttles, speed brakes, flaps, and the like) and every once in a while those really good pilots will use “George” in place of the “stick and rudder” – but that doesn’t mean that they’ve transferred control of the airplane to “George.” Whenever I see a really good pilot properly using George – that is using George to manipulate the various controls while retaining the decision maker’s authority – and not turning control of the airplane (as well as the lives of everyone on board) over to George … I try to mention it – going into more detail the first few times … as, over the years, I’ve developed an ability to recognize the “not-again-with-the-George-discussion” look from my fellow cockpit occupier(s) when I get into that mode of thinking.

As good as George is … there are times when a wire gets too hot, or a connection gets “challenged,” or something else goes awry … and sometimes, George forgets to “tell” us that he’s having a problem. George is not always as “honest” as he should be – and he conceals minor problems – perhaps not deliberately, it’s just that George doesn’t get tired of “trying it again” … and “again” … and “again” … well, you get the picture. George does not know that the electron sequence/pathway/hierarchy that is programmed and therefore available to him to manipulate the controls may not provide the results that the humans in the cockpit would prefer … but if the humans in the cockpit don’t know what they would do if they were “in control” … things could get “out of control” without them even knowing it – and we’ve all seen examples of just exactly this kind of situation.

So … my compliments to those here who “get it” – and specifically to Mr Northbeach!
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Old 2nd May 2012, 19:25
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stilton...regarding the DC9 incident...happened well over 30 years ago...taking off out of KPIT...at that time procedure was to have all fuel pumps on, which would supply both engines from center tank first. Somehow the center tank fuel was contaminated/full of water and both engines flamed out. Landed straight ahead pushing the plane onto the runway with flaps at takeoff setting...gear had already been cycled up...but managed to select gear down and land...wish I had more....changed procedures many years ago to select pump configuration with wing tank to engine to lessen a repeat.

----

wingswinger...please remember that trying to top a CB in any standard transport is unlikely to work out. I too am shocked at the Air France stall/crash. I asked a friend who flys the same type (with different pitot tubes)
what the stall warning was for that type...its not much!!!!

Having flown and taught in both Seminole and 737 I can tell you that the 737 is easier to fly, has more oomph in an engine out and is less work due to many nice things about jets, liike no prop feathering...weather radar, more comfortable seats and air conditioning...and much better anti ice.

so...those learn by rote chinese firedrill pilots are one thing...but there are many types of pilots and many could handle or avoid the air france scenario


I do agree that you should have approximate pitch/power combinations at your fingertips...and indeed my manuals show pitch/power combos for emergency use.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 01:00
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I have practiced dead stick approaches in a 757 on my flight sim doing a max bank and landing downwind at TGU in honduras with dual engine failures. Yes I would do it but I would be crucified after I did it. There are no other alternatives taking off to the north. Land downwind or die. Sully couldn't do it the way we would have just landing downwind. In Honduras you had no other choice. Sully had to follow the procedure, we couldn't. Staying alive is the name of the game.
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