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Distracted crew let Q400 descend towards terrain

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Distracted crew let Q400 descend towards terrain

Old 30th Jun 2012, 10:39
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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It seems that there is always a "good reason" not to hand fly. Although I agree that there are places and times to practice raw data flying, I realize that for some pilots it takes some effort to disconnect (click click A/P, click click A/T, FD's off) and there you go.

The location is not right (i.e London TMA), the weather is not good, the pilots are tired, the experience split between pilots is too big, company SOP's, etc...

The fact is: just do it. And make it mandatory for yourself once per day (if short haul),once per week (if long haul), up & down from ground to FL100.
Late into this thread, but after reading this load of tripe, I'm wondering which "big" airline you work for? (although something sounding similar to Mikey Air is probably where you reside)

It may surprise you sir, that the very things you suggest as being required and necessary..or to use your Nike inspired phrase "just do it" would put the collective arses of everyone where I work in a rather large sling thanks to the PCMIA card. Not only is manual flight frowned apon, it is actively discouraged and mandated against i.e. there are no practice approaches..FD off AT disconnected with 400 or so paying punters in the back.
Manual flight where it is appropriate and required, but the maximum use of automation at all times.
If this doesn't sit well with you then I would suggest you have failed to understand that there are plenty of operators where we might get 3-4 sectors a month, and the vast majority of landings are after 10 or more hours in the cruise, I for one won't be disconnecting until 1000' AGL or reciept of landing clearance anytime soon, my manual handling comes along once every 3 months in the sim.
Honestly...ego monsters indeed!

Last edited by haughtney1; 30th Jun 2012 at 10:41.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 23:44
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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I think I see what is the future. No handflown approaches because the pilots aren't as good as the autopilots. Kind of sad, isn't it? Didn't use to be that way when we had real pilots. I am glad I am done. Most young pilots probably agree.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 00:01
  #63 (permalink)  
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I don't necessarily agree with that statement, there are some very good sticks out there, but company SOP's, QAR monitoring, along with much more traffic and different ATC procedures don't always make it a great environment for hand flying.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 00:44
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What has hand flying made so difficult in the last 9 years? It wasn't then.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 00:55
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I guess I am just in a lost bunch of pilots that retired at 60 who flew til they listen to how the new guys do it. If the autopilot doesn't work, don't blame me.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 01:16
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Oh come on, Haughtney1. Next you'll be saying "AF447 was just one of those things that happens, get over it".

Canned handflying in the sim once in a while is so far removed from the skills you may need, like that A330 crew needed, that it is basically a WOFTAM.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 04:10
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Oh come on, Haughtney1. Next you'll be saying "AF447 was just one of those things that happens, get over it".

Canned handflying in the sim once in a while is so far removed from the skills you may need, like that A330 crew needed, that it is basically a WOFTAM.
Nope Bloggsy I'd never in a million years say that, I'm pretty sure that if the AF447 had reverted to basic pitch and power, theyd be alive today. A management bean-counter on the other hand would most likely say "its just the cost of doing business"
As for canned hand flying, well, thats how my outfit want it done
Of course the worm is S L O W L Y turning, the sim flying is a direct result of AF447 and other less serious incidents, but the flight Ops management where I work have deemed that it be done this way.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 15:09
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automation policy

hey Captain Bloggs,

Doesn't your mob have the same automation policy as haughtney1 - avoid manual flight at all costs?
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 20:55
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Why are you giving haughtney1 a hard time? He is right in what he says. If I was a virgin 340 pilot getting upto 2 landings a month I would not think that practising my hand flying on the line was a good idea, especially in busy TMA's at the end of a long duty day. If I worked for the likes of Emirates I would also think it was a bad idea due to FDM and SOP's. Improve your hand flying with an extra or a Cessna in these situations.

The AF accident did not happen because of a lack of hand flying on every other sector. It happened because the wrong pilot was in the wrong seat at the wrong time. There was a failure to recognise the stall and carry out recovery on behalf of the handling pilot and PM was unaware of the inputs of PF due to side stick.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 21:19
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That means one pilot could not hand fly and the senior copilot couldn't either. If he could he would have taken over if he had the confidence to do so but he didn't. That is why everybody died.
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 22:14
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Hand flying?

Using raw data for situational awareness?

I was really bored today and decided to read this thread.....now I am no longer bored I am afraid.

Knowing there might be pilots out there flying for some airlines that consider hand flying to be black magic that is to dangerous to try except in the Sim occasionally and is against their SOP's is reason for me to feel fear....
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Old 1st Jul 2012, 22:25
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No matter what your airline tells you, if you never handfly, you won't disconnect the autopilot. If it disconnects itself you are hand flying but have to deal with hand flying. Your choice.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 01:06
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If I was a virgin 340 pilot getting upto 2 landings a month I would not think that practising my hand flying on the line was a good idea
Strange. I talked to a Virgin A340 pilot last year and he said there was no discouragement from handflying or for that matter getting rid of the FD and autothrust.

Originally Posted by COM cleaner
Doesn't your mob have the same automation policy as haughtney1 - avoid manual flight at all costs?
It does; my take on Haughtney's post was that he supports his compnay's policy.

The AF accident did not happen because of a lack of hand flying on every other sector. It happened because the wrong pilot was in the wrong seat at the wrong time. There was a failure to recognise the stall and carry out recovery on behalf of the handling pilot and PM was unaware of the inputs of PF due to side stick.
Absolute rubbish. Had the PF been practiced at hand flying at high altitude he in all probability would not have pulled the nose up so much and stalled the thing in the first place! "Hmm, this is strange, I'm hand flying, the power hasn't changed and we're climbing for the moon, better lower the nose a bit so she doesn't stall..."

The aeroplane was stalled, pure and simple, and the three pilots were so unskilled/practiced at scanning all the instruments, so unpracticed at taking in all the information they had in front of them, were so stunned by what was going on, that they sat there virtually doing nothing because they couldn't work it out. I agree that some whacko Airbus design features didn't help.

Every second you get practicing your IF scan ASI/VS/Altimeter/Attitude, actually looking at and feeling the response from your (even minor) control inputs when hand flying, will help you identify a completely odd-ball, totally weird situation and recover from it.

Last edited by Capn Bloggs; 2nd Jul 2012 at 01:25.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 02:12
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Originally Posted by gatbusdriver
The AF accident did not happen because of a lack of hand flying on every other sector. It happened because the wrong pilot was in the wrong seat at the wrong time. There was a failure to recognise the stall and carry out recovery on behalf of the handling pilot and PM was unaware of the inputs of PF due to side stick.
gatbusdriver, do you care to offer an opinion as to why PF was unable to hack the program? What was missing from his training or background? The retrospective view of "He didn't hack the program." really doesn't tell us what the problem was.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 09:00
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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Please can we get this thread back on topic.

The incident concerned has nothing to do with hand flying.
They lost situational awareness while distracted by a problem, they should have rejected the approach and taken their time to sort it out in the pattern.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 09:11
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A few points of interest..rebuttal if you will.

my take on Haughtney's post was that he supports his compnay's policy.
Then your take Capt is incorrect, I neither support nor am vehemently opposed to the policy, I do however understand the rational and the mindset behind such a policy.
Do I think it causes an erosion in flying skill? yes most definitely, do I think flt Ops managers believe this as well? for the most part yes, but statisically speaking, the various regulators, risk managers, manufacturers and guys who run company SMS and flight safety programmes consisently produce data that drive these policies in the first place.
As a matter of fact I hand-flew an approach into an Australian airport a little while back after getting back to my seat and feeling well rested, it was day VMC and the gusty crosswind was near my company limit, I felt it was safer and more appropriate than using automation and disconnecting at 1000 AGL with a handlful of aeroplane.

738 Drvr

You completely miss the point here. But that's ok, whatever works for you. In my company raw data / hand flying flying is not encouraged either, and nowhere in the SOP's will you find any recommandation to practise FD off/ AT disconnected approaches.

It does not mean that pilots are not responsible to maintain their flying skills. Hand flying is not to be practised in the sim (poor saoul, I wish I never heard that), but is on the line. It does not matter if you have 400 or 200 or 2 passengers in the back, they would still expect the pilots able to handle a non normal when the situation arises. It does not matter if you have 1, 2 or 3 autopilots, automation is dangerous when used as a replacement of your basic stick and rudder skills. The AF447 is just a one of the examples, but there are many more out there.
Actually, I get the point entirely, the difference is, if I disconnect an A/T, or turn off a FD without a bloody good reason, I will find myself in the chief pilots office for coffee and dates in fairly short order, and if I trott out the line " I was just doing it to maintain my profficiency" I will be shown the door in fairly short order.
Now can I fly a rate 1 turn and not gain or lose 50 feet? yep, I certainly can, can I manually fly a CAT 1 ILS in raw data to minimums? yes I can do that too, I use bullet proof techniques that equate to flying the jet by numbers, in fact thats what I base my whole operation on, pitch and power..simples.

Absolute rubbish. Had the PF been practiced at hand flying at high altitude he in all probability would not have pulled the nose up so much and stalled the thing in the first place!
Bloggsy, one last thing, if your company lets you hand-fly up at high alt, more power to you, if I tried that, it would be do not pass go, do not collect 200 whatevers and here is your resignation letter to sign.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 09:42
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Experience?

'Hours/age is an indicator' says Fade To Gray. Yes, but it's not a totally precise tool. When I was in my early 40s I had 3000 hours, so perhaps you might consider me inexperienced. But nearly all of that had been military, half of it intensive, short, teaching sorties. Even on 4-jets we had the luxury of adding a couple of extra approaches at the end of most trips. It's surely not too simplistic to say that time spent on takeoffs and landings contributes more to useful experience than flying S&L at FL 300. That's not meant to undervalue the undoubted competence of the 15,000 hour airline pilot, but don't let's pretend that a man with 'only' 3,000 hours is necessarily a newbie.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 11:15
  #78 (permalink)  
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No, fair point, yellow son . I know with the current lack of flying in the mil some of the FJ boys are getting 100 hrs a year ?

I think I can summarise, that we would all like to hand fly but some SOPs don't allow much of it .

I don't think AF447 had much to do with hand flying - more a failure to interpret and act on what the instruments were saying. I am sure they could have manipulated the AP earlier to achieve a favourable outcome.

I know in a previous life a capt who got a telling off as the FO felt he was being forced to fly a visual when he didn't want to to...I never pressurised anyone, if they fancied a go fair enough, if not fair enough.

I certainly don't by into the machismo (seen elsewhere on here) that basically consists of " you 're not hand flying, because you can't", that amounts to little more than bullying really.
 
Old 2nd Jul 2012, 11:58
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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Flying Experience

We grumbled on the squadron that Flight Safety was being compromised when we had a temporay restriction to 15 hours a month. If it's down to 100 hours a year, then I'm with Charlie Brown - Good Grief! Especially given that time on Ops has limited training value. But that's probably a topic for a whole other thread (I expect it has been already). I'm just thankful I'm not having to put up with that myself these days.

As an aside, I had an amusing moment while converting to the G1000 - forced on me by my Flying Club. During my check ride I was inflicted with the predictable 'graceful degradation'; during the debrief, the checker commented that I seemed to be more at home the fewer systems that were available. I had to admit that the final 'everything failed' scenario was the closst to the avionics fits I had been used to during my 3000 hours in the RAF! Not sure what lessons to draw from that - certainly nothing relevant to this thread - but it tickled me anyhow.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 16:00
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I had to admit that the final 'everything failed' scenario was the closst to the avionics fits I had been used to during my 3000 hours in the RAF! Not sure what lessons to draw from that
Heh.

Some of the automation whingers around here should spend a few years in Africa hacking around the game reserves in a DHC6-200 with a basic panel and an autopilot that can just about maintain straight & level on a good day.
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