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EK 231 20 December DXB IAD near crash?

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EK 231 20 December DXB IAD near crash?

Old 21st May 2022, 10:10
  #341 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
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Interestingly my airline has started in the last years to have a training day with various stretch scenarios. These are non graded and allow us to deviate from SOP etc as needed and as allowed in emergency situations. It’s been a fantastic breath of fresh air to not have to worry about what the trainer thinks but rather just focus on getting a safe outcome from the unusual scenario presented to us.
That is certainly a step forwards. There are some minor things I would say or ask PM on a normal line sector, that might be deemed stupid questions, so I don't do that in the Sim. And likewise, there are minor things I would normally suggest or remind PF of that I don't in the Sim. Why? So I don't risk showing myself or the other pilot up in front of the TRE while we are being assessed. Daft, I know but that's how it goes.


Two genuine questions for B777 pilots to help my understanding of this incident and the one where the autopilot was accidentally engaged on the ground:

What is the annunciation that the aircraft is in altitude capturing phase, e.g. within 200' or whatever of the selected Alt, (like ALT* on Airbus)? Would this annunciation be displayed on the ground if that mode was accidentally selected?

Secondly, do B777 SOPs tell you to read out loud and confirm that the flight mode annunciations, i.e. selected modes, including autopilot status, are correct before take-off?
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Old 21st May 2022, 14:39
  #342 (permalink)  
fdr
 
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Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post

That is certainly a step forwards. There are some minor things I would say or ask PM on a normal line sector, that might be deemed stupid questions, so I don't do that in the Sim. And likewise, there are minor things I would normally suggest or remind PF of that I don't in the Sim. Why? So I don't risk showing myself or the other pilot up in front of the TRE while we are being assessed. Daft, I know but that's how it goes.


Two genuine questions for B777 pilots to help my understanding of this incident and the one where the autopilot was accidentally engaged on the ground:

What is the annunciation that the aircraft is in altitude capturing phase, e.g. within 200' or whatever of the selected Alt, (like ALT* on Airbus)? Would this annunciation be displayed on the ground if that mode was accidentally selected?

Secondly, do B777 SOPs tell you to read out loud and confirm that the flight mode annunciations, i.e. selected modes, including autopilot status, are correct before take-off?
Modes are displayed across the top of the PFDs, 3 primary annunciations.

SPEED MODES | ROLL/LATERAL MODES | PITCH MODES

To set up preflight, the FDs are both switched off (should already be...) and the first FD selected on should set the FD to the take-off configuration. On selecting the first FD ON, the mode should read

BLANK | [ TOGA ] | [ TOGA ] (in green). ( where [. ] denotes a highlight of the mode change).

The modes as they have been engaged will be boxed.
If the lateral or vertical modes are armed, they will display under the respective lateral and vertical.
When a mode changes, it is surrounded by a green box for 10 seconds to highlight the change, Boeing has used that since the introduction of EFIS on the B757 and B767.
The MCP selected ALTITUDE will be in magenta above the ALT tape on the PFD RHS.
Triggering TOGA on the Thrust lever switch(es) gives:

[ THR ] or [ THR REF ] | TOGA | TOGA

The pitch bar will rise to approximately 8 degrees ANU. It will start to give valid pitch guidance later in the rotation when the acceleration and target attitude get dynamically calculated. For the incident case, the pitch bar would be at aircraft's pitch initially and would have commanded eventually a pitch down as the aircraft climbed above the captured altitude.

If the first FD is selected ON and the MCP altitude is at or near the aircraft's actual height, then it will engage in

BLANK | [ TOGA ] | [ ALT ].

On tapping the TOGA switch, the incident aircraft showed:

[ THR ] or [ THR REF ] | TOGA | ALT

Selecting the window to 4000' as was reported thereafter from 00000 will not change the pitch mode, it has captured ALT at 00000.... to get the system to be correctly set for takeoff required the arduous task of setting the MCP altitude to an altitude above current altitude, and cycling the FD(s) OFF and then one at least back ON.


p 3.4 of FCTM:
"However, do not follow F/D commands until after liftoff"

p3.8

Rotation and Liftoff - All Engines

...
"Note: The flight director pitch command is not used for rotation". ...

Systems, particularly close-coupled and highly regulated systems degrade over time as a natural phenomenon. The internal selection processes and management suffer what can be considered a genetic defect from repetitive subsets of practices, policy and procedures that tend to drive the system towards the vortex of the drain. internal audit functions exacerbate the devolution as much as they guard against that, as they also result in box-ticking subsets of checklists that become pavlovian style learned responses, which skews the fundamentals that the system may have been established to achieve. One can presume that the regulator provides external guidance towards restoring the full function of a program, they do not, regulators have more interest in compliance than the effect of a vise-like grip around a program that naturally has human variability within it. External critical review is occasionally a good thing and is often a shock to management assumptions of goodness, where critical observation is accepted. This is not IOSA/USOAP or similar it is a critical review of intent, policy, practice and outcomes to determine where risk is developing within otherwise shiny and polished systems that pass with ease audit checklists, yet suffer apparently inexplicable random Disney ride events apparently out of the blue. The pilots in this case undoubtedly passed all requisite checks and standards yet, golly.

------


Below is a solution for the airlines that find this too arduous or have a system that has reached paradoxical outcomes such as this and G/As with the belly on the ground. etc. The device below avoids crews having a fixation on magenta lines while planet earth passes them by. Good SA is desirable still however, most of these guys and girls would make great MiG 21 pilots.




Last edited by fdr; 21st May 2022 at 15:23.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 12:33
  #343 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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What is the annunciation that the aircraft is in altitude capturing phase, e.g. within 200' or whatever of the selected Alt, (like ALT* on Airbus)? Would this annunciation be displayed on the ground if that mode was accidentally selected?

Secondly, do B777 SOPs tell you to read out loud and confirm that the flight mode annunciations, i.e. selected modes, including autopilot status, are correct before take-off?
1. There isn't an alt capture FMA (in fact, ALT doesn't even show as armed when climbing or descending).
2. Yep, but you'd typically only see armed modes. I assume that ALT was active on the ground at this point.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 10:33
  #344 (permalink)  
 
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Thank you both for your time, I know how long it takes to select all that bold font and square brackets etc. I will digest all that.

(Am loving that stripped-down Tuk Tuk !)
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Old 23rd May 2022, 13:59
  #345 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by Fursty Ferret View Post
1. There isn't an alt capture FMA (in fact, ALT doesn't even show as armed when climbing or descending).
2. Yep, but you'd typically only see armed modes. I assume that ALT was active on the ground at this point.
Thereís no alt capture indication on the 777? It just goes from flch to ALT?
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Old 23rd May 2022, 14:04
  #346 (permalink)  
 
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The PF was incapacitated. What were the PM and relief pilot doing as the speed went though V2 with the nose on the ground?
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Old 23rd May 2022, 14:51
  #347 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dropp the Pilot View Post
"Manual flying" at many airlines (including the airline in the spotlight) means disconnecting the AP but leaving the FD and ATHR connected.

This is not only of zero value in maintaining, developing, or recovering any piloting skills, in many cases it exposes your passengers to risks.

Flying any SID out of any European airport in this fashion results in one of the two people in the flight deck being lost from the monitoring role, and the second of two being lost as soon as ATC gives a "direct to xxxxx" clearance and his head wobbles down to the CDU. A non-monitored flight deck at 2000 feet is not a good look.

I do recall my brave cockpit companion proudly announcing to me during taxi in LHR that he had decided to hand-fly the Dover departure.. I had to tell ground control to "say again" the taxi clearance as it took a few seconds for me stop laughing at the idea.
Only Dover departure charts I could find are from 2013 (guess it's been a while), but I see nothing on there that would make me apprehensive about the PF not using automation. Flew in the EU for almost a decade, now in the US for almost two. Almost every pilot I am paired with will hand-fly (mostly FD/AT ON due to RNAV) till 10K every leg, I will go FD/AT OFF probably once a week, both for departure and arrival. No, not on the Whitestone or Coney climb out of LGA, unless it is with someone I have flown a lot with, and not after I come in on a red eye, but pretty much anything else is fair game. There is not a single major carrier in the US that mandates automation on, and plenty that mandate that with the AP off the AT should come off for their 737s. The value you could get from hand flying with FD ON is learning to look through the flight director. It is often easy to see a trend starting and anticipating a change a of pitch, and to see the delayed reaction when the FD catches up. Yes FD off would still be better, but not always practical/legal. I strongly disagree with the notion that it is safer to just sit and monitor, because humans have time and time been proven to be terrible at that, and I also definitely believe in just having the muscle memorie from repeated control inputs will make it much easier if at some point you do need to do it yourself, for instance for a TCAS RA. I have had the AT deferred, and seen pilots struggle being able to set power, because of lack of practice.
On that subject, I fly out of KLAS where several departures have crossing restrictions at or below 8000', for traffic on the STAR on a 9000' downwind. I am on the A320 and when light it will climb at over 2000 fpm during the capture. Had several RAs due to this. The only way I have been able to prevent this is by AT OFF and reducing climb thrust (If you select V/S you lose the constraint in the altitude window as our SOP has us setting the highest altitude).

Obviously, aviation is safer due to automation compared to the 70-ties, but I believe we have gotten to the point where there there are more (potential) crashes due to blind adherence to SOP and lack of airmanship/basic flying skills because of our reliance on automation. To hear a fellow pilot scoff at the idea of hand flying what looks like a pretty basic SID does not sit well for me.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 14:57
  #348 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by simmy View Post
SIN to DXB in a widebody. 0100 schedule departure but several hours late. (Me 50+ year old captain, F/O 35 year old). Glorious flying weather, DXB in sight before the descent point. F/O disconnects A/P at descent point and barely moves the controls until the flare. Me working like a one armed paperhanger complying with his requests for flaps, gear, radio calls, crew landing brief, tiny bye bye to the pax and other small distractions. I was often out of the loop and worn out when we landed. In a courteous way I asked why he had decided to give up the wonderful automatics available and instead just sit staring at the instruments when he had such a glorious night outside with views even! " I like a challenge he said!"

I heard later after I had left the Company that the F/O was made Fleet Manager.

I've often wanted to tell that little tale....and now I have.
I did fly for a UK airline and during recurrent simulator training I was amazed how often the first action of pilots when an emergency was simulated was to disconnect the auto pilot. Honest!
Quick question: Did you expect him to do the radios, flaps gear, or pax brief if the AP had been on? And as the rwy was in sight and he barely had to move the controls, how much monitoring did you really have to do compared to AP on?

A a new Captain in the SIM was asked why I handed control to the FO with every emergency. My answer was that I knew he could keep the right side up, and I didn't need any distractions while figuring out what to do. Had an engine flame out as PM at TOD. PF went AP OFF the moment we got the low oil pressure warning. I made sure it wasn't a control issue, and switched AP back on. There is definitely a place for automation.

Last edited by hans brinker; 23rd May 2022 at 15:10.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 15:07
  #349 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
They're still very much in the minority, and I've found that the "pilot first, female second" is still there. I've had no issues flying with any of them, excluding one, but she'd be a dick even if she had one.
Not sure if that is an acceptable quote in the era of LGBTQIA2S+ or whatever it is, but I will definitely use it.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 16:48
  #350 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Only Dover departure charts I could find are from 2013 (guess it's been a while), but I see nothing on there that would make me apprehensive about the PF not using automation. Flew in the EU for almost a decade, now in the US for almost two. Almost every pilot I am paired with will hand-fly (mostly FD/AT ON due to RNAV) till 10K every leg, I will go FD/AT OFF probably once a week, both for departure and arrival. No, not on the Whitestone or Coney climb out of LGA, unless it is with someone I have flown a lot with, and not after I come in on a red eye, but pretty much anything else is fair game. There is not a single major carrier in the US that mandates automation on, and plenty that mandate that with the AP off the AT should come off for their 737s. The value you could get from hand flying with FD ON is learning to look through the flight director. It is often easy to see a trend starting and anticipating a change a of pitch, and to see the delayed reaction when the FD catches up. Yes FD off would still be better, but not always practical/legal. I strongly disagree with the notion that it is safer to just sit and monitor, because humans have time and time been proven to be terrible at that, and I also definitely believe in just having the muscle memorie from repeated control inputs will make it much easier if at some point you do need to do it yourself, for instance for a TCAS RA. I have had the AT deferred, and seen pilots struggle being able to set power, because of lack of practice.
On that subject, I fly out of KLAS where several departures have crossing restrictions at or below 8000', for traffic on the STAR on a 9000' downwind. I am on the A320 and when light it will climb at over 2000 fpm during the capture. Had several RAs due to this. The only way I have been able to prevent this is by AT OFF and reducing climb thrust (If you select V/S you lose the constraint in the altitude window as our SOP has us setting the highest altitude).

Obviously, aviation is safer due to automation compared to the 70-ties, but I believe we have gotten to the point where there there are more (potential) crashes due to blind adherence to SOP and lack of airmanship/basic flying skills because of our reliance on automation. To hear a fellow pilot scoff at the idea of hand flying what looks like a pretty basic SID does not sit well for me.
This forum needs a like button.

Well said sir. Iíll repeat what Iíve said before. If as PM you canít manage the increased workload of having the PF fly the plane, maybe itís time for some self-examination.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 16:50
  #351 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
Not sure if that is an acceptable quote in the era of LGBTQIA2S+ or whatever it is, but I will definitely use it.
Lol. You can even say you got it from a check airman. Maybe itís time to change my username to Check Airmission
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Old 23rd May 2022, 18:05
  #352 (permalink)  
 
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"To hear a fellow pilot scoff at the idea of hand flying what looks like a pretty basic SID does not sit well for me"

So sorry to dissappoint you. I've lost a lot of sleep over your
disapproval so may be I better say it again.

Go-around? Engage the autopilot.
SID from LHR/CDG/VIE/LAX/JFK and the like? Engage the autopilot.
Somebody got lost inside the FMC and has to deselect the ILS for 30R, replace the STAR, change to 30L and also go direct BINGO? Engage the autopilot.
Non-normal? Engage the autopilot

I think the most bums on board I ever had was 473. 434 adults, 18 crew and 21 infants. I am certain that if you canvassed each and everyone of them individually precisely zero would be interested in how often I got to practice putting the aircraft symbol on the PFD in perfect alignment with the FD, reconfirming to myself that yes, indeed, it takes 63% N1 and 5 degrees pitch to maintain level flight with Flaps 5. Just like the QRH says. Just like it has been for the last 21,000 hours my taut buttocks have been sitting there.





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Old 23rd May 2022, 18:18
  #353 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Dropp the Pilot View Post
"To hear a fellow pilot scoff at the idea of hand flying what looks like a pretty basic SID does not sit well for me"

So sorry to dissappoint you. I've lost a lot of sleep over your
disapproval so may be I better say it again.

Go-around? Engage the autopilot.
SID from LHR/CDG/VIE/LAX/JFK and the like? Engage the autopilot.
Somebody got lost inside the FMC and has to deselect the ILS for 30R, replace the STAR, change to 30L and also go direct BINGO? Engage the autopilot.
Non-normal? Engage the autopilot

I think the most bums on board I ever had was 473. 434 adults, 18 crew and 21 infants. I am certain that if you canvassed each and everyone of them individually precisely zero would be interested in how often I got to practice putting the aircraft symbol on the PFD in perfect alignment with the FD, reconfirming to myself that yes, indeed, it takes 63% N1 and 5 degrees pitch to maintain level flight with Flaps 5. Just like the QRH says. Just like it has been for the last 21,000 hours my taut buttocks have been sitting there.
Any time I think there could be a GA around I leave it on. I bet you spend some of those 21K hours flying. We fly with pilots that haven't yet, and never will if we don't let them. And I already said engage AP for abnormals. And it's easy to say "just follow the QRH for the numbers", but between an A319 with an hour flight, and an A321 going transcon there is a big difference, and you fly WB, so that difference could be even bigger. And I will definitely never ask for the pax opinion.
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Old 23rd May 2022, 18:22
  #354 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by Dropp the Pilot View Post
"To hear a fellow pilot scoff at the idea of hand flying what looks like a pretty basic SID does not sit well for me"

So sorry to dissappoint you. I've lost a lot of sleep over your
disapproval so may be I better say it again.

Go-around? Engage the autopilot.
SID from LHR/CDG/VIE/LAX/JFK and the like? Engage the autopilot.
Somebody got lost inside the FMC and has to deselect the ILS for 30R, replace the STAR, change to 30L and also go direct BINGO? Engage the autopilot.
Non-normal? Engage the autopilot

I think the most bums on board I ever had was 473. 434 adults, 18 crew and 21 infants. I am certain that if you canvassed each and everyone of them individually precisely zero would be interested in how often I got to practice putting the aircraft symbol on the PFD in perfect alignment with the FD, reconfirming to myself that yes, indeed, it takes 63% N1 and 5 degrees pitch to maintain level flight with Flaps 5. Just like the QRH says. Just like it has been for the last 21,000 hours my taut buttocks have been sitting there.
No experience with LHR, CDG or VIE, but the last time I flew out of LAX and JFK, the AP wasnít on until the mid 20ís. Thereís nothing particularly demanding about those SIDs.



For your second example where the STAR and runway have to be changed, Iím inclined to agree with you. But if itís a case where youíre on the approach to 30R and ATC says to sidestep to 30L, thatís absolutely a case where the AP hinders more than helps.

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Old 23rd May 2022, 18:30
  #355 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
No experience with LHR, CDG or VIE, but the last time I flew out of LAX and JFK, the AP wasnít on until the mid 20ís. Thereís nothing particularly demanding about those SIDs.



For your second example where the STAR and runway have to be changed, Iím inclined to agree with you. But if itís a case where youíre on the approach to 30R and ATC says to sidestep to 30L, thatís absolutely a case where the AP hinders more than helps.
Only one I haven't done is VIE, but I have done plenty others in that area. big whoopie
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Old 23rd May 2022, 20:34
  #356 (permalink)  
 
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In terms of blind rule following, my current Company which institutionally lacks SA, demand the approach brief items to be discussed on a CAVOK day the actions taken "if not visual"
ok, you could be flying into sun, but seriously
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Old 23rd May 2022, 23:45
  #357 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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Originally Posted by Dropp the Pilot View Post
I think the most bums on board I ever had was 473. 434 adults, 18 crew and 21 infants. I am certain that if you canvassed each and everyone of them individually precisely zero would be interested in how often I got to practice putting the aircraft symbol on the PFD in perfect alignment with the FD, reconfirming to myself that yes, indeed, it takes 63% N1 and 5 degrees pitch to maintain level flight with Flaps 5. Just like the QRH says. Just like it has been for the last 21,000 hours my taut buttocks have been sitting there.
The pilot's entire conception of flying the airplane being to follow the FD, is how the accident that this thread is about, happened. And for a matter like this, it's an error in thinking to place weight in the technical opinion of layman customers.
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Old 24th May 2022, 08:20
  #358 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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InnerLoop, welcome. #357 a good example of how to start PPRuNe activity; now you have to maintain that quality.

A question to ask is where does the mis ‘conception’ of flying originate. Perhaps ourselves as part of the industry; the mistaken belief that constraint and regulation manages safety in all situations.

We lack the appreciation - awareness that most easy situations have been encountered, but never certain; and with demand for greater flexibility in managing the remaining surprises the need is to move away from individual or component views and consider the whole.
What are the viewpoints of the trainers, management, regulators; what influence do these have on operations, and with what justification.
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Old 24th May 2022, 18:02
  #359 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2022
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Originally Posted by alf5071h View Post
InnerLoop, welcome. [...]

A question to ask is where does the mis Ďconceptioní of flying originate.
Thanks. It's simple human nature to do the least actions possible to accomplish a task. After a while, the non-used actions wither away (assuming they were ever there to begin with, which is not a given).

The task of flying an airplane (properly) involves actions such as setting the attitude to the pre-known approximate level, setting the thrust to the pre-known approximate level, then while checking the results on VSI, altimeter, and airspeed, making continuous fine tuning adjustments (also heading/course deviation to make sure those are still good, and adding some aft elevator and/or trim if needed for a big turn); and if changing speed, trimming immediately one way against the thrust-pitch couple and then trimming in the long term the other way (or the same way, depending on the airplane) against the speed change; and doing the right thing with the pitch and/or trim for each flap extension, which may each have its own personality.

All of these are extraneous when you can just "keep the dot on the cross" or whatever, which accomplishes the task of completing any given flight. So, without thinking about things long term, it is no surprise that the extraneous actions/processes get dropped out. It's just the way normal brains function. (But it's naive to think that watching the autopilot do it for X thousand hours is in any way comparable to doing it oneself... this is not how brains function.)

The minimum effort to get the job done... and it's not a problem until this locked-in loop continues to run and the pilot follows the flight director into a 6000fpm climb at FL350, or follows it into level flight while on the ground. Then it's a problem.

With thinking about things long term, it's a huge fallacy to measure the success of the system by the result of each individual day-to-day flight. Each one could be (and, is) measured "successful" this way, while hiding a lurking AF447 or EK231. (I wonder what those passengers would think about their pilots' comfort and proficiency with flying raw data).
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