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Flying an Airbus with 140hrs

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Flying an Airbus with 140hrs

Old 23rd Jan 2022, 13:49
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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The MPL requires 240 hours total, spilt between AC and SIM. A typical course will have at least 100 hours of simulator flying. This broadly matches what a regular CPL Cadet will have flown, but with double the emphasis on multi pilot operations. Hence why airlines consider it a better 'product'.

Basically, take your average CPL, take away 50 hours of unsupervised Cessna 'hour building' and instead give them an extra 50 hours of multi crew SIM flying to airline SOPs (on top of their type rating). Are they a worse Cessna pilot or are they significantly better equipped to fly a jet?
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 14:22
  #102 (permalink)  

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Sure they are, repeated many times.

The MPLs have around the same flighthours as an ab-inition trainee, except a large dose of those is synthetic. Sitting into the real RHS the first time, they have around 80 hrs more 'on-type' than any other new, freshly rated pilot. I know where I'd put my money, and that also includes raw data ILS to CAT I minima with 25 xwc (no FPV), emergency descent and dual AC bus lost.

The only mystery is why Vokes above repeatedly gets offended and starts throwing insults around for us calling him raw data hand flying non-proficient. Which nobody did, not to him nor to the MPL group in general, anywhere throughout the course of the thread. Opposite was implied instead.

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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 16:24
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
To play devil's advocate as an outsider to this world......Isn't that telling us that (most/all?) companies have decided that they would rather have pilots who use the automation effectively than pilots who know how to hand fly? When you feel that you want to build-up your experience doing something or other because it increases your confidence, adaptability, and ultimately safety, but you are prevented from doing that by company rules with draconian consequences, something has to be wrong. I suspect that the company policy is based on hard statistics showing that pilots make more errors than aircraft systems, and that fully understanding and using aircraft systems is the core of the job. When I look at accident reports, the proximate cause is almost always a crew who configured their systems wrongly for what they were trying to do, often with the systems working perfectly, sometimes with confusion resulting from a simple single hardware failure that was poorly handled. The catastrophic failures rescued by brilliant stick and rudder skills are vanishingly rare.
That’s because most of the time the automation does something stupid, we just turn it off and fix it with some stick and rudder skills. The reports you read are the crews who didn’t do that. The A320 AP is pretty nice, but I’ve seen it do some stupid things.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 16:56
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It is feasible to train a pilot to fly a passenger aircraft in a ‘few’ hours.
‘Safely’ depends on what is considered; point of view, context, open to corruption by our thoughts and experiences.
Operating an aircraft safely is a crew activity.

A low hours pilot is quite able to operate as a crew member; as a Captain - no, because of limited operational experience.
As single crew in the event of Captain incapacitation (check statistics); revert to basic flying tasks of recovering and landing, accepting a lower standard of safety (as with abnormal / emergency operation) - safe for the extreme remoteness of encountering the situation … on the first flight … without …, or any other combinations of incredulous system failures or weather conditions we dream up.

Use the autos, do the same as in previous flights / training.

That’s because most of the time the automation does something stupid, - evidence?
More often the pilot requests something which autos do not understand; - not trained for?
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 18:09
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A very good source in the UK CAA once told me that British Airways had done a trial back in the late 80s early 90s where they had put a course of sponsored cadets through a B757 type rating before completing the CPL/IR in an effort to persuade the CAA that the light aircraft time was unnecessary. Their case was that the Cadets all passed the 1179/IR with no noticeable difference compared to the CPL/IR candidates.
The CAA were not persuaded.
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 19:20
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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There is certainly and argument that training to operate a 2 pilot jet is quite different from a single pilot piston. So much so that an extra course - the MCC - was introduced to help bridge the gap. Clearly there are single pilot traits that do not transpose well, and anecdotal evidence to suggest that too much single pilot time could make someone harder to train multi pilot. The MPL is designed with MP operations in mind from the get-go, and the stick and rudder argument is less of an issue when the other guy has 3-4,000 hours. Yes, a brand new MPL could find themselves single pilot thanks to a dodgy fish course, but that would almost always result in a diversion to the nearest airport with vectors and probably an automatic landing - arguably one of the simpler emergencies. It could also happen to a brand new CPL (with half the SIM experience).
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 20:55
  #107 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by safetypee View Post
It is feasible to train a pilot to fly a passenger aircraft in a ‘few’ hours.
‘Safely’ depends on what is considered; point of view, context, open to corruption by our thoughts and experiences.
Operating an aircraft safely is a crew activity.

A low hours pilot is quite able to operate as a crew member; as a Captain - no, because of limited operational experience.
As single crew in the event of Captain incapacitation (check statistics); revert to basic flying tasks of recovering and landing, accepting a lower standard of safety (as with abnormal / emergency operation) - safe for the extreme remoteness of encountering the situation … on the first flight … without …, or any other combinations of incredulous system failures or weather conditions we dream up.

Use the autos, do the same as in previous flights / training.

That’s because most of the time the automation does something stupid, - evidence?
More often the pilot requests something which autos do not understand; - not trained for?
Evidence? I’m no more inclined to document it than you were the last time you had to swerve to avoid a collision while driving. Sure, sometimes we make mistakes. The plane makes mistakes too. Push the red button, try to reset the system, then re-engage the automation if appropriate.

That’s never happened to you?
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Old 23rd Jan 2022, 21:23
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Similar to what I have posted earlier in this thread, how do you expect an airline to hire new pilots in a country with little GA or mil, Singapore and the likes? Right seat of a jet will probably have not many hours. Train them well, keep training them and encourage them to hand fly when it is sensible (not on a stepped descent, speed controlled STAR). Most are very keen flyers who are often reluctant to disconnect the AP due nervous left seat who wants to fly the fdm. I hand fly more than most, some FOs cop on and realize they can do a bit as a result. Some say they'll engage the AP immediately after take off and I look at the often CAVOK conditions and ask why.
Remember, left seat sets the tone.
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Old 24th Jan 2022, 00:15
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Consol,
You hit the nail on the head….the left seat sets the tone.

Back in my AF days I was what we called a “first pilot”, which was an intermediate position between a Co-Pilot and an Aircraft Commander (AC ,same as civilian Captain). I was paired with an AC to fly a C-141 mission from the States to Europe, Turkey, it was a 7 day mission. As I set up the cockpit, the AC told me to sit in the left seat and stay there for the duration of the mission. Up until that point I had little experience taxiing the aircraft or running a mission. After those 30 hours of running an actual mission from the left seat, my confidence soared and any anxiety I had about flying in the left seat disappeared. I’ll always be thankful to him for allowing me that opportunity.
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Old 24th Jan 2022, 14:52
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Maybe, maybe not. But it's beside the point. Recent major accidents and incidents have involved perfectly serviceable crew and aircraft deviating from sensible attitude and power for the stage of flight (and when that's been the FO as PF, a weak Captain has often been the final hole in the Swiss cheese). Personally I don't think hand flying slavishly glued to the flight director proves, or improves, anything much - and if anything, reinforces FD tunnel vision whilst entrusting the possibly erroneous path to something or someone else,, rather than manoeuvring to a sensible attitude and power - and sort out the FD when time allows... An instinctive feel for when attitude and power have gone awry DOES come with a diverse aviation experience, particularly from VFR pure visual flying, and I would concede - with raw data flying, but how to expose new pilots to this without increasing"busts" or increasing PMs work/error load, is a tricky one. I believe inexperienced FO voluntary take-up of free FB sim sessions has been pretty low. I do remember when BA and Britannia had Cherokees which employees could fly - that would be a start. And the 1980s pilot hiring teams which went trawling round flying and gliding clubs, looking for new FOs. So maybe pilot hiring does have to put demonstrable pilot aptitude, air-mindedness and proven aviation interest at the top of the list, and spotty "programmable human automatons" at the bottom (and the former also makes for much more interesting company during a 12 hour day)!. Twenty years ago, it's was usual to be sitting with someone who had a visual stick and rudder, or ultra basic IFR air taxi type, aviation background of some sort (I include military in that) - now it's about one in ten FOs, if that.

Last edited by Joe le Taxi; 24th Jan 2022 at 15:57.
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Old 24th Jan 2022, 17:36
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Originally Posted by Joe le Taxi View Post
Twenty years ago, it's was usual to be sitting with someone who had a visual stick and rudder, or ultra basic IFR air taxi type, aviation background of some sort (I include military in that) - now it's about one in ten FOs, if that.
That is, however, an incredibly bad argument, as twenty years ago (by the way, most european pilots were abinitio trained ones as well at that time) the accident rate was higher, while the airplanes we flew were the same. After all, the 737NG was already the mainstay, as was the A320 family.
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Old 24th Jan 2022, 17:52
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I certainly don't recall the same constant stream of accidents resulting from pilots who simply didn't know the basics of controlling an aeroplane. (Besides, since 20-25 years, aircraft are crammed with safety devices, such as egpws, TCAS, RAAS, etc which have enhanced safety along with almost universal precision approaches. Actually most 737s were classics at that time, and there were a hell of a lot of early gen types still operating on those days, so I think your argumentt is incredibly poor , and certainly in my early airlines, most captains were ex-services and FOs the same, or ex air taxi or basic TP. I guess national carriers were increasingly ab initio at that time. Prior to that, eg Hamble was very heavy on flying skills, with a hefty chop rate. Nowadays, if a youngster has the money, no matter how clueless they are, they will find a seat on an airliner somewhere.

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Old 24th Jan 2022, 17:59
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I feel the biggest issue is not whether a cadet gets on a jet at 200/250 hours but what happens after that. Many spend the rest of their time in the right seat with autopilot on. They don't partake in flight planning, and now a days performance means typing numbers into a computer and pressing enter. ​​​​​​​ Basically, the fact that things have got so easy means that there's no chance to build up experience or a deep understanding of what is going on around you. In the coming years we will have captains that have never filed a flight plan, done a manual load sheet or ever had to look at charts to do a performance calculation (other than in their first 200 hours in flight school). But Airbus has the solution: pilotless aircraft.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 08:58
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Originally Posted by Joe le Taxi View Post
and certainly in my early airlines, most captains were ex-services and FOs the same, or ex air taxi or basic TP.
That's not a recipe for victory. The crew who put AA 965 into the hills near Cali were ex USAF, Vietnam experienced Captain. AA1420 overrun in Little Rock was an ex USAF and USN crew. Could go on and on....

On the other hand from what I can see the crew who saved BA38 were all flying jet airliners straight after initial training. The Ural Air 178 crew were both ab initio, only had time in the 320 post basic training. The Captain of Ural 178 had only 3000 hours in total. Some would consider that far too little to sit in the right hand seat of a jet, let alone the left, yet he was there and did a fantastic job.

In fact it could be said as piloting has gone from the ex WW2 era where most airline pilots were ex military, to the current days where they are mostly the product of ab initio schemes the level of safety has improved.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 09:20
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One of the saddest aspects of the ET 737-Max crash was that the very young F/O (25 years old, 361 flight hours, 207 hours on the 737) got it right. He made the correct call to disable MCAS.
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Old 25th Jan 2022, 11:54
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
One of the saddest aspects of the ET 737-Max crash was that the very young F/O (25 years old, 361 flight hours, 207 hours on the 737) got it right. He made the correct call to disable MCAS.
Indeed. If the PF, is not happy with the A/P, or any system performance, it should be considered as an "incapacitation". Therefore take it out of the loop.
However I sense there is great reluctance nowadays to disable the the automatics and go manual.
The best practice for manual flying, is to hand fly the aircraft at altitude, raw data.. Great practice as it sharpens the scan and increased the use of IVSI, as it should. If you are able to fly at altitude, you are equipped to fly most scenarios with a good degree of accuracy. However it is discouraged now of course, RVSM, passenger comfort, fuel economy, loading up the PNF, etc. When we flew cargo we had ample opportunity to practice. What with, u/s A/P's, and no other restrictions and 3 cockpit crew.. That gave the P/F the confidence to take over manual control when or if necessary.
Years ago in Asia, a line check was being conducted. On the approach, the check pilot pulled the A/P CB. He shouldn't have done perhaps, but he did. The P/F was taken by surprise to the extent, there was a major screw up.

Last edited by RichardJones; 25th Jan 2022 at 12:47.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 02:38
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Originally Posted by RichardJones View Post
However I sense there is great reluctance nowadays to disable the the automatics and go manual.
The best practice for manual flying, is to hand fly the aircraft at altitude, raw data.. Great practice as it sharpens the scan and increased the use of IVSI, as it should. If you are able to fly at altitude, you are equipped to fly most scenarios with a good degree of accuracy. However it is discouraged now of course, RVSM, passenger comfort, fuel economy, loading up the PNF, etc. When we flew cargo we had ample opportunity to practice. What with, u/s A/P's, and no other restrictions and 3 cockpit crew.. That gave the P/F the confidence to take over manual control when or if necessary.
The pilots were flying manually. MCAS only works when manually flying.
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Old 26th Jan 2022, 22:27
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Originally Posted by vilas View Post
The pilots were flying manually. MCAS only works when manually flying.
The main reason they were flying manual, was because they couldn't get the AP to engage, because they were out of trim, and applying force to the control column. There's multiple B737 crashes where the PF is frantically asking for the AP because they lost the plot, but it won't because they're still pulling/pushing. It is exactly those accidents that absolutely, without doubt prove we don't hand fly enough. I had an engine failure just after TOD as PM (flame out, no other problem), and my partner went AP off as soon as we got the alert. I assessed the situation, and re-engaged it, because there's definitely a time to be AP on. Asking for the AP when you don't know what is going on is not good.

Last edited by hans brinker; 27th Jan 2022 at 02:13.
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Old 27th Jan 2022, 04:29
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
The main reason they were flying manual, was because they couldn't get the AP to engage, because they were out of trim, and applying force to the control column. There's multiple B737 crashes where the PF is frantically asking for the AP because they lost the plot, but it won't because they're still pulling/pushing. It is exactly those accidents that absolutely, without doubt prove we don't hand fly enough. I had an engine failure just after TOD as PM (flame out, no other problem), and my partner went AP off as soon as we got the alert. I assessed the situation, and re-engaged it, because there's definitely a time to be AP on. Asking for the AP when you don't know what is going on is not good.


"You never connect an AP to a suspected faulty flight instrument or control"

I learned that on my first transport jet course. I still haven't forgot those words.
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Old 7th Feb 2022, 11:07
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
Why? They've passed a type rating test to the authorities' satisfaction. They're flying multi-crew, they've had their safety pilot released and it's the only type they know so there's no bad/old habits to revert to.
Yeah, well just saw the Air Arabia A320 story out of Sharjah. F/o, 160 hours on type, 160 hours total time under line training. Check it out on Mentour Pilot website, its unbelievable especially from the training captain.
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