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FAA encourages manual flying proficiency

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FAA encourages manual flying proficiency

Old 28th Nov 2022, 21:46
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The statement "regardless of the wx" is as equally insane as keeping everything on all the time.
Do we have to challenge each other on do's and dont's? Let each pilot, with the consent of the colleague, judge what he or she is comfortable with. That's how I sharpened my skills.

I dread to think of all pilots out there who can't do a manual approach in less than visual conditions. Failures of automation does not care about the weather.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 03:18
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Maintaining manual flying skills is a requirement to be a professional pilot. One must be able to fly the aircraft without autopilot and auto throttle. AND at the same time have be able to think about handling an emergency with your fellow pilot. Handling the stick and throttle should be second nature to a professional pilot. The only way to get that way is to fly to altitude and descend from altitude in a manual mode.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 10:44
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Originally Posted by Lookleft
So the FAA want pilots to do more manual flying yet EASA is pushing to have single pilot cockpits where the automation is the dominant partner in the operation of the aircraft. Well regulators you can't have it both ways. Either the pilots are in control or the automation is. Manual flying is a perishable skill and unless it is constantly practiced it wont be available when needed. I try and fly by example by not putting the A/P in until past transition and disconnecting early on approach yet most F/O's will engage the A/P even before the flaps are retracted and disconnect at 500'. Yes its an Airbus and easy to fly but the scan and the coordination still need to be practiced. The occasional manual flying exercise in the simulator is not the solution either. Flying in turbulence in cloud doing climbing or descending turns cannot be replicated effectively in the sim. The sim is a very good training tool not a real aircraft being subject to the vagaries of turbulence and wind changes close to the ground.
FOs would love to hand fly as much as possible, but we only want to do exactly what the captain wants. So AP it is. If you're a captain and appreciate manual flying, then please say at the start of the day.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 11:55
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I just flew an approach with the Auto Pilot and Auto Throttles off an hour ago. I make it a point to always disconnect the AP at 1000 AGL on every approach except in marginal Wx, and at least once a week I fly with the A/T off. You have to keep your proficiency up. I’ll always brief the F/O what I’m doing and to back me up, and I normally will brief that I plan on acting like a “real pilot” on this approach by disconnecting the automation. Try flying a raw data ILS sometime, it can get ugly if you don’t practice them enough.
Most guys at my airline will hand fly the takeoff and climb until FL 180, and all disconnect the AT around 1000 AGL. I’ll usually keep a close eye on F/O’s who couple everything up as soon as possible..it’s a Red Flag to me. Many of the weaker pilots tend to do this.
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Old 29th Nov 2022, 16:11
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Chiefttp That sounds like a fun captain to fly with! I have had several giving me the look when not pressing the AP as soon as possible, several: Are you gonna fly up to the other airport manually? // Is it gonna be manual flying the whole way!? because of it.
My go to is: Check the sid and brief that i'll put the AP once the last turn is done or when there's a straight leg.

Same for the approach, tend to disconnect at around 2000 or with flaps 2, AT depends and manual breaking ( this last comes after auto brake failure for 1 week straight and continued manual braking for most of the flights afterwards )

Going to ME or Asia and doing all that might mean you'll have a meeting or a fine if something goes SLIGHTLY off limits.
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Old 30th Nov 2022, 16:03
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Originally Posted by BraceBrace
The statement "regardless of the wx" is as equally insane as keeping everything on all the time. There are days when it's not the right time to "make a point" and you should use all available tools to help you out. At the end of the day, we are there to keep the passengers safe, not to show we can do something.
Disagree. His (her?) ATP has no restrictions on weather. Is it a good idea to use the AP when itís 200-1/2? Sure? Is it insane not to? Absolutely not.

More than once, Iíve had to turn off all the automation and go almost to minimums raw data. Best to stay proficient.
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Old 30th Nov 2022, 16:10
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200-1/2 and A/p available but deliberately not used ..
Is it Insane? No
Irresponsible and unprofessional .... Yes
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Old 30th Nov 2022, 21:58
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Stunning!
Utterly stunning!
Aviation authority encourages pilots to be able to fly?

You couldn't make it up!
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Old 30th Nov 2022, 23:41
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Originally Posted by slast
200-1/2 and A/p available but deliberately not used ..
Is it Insane? No
Irresponsible and unprofessional .... Yes
Unprofessional to keep skills sharp?

In any event, in the situations I referenced, the FD and AP performance were unsatisfactory and had to be disconnected.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 06:24
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200-1/2 and A/p available but deliberately not used ..
Is it Insane? No
Irresponsible and unprofessional .... Yes
I know we're not going to agree. But what do you think our passengers would say if we admitted not being able to fly an approach without computers helping us? Let's be honest.... many can't. Not even in good conditions.

I am with Check Airman. I have done 200-1/2 raw data "for fun". There is no restrictions on my ATPL. Company does not prohibit it. It's the only way I can assure myself I am able to do it. Call it Quality Assurance. Simulator is not sufficient. Simulator is good for many things, but not maintaining piloting skills. Normal 1/2 scale deflections apply or you bail out.

Last edited by 172_driver; 1st Dec 2022 at 07:43.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 09:03
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Check Airman: To me it is elementary that pilots should remain able to achieve as an absolute minimum the standard set when they first qualify throughout their career! There seems to be a significant risk that that is not currently happening, because of the over-emphasis on using automation to the maximum extent possible by some operators. I am all in favour of pilots getting manual practice and keeping their skills as polished as possible, and not just in a simulator.

This is really all about risk management in the industry. Maintaining manual skills is a long term safety objective because those skills will be essential on rare occasions. However there’s also the issue of minimising risk in the short term in the particular circumstances of each individual flight. E.g. CheckAirman, you’ve now added:
Originally Posted by Check Airman
Unprofessional to keep skills sharp?

In any event, in the situations I referenced, the FD and AP performance were unsatisfactory and had to be disconnected.
That is exactly the type of “particular circumstance” I’m referring to. The A/P and F/D must have been engaged to start with or you wouldn’t been able to find their performance unsatisfactory.

So can we get some clarity here about where to draw the line? The inference I’ve been drawing from some of these comments is that in the situation where you have a serviceable autopilot etc and the reported weather is right on the minimums, it’s perfectly acceptable to practice hand flying instead. And I don’t think that’s a very professional attitude.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 13:20
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So can we get some clarity here about where to draw the line? The inference Iíve been drawing from some of these comments is that in the situation where you have a serviceable autopilot etc and the reported weather is right on the minimums, itís perfectly acceptable to practice hand flying instead. And I donít think thatís a very professional attitude.
Your arguments are good, but I'd like to comment. After sim training is done and you want to master your aircraft, start out small. Fly it manually on CAVOK days. As you get better, fly it when you expect cloud break at 2000 ft, then 1000 ft. Eventually you'll do it to minima. That should be something to strive for, not shy away from, IMHO. Have some confidence in yourself that you can do it. It's not about being a cowboy, it's about being able to master your aircraft for the day you'll need it. I am sure the passengers will appreciate. If am in a good mood and feel sharp I ask my colleague; "I need some cloud training". If they are apprehensive, I refrain. If you do it regularly it ain't too difficult either. Small corrections, both lateral and in pitch. Modern Boeings are often track up on the ND, which makes it easier. Once configured the pitch stays in one place. When I was instructing, I often covered up the needles and let the students fly heading and attitude down the ILS and that would keep them stabilized almost right down to minima (as long as the wind didn't change much).

Here is an incident where they were all over the place: https://avherald.com/h?article=4c65913a
Fortunately they found VMC and could land.
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 14:41
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Originally Posted by slast
Check Airman: To me it is elementary that pilots should remain able to achieve as an absolute minimum the standard set when they first qualify throughout their career! There seems to be a significant risk that that is not currently happening, because of the over-emphasis on using automation to the maximum extent possible by some operators. I am all in favour of pilots getting manual practice and keeping their skills as polished as possible, and not just in a simulator.

This is really all about risk management in the industry. Maintaining manual skills is a long term safety objective because those skills will be essential on rare occasions. However thereís also the issue of minimising risk in the short term in the particular circumstances of each individual flight. E.g. CheckAirman, youíve now added:
That is exactly the type of ďparticular circumstanceĒ Iím referring to. The A/P and F/D must have been engaged to start with or you wouldnít been able to find their performance unsatisfactory.

So can we get some clarity here about where to draw the line? The inference Iíve been drawing from some of these comments is that in the situation where you have a serviceable autopilot etc and the reported weather is right on the minimums, itís perfectly acceptable to practice hand flying instead. And I donít think thatís a very professional attitude.
A few points here-

-You get the confidence to fly right down to mins by consistent application of your skills. Iím not good enough to do it once every 6 months and stay proficient. Rust accumulates.

-If I see the weather is right at 200-1/2, Iím planning for the CAT 2/3 approach. (Back then, cat 2/3 wasnít an option available to us)

-Personally, I think given commercial considerations, raw data down to 500ft ceilings gives extremely generous margins. Iíd have no issues if the other guy wanted to hand fly an approach like that.

-Current company requires FD on for approach when below 1000-3 anyway, so the point is moot for me right now


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Old 1st Dec 2022, 14:47
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Originally Posted by slast
200-1/2 and A/p available but deliberately not used ..
Is it Insane? No
Irresponsible and unprofessional .... Yes
I have to ask, if you went to a doctorís office and couldnít be seen because the blood pressure machine wasnít working, how confident would you feel about the subsequent diagnosis?

Or what if the doctor said he canít give a diagnosis because the EKG computer wonít tell him whatís wrong with your heartbeat? Are you going to go back?
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Old 1st Dec 2022, 16:56
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Exclamation

Well I can see some merit in your first message just above, but are you sure you want to stick with those analogies in the second one?!?
I’ve shown up at the doctor’s. He says “I need to know your blood pressure but the machine isn’t working”. So what’s next? I can say “Hmm, not impressed by this practice’s maintenance, maybe I’ll go somewhere else”. Or “OK I’ll come back when it’s fixed”. Or “well I’ve only come in because I’ve got a blister on my heel, how important is my blood pressure in this case? (etc…)

But as a more accurate analogy to this case he would say “I need to know your blood pressure - I’m pretty good at estimating it and I like to keep in practice, so I won’t bother with the shiny accurate machine just over there!” Now how confident would YOU feel about the subsequent diagnosis?
And in the second example, isn’t that what often happens – he says “the EKG won’t tell me what’s wrong, I’ll need to do more tests to figure it out”. It doesn’t show he’s incompetent. Would you rather he said “the EKG won’t tell me what’s wrong, but who needs EKGs anyway – I’ve got enough experience to do without it” ?? Or even "I'm a bit rusty at this so I want to try doing without it, just to make sure I can!"

Last edited by slast; 1st Dec 2022 at 17:11.
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