Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

Auto Throttles.

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

Auto Throttles.

Old 28th Feb 2009, 22:23
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Deepest Europe...
Age: 34
Posts: 224
Thanks for your replies, guys. Best regards.
bjkeates is offline  
Old 28th Feb 2009, 22:56
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: N/A
Posts: 157
oh Exteme P,

Nice shameless copy and paste of Bulfer and Gifford page 119 I believe !

Perhaps you could mention their name next time you use it.

The one main advantage of moving autothrottle levers is that it allows you to instintly see what the automatics are asking or not asking the aircraft to do (when holding them). Much better feel than a command thrust presentation. Particularly good in determining whether its going to handle the next speed variation or windshear on approach that you know is coming but it doesnt.

The need to know philosophy difference between Airbus and Boeing is surprising. I still cannot believe Airbus get away with not letting the Pilot know when an autopilot degradation occurs ie no aileron control but no message in the Russian crash.
8che is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 08:27
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the torpedo tube above!
Posts: 110
Bj,
With the A/T engaged its the computers that move the thrust levers and not the other way around.That....I hope should answer your query.
IF for some reason the thrust lever is forced into an uncommanded position(as in maybe held into a position physically),the levers sense the 'suggestion',inform the computers and if nothing changes for a given period of time,they go into a "soft manual" mode or 'Thr hold' position.Wherein all protections are still available,but the levers would stay in the last commanded manual position.
Hope this helps....
Flaperon777 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 10:38
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Deepest Europe...
Age: 34
Posts: 224
Flaperon, yes that answers the question. Thanks very much.
bjkeates is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 11:55
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AEP
Age: 75
Posts: 1,421
Wink DC-ATE

You have my entire sympathy with your arguments against the generation of adepts of auto-thrust and other forms of "push-button magic" aircraft systems. And like you, I recently did hang my hat and uniform to log LH "Rocking Chair" time from my balcony on a lovely beach.
xxx
Funny is, when you and I started flying with airlines, we had to have very similar disagreements with our, then captains, who painfully had transitioned from their DC-6/7 or L-1049 to our B-707 and 727s. (I was PanAm). With a smile, I recall some captains who held their hands grabbed on the thrust levers (they called "throttles") through the entire takeoff roll and initial climb. Removing hands from thrust, at V1...? Anatheme...! They would even call the climb thrust reduction "METO POWER". So, what do we look like to today's intellectuals of automation in the cockpits... Can they really "fly" a plane...?
xxx
My last airplane type was the old 747 Classic... 1989-2008, which had auto-land and auto-thrust capability. As to using these, was rather unusual, except if engineering-maintenance wanted us to check the operational status of these toys. I rarely used "German" automation technology ("OTTO" approaches), as we, in South America much prefer "MANUEL" practice, to just verify that we still deserve our pilot proficiency status and currency... Unfortunately, I firmly believe that a few recent accidents would have been avoided, would the crew have elected to fly their machines by hand.
xxx
I would love to subject today's fATPL-clad kids going through a SIM P/C, say in a DC8-63 (I flew these as well) in a "quick-and-dirty" 20 minutes check, with a mere...
(1) First takeoff, engine failure nș 4 at V1 - to
(2) 3-engine hand-flown ILS down to 100' DH - to
(3) Missed approach with ENG FIRE on nș 3 - to
(4) 2-engine NDB, 10 kts XWIND with "lenient" visual conditions at 500' above TDZE.
xxx
I would tell him - "parking brake ON - you passed..."
Is it not the way we could do...?
No need to verify your qualifications in selecting the OTTO-pilot.
Certain, guys with Rosenbalm or Kalitta were able to do it, with colors.
xxx
Best regards -

Happy contrails
BelArgUSA is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 12:23
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,160
The last 10 on a B733 with everything and I feel my management of flight is far superior than the good old days of "stick and rudder". I make better decisions and use less fuel with help from the automatics. Understanding what the aircraft is capable of and how to best manage the autoflight to achieve that is the key.
The tragedy is you become so reliant on the automatic "goodies" that you gradually lose the confidence and skills required to actually fly the aeroplane. The more you lose that confidence the more you rely on the automatics even for the most basic manoeuvres until finally you are led to believe in your own mind that manipulative skills are not only not applicable to flying jet transports but indeed it is potentially dangerous to attempt hand flying.

In the simulator we frequently observe experienced captains and cadet first officers make an absolutely embarrassing hash of a straight forward IMC raw data hand flown ILS. Few are able to touch down with no drift on a crosswind landing. But watch them "monitor" the automatics on a Cat 3 and they are in their element.

It is the wonderful reliability of automatics that has made airline flying safer over the years - not the skill of the crews per se. CFIT has been overtaken by Loss of Control as the major cause of accidents in the past few years and this is entirely because manipulative skills have been eroded by policies that ensure automatics are to be engaged at the earliest opportunity after lift off and left engaged until that last few seconds before touch down. Even simulator sessions are primarily an automatics exercise with very little time allotted to ensure excellent manipulative skills. And so the vicious circle is maintained.

If you believe that an airline pilot should be equally skilful at automatic flight and at manual flight, then think again. Because very rarely do we see this in the simulator and certainly hardly ever in the air.
Tee Emm is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 16:02
  #67 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
BelArgUSA - Tee Emm -

Thank you both for your input. You are both absolutely correct in your thoughts. Unfortunately, like I've said in other threads, I feel we're just banging our heards up against a stone wall with the "new" generation of "automated" pilot. That is not to say they're ALL like that, but you know what I mean. "Automation" and "Technology" are gonna do us in, I fear.

BelArgUSA, enjoy your retirement; I know I am. That is 'till the $$ runs out!
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 16:17
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 339
I am looking forward to the day when I can look back at my career and smugly state how I am much better than any of the 'new generation'. It's going to be great!

Wasn't this a thread about Autothrottles? I forget... (Must be getting old already!)
jb5000 is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 16:20
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Deepest Europe...
Age: 34
Posts: 224
You are both absolutely correct in your thoughts.
They are good and well-articulated points of the discussion, but 'correct' is a matter of opinion in this case. What you mean is "I agree", surely?

Unfortunately, like I've said in other threads, I feel we're just banging our heards up against a stone wall with the "new" generation of "automated" pilot.
Maybe we could say the same about trying to break through this barrier of patronising, condescending views of 'older generation' pilots who look down on those of us who fly modern aircraft with their modern 'toys', as you crudely put it. I'm always ready to engage in constructive debate and the genial nature of your posts suggests you are too, which is great; but then you throw in a comment like "let these boys play with their toys", which makes me wonder why we even bother having these discussions.
bjkeates is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 17:01
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Age: 36
Posts: 111
I personally cannot believe the words some pilots here are writing. Since when holding 180kts and joining an ILS a problem that you need auto throttles or autopilots for???

Jesus what have we come to?

All this lawyer mumbo jumbo... "I look to see if its safe to me to take my hand off my and put it somewhere else.... " for real?

Seriously gentlemen, you have elected to be pilots, mentally return to your 172 days and put your hands on the throttle and join that needle and slope. It's not that hard even if you need to say "Gear down" .... "Flaps X...", not a big deal!

Maybe even try a 250kts to the marker some time, it will do wonders to how much you know about your airplane. Maybe even try to see if you know what kind of a pitch attiude it takes to level your airplane at 200kts, at 180 and first flap application, how about at 250... do you know what those attitude targets are?
downwindabeam is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 17:07
  #71 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
Please.....I am NOT looking down on anyone! Nor am I trying to "prove" that I, or "my generation" is/was any better. I am merely TRYING to point out some possible flaws in the system. Flaws that have been documented on occasion. Flaws that no one seems willing to accept. Read that report on the link I posted.

I hope ALL you active pilots can look back at your career someday with satisfaction of a "job well done". Was I lucky, proficient, average, good, or what: who knows. All I know is I "survived" 30 years of flying these things without ever having scratched anything.

Keep your EPRs, RPMs, BMEPs, or whatever you use...UP!
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 17:54
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Landing Gear Bay
Posts: 839
downwindabeam, I don't think anyone is saying that it's a "problem", Instead, that A/T can free up mental capacity to do other jobs, especially is you are fatigued, and this increases overall operational safety. At the end of the day, a safe operation is what you are employed to perform.

I am not condoning loss of handling skill, I believe that it is prudent to practice handling at every opportunity you get, as long as it is safe to do so. In cases where you are tired on a 4th sector, and other things are going on (ie, cabin not ready, etc.), A/T is a welcome feature to help you perform your operation. Of course, if for some reason the A/T was inop, you should still be able to deal with it all without issue. Safety first, not ego, or "tradition". I drive an automatic car because for me, it's function is to get me from A to B in comfort and least hassle possible. Some people prefer manual cars because they enjoy the more "hands on" experience. I am not employed to enjoy my job (however I do thoroughly), I am paid to get paying passengers from A to B safely and efficiently, any feature that enhances my ability to do that, is more than welcome. Of course, none of that is any excuse to let your manual competence degrade.

On a separate note, I do plan to start some aerobatics lessons shortly, as I really did enjoy the "real hands on flying" experience.
EpsilonVaz is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 18:08
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: @Work
Age: 55
Posts: 39
Actually I did my intial training on the DC8 when I joined SAS. Unfortunately only the simulator. Would have loved to fly the real airplane because it was a joy to fly. BUT I think most of us agree that there is no way back to the technology of those days, and if you are suggesting that todays aircraft systems have evolved in a not so optimum way and are leaving the pilot out of the loop maybe it is becoming a nostalgic trip? Evolution is going on as we speek. A380 shows vertical profile on ND, cameras for external view, more composite materials, Entertainment systems omboard are lightyears from before, Datalink is used more and more for communication. Others are experimenting with synthetic vision, airborne radar to detect clear air turbulence. I have heard rumours about Auto takeoff! Free flight will come and by then the "pilot" will probably have to accept a computer generated ATC scenario displayed on the aircraft screens and we just watch and monitor, but i am sure he can still do a manual ILS if necessary, without any problem. Maybe it is not as "fun" as earlier days but the public, economy,safety and the society will demand such as system to make it work at all when we are 12 bilion people who all want to travel to the other side of the world to get some variation to their normal summer vacation week on the Canary Islands. Am I worried about the future? He## NO I am eagerly looking forward to it and will enjoy every step of progress and try to adapt to it.
On the other hand I love to visit Aviaion museums as well.

rgrds to all

AutoAbort
AutoAbort is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 18:38
  #74 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to fly the 'real' DC-8. While sims are good, actual aircraft fly better.

I fully realize there is 'no turning back' in technology. I merely tried to point out where mistakes CAN take place because of this new technolgy. If all you have is 'straight' flight controls and throttle(s), and something goes wrong, it's faily obvious what it is and you deal with it. There just seem to be too many variables with the newer system to get a grasp of what is actually happening and then being able to deal with it.

Nuff said.....
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 18:59
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AEP
Age: 75
Posts: 1,421
Well, PPRuNe Friends -
xxx
Nearly 20 years ago, an acquaintance in California invited me for a ride in his DC-3, and told me to sit in the RH seat. I flew it straight and level for about 5-10 minutes or so, but would not have had a clue as to what to do if he became incapacitated...! Bunch of handles and gages I did not know...!
xxx
Last year, I rode one of our A-340 to Barcelona, and was in the cockpit for takeoff and landing, and spent an hour in cruise "completely lost" as to all the toys to be found. Again, would the pilots have been incapacitated, I would have impressed myself to find the "press to talk" switch (if any), and with my luck, disconnected the autoflight systems, with no hope to recover.
xxx
What is this...? Generation gap, definitely. Add to this a severe case of alzheimer, and advanced senility. I guess those of you kids who play with FS Microsoft simulators at home would know more about how to fly a A-340 than me. Oh - stop it... I could read the altimeter...
xxx
Leave me in my passenger seat, in the cabin, enjoying wines and lobster, and the smile of the few flight attendants who did not forget my name. Oh, do not worry, I keep my Super Cub VFR type rating current. I could even finance line training in it, and its FMC is not beyond my IQ level. Will ask if an auto-throttle is an option on L-21s, I might install one, you guys made me jealous.
xxx
All the best to the new generation.

Happy contrails
BelArgUSA is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 20:28
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Near sheep!
Posts: 909
DC-ATE

Going back to your original post!
The crash mentioned was a 737 with fully moving thrust levers, why bring up the airbus type operation?
WindSheer is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2009, 20:36
  #77 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
If you're referring to my initial post, I don't see where I mentioned Airbus. I know the Turkish one was a 737-800.
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 10:40
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,160
DC-ATE:
I believe you are dead right to ponder the steadily increasing gap between those pilots that are locked into the wonders of automatics and those enthusiastic airmen who remain convinced of the vital flight safety importance of manipulative skills. Someone in an earlier post said that it's fine to keep your hand in at hand flying but only when it is safe to do so.

Perhaps the writer really meant that his own flying skills were so eroded that it was too risky for him to "practice" his hand flying lest he makes a complete idiot of himself or scare the first officer who undoubtedly would have been brainwashed into thinking hand flying was a potential Mayday situation.

You will never beat current automation for sheer accuracy. But in my experience in airline flying there are plenty of opportunities to keep up your hand flying raw data skills so necessary for the time you will really need them. Commonsense should dictate when the time is not appropriate to do this. If you get time, read the accident report on the Adam Air (indonesia) Boeing 737 that crashed after breaking apart during an attempted recovery in IMC from a steep rolling dive.

In a nutshell, the crew were apparently so engrossed in trouble-shooting an faulty IRS that they failed to notice the autopilot had disconnected as a consequence of their trouble shooting. Worse still, the crew failed to notice or failed to act when the 737 slowly banked into a spiral dive. With a modicum of basic piloting skills the captain could have easily righted the aircraft well before the situation got deadly serious. According to the accident report neither pilot had received simulator training on unusual attitude recovery technique.

In a similar accident in the Middle East, the crew became disorientated during a night departure in a 737 resulting in the aircraft crashing into the sea from a rolling diving extreme attitude. It seems from the transcript from the final moments of the CVR the captain was continually screaming for the automatic pilot to be re-connected. That tells you something about the insidious nature of blind reliance on automatics regardless of the impending situation.

As a long since retired (age 60 rule had me by the balls, sad to say) military and airline pilot, and now a simulator instructor, I see the steady erosion of flying skills due to the full on concentration for automatics competency. The headlong haste to plug in the automatic pilot as soon as the aircraft is airborne is patently obvious. But is it so necessary right then? Some argue it is safer in order to give time for the captain to "manage." That is a personal viewpoint that I have a problem with.

I have seen pilots in the simulator conducting practice circuits and landings for training purposes. The majority use the full automatics to fly a simple circuit. In my view that is a waste of simulator time. I have seen the same pilots design a MAP series of waypoints that would make Picasso proud of the design - and all for a bloody visual circuit. Then they lock themselves on to the flight director and never look outside and become flying robots as they fiddle with various modes downwind, base and final, then with a deep breath and the sign of the cross, they click off the automatic pilot and roller coast their way down through the remaining few hundred feet of glide slope.

Sad, really.

'Nuff said.
Tee Emm is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 11:29
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: In the torpedo tube above!
Posts: 110
@ Tee Emm for posts #66 and #78........
From me......
Well said.....!!
Flaperon777 is offline  
Old 2nd Mar 2009, 16:20
  #80 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MI
Posts: 570
Tee Emm -

Thank you for your post.

You are so right, and you're right; it's so sad. I've never been happier to be away from something (even my 'ex') in my life!

It seems many today are unwilling to except the fact that they might be called upon to exercise actual flying skills some day to save their airplane. I had to do exactly that on a training flight one night with a "Captain/Instructor" in the Left Seat. He did NOT know how to get out of the situation we were in, and I was transitioning into my first jet aircraft! I'm glad I was able to call upon basic flying skills to not have my family and friends read about it in an accident report.

Unfortunately, as I've spreculated in the past; it's only a matter of time before drones will be carrying the people around the World anyway, so why bother teaching pilots anything?
DC-ATE is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.