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Your airlines' policy about the use of automation during flight?

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Your airlines' policy about the use of automation during flight?

Old 10th Jun 2011, 02:31
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Tee Em,

Please don't think that hand flying with FDs on should be done to the exclusion of with the FDs off. I my points are in addition to yours, I am simply saying that it isn't pointless and such practice should not be considered as such as per my afore mentioned specific points.

night mission,
In my experience, hand flying, especially during departures, puts a heavy load on the PNF/PM. Everyone's SA is also reduced during hand flying. Flight during approach without flight directors, and more so A/T, really forces the PF to "stay inside" much more than otherwise. ]
I don't wish to appear argumentative. We hand fly often and I can't say that I have noticed significant workload increases or loss of SA as a result. The PM role doesn't change except for twiddling more knobs and switches and the PM needs to remain just as aware with automation on or off.
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 03:09
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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May be more a function of the particular mission. In my fleet we fly mainly long haul, with departures often in the early AM from airports we have infrequent experience with. I would agree, with more landings per month we would all be better able to fly hands on with less energy devoted to the art of flying and more directed to the external issues prevalent at complex, demanding airports/departure environments.
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 03:17
  #43 (permalink)  
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While acknowledging the importance of horses for courses, hand flying is a bit like Goren's view in respect of bridge play when he observed "the more I practise, the better I get" ...
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 04:14
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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While acknowledging the importance of horses for courses, hand flying is a bit like Goren's view in respect of bridge play when he observed "the more I practise, the better I get" ...
Game - Set - Match, to JT
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 14:32
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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What is safest at a given point in time?

I understand the need to stay competent with manual flying but I have a fear that the lawyers might one day restrict the choice. You are handflying on Flight XXX and an accident results. The victim's lawyers have access to a report saying that the safest thing to do is have A/P engaged. Saying that handflying on Flight XXX is for the benefit of all other subsequent flights might not be easy to argue and unless your airline can prove the long-term benefit of having a minimum of handflying practice then do they leave themselves open to higher risk/legal claims?
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 21:18
  #46 (permalink)  
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Pedant Mode 'ON'

"the more I practise, the better I get" ...
Or, in response to people who told him how lucky he was to keep winning, he replied, "Yes, the more I practice the luckier I get"?

Pedant Mode 'OFF'

We are really talking about the extreme ends of the same piece of string. At one end we have the brand new pilot who has done the absolute minimum of hand flying required for a licence and gone straight to an electric jet and is totally unaccustomed to hand flying it, whilst at the other end of the string we have the old hand who simply doesn't like all this "new fangled electronic stuff" because they don't properly understand it and want to resort to their basics when trouble occurs, dumping a whole load of help in the process.

Those are the extremes, now to find the happy medium somewhere towards the middle!

(Personally I would legislate that every new pilot fresh from school with a new licence does a minimum of 1500 hours in GA before even touching a multi crew aircraft! I can guess how popular that would be!).
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 21:35
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And more importantly:

It's just plain good fun
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Old 10th Jun 2011, 22:51
  #48 (permalink)  
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the more I practice the luckier I get

OK, so I paraphrased it a tad for the purposes of the thread ... a bloke can't get away with anything here ... sheesh.

When we next catch up for an ale, I shall toast your alertness ..

Those are the extremes, now to find the happy medium somewhere towards the middle!

.. and you are, of course, absolutely correct. Horses for courses is the name of the game.

The concern must be for those who either can only do one or the other or, irrationally, incline in like manner.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 00:58
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At one end we have the brand new pilot who has done the absolute minimum of hand flying required for a licence and gone straight to an electric jet and is totally unaccustomed to hand flying it
Maybe, but actually a new pilot straight onto a jet has a disproportionately large amount of hand flying experience compared to an experienced jetter. I can't speak for everyone but I was pretty comfortable with hand flying the 737 before and after my base training, so was everybody in my group from what I could tell.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 01:15
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If the automation fails....Old Smokey

So, apart from self satisfaction, why do I still take every chance to hand fly? It's NOT because of possible Automatics failure, considering the mind-boggling redundancy,the chances of being 'down' to raw data are trillions to one against such a possibility. It's because there are still several manoeuvres which still call for the pilot to fly - The Visual Approach, and the Non Precision Approach (NPA). From the Base turn onwards (for the Visual Approach) and from the MDA onwards (for the NPA) manual flight (ideally with the Flight Directors OFF) is still essential! ...
A most excellent statement, Sir! It is most certainly possible for the automation to fail. To wit, last year, on approach into KBWI the MCP (on our B763ER) decided to go on strike. Everything failed: A/T, A/P, FDs, etc.

Guess what? I went immediately back to my Piper/Cessna/B727/B737 days and flew that b*tch, well, like a big ol' Cessna.

At my company, "Click, Click" (at any point from TOD to landing) is not discouraged.

God Bless Mr. Boeing and the wonderful B727! (I'm not biased, am I?)
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 01:50
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Yes, the 727 was a wonderful airplane and when we got rid of them went to the 757/767. So many times I resorted to 727 type flying with two clicks including my initial checkout when the check airman totally screwed up the automation so disconnected and turned on course in a climbing right turn when he had us in a descending left turn. He eventually caught up so could reingage the autopilot.

I don't ever want to fly with a pilot put in an automatic airplane with no hand flying airplane experience. Sometimes those unexpected short turn ons because of wx on final are challenging for someone that knows how to hand fly.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 03:25
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Sometimes those unexpected short turn ons because of wx on final are challenging for someone that knows how to hand fly.
Or 250 (kts) to the Marker. A skill long lost these days.

You (and all other B727 drivers) know what I mean.

Last edited by IFly86N; 12th Jun 2011 at 04:38.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 13:39
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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In my experience, hand flying, especially during departures, puts a heavy load on the PNF/PM. Everyone's SA is also reduced during hand flying.
An opposite point of view written by a PPRuNe contributor during another thread on automation was "automation robs situational awareness through absence of physical/sensory cues of flying the machine and as a result atrophies flying and thinking skills.
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 23:16
  #54 (permalink)  
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As another poster has already said, there is a time and a place for everything and arrivals and departures in busy, crowded airspace with frequency changes galore and a very busy ATC environment is no time to be practicing, that is how heights are bust and ATC calls are missed.

That is not an opposite point of view to Night Mission's post, is it Centaurus? More a statement of fact in a very general way and not attributable exclusively to the high workload elements of a flight.

Once again, there is a time and a place...
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Old 11th Jun 2011, 23:43
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Remember the days when hand fying an airplane wasn't classified by some as practicing? I guess I spent my first 15,000 hrs practicing then. Sad.
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 05:42
  #56 (permalink)  
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You didn't have a choice bubbers, so of course, it wasn't practicing, it was all you had.
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 09:01
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Practise on sim

In regard to that though I do try and practise on my flight sim at home (fs2004) with some of the pmdg airliner addons like the 737,747 and md11 during the times when I might not have been able to hand fly as much as I liked ie weather etc. It is ok for doing procedures with autopilot on in but very very twitchy and sensitive in manual, an eager captain said that if you can fly in fs04 with it being so sensitive you can fly anything, does anyone have any ideas on a flight sim that doesn't cost the earth where you can practise hand flying with something that some what feels like the real thing?

Many thanks
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 17:14
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I find the argumentation for handflying only when "in good weather conditions" or at "the appropriate, calm airport" strange.

Shouldn't we all not just be able to do it everywhere all the time, period?

Have you ever heard of a fighter pilot saying something like "Well, I will only pull up to 5G ever, because 9G is just way too tough!" or a a surgeon claiming he will only operate if no complications arise.

Isn't it just simply part of our job description to be able to do this stuff without hesitation and in full competence?

My point is that the argument of putting extra workload on the other pilot is void in my opinion. If the other pilot can't handle the extra workload for a couple of minutes, he shouldn't be sitting there at all.

I'll probably get a lot of flack for this post. But this is my view on the matter.
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Old 12th Jun 2011, 19:22
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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I've flown with a multitude of FO's/Capt's who want to handfly but prefer to wait until autoflight has captured the LOC/GS, AT has set the power in speed mode, and are inside the outer marker.
Bottom line, people are scared of handflying, scared of making mistakes, scared of losing face. However, it takes many mistakes to improve.
As one has previously stated, best to look beyond the FD to see what raw data pitch attitude autoflight is commanding. It's not brain surgery to know approx. pitch att/ power setting for all intermediate slat/flap/gear positions.
Hand flying without FD/AT is ONE of the best ways to maintain high levels of competence, done in appropriate circumstances depending on traffic etc. etc.
There's still plenty of time to read the paper, do the crossword, and maybe spend 10 minutes seeing what's up in the QRH.
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Old 13th Jun 2011, 01:24
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D105,
I find the argumentation for handflying only when "in good weather conditions" or at "the appropriate, calm airport" strange.

Shouldn't we all not just be able to do it everywhere all the time, period?
Piona
I've flown with a multitude of FO's/Capt's who want to handfly but prefer to wait until autoflight has captured the LOC/GS, AT has set the power in speed mode, and are inside the outer marker.
I completely agree. Somebody who finds hand flying uncomfortable in anything other than so called 'ideal' conditions probably is not prepared to takeover from the A/P at a moments notice. A rare example a while back on a VNAV VOR approach in IMC. The aircraft bizarrely started to climb at the FAF, recovery by changing the AP mode would possibly have left us too high to remain stable so I decided to disconnect and correct accordingly, flying the remainder of the approach manually.

Reducing the level of automation (V/S mode for example) would also be a valid response too, but a go-around probably the most likely result in my view due to then speed of response to AP inputs.
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