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How many sectors do you handfly?

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How many sectors do you handfly?

Old 30th Jan 2013, 02:31
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Hand fly entire sectors? At high altitude? For hours? For what? Macho? It's a major pain in the rear. I've flown 4 hr legs in the 30's. It's work and fatiguing.

But it can't be that tough. I've seen non pilots hand fly jets at FL410. So if someone with zero time can do it what is a professional pilot trying to prove?
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 03:31
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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I fly each and every one by hand. I would suffer from extreme boredome if I didn't.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 04:13
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I have been listening to posts of Airbus pilots that would never fly unless their automation was working. It might not be true but that is what they post.
True. It is a fact that most airbus pilots are very reluctant to handfly and they blame the airplane for that. The truth is that they don't trust in the airplane, typically because they don't fully understand it. It is very complex and going out of the box can bring unexpected consequences. Instead of studying and fully understanding airbus automation and flight controls, they decide to keep automation at all costs.

the usual symptom of such pilots in the sim is when the A/THR goes out, THR LK flashes on the FMA, perhaps they have the ECAM THR LVR MOVE, which means that thrust is frozen and pilot should take over from then on, and these pilots simply refuse to take over. Speed is gradually busted and still they decide to ignore the thrust levers. The caution chime will keep coming every 5 secs until you take over, so the whole situation is very irritating, and it takes a few, "thrust is yours" verbal clues until they move the levers. Many others don't have this patetic behaviour, of course but there are too many who behave like that, I have seen it many times, proportionally too many. If they did just a couple of hand flown ILS without A/THR every 2 or 3 months they wouldn't feel abandoned when A/THR is inop.

Cadets should definetly hand fly as much as they could, since one thing is loosing skill due to lack of practice and quite another is not having the skills in the first place...
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 09:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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I might handfly the 320 suck-squirt completely raw data if the trip is short (ie
below RVSM) and the FO is a switched on-bloke. This means no AP FD or AT
from eng start to eng SD. If the entire track is following ground navaids I can
solely use them too.

RVSM wise its everything off till 1,000 below RVSM lower level on the way up
then turn it all off again at the RVSM lower level on the way down.

Only time I'd cancel this is OEI esp on TO...at 400ft I'd slowly reinstall these
tools of trade for mutual crew workload alleviation.
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Old 30th Jan 2013, 10:49
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Microburst2002, not realizing that the thrust is locked when the aircraft is in a failure mode is something completely different than not handflying enough.

You can hand fly the airbus all year long without ever getting the 'thrust locked' situation. The situation you describe has more to do with unfamiliarity with the Airbus intricacies.



Anyway, why would anyone want to hand fly any airplane straight and level for any part of any flight? That's what autopilots have been made for for the last 80 years!

Last edited by PENKO; 30th Jan 2013 at 10:52.
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 12:28
  #46 (permalink)  
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Hand flying modern aircraft is fine, but the handling pilot must realise that he is significantly adding to the workload of the non handling pilot. In busy airspace this might not be acceptable. Automation led to a reduction in crew numbers, so the autopilot should be thought of as the third crew member - the aircraft is designed around this concept. So if you decide to hand fly, consider the workload you are handing your colleague, and if you are in a busy TCA you may decide that you are decreasing the safety of your operation. It goes without saying that in an emergency situation you should be able to cope - but practicing for emergencies should be done in the simulator.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 02:50
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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The sole purpose of manual flying is to develop and maintain the skill needed to do so when automation fails and nothing more. There should be no sense of adventurism. Commercial flights are not training flights. Passengers pay to go from A to B as safely as possible. The very purpose of the flight is to make money for the company and not to get some thrill out doing something extraordinary. If you create an incidence/accident while trying to be a better pilot try telling that to the passengers. How many sectors you should hand fly. The answer is as minimum as required to keep the skill. Anyone who needs to manually fly 4 sectors everyday should have been doing something else. Another thing Airbus FBW has been aroung and growing for last 21 years and is here to stay. If you are not comfortable with the machine you should change your job. any new aeroplane you fly you need to adapt to it and not otherway round. I have flown both As and Bs and enjoyed both. Uneasiness about a machine is in the mind.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 03:29
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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Microburst2002
I am sure as A320 pilot you are aware that A320 is a stabilised platform aircraft, in that the computers hold the aeroplane in the state autopilot was disconnected and resist any change that is not commanded by side stick and rudder. So it does not require as much skill to fly it as B 737 or A310 for that matter would require. Aircraft auto trims and holds the position you leave it in. If you can't fly A320 you won't be able to fly any aircraft. It doesn't get easier than that. What you have mentioned about Thrust lock being ignored in the SIM is a case of very bad training. I have not seen even a 200hrs guy do that. When failure takes place first thing is Fly, Navigate, communicate. Fly means check the state of AP, FD, ATHR, Altitude, Speed and sort out things in that order before dealing with ECAM. Yes since ATHR is recommended and used mostly you need to practice and develop scan to fly without ATHR that will happen in any aircraft
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 06:42
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Hand flying modern aircraft is fine, but the handling pilot must realise that he is significantly adding to the workload of the non handling pilot.
I disagree. I've flown many a trip where the CA decides to hand fly a bit more than usual. I flew with one such fellow only yesterday. I didn't feel that my workload was significantly increased. Perhaps flying a complex SID in a 727 or DC9...maybe. However in a modern jet, I fail to see how the workoad increases to the point where safety is compromised.

Before anybody attacks me, I'm obviously not talking about a busy airport while avoiding weather on a crowded frequency etc, but on a normal day, what's the big deal?
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 07:09
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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@ vilas
The sole purpose of manual flying is to develop and maintain the skill needed to do so when automation fails and nothing more.
Wrong!! Manual flight can be more effective then using the autopilot! Are you one of those pilots who would use HDG and V/S to fly a visual approach or a circuit? Once you master manual flight, under certain circumstances it's much easier and just as safe (or safer) then letting the A/P do it! If you haven't done it already, you really should take the time to watch children of magenta. It's a very old speech, but still very much applicable today!
There should be no sense of adventurism
You're right about that! If the PIC of the flight I'm a passenger on, sees it as an adventure to disconnect the automatics, I would prefer him to keep the A/P on! Better yet: I'd prefer not to be flying with this guy. I want my pilots to be convinced that they can handle the plane just as safely by hand then through the A/P! Let me assure you sure you that whenever I disconnect that A/P I'm convinced that I can fly the plane at least as safely as the automatics! I don't feel an adventurer when doing so, but I agree it is much more FUN handflying my A320 through a visual then taking the vectors to the ILS with A/P on!!!
If you create an incidence/accident while trying to be a better pilot try telling that to the passengers.
And what are you going to tell the pax when the pilots let a perfect plane crash simply because tha auto-flight system did not behave the way they expected it to and they were letting the plane crash because of it?
Passengers pay to go from A to B as safely as possible.
Absolutely! The pax deserve pilots who are fully proficient! I cannot imagine the Asiana crash would have happened if the PF hand been handling the thrust levers himself instead of relying on A/Thr! Even if he was very rusty and uncomfortable with it, I'm sure that he and his training captain would have been monitoring airspeed, pitch and thrust and the worst that would have happened was a go-around but certainly not a crash!
The very purpose of the flight is to make money for the company and not to get some thrill out doing something extraordinary
True! read what I have to say about that!
How many sectors you should hand fly. The answer is as minimum as required to keep the skill. Anyone who needs to manually fly 4 sectors everyday should have been doing something else.
Wrong!!! Every time there's nothing from stopping you (too much traffic, too tired, low visibility or cloudbase...) you SHOULD handfly your plane. Only then will you stay/become so proficient to make you convinced that you can be just as safe as when using the A/P! Only then will you become confident enough to instantly take over from a failing or mismanaged auto-flight system! The Qantas crippled A380 crew had to hand-fly the final app because the A/P couldn't handle it. I'm glad they were proficient enough to handle it! Would the outcome have been different if the A380 had belonged to an other company? Some Korean company? I would hope not...
If you are not comfortable with the machine you should change your job. any new aeroplane you fly you need to adapt to it and not otherway round. I have flown both As and Bs and enjoyed both. Uneasiness about a machine is in the mind.
You could even say that you should change your job if you're not comfortable HAND-FLYING that plane. I'll say it again: they're all big Cessna's. A correct pitch, bank, speed, thrust setting and configuration is all you need!! Uneasiness about manual flight is only in the mind brought about by stupid SOP's and a dangerous lack of currency!!
Commercial flights are not training flights.
Aren't they? How do you expect somebody new on type to get really proficient then? Let him/her fly a couple of dozen sectors with an empty airliner! No!! Consider every flight as a training opportunity! That doesn't mean you should start experimenting or taking risks of course. By all means, keep it safe! But, vilas, the very fact that you seem to be thinking that manual flight would be less safe, suggests to me that it's time to start thinking about your proficiency in manual flight! Boy, am I glad we have a good training department in our company!
Originally Posted by Check Airman in reply to someone suggesting manual flight adds significant workload to the P/M
Before anybody attacks me, I'm obviously not talking about a busy airport while avoiding weather on a crowded frequency etc, but on a normal day, what's the big deal?
Amen to that!

edit: added a paragraph

Last edited by sabenaboy; 24th Jul 2013 at 08:02.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 07:24
  #51 (permalink)  
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Not only people cannot hand-fly an airbus. Now they even cannot do the pilot monitoring job, if the Pilot flying is flying manually.
It is true. I also fly 4 out of 5 approaches manually and some guys cannot cope with setting basic headings and altitudes.
I think these days average airbus guys are on the verge of being overloaded even if the automation is on and on a nice day.
Many guys hide the inability to fly an aircraft behind the words of how safe they are, because they are using automation. But when something goes wrong, they are trying to use automation to fix it. And that is often even more difficult than just take over manually. Yes, guys are even hopeless to fly the automation.
By flying the automation I mean when you have to give it some inputs, because the situation changed. If the automation works correctly you could even sit in a passenger seat and the flight would be a success.
If you make training too easy for people, it eventually becomes difficult for them. If you make it difficult, it becomes easy.
I find handflying the airbus wth no FDs, Autothrust and no bird (what a heresy! we are all going to die!) very easy, low task and relaxing. No emergency at all.
I feel sorry for guys, who consider it an emergency. I think they should have been accountants instead.
By the way the AF447 was not in deep stall. It would have been enough just to release the sidestick and everybody would have been alive.
Airlines are a sad, sad place. Thank God for PPRuNe, because at least here I can communicate with guys, who also like flying. I guess in my airline I am the only one.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 07:32
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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sabenaboy,

I agree with most everything you've written here. I'm not nearly as experienced as many of the posters here, but I shudder to think of how some would react to the clearance I was given last night...

Abeam the field, 5-6000ft, cleared for the visual approach. AP off, FD off (no AT) and turn for the airport. Did some of that stuff my PPL instructor taught me and eventually found the runway. It would even have been a greaser if the runway had been about 6 inches closer to sea level, but I digress...

Fortunately, at my outfit, we don't have any major restrictions concerning hand flying.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 07:40
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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I think these days average airbus guys are on the verge of being overloaded even if the automation is on and on a nice day.
What in God's name can be so demanding that they can't monitor your flying?


But when something goes wrong, they are trying to use automation to fix it. And that is often even more difficult than just take over manually.
Amen. When the "AP" screws up, I often have to sit and diagnose the problem. Meanwhile, I'm still travelling at 200+kts and getting higher above the glideslope. Quite often, I find that the fastest remedy is to turn off the AP and FD (because it can be distracting) and just fly the bloody plane.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 08:45
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Couldn't agree more, but todays training has moved in another direction. Guys are nervous about doing so. I see the Mac/Microsoft generation of newbies in the cockpit and when the a/c goers in the wrong direction on the automatics the first thing that happens is heads down and dancing fingers on the keyboard. Or piano playing on the MCP. The last thing that happens is disconnect.

The other thing that makes me nervous is that the SOP says "after flaps are up engage VNAV." So they do, even with a malfunction. I suggest that they do not necessarily know what the FMC will be commanding so not connecting the FMC to the AFDS could be a safer option. Try HDG SEL or LVL CHG as appropriate and have direct control of what's going on.
This too seems to be a revelation because the SOP says VNAV. (scream & shout!)
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 09:36
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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I hand fly every leg with (No FDs) to RVSM. Disconnect from TOD if cleard to a FL below RVSM regardless of Wx conditions. I encourage my F/Os to do the same except with FDs in the Wx until they gain experience, then their option.



At the end of the day F/Ds A/Ts, A/Ps, a pilot does not make.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 09:49
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by captjns
I hand fly every(?) leg with (No FDs) to RVSM. Disconnect from TOD if cleard to a FL below RVSM regardless of Wx conditions(?). I encourage my F/Os to do the same except with FDs in the Wx until they gain experience, then their option.
(The bold print and question marks are mine)

Even though I'm a big fan of flying manually and do so on most (not every!) approaches (read my previous message), I think you're exaggerating! Let James fly the airplane when it would be (just as) boring to do otherwise (descending "manually" along a STAR from FL290 down seems pretty boring to me) Also I would hope you would keep at least the F/D on when the metar reports cloudbase at the CAT I minimum with 800 m visibilty. There's one thing you should NEVER switch off: common sense!
(edited for spelling)

Last edited by sabenaboy; 24th Jul 2013 at 10:04.
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Old 24th Jul 2013, 16:58
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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When the AP screws up, or when you screw up by putting the wrong inputs into the FCU and/or FMGC?
That's why I put it in quotes in my first post

Regarding handflying in IMC, I'm happy to do it raw data down to about 500ft agl. If the ceiling is below that, I prefer to have the AP do it so I can monitor the big picture more effectively. In VMC, I try to go down to mins without looking outside once or twice a month.

Last edited by Check Airman; 24th Jul 2013 at 16:59.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 21:11
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I handfly every leg up to at least 10, sometimes up to the cruise level (allow for altitude capture though). On the way down I'll usually click it off around 10 as well, maybe lower. This is regardless of weather.

A/T not installed and good riddance to that.

at least the F/D on
Don't need it, never use it.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 21:38
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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About one short sector a month depending on crew workload
and whether I'm in the mood. Also I fly the omnis while letting
the kid keep the magenta on his side.
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Old 26th Jul 2013, 22:43
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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What a pile of macho horse sheet...

If you all all hand fly so much how do you eat your doughnuts?

Why do I wade through pages of this utter diatribe..
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