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How many sectors do you handfly?

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How many sectors do you handfly?

Old 27th Jul 2013, 20:49
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Sabenaboy says
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!
We probably come from different generations and types of flying. I started flying single engine single pilot freight many years ago. No F/D, no GPS, no AP, and NO MAGENTA LINE. My F/Os will disagree with you about your statement regarding exaggerations. If the weather is poor than I will have my low time F/O use the F/Ds for departures and arrivals. At least my F/Os understand the true meaning of situational awareness, and not only to terrain, but to what the aircraft is doing.
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Old 28th Jul 2013, 06:51
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by captjns
My F/Os will disagree with you about your statement regarding exaggerations
When I said I thought you were exaggerating, that did not mean I didn't believe you. I tried to say that, unless you're not flying a "modern" plane, you're exaggerating when you decide not to use the automatics when there's a good reason to. Don't get me wrong: If you look at my previous posts you can see that I still do A LOT of basic flying in my A320 with everything switched off (except the engines ) and that I am a fierce defender of airline pilots having to maintain basic flying skills by taking the automation out whenever the conditions permit. The question is: What are you going to decide if the metar says that both cloud-base and visibility are very close to the minima for your Cat I ils approach? I'm sure that you and myself and all of our F/O's are ABLE to fly to the minima with the "needles centered" without F/D and without A/thr. (Our training manager joked that he would ask Airbus for a discount if we ordered our next A320's without F/D installed) I would think it's wiser to keep at least the F/D on in such conditions. Chances are that will not happen more then once or twice/year.

I think that every pilot should fly manually (A/P, F/D and A/Thr off) very regularly when there's no reason not to, but I also think that when there is a good reason to use the automatics a wise pilot should do so.

I fully agree that autoflight systems are installed to reduce the workload for the crew and NOT because the crew can't fly without, but I really do not feel the need to prove that on the line with a full load of pax in marginal conditions even if I'm 100% sure that I CAN!
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Old 1st Aug 2013, 21:31
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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sabenaboy: >"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."

No way. A Cessna's (152, 172, 182) engine doesn't take 8-10 sec to respond to a power demand.

Agree with your other stuff.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 01:20
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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sabenaboy: >"I still do A LOT of basic flying in my A320 with everything switched off (except the engines )"

Switched off? Do you pull some breakers to force your A320 into Direct Law (otherwise it's hardly basic flying)?

If so, I expect you need to avoid telling the regulators about it - or your management. I suspect they just might be spooked ...

Last edited by Gegenbeispiel; 2nd Aug 2013 at 01:22. Reason: spelling
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 01:39
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Gegenbeispiel View Post
Switched off? Do you pull some breakers to force your A320 into Direct Law (otherwise it's hardly basic flying)?
Come on - that's a little bit over-combative. In layman's terms handflying is still handflying whether what's between you and the flight surfaces consists of braided cable, an electronic FBW system or anything inbetween.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 09:25
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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On my first ever line flight on B737 EFIS,
The Line- trainer told me to fly raw data, full rose ( so no map) to cruising level, and then again disconnect all at TOD to touchdown...
It made me getting a feeling for the aircraft very easily,and only once comfortable with the BASIC of the aircraft should you progress to autoflight modes and its tricks and pittfalls.

I fly raw data as much as possible when fatigue, traffic and weather allows me to, and urge my FO's to do the same.

Ps. Sabena has always been recognised as a reference in Safety and Crew proficiency isnt't it Sabenaboy Now for Sobelair...These were the cowboys
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 12:54
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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Does automation save fuel?

Using automation saves fuel!? NO, I disagree! (I already gave an example in this post)

Let me give you an other example that happened to me just a few days ago:


I was approaching CFU from the NNE. At aprox. 200 NM out we realised that the B737 20 NM ahead of us was also going to CFU. (The 737 was from a well known LCC with HQ in Ireland) And even though we were flying CI 10 in our A320 , we were catching up on him. We asked for his speed via ATC. We reduced from 270 to 260 kts when he replied his speed was 265 kts.

The weather was severe cavok with "unlimited" visibility, not a single cloud around and no wind! We were both transferred to CFU radar at about 70 nm out. ATC told the 737 that he was nr 1 for landing and that he could proceed to GAR for the VOR 35 app. We were told we were nr 2 and got vectored to BETAK.

When I go to CFU with such conditions, I would jump on the occasion and ask for a right hand visual to rwy 35 over the water! Prompted by me, ATC asked him if he would be flying the full procedure VOR app or if he was interested in a visual app.

He turned down the visual and opted for the full procedure!
(he was at FL160 with 50 NM to go to GAR!)
While we were vectored beyond BETAK around the island while being told to reduce speed (already flying 250 below FL100), he flew the whole app at very slow speed. Even when reducing to 180 kts at BETAK, we were only 5 NM behind him on final and landed 2 min later. I strongly suspect he flew the whole approach on the FMGC speed and profile.

Now I can fully understand that a pilot follows the FMGC computed speeds during descend as per SOP, but this pilot could easily have saved 3 minutes, 12 miles and >100 kg of fuel by doing a nice and easy visual app.

We, after vacating the rwy had to hold position one extra minute because the mandatory follow me was still busy with the 737. We arrived on blocks 8 mins later and with 200 kgs less fuel then I had hoped to be (If I had received a visual with no delay)!

To me this crew is the equivalent of an 85 yr old lady doing 70 km/h on a German highway!

Perhaps SOMETIMES automation can save fuel, but this crew certainly missed a great opportunity to use some airmanship to save fuel, time and money!

Of course one should have some airmanship before being able to use it!

Last edited by sabenaboy; 2nd Aug 2013 at 13:25. Reason: spelling
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 13:00
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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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.
Once you find yourself welded to using the FD which after all is only an aid to navigation, and not essential to fly an ILS, then you are a member of the automatics addiction club. You are to be pitied.

Last edited by A37575; 2nd Aug 2013 at 13:02.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 13:56
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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I am not able to get this arithmetic. Four sectors a day to be proficient to fly a normal approach with auto trim then how many sectors ( Sim Sessions)required with failures and direct law landing? Also pilots fly more accurately than digital autopilots, Automation is waste of time and money, FMCs do not save fuel. Wouldn't my first aircraft the DC3 with jet engine solve all your problems.

Last edited by vilas; 2nd Aug 2013 at 14:01.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 18:17
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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Sabenaboy, unless you can state how much extra fuel they used because of the way they flew their approach you're talking nonsense. Yes, it may have caused you to use more fuel (it's a challenge causing your competitors to use a bit extra but it can be done) but then that may be your fault for not doing something about it earlier.

Anyway, that's not what people mean when they say automation flies more efficiently than you do.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 22:00
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Airbus "handflying"

DozyWannabe: A320-330-340-380 FBW Normal Law may have the look and feel of basic handflying, but it's very far from it - loads of protections, loads of nonlinearity of control surface response. Have a look at Normal Law specs.

Last edited by Gegenbeispiel; 2nd Aug 2013 at 22:02.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 22:36
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Gegenbeispiel - I'm well aware of Airbus FBW Normal Law augmentations (hell, just have a look at my post history!), but in practical terms it's not really anything more than an evolution of the artificial feel technology that airliners have been using for over half a century.

Obviously, if you lose the augmentations then you'll need to step up your efforts a bit, but in real terms it's not a great deal different than, say, losing hydraulic assist on a B737. That's why they train for these things in the sim!

Last edited by DozyWannabe; 2nd Aug 2013 at 22:41.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 23:00
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by sabenaboy View Post
Of course one should have some airmanship before being able to use it!
Certain carriers prohibit visual approaches to some airfields in Europe. Quit taking cheap shots at other pilots without knowing the full story.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 23:09
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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It is patently NOT appropriate to hand fly in certain situations...
Just Wrong.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 01:23
  #75 (permalink)  
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It is good to see that one or two people here have got the message. Trying to hand fly in a busy TMA with continual flight path variations and frequency changes loads up the PNF unnecessarily and is positively dangerous. R/T gets missed and checks get rushed, both can be fatal.


Also pilots fly more accurately than digital autopilots,
You are joking aren't you?


Sabenaboy - Pray tell us more about the Ryanair in front of you at Corfu. How many times had the pilot flying been there before? Was it a check ride? Was it a pilot under training? What is the Ryanair SOP for Corfu? You sound rather intolerant.

Last edited by parabellum; 3rd Aug 2013 at 01:37.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 03:36
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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loads up the PNF unnecessarily
No, pointless procedures do that.

And maybe not "more accurately", but with "more finesse" for sure, and that's only if they're good.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 08:37
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The Airbus can easily be hand flown BUT it's a tad trickier than "conventional" aircraft (meaning aircraft that you can trim) because you cannot "trim a speed".

Here's a way to visualize the difference between an Airbus and a plane you can trim:

Airplane you can trim: Straight and level, 250 knots, AP, FD, ATHR off, you retard the the thrust to idle, hands off, the airplane descends at 250 knots.

Airbus: Same scenario, you retard the thrust to idle, hands off, the airplane continues straight and level and starts slowing down, increasing pitch attitude to maintain the flight path.

You can think of the side-stick as a "flight path selector". Whatever flight path you have when you release the stick is what flight path the aircraft will maintain (until you exceed the flight envelope but that's another subject).

So, for example, when you're flying around in the terminal area getting vectors for an approach and they tell you descend from FL 100 to FL 60, you have to retard the thrust levers to idle AND make a DEFINITE nose down push on the sidestick to make the airplane go down.

In my MD-80 days all I had to do was pull the power off.

So you make your nose down input, now you have to pay a lot of attention to the speed to make sure you have EXACTLY set the correct pitch attitude to maintain your 250 knots or whatever (the odds of which are slim to none) so WATCH THAT SPEED and KEEP watching it because you will never actually set this theoretical EXACT pitch attitude to maintain the correct speed for anything longer than about a minute or two if you're lucky.

The reverse is also true in that when you add power, you better PULL that nose up, it won't go up by itself like in a "conventional" airplane that is always trying to maintain its trimmed speed.

There have already been at least 2 Airbus crashes during go arounds where the guys failed to adequately increase the pitch attitude and the airplane just went downhill faster and faster when they pushed the thrust levers to TOGA. (There was more to it than that obviously, but it was a major factor.)

One was a Gulf Air in Bahrain like about 10 years ago and the was only a few years ago somewhere in the Black Sea or some inland lake in Eastern Europe or where ever.

Those 2 crashes most likely would not have happened had they been flying airplanes that you can trim because after setting TOGA thrust, the airplane would have pitched up mightily to maintain the trimmed approach speed with TOGA thrust. They would have had to push the control column forward HARD and even trimmed nose down to achieve those flight paths into the water that those guys achieved effortlessly in their Airbuses.

Another thing: the thrust lever travel is shorter than on other airplanes so the thrust appears appears a bit more sensitive but it's not a big deal, you get used to it pretty quick.

So, once you understand the subtle but important differences between flying an airplane that is always trying to fly the last selected flight path versus an airplane that is always trying to fly the last speed you've trimmed it for, hand flying an Airbus, while not quite as easy as hand flying a trimmable airplane, is nothing to fear. Just scan the hell out of your speed all the time.

And that's my 2 cents worth.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 10:22
  #78 (permalink)  
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No, pointless procedures do that.
aviatorhi - Sorry but you are talking rubbish. Are you one of those characters that ignores SOPs? You certainly sound it. Just what is your experience that you have reached these astonishing conclusions? How much airline flying, light, medium and heavy and what routes, much USA experience?
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 14:48
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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John,

There are no situations where it is inappropriate to hand fly.

And in all fairness there are 3 I can think of, CAT II and CATIII ops as well as cruising in RVSM. Though we all well know that's not what we're talking about here.

Parabellum,

I've watched the procedures of other carriers, like the prohibition on the PF setting bugs, and find them pointless, we have no such prohibition, and I have no interest in flying for carriers that turn pilots into drones rather than airmen.

Last edited by aviatorhi; 3rd Aug 2013 at 15:39.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 18:25
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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DozyWannabe: >"Airbus FBW Normal Law augmentations ... it's not really anything more than an evolution of the artificial feel technology that airliners have been using for over half a century"

With the greatest respect, I disagree vehemently. I actually think the belief quoted above was a factor in many if not most [thankfully not very numerous] Airbus accidents to date.

Just the fact you can drop out of Normal into Alternate into Direct makes things very different.
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