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Automation vs Seat-of-the-pants-flying talking as devil's advocate - so no abuse plea

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Automation vs Seat-of-the-pants-flying talking as devil's advocate - so no abuse plea

Old 3rd Aug 2013, 12:46
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Vilas, we lose our scanning skill because we are not connected physically to the machine that is responding to our inputs. To hand fly, you must scan, because if you don't, the aeroplane doesn't fly properly. With the autopilot in, there is no need to scan as in 99% of the time the aeroplane does it for you. Try as you might, you simply cannot keep up scanning proficiency if you aren't actually doing something with your hands occasionally/regularly.

More accidents of this nature haven't happened IMO because the big majority of us have, to a degree, had a background in handflying. As the Children of the Magenta become more prevalent throughout the industry and guys like Bubbers become extinct , we'll see more of these types of prangs unless we get hand flying time again. Humans are good doers, not monitors, apparently.

You yourself hit the nail on the head when you said:

These are examples of pilots slowly loosing their scan over the years. Other than manual control inputs everything else remains same.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 19:02
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At simple airfields without RNP1or PRNAV procedures, fly manually without the automatics for all you want...certainly strongly encouraged. However trying to fly PRNAV SIDs and STARs without the automatics may get you invited for tea & bikkies with the CP as the FDM/FOQA snoop dogs are forever on the prowl should you come close to exceeding the tolerances inherent in those precision procedures.
Many suns ago after an 18 hour layover ( due to inbound delay ) at EDDF, I absentmindedly let the F/O fly the Tobak departure manually out of RWY 25R. Because of very strong crosswinds turning very strong tailwind as we passed 1000 ft, we were a little slow in establishing the precise ground track required despite his best efforts with my promptings. We were reported by some " watchers " who complained about our " trangression " over their hallowed grounds.

A month later I was hauled up for some lousy coffee with the CP. No, no noise monitoring alarms were triggered but the nasty letter by deutschland ATC based on the " watchers " complaints had me put in the sim to do tobak departures out of EDDF...advise from CP and sim instructor: use the automatics! Boy, at that time it the tobak departures weren't even PRNAV! go figure..........
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 20:28
  #83 (permalink)  
 
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INITIAL SIM-TRAINING SANS LUXURY BITS.

Centaurus;

"The only way to teach today's pilots not to be frightened of hand flying is to ensure that type rating training in simulators starts off by teaching pilots how to fly manually without flight directors and auto-throttles for the first few sessions before automatics are introduced. After that, recurrent training in the simulator should include a high proportion of manual raw data flying."

Too many years ago I moved from Betty Windsors Flying Club to the awesome environment of the Bae146, having flown a B&W Artificial Horizon with the "W" symbol for the aircraft and the split horizon bar swimming around it, for 16 years, props and jets.

Initial sim training proved a problem, not that I couldn't fly on instruments, but that I was expected to program and follow the F/D bars, at all times, ab initio.

During the initial conversion session, I turned OFF the F/D bars with the comment that it was extra loading to program and follow them.

That airline's type chief trainer went apoplectic, froze the "box" and insisted I follow the magenta spider faithfully as no other course of action would be tolerated!!

Needless to say the subsequent details were handicapped by this slavish "attitude" (no pun intended!) and it was with greater effort and angst that I finally got onto the line.

And that was in 1987..............................?!

Now over a quarter of a century flying nice blue/brown A/Is, I still find myself "flying through the bars" and apologise to the child of magenta beside me as it is obvious I'm not following the "spider"!

What chance now in the 21st century is there of reversing the "you must use all automatics" from day 1 mantra?? Unless the XAAs get the message soon that the basics have got to be mastered BEFORE the luxury of the fancy bits can be used, then I fear that the recent CFITs due to part or no automation will continue and we in these pages will continue to ask "how could THEY do that?".

And of course we are excluding the possibility of FATIGUE as a serious contributory factor....!

Last edited by BARKINGMAD; 3rd Aug 2013 at 20:30.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 00:14
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BEA
Two factors can explain this phenomenon
Pretty vague from guys who have some data they're not ready to share ...
Is it embarrassing to tell the protection protected the aircraft first despite the last attempt the pilot made to have a chance to survive. Scrap the aircraft later on but let me have a chance to go home.

I don't blame Airbus for such protection, I blame the BEA for not detailing that sequence which is also part of the accident.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 03:52
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Thanks Capn B for the compliment, didn't expect it. As everybody knows I am a hand flyer and use automation to do the boring enroute flying. Departures and arrivals are hand flown unless weather requires otherwise. Most of my landings are visual approaches into airports like Tegucigalpa, Honduras so the FO gets to do the ILS into MIA if the short turn on allows it which it usually doesn't. Visuals are so easy and the instrument scan is a normal pilot duty so how some pilots can't land on a visual to SFO is puzzling. Automation dependency is my only answer.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 07:26
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You said it was cultural differences in the other thread. Anyway, you're retired aren't you?
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 10:11
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BarkingMad: I'm on your side in this. I believe that pilots should learn to fly the a/c first, then operate it. Sadly, especially with self-funded TQ courses, time is premium and the courses are minimum. The couple of extra sessions required to achieve the ideal are considered a not-effective cost nor necessary for the issue of a type rating.
I too fly through the bars and scan the basic performance data and try to encourage the same. The degree of success is varied depending on the attitude of the student. I once flew for an airline where the instructors were brutal in insisting the students "fly the flight director." Their scan was very poor. I then showed them how you can stall the a/c with centred F.D's and also fly into the ground with perfect F.D's. This woke them up, the students that is, sadly not the other instructors who continued their blinkered teachings.
Today I find the lack of scan still there, especially when A.P is in CMD. They watch the F.D's and say all is fine. They are doing no more than watching the A.P keep the F.D's centred. They have no idea what the a/c is in fact doing and are not monitoring it. A sad deadly great shame on the training environment.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 11:24
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs
With the autopilot in, there is no need to scan as in 99% of the time the aeroplane does it for you.
This is sarcasm, right?
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 13:49
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Originally Posted by Clandestino
This is sarcasm, right?
Just the truth, sunshine. Take off your automation/Airbus sunglasses and try to understand why pilots can no longer fly aeroplanes.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 14:00
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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With the autopilot in, there is no need to scan as in 99% of the time the aeroplane does it for you.

You hope. You still have to scan to ensure George is behaving himself. I know of various accidents where he went subtly AWOL and no-one realised until it was too late; or they did and then tried to solve the problem using the very same rogue who'd put them in the hole in the first place.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 14:22
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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Rat 5, please don't quote me out of context. Of course you should scan when in Autoflight. My words immediately before that quote were that if you are hand flying, you must scan otherwise you lose control every time. That is the difference. Scanning ability reduces the more autoflighting you do. That was my point.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 14:42
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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C.Bloggs: My fault. I was following on from the Clandestino comment. I did not go back to your original comment and read the whole paragraph.
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Old 4th Aug 2013, 21:31
  #93 (permalink)  
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I suspect that Capt Bloggs' thrust is along the line that automation cripples, as opposed to those who employ automation to assist and improve performance .. may have considerable difficulty in monitoring the automatics successfully ?

Very much like a medical examination with a GP mate years ago while he was punching and pummelling my innards ... I made some irreverent and cheeky comment about automatics in that context and his response was along the lines that if he didn't practice his diagnostic skills regularly .. then he would lose them ... where have I heard a similar cry ?

I doubt that anyone is extolling a virtue to be had by handflying all the time. However, a level of commonsense dictates that the pilot needs to develop and maintain competence in both separately and in conjunction.
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 00:44
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I doubt that anyone is extolling a virtue to be had by handflying all the time. However, a level of commonsense dictates that the pilot needs to develop and maintain competence in both separately and in conjunction
If only Regulators and airline operational managements would read this statement and apply it. Well put JT
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 02:08
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J T
Some of the comments here and other threads are suggestive of that using automation only boys do and men don't. Some suggested that pilots fly better than modern autopilots. I find these comments do not represent reality. Otherwise RVSM, CAT3 and some other situations would not ask for AP use. Use of automatics is safer because it lets you monitor and comprehend overall picture. Afterall going from A to B safely has many other things than just flying manual approach. Just as accidents happen because of poor manual skills they also happen because of poor understanding and monitoring of automation. So one should hand fly to maintain the skill required and other times use automation.
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 04:55
  #96 (permalink)  
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Absolutely .. horses for courses.

One needs to be competent in stick and rudder.

One needs to be competent in the boxes.

One needs to be competent in managing a sensible mix of the two according to the needs of the moment.


The pilot who is a brilliant stick and rudder man is a danger if circumstances require, but he is not up to, the use of the boxes.

Likewise, the pilot who is a brilliant box man is a danger if circumstances require, but he is not up to, poling the beast in anger.


Safety, in this regard, is maximised if one uses - effectively - the appropriate mix of manual and automatics which might be useful in the circumstances ..


That some may prefer to do one over the other is merely a sideline consideration, I suggest ?

As to men and boys, the distinguishing characteristic there is only the price of their toys ...
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 06:05
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Could hand flying skills be maintained by Sim sessions?

To the pilots who fly or have flown the big transports.

Could you maintain hand flying skills by simulator sessions alone? Is the simulator of today accurate enough? What are the shortfalls of the FFS? Apart from the obvious one that a FFS is not an aircraft!
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 06:24
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Re: Pilotless Airliners

Who is going to write the software that decides whether or not to abort? And whether or not to evacuate after the abort? Will they be held liable in court?

When the cabin is on fire who is going to decide if to land / ditch immediately or continue on further to an airport?

Who is going to decide what to do when the flight attendants "hear a funny noise" or see "something leaking from the wing"?

The auto-taxi system will also need to be able to detect debris, contamination etc. and the auto-takeoff system will need to be able to decide whether or not it's a good idea to actually take off when the weather conditions are changing rapidly, or when it gets a ding from the flight attendants that someone just got out of their seat and went to the toilet...

And on and on and on.

Pilotless will only be for passengerless until we invent a computer that can replace the human brain or a programmer who can foresee every possible scenario that could ever occur, which by definition he cannot because how would he know that he didn't think of something?
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 06:55
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Mross, it would help to maintain your skills but it would not be ideal because you don't feel G's in the sim.

Also, I get sick using the visuals (the fake stuff out your window) in the sim because motion sickness is a disconnect between what your eyes and your inner ear tell you, which do not always agree in the sim, like when you're taxiing and you make 90 degree turns etc.

You can get enough practice, assuming you fly enough legs per month, hand flying on the line, EVEN with your flight director on IF you work the throttles manually.
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Old 5th Aug 2013, 07:26
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Could you maintain hand flying skills by simulator sessions alone? Is the simulator of today accurate enough? What are the shortfalls of the FFS? Apart from the obvious one that a FFS is not an aircraft!
Believe me but if you do not have the skills to hand fly a fidelity compliant flight simulator then you sure are going to have a real problem flying the real thing. Regulators around the world accept that fidelity compliant simulators can be used for type ratings, instrument ratings, recurrent training. if a pilot is having trouble flying an ILS in a crosswind in a simulator then he will almost certainly run into the same trouble in the real thing.

So the answer to your question of could you maintain hand flying skills by simulator sessions alone, the answer is definitely yes. IMHO
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