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1 or 2 steering tillers?

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1 or 2 steering tillers?

Old 8th Oct 2015, 15:39
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F/O's taxying...

I've been in the LHS and the RHS on both single and dual tiller aircraft.

Gimme a dual tiller anyday... Simply because in a single tiller aircraft, the F/O will practically never complete a landing - Control is handed across prior to any taxiway thus the last fine part of braking judgement never occurs - And, the handover is sometimes an awkward moment!

Single tiller prevents F/O's refining their taxi technique, particularly on a longer aircraft in turns. For those Capt's who say 'but I know where I am going'. I have found, over quite a few years that the F/O's do too and mistakes (hey real world right!) occur in similar proportions!

And lastly, when my ticker ticks less than it should, my F/O is gonna get me to medical attention quicker...Gawd bless them....
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 06:09
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Tillers should be standard on both sides, if nothing else the FO should be able to take over and taxi in if the Ca's incapacitated.


Not enough authority through the rudders for the tighter turns after all.


Interesting that the 777 and 787 both have dual tillers as standard.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 12:37
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It really annoys me that Boeing chose to option the RHS tiller on B737 aircraft. I'm inclined to assume that it wasn't Boeing's absolute decision to do so, but rather they were commercially persuaded to do so by a particular airline wanting to buy several hundred models of the type, and wanting to shave a few more shekels off the purchase price.

My airline inherted some of these models, and for type commonality has chosen to order all future 737s without RHS tillers, despite all other types in the airline being taxied by both pilots.

I find it insulting to the FOs and also problematic in that if they are seen as not fit to taxi they learn to act that way... They will daydream and let you taxi down the wrong taxiway. That is Human Factors 101.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 13:35
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On the Airbus, it is steer-by-wire, so the tillers are just spring loaded potentiometers/position sensors that input to a computer. I believe Boeings have mechanical linkages to the steering? If so it will be far more expensive to fit an extra tiller on the RHS.

I love it that some folk hate the idea of F/Os taxying ! The same F/Os can land in terrible weather at night, but are not trusted to taxy very slowly along a yellow line with the Captain and ATC watching closely.
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Old 9th Oct 2015, 16:11
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The bit about ATC watching carefully somehow reminds me of the unfortunate write off of the BA 747 in Capetown. I think the FO may even have been steering at the time when they crashed into the building. It can be argued both ways. Taxying a large aircraft is not always as easy as it looks. If you are a long haul pilot at the controls only for a few sectors a month at airports you visit occasionally, maybe a set procedure where the captain steers and the co-pilot has the chart out (or on screen) and is actively monitoring is not such a bad idea. Ar least the roles are clearer and FOs are generally better at concentrating on the chart.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 02:14
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Lederhosen I think you mean Johanessburg not Capetown.

maybe a set procedure where the captain steers and the co-pilot has the chart out (or on screen) and is actively monitoring is not such a bad idea. Ar least the roles are clearer and FOs are generally better at concentrating on the chart.
I don't think I can agree with this, everyone should have a chart out, paper or electronic. In my experience Captains and FOs have equal ability in being able to read a chart and have situation awareness.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 03:38
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Not a great idea for the taxiing operator to be looking at charts too. Just the time that errant vehicle or animal to cross.

Same reason for Captains taxiing in some airlines. Captain has final responsibility for safety of aircraft. If he is head down in charts temporarily lost in taxiway maize, while FO clips the wingtip on something.... Or let's the mains go cross country - Who carries the can?

Not everyone operates in environment of 'same nationality' crew with easy communication. (I.e. Good English) This growing communication problem is one of the invisible safety factors increasing in aviation these days.

And finally the even better reason..... Generally - Younger FO's have better eyes for reading tiny print on Jepp plates!
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 06:37
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Thanks for the correction about Joburg Offchocks. My point is that it can be argued both ways about the need for two tillers. Certainly our procedure in terms of captain's incapacitation is for the FO to swap seats, at which point I would agree with Uplinker about them being able to follow a yellow line, although not very smoothly, particularly in the sim.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 10:41
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Quote from lederhosen:
"Certainly our procedure in terms of captain's incapacitation is for the FO to swap seats..."

I wonder what a/c type are you referring to? Unless it is practised regularly (preferably, in a sim), like we did on small a/c in my youth, taking a pilot out of his/her comfort zone in a single-pilot contingency situation is likely to create more problems than it solves (as well as being of doubtful legality). Reversing hands for all tasks is a bit like trying to brush your teeth with your other hand. In my experience, trainers have to pass separate handling checks in both seats every six months.

Fortunately the rudder-fine steering on most modern airliners normally enables the RHS pilot of a single-tiller a/c to vacate the runway after landing, provided a rapid-exit taxiway is available.

Hi goeasy,
You make a good argument for the captain doing all his/her "own" (as someone once described it) taxiing. As for "carrying the can", my advocacy of role-reversal including the co-pilot being able and allowed to taxi the a/c is maintained despite personal experience. But I don't think that a F/O is any more likely to mishandle or miss a turning than the captain, and - as for chart-reading ability - the ability of presbyopic captains to read small print with reading spectacles is regularly tested!

To repeat a point already made by me and others, the strongest argument for allowing copilots to taxi is that of personal development. In training, the importance of planning and execution, as well as the potential and historic implications of a foul-up, are best taught and learned from the early stages of a pilot's career, in my opinion.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 11:33
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This is about cost people....., the RHS tiller is an option just like having two fueling panels and many other equipment where you will find differences.

What is the big deal about letting the F/O taxi the airplane? I've flown on companies that have this procedure for decades and it has never been a problem. What are you "let the F/O taxi and you are asking for trouble crowd" compensating for?

You know that even if you taxi all the time it won't grow anymore right?
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 11:38
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All good points Chris, but our 737s lack the tiller on the right side, so not an option. Taxying the sim is also a bit different from the aircraft as I am sure a few people will attest, so apart from the copilot being asked what he would do we rarely have them taxi. The company and Boeing determine the SOPs. In most cases stopping on a taxiway and being towed is probably better.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 12:41
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Quite frankly: telling an F/O - who has just landed a jet weighing say 180 tonnes in bad weather at night, or flown it down to 200' aal and then gone around - that s/he is somehow not competant to taxi the same aircraft slowly along the ground, is preposterous.

As is: not allowing an F/O to start the engines and taxi, yet allowing them to be PF for the take-off, and expecting them to control the aircraft correctly and safely to climb away in the event of an engine failure at V1.

Yes; there have been mistakes and accidents, but many Captains have also made mistakes and caused accidents, so that is no reason to ban F/Os from taxiing. Yes, of course, as with any phase of operating an airliner, there should be minimum experience levels imposed; so for example a brand new F/O on their first ever big jet would not be allowed to taxi until they had a certain amount of experience and time on type.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 14:50
  #33 (permalink)  
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In most cases stopping on a taxiway and being towed is probably better.
Totally agree!

Quite frankly: telling an F/O - who has just landed a jet weighing say 180 tonnes in bad weather at night, or flown it down to 200' aal and then gone around - that s/he is somehow not competant to taxi the same aircraft slowly along the ground, is preposterous.
Again totally agree, my last airline's SOP was for the FO to taxy on his sector right up until turning onto the gate where the Captain took over.
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Old 10th Oct 2015, 15:03
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Great on the old aircraft with flight engineers. 3 tillers.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 04:54
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Chris

You were probably not on the BCal DC10 which, unless old age is catching up on me, only had one tiller.

I seem to recall the same on the ANZ DC10.

Did any DC10 operator have a 2 tillered version.

On the HS748, we had some with 2 tillers and some with 1.

I used to give all the sectors to the first officer if we had 2 and did them myself if 1.

IIRC there was one more a/c with 2 than with 1.

The DC10 has a great field of vision, my first Taxi was on a 742 from the RT seat, the view from that cockpit is much more restrictive. On narrow body aircraft I do not see the necessity.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 05:26
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Great on the old aircraft with flight engineers. 3 tillers.
Which airplane? Certainly NOT on the 747 Classic!
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 05:46
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3 tillers? Can't think of any aircraft configured to let the FE steer on the ground. The VC10 had a set of thrust levers for the FE, but they were the pilots responsibility when taxying.
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 06:01
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I think he may have meant 3 joysticks if you know what I mean!!
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Old 11th Oct 2015, 07:21
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Our own 73NG fleet is equipped with two tillers but during peak season we use lease-in without the right tiller. Despite briefing it every stretch it's always a sketchy moment after landing when the F/O grabs air instead of a tiller and we need to hand over controls
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Old 12th Oct 2015, 03:34
  #40 (permalink)  
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Certainly our procedure in terms of captain's incapacitation is for the FO to swap seats,
lederhosen - Are your FOs regularly checked in the LHS as well as the RHS? When everything around you is going wrong surely it is best to stay in the seat you are most familiar with? Changing seats after a captain has become incapacitated introduces a whole stack of unfamiliarity for the FO, better, I think, for him to fly the approach and landing from the seat he is most familiar with? To be honest never heard of an operator before that required a seat change by the FO if the captain went U/S.


Stop on the runway if you wish or use nosewheel fine steering to slip down a fast turn off, as suggested by Chris, above.
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