Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

Hand flying in todays jet transports

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

Hand flying in todays jet transports

Old 10th Feb 2018, 07:50
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Enzed
Posts: 2,289
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Some of these requirements I believe are driven by the Marketing Department, don't want to spill the champers now do we or scare the passengers with power changes. We (that's the Marketing Gurus) think the auto pilot will do it more smoothly so best you pesky pilots let it get on with the job. And about that PA, you need to sharpen up on that too. FFS
27/09 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 08:37
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 2,448
Received 73 Likes on 40 Posts
I think folk need to reflect: I am not saying it is right or wrong but modern airline piloting is about conducting a flight effeciently rather than actually flying.

If a pilot actually wants to fly an aircraft hands-on, on a regular basis, then an airline in todays skies is not the place to be.

As far as automation is concerned, would anybody welcome back cars that had manual chokes and manual ignition timing adjustment? Would any of us in our modern automatic cars want to go back to manual gearboxes, and a paper map on the passenger seat?

I am more than happy for the FADECs on the aircraft I fly to ensure safe and consistent engine starts, and give a decent autothrust, and for the FBW to remove the pitch/power couple and trim for me while I monitor it and other factors in todays busy airspace.

But manual skills must be maintained: I have often suggested that like we used to have to record 3 autolands every 6 months, the CAA should now mandate at least 3 manual/manual approaches, interception and landings every 6 months.
Uplinker is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 09:05
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Alaska, PNG, etc.
Age: 60
Posts: 1,550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Uplinker
Would any of us in our modern automatic cars want to go back to manual gearboxes, and a paper map on the passenger seat?
I've never owned an automobile with an automatic transmission. You seem to be taking it for granted that everyone does. And for the record, if faced with a choice, I'd take a manual transmission.
A Squared is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 09:08
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Alaska, PNG, etc.
Age: 60
Posts: 1,550
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gearlever
Hhm, I may be wrong, but if memory serves me right, more incidents/accidents were on "Auto" and goofing it up, not on manual flights...
I don't know if that is true or not, but with the majority of flying being done by automation these days, that fact (If it is indeed a fact) is meaningless without the context of how many more accidents manual vs auto compared to how much time is spent in manual flying vs automated flight.

It's like saying motorcycles are safer than cars because fewer total people are killed on motorcycles than are killed in cars.
A Squared is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 09:23
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 723
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I hand flew a 737 from AMS to HAM once. Just for the heck of it. Great fun. It was right about the time that the Asiana SFO final report came out, so we had been discussing hand flying skills.
I am lucky. My company actively encourages hand flying big jets. And so does atc at my home base Schiphol. You can request a visual approach anytime. Also when flying heavies.
Downwind 06 with a short turn in. Ils 27 breakoff 24. Vectors for base 36R, visual turn in. Etc.
Also, when trasitioning from one type to another, the first 4 sim are raw data low level flying all the way. To ensure you get a feeling for the new airplane. This is company policy.
fox niner is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 09:46
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Middle East
Posts: 90
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I have joined a company where the fleet and type of operation is completely new. We will be arriving at both ends at our worst state of mind (completely boll***sed). The Chief Pilot has stated he expects automation to be used 99% of the time. There are situations that demand it and the type and style of operation would dictate it.
RudderTrimZero is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 10:06
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Mordor
Posts: 335
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RudderTrimZero
The Chief Pilot has stated he expects automation to be used 99% of the time.
Thereby breeding the next generation of automation zombies...
Sidestick_n_Rudder is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 10:27
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wanderlust
Posts: 3,393
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Uplinker
but modern airline piloting is about conducting a flight effeciently rather than actually flying.
I would add efficiently and safely. So the decision to manually fly must be to enhance safety by acquiring or maintaining the skill. All other times it should be on automation. So a blanket ban is as bad as complete freedom.
vilas is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 10:48
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: I wish I knew
Posts: 624
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Manual flying of the occasional approach or departure, weather and workload permitting is not a bad idea and there are many studies highlighting the need to preserve "basic flying skills", being prepared, and able to reduce the level of automation in non-normal situations is taken a read these days. On the other hand, hand flying jet transports above 10,000 simply increases the workload of the PM, reduces capacity and reduces the safety margin. If you feel you need to do this, get a horse and live in the wild west.
Avenger is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 10:54
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
When I (CRM) ask if they mind if I have a play, it's again, a load of excuses, such as too tired, or weather's not perfect... or they'll report me!

If you are PIC and commander why do you have to ask permission from F/O to hand fly an approach? That is 'supposed CRM' gone mad. Announce you are disconnecting and just get on with it.
Just curious about the operator, but you can keep it anonymous. I don;t know all B737/757 operators, but those that come to mind I thought encouraged such antics.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 10:58
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: London
Posts: 318
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Such a vast amount of "male member" waving going on in here its amazing!


Uplinker's comments make sense at least to me, and whilst it is obviously desirable to be able to fly any aircraft with no automatics and with a high degree of accuracy - its a different world out there. The same automatics and assistance that everyone is so happily de-riding is also one of the reasons that aviation generally is enjoying a year-on-year improvement in its safety record. If automation wasn't assisting aviation then I very much doubt that aircraft and avionics manufacturers would continue to build such aircraft and the various legislators continue to approve such equipment use.


I think this thread has descended (as always happens) into more about individuals wanting to appear the "hand flying hero's" fighting the good fight against the evil automatons that they think fly today's aircraft.
OutsideCAS is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 11:13
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 145
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I knew a guy who flew HS 748's for Emerald airways around 2001.......a UK contract/ad-hoc cargo operation that mostly operated at night.

He pretty much flew permanent night shifts, and I once commented to him that it must be nice flying when it's quiet everywhere. He replied that it would be, but half the fleet of 748's had inop autopilots, and they hand flew the sectors most of the time.

The outfit lost it's AOC a few years after and was wound up.
booke23 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 11:19
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Diluted manual skills is not the fault of automation; it is the fault of Flt Ops management and the training department, i.e. culture. That is obvious after comparing company cultures. More automation allows more efficient and perhaps safer operations: i.e. when properly trained and up to speed on the FULL use of automatics. It allows a calm relaxed oversight and management of the operation. OTOH the wonderful nav displays and large accurate PFD's allow more accurate and satisfying manual manoeuvring in 3D than in needles & dials. That was Skill + Art; modern EFIS a/c is primarily just skill.
Airlines want all flights to be safe for their pax; not surprisingly the pax want the same thing, and joining in, so do the crew. But when Murphy steps into the game the company & the pax expect the crew to sort it out, save the day and deliver them somewhere safely. The company has a duty of care to everyone & everything to make that outcome more likely than not.
Do they fulfil that? I do not think all operators do. I believe there is a risk management model at work which assesses that technology/reliability & robust SOP's have reduced the likelihood of a pilot not being able to intervene, in that rare moment, to very small that maintaining manual flying skills in a degraded a/c is not required.
What does concern me is when HAL goes awry and the pilot, in ignorance, attempts to intervene and makes things worse, and then develops a descending spiral which requires disconnection of HAL completely and the human to short out the mess. Then we shall find the policy wanting. IMHO the pax, and so should the company, expect the crew to be an insurance policy for when things go wrong. They've paid their premiums and expect it to pay out when needed. I'd be mighty hacked off if the policy proved to be worthless.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 21:12
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 607
Received 10 Likes on 7 Posts
OCAS I think you've completly missed the point.

Whilst the level of automation today is indeed impressive, all crews need to be able to posses the skills to take control manually during any phase of flight. It's only a 'risk' if pilots are having to work much harder than they should to 'pole' the aircraft. AP-out and a manually flown approach say 3 times a year should be allowed and encouraged. Yes, PM may become a little busier than with AP-in, but good practice for him too.
H Peacock is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 21:21
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Between a rock and a hard place
Posts: 1,262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots of different opinions being expressed here, so I add mine;

Flying manual or automatic should mean no difference in safety level.
Unfortunately I don't think that is the case out there in the big world.

Pilots will simply never agree in this matter.

Some call it "hand flying heroes", other call it "do pilot ****"
172_driver is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 22:21
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Москва/Ташкент
Age: 54
Posts: 921
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
Im told that turning the FDs off at FR unless instructed to do so by a check list ( unreliable airspeed) is a disciplinary act.
Is this true?
flash8 is offline  
Old 10th Feb 2018, 22:57
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Isla Grande
Posts: 995
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
SIM session in an A300

- FO flying ILS, FD ON
- At minimums (200) rwy not in sight, TOGA
- TOGA switches activated
- Engines spooled up to TOGA
- Instructor failed the FD pitch command switch... (nasty)
- FO tracking the GA track nicely but kept full blast the nose down following the FD command
- CPT took over.....


Lesson learned
gearlever is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2018, 00:05
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: I wouldn't know.
Posts: 4,496
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Avenger
On the other hand, hand flying jet transports above 10,000 simply increases the workload of the PM, reduces capacity and reduces the safety margin. If you feel you need to do this, get a horse and live in the wild west.
Why would you get a reduced safety margin in an airspace without any uncontrolled traffic? Honest question. Might be different where you fly, but in my home country everything above FL100 is Class C airspace.
Denti is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2018, 00:41
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 795
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Uplinker,

You say:

"If a pilot actually wants to fly an aircraft hands-on, on a regular basis, then an airline in todays skies is not the place to be."

But also,

"But manual skills must be maintained"

As I see it, that's a contradiction. How can someone maintain their manual skills (let alone build them in the first place) without flying on a regular basis? Maybe you speak as someone who flew low tech aircraft for decades where it was "sink or swim," and from that have lodged some permanence of those skills into your brain; but if that's so, you're missing the obvious case of someone just starting out.

I'm at my first airline a little over a year, and here we fly usually 3-5 legs per day, 15 days per month. So the opportunities are there, and I take full advantage of them. I probably use the autopilot the least of the whole pilot group of 2000. By now I'm very comfortable and confident flying visually, but not so in IMC: it still takes my full concentration, I'm not always smooth (even when the air is), and I have airspeed/vertical/lateral deviations that come during lapses of attention on that parameter and are then quickly corrected with a jerk. All the hallmarks of a task saturated rookie. (And given the low percentage of the time that it's IMC and we're not coming down a complicated arrival where I need the autopilot, it's what can only be expected.) But on the overall, I can hold it together.

If that is the (moderate) level to which I have so far developed by flying as much as I can, what can everybody else do? What 90% of the captains do 90% of the time is to only turn the autopilot off below 1000 feet, configured and on speed. No turns, no level offs, no speed changes, no flap changes, no course interceptions or tracking, no altitude holding, no nothing. Just click the button and fly it in a straight line following the flight director till it's time to flare. Including on the clearest and calmest of days into the quietest airports! It's bewildering.

And I have no reason to assume that most other FO's are doing anything but following this example. So given my experience (and before I came to the airlines, I already had a few thousand hours of very hands-on flying) how comfortable and able in their flying can most of these guys become? Especially the large segment of them who came to the CRJ from single engine Cessnas with a smattering of Seminole time. How, in this scenario, is anybody supposed to learn to fly the airplane, much less become comfortable in it?

You suggest that a minimum standard of 1 approach without autopilot be performed every other month, and I find that to be absurdly low.

I wrote this post during a commute and since I got to look at the thread last, someone else suggested an autopilot-off approach every 4 months! And that's a hand flying advocate! Honestly that suggestion as an improvement is completely shocking to me. Here's to hoping that's some strange British sarcasm that flew over my head.
Vessbot is offline  
Old 11th Feb 2018, 02:39
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 2,084
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 7 Posts
Vbot you make some very good points

I’m surprised that what to me is the most salient one has not been raised

There is simply no question Pilots should be hand flying on a regular basis. Currency is the very foundation of our competence

It’s amazing that there’s so much controversy over this

But getting back to my point, why did you become a Pilot ?
To watch automation 99% of the time ?

My initial motivation was and remains the simple delight and satisfaction In accurate, smooth hand flying, there seems to be a school of thought now that is old fashioned thinking not in sync with modern aircraft

That is nonsense and the reason we have had crashes like the 737 in Amsterdam and the 777 in San Francisco, Pilots that literally don’t know how to fly using automation as a crutch, unable to push the throttles forward to save themselves from a stall, it’s unbelievable

I hear these statements like ‘modern aircraft are designed to be flown on autopilot’ That’s just a cop out, you should be as competent flying manually with autothrottles off
as you are doing a full autoland

There should be no conflict there, and if the PM cannot keep up with your call outs and duties while you are hand flying he or she should find another line of work

Last edited by stilton; 11th Feb 2018 at 02:55.
stilton is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.