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Hand flying in todays jet transports

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Hand flying in todays jet transports

Old 14th Feb 2018, 10:39
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Piltdown Man

Spot on, excellent comment.
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 11:43
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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As I've said previously, and tried to seduce various Flt OPs dept's with, we are the insurance policy; both for the pax & the company. When it is required everyone expects it to pay out: no quibbles, no exclusion clauses, no small print. Reliability has reduced the risks, but it'll never be 100% risk free. Mother nature & gravity are not in your corner.
Imagine being in a hotel fire and the sprinkler system didn't work as advertised. The whole lot went up in flames and down in ashes. People died and the building was dust. Anyone would play merry hell with the sprinkler designers and maintenance guys. It would NOT be a bad luck day.
There was a catastrophic fire recently, in a tall public building, and everyone asked why the sprinkler system had not worked? Because it had not even been fitted as per regs!
Similar to, "the pilots were not trained to handle that unforeseen event. The skills had not been fitted."
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 18:21
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Paraphrasing Ernest Gann, sometimes a genie unzips their pants and urinates on a monument to science.
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Old 14th Feb 2018, 19:57
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Just tucking into Fate is the Hunter again, after 45 years, as my sister gave it to me for Christmas. I read it before CPL school, 7 years after PPL school, and made the mistake of telling my ex-RAF QFI. On our next night sortie I had flaming newspaper under my nose on finals. And, previously, I thought he didn't have a sense of humour.
I digress from the thread with apologies.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 23:58
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Found this comment from an earlier Pprune; date and author unknown. After reading it at the time, I filed it away as one of the most succinct descriptions I have seen of the importance of keeping up manual flying skills against the onslaught of ever more automatics. The writer sure hit the nail on the head.

Quote:
"Raw data as a competence demonstration is intended to check a fundamental ability to fly some procedure at the lowest level of instrument display required to be provided in the aircraft.
Thus, no flight suggester, no thrust management slave, no `noughts and ones` translating input data and no stress-relieving flight control manipulator - just that most elusive of skills, manual flight on basic instruments!"
Unquote
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 00:18
  #126 (permalink)  
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Many, many years ago when I joined this august forum, I mentioned my annoyance, nay, outrage at turn and slips being removed from public transport aircraft. I was flamed. I was then told I couldn't control a jet transport aircraft with this simplistic instrument. Strange how I'd flown so many sectors with the horizons shielded - from my view, I hasten to add.

It was one advantage in working for an airline that was going broke. Empty sectors. I've flown more than my fair share of those.

That, now miniaturised instrument is capable of latching on to the fabric of the Universe . . . whatever that might be.
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 09:03
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Piltdown Man,
Superb comments, very well said.I salute you.
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 09:32
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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PP, thanks. And to make my point about software, who else has been affected (again) by the February bug on the clock displays? This year, every now and again, our elapsed timers will count above 59 seconds in the seconds windows. If the software to drive a simple clock can not be bug free, what chance be we have with flight control software where one of the inputs is time? Do your flight control software testing for eleven months and no fault will be found. Yet these aircaft have repeated problems in February. And some of us are expected to fly using the automatics by default?
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Old 19th Feb 2018, 18:13
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man
And to make my point about software, who else has been affected (again) by the February bug on the clock displays?
I didn't know it was related to february, but effectively that one is from FEB 2017, not 1997, meaning we were 3H37 into the flight.



I am still amazed how airbus had finally published a procedure how to kill the auto protections before they create more damages ...
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 17:19
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As a stick and rudder man, penned in at a company that virtually nobody else hand flies, I salute both RAT5 and Piltdown Man fully.

Nothing in the rules to stop it, the crew are just frightened of management's historical response to FDM events. Very sad. It will end in tears one day....
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 17:48
  #131 (permalink)  
 
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Loose rivets,

I am convinced that a turn and slip saved my life on what, at the time, was an advanced jet transport. Such basic instruments have their uses.

When Boeing was developing its CRT displays for the 747-400, I was concerned about how much the turn and slip was being sidelined.
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Old 20th Feb 2018, 22:37
  #132 (permalink)  
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But as always, there are the exceptions.

I went off a slippery jet to my first command on DC3's. I preached checking the horizons against the T&S.

One night my FO seemed to be getting everything slightly skewed on an NDB into NWI. He asked me to take over. Something was wrong.

I elected to pop out of the clag into a star-lit night, only to find all three horizons were skwiffy. I looked at my wondrous tied giro only to find it was grinding to a halt with a bit of left turn on it while on a steady heading.

I gave one of those crinkled grins and let him fly the now true'd up aircraft to a nice landing. But this pales compared to something that happened to an horizon.

Briefly, take-off from NWI in heavy rain in a Heron. Stare in disbelief at my horizon. It had a tidemark inside the glass - and the tide was coming in. But that's not all. The aircraft had been washed - with detergent - and that soap was mixing with the air breathed in to drive the giro. Soon there were bubbles behind the glass and filling the instrument. It wasn't long before the big brass giro - with its little sculpted hooks - toppled, in a crescendo of froth.

I carried on with the (empty) RHS's instrument and of course, my T&S.

Kids today don't know they're born.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 00:30
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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Back in the 1960s, a B707 pilot had to be skilled in manual flying. Instrument flying had to be done by hand and done right, especially tracking using the ADF. Not everyone was up to it, but those that were earned very good money. ATC procedures were much simpler and the sky was less crowded.

These days an aircraft can fly much more accurately using the automation, the airspace is far more congested and ATC procedures far more complicated. Some of the missed approaches at busy airports would be a nightmare to fly in a non EFIS/FMS equipped aircraft and weren’t designed with them in mind. Pilots could be trained to hand fly a complicated go around but then they would need to be kept current as well. Training resources are not unlimited and the time could be better used in other areas rather than something which can be done more accurately by pressing a button and monitoring.

Simulators were created to practice flying aircraft but now incidents occur when Pilots have a check ride coming up and use the aircraft to practice manual flying for the SIM check.

If recruitment, training and testing were to a much higher standard so that only a small percentage could get through, and more simulator time allocated to maintain currency, then airliners would only be flown by top gun pilots who could hand fly the entire flight within tolerances and execute a missed approach procedure involving three different NAV aids in five minutes.

Pay would need to be increased to attract this rare breed, with Captains starting on 500 000 a year rising to 1 000 000.

At the moment there is a shortage of Pilots so my solution is impractical as well as unaffordable.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 06:53
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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Simulators were created to practice flying aircraft but now incidents occur when Pilots have a check ride coming up and use the aircraft to practice manual flying for the SIM check.


This makes me scream. It is not true. It is all down to company culture. I've flown from B732 where manual approaches was the norm from long way out, Wx & tiredness allowing, up to full EFIS. ILS's were less frequent at destinations so visuals were the norm, but also coming back home to big airports. A quite day at base and a short visual onto the ILS was standard.
I have friends who fly for various EU national carriers and they still are able to do that, on their SH fleets even up to their B747's. At the other end there are the multi-sector short-haul newbies who discourage such practices. There is no infrastructure or a/c or training reason why a mate on a B737 has to fly a lengthy IFR approach using FD's and/automatics while my other mate on B747 at the same airport can whip it in visually.
That is company culture. The simulator should create the building blocks of learning the a/c and the line should add the walls and put on the roof. Some do, some don't.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 09:02
  #135 (permalink)  
 
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That’s the new generation of Pilots for you, minimum actual aircraft time then straight into the simulator to learn how to use the automatics and apply SOPs.

MPL cadet pilots come online with less than 200 hours total time and often their first multi engine type is the airliner they’re sitting in.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 09:05
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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That’s the new generation of Pilots for you, minimum actual aircraft time then straight into the simulator to learn how to use the automatics and apply SOPs.
MPL cadet pilots come online with less than 200 hours total time and often their first multi engine type is the airliner they’re sitting in.


True, in today commercial world, but it does not need to cause the affect you allude to. The national airlines I mentioned, who encourage their pilots to pilot, have their own training schools or cadet sausage factories. It is company culture.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 11:02
  #137 (permalink)  
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The simulator should create the building blocks of learning the a/c and the line should add the walls and put on the roof. Some do, some don't
Flight International 6-12 February 2018, reports on the Inquiry into the gear collapse on a Taban Airlines Boeing 737-400 last year at Ardabil in northern Iran. Among other things the report said that at the point of touchdown the aircraft was crabbing and its heading was some 8 degrees left of the centreline. It landed at CAS of 142 knots and sustained an impact of 2.06g.

FDR information showed the aircraft , just before landing, was descending at 1,600 ft/min and a sink rate warning sounded in the cockpit. The right-hand main landing gear suffered shimmy and the structure failed as the aircraft rolled out.

As a general observation during training in the 737 simulator the majority of maximum crosswind component landing touch-downs on a dry runway, occur with the pilots making ineffective attempts to remove drift before touch-down. Landings occur with significant drift and squealing of tyres and grimaces of anticipation by the instructor.

The Boeing 737 FCTM devotes three pages to the subject of crosswind landings. Clearly, it is a serious subject. One paragraph explains that, when de-crabbing in the flare, the touchdown is made with crossed controls and both gear touching down simultaneously. The FCTM states the aircraft can land using crab only (zero sideslip) up to the landing crosswind guideline speeds. However it advises that touchdown in a crab only condition is not recommended when landing on a dry runway in strong crosswinds. This reason is sometimes used by pilots to justify their not removing drift before touchdown in low to moderate crosswind components. Pity the poor passengers skidding sideways in their seats.

Either way, most pilots would agree that landing in strong crosswinds is not for the faint-hearted - especially if one's manual flying skills have been degraded because of excessive reliance on automation down to short final.
Most operators are aware of this. It is one reason why First Officers new to type sometimes have company applied limits to crosswind landings.

Certification to command standard is normally required for the issue of a type rating. After all, a co-pilot is normally second in command to the captain. If the captain becomes incapacitated his co-pilot now has full command responsibility. It seems logical therefore, he should have the necessary handling skills to undertake this task. The weather does not recognise who is flying and thus the co-pilot should not be certified as type rating qualified until he can handle crosswinds up to the maximum for the aircraft type he is flying.

Often this does not happen and it is not unknown for a command type rating to be issued without a pilot being required to demonstrate he can consistently and safely perform a maximum crosswind component take and landing.

In previous Pprune posts, various contributors have express doubts that Level D Full Flight simulators do not always accurately reproduce crosswind landings. That being so, they should not have been certified in the first place; or, on the other hand, are lacking proper maintenance. The latter is the most likely reason to doubt a simulator's fidelity.

But assuming crosswind fidelity is true, there is no reason why landings at the certified crosswind component limit should not be practiced in the simulator. And not just one or two because of time constraints. And certainly before a type rating is issued.

It is fair to say that with some training providers and airline operators, the type rating syllabus of training occasionally becomes a box ticking exercise . And we all know what that term means in practice. Crosswind landings are just one more box to be ticked. This is unfair to those pilots paying up front for their command type ratings. For inexperienced pilots, handling a strong crosswind can be daunting even in the simulator. It then becomes all too easy to lose confidence in one's ability to do a good job.

This is surely where good simulator training in crosswind landings is worth its weight in gold. Often up to ten attempts are needed before a pilot is certified competent in the sequence and can consistently touch down smoothly with drift removed, . These can be started in a simulator from 500 feet on final as the main aim is the touchdown competency.

Pilots of automated aircraft should be able to switch seamlessly from automatics to manual flying without sweating it out. That includes the ability to accept max crosswind components with no qualms. Practice in the simulator does that for you

Last edited by Centaurus; 21st Feb 2018 at 11:22.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 11:55
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Ansett Australia had a training program for the A320 which involved starting with basic manual flying and gradually building in the automation, but that was back in the 1990s when the type was still new and pilots transitioning onto it were already experienced with manual flying on other types.

Joining minimums could afford to be relatively high with the numbers of pilots in Australia applying. A typical new hire would have around 3000hrs, including turbine time. There was no way you could walk in with 200hrs and be a Captain 3 years later, which is perfectly possibly today with an expanding low cost operator.

Some countries have a large general aviation sector or military to recruit from and can train accordingly. Others need to take someone off the street and get them into the right seat in a reasonable timeframe at an affordable price. The solutions arrived at may vary.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 12:16
  #139 (permalink)  
 
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Centaurus,

You are absolutely right. It used to be that this training had to be done on the real aircraft for all new captains on command courses, with co-pilots only having to do it in the simulator. A four hour base training detail on a 707, teaching and checking out a bunch of new captains on cross-wind landings, was hard work. As the trainer, sometimes, one had to collect up some rather interesting situations before it all got out of hand - pod scrapes were frowned upon.

Gradually, as simulators improved this was all transferred to the box - and a good thing too! The training was better and much safer. In the simulator, as you say, it is only the last part of the approach and landing that needs to be taught, and there is time to analyse what trainees are doing which gives a much better understanding of the technique.

But, unless one is in good hand flying practice, cross-wind landings can be quite a challange.
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Old 21st Feb 2018, 12:23
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had a training program for the A320 which involved starting with basic manual flying and gradually building in the automation
That is how every type rating training should start - especially with cadet pilots going on to their first airliner. Doesn't happen though
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