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Crew workload in manual flying

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Crew workload in manual flying

Old 15th Aug 2020, 23:37
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
PF does RT if there’s an abnormal/emergency situation. “You fly and talk while I fix it”
Fly and talk (PF) where PM will fix it.

Okay.

Problem is, if PF gets it (ATC) wrong and dials in wrong numbers in the FCU...

Interesting...
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 00:56
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gearlever View Post
Fly and talk (PF) where PM will fix it.

Okay.

Problem is, if PF gets it (ATC) wrong and dials in wrong numbers in the FCU...

Interesting...
I was sceptical at first, but i find it works a lot better than having the PM get constantly interrupted while sorting out the situation - both in the sim and in the plane.

Isn't that Airbus SOP? "My control and ATC. ECAM actions"
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 00:59
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gearlever View Post
Sorry for possible confusion.

My Operator:

- PM is always working the radio, normal, abnormal situations
- PF dials in the FCU if on auto flight
- if flying manually PM dials in the FCU without command/order by PF, just what he/she believes to have heard from ATC
The OP's company has the PF tell the PM what to set in the FCU after getting an instruction. I'm trying to figure the rationale there.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 02:03
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
Isn't that Airbus SOP? "My control and ATC. ECAM actions"
Coming back onto the A320 from the B787 after 4 years, during the endorsement I would say that out of habit, but as it turns out now we just say,

“I have control, ECAM actions”. Radios are automatically transferred to the PF.

After “ECAM ACTIONS COMPLETE” Radios are automatically transferred back to the PM.

It took a while to get used to it, but it works well enough. Doesn’t hurt to do a little “mini brief” just to bring everyone in the loop, especially if there has been a PF->PM swap at some point during the ECAM ACTIONS.

Interestingly, in our company on the 787, we didn’t transfer Radios during Non Normal Checklists, and it worked pretty well, but the Electronic checklists on the 787 are next level compared with the A320. I guess that’s the 30 years of development for you.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 02:31
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Roj approved View Post
Interestingly, in our company on the 787, we didn’t transfer Radios during Non Normal Checklists, and it worked pretty well, but the Electronic checklists on the 787 are next level compared with the A320. I guess that’s the 30 years of development for you.
I've seen the normal checklist in action, and think it's awesome. What else did Boeing improve on, on the 787? That cockpit sure looks slick. now if they'd just replace the control column with a sidestick and tray table...
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 02:55
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
I've seen the normal checklist in action, and think it's awesome. What else did Boeing improve on, on the 787? That cockpit sure looks slick. now if they'd just replace the control column with a sidestick and tray table...
Yes, the yoke was a pain in the ass, a side stick (and table) would have made it “almost” perfect.

One of the best things was the full-size screen for the checklist, so much easier to use visually than the little screen on the Airbus. Attaching all the “STATUS” items to the Descent/Approach checklist was really good too, so when you started a NNC you worked it all the way to the end and then it was “Complete”, back to Normal Ops. Then do all your normal landing prep, do the checklist and it’s all done👍 (No need to write little reminder notes, LDR, Vref + etc, maybe that’s why they didn’t put a table in?&#128514

They still missed the boat in a few areas because of “Commonality” issues with the earlier aircraft and the need to keep it similar to the 777, it was also very nice to Hand fly, and having a HUD on both sides made Low Vis super easy.

Mostly, everything was just a simplified version of what we know on the A320. But I believe the 330 and all that came after it were a generational improvement too. I imagine the A350 is pretty slick.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 03:22
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KayPam View Post
But the FCTM (at least for my airline, but I don't think they specifically asked for this, it was the same during my MCC course with an other operator) clearly states that while manual flying only the PM touches the FCU. There is a big "NO" here (airbus operational philosophy / tasksharing rules and comms/ FCU/AFS and EFIS control panels) : I'm not comfortable with disregarding what's clearly written in the manual.
The only things the PF can do are engaging AP and ATHR.
Not sure if your FCTM is different but in manual flights on A320, the PF can also set his own EFIS except FD p/b on top of AP and A/THR.

Also when you ask for something there is no please just: « Set heading XXX. »
and as PF you don’t need to read back the value of the heading after the PM has set it. You both checked it silently. Only the FMA and altitude are announced out loud. You only announced « Heading » if you were in Nav mode before. Some guys and even me I sometimes announced the value but this is non standard.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 04:05
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I am not qualified to comment on Airbus philosophy or SOP so the following comments need to be taken in context.

In general, flight directors are amazingly accurate provided the information sent to them is correct. But you don’t need an FD for all stages of flight. Given wrong information and followed blindly, it becomes a fatal attraction. Yet we have seen in the simulator a marked reluctance for pilots to switch it off even when it no longer gives useful information.

Instructors are quick to blame the hapless student for not following the FD needles. This only serves to reinforce addiction to the FD needles as they must be right because the instructor keeps on telling them so. For type rating training on new pilots, repeated circuits and landings sharpen handling skills. Yet it is not uncommon for instructors to teach students to enter waypoints around the circuit and then exhort the pilots “Fly the flight director” instead of having them look outside at the runway to judge how things are going.

The FPV is a magical device when manually flying. But if you are used to flying by it all the time, then try flying with it off for a change and see how much your scan has deteriorated.

First officers are a captive audience to a captain’s whims. If the captain is nervous about letting his first officer turn off the flight director for simple climbs or descents, or even a non-threatening instrument approach, then it reflects adversely on the captain’s own confidence that he could handle a non-flight director approach himself, which he probably can't. . The FAA has already acted belatedly in publicly recommending that operators should encourage more hand flying raw data if conditions are appropriate. But switch off the flight directors if you want real value for money, particularly with low-hour pilots. It may save lives on the proverbial dark and stormy night and the generators play up.

Decades ago the so called "Silent Cockpit" policy was introduced to cut down on unnecessary and often distracting chatter between the two pilots during operations below 10,000 ft. But nature abhors a vacuum and now we have situations where the golden silence below 10,000 feet is filled with company mandated SOP calls as mode changes occur. The fact that most pilots have good eye sight and can see mode changes on annunciator systems is now seen as not enough. You have to tell the other pilot what you are seeing. Perhaps the next future design feature in cockpits is to have automatic loud speaker announcements at each mode change to reduce the workload associated with verbal call-outs by pilots..

Last edited by Tee Emm; 16th Aug 2020 at 04:36.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 04:09
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Roj approved View Post
Yes, the yoke was a pain in the ass, a side stick (and table) would have made it “almost” perfect.

One of the best things was the full-size screen for the checklist, so much easier to use visually than the little screen on the Airbus. Attaching all the “STATUS” items to the Descent/Approach checklist was really good too, so when you started a NNC you worked it all the way to the end and then it was “Complete”, back to Normal Ops. Then do all your normal landing prep, do the checklist and it’s all done👍 (No need to write little reminder notes, LDR, Vref + etc, maybe that’s why they didn’t put a table in?&#128514

They still missed the boat in a few areas because of “Commonality” issues with the earlier aircraft and the need to keep it similar to the 777, it was also very nice to Hand fly, and having a HUD on both sides made Low Vis super easy.

Mostly, everything was just a simplified version of what we know on the A320. But I believe the 330 and all that came after it were a generational improvement too. I imagine the A350 is pretty slick.
Thanks for all that. The 350 indeed looks pretty slick. I’ve seen a few YouTube videos. It’s a bit disappointing to see the improvements Boeing has made to the 737 displays over 4 generations, and then see that Airbus has stuck with the same basic 1980’s display design for the 320. The LCDs are a big improvement over the CRTs though. I’ll give them that much.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 04:12
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tee Emm View Post
The flight director is amazingly accurate provided the information sent to it is correct. But you don’t need it for all stages of flight. Given wrong information and followed blindly, it becomes a fatal attraction. Yet we have seen in the simulator a marked reluctance for pilots to switch it off when it no longer gives useful information.

Instructors are quick to blame the hapless student for not following the FD needles. This only serves to reinforce addiction to the FD needles as they must be right because the instructor keeps on telling them so. For type rating training on new pilots, repeated circuits and landings sharpen handling skills. Yet it is not uncommon for instructors to teach students to enter waypoints around the circuit and then exhort the pilots “Fly the flight director” instead of having them look outside at the runway to judge how things are going.

First officers are a captive audience to a captain’s whims. If the captain is nervous about letting his first officer turn off the flight director for simple climbs or descents, or even a non-threatening instrument approach, then it reflects adversely on the captain’s own confidence that he could handle a non-flight director approach himself which he probably can't. . The FAA has already acted belatedly in publicly recommending that operators should encourage more hand flying raw data if conditions are appropriate. But switch off the flight directors if you want real value for money, particularly with low-hour pilots. It may save lives on the proverbial dark and stormy night and the generators play up.


Very well said, sir. Could not agree more.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 04:45
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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We really need that “Like” button. Great post Tee Emm!!

It reminds me one of my last flight before my upgrade assessment, I asked the captain I flew with who was also a line instructor if I could do a raw data approach on my sector ( A319, Home base, ILS, CAVOK...) and he told me: “Nah sorry I don’t do that”. At first I thought he was joking. But no he was serious... Lol. Unbelievable but sadly not an isolate case.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 05:47
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
We really need that “Like” button. Great post Tee Emm!!

It reminds me one of my last flight before my upgrade assessment, I asked the captain I flew with who was also a line instructor if I could do a raw data approach on my sector ( A319, Home base, ILS, CAVOK...) and he told me: “Nah sorry I don’t do that”. At first I thought he was joking. But no he was serious... Lol. Unbelievable but sadly not an isolate case.
Piss poor excuse for a pilot, let alone an instructor. He’s exact the sort of person I don’t want to have up front when I’m in the back. You should have the CAA put a DAY VFR ONLY restriction on his certificate.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 08:59
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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My 2p :

Hand flying in a Boeing/Airbus does increase workload for both PF and PM. More talking is required, and PM has to do part of PF's job as well as their own, since PF is not supposed to make their own selections. PM also needs to monitor PF much more closely when PF is hand-flying, which takes up a lot of PM's capacity.

I really can't see the problem of PF making their own simple FCU changes - if PM is busy. Airbus FBW stays where you put it, and a Boeing won't go far off if you have correctly trimmed it, so you can select a new heading or whatever with your inboard hand, while hand-flying. I don't recognise this threat of veering off our heading or altitude if we look away for a second or two. In our cars at 70mph; we don't veer out of our lane or crash into the car next to us on the motorway when we look down at our speedometer or clock or radio - why would we do so in a big stable jet.

If PF has to ask PM for every selection it can get silly. When in busy TMA airspace*, PM is making many radio calls and frequency changes, and reading those back and dialling them in. If PF has to ask for an FCU change, they will either talk over ATC, making PM forget the six digit frequency, or have to wait until PM has finished their task.

*obviously, not a sensible place to hand-fly !

I don't see the problem with flying 'through' the FD in the short term. The FD tells you where you need to be to follow the current settings on the FCU. However, if those settings are no longer valid, and PM is busy with an important task; then I will fly a different heading and ignore the heading bar of the FD while still following the pitch bar. Or vice versa. When PM is back, I can ask for the FCU changes to update the FD. Or turn off the FD. Or - if it is getting too busy, pop the AP back in to reduce workload for both of us.

Hand flying should be encouraged by companies, it makes a lot of sense for them to keep our skills and scans sharp. But they should also specify the conditions and situations where hand flying would be appropriate, so as not to introduce extra problems or reduce safety or compromise the commercial parameters of the flight. Hand-flying a complicated SID - with strict noise abatement turns that gets peeled off into quick-fire ATC vectors and speed changes in the London TMA - is asking for cock-ups and embarrassment ! Hand-flying an intercept to an ILS or a visual approach for practice on a quiet, CAVOK day with light winds when both pilots are alert and rested, would be fine, and should be encouraged.

Companies could have us log 3 manually flown approaches every 6 months, like we used to do for practice auto-lands.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 09:25
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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For BOTH Airbus and Boeing, it is NOT a Flight DIRECTOR bar but a Flight SUGGESTION bar!!!!!
For God’s sake.

Who is in charge of the aircraft? The pilot or a computer?

Anyone not seeing that has no bloody place on a flightdeck, let alone write SOP’s.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 09:33
  #55 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
gearlever, it sounds like in your company the PM sets up the FCU without command from the PF when the PF is flying manually? This actually makes a lot of sense.
It does make sense (but it's forbidden, because it is written "on PF request")
And can the PF set his own FCU at your airline ?
There is a table in Operational philosophy, tasksharing rules, FCU/AFS, which clearly states "NO" in my FCTM. I also have a generic airbus one that is a bit older (uses PNF, different arrangement of content) but has the exact same answer.

Originally Posted by Check Airman View Post
This thread is eye opening. I had no idea that there were airlines that made the PM wait for the PF to set the FCU. What’s the logic behind that?
Either they want the same logic whether the PF decides a new target or ATC asks for a new target. I worked at airbus for a bit and they have this sort of reasoning, that things should be done as identically as possible even in situations that are different.

I feel like I don't fully understand the situation here.
Does this little rule ("NO" in the specific page of the FCTM) apply to all airlines or do some airlines have a modified version where pilots have a tiny bit more of freedom ?
Or, do some pilots routinely make this very little violation to touch a knob when they normally couldn't (not ordered to do so)
Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
Not sure if your FCTM is different but in manual flights on A320, the PF can also set his own EFIS except FD p/b on top of AP and A/THR.
Same question, do you have a different FCTM than ours ?
Originally Posted by Tee Emm View Post
Decades ago the so called "Silent Cockpit" policy was introduced to cut down on unnecessary and often distracting chatter between the two pilots during operations below 10,000 ft. But nature abhors a vacuum and now we have situations where the golden silence below 10,000 feet is filled with company mandated SOP calls as mode changes occur. The fact that most pilots have good eye sight and can see mode changes on annunciator systems is now seen as not enough. You have to tell the other pilot what you are seeing. Perhaps the next future design feature in cockpits is to have automatic loud speaker announcements at each mode change to reduce the workload associated with verbal call-outs by pilots..
Now this is becoming hilarious

The same kind of comments could be made about the radio altimeter auto callout. After years of flaring on the "30" callout or just after (or even on the "20"), maybe if one day the callout does not work it will be a disturbance and the flare could be late ? When I worked at airbus, I saw at least one report in which the pilot wrote the callout was missing and it was the main reason why they flared late and landed hard.
Originally Posted by Uplinker View Post
Hand flying in a Boeing/Airbus does increase workload for both PF and PM. More talking is required, and PM has to do part of PF's job as well as their own, since PF is not supposed to make their own selections. PM also needs to monitor PF much more closely when PF is hand-flying, which takes up a lot of PM's capacity.
Is it really required or just a rule that could be changed ?
​​​​​​​
Hand flying should be encouraged by companies, it makes a lot of sense for them to keep our skills and scans sharp. But they should also specify the conditions and situations where hand flying would be appropriate, so as not to introduce extra problems or reduce safety or compromise the commercial parameters of the flight.
If you only train your manual flying when conditions are easiest, will you really be ready for the day you will have an AP failure + any condition less than ideal ? Be it weather, traffic, or any other, but if you have an AP failure that will be due to some technical problems so workload would be at least high. I'm not saying pilots should only train in unduly hard conditions (at some time in the past, it used to be done, instructors simulated failures with pax on board to train a newbie like me), but restricting to easy conditions is maybe not completely enough, you could at least go to average conditions with a medium workload.

Just imagine talking to a passenger, what is more reassuring ?
- If the conditions are all easy, I decide fly the plane manually, but if there is a bit more workload I prefer not to.
- In normal conditions I usually fly manually
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 09:46
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by KayPam View Post
If you only train your manual flying when conditions are easiest, will you really be ready for the day you will have an AP failure + any condition less than ideal ? Be it weather, traffic, or any other, but if you have an AP failure that will be due to some technical problems so workload would be at least high. I'm not saying pilots should only train in unduly hard conditions (at some time in the past, it used to be done, instructors simulated failures with pax on board to train a newbie like me), but restricting to easy conditions is maybe not completely enough, you could at least go to average conditions with a medium workload.

Just imagine talking to a passenger, what is more reassuring ?
- If the conditions are all easy, I decide fly the plane manually, but if there is a bit more workload I prefer not to.
- In normal conditions I usually fly manually
I agree with your disagreement with Uplinker. Just because it's windy or IMC doesn't mean the AP/AT should be used. I actually think those are the best times to fly raw data. Stay sharp. Now if it's overcast at 200ft, obviously, we'll just be doing a CAT2/3.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:01
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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It does make sense (but it's forbidden, because it is written "on PF request")
And can the PF set his own FCU at your airline ?
Very well. Do this- in the briefing, say "assume any instructions given by ATC to be my request". That should keep you within the SOP and eliminate unnecessary chatter.

Does this little rule ("NO" in the specific page of the FCTM) apply to all airlines or do some airlines have a modified version where pilots have a tiny bit more of freedom ?
Or, do some pilots routinely make this very little violation to touch a knob when they normally couldn't (not ordered to do so)
We seem to have a bit more freedom. The first page of the SOP allows us to deviate from normal operations as necessary to maintain a safe operation. It also specifically says that the PF should make FCU inputs when the PM is busy. I recall on day 1 of my very first airline class, the instructor threw the FCOM across the room to make the point that even though we needed SOPs, the book couldn't fly.

Little violations? Probably. My last flight, I was PF. In the climb with the AP off, as the captain made a PA, we were cleared to our requested cruise altitude. I read it back, and set the FCU. Later on, while the captain was having his dinner, I responded to a radio call, tuned the new frequency and contacted the next sector, with nary a word from the captain. Would my disregard for SOP have caused me to fail a line check at your company?

Last edited by Check Airman; 16th Aug 2020 at 10:12.
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:22
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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I love hand flying, but you gotta pick your moment. I disconnected quite early one day when ATC was annoying the sh$t out of us with multiple 1000 ft altitude changes and my offsider says, “I’m not your MCP monkey!” 😂😂😂
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:28
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Icelanta View Post
a Flight SUGGESTION bar!!!!!.
Hahahaha, soooo true 😂😂😂
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Old 16th Aug 2020, 10:33
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Look, If I am conducting an ILS on a very windy, choppy day, I will hand-fly it from a long way out in order to get my responses up to speed, so that at around 4-5 miles, I am totally in the groove and able to deal with whatever the wind throws at me. I do NOT take the AP out just before minimums !!! and nor was I suggesting that.

Is it {more talking} really required or just a rule that could be changed ?
You would have to ask Airbus/Boeing, they write the SOPs. Obviously, you don't want a situation where PF does their own thing and becomes a single pilot operation while PM loses SA. You need to keep both pilots in the loop


Regarding practicing hand-flying in poor weather or busy airspace; yes of course you can, but you must remember that you will massively increase PM's workload, and airlines are commercial operations. If pilots violated noise abatement or made errors in busy airspace because they were hand-flying, the chief pilot might have something to say.

Practice in sensible conditions, but never be afraid of hand-flying turbulent approaches.
Better to do so a long way out and get into the groove than disconnect at 400' and only then discover how much the AP was coping !! (This especially applies to Airbus FBW, since you cannot normally see what control inputs it is making).

Last edited by Uplinker; 16th Aug 2020 at 10:55.
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