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Hand flying to minima?

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Hand flying to minima?

Old 10th Jan 2022, 19:59
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Hand flying to minima?

When I was much younger, flying light twins and commuter turboprops, I would happily fly a raw data ILS to 200', no problem.

Later on, flying big jets, raw data to 200' seemed just too difficult. So I'm asking if it's harder to fly a big jet raw data to minima than it is a light twin, or am I just lazy and out of practice? And if the former, why is the minima the same?

In my defence, I never saw anyone fly a raw data ILS down to 200' in a big jet and in the sim, we always set cloudbase above 400' to avoid embarrassment.

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Old 10th Jan 2022, 21:57
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Flying ‘big jets’, certainly on long haul, it’s entirely possible one may only fly 12 landings in a year. Shooting a manual approach in marginal conditions in some of the busiest airspace in the world, just for practice, might not be considered the smartest thing one could do? The simulator is the place for practice. In the more enlightened airlines, simulator time is always available for anyone who feels they could do with it.

Of course on 6 monthly checks, hand flown approaches down to the lowest minima are generally required. Usually when asymmetric.

OTOH pistons or jets. They’re all just aeroplanes, and with the odd little quirk, (other than FBW to an extent) they all fly the same. Keep the power stable, trim well and scan the instruments.
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Old 10th Jan 2022, 22:52
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The airplane that Iím allowed to fly has a replacement value of a coupe of hundred million dollars and doesnít belong to me.
Not to mention the bad publicity for my employer and loss of revenue in case of an incident.
I donít have anything to prove so hand flying is limited to easy Airspace, VFR, gentlemanís IFR and the sim.
I know I can do it just no need to do it.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 05:21
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Hand flying means no FD, no Track line on ND, no FPV(bird), no ATHR?

I mean, all the gizmos our piston training airplanes never had?
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 05:42
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Originally Posted by ZeBedie View Post
When I was much younger, flying light twins and commuter turboprops, I would happily fly a raw data ILS to 200', no problem.

Later on, flying big jets, raw data to 200' seemed just too difficult. So I'm asking if it's harder to fly a big jet raw data to minima than it is a light twin, or am I just lazy and out of practice? And if the former, why is the minima the same?

In my defence, I never saw anyone fly a raw data ILS down to 200' in a big jet and in the sim, we always set cloudbase above 400' to avoid embarrassment.
it is definitely harder to hand-fly a big jet then a (turbo)prop. (Except on engine failures )

More inertia
slower reaction from the engines
wing less stable than the good old straight wing
higher approach speeds

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Old 11th Jan 2022, 07:05
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
The airplane that Iím allowed to fly has a replacement value of a coupe of hundred million dollars and doesnít belong to me.
Not to mention the bad publicity for my employer and loss of revenue in case of an incident.
I donít have anything to prove so hand flying is limited to easy Airspace, VFR, gentlemanís IFR and the sim.
I know I can do it just no need to do it.
Could not agree more.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 08:47
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My company has an internal limitation on visibility and cloud base for a raw data ILS (AP and FDs off). Hence, it's perfectly fine to practise in non-demanding conditions (and it's actually a good idea to be prepared for the day when the magical bars might fail). In marginal weather, however, it's safety first, just as anytime in aviation. And if that means lowering your workload by using more automation - so be it. As a pilot, you are there to find a safe solution to whatever is thrown your way.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 10:49
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I had to write ops manuals for a new Swiss AOC some years ago. The FOCA insisted on limits as per PilotLZ's post, which we put in as:
Cloudbase/vis < 2x minima - AP to be used. i.e for a standard Cat1 approach RVR less than 1100m and cloudbase less than 400 ft
Cloudbase/vis < 3 x minima - FD must be used
Cloudbase/vis> 3 x minima - raw data permitted.
The intention was actually to encourage people to practice by having defined limits rather than a woolly "when appropriate" that leaves people concerned they are opening themselves up to criticism if anytihng doesn't go to plan.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 11:05
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My outfit also has weather minima for a raw data approach, however unlike some others here I think practicing flying down to CAT1 DA is a good idea if the conditions are good (fatigue, serviceability, workload, weather etc). You can go visual any time, P1 can take over any time below 1000R and visual (we fly monitored approaches) or if it starts to unravel you can pop the flight directors and autopilot back on. I encourage it when it’s appropriate and most are pleased for the practice.

How else do you know you can come up with the goods when you depart on a crappy day, the F/D’s disappear on rotation and the A/P won’t engage, as happened to a crew departing Geneva not so long ago. There are multiple scenarios where accurate raw data to minima might be required, or a manual landing when you get visual at minima.

Flying is a perishable skill, use it or lose it. As many have.

Might be slightly controversial, but I’m a big believer in being able to improve your own luck with your own skill.

ATB

LD
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 14:48
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Originally Posted by Locked door View Post
I think practicing flying down to CAT1 DA is a good idea if the conditions are good (fatigue, serviceability, workload, weather etc). You can go visual any time,
I'm lost, if the weather is at Cat 1 DA how can you "go visual any time?"
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 15:26
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It isn't clear whether the OP is referring to hand flying down to a CAT1 MDA in decent weather (good practice and well worth it) or doing the same when the weather is actually at the limit (not a good idea if other options are available which they almost always are) but I suspect the former.

Our ops manual states that the autopilot, and a precision approach aid if available, should be used if you won't be visual by 1000ft above MDA.
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Old 11th Jan 2022, 16:06
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Originally Posted by Vessbot View Post
I'm lost, if the weather is at Cat 1 DA how can you "go visual any time?"

You can fly raw data to CAT1 DA in CAVOK conditions, you just donít look out the window until you get there.
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 19:34
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It isn't clear whether the OP is referring to hand flying down to a CAT1 MDA in decent weather (good practice and well worth it) or doing the same when the weather is actually at the limit
It doesn't matter - I'm not asking whether I should, and be it due to practice or systems failures which have degraded the aircraft to CAT 1 with no FD, my only question is simply this: Is it more difficult to get down to 200' in a big jet than it is in a light twin?
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 20:10
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Not civil (although I have been) but we used to fly the Vulcan down to 200' manually most of the time, the auto-coupled approach was some what suspect! Many years ago but it was a big aircraft and 4 engined!
Bill
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Old 13th Jan 2022, 23:14
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Originally Posted by ZeBedie View Post
I'm not asking whether I should, and be it due to practice or systems failures which have degraded the aircraft to CAT 1 with no FD, my only question is simply this: Is it more difficult to get down to 200' in a big jet than it is in a light twin?
No. A big jet is more stable, so it should be easier to keep on the glide path.
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 09:52
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Intruder is right. It takes a lot to change the flight path of 265 tons of big jet.
A double edged sword! If you're not stable early you will be in a world of pain trying to patch it up. Respect the gates - for us it was 1000ft stable IMC and 500ft stable VMC.
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Old 14th Jan 2022, 15:52
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Later on, flying big jets, raw data to 200' seemed just too difficult. So I'm asking if it's harder to fly a big jet raw data to minima than it is a light twin, or am I just lazy and out of practice? And if the former, why is the minima the same?
Cognitive ease comes with repeated experience.
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