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for what's it worth

Old 18th Jan 2019, 19:00
  #1 (permalink)  
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for what's it worth

I was fortunate Sept.1970 to enter the airline industry in Canada. Seems like a long time ago ( it was ). If you made the interview, training (DC8) was free and if you kept your nose clean for a year you were in. Initial pay wasn't great but quickly improved with years and seat changing.

Today not so much. Pay to fly ( you got to be joking ) cost of training and salaries unbelievable. Working conditions border on slavery and criminal.

Push button computer flying as appose to hands and feet connected to a brain is frightening. And yes I did fly some of the airbus magic carpets towards last of career. Yes I did have a fairly pleasant career. Today if my kid expressed an interest in aviation I would stick a pencil in his/her eye. They would eventually thank me.

Today climbing on an airplane as a pax gives me the willies. It would have to be life or death or an extremely good looking female to make me consider becoming a pax. Really a sad reflection.

Rant over, don't feel a whole lot better. Easy chair much more pleasant the 1A pointy end. Keep them in the air however as a pension check firmly attached to the industry.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 19:31
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Originally Posted by slack View Post
I was fortunate Sept.1970 to enter the airline industry in Canada. Seems like a long time ago ( it was ). If you made the interview, training (DC8) was free and if you kept your nose clean for a year you were in. Initial pay wasn't great but quickly improved with years and seat changing.

Today not so much. Pay to fly ( you got to be joking ) cost of training and salaries unbelievable. Working conditions border on slavery and criminal.

Push button computer flying as appose to hands and feet connected to a brain is frightening. And yes I did fly some of the airbus magic carpets towards last of career. Yes I did have a fairly pleasant career. Today if my kid expressed an interest in aviation I would stick a pencil in his/her eye. They would eventually thank me.

Today climbing on an airplane as a pax gives me the willies. It would have to be life or death or an extremely good looking female to make me consider becoming a pax. Really a sad reflection.

Rant over, don't feel a whole lot better. Easy chair much more pleasant the 1A pointy end. Keep them in the air however as a pension check firmly attached to the industry.

If it makes you feel any better:
20 years in, 15 more to go. Just flew a leg into msp, AP AT FD off from 10K on an A320. There is still a lot of pilots out there.

Oh, fatality rates right now are about 10% of when you were ruling the air.
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Old 18th Jan 2019, 21:53
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I was fortunate Sept.1970 to enter the airline industry in Canada. Seems like a long time ago ( it was ). If you made the interview, training (DC8) was free and if you kept your nose clean for a year you were in. Initial pay wasn't great but quickly improved with years and seat changing.

Today not so much. Pay to fly ( you got to be joking ) cost of training and salaries unbelievable. Working conditions border on slavery and criminal.

Push button computer flying as appose to hands and feet connected to a brain is frightening. And yes I did fly some of the airbus magic carpets towards last of career. Yes I did have a fairly pleasant career. Today if my kid expressed an interest in aviation I would stick a pencil in his/her eye. They would eventually thank me.

Today climbing on an airplane as a pax gives me the willies. It would have to be life or death or an extremely good looking female to make me consider becoming a pax. Really a sad reflection.

Rant over, don't feel a whole lot better. Easy chair much more pleasant the 1A pointy end. Keep them in the air however as a pension check firmly attached to the industry.
Good for you. Enjoy retirement.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 05:28
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Some would argue the autopilot is never truly off in an airbus
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 07:26
  #5 (permalink)  
I REALLY SHOULDN'T BE HERE
 
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Today climbing on an airplane as a pax gives me the willies.
This is more likely down to personal psychological factors.

As has been previously stated, accident rates are far lower now than 40 years ago - some of this is down to more reliable aircraft, much is also down to a shift in attitude on the flight deck - thankfully (by and large) ego on the flight deck is dead and buried as is risk taking behaviour. I would send my family away on any of my employer’s several hundred aircraft on any day of the week in complete confidence - the system works.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 11:21
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The statistics are showing a clear improvement in terms of safety. Your concerns are without substance.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 13:48
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Judging by some of the experiences I have heard from independent TRE's TRI's working for certain European Lo Cost operators, the only thing keeping the accident rate down IS the fact that the autopilot is never really disconnected from an Airbus! Only time will tell.
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Old 19th Jan 2019, 20:23
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I REALLY SHOULDN'T BE HERE
 
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I agree with some of the sentiment that crew are overly reliant on technology but I think the onus is very much on skippers to lead from the front and show the younger folk who have started their careers directly onto a bus or a 737 that manually flown visual and instrument approaches are straightforward and rewarding - even more so without auto thrust and flight director. If the junior crew observe nothing other than AP in at 500’ and AP out at 500’ then they will copy. If they see competence and confidence in AP/FD/AT off operations they will strive to achieve the same.
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Old 22nd Jan 2019, 08:35
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Some would argue the autopilot is never truly off in an airbus
So what? its a routine job at the end of the day not landing on the moon or shooting down enemy fighters. The emphasis is safety in a busy environment and automation generally increases that.

To be honest, after more than 20 years in the industry, I would far rather let the automatics take the heavy lifting, especially at the end of a long day in filthy weather into a busy airport so that I can watch the big picture and/or monitor the other guy. If push comes to shove then you have to do it manually but even then I'm very glad to have some envelope protection and hopefully managed speed. Casting off all the automation to prove what a hero you are decreases spare capacity and puts a load of pressure on your oppo for no good reason. The place to practice being a sky god is the simulator so that you can do it if all else fails. The aim in commercial aviation is to get off and go home at days end, not tea and medals in the mess.

I rather suspect that the 787 has more similarity to the Airbus models than Boeing will admit as they claim "pilot centered" as part of their sales pitch. And before I get flamed, I have flown Boeings large and small for longer than I care to remember and have only recently gone back onto the bus. And very nice it is too.

The fact that new entrants go straight onto A320/737 is just the way the world works. They might not have years of experience but they can usually fly far better than I can and regularly demonstrate it in the sim, which IMHO is the place to do it.
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Old 22nd Jan 2019, 11:12
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I'd much rather be on an easyJet Airbus in 2019 than a Canadian DC8 in the 70s. Did someone say Air Canada 621?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Canada_Flight_621
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 02:23
  #11 (permalink)  
 
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I shall say that this never ending debate of Airbus vs Boeing is starting to annoying me. I started flying around 35 years ago, military engine fast jet, single pilot, low level attack bomber, 1960 technology (!) that meaned to fly with compass and clock below 500 ft at 400 knts in a very continuously changing environment (mountains and rivers, clouds and rain and fog). After that, B 707 tanker (no, not the KC 135, the real B 707 320 C, training done in Air France Training Center and Lufthansa Training Center). After quitting the Air Force flying club, I flew commercially the B 737 (either the classic, 300 and 400 than the NG for few flight hours) the MD 82/83/88 and the A 320/321, the last one till today as a matter of fact. Unfortunately I did miss any wide body experience, but I have been lucky enough to fly all around the world also in some strange places and to have experienced different kind of flying ( low level, aerobatic, test flight, commercial, flight instructor, TRI and TRE). That said, I am now really happy to fly the A 320: it took me a little bit to adapt with open mind to the aircraft features and characteristics, and took me around 1500 flight hours to change from the newbie A 320 captain ("What is this aircraft doing!") to the average A 320 captain ("Ah, he is doing that again"). He is comfortable, flies very well, and it is a pleasure to fly manually; someone argues that the autopilot is nor really disengaged in any Airbus, but that is true of every fly-by-wire aircraft: ever tried the F 18?. So please, stop with this debate: I like the Boeing wide-bodies as well as the A 350 XWB, and for me the B 737 is a pleasure to fly manually but it is a pain in the a** when it comes to 4 sectors in a long and foggy or raining or windy day.
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Old 23rd Jan 2019, 06:57
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64 must be the man!?

If he says it’s so, it must be so!

Others aren’t allowed to differ.
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Old 24th Jan 2019, 21:34
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personnally I enjoy this job nowadays. Yes I push button and managing a machine, but the job seems a lot easier than before. Do I want to fly a NDB, manually on a old plane ? no way.
Being paid while watching TV's , earth from the sky, and enjoying a coffee, let's face it : it is awsome.
I would never change this job against another one in a factory under neon light.
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 02:55
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Originally Posted by stoneangel View Post
personnally I enjoy this job nowadays. Yes I push button and managing a machine, but the job seems a lot easier than before. Do I want to fly a NDB, manually on a old plane ? no way.
Being paid while watching TV's , earth from the sky, and enjoying a coffee, let's face it : it is awsome.
I would never change this job against another one in a factory under neon light.
I enjoyed flying NDB approaches as it was different than the everyday ILS to an 12000 FT runway. Although I only spent two years on the A320 that was fun too . FYI anytime I found myself saying “what’s it doing now” usually was followed by the discovery of my mistake. 😎
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 08:58
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While all this willy waving about flying around with AT/FD/AP disengaged is very impressive, it just isn't how our employers (or the people down the back come to that) really want it done is it. Infact having just converted onto another type very recently, I'm no longer allowed to disconnect the AT, which is taking some getting used to.

The role of a pilot has changed dramatically as the skies have got impossibly busy and the technology has advanced to the brink of being so complex that it's incompatible with humans. I absolutely LOVED doing my MEIR in the Beech Duchess many moons ago, poling around on basic instruments and tracking needles left right and centre. But frankly that's great when you'e doing 130kts with just yourself and a crusty old instructor to look out for. When you're flying something considerably larger, faster and more able to inflict large scale damage to others all this willy waving just becomes utter tosh.

I'll still fly manually when the conditions and workload permit but unless I'm doing a visual approach the FD and/or the FPV stay on. Even then it's a rare event to do a visual approach these days so best kept for the spare time in the sim at the end of a check. I'm big enough to admit my manual flying skills aren't what they were ten years ago and while that's a little bit sad, I would say other more relevant skills / competencies are substantially improved as I've adapted to the role of the pilot changing.

We're in the business of getting people and cargo from A to B in the safest manner possible and with the best will in the world, flying around manually in some effort to prove to ourselves we're still s*** hot aviators just ain't doing that. The very wise words of an instructor years ago have stayed with me....."what would the report say"....

"X was flying manually with no FD when they became distracted and flew through the cleared altitude leading to a TCAS RA."

Food for thought. Although I do miss that Beech Duchess!
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 12:18
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Personally I’d say we owe it to the passengers to be able to fly comfortably with the AT out and/or raw data. Otherwise the first time you may have to do it may be in an emergency situation, perhaps combined with bad weather at an unfamiliar airfield.

I’m not advocating we start flying into Belfast City with everything disconnected in marginal weather conditions, but I can’t understand the philosophy of not being able to take the AT out on a CAVOK day at home base.
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 17:47
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Originally Posted by 2 Whites 2 Reds View Post
While all this willy waving about flying around with AT/FD/AP disengaged is very impressive, it just isn't how our employers (or the people down the back come to that) really want it done is it. Infact having just converted onto another type very recently, I'm no longer allowed to disconnect the AT, which is taking some getting used to.

The role of a pilot has changed dramatically as the skies have got impossibly busy and the technology has advanced to the brink of being so complex that it's incompatible with humans. I absolutely LOVED doing my MEIR in the Beech Duchess many moons ago, poling around on basic instruments and tracking needles left right and centre. But frankly that's great when you'e doing 130kts with just yourself and a crusty old instructor to look out for. When you're flying something considerably larger, faster and more able to inflict large scale damage to others all this willy waving just becomes utter tosh.

I'll still fly manually when the conditions and workload permit but unless I'm doing a visual approach the FD and/or the FPV stay on. Even then it's a rare event to do a visual approach these days so best kept for the spare time in the sim at the end of a check. I'm big enough to admit my manual flying skills aren't what they were ten years ago and while that's a little bit sad, I would say other more relevant skills / competencies are substantially improved as I've adapted to the role of the pilot changing.

We're in the business of getting people and cargo from A to B in the safest manner possible and with the best will in the world, flying around manually in some effort to prove to ourselves we're still s*** hot aviators just ain't doing that. The very wise words of an instructor years ago have stayed with me....."what would the report say"....

"X was flying manually with no FD when they became distracted and flew through the cleared altitude leading to a TCAS RA."

Food for thought. Although I do miss that Beech Duchess!
Every company I have flown for was more then happy to let us fly the aircraft manually with a/t off. They all understood that a couple of visual approaches at the end of a sim session is not really enough to keep your flying skills honed. Especially with the network we had were we had no choice but to do a visual aporoach as that was the only approach available.

I agree with you to keep in mind what the report would say but that also should not discourage people from flying the airplane manually at the right time and place.
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 19:16
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You had a good career- great.

Why bother coming on here to preach doom and gloom?
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Old 25th Jan 2019, 19:26
  #19 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CEJM View Post


Every company I have flown for was more then happy to let us fly the aircraft manually with a/t off. They all understood that a couple of visual approaches at the end of a sim session is not really enough to keep your flying skills honed. Especially with the network we had were we had no choice but to do a visual aporoach as that was the only approach available.

I agree with you to keep in mind what the report would say but that also should not discourage people from flying the airplane manually at the right time and place.

We're simply not allowed to turn off the A/T on my new fleet. Infact the only fleet that still can is the Jumbo since the 767 went in November. There are places where we will do visual approaches, but I'll be using things to help me ie FPV and AT (the second out of necessity as mentioned above). Also, my new type is FBW and doesn't have the pitch power couple I'm so used to, it has a trim system I'm still getting used to and in Normal Flight Control Mode it doesn't feel like what I've grown up with. Even with everything off, it'll still take care of pitch power couple and sort of auto trim for you. I just accept my place and have fun in the sim whenever the chance arises.

And I certainly won't be flying raw data manual anything into LHR after spending all night flogging across the Atlantic. Right time and right place is absolutely nail on the head statement. My company also encourage manual flying when appropriate and I'm very happy to oblige but I won't be turning off basic levels of automation ie FD's. It's just not worth the paperwork if it goes wrong and I maintain you're degrading safety beyond that point, which I'm not prepared to do. Of course it's brilliant fun speaking as a pure pilot but I accept that the flight exists for a purpose and that purpose isn't my pure enjoyment...unfortunately. I'd love to keep up an MEP rating but it's just too expensive these days.

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Old 25th Jan 2019, 23:01
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Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by 2 Whites 2 Reds View Post
While all this willy waving about flying around with AT/FD/AP disengaged is very impressive, it just isn't how our employers (or the people down the back come to that) really want it done is it. Infact having just converted onto another type very recently, I'm no longer allowed to disconnect the AT, which is taking some getting used to.

The role of a pilot has changed dramatically as the skies have got impossibly busy and the technology has advanced to the brink of being so complex that it's incompatible with humans. I absolutely LOVED doing my MEIR in the Beech Duchess many moons ago, poling around on basic instruments and tracking needles left right and centre. But frankly that's great when you'e doing 130kts with just yourself and a crusty old instructor to look out for. When you're flying something considerably larger, faster and more able to inflict large scale damage to others all this willy waving just becomes utter tosh.

I'll still fly manually when the conditions and workload permit but unless I'm doing a visual approach the FD and/or the FPV stay on. Even then it's a rare event to do a visual approach these days so best kept for the spare time in the sim at the end of a check. I'm big enough to admit my manual flying skills aren't what they were ten years ago and while that's a little bit sad, I would say other more relevant skills / competencies are substantially improved as I've adapted to the role of the pilot changing.

We're in the business of getting people and cargo from A to B in the safest manner possible and with the best will in the world, flying around manually in some effort to prove to ourselves we're still s*** hot aviators just ain't doing that. The very wise words of an instructor years ago have stayed with me....."what would the report say"....

"X was flying manually with no FD when they became distracted and flew through the cleared altitude leading to a TCAS RA."

Food for thought. Although I do miss that Beech Duchess!
Our SOP has normal operating procedures for T/O with FD/AT off, and we are supposed to be proficient, as they are in the MEL, and I have flown without them. There is a requirement for AP on on low visibility approach, but only if it works. We are fully expected to be instrument proficient. Maybe it has changed for you, but not for me. I regularly switch every thing off, I do a lot of backside of the clock flying. That's not me waving my D***, that is me doing my job the way my company expects me to do it.

What would the report say? It said the investigator was astonished to find no one in the cockpit was able to control the aircraft after the autopilot failed.
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