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Thread: Air Canada pulls a Hans Solo

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    The job is also to hand-fly and do it well when needed
    Yes, they teach that Gabriel. Do you really think they don't?

    Again, you wrote something that pined for the days of yore, before magenta lines and 99.99% autoflight as if we should still be teaching pilots these days the way we used to. Well, first of all, we DO teach ALL of them in GA aircraft to learn the fundamentals. But then we teach them to learn how to operate a 99.99% autoflight aircraft and how to navigate with current technology. Where's the problem there?

    There is a problem with CERTAIN flight schools that are failing to teach the fundamentals enough. But this a problem at the fundamental level, not in the advanced training. And it's a regulatory and oversight problem, not an institutional one.

    your job is also not to ask "what is it doing now"
    Exactly. Your job is to KNOW what it's doing now and WHY. Your job is situational awareness. If you have weak in-depth training on your 99.99% autoflight aircraft, you probably will lose this awareness instantly and end up in that deadly regime of confusion, where you make unthinkable errors.

    Renslow was a CPI. He knew his fundamentals. He knew how to recover from stall warning. He lost his situational awareness when the plane he was flying behaved unexpectedly, startling him, because he was not familiar with the specific behaviors of its systems (albeit along with possible fatigue and non-sterile distraction).

    The pilot who pranged AF447 knew how to hand fly. Why he did what he did, we may never know, but it was almost certainly out of scrambled situational awareness and he probably thought he had protection from stall because he lacked a proper understanding of control law degradation. The crew did not recover because they had a similarly scrambled situational awareness, not knowing (as they should have) the implications of A330 stabilizer trim behavior and stall warning thresholds.

    The AirAsia crew had a third grader's understanding of systems. It cost them all their situational awareness. I'm sure either one of them could perform stall recovery in a 172.

    There is a rash of botched go-arounds leading to loss of control crashes due to ignorance of automated stab trim behaviors. There are others that resulted form an expectation that the autoflight would perform the go-around when the autoflight wasn't available. The same goes for windshear recovery.

    And AA587 revealed that wide-body pilots were being taught wake turbulence rudder technique for much smaller planes, which proved, ultimately, fatal. Rudder technique is not simply a universal, fundamental thing. In a jet that large, in-flight rudder is mainly there for crosswinds and engine failure. If you bring your tail-dragger mentality into an A300, you just might break something.

    The problem is what happens when 'fat dumb and happy' turns into 'what's it doing now' and all those fundamentals get blanked while the mind searches for answers. This is probably more likely to happen to a veteran DC-9 pilot with 200 hours on an A320 than it is to a 'puppy mill' pilot with 2000 hours exclusively on the A320 (assuming the 'puppy mill' is doing it's job to train them for unusual events). But mainly, in all these events, what I am seeing is a weakness in terms of in-depth systems understanding and expectations needed to retain situational awareness during unusual events.

    Again, I get the romance of stick and rudder airmanship, but modern airliners are automated machines that occasionally require hand-flying skills but 99.99% of the time require systems administration. I want to know the pilot in front has become a pilot by learning those stick and rudder skills (which they have) and then became a 777 pilot by learning how that particular machine works and how to operate it in every foreseeable circumstance.

    And I agree with you that ALL pilots need to be well-educated on fundamental aerodynamics, but I fail to see how that pertains to the type of aircraft or level of technology. [/QUOTE]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    The day that you retired, another pilot joined an airline for the 1st time. Very young, about 20 years old, he spent the last 2 years preparing for this. 2 years ago, he had zero hours. 2 years ago, he had his 1st flight in a Cessna 172 equipped with a Garmin G-1000 PFD and ND, with a GNS GPS and navigator and autopilot. Flying more than 1 hour per day (weather permitting) in a sunny Miami airport, taking off and landing from long asphalt runways, dragging with power every approach to keep a 3-deg glideslope, always keeping white over red on the PAPI. 4 months later he had his PPL, 2 weeks later he got his twin endorsement in a Seminole (also equipped with a G-100o and AP), then he did his instruments rating and CPL flying mostly in the twin (he needs twin hours) and, 9 months after zero hours, with 500 flight hours, ha got his CFI. Next day he started flying as a CFI in the same institution ("flight school" is too small a name for this place), flying the same 2 planes he flew as a student, and has been doing so for the last 15 months and making barely any money at all, just a nominal and symbolic $ because he cannot do it for free (it would be illegal), but the basic idea is that you gain hours and the school has free instructors, instructors that don't have any motivation or passion for teaching, other than making hours towards a completely different goal. During those 15 months he interviewed with many airlines, those that fly regional jets under the regional brand of one of the 3 bigs. Those that you think you are flying American, United or Delta, when in fact you are not even flying their regional brand. One of them pre-contracted them. 3 months ago, with still fewer hours than needed for the ATP, he started ground school and sim training with that airline, in parallel with his flight instructor activities to gain the latest hours he needed. Yesterday he flew his hour number 1500. Today, 2 years after his first flight ever as a prospect PPL, he sits in the right seat of an ERJ with some 90 pax behind, and a captain next to him that is maybe 5 or 7 years older than himself and had a very similar path. He invested about 150 grands to get here. He will spend some years to recover that much, In the long run, it will be a good business though. He never flew a plane without tv screens as instrument and without at AP. He never will. He never wore other thing than a white shirt with epaulets while flying. He never will. He never flew in an uncontrolled airport with a grass or dirt strip. he never will. He flew 1500 hours in piston airplanes. He will never fly one hour again in another thing than a jet. The flight school he leaves behind has a fancy, important-sounding name, something like "PPCTP" that stands for Professional Pilot Career Training Program", but is known as a "puppy mill". The same day that this pilot seats in this right seat of an RJ for the first time, a 747 captain with 25K hours total, including 10K hours in pistons, which includes 6K hours in taildraggers, most of them without even a radio, a starter or even an electrical system at all, most of them in uncontrolled airports with a grass or dirt strip, leaves the left seat of his Jumbo airliner for the last time.

    How does it feel?
    How does it feel?

    First off Gabe, That is an exceptionally well written post, and is so spot on I can’t tell you. How do I feel? A little sad, and a lot of relief! Not at all missing the commute to and from work, the bag drag in and out of the airport and hotels. And the new wonder kids that you describe and Evan and 3WE seem to think are the end all to beat all.

    I will tell you a story about it. I transitioned to the 400 in 2012 after flying the 100/200/300 for 14 years. I had NEVER flown a glass airplane in my life. I was very lucky that my partner, that had been one of my first officers on the classic, was a former check airman at the regionals in EMB and Canadair aircraft. He beat me up every night in the hotel getting me up to speed on the glass and the FMS. I owe him big time! So let us now jump forward about 6 months. I am taking a flight in a brand new -8 from Huntsville, Alabama to Luxembourg. We are taking off at 10:45 at night in a star filled night, with no weather and an airport that has 2 North / South runways and a published SID that reads, maintain runway heading to 5000’ expect radar vectors. Not a complex procedure right? I had slept a full 8 hours before the flight, so I was well rested, I had 2 first officers, one had been at Atlas around 2 years and the other brand new. The brand new F/O was in the right seat and the other in the center. I briefed the departure before pushback as a HAND FLOWN departure. We had a max gross weight take-off of 987000 pounds. We departed to the North, and at around 700’ AGL the first officer in the right seat exclaimed, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” well remember I am fairly new to the glass and all so I take a look at the ND and everything looks good, the engine display on the ECAS is normal, and I ask him what is wrong. He responds to me “YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THAT” (now I am typing in all caps where this F/O has his voice raised and a harried tone to it). I said doing what? He now says “THEY DON”T WANT YOU TO DO THAT” I now realize that he is talking about toggling the auto-pilot on at 250” AGL, which is what they are teaching in the school house now and I tell him let’s talk about this when we get to cruise altitude. His initial “WHAT ARE YOU DOING” came with the gear up but flaps still at 10.
    Now normally I hand fly on a nice day, well rested, no weather to contend with, not an airport with a complicated SID, i.e. Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Hong Kong etc., to 10000 -14000’. But now I am a little pissed at this kid so I hand flew up into the mid 20’s. The dash 8 does not climb like a scorched eagle when she is heavy, so now we are at cruise at FL310 off the coast of North Carolina. I turn to him and ask him “did you not understand the part of my briefing where I said it would be a hand flown departure”? He said well I did not think you were going to really do it. I asked him whether or not he ever hand flew the aircraft when he had the opportunity to do so. A place like Miami, Huntsville, Anchorage. He responded I hand fly the simulator every 6 months.
    So here we are about to coast out across the Atlantic, might have been his 5th or 6th time doing a crossing including his IOE. I turn to him and I ask him, okay so here we are out over the North Atlantic, our fancy ass electric airplane has just checked in with Gander on CPDLC we have climbed to FL330 for the crossing and assigned a track and MACH .85 and you have gotten your HF frequencies. You are sitting back relaxing when every bell, whistle, horn and light in the cockpit begins to flash and wail, the auto-pilot disconnects, and the airplane starts to descend, loose speed, and deviate off course. You frantically mash every button on the MCP trying to get the auto-pilot to re-engage, but nada, not a damn thing will work! You going to just sit back and say “this can’t be happening” and AF the jet into the North Atlantic? Because I sure as hell am not! I am going to grab the yoke and a handful of thrust-levers and hand fly the aircraft to the destination, the alternate, or an airport of opportunity. You see why it’s a good idea to hand fly when you get the chance? He turned to me with a look in his eye and said, “I do now Captain”.

  3. #43
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    Great story!

    Thankfully, it sounds like there's a plan in place to deal with those "puppy mill" pilots... http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-to...ots-180963931/
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    Great story!

    Thankfully, it sounds like there's a plan in place to deal with those "puppy mill" pilots... http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-to...ots-180963931/
    I never will!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Yes, they teach that Gabriel. Do you really think they don't?

    Again, you wrote something that pined for the days of yore, before magenta lines and 99.99% autoflight as if we should still be teaching pilots these days the way we used to. Well, first of all, we DO teach ALL of them in GA aircraft to learn the fundamentals. But then we teach them to learn how to operate a 99.99% autoflight aircraft and how to navigate with current technology. Where's the problem there?

    There is a problem with CERTAIN flight schools that are failing to teach the fundamentals enough. But this a problem at the fundamental level, not in the advanced training. And it's a regulatory and oversight problem, not an institutional one.



    Exactly. Your job is to KNOW what it's doing now and WHY. Your job is situational awareness. If you have weak in-depth training on your 99.99% autoflight aircraft, you probably will lose this awareness instantly and end up in that deadly regime of confusion, where you make unthinkable errors.

    Renslow was a CPI. He knew his fundamentals. He knew how to recover from stall warning. He lost his situational awareness when the plane he was flying behaved unexpectedly, startling him, because he was not familiar with the specific behaviors of its systems (albeit along with possible fatigue and non-sterile distraction).

    Well Evan, You will be very happy to know that is where the industry is heading. What they want and what they are training for is a little human robot. Get to the airplane 30 minutes prior to departure, program the FMS with the SID, the route, the step-climbs, the decent, and the STAR. Call for pushback taxi to the runway, do the take-off (hoping that everything works) and at 250 feet above the ground, call for left, center or right auto-pilot to command. Sit back, talk on the radio occasionally, do a little paperwork, maybe make an announcement to the back or two, eat a little on a longer flight, then pull out the IPad an with the charts on it for the arrival airport, check the arrival against the ATIS off of the ACARS, set the auto-brakes, do an auto-land and then finally disconnect the auto-pilot and taxi to the gate.
    Works great until the day you come out of Bogota, loose number one do to an uncontained failure that throws a titanium turbine blade into number two. You think the auto-pilot will fly the aircraft now?

    The pilot who pranged AF447 knew how to hand fly. Why he did what he did, we may never know, but it was almost certainly out of scrambled situational awareness and he probably thought he had protection from stall because he lacked a proper understanding of control law degradation. The crew did not recover because they had a similarly scrambled situational awareness, not knowing (as they should have) the implications of A330 stabilizer trim behavior and stall warning thresholds.

    The AirAsia crew had a third grader's understanding of systems. It cost them all their situational awareness. I'm sure either one of them could perform stall recovery in a 172.

    There is a rash of botched go-arounds leading to loss of control crashes due to ignorance of automated stab trim behaviors. There are others that resulted form an expectation that the autoflight would perform the go-around when the autoflight wasn't available. The same goes for windshear recovery.

    And AA587 revealed that wide-body pilots were being taught wake turbulence rudder technique for much smaller planes, which proved, ultimately, fatal. Rudder technique is not simply a universal, fundamental thing. In a jet that large, in-flight rudder is mainly there for crosswinds and engine failure. If you bring your tail-dragger mentality into an A300, you just might break something.

    The problem is what happens when 'fat dumb and happy' turns into 'what's it doing now' and all those fundamentals get blanked while the mind searches for answers. This is probably more likely to happen to a veteran DC-9 pilot with 200 hours on an A320 than it is to a 'puppy mill' pilot with 2000 hours exclusively on the A320 (assuming the 'puppy mill' is doing it's job to train them for unusual events). But mainly, in all these events, what I am seeing is a weakness in terms of in-depth systems understanding and expectations needed to retain situational awareness during unusual events.

    Again, I get the romance of stick and rudder airmanship, but modern airliners are automated machines that occasionally require hand-flying skills but 99.99% of the time require systems administration. I want to know the pilot in front has become a pilot by learning those stick and rudder skills (which they have) and then became a 777 pilot by learning how that particular machine works and how to operate it in every foreseeable circumstance.

    And I agree with you that ALL pilots need to be well-educated on fundamental aerodynamics, but I fail to see how that pertains to the type of aircraft or level of technology.

    Well Evan, You will be very happy to know that is where the industry is heading. What they want and what they are training for is a little human robot. Get to the airplane 30 minutes prior to departure, program the FMS with the SID, the route, the step-climbs, the decent, and the STAR. Call for pushback taxi to the runway, do the take-off (hoping that everything works) and at 250 feet above the ground, call for left, center or right auto-pilot to command. Sit back, talk on the radio occasionally, do a little paperwork, maybe make an announcement to the back or two, eat a little on a longer flight, then pull out the IPad with the charts on it for the arrival airport, check the arrival against the ATIS off of the ACARS, set the auto-brakes, do an auto-land and then finally disconnect the auto-pilot and taxi to the gate.


    Works great until the day you come out of Bogota, loose number one do to an uncontained failure that throws a titanium turbine blade into number two. You think the auto-pilot will fly the aircraft now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    What they want and what they are training for is a little human robot.
    I think you've hit the nail on the head there. The airlines want a human in the cockpit because pointing fingers at a person is much more credible/fulfilling than pointing them at a machine when something goes wrong. But in every other respect, they want a machine.
    Be alert! America needs more lerts.

    Eric Law

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    1. the new wonder kids that you describe and Evan and 3WE seem to think are the end all to beat all.

    2. ***“YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THAT”***
    1. I am glad you have retired as you have evidenced plenty of declines in mental acuity."I (3BS) think the new kids are the end to beat all"??? Ok, man whatever.

    2. Now, shall we really believe that your FO ONLY hand flew to or from 250 feet + every 6 months on the sim...and had the near zero understanding of the utility of hand flying "to altitude", and that your little lecture, that day...changed him forever?

    To quote elaw below, "Great story"...but maybe a little bit too great, Captain...

    And, although I've said it many times- I'll repeat it slowly for you- There is usually a middle ground to this. Indeed, I'm sure there's guys who do religiously click on the autopilot and JUST monitor things as Evan would like. I tend to blame these sorts of people for botching a super-basic 777 landing on a beautiful afternoon.

    I am also sure that there are guys who have never flown a Piper Cub that hand fly the crap out of their RJ/Airbus/Boeing/whatever...and who can brutally beat up Gabriel on fundamentals AND out regurgitate Evan on procedures. I can also think of one person who tells a story of the check airman saying, "They don't pay you extra for hand flying"...(much less romantic, much more believable).

    Evan actually says fundamentals are important (progress has been made). His bias and deep disdain for fundamentals and lack of comprehension of human factors still sneaks out (thus Gabriel's preaching)...someday, he may remove the training wheels from his bike, or drive a car and make a mistake like the rest of us.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Evan actually says fundamentals are important (progress has been made). His bias and deep disdain for fundamentals and lack of comprehension of human factors ...
    Ok, man whatever.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    1. I am glad you have retired as you have evidenced plenty of declines in mental acuity."I (3BS) think the new kids are the end to beat all"??? Ok, man whatever.

    2. Now, shall we really believe that your FO ONLY hand flew to or from 250 feet + every 6 months on the sim...and had the near zero understanding of the utility of hand flying "to altitude", and that your little lecture, that day...changed him forever?

    To quote elaw below, "Great story"...but maybe a little bit too great, Captain...

    And, although I've said it many times- I'll repeat it slowly for you- There is usually a middle ground to this. Indeed, I'm sure there's guys who do religiously click on the autopilot and JUST monitor things as Evan would like. I tend to blame these sorts of people for botching a super-basic 777 landing on a beautiful afternoon.

    I am also sure that there are guys who have never flown a Piper Cub that hand fly the crap out of their RJ/Airbus/Boeing/whatever...and who can brutally beat up Gabriel on fundamentals AND out regurgitate Evan on procedures. I can also think of one person who tells a story of the check airman saying, "They don't pay you extra for hand flying"...(much less romantic, much more believable).

    Evan actually says fundamentals are important (progress has been made). His bias and deep disdain for fundamentals and lack of comprehension of human factors still sneaks out (thus Gabriel's preaching)...someday, he may remove the training wheels from his bike, or drive a car and make a mistake like the rest of us.
    See, you have proven my point to a tee. The day and age of pilots that “fly” is over. And you seem to think that is the way it should be. This same F/O in the story checked in to Washington center “ Good evening Washington center, this is Giant 641 leaving 20000 feet for flight level 23 O” You see anything wrong with that? I remember as a kid of around 8 or 9 going to the airport with my father. After all the “old timer” (they were probably all in their 40’s and most, flying for the airlines) put away their Cub’s, Champ’s, Pitt’s and Stearman’s they would sit around drink a cold one and shoot the shit. I remember one day a good friend of my father’s, an Eastern L-1011 Captain said, “when we are gone, that will be the last of the real aviators”. You know what, he was off one generation, but he saw what was coming. If you are young enough, you might get to go on a “Disney” like flight where all you have is flight attendants and a computer does everything else. As for me, I will take my BMW or a bicycle instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    I think you've hit the nail on the head there. The airlines want a human in the cockpit because pointing fingers at a person is much more credible/fulfilling than pointing them at a machine when something goes wrong. But in every other respect, they want a machine.
    I have to disagree here. The airlines want the safest solution in the cockpit. If a computer could replace a pilot today, then they would be trying to get that to happen. Computers will replace truck drivers very soon, and they have already replaced train drivers. The complexity of driving those vehicles is far lower than that of an airplane, and computers are good enough to replace humans in those cases. Given the amount of different things that can go wrong on a plane, and given the complexity of the various accident scenarios that can occur, a human is still far more qualified in many cases to handle those emergencies on a plane. The trick is to limit the damage a flawed human can do while still keeping them skilled so that they can do things manually when something bad happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    Well Evan, You will be very happy to know that is where the industry is heading. What they want and what they are training for is a little human robot. Get to the airplane 30 minutes prior to departure, program the FMS with the SID, the route, the step-climbs, the decent, and the STAR. Call for pushback taxi to the runway, do the take-off (hoping that everything works) and at 250 feet above the ground, call for left, center or right auto-pilot to command. Sit back, talk on the radio occasionally, do a little paperwork, maybe make an announcement to the back or two, eat a little on a longer flight, then pull out the IPad with the charts on it for the arrival airport, check the arrival against the ATIS off of the ACARS, set the auto-brakes, do an auto-land and then finally disconnect the auto-pilot and taxi to the gate.


    Works great until the day you come out of Bogota, loose number one do to an uncontained failure that throws a titanium turbine blade into number two. You think the auto-pilot will fly the aircraft now?
    I hope you don't think this makes me happy. I dreamed of being a pilot when I was a kid. I bought a large poster of the 747-200 cockpit when I was 9 and used to lie in bed and marvel over every inch of it. One of the reasons that dream faded for me was that I realized the future of piloting wasn't going to be as far from the boring office job as it once was. And now it seems as if it will become even more boring than that (aside from the view of course). You were fortunate to be a pilot when the job was more of a physical one and you are certainly getting out at the right time.

    But what does make me happy is to arrive safely at my destination. Autoflight has made the skies immensely safer, especially as they get more crowded. Planes used to collide more often. Pilots used to fly into terrain more often. GPS and WAAS (and soon LAAS) have made it pretty hard to fly into a mountain (or land on a taxiway) these days. Synthetic vision could make visibility minima obsolete. It will get ever more automated as the technology becomes more fool-proof. Can you say "Autotakeoff"?

    The tech has also made it far more fuel-efficient. Human pilots just cannot match the efficiency of autoflight. Worldwide aviation produces as much greenhouse emission as the nation of Germany and it is rapidly expanding. If you have children (or grandchildren) this should be of great concern to you. Actually, it should be even if you don't...

    The concern in all this, as you say, is that the flying skills needed to take over when the automation gives up will atrophy. But there is no reason why this has to happen. Autoland is not available under many circumstances and most pilots, I suspect, still hand fly the last distance to the runway. And, come on, they ARE ALL trained to hand fly. Furthermore, SIM technology today is very high fidelity, with wind components built in (though not gravitational illusions). It might not be as valuable as actual flight time but I doth think you exaggerate the extent of the situation.

    Poor fundamental skills today are not the result of the move toward automation as much as they are the result of poor pilot screening and training standards.

    My guess is that flying will continue to become safer (terrorism aside) with most accidents arising from poor systems proficiency rather than poor flying skills. Have you ever REALLY flown with a 'robot' pilot who you felt could not fly out of a A/P failure situation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    I hope you don't think this makes me happy. I dreamed of being a pilot when I was a kid. I bought a large poster of the 747-200 cockpit when I was 9 and used to lie in bed and marvel over every inch of it. One of the reasons that dream faded for me was that I realized the future of piloting wasn't going to be as far from the boring office job as it once was. And now it seems as if it will become even more boring than that (aside from the view of course). You were fortunate to be a pilot when the job was more of a physical one and you are certainly getting out at the right time.

    But what does make me happy is to arrive safely at my destination. Autoflight has made the skies immensely safer, especially as they get more crowded. Planes used to collide more often. Pilots used to fly into terrain more often. GPS and WAAS (and soon LAAS) have made it pretty hard to fly into a mountain (or land on a taxiway) these days. Synthetic vision could make visibility minima obsolete. It will get ever more automated as the technology becomes more fool-proof. Can you say "Autotakeoff"?

    The tech has also made it far more fuel-efficient. Human pilots just cannot match the efficiency of autoflight. Worldwide aviation produces as much greenhouse emission as the nation of Germany and it is rapidly expanding. If you have children (or grandchildren) this should be of great concern to you. Actually, it should be even if you don't...

    The concern in all this, as you say, is that the flying skills needed to take over when the automation gives up will atrophy. But there is no reason why this has to happen. Autoland is not available under many circumstances and most pilots, I suspect, still hand fly the last distance to the runway. And, come on, they ARE ALL trained to hand fly. Furthermore, SIM technology today is very high fidelity, with wind components built in (though not gravitational illusions). It might not be as valuable as actual flight time but I doth think you exaggerate the extent of the situation.

    Poor fundamental skills today are not the result of the move toward automation as much as they are the result of poor pilot screening and training standards.

    My guess is that flying will continue to become safer (terrorism aside) with most accidents arising from poor systems proficiency rather than poor flying skills. Have you ever REALLY flown with a 'robot' pilot who you felt could not fly out of a A/P failure situation?

    Yes, on more than one occasion unfortunately! You know, most of us became pilots because we love to fly! Not to push buttons.

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    From CNN...

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/03/us/air...tsb/index.html


    The NTSB is still investigating the incident and said this update contains no conclusions for what caused the near-miss.
    Such incidents are incredibly rare, but can end in disaster. Runways and taxiways have specifically demarcated lighting to provide visual cues to pilots to avoid such incidents, but dangerous mix-ups do happen.
    In 2009, a Delta Air Lines flight landed on a taxiway in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and in 2015 an Alaska Airlines jet landed on one at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. No one was hurt in either incident.

    Runway incidents at takeoff and landing still account for the largest portion of aviation accidents.

    Nearly 47% of fatalities occur during final approach and landing, according to an analysis of accidents from 2006 to 2015 by Boeing. The newest generation of aircraft now include moving airport maps on their displays to alert the pilot of the aircraft's position relative to a runway or a taxiway.

    Companies like Honeywell Aerospace have also developed systems to advise pilots on the ground and in the air if they're approaching a taxiway or a runway, but such equipment is an optional feature on many aircraft.


    Well, that is a very simple answer to this problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz View Post
    Companies like Honeywell Aerospace have also developed systems to advise pilots on the ground and in the air if they're approaching a taxiway or a runway, but such equipment is an optional feature on many aircraft.

    Well, that is a very simple answer to this problem.
    Indeed. And it should be acheivable through software alone. Thus it wouldn't be unreasonable to make this upgrade mandatory on modern jets.

    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby
    You know, most of us became pilots because we love to fly! Not to push buttons.
    No doubt. But commercial aviation wasn't invented to please pilots, and 'pushbutton aviation' was deemed safer and more efficient for everyone else involved.

    Consider this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz
    Nearly 47% of fatalities occur during final approach and landing, according to an analysis of accidents from 2006 to 2015 by Boeing.
    That's the realm of hand-flying, the realm of human error. The more ubiquitous and capable autoland becomes, the more that figure is going to drop.

  15. #55
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    ***And, come on, they ARE ALL trained to hand fly***
    ...and although it's not certified for such, I have flown an autopilot-equipped 172 and was told that the thing could do an ILS right down to the ground (flare optional and the nose wheel is probably already pranged and wobbly).

    BUT...I grabbed your snip, because of the cases where it seems that pilots know little of hand flying (and the ongoing stories of puppy mills that train procedure to the detriment of fundamentals).

    And yep, planes almost all have autoland- which is about the trickiest part, so yeah...just automate the whole deal and keep a romantic pilot there for the occasion when Windows blue-screens.

    So what do you propose? The pilots do not ever touch the controls on a real plane, but every few months they get in a sim and shoot landings and all sorts of other cowboy activities in crosswinds and fog and etc???

    Is sim practice good enough?

    Does Bobby (and his many highly competent friends) who MAKE A POINT to do LOTS of hand flying actually INCREASE the risk as they get their all-important practice for when the computer hiccups?

    Do we need better screening to weed out the cowboys...

    OR

    Do we need better screening to weed out the guys who can't hand land a 777 on a sunny evening with gentle winds...the guys who don't think twice of relentless pull ups...the guys who don't think to click off the ILS and simply go-around by hand (and deal with trim issues while doing so)? (Yeah, those guys were trained, but what happened?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    I have flown an autopilot-equipped 172 and was told that the thing could do an ILS right down to the ground.

    You have to be shitting me, they have auto-land in 172's now?

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    Have to dissect this one..

    Quote Originally Posted by 3WE View Post
    Do we need better screening to weed out the guys who can't hand land a 777 on a sunny evening with gentle winds...
    ...who can't land a 777 for what reason? Obviously you can't weed out those who lack the skills to fly the 777 BEFORE you begin teaching them those skills. But you CAN weed out the one's who lack aptitude, concentration, discipline, prudence and intellect in the first place. So that would be step one.

    Step two: weed out the things that erode a culture, like pilot gradient and favoritism towards gonzo ex-military pilots (because I believe we are talking about Asiana here). And weed out the idea that big hours on a different type qualifies them for something they don't have the training for.

    Step three: weed out the ones who have impeccable hand-flying skills but don't have the time-of-day to bother learning about systems. ("My airplane... Ok, what's it doing now?!" "Uh... captain, you have to pull the knob. You're pushing it.")

    the guys who don't think twice of relentless pull ups...
    You mean because they're started, stunned, and bereft of situational awareness, because the airplane is doing something other than what they expected? Weed out human nature then?

    the guys who don't think to click off the ILS and simply go-around by hand (and deal with trim issues while doing so)?
    Aha! Weed out the guys who didn't understand how the automation worked, and when it doesn't work at all, you mean?

    (Yeah, those guys were trained, but what happened?)
    Were they? They were taught fundamentals from day one, yes, but were they taught type-specifics? Systems and procedures?

    That unfortunate Asiana Capt wasn't, I can tell you that. Renslow wasn't. The stooge who pranged AirAsia wasn't. The Air France F/O apparently had no idea.

    --------------------

    I really think it comes down to this: inputs and expectations.

    When you fly a DC-3, you make a flight control input and the result more-or-less matches your expectations. That is called experienced, skilled flying.

    When you fly a 777 and (albiet unwisely) select an open-descent mode to quickly get back on the glidepath after passing the FAF, and your expectation is that the thrust will be pegged at idle and the plane will fly itself into the ground unless you intervene, and so you are prepared to intervene long before that happens, that is called experienced, skilled flying.

    When you expect the yoke or the rudder pedals or the autothrottle to do something it isn't going to do, and are then thrown into confusion because of the chasm that suddenly opens up between your expectations and reality, that is the place that needs weeding.

    We need solid, thorough training on fundamentals first, then solid, thorough training ON TYPE.

    At least one of those isn't getting done across the board. And both are required before we can have safety up there.

    (And, once we begin vigilantly enforcing this standard, I am completely ok with a pilot hand-flying down to minimums and back up to RVSM airspace again. But if we insist on resisting requirements for stronger (more costly) training regimens, I'm afraid pushbuttons are the only other solution.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You have to be shitting me, they have auto-land in 172's now?
    Apologies...No, not exactly.

    The instructor commented that if he were incapacitated, (but somehow able to set up the ILS on the autopilot), it would fly him right down to the runway with a fair chance of an "excellent" landing- touchdown = approximate 3-degree contact angle, nose gear first, ~400 fpm downward velocity.

    (You do know the classification system of good, excellent, perfect, correct?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoeingBobby View Post
    You have to be shitting me, they have auto-land in 172's now?
    Every aircraft ever made has an autoland feature. All you have to do is stop using the whizz-bang wotsits and levers and sit back. Trust me, you WILL eventually land. Survivability ? Aaah, now that's a different kettle of fish.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Replies below:

    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Have to dissect this one..and 3BS has to FURTHER dissect it.

    ...who can't land a 777 on a perfect evening for what reason? Yes, the Asiana bunch with pilots who stated they were scared to hand fly. I know it's presumptive to think I could do it, but damn, target airspeed, a yoke, some throttles, some PAPI's an ILS depiction, a big long runway, some MSFS time. I defer to Bobby for the ILS in mountains to minimums in complex controlled environments, (and in the complex automation) but a hand landing and maintaining decent airspeed on short final...

    You mean because they're started, stunned, and bereft of situational awareness, because the airplane is doing something other than what they expected? Weed out human nature then? No, not human nature...the violation of the basic principle of fly the GD airplane. The relentless pull up is NOT OK. (and didn't you say they were once trained not to do that?)

    Aha! Weed out the guys who didn't understand how the automation worked, and when it doesn't work at all, you mean? Again, NO! it's not that they MISUNDERSTOOD the automation...it's that automation INTSTEAD of flying the plane was their focus. (I know, you don't comprehend the difference).

    Were they? They were taught fundamentals from day one, yes, but were they taught type-specifics? Systems and procedures? Very wrong...there's a thing called a type rating. I'm thinking they don't get that unless they can demonstrate some pretty solid comprehension of the aircraft's systems and procedures. Of course, 'type specific' somehow does not encompass basic fundamentals...Yeah, it could, yeah, it should, but the basic dictionary definition of "type specific" goes against "broadly applicable".

    That unfortunate Asiana Capt wasn't, I can tell you that. Renslow wasn't. The stooge who pranged AirAsia wasn't. The Air France F/O apparently had no idea. I agree they lacked SOMETHING, but I restate above, that they didn't get type ratings in those aircraft without training, testing and demonstration of a chunk of knowledge...but I restate that "type specific" is 'in principle' the opposite of "broadly applicable"...and their failures were on some broadly-applicable stuff.
    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

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