737 & "Marrying the Bugs"

ImbracableCrunk

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Since it's a new year, I've decided to add a new peeve to my list:

"Marrying the Bugs" as we call it, i.e. making sure the heading bug is matched to the current aircraft heading.

Now I understand when you're flying in heading select that this is very important, and possibly when you're expecting a vector. But, if you're in LNAV, 3 hours to the closest land the other guy is constantly reaching up to tweak the heading 2 degrees every 30 seconds, you might as well be flying heading select the whole way.

Do you do this? Does this annoy you? If so, why?

[/end rant]
 

Browntothebone

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It's actually a safety of flight issue. What if ATC all of a sudden said "fly your present heading for traffic" and you had your heading bug many degress off your current heading and you then pushed your heading button on the MCP? Your a/c would take a sudden turn to follow the off the nose heading bug. This is a safety issue as you could potentially turn toward your conflicting traffic and you could upset the passengers with the sudden turn.
 

Dumb Pilot

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Are you annoyed by such minutia? I would recommend the same thing I told a guy I was flying with the other day that told me that the little flashing light on my headset's battery pack bothered him (yes, I had it dimmed) and if I would be ok with turning it off.

I said "nah, I would recommend you got some therapy instead"
 

intrepdtrvlr

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When you're 3 hours from land and 30 minutes from the next waypoint but the plane begins a turn you don't want, then you'll wish the bug was aligned with your current heading. Maybe a nav failure, most likely operator error. Perhaps this is left over from INS days or earlier, but I think most still consider it good airmanship.

Or maybe I just like minutia.
 

mynameisjim

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I like it when I'm on an arrival that ends with "fly heading 120 for vectors", and the other guy keeps syncing the heading bug to the current heading instead of the 120 heading I set a few minutes ago.
 

Singlecoil

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Three hours from the closest land would be over the ocean and non-radar. I agree. WTF? I have a perfect cure for flying with this type. The next time you are on a discretionary descent, just level off at 22,320 feet or any other random altitude. Then sit back and watch the guy go absolutely bananas. Have the EMT's meet you, they'll haul the pulsating, quivering mass away and you will be done with him.
 

McNugget

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.....
Since it's a new year, I've decided to add a new peeve to my list:

"Marrying the Bugs" as we call it, i.e. making sure the heading bug is matched to the current aircraft heading.

Now I understand when you're flying in heading select that this is very important, and possibly when you're expecting a vector. But, if you're in LNAV, 3 hours to the closest land the other guy is constantly reaching up to tweak the heading 2 degrees every 30 seconds, you might as well be flying heading select the whole way.

Do you do this? Does this annoy you? If so, why?

[/end rant]

do this and turn this into a positive for you:

1. If you are flying with a pilot who LOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooves to sync the heading bug, when he/she is not looking quickly turn the heading bug and see if he/she re-syncs it.

laugh. and do it again when not looking

2. Another good one is to be 1 number off on speed and/or heading. Trust me, it will annoy the hell out of them and you'll get a good laugh.

muhahahahaha:beer:
 

GogglesPisano

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enough
There's also the "HDG HOLD" button. Very dusty.
 

Juniority

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Are you annoyed by such minutia? I would recommend the same thing I told a guy I was flying with the other day that told me that the little flashing light on my headset's battery pack bothered him (yes, I had it dimmed) and if I would be ok with turning it off.

I said "nah, I would recommend you got some therapy instead"
I agree completely.

There are FOs I fly with who I can tell are extremely irritated with being an FO. Some of them are not very adult at coping with this feeling of frustration and it ends up translating into a rather childish dislike/distane for any captain they fly with on any given day. It's not the captain's fault he's an FO, but he sits over there in childish petulance, silently critiquing everything the captain does. Dude, grow up, that hatred will eat you from the inside.
 

Fubijaakr

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Since it's a new year, I've decided to add a new peeve to my list:

"Marrying the Bugs" as we call it, i.e. making sure the heading bug is matched to the current aircraft heading....Do you do this? Does this annoy you? If so, why?

[/end rant]
Yeah, I do. Its an old ingrained habit and I'll tell you exactly where it comes from.

When we first got the 737-400, there was no GPS installed. The FMCs worked the navigation from either the INS or by radio updating. The problem came from if the INS lost track or got too much error, the navigation system defaulted to HDG SEL with no warning to the pilots. Company policy to combat this was to keep the heading but married to whatever heading the FMS was using to navigate the selected track.

This happened to me one night on the way to PSP. The Capt was flying and had left the heading bug 90 degrees off course. He had also selected 10 degrees angle of bank for passenger comfort.

When the FMCs lost track, the airplane defaulted to HDG SEL and began a gentle turn to the left. Unfortunately, at the time, we were skirting a hot MOA. Before we realized what was going on, we got the ATC call "Alaska XXX. Where are you going?"

Oops.

That's where that "marry the bugs" stuff comes from. I've been doing it for so long, now its a habit.
 

SuperFLUF

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I do it when I'm flying for the reasons already mentioned and its become a habit.
(also, there's no heading hold button on the 737's I've flown)

However, I don't do it when I am monitoring. Our policy is when the autopilot is on, the flying pilot operates the MCP so I don't touch it. Occasionally I have to sit on my hands since its my habit, but I try to leave it alone.

Its a technique and I don't push my techniques on to others. If they like it they'll adopt it, if they don't its their choice.
 

CopilotDoug

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Done!
When you're 3 hours from land and 30 minutes from the next waypoint but the plane begins a turn you don't want, then you'll wish the bug was aligned with your current heading. Maybe a nav failure, most likely operator error. Perhaps this is left over from INS days or earlier, but I think most still consider it good airmanship.

Or maybe I just like minutia.
+1

I've had this happen 3 or 4 times. No big deal with me if the other guy doesn't want to synch them.
 

ExpWayVis31

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As long as the Auto Pilot is engaged only the flying pilot should be messing with the heading bug, with the Auto Pilot off then the non-flying pilot should turn the heading bug.

So I do agree with you that many FO are very anal.

My pet peeve, is FO's whose hands hover over a switch or lever in anticipation of your call.

Example I have flown with a few FO's who will raise there hand to near the auto throttle switch, way before I call for "auto throttles engage" during the T/O roll.

or, FO's who rest there hand on the flap handle in anticipation of a flap change call.

The way I look at it is that the flap handle is not an arm rest.
 

mrebuck

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Hum, just fly an Airbus and you won't have to worry about marrying the heading bug.
 

Bigoober

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For most, it is just a habit to have them synced up. Of course, it is also a pretty good habit to have. I had a buddy flying with me who didn't sync it up alll the time and when told to turn right to a heading, the plane turned left when he hit heading select because he had left the heading bug on an old heading.

I do get what you are talking about. There are many who have to be tinkering with something every second. I second the annoyance with the guy who sets an expected heading just to have the other pilot sync the bug because he wasn't paying attention.
 

mynameisjim

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I had a buddy flying with me who didn't sync it up alll the time and when told to turn right to a heading, the plane turned left when he hit heading select because he had left the heading bug on an old heading.
That made me chuckle.
 

Bigoober

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I had to at the time to because you could see the "what the hell is the plane doing" look on his face when it happened.

Easy correction, easy learning experience.
 

JimmyKool

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"2. Another good one is to be 1 number off on speed and/or heading. Trust me, it will annoy the hell out of them and you'll get a good laugh."

God that's the funniest s**t in the world!
 

pipe

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It's actually a safety of flight issue. What if ATC all of a sudden said "fly your present heading for traffic" and you had your heading bug many degress off your current heading and you then pushed your heading button on the MCP? Your a/c would take a sudden turn to follow the off the nose heading bug. This is a safety issue as you could potentially turn toward your conflicting traffic and you could upset the passengers with the sudden turn.
It actually is an issue of poor design. You should be able to push the heading slew knob to instantly sync the heading bug -- like in every other airplane built since 1985.

PIPE
 

8v8ter

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It's actually a safety of flight issue. What if ATC all of a sudden said "fly your present heading for traffic" and you had your heading bug many degress off your current heading and you then pushed your heading button on the MCP? Your a/c would take a sudden turn to follow the off the nose heading bug. This is a safety issue as you could potentially turn toward your conflicting traffic and you could upset the passengers with the sudden turn.

Given. But if you get in the habit of turning the heading bug to the desired heading BEFORE pushing HDG select, no problem. Just pushing HDG without knowing exactly where the bug is, (even if you married them up only 2mins ago they might be off some) never made sense to me.
 
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