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Are Pilots Forgetting How to Fly?

waveflyer

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"Not a game, not a game... We're talkin bout practice"
Love it- only "both teams played hard" Sheed competes
;-)
 

igneousy2

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I agree with what pretty much everyone is saying. I will add that a good pilot will get the automation clicked off more often, not for practice necessarilly, but because it's just easier. If you know what you're doing, it's way easier to recover from a bad vector at the marker with everything off...turn it off...make it pretty for the A/P...and then turn it back on.

My beef is with the fact that I believe that the accidents that they are referencing have more to do with pilots complete LACK of skills as opposed to the RUSTY skills that we are talking about.

The distinction seems fine/nit-picky, but is important, as the solutions for each of the problems are completely different.
 

s3jetman

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WHERE IS ALPA!

These kind of articles infuriate me.

In order for pilot skills to get rusty, YOU HAD TO HAVE HAD THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE!

What about the 300 hour wonders that airlines like Colgan hire because they are cheap...give them 2000 hours at FL250 in a turbo-prop, make them a Captain, then act surprised when there pilot skills don't magically appear at the OM when there airplane is stalled.


WHERE IS ALPA?

I know everyone hates Gulfstream but as I have been saying its the best place to step up to the airline flying. No auto pilot, hand flying in north east and west mountain areas, ice, snow approaches to nothing many times. If the captains are trained correctly its not a hazard as the 1900 is a single pilot rated plane, which provides another layer of safety. Best environment to learn the airline business. And now that we are no longer PFT its not the cancer to the business that it once was. Just my thoughts
 

densoo

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I am also a huge believer in aerobatic instruction. Not necessarily to teach 8 point rolls or tumbles, but once you are comfortable being upside down it never leaves you. When you hit wake that is strong enough to leave you past 90 degrees this training will most certainly help the outcome.
++

I don't see how flying with pax with a/p off would help the pilots in the stalling airbus or the 737 hardover rudder unusual attitude. You've got to fly stalls of all kinds at all altitudes, and recover from out of the envelope attitudes, to get these skills. 45 nose high, 60 bank, airspeed rapidly decreasing through maneuver speed is not the time to figure out what your first move should be.
 
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thepotato232

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I know everyone hates Gulfstream but as I have been saying its the best place to step up to the airline flying. No auto pilot, hand flying in north east and west mountain areas, ice, snow approaches to nothing many times. If the captains are trained correctly its not a hazard as the 1900 is a single pilot rated plane, which provides another layer of safety. Best environment to learn the airline business. And now that we are no longer PFT its not the cancer to the business that it once was. Just my thoughts

One should likely check the pedigree of the captain whose actions sparked this discussion before making such claims. Or that of a couple of other infamous regional accident pilots, for that matter.

That type of flying, yes. That company, no. One of many sad truths in this mess is that jobs which regularly demand and reinforce the bedrock principles of aviation are all but disappearing. Those that remain are almost exclusively the domain of companies that make an RJ gig look cushy by comparison. An honest question: With general aviation dying on the vine and airline companies taking the "pass him or we've wasted our dough" approach to pilot training, where do neophyte pilots learn these skills if not in the cockpit of an airliner?
 
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waveflyer

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++

I don't see how flying with pax with a/p off would help the pilots in the stalling airbus or the 737 hardover rudder unusual attitude. You've got to fly stalls of all kinds at all altitudes, and recover from out of the envelope attitudes, to get these skills. 45 nose high, 60 bank, airspeed rapidly decreasing through maneuver speed is not the time to figure out what your first move should be.

Got to walk before you run.

Handflying is absolutely essential to those greater skills and a ridiculous amount of us do not have the simplest feel for the airplanes we fly. And there is no good justification for it.
 
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densoo

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Handflying is absolutely essential to those greater skills and a ridiculous amount of us do not have the simplest feel for the airplanes we fly. And there is no good justification for it.
It saves money.
 

waveflyer

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Seriously?
 

Dan Roman

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If you are not comfortable hand flying whatever A/C you are on with both the automation on and off, you need practice. The best way to do that is to hand fly the airplane. If you can't do it smoothly you need to find a way to improve your flying skills on your days off.
Anybody who cannot smoothly and comfortably fly their A/C in all regimes they operate in and is unwilling to rectify that is in the wrong line of work.
 

Dan Roman

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++

I don't see how flying with pax with a/p off would help the pilots in the stalling airbus or the 737 hardover rudder unusual attitude. You've got to fly stalls of all kinds at all altitudes, and recover from out of the envelope attitudes, to get these skills. 45 nose high, 60 bank, airspeed rapidly decreasing through maneuver speed is not the time to figure out what your first move should be.

If you have good hand flying skills you are less likely to get into a bad situation and if you do because of a mechanical problem you are more likely to be able to fly out of it.What's so complicated about that?
 

Dan Roman

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Got to walk before you run.

Handflying is absolutely essential to those greater skills and a ridiculous amount of us do not have the simplest feel for the airplanes we fly. And there is no good justification for it.

Wave, I'm a little surprised as a SWA pilot you would be flying with a ridiculous amount of pilots that don't have a feel for the 737?? That should be SWA pilots strength giving the amount of take offs and landings you guys do. You guys spend a career flying one kind of A/C and that should be your strength. Those of us who fly different types of A/C in different types of environments during our careers are the ones who should be especially vigilant to keeping our hand flying skills sharp.
I can tell you from experience that long haul flying is were you really see the importance of staying on top of hand flying skills.
It's not that hard to do, it just takes a conscious effort to practice, as you pointed out with a little hand flying.
 

densoo

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Seriously?
Apparently. Or else the FAA would mandate an annual day of training in a small plane without pax doing stalls and falls for an hour. I'm all for flying a/p off. I just think more than 25 degrees of bank and stall recoveries need to be a part of recurrent training. That appears to be too expensive.
 
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waveflyer

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Dan- not the only gig I've had- airline #6- swa is the best handflying major I've worked at- but I have had captains ask me to turn the AP back on bc its "too much work for them to monitor"...it's all individuals, you know.
 

waveflyer

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Densoo- I see what you're saying now. I'm only disagreeing that handflying isn't useful not that more wouldn't be better -
 

EatinRamen

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Dan- not the only gig I've had- airline #6- swa is the best handflying major I've worked at- but I have had captains ask me to turn the AP back on bc its "too much work for them to monitor"...it's all individuals, you know.

I try to hand-fly as much as possible after take off and during approach, but I have had captains ask me to click the auto pilot on, because they get overwhelmed with radios and MCP settings. (Side note, those have been 60 year old + guys that ask me to turn the a/p on.)
 

Sacha

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I try to hand-fly as much as possible after take off and during approach, but I have had captains ask me to click the auto pilot on, because they get overwhelmed with radios and MCP settings. (Side note, those have been 60 year old + guys that ask me to turn the a/p on.)

At SWA? Because the odds of you flying with over 60 guys on a regular basis are pretty remote.

Nevermind. I see you work for Vision.
 
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densoo

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Densoo- I see what you're saying now. I'm only disagreeing that handflying isn't useful not that more wouldn't be better -
Yea, I have pretty much been implying that and flying some is certainly better than none, I just would like to see us getting out of envelope training on a regular basis. Many do this on their own.
 

Rough67

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if you are not comfortable hand flying whatever a/c you are on with both the automation on and off, you need practice. The best way to do that is to hand fly the airplane. If you can't do it smoothly you need to find a way to improve your flying skills on your days off.
Anybody who cannot smoothly and comfortably fly their a/c in all regimes they operate in and is unwilling to rectify that is in the wrong line of work.

+ 1.
 

Jar Jar

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I hand fly in during climb cruise and descent because it is so difficult and requires a ton of skill to keep the aircraft on course and altitude. I can capture altitudes dudes! It's insane what I can do, I deserve to be paid more because i am so good at hand flying. Its like when i get low i pull up a bit but not too much! then when i get high I push down a bit and not too much! Its crazy hard guys, i know you regional guys just cant handle it.

If anything goes wrong during flight I keep hand flying and I tell the other guy to fix it. I dont really know what he's doing because I am so dedicated to my hand flying skills (which none of you have) that I refuse to use any automation what so ever. I am the best aviator on Earth because I can hand fly an airliner, so yeah.
 
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