FAA maybe not so stupid?

n57flyguy

Well-Known Member
As this comes up more frequently:

A few have mentioned that they like to hand fly - what is your threshold for when and when you will not hand fly (as in its busy and we need eyes out, don't want to overload the PM, or an ILS to mins)? Is it dictated by your SOP/FOM? Do you brief it or just do it?

I come from a school of 'do whatever you want, just don't screw it up' which I guess is fair but in terms of CRM does that make the it's your leg but I'm flying captains hover more?
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Yeah, that is where we disagree. Sure, you need SOME practice. But honestly, not very much. Nowadays I only fly about 100 hours a year, at best. Sometimes I go three months between flights. The hand flying isn't what you lose. It's the flows and such. Hand flying after you've been flying for 20 years is like riding a bike. People just like to push it because it's an ego thing.
I was out for nearly 2 years while I was sick and recovering. The handflying gets rusty, but honestly the flows were fine - I knew where everything was still. I hopped back into an airplane I had a fair bit of experience in and did not have a single issue other than I wasn't that smooth and my landings kind of sucked for a bit.

I think this is an individual thing.

As for the present automation debate, it's both, you need to be good at handflying so you don't lose control of the airplane and you need to know how all the automation works extremely well and be proficient in it's use. It's not enough to be an expert at one and a novice at the other, mastery of the airplane requires we're experts at both.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
As this comes up more frequently:

A few have mentioned that they like to hand fly - what is your threshold for when and when you will not hand fly (as in its busy and we need eyes out, don't want to overload the PM, or an ILS to mins)? Is it dictated by your SOP/FOM? Do you brief it or just do it?

I come from a school of 'do whatever you want, just don't screw it up' which I guess is fair but in terms of CRM does that make the it's your leg but I'm flying captains hover more?
I handfly in good weather until I get bored. During approaches if it's VFR I'll handfly unless workload precludes it.
 

JordanD

Honorary Member
As this comes up more frequently:

A few have mentioned that they like to hand fly - what is your threshold for when and when you will not hand fly (as in its busy and we need eyes out, don't want to overload the PM, or an ILS to mins)? Is it dictated by your SOP/FOM? Do you brief it or just do it?

I come from a school of 'do whatever you want, just don't screw it up' which I guess is fair but in terms of CRM does that make the it's your leg but I'm flying captains hover more?
Pretty much workload/weather/complexity/level of give a poop for me. If I'm with an FO I know really well or I can already tell they've got a good grasp on things I might hand fly up to 10,000 or 18. If it's a newer person that I can tell is barely hanging on by the tail I'll just click the thing on before 10 or so if it's super busy. Partly so they're not having to baby sit me, and partly so I can baby sit them as they fiddle with the box trying to get the thing to go direct 6 times. (Not a knock, but it can be tough for some of the new guys). If it's super choppy I don't find wrestling the flight director fun to make a level off either, autopilot comes on so I don't bust the altitude trying to look cool. Some departures are fun (TECKY out of SJC is fun to handfly), but honestly if I'm on a heading or direct a fix that's 50 miles away out of ORD cleared to 230 (where the autopilot has to be on anyway) I just click it on after a while. I figure holding 10 degrees of pitch in a straight line isn't necessarily honing any skills.

And then sometimes I'm tired and just click it on at acceleration height because I don't care and want to be lazy.

Side note, had a good FO I'd flown with a bunch of times decide he wanted to hand fly going into JFK. Normally I'd be like "uhh, is this the place?" but it's all vectors, kind of a slow day, and I'd flown with the guy enough times to know he knew what he was doing. Clicks it off. "AUTOPILOT. AUTOPILOT."
"Uhh, you gonna silence that thing?"
".....I can't"
Got to finally run one of those "lol, that's a weird QRH procedure" while we almost went insane from hearing that mantra repeated for the last 20 minutes of the flight. FA and the people in the first couple rows found it more amusing than we did.
 

RamRise

Well-Known Member
Guys that use the tiller on long straight taxiways make my head shake like a Bollywood star.
When your CRJ 200 has the alignment of a 1995 mazda minivan that hasn't seen a mechanic in decades, the tiller allows you to provide equal input on the break pedals and therefore smoother stopping. But yeah it sometimes steers like a canoe, where you poke the paddle and then gauge the response.
Does anyone else have this issue? Braking evenly while one foot is pressed way forward to steer? and also when brake pads themselves are uneven that really screws things up.
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
This argument about automation. ATN, I agree with you that almost always if it screws up, it was the pilot operator error.

But my cases of hairy situations has been a case of being too close in to use automation effectively. Like coming in from the north to LAX, getting turned right into JETSA 2,200 ft. The vector is tight, approach mode is armed, and looks like it’ll capture but then invariably it gets the LOC, and GS is missed because of altitude capture. Plus they get task saturated slowing down, gear out, flaps.
Like Warren said, the automation doesn’t understand the word NOW! At this point , AP off and visually flying it works out better than trying to quickly smash buttons and turn knobs at the FAF.

Since I used to go into EWR and still go into SFO a lot, there are last second sidesteps for various reasons, usually they don’t have enough spacing. It’s a visual. You’re close to the ground. Here is where I’ll click click, click click. This isn’t the time to go heads down, reprogram the box, clean it up, and then get it coupled to the FD/AP. ***IF*** you have the time, sure. But it shouldn’t be the first move. Again, the automation doesn’t understand, “I need this now!”

Another thing specific to the Bus, you lose anything that takes you out of normal law, there goes your automation. Depending on the failure you may have some automation available / re-engages, but still you’re gonna be hand flying.

Anyway. I have enough time in the Bus now to be able to tell if the guy I’m with is weak without the AP.
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
This argument about automation. ATN, I agree with you that almost always if it screws up, it was the pilot operator error.

But my cases of hairy situations has been a case of being too close in to use automation effectively. Like coming in from the north to LAX, getting turned right into JETSA 2,200 ft. The vector is tight, approach mode is armed, and looks like it’ll capture but then invariably it gets the LOC, and GS is missed because of altitude capture. Plus they get task saturated slowing down, gear out, flaps.
Like Warren said, the automation doesn’t understand the word NOW! At this point , AP off and visually flying it works out better than trying to quickly smash buttons and turn knobs at the FAF.

Another thing specific to the Bus, you lose anything that takes you out of normal law, there goes your automation. Depending on the failure you may have some automation available / re-engages, but still you’re gonna be hand flying.

Anyway. I have enough time in the Bus now to be able to tell if the guy I’m with is weak without the AP.
So, the Bus sucks. Glad we finally got that cleared up. :)
 

Jordan93

Well-Known Member
When your CRJ 200 has the alignment of a 1995 mazda minivan that hasn't seen a mechanic in decades, the tiller allows you to provide equal input on the break pedals and therefore smoother stopping. But yeah it sometimes steers like a canoe, where you poke the paddle and then gauge the response.
Does anyone else have this issue? Braking evenly while one foot is pressed way forward to steer? and also when brake pads themselves are uneven that really screws things up.
I find that I subconsciously use more left brake. I don’t know if it’s due to me being left handed but I always seem to heat up the left side more than the right. Single engine taxi helps out a lot and I do it whenever I can
 

Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
ATN, you quoted me while I was editing the post.

I added this too:


Since I used to go into EWR and still go into SFO a lot, there are last second sidesteps for various reasons, usually they don’t have enough spacing. It’s a visual. You’re close to the ground. Here is where I’ll click click, click click. This isn’t the time to go heads down, reprogram the box, clean it up, and then get it coupled to the FD/AP. ***IF*** you have the time, sure. But it shouldn’t be the first move. Again, the automation doesn’t understand, “I need this now!”
 

SlumTodd_Millionaire

Socialist Pig Member
ATN, you quoted me while I was editing the post.

I added this too:


Since I used to go into EWR and still go into SFO a lot, there are last second sidesteps for various reasons, usually they don’t have enough spacing. It’s a visual. You’re close to the ground. Here is where I’ll click click, click click. This isn’t the time to go heads down, reprogram the box, clean it up, and then get it coupled to the FD/AP. ***IF*** you have the time, sure. But it shouldn’t be the first move. Again, the automation doesn’t understand, “I need this now!”
No argument there. But I don't see any accidents or incidents being caused by people not knowing how to hand fly in this scenario, so I'm guessing most people are handling it just fine. Meanwhile, people don't know how to use their damned automation.
 
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