Is This True?

Airlines

New Member
Hey everyone,

I was talking with my instructor the other day about the airlines, and he said at most of the major airlines, company policies dictate that the pilots have to hit the autopilot right after take-off because of how much better the autopilot behaves as opposed to the actual pilot, as well as that sensors are going to be installed that can tell people on the ground when the autopilot is on or off so they can monitor the pilots to make sure they are complying with company regulations. Is this true at all and if it is, what has everyone heard? Thanks.
 

I_Money

Moderator
I think he is putting a few things together - now people like DE727UPS, A300Capt, etc correct me if I am wrong.

Most airline pilot put the autopilot on shortly after take off to reduce work load - however it is not required at most airlines and pilot can fly it up to altitude if they want.

Aircraft have systems where if the gear not put down before a certain altitude, GPW (or whatever it is) goes off, company is sent a message alerting them.

I do not think the two are combined.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Very doubtful.

At Delta, as far as I know, there's no specific policy regarding when to turn on the autopilot.
'
At least on the aircraft that I've flown, it can be done a lot smoother by hand flying, especially when it comes to the autothrottles.

We usually turn on the autothrottles on takeoff because it'll automatically adjust to finely tune a takeoff power setting instead of the non-flying pilot constantly tinkering with it during takeoff. But in cruise and descent, the MD-88/90 is so wacky, most of the time when you're changing altitudes with the autothrottles on, you still have to manually adjust them in order to avoid overspeeding the aircraft or when you're doing an IAS descent and the throttles are in CLMP mode.

Too much information, I know!

But the actual autopilot is a little jerky and scares me to death when we do a practice autoland because it flies way different than a human does.

In general, I turn on the autopilot through about 18,000 feet or so and I usually turn it off as we're descending through 10,000 feet in good weather. If the weather is crappy, I'll usually leave it on until I break out of the weather so if we have to go missed approach, it's not quite such a challenge and relieves my non-flying pilot from having to set altitude alerters, LNAV, VNAV and work the radios simultaneously.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
Only airline jets I have flown (regularly) are the CRJ and the B737-700. In both aircraft the training profiles call for AP on shortly after takeoff. I think this is primarily because no matter how good they think they are making sims, they still fly like crap. Then the trainees can concentrate on callouts and profiles.

I regularly take the RJ up to FL250 or higher by hand. Drives my FOs crazy since by the profiles they are required to have them do all the FMS and FCP (Flight Control Panel) stuff while I'm hand flying


The 737 was a little tougher since it flies like the side of a barn. Turn the wheel, count to 3 and the plane starts to bank. Still, I took it up to FL180 several times just to make sure I could do it.

Doug is the AP deferrable on the MD88? It is on the RJ and 737.
 

davetheflyer

New Member
We are encouraged to handly the Jetstream since both the autopilot and the flight director can be deferred. As John said, we did most of our sim sessions with the autopilot on, but we were required to hand fly one approach on our checkride.
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
I think you need to find another instructor. He's either received bad info or is pulling your leg.

Seriously, no it's not true what he says. We can turn on the autopilot at 1000' and sometimes I do depending upon workload, weather and/or how tired I am. Most of the time I'll hand fly it through 10,000' before engaging an autopilot.

The autopilots are smooth, especially in the newer jets but I know of no airline that dictates the policy you described nor any sensors to tell the ground people whether or not you are using the autopilot. They could probably care less.

We do, however, have weather landing mins which dictate the mandatory use of the autopilot for the approach and/or autoland.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
Doug is the AP deferrable on the MD88? It is on the RJ and 737.

[/ QUOTE ]

Sure is!

And I even flew from SAN to SLC without one.

I even turned off the flight director!


The autopilot was inop, the flight director was kind of screwy so we just flew VOR to VOR by hand. It felt like my old Beech 1900 days, but just a lot faster!
 

braidkid

New Member
[ QUOTE ]


We usually turn on the autothrottles on takeoff because it'll automatically adjust to finely tune a takeoff power setting instead of the non-flying pilot constantly tinkering with it during takeoff.


[/ QUOTE ]

Hey Doug,
Could you elaborate on this? I don't understand what kind of throttle adjustments are needed during takeoff in a jet since all I've flown is a 172 simply requiring full throttle on takeoff.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]


Hey Doug,
Could you elaborate on this? I don't understand what kind of throttle adjustments are needed during takeoff in a jet since all I've flown is a 172 simply requiring full throttle on takeoff.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well, I'd have to almost rewrite the history of the world to explain, but it greatly reduces your workload.
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
You don't "firewall" a transport aircraft. They are thrust limited. You may ask why we have that extra room on the thrust levers if we don't use it? Well just in case old Jose in the fuel truck decides to drive across the runway in front of you, ya got a little extra push


So autothrottles automatically set the levers to the pre-determined, take-off thrust.
 

Swabby

New Member
Hey Doug,
Could you elaborate on this? I don't understand what kind of throttle adjustments are needed during takeoff in a jet since all I've flown is a 172 simply requiring full throttle on takeoff.

[/ QUOTE ]

Pardon me for jumping in, but I'll give this a shot. Most commercial jet airliners do not takeoff with the throttles full forward to the firewall. Typically, depending on aircraft weight, field conditions, runway length and the climb limits required, most takeoffs are accomplished at a reduced power setting in order to extend engine life and reduce costs.

When the crew receives its final paper work it normally includes a runway analysis that includes these reductions and the maximum takeoff weight for these reductions. The captain then determines if a reduced takeoff will be accomplished and if so, how much of a reduction.
These reduced takeoffs, reduce the EPR or N1 depending on the engine, that the engines will produce for takeoff and subsequently, how far forward the throttles will advance.

With only two sets of eyeballs in the cockpit, it reduces the work load in the cockpit to only have the non flying pilot glance at the EPR guage at 80 or so knots in order to verify that takeoff thrust has been obtained, then to constantly fiddle with the throttles, particularly, since the EPR guages might take a few seconds to settle down during such a critical moment in the flight.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
You don't "firewall" a transport aircraft. They are thrust limited. You may ask why we have that extra room on the thrust levers if we don't use it? Well just in case old Jose in the fuel truck decides to drive across the runway in front of you, ya got a little extra push


So autothrottles automatically set the levers to the pre-determined, take-off thrust.


[/ QUOTE ]

If you "firewall" most standard jets, you're going to get quite a bit of power and almost guarantee that you're going to have to pull the engines off for an inspection!
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
If you "firewall" most standard jets, you're going to get quite a bit of power and almost guarantee that you're going to have to pull the engines off for an inspection

[/ QUOTE ]

Thank gawd for the FADEC system!
One of aviations modern marvels..along with autothrottles!
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]


Thank gawd for the FADEC system!
One of aviations modern marvels..along with autothrottles!

[/ QUOTE ]

Does the A300 have an "ORT" gate like the MD-90?

You can "firewall" the -90 and it won't overspeed, but if you push the throttles full forward, add a little more pressure and disengage a physical "ORT" (Over-Rated Thrust) gate, it'll pretty much give you enough thrust to make the nacelles glow red.

Real handy in the simulator when you're practicing severe windshear and CFIT avoidance!
 

I_Money

Moderator
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]


Thank gawd for the FADEC system!
One of aviations modern marvels..along with autothrottles!

[/ QUOTE ]

Does the A300 have an "ORT" gate like the MD-90?

You can "firewall" the -90 and it won't overspeed, but if you push the throttles full forward, add a little more pressure and disengage a physical "ORT" (Over-Rated Thrust) gate, it'll pretty much give you enough thrust to make the nacelles glow red.

Real handy in the simulator when you're practicing severe windshear and CFIT avoidance!




[/ QUOTE ]

Or when you are on your last leg of a 4 day trip and it looks like you will be missing the last DFW-PHX flight.
 

braidkid

New Member
Wow, and to think I've been taking off my 737 in MS flight simulator with full throttles all this time!!!

I would think the throttle should be like those on the F-18. The pilot simply pushes the throttle forward to the first indention for MIL power and then another click forward for MAX. Is there no reference on the throttles themselves for takeoff power, only the gauges?
 

A300Capt

Freight Dawg
[ QUOTE ]
Does the A300 have an "ORT" gate like the MD-90?


[/ QUOTE ]

No, neither do the B75/76. Firewall gives you max thrust. The FADEC will take care of overspeed/overboost protection. There is no overtemp protection but it's usually not a concern as they stay relatively cool.


Using reverse thrust on the A300/B75/76, you can pull the levers back to the stops without any concerns unlike my B727 days which had limits on the N1's.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
On the -88, I've got to monitor for overboosting during reverse thrust, but on the -90's FADEC-style system, I can pull them all the way to the full reverse detent and it'll give me a max of 1.3 EPR. Or it might be 1.4, I can't remember.

The -90 has basically the same IAE2500 engine as the A-320.
 

Cheechako

Well-Known Member
The CRJ has none of the above! We roll down the runway with the PNF tweaking the power to the correct setting. Firewall the RJ you'll see red lines and it's time for an inspection!
 
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