question for all jet airline pilots.......

zimmerbz

New Member
I am curious about something. I am in a virtual airline and there has been some discussion as to how much of the flight on say a Delta or United 737 ect is used by the autopilot and how much is actually hand flown. After takeoff, when does the pilot use AP and when would you disengage AP before landing. I understand it is different for every pilot or every airline, but I was just wondering what some people use for their techniques. Thanks, I appreciate the posts.
Brad
 

Fearless

Dash Dominatrix
Hi Brad,

I work for a regional airline and fly a 60,000-lb turboprop. According to our Flight Standards Manual, we may use the autopilot NO LOWER than 1000' AGL on takeoff and no lower than 200' AGL on landing. Takeoffs, landings, single-engine approaches, and Cat II/III approaches are always flown manually.

To maintain proficiency, a lot of company pilots will "hand fly" the airplane through the takeoff and climb, and again on the descent and landing.

The autopilots on our aircraft are "MEL-able" - we can fly the airplane with an inoperative autopilot under the provisions of a MEL (Minimum Equipment List). This means that the "flying pilot" gets to fly the whole thing - takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, approach, and landing. This isn't especially difficult, but can make for a long day if you're dealing with a lot of weather and turbulence.

FFFI
 

aloft

New Member
Yeah, but you're not a "jet airline pilot", so thanks for playing, but have a seat.
 

ERAU_Intern

New Member
I think Fearless gave a pretty good explanation actually. That is usually how it goes. I'm not an airline pilot, but I have done my fair share of jumpseating in numerous regional aircraft. I find that there is about a 50-50 mix of pilots who just like to fly with the autopilot most of the time, and pilots who are "stick and rudder" oriented like myself. Every company has its own policy regarding the use of the A/P, but you will find that much of it is simply dependant on what the pilot flying feels like doing that day.
 

Tired

New Member
I think that's why he included the 60,000lbs part, his turbo-prop is heavier then some jet airliners...
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
I'm not an airline pilot, but I have done my fair share of jumpseating in numerous regional aircraft.

[/ QUOTE ]

How have you managed to do that?
 

flyn_ace_99

New Member
Some Airlines offer Jumpseat time to Interns in exchange for thier work within the airline. This work is unpaid, most students requires student loans to go on an internship.

I interned at Continental Express (ExpressJet) over this fall. It was a blast and I enjoyed the Jumpseat time. After 9/11 the companies really fought to keep intern jumpseat privaleges. It was a great privalege to be able to see what my future office will look like.


Anyway, that is the jest of jumpseating. You gotta be pretty darn special to sit upfront (ie: pilot or intern) It is pretty strict and most of the time you have to show every form of identification under the sun, but always worth the trip.

Marilyn
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You gotta be pretty darn special to sit upfront (ie: pilot or intern)

[/ QUOTE ]

I was under the impression that neither was allowed up front post-9/11. Guess I had the wrong impression.
 

aloft

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
I was under the impression that neither was allowed up front post-9/11. Guess I had the wrong impression.


[/ QUOTE ]You're not too far off, ESF, jumpseating still has its limits. Doug can probably spell this out further (tho he might not for security reasons), but I've been under the impression that offline jumpseating is still limited to riding in the back. They have to be able to verify your employment to let you take the seat in the cockpit, which most carriers can only do with their own employees (or those of their regional partners). The only others that can jumpseat to my knowledge are company dispatchers (I *think*), company interns, FAA controllers riding for familiarization purposes and FAA inspectors for flight check purposes.

Don't quote me on any of this, it's only a loose understanding on my part.
 

EatSleepFly

Well-Known Member
Cool. Thanks, aloft. You've definitely got a better understanding of it than me. I don't keep up with all that stuff very well.
 

FL270

New Member
Aloft's post is correct except that ATC fam rides have not been restored unless I'm mistaken. Spoke with a friend of mine who's a controller a couple months ago, and he said their fam rides lost post-9/11 still had not been restored.

I was a Continental intern in '98 and rode the HELL out of the jumpseat when I was there. (60-some flights in four months while still working full time in Houston) In order to grant us interns the jumpseat, the company issued us CAL and IAH ID badges and employee numbers. Then, each of our names were provided to the POI at the FSDO, who then approved us individually and sent us jumpseat approval cards signed by the POI and the VP of Flight Ops. We were allowed up front on mainline Continental and Continental Express flights within the US, and international flights with prior approval from the Flight Ops powers-that-be. (I got must-ride in the jumpseat to LGW and back at the end of my internship.)

Because of the process involved, it is my understanding that the interns were among the first people granted access to the cockpit again after 9/11 at CAL and other carriers. Online jumpseating is allowed, but offliners are restricted to the rear now (which is why Doug gripes so much about the PHX-DFW commute and finally bid ATL!). There has been some effort undertaken to restore offline jumpseating but there's a lot of TSA hurdles to jump as I understand it. My airline friends all think that the best thing their unions could do for them right now would be to really push hard for the return of offline jumpseating. It makes commuting many times simpler.

FL270

P.S.: Though I'm a corporate turboprop pilot (not a "jet airline pilot") I'll respond to the original question too ... I typically hand-fly from takeoff to 7000' or so before letting "George" take over, and turn him off below 5000' or so on the landing, unless I'm somewhere workload-intensive (like going in to EWR on a low-IFR day) then I'll let the autopilot fly a little more. I usually do hand-fly (with the flight director) my ILS approaches.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
[ QUOTE ]
We can still ride up front on ATA and Chicago Express post 9/11. Our interns can ride up front too (on us).

[/ QUOTE ]
I'd think you'd get some sexual discrimination suits doing that!
 

I_Money

Moderator
Before 9/11 I got to sit upfront on an A340 departing LAX - and I was paying pax - oh the good old days.
 

N9103M

Well-Known Member
60,000lb Turboprop?! You gotta be flying a Convair or a Q400! Thats sweet.....

As for our autopilot use, we can engage it as low as 600 ft. AGL after Takeoff, and disengage it as low as 80 feet on approach.

Somedays it's on at 600, some days it's off up until cruise.

I try to keep it on the autopilot, but I like going into outstations sometimes and just clicking everything off and flying it raw-data. Keeps the skills sharp!
 

CK

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
60,000lb Turboprop?! You gotta be flying a Convair or a Q400! Thats sweet.....


[/ QUOTE ]

What does one of those Saab 2000 way? I was a race team that had one up at Dover this year and the thing was freaking huge.
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
Well I don't fly a jet, so I'm not sure if I'm qualified to answer, but we can turn on the autopilot at 500 feet or acceleration altitude, whichever is higher. Then turn it off at 100 feet on a precision approach or MDA on a non-precision. I usually hand fly quite a bit, almost always up to cruise altitude, and on final approach. I also often do raw-data approaches to keep my skills fresh. On some of our shorter routes I'll hand fly the entire time, never using the flight director or autopilot.
 

IrishSheepdog

Sitting in the median
[ QUOTE ]
What does one of those Saab 2000 way? I was a race team that had one up at Dover this year and the thing was freaking huge.

[/ QUOTE ]

MGTOW of 50,700 lbs.
 

C650CPT

Well-Known Member
Brad
I will start out by saying I'm not an airline pilot but I do fly jets. I have hand flown all the way to FL430 but normally I engage the autopilot climbing through 10,000' and usually disconnect it descending below 10,000'. As previously stated we can't use the autopilot below 200' on approach, it has to do with the certification of the autopilot. As far as letting pilots hand fly it really comes down to how smooth thier control touch is. I will let a pilot hand fly as long as it is not uncomforatable to the passengers.
I have not flown the 737 but a few of my copilots have and they say they have a much heavier controll feel ( truckish ) compared to my 22,000 lb jet, which is very responsive to roll and pitch inputs. Not sure how the real world of flying helps you out in your virtual world but I hope our input answers your question.

Jim
 

av8rmsu

Well-Known Member
Flychicaga

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
What does one of those Saab 2000 way? I was a race team that had one up at Dover this year and the thing was freaking huge.

[/ QUOTE ]

MGTOW of 50,700 lbs.

[/ QUOTE ]


Do you fly the Saab 340 or the Saab 2000? (i don't think they are the same)
 
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