Why...

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
You have an autopilot that can take verbal commands from ATC to change headings and then go direct to a point? I wasn't aware that existed.

If by autopilot fly the SID, you mean it can fly the initial turn, then fly the headings I input, then go direct to the fix after I input it, then yeah, the autopilot will do it. But it's not the "program it, click it on, and let it go" that a SID out of ATL is.
"Hey first officer, since I'm hand flying, you think you could program up direct to fixxy for me?". Or you can't fly and program? Or put the A/P on, put direct fixxy in, then take it back off and go back to hand flying?

I'm not sure what your FMS can do, but ours also has a bearing pointer that I could have point at any fix. I could swing the old heading bug around so that the pointer matches the heading if I was handflying too...

There are like 7000 ways to do this in every airplane I've ever flown.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Look at the RNAV departures in CLT. They start with a heading, then vectors to a fix on the departure. While it's still important to program the correct runway, because the first turn is in different directions, the autopilot can't fly the SID because there are vector legs programmed in.
So again...how does a memo requiring the autopilot be on fix this? If you’re on vectors especially with an FD on that seems easier than any ground based nav DP I’ve flown. Again, no criticism, I’m just not understanding.
 

ASpilot2be

Qbicle seat warmer
You have an autopilot that can take verbal commands from ATC to change headings and then go direct to a point? I wasn't aware that existed.

If by autopilot fly the SID, you mean it can fly the initial turn, then fly the headings I input, then go direct to the fix after I input it, then yeah, the autopilot will do it. But it's not the "program it, click it on, and let it go" that a SID out of ATL is.
The last plane I flew, the FMS would fly headings you typed into the box. It was a command heading feature. You could type the heading ATC gives you, then when airborne, hit enter and it would fly that heading.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
The last plane I flew, the FMS would fly headings you typed into the box. It was a command heading feature. You could type the heading ATC gives you, then when airborne, hit enter and it would fly that heading.
Do you not just use the heading bug?
 

BobDDuck

Island Bus Driver
So again...how does a memo requiring the autopilot be on fix this? If you’re on vectors especially with an FD on that seems easier than any ground based nav DP I’ve flown. Again, no criticism, I’m just not understanding.
The issue in CLT, when they first started the RNAV departures was that guys weren't turning soon enough or, they wouldn't account for the wind, and would end up drifting closer to the other departure corridor than they should. Obviously, the autopilot is just going to follow the FD, just like a pilot hand flying would do. How close to the FD the pilot flies becomes the issue, especially when they are distracted with level offs, speed contraints and frequency switches as well as cleaning up the plane.
 

ASpilot2be

Qbicle seat warmer
Do you not just use the heading bug?
I would most of the time. There were times when you wouldn't though. Getting vectored onto a GPS approach you would use the command heading. I would also use it when getting vectored to a fix. If they said right turn to a heading, then direct a fix and you were using command heading then it was easy. But if you were using heading mode and hit direct to, and forgot to switch to nav then the plane wouldn't go direct. Using command heading just made one less mode switch.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
The issue in CLT, when they first started the RNAV departures was that guys weren't turning soon enough or, they wouldn't account for the wind, and would end up drifting closer to the other departure corridor than they should. Obviously, the autopilot is just going to follow the FD, just like a pilot hand flying would do. How close to the FD the pilot flies becomes the issue, especially when they are distracted with level offs, speed contraints and frequency switches as well as cleaning up the plane.
On some RNAV DPs are you supposed to fly a track instead of heading after takeoff? I looked at a couple CLT ones and I only saw headings. Do RJ FMS systems have a track/heading mode switch? The Swiss Starship does, I don’t use it much, but it would be perfect for something like that.

Other than that the points re: PF being busy and the pilot flying close to the FD are equally valid on a ground based nav DP or a vector DP are they not? At least with RNAV the CDI gets moved automatically without having to switch between navaids. Is it just because the big airports pretty much only use RNAV these days?
 

msmspilot

Well-Known Member
"Hey first officer, since I'm hand flying, you think you could program up direct to fixxy for me?". Or you can't fly and program? Or put the A/P on, put direct fixxy in, then take it back off and go back to hand flying?

I'm not sure what your FMS can do, but ours also has a bearing pointer that I could have point at any fix. I could swing the old heading bug around so that the pointer matches the heading if I was handflying too...

There are like 7000 ways to do this in every airplane I've ever flown.
So let's take a step back. My original response was to "Why are RNAV departures so error-prone? It seems easier than the heading-course-another heading to intercept dance on ground based nav DPs."

I have only tried to explain that the departures in CLT, while technically RNAV, are still "heading, heading, heading, ok direct." So they're not actually any different.

So again...how does a memo requiring the autopilot be on fix this? If you’re on vectors especially with an FD on that seems easier than any ground based nav DP I’ve flown. Again, no criticism, I’m just not understanding.
So I don't work for an airline that requires us to be on autopilot for departures. So I have no idea. But as stated just above this, I was only trying to say that the departures in CLT look an awful lot like a "regular" departure except when you're finally cleared on course, it's a GPS point instead of a VOR.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
So let's take a step back. My original response was to "Why are RNAV departures so error-prone? It seems easier than the heading-course-another heading to intercept dance on ground based nav DPs."

I have only tried to explain that the departures in CLT, while technically RNAV, are still "heading, heading, heading, ok direct." So they're not actually any different.



So I don't work for an airline that requires us to be on autopilot for departures. So I have no idea. But as stated just above this, I was only trying to say that the departures in CLT look an awful lot like a "regular" departure except when you're finally cleared on course, it's a GPS point instead of a VOR.
Ok, vectors to a fix is not what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about runway heading to an altitude, to direct to an NDB, to intercept a localizer type stuff. Compared to that an RNAV DP is easy, and compared to a real RNAV DP vectors until direct to a fix is even easier. And if people are screwing up a radar vector to a fix departure, it seems kind of stupid to apply the solution only to RNAV DPs, not to all DPs in a busy terminal area.

All this to say I still don’t understand what’s unique about RNAV DPs that were causing issues.
 

gotWXdagain

Highly Visible Member
Ok, vectors to a fix is not what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about runway heading to an altitude, to direct to an NDB, to intercept a localizer type stuff. Compared to that an RNAV DP is easy, and compared to a real RNAV DP vectors until direct to a fix is even easier. And if people are screwing up a radar vector to a fix departure, it seems kind of stupid to apply the solution only to RNAV DPs, not to all DPs in a busy terminal area.

All this to say I still don’t understand what’s unique about RNAV DPs that were causing issues.
Those of us non fancy airliner jet types don’t understand what’s so hard about using your hands to follow a CDI. If it’s an incorrectly entered flight plan, both you and George will end up at the same violation on your cert.
 
Ok, vectors to a fix is not what I’m talking about, though. I’m talking about runway heading to an altitude, to direct to an NDB, to intercept a localizer type stuff. Compared to that an RNAV DP is easy, and compared to a real RNAV DP vectors until direct to a fix is even easier. And if people are screwing up a radar vector to a fix departure, it seems kind of stupid to apply the solution only to RNAV DPs, not to all DPs in a busy terminal area.

All this to say I still don’t understand what’s unique about RNAV DPs that were causing issues.
What's an NDB?
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Talking to someone, here’s what I gathered.
-RNAV procedure design and equipment hasn’t kept up with what ATC needs on some DPs. Specifically, with CDI scaling you get you can be far enough off course to cause a problem and hardly notice (time for lower RNP departures?)
-the rest is really just the same common sense about using all tools available as needed (including the AP) when flying in busy airspace, not necessarily specific to RNAV procedures but for whatever reason they get singled out.
 
Damn kids.
Look at your airplane panel, you’re looking for something that looks like a clock with one pointer on it and a sticker labeled “In-Op”
I think he's flying airplanes that post date when the last known ADF was taken out back and "accidentally dropped"
Yeah, what she said. Our DA40's don't have NDB'S in them and there are no NDB approaches near us. Thank God.
 

TWP

Well-Known Member
Correct. But in my opinion automation is there for a reason and it increases the margin for safety. Especially in busy/complex airspace. Into/out of an outstation somewhere? Knock yourself out. Into and out of hubs? Sure... But is it the best course of action? That is debatable in my opinion.
I just knew the second I read the original post that a bunch of these 5 A.M. hand flyers would attack the departure one specifically.

They just have to show you how cool they are.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
I just knew the second I read the original post that a bunch of these 5 A.M. hand flyers would attack the departure one specifically.

They just have to show you how cool they are.
Well, I don’t know if that’s fair. My comment specifically just related what I see happen most of the time. I’m an FO and generally just chameleon whatever el hefe does. And I absolutely agree there are times when more automation would be in the best interest of safety.
 

chrisreedrules

Master Blaster
Well, I don’t know if that’s fair. My comment specifically just related what I see happen most of the time. I’m an FO and generally just chameleon whatever el hefe does. And I absolutely agree there are times when more automation would be in the best interest of safety.
A lot of my reasoning for this comes from personal experience. 7AM departure and you’ve got a stick shaker activating as soon as you’re WOW and the stall system thinks you’re less than a couple knots above a stall and there are simultaneous parallel departures and arrivals. Pulling breakers and avoiding traffic is always fun right? Now imagine some sort of compounding failure.

We fall to the level of our training. In the sim we fly a standard profile almost exclusively. If you utilize that profile in/out of very busy airspace it will decrease your workload in the event of an emergency. And it will allow the other pilot you’re flying with to know exactly what to expect out of you.

Y’all do what you want. I’ve never had great luck in airplanes. I’ve had more emergencies in the past decade than most have in their whole careers. My experiences have shaped the way I fly and how I think about even the simple and mundane tasks we perform.
 
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