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lostmoon

"Can you fly a plane?"

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I am flight sim fanatic. Since the QOTS, I've been even more of a fanatic. Many people/friends ask me: "If you were in a plane, and the pilots happen to be incapacitated for some reason, would you be able to take control of the plane and land it safely?"If it's a Boeing a/c 737, 747, 757, 767... yes. probablly. i would be able to help. as for the newer airbuses, i probablly would have no clue at all.when the aloha airlines 737-200 (or was it a -100) decompressed en route from PHOG to PHNL, the flight attendant didn't think the pilots were in the flight deck, and started asking people if they: "...know how to fly a plane?"it's so funny, because when people see me flying the sim, they are so curious, and i love telling them what things are, and all that.maximus


Tom James

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>I am flight sim fanatic. Since the QOTS, I've been even more>of a fanatic. >>Many people/friends ask me: "If you were in a plane, and the>pilots happen to be incapacitated for some reason, would you>be able to take control of the plane and land it safely?">>If it's a Boeing a/c 737, 747, 757, 767... yes. probablly. i>would be able to help. as for the newer airbuses, i probablly>would have no clue at all.>>when the aloha airlines 737-200 (or was it a -100)>decompressed en route from PHOG to PHNL, the flight attendant>didn't think the pilots were in the flight deck, and started>asking people if they: "...know how to fly a plane?">>it's so funny, because when people see me flying the sim, they>are so curious, and i love telling them what things are, and>all that.>>maximusUnluckly to pilot a real plane is completelly different from a sim. There are a lot of things that happen that i am pretty sure u wouldnt be able to land it so safely as u think;) Just think thatwhen i started my PPL i thoiught that piloting a piper foir me would have been so easy as i came from years of flight sim. Well i was wrong. And i am talking of a piper. If u think that air company spndt millions to train their pilots with very expensive simulators and hours and hours f ground courses. Dont u think that if an airconmpany would just need a simulator like FS9 they would be happy to save money? ;)Alfredo


Alfredo Russo

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I'd really like to think that I could, but I'm sure it's a FAR different experience actually being there in the cockpit with all the motion cues etc. I think I could probably set up an autoland, but a manual landing? Wouldn't want to bet my life on it!


Ryan Maziarz
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To be honest I think it would be possible as you have ATC and other pilots talking you through what to do and as far as I know cabin crew are told some of the basics (not to mention loads of them are budding pilots!). I've flown a real B777-200 level-D sim and landed on the center line of the runway everytime without the use of ILS. At the time (back in 2000) I had only flown in a cessna or piper for a demo flight more or less, so most of my experience had come from flight sim. I've now got a licence and in the process of doing the ATPL course.


Alaister Kay

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Ah the evergreen of all flight sim forums :)I've been in the left seat on the simulator many times when PC flightsim enthusiasts had their first flight on a "real" airplane.I've seen many "interesting" approaches on handling it, like trying to stay on the centre line by using the yoke (famous MS auto-coordination) or slamming the throttle levers from idle to max. thrust in half a second... ouch!Also switching off the flight director left many of them clueless... not because they had no idea of flying, but simply because they were all overwhelmed with all those new impressions flying the first time in a real cockpit. Also flying a manual line-up on an ILS in IMC often ended in wild banks to either side because real flight controls feel different from the average joystick. Or a simple thing like lowering the gear... you'd be surprised how many PC pilots had no idea that you have to PULL the gear lever before moving it down. Since you can't simulate that on the PC, how could they know?Now imagine how it would look like if the same happened on a real flight in an emergency situation... So based on my experiences I'd say no, not if you've never ever flown in a real cockpit before...You can be skilled ultra high in systems and their operation and everything, which many flightsim pilots actually are, but the first time you sit in a real cockpit is still too much to handle without any help.Regards,Markus


Markus Burkhard

 

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> a simple thing like lowering the gear... you'd be surprised how many PC pilots had no idea that you have to PULL the gear lever before moving it down :( that caught me out, along with the spoiler/speed brake handle. I also tried pulling the thrust reversers too early, but they wouldn't have it LOL


Alaister Kay

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Guest benhoffman

This is always a topic of great debate amongst simmers and pilots alike.Now, to warn, I have not a second of real world experience ... in that, I have held the controls of such planes as the -400, pushed buttons and talked to many Captains who were impressed with the breadth of my knowledge ... but, I am not a pilot, I have never flown a real aircraft. I am a hardcore fanaticly anal simmer who thinks planes are the best thing since sliced bread or Pan Am :)My flight deck consists of heaps of Jeppesen charts, lots of thick Boeing manuals and heaps of technical data, I know about the hydraulics and electrics, flaps and landing gear, autoflight and checklists and so on ... I know if I push a knob or press this button the plane will do this, that or the other thing.Now, can I fly a plane? N-0 SPELLS NO!Could I start a Boeing up from cold and dark, program the FMS, start engines, do the checklists etc? I'd say I could.Could I perform a coupled approach? PossiblyThe one thing us simmers miss is the motion and spatual awarness that comes with flying a real aircraft with somebody in the right hand seat.Example: I was recently attempting the river visual for 19 into DCA the other day in my PMDG 737 and even in the virtual cockpit looking right, I found it hard to make the turn because I didn't have the full 3D awarness that the Captain would. He'd also have the F/O monitoring and keeping an eye on the runway :)For the disserning professional simmer who has really mastered the high quality addons, we know how the thing works and which buttons to push, when and why to do so and how the plane will react.Unfortunatly, as soon as we start having to push, pull, twist controls and have the G-forces and motion to compete with, I think we're in over our heads because we dont experience this in Flight Sim.Now ... I remember this being discussed before, I think Robert said if we are ever in this situation, remember USE THE AUTOPILOT! :)

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When I had a visit to a 744 flightdeck recently my prevailing feeling was one of familiarity. It was an enthralling experience but certainly not a mystifying one like it might have been to me 3 years ago. Having said that, while we can claim a good theoretical knowledge. We still wouldn't cut it in the real deal, save for a lucky stroke.Thinking about it, you realise that you learn a lot from the hobby, in particular you learn to approach complex tasks in a methodical and well thought out manner. Not just in the sim but in other respects as well.At the end of the day though, for all our 'expertise' we are still no more qualified on type than a pilot who has completed the 744 ground school, in fact less so, they have a lot more time in heavy jets than we do after all. When there are real buttons and dials, levers and switches and a VERY REAL big hard earth floating around below you, I imagine the cool calm aviator in all of us takes a momentary leave of absence!For what it's worth I have a 744 sim session coming up courtesy of some rather good fortune. I promise to report my success or (more likely) failure honestly on the matter, as it would no doubt illustrate the points made here.


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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Guest Senior Captain

Okay here is my take on this. First Im not a RW pilot but have alot of experience in another field that alot of people think they could do because they drive a car. If the pilots were incapacitated and you have all this experince flying your desktop in a very realistic sim addon such as the PMDG and the real plane you find yourself in is the same. Here is the the cruncher if there is no ATC and no other pilots on the radio. I do not think you are going to be able to land saftly. Really moving the levers and the movement and awareness around you are to totally diffrent from your flightsim and I would think that with the real stress of the situation you would not do a very good job. On the other hand if you were going to be talked all the way down. I would rather have at the controls for any chance of survival someone who was a flight simmer of these incredible addons if there was not any type of RW pilots on board. Because the flight simmer I believe would be much better at talking with ATC and when told to do something they atleast would have a very good idea of what to move when told. To add a little to my comments I have trained alot of people in my field. If i was to put one behind the controls and say go ahead They would not make it. If I was beside them telling them what to do they probaly would make it though with some mistakes.Cheers

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Guest neilb

jon_b is one I would put my money on :(

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Guest tomahawk_pa38

This question has been posed before. In my opinion if the plane is inperfect working order, then a simmer has probably got a better chance than a non-simmer of getting it on the ground in a minimum number of pieces - preferably one. However you have to ask the question, under what circumstances are you likely to be asked to pilot an aircraft with an incapacitated crew. With all of the other control measures employed in the air (eating different meals, restrictions on medication etc etc) - its very very unlikely the crew are going to be wiped out leaving you to fly it. If the crew has been knocked out by damage then systems will have been lost, airworthiness affected so it's not going to be a straight-forward landing. hey ho - dream on !

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Guest b747classicproject

greetings fellow "captains"to clarify a few things....flight attendant are not teached some basics of flying a plane. what we(i am a flight attendant) are told, is how to remove pilots from the controls in case they are incapacitated....how to open and close the cockpit windows, and thats already it. we are not trained to touch anything else, and we are not allowed to do anything else in the cockpit.in case the pilots would both be incapacitated, guess what happend, a student pilot, who was a flight attendant with helios airlines was at the controls of a 737 couple of months ago. what happened, he did not managed to fly the 737 to an airport, and he was trained in a real aircraft(maybe only a piper or cessna, but still a real airplane) unfortunately they crashed.....i for myself started flying training too, but stopped after 30 or so hours, as it just became ridiculously expensive in my country. i have fs experience since fs version 1, flying almost all of the complex aircrafts that are available as payware...i fly regularly level d fullflightsims, (737, 747 classic, 747-400) and have to admit that i often do a very bad job, but still in flightsim i can control the plane very nicely, perfect landings etc....but in a real level d 747 classic sim, i was not even able to use an autothrottle takeoff, everything manually, as the autothrottle switch did not worked....stupid mistake, we found out later.... in flightsim, everything works like it should, but trust me, if you are sitting in a real life cockpit, you won t find all of the switches, displays indications etc....you are needing. as somebody says here, it isn t for nothing, that airlines spend thousands and thousands of dollars in training.flying real world, and flightsim are 2 different worlds....and my opinion is, you can t do it....if you havent got at least some experience in a fullflightsimulator....also, you have to remember, if you fly in flightsim, and you take a 2 g turn because you are overshooting runway centerline, nobody says anything....if you do it in a real plane, you got trouble ;)take care, and happy landingsMarcan "experienced" simpilot, who regularly crashes the fullflightsims ;)

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Guest Ray51

The average flight simmer I would say no. But there are those who could. Simmers have be placed in full motion flight sims and done a good job of hand flying even to the ability of handling some inflight emergencies. First and foremost the person would have to be able to keep a cool head in an emergemcy. Most people require hours and hours of training so that when the time comes thay will not panic. Few people have been in a situation where their life was really in danger to say how they would handle the pressure. It is easy to freeze and become overwhelmed in an serious emergency. It would be the rare simmer but I think there are a few out there that could. Ray

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Guest dre777

As far as the ill-fated Helios flight goes, reports indicate that the two flight attendants that were able to maintain consciousness with the aid of portable oxygen masks were unable to open the locked, reinforced, (terrorist-proof) cockpit door until one of the engines failed due to fuel starvation. At that point the door unlocked automatically, the other engine failed soon after.Andre

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Guest b747classicproject

hello i cannot write you here in detail, for security reasons, but i have to tell you that your statement concerning the cockpit door is wrong.any professional pilot, or crewmember will agree with me on thatMarc

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