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markadeane

Hand flying techniques?

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Hi guys,Lately I've realised my handflying skills are a bit rusty, I;ve been working as an instructor in a Fixed base 737NG sim and I've really had to polish up on this aspect of my flying. At home, I normally put the 747 straight on to the AP after stabilising the aircraft and keep it there until on final. I want to change that though!What I'm after is anybody's personal experience of handflying the 747-400, either in the real world or the sim.- How much of the flight do you handfly? What parts of the flight?- What techniques do you use?- What rules of thumb have you found useful?- What power settings achieve certain speeds at certain flap settings?If any of you out there are handflying experts I'd love to hear your advice, basically I want to get to a stage where I can handfly the aircraft up to 10,000ft or so before engaging AP, then pick it up again once in the terminal area.I know there is some advice on this in the manuals, but I'm more interested here in what you guys have found works for you personally.Thanks!


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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Guest brettdonahue

I am not a real world pilot, but I do enjoy the thrill of handflying until about 5000 feet or so. I rather enjoy that thrill of getting off the ground and then making any of the close to airport heading changes. After that climbing is rather boring and the actually flying of the plane "Follow the pink line Forrest" is better suited to the AP. I don't really enjoy the constant trimming that is required at cruise. For the descent part I will usually take over about 3000'. Good to get the heart pumping trying to stay lined up.As for real world, the pilots that I have had the chance to meet, they have told me usually they flip the switch when the wheels are off the ground +500' and don't turn if off until they are almost on the ground 1500' or so. Only my two cents worth.Bretthttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/800driver.jpg

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If so far you have been a dilligent user of the AP - just set her up for the auto flight the way you have been doing it all along, but do not engage AP and just fly with Flight Director. Follow manually what Flight Director bars tell you to do. This is one way of flying manually.Another good way to practice is to do some pattern flying (as a PPL you should know what I am talking about). Downwind, base, final and touch & go in a 747 - real pilots do things like that. Of course in a 747 your pattern altitude will be slightly higher than in a C152 ;) Do not even use FMC - do everything manually in visual conditions. Load your aircraft very lightly and do some touch & goes at Princess Juliana International airport (St.Maarthen). Really fine spot :-)Michael J.http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/for...argo_hauler.gifhttp://sales.hifisim.com/pub-download/asv6-banner-beta.jpg


Michael J.

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I've become rather adept at pattern flying in the 737NG sim, to the point where I actually enjoy that type of flying the most! But flying the flight director bars is a good suggestion, I'll derive the various pitch and power settings I need from there on in.


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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Guest gremel

I have attached a video of a manual takeoff up to and including the engagement of the LNAV & VNAV (without) the use of the A/P. You simply follow the F/D through all phases of the initial takeoff and climb. The F/D will issue the commands that you should be following without the A/P doing all the work. This is for me the only way to fly....You eventually get used to it and begin to hate the A/P. Personally, I would never think of using it during the landing phase, unless weather conditions warranted it...Regards & enjoy.jackhttp://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=63...co+jack&pl=true

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Following the cue of the Cargo guys, i now fly departures manually using the Flight Director cues as my guide. I nose down at 10000ft for the aircraft to pick up speed, guide the nose in the centre of the FD cross and engage the autopilot for a smooth transition.For approaches once i get close to the STAR i disengage the autopilot only and fly down to LOC intercept and then disengage the autothrottle system and fly the ILS manually. When youve locked onto that G/S and land it on the dot manually, you will never go back...well unless the weather takes a turn for the worse :)


Paul McMahon

Ireland

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In the real world whether or not you choose to hand fly or use the autopilot is dependent on many factors. Typically weather, traffic and the complexity of the departure or arrival and level of fatigue will dictate if it is prudent to hand fly or not. If the weather is OK and the departure straight forward I will regularly hand fly to the top of climb (just for the #### of it) or from 10000 ft or so on the descent. Generally I leave the autothrottles engaged and just overide them if I need a more rapid thrust response. This way they act as a back up should I be momentarily "target fixated" on something else. Departures out of Heathrow EGLL are a good case for early autopilot engagement. It is not that the departures are difficult it is just that there is a lot of traffic, tracking and climb restrictions and ATC instructions as well as a relatively low hold down altitude of 6000 ft that happens to coincide with the UK transition altitude (18000ft is only the transition alt in the USA). If the pilot flying elects to hand fly it does load up the monitoring pilot and may lead to errors. Conversly if you have been up all night flying across the Atlantic or Pacific do you really want someone demonstrating how they would have made a geat WW2 fighter pilot by hand flying the whole descent. I was flying with a guy once who had only just been cleared to fly the line. We were on a short flight and approaching 10000 ft, on the descent and in IMC, he elected to hand fly the rest of the way expecting to get visual shortly and position visually for a landing. Trouble is we didn't get visual where he expected to and instead we got a lot of vectoring and stepped descents, all in IMC and fairly bumpy to boot. He had disconnected the Auto throttles as well and was working like a one armed paper hanger. I got the impression that he would have liked to have re-engaged the AP and AT's but that this would have been an admission of defeat. By the time he got visual at 1000ft he was stuffed. Nothing in what he did was inherently unsafe it is just that at times he was removed from the crew loop, just trying to keep the AC right side up, and this detracts from overall situational awareness.All I suggest is that you exercise a little prudence before making the decision to hand fly. CheersSteve


Cheers

Steve Hall

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Guest gremel

I forgot to add one very important note about hand-flying an aircraft with the A/P disengaged, and that is, when you attempt to engage the A/P after you have had enough fun, make *** sure that the aircraft is "properly trimmed" and right on the flight director and there are no control column forces ...before...engaging the A/P. Regards,jack

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Guest pierre974

This debate about hand flying will surely grow in the years to come...Aircrafts are more and more sophisticated, and one day the question will be : Is there a pilot in the plane ?This is already the philosophy on the AIRBUS family, with the particular A/P systems...Fortunately, today, the human pilot is vital during critical phases of a flight, which require fast decisions and overall understanding of a situation by the crew.Then considering procedures, airlines requirements, and other parameters such as weather forecast and traffic, the crew can "choose" to handfly the airplane or not, with one word always in mind : SAFETY.

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