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jfri

Autoland and realism

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I have the LD767-300 and I have noticed that when I land where there is a ILS (both glideslope and localizer) I always get an Autoland 3 after pressing the approach button. I would like to know if in reallife you always would do an autoland with ILS available? I mean virtually all airports where I land the 767 has an ILS. Can I do a non autoland landing without giving up on realism?

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>I have the LD767-300 and I have noticed that when I land>where there is a ILS (both glideslope and localizer) I always>get an Autoland 3 after pressing the approach button. I would>like to know if in reallife you always would do an autoland>with ILS available? I mean virtually all airports where I land>the 767 has an ILS. Can I do a non autoland landing without>giving up on realism?Technically the airport you're landing at has to have the runway and ILS certified for Cat III autoland operations. Most ILS equiped runways are Cat I. Airports in locations with adverse weather conditions usually have Cat II and some have a mix of Cat II and Cat III. The only legal runways to do a Cat III autoland in Cat III conditions are those that are certified for Cat III operations. A description of Cat I, II, III:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_La...#ILS_categoriesThe only way a Cat III autoland can be done on an ILS that is not Cat III is for system validation and can only be done if the conditions are Cat II or better.Cheers,JohnBoeing 727/737 & Lockheed C-130/L-100 Mechanichttp://www.sstsim.com/images/team/JR.jpgwww.SSTSIM.com

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Hi,I believe you can set up in the LevelD preferences, the option to manually engage the other two autopilots for an auto land.I think this is how it's done in the real world, perhaps a full fat pilot could confirm...... I'm only a semi-skimmed PA-28 pilot.All the best Stuart

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Hi,Good question. I had the opportunity to ask this of a B75 captain several years back that I know.The first thing might be to figure out when you would need to do an auto-land. If minimums are down to a CAT III, with very low minima, then you would most likely want the aircraft to do the landing.Otherwise, a certain number of auto-lands must be done to maintain currency for both the aircraft, and the pilots (I'm not sure of the actual number).If neither the low minima, or the curerncy requirement, are a factor, then most pilots like the landing part of the flight the best, and so why give the airplane all the fun? In visual conditions, where a visual approach is authorized (still an IFR clearance, at least here in the US), you can manually land. But if you really want to do an autoland, or you need to maintain currency and do one, then you must request an ILS clearance. I don't know how controllers feel about ILS approach clearances on a SKC day, and even if they impede traffic much more than a visual approach- but unless you're cleared for the ILS, you can't autoland.I think I got all that right- Bruce.

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I think Stuart's answer was more or less the one he was after, from the tech viewpoint rather than the theory behind the different ILS categories. I've learnt something though, sbout the prefs, to stop it engaging the other 2 AP's. Must give that a try. Since the LDS is so easy to hand fly, I often disco at about 1000ft and hand fly it down on the purple markers.

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>Hi,>>Good question. I had the opportunity to ask this of a B75>captain several years back that I know.>>The first thing might be to figure out when you would need to>do an auto-land. If minimums are down to a CAT III, with very>The questin I have in mind when do you need to do a manual landing.>If neither the low minima, or the curerncy requirement, are a>factor, then most pilots like the landing part of the flight>the best, and so why give the airplane all the fun? In visualThat's the way I have been thinking as a flysimmer. But for real life pilots I suppose what is fun is not the issue but rather what is the best way to have the job done.>traffic much more than a visual approach- but unless you're>cleared for the ILS, you can't autoland.>If the rwy has ILS and the plane got the right equipmwnt won't you always be cleared for ILS.BTW I use RC4 can this aspect be correctly simulated with it?

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Hi,"The questin I have in mind when do you need to do a manual landing."When either there is no ILS at the airport for your runway, or if either the pilot and/or the aircraft is not current for automated landings. There may be other factors as well."That's the way I have been thinking as a flysimmer. But for real life pilots I suppose what is fun is not the issue but rather what is the best way to have the job done."True- most airlines have SOPs which define (among ,amy other things) when the autopilot should or should not be used. Some airlines might require a preference for autolanding, I'm not sure. However, for all pilots, whether private or airline, the currency for carrying passengers is 3 take-off and landings (made manually) in each 90 days. So, regulations call for at least some manual landings, although I believe the landings can be made in an appropriate simulator. "If the rwy has ILS and the plane got the right equipmwnt won't you always be cleared for ILS."No- if the weather is good, then you would most likely get a "visual approach". Or ATC could be using LNAV/VNAV (FMC) approaches (if your aircarft has the equipment). But, you can always ask for an ILS approach. Bruce.

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what Bruce says is true....I read a statistic a few years ago on the FAA website that stated only about 12% of ATC intiated landing clearances were ILS (all catagories)that 12 out of a hundred...all the rest are visual.

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I don't think you guys know this, but just because the apporoach is visual doesn't mean you can't tune in the ILS and fly the plane that way... I do it all the time in RL, just as guidance, it doesnt hurt

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>Hi,>>"The questin I have in mind when do you need to do a manual>landing.">>When either there is no ILS at the airport for your runway, or>if either the pilot and/or the aircraft is not current for>automated landings. There may be other factors as well.A better question would be when do you need to do an autoland. Manual landings are the norm, the autolands are the exception.>"That's the way I have been thinking as a flysimmer. But for>real life pilots I suppose what is fun is not the issue but>rather what is the best way to have the job done.">>True- most airlines have SOPs which define (among ,amy other>things) when the autopilot should or should not be used. Some>airlines might require a preference for autolanding, I'm not>sure. However, for all pilots, whether private or airline,>the currency for carrying passengers is 3 take-off and>landings (made manually) in each 90 days. So, regulations>call for at least some manual landings, although I believe the>landings can be made in an appropriate simulator. I can assure you it's much easier to land it yourself than sweat over watching the autoland system do it. One would really only autoland when you need to (for weather/currency reasons). The fact it's more fun and satisfying (when it works out nicely) is neither here nor there.>"If the rwy has ILS and the plane got the right equipmwnt>won't you always be cleared for ILS.">>No- if the weather is good, then you would most likely get a>"visual approach". Or ATC could be using LNAV/VNAV (FMC)>approaches (if your aircarft has the equipment). But, you can>always ask for an ILS approach. That may be true in the US but in Europe when an ILS is fitted, you are usually given an ILS approach. Of course, if you become visual far out and choose to make a visual approach that's up to you but you would still keep the ILS tuned for guidance. Your request for a visual would probably be denied when it's busy. Don't forget that irrespective of the type of approach, most of the time it's landed manually. You don't have to autoland off an ILS approach.Approach and Landing are two very separate and distinct parts of the flight, the use of the autopilot in both cases is subject to many different factors. As the pilot it's your choice. In the real world autolands are quite stressful, CAT III autolands are even more stressful and manual landings are generally considered the norm and are therefore less stressful.Most of my flying ends up as vectors for the ILS followed by autopilot disconnect at around 1000ft (ish) followed by a manual landing. As ever there are always some variations but that is the norm.Hope this helps,Ian

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Listening into atc at my local airport Luton (EGGW), UK, all aircraft are always cleared for an ILS approach, what ever the weather, and traffic density.

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"I don't think you guys know this, but just because the apporoach is visual doesn't mean you can't tune in the ILS and fly the plane that way"Yes, golden rule: Always keep the nav radios tuned to something, even if you are visual and ATC gives you an intercept to final inside the FAF. I would totally agree.Bruce.

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Interesting Ian- thanks for the perspective. Just another difference maybe between the US system and in Europe. (I can recall a lively dicussion here about "VFR-on-top", which is an IFR clearance here in the US (with visual cloud seperation minima and no separation guarenteed by ATC); vs what was clearly a VFR flight in Europe).I can imagine that an auroland is a scary thing in RL. I assume that's why the currency requirement for crew?? Even in my club's C172S (which has no autoland :) ), if ever I engage the autopilot on the trip down the localizer/glideslope, I feel cheated!! :)Bruce.

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>I can assure you it's much easier to land it yourself than>sweat over watching the autoland system do it. One would>really only autoland when you need to (for weather/currency>In the real world autolands are quite stressful, CAT III>autolands are even more stressful and manual landings are>generally considered the norm and are therefore less>stressful.>Why would it be more stressful and difficult when the autopilot does everything and you only need to watch?

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"Why would it be more stressful and difficult when the autopilot does everything and you only need to watch?"For a pilot to give control to an automated system? That can be frightening. Besides- the landing is the best part of the flight. Pilots learn to land manually so many times it becomes drilled into their heads- then they have to learn to trust a autopilot to do it, and that's hard to do.Just my take on it.Bruce.

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> Why would it be more stressful and difficult when the autopilot does everything and you only need to watch?I wrote a big long response to this thread a while back and after much editing I came to the conclusion it was long winded, unnecessarily complex and my generalisations were becoming misleading.However, a large part of that response was that irrespective of what approach aid you are using or what feature of the autopilot you have engaged, you and only you are responsible for the aircraft. It's not acceptable to lay in a hospital bed and say "it's not my fault gov, it was an autoland".Consequently when the autopilot (and any automated system) is engaged the pilots must monitor what it's doing and take control if it doesn't do what you want. In flight you can give the autopilot quite a bit of slack, the Airbus seems to worry greatly about comfort and can be very slow to react to FCU inputs, this can be a bit disconcerting for a while but you get used it. When you're thousands of feet in the air it really doesn't matter if it's not quite spot on, you'll live. That being said, it's an immensely capable autopilot, I've seen it handle very bad turbulence with nonchalance, it did a very good job, it just has its quirks.When doing an autoland the autopilot has to get your 50+ tonnes of metal on the ground at the beginning of a mile or so of concrete that is only 45m wide. To make matters worse you're going at 150mph and there's a fair chance you can't see very much. As such the margin for error is greatly reduced. Even doing a full CAT IIIB autoland with no decision height doesn't absolve the pilots of the responsibility of getting the aircraft on the runway safely.Your assertion that we "only need to watch" would be true if we weren't the ones that would die if it went wrong and were then subsequently blamed, sued and generally brutalised in the media.As an FO in the airline I fly for I'm only allowed to autoland in CAT I conditions or better, as such I could see the runway clearly. Nevertheless the last few hundred feet I was constantly watching what the autopilot did and asking myself "would I do that?". Often the answer is "no" and I would have to then decide if the autopilot was doing it wrong or just differently. Going round those two questions throughout the last few feet, the flare, touchdown and rollout was very mentally intensive and stressful, it's much easier just to do it.When doing an autoland in weather worse than CAT I the Captain is handling the aircraft and I monitor the aircraft systems. The Captain is going through exactly the same questions but he doesn't have the luxury of seeing the runway, only the instruments. He has to make the very difficult and time pressured decision of "is the autopilot going to kill us?" and take the appropriate action.I've never had to abandon an autoland but I've seen two occasions when at very low altitude (one during the flare) the aircraft has made a break for the terminal building and the Captain has had to disconnect the autopilot and finish off the landing manually. Both were in worse than CAT I conditions but we were visual by about 100ft.Hope this answers your question, the public perception of the autopilot is that it is a faultless piece of machinery that always works and always does as it's told. In reality it's a very reliable piece of kit that will fail in the most subtle way when you need it the most. A such we treat it with suspicion and when it's flying the aircraft near the ground the safety margins are much smaller than usual and our comfort zone becomes very small, we get twitchy, nervous and mentally very busy ... life is much easier if we just do it ourselves.Hope this helps,Ian

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That's an excellent response, Ian.Although I don't fly anything large and complex enough to have autoland capability, I can't imagine how intimidating that must feel like. When I'm PIC and I let another pilot do the landing, I'm always anticipating to take-over if something might go wrong, and I expect that letting a computer handle it that you can't interact with as much as another pilot sitting alongside, must be hard. I know that those airline pilots that I have met and know well all hate the autolanding. But I can also see how the 2-D modeling on a sim can make manual landings seem harder, and most of us simmers haven't had to put in the thousands of hours of manual flight, so in some respects the sim makes the autoland seem (unrealistically) easier. Of course, no-one gets sued, loses their license, or gets killed if it was to fail in the sim either :)Bruce.

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Good amswer I from what I have understood I might very well skip the autoland without feeling that I make the flying less realistic.By doing it yourself do you mean completely disengage the autopilot at DH? Or maybe using some features of the autopilot for example autothrottle?

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Absolutely, ILS (with Land3 annunciated) until you're comfortable then full disconnect of all the automatics (all of them) for a manual landing.When to disconnect is up to you, 1000ft is a fair average.Don't forget, if the weather's good we sometimes hand fly the whole approach too. The LevelD 767 flies nicely, it can be a real pleasure.Hope this helps,Ian

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i know a 767 Captain and he told me 100% of the time he does an ILS approach if the airport is capable of ILS.These days they arent many airports where ILS is not available.

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>I don't think you guys know this, but just because the>apporoach is visual doesn't mean you can't tune in the ILS and>fly the plane that way... I do it all the time in RL, just as>guidance, it doesnt hurtI know it,know it well, that is why I stated "... ATC initiated". This also eliminated pilot requested ILS procedure. During visual, you can tune any nav radio to any nav aid you like, no problem.

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