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Avroboeing

Who manually flies their 747-400X? Anyone?

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I try and manually fly the PMDG 747-400X as much as I can... but when I fly with FS Passengers X running, I usually only manually handle the aircraft during taxi and on take-off to about 500 feet after which, yes you guessed it, I engage the autopilot which ends up being in command of the magnificent PMDG 747-400X all the way to the end of my destinations runway; auto-land included obviously. I do this out of fear of mishandling the aircraft throughout the take-off and landing phases of flight, ending in a crappy report from FS Passengers X (Which i'm willing to admit, happens from time to time biggrin.gif) I got to wondering, and my questions to everyone are these:1st - how many of you let autopilot handle the aircraft from climb-out to the end of your destinations runway when flying the 747-400X?2nd - If you do (fly 95% of your flight with autopilot engaged), or if you don't, what are your reasons? Let it be known, that i'm fairly capable of flying this aircraft manually without many problems (though my friends would argue differentlybiggrin.gif), and to prove this i'll include a brief summary of my pilot reports from three short flights I just completed with my dummy FS Passengers X "Company" and "Pilot". Not to brag, but I thinks it's noteworthy to point out, that I dealt with engine flame-outs on 2 of the 3 flights and brake failure on the third flight (FS Passengers X Failure settings set to 100% and Failure severity to Easy to Hard Failures). But all credit goes to the PMDG team for without the perfect modelling of the Boeing 747-400, my virtual pilot and virtual passengers wouldn't have survived. Flight 1From: NZWP - Whenuapai (Military) - New ZealandTo: NZAA - Auckland Intl - New ZealandNbr of Passengers: 207Incident Report:one engine sustained major damage shortly after take-off due to a bird strike and shutdown immediately. This is one of the worst possible in-flight emergencies. There was an exceptional pilot on board and despite the dire situation he was able to land the aircraft safely. The Captain has also declared an emergency before landing.Report:Flight Distance: 15 Nm Landing Speed: 133.91 ktTime Airborne: 00h08:29 Landing Touchdown: -130.0 ft/m (kiss)Flight Time (block): 00h09:32 Landing Pitch: 5.32°Time On Ground: 00h01:40 Landing Weight: 229015 kgAverage Speed: 108.32 kt Total Fuel Used: 2317 kgOverall Flight Result: PerfectPilot Bonus points: 1200 pointsYou made a very smooth landing. (+50)There was a problem aboard and you declared an emergency. (+150)A serious problem occurred during flight but you landed safely, nice job. (+1000) Flight 2From: NZWP - Whenuapai (Military) - New ZealandTo: NZAA - Auckland Intl - New ZealandNbr of Passengers: 214Incident Report:one engine sustained some damage shortly after take-off due to a bird strike. The oil temperature started to increase gradually but the flight ended before the engine shutdown. There was an exceptional pilot on board and despite the dire situation he was able to land the aircraft safely. The Captain has also declared an emergency before landing.Report:Flight Distance: 15 Nm Landing Speed: 130.91 ktTime Airborne: 00h08:40 Landing Touchdown: -285.38 ft/m (nice)Flight Time (block): 00h09:52 Landing Pitch: 3.98°Time On Ground: 00h01:34 Landing Weight: 227239 kgAverage Speed: 106.34 kt Total Fuel Used: 2328 kg Overall Flight Result: PerfectPilot Bonus points: 830 pointsYou made a very nice landing. (+50)There was a problem aboard and you declared an emergency. (+150)You landed at the scheduled airport. (+30)A serious problem occurred during flight but you landed safely, nice job. (+600) Flight 3From: NZWP - Whenuapai (Military) - New ZealandTo: NZAA - Auckland Intl - New ZealandNbr of Passengers: 217 Incident Report:The right brake failed shortly after landing due to a rupture in the brake hydraulic system. The pilot was able to land the aircraft safely. Report:Flight Distance: 15 Nm Landing Speed: 138.91 ktTime Airborne: 00h08:50 Landing Touchdown: -240.77 ft/m (nice)Flight Time (block): 00h10:58 Landing Pitch: 3.73°Time On Ground: 00h02:53 Landing Weight: 234369 kgAverage Speed: 105.22 kt Total Fuel Used: 2664 kg Overall Flight Result: PerfectPilot Bonus points: 648 pointsYou made a very nice landing. (+50)A problem occurred during flight but you landed safely, nice job. (+598) Ashley Frew.

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Hey Ashley,I love those good ol FSPAX flight reports and it sounds like your doing a good job :( I only hand fly when practising Engine outs etc a couple of times a month, normally when flying routes with my VA it's A/P on after gear up or clean and off again around 1000ft. The guy's at PMDG have done a great job on the flight dynamics. My only issues are -A. Even the high end yokes don't give you a real feeling of flying a aircraft.B. Workload can be really high, if dealing with comms etc plus monitoring raw data navigationOn all the real world flying forums you will find interesting debates on hand flying, there are two schools of thought, most tend to agree that line flying is not the place to be 'practising' your hand flying skills in busy environments, thats what the sim is for. Many SOPS tell you to use the automatics as much as possible.The others beleive over using the automatics degrades your hand flying ability, so good arguments on both sides.I've discussed this in depth with my old man, he used to be a F4 Phantom driver and then flew the 737 classics for many years, he initaly didn't want to move to the 767 as he thought it was too automated and tried to find a job on the 747 classic, back then he didn't even like using a computer :( after many years flying the 767,747-400 and now 777 he is in the 'Use the automatics to reduce workload as much as possible' group, but when workload permits disconnect the automatics to stay sharp.Regards

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It depends greatly,often i like to fly out manual control, to anything up and above to FL100 sometimes,however a couple of reasons why i fly out on autopilot,i like spinning around on spot view, and watch the aircraft fly the SID. I often fly out of the UK, and have amazing HD photoreal textures so its great for wingviews and spot view..also as said above, i fly online on IVAO, sometimes i have to take the role of co pilot in terms of comms and mcp programming, with all the quick succession of frequency changes and altitude limits, its sometimes too much to hand fly and do all these thingsAlex

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Whoa, this FSPAX sounds like dog cookies, this is dangerous stuff. Any way, I like to use full autoland features, but I´m always practicing some hand flying too, specially in difficult airports, and with other planes (a landing at PADU runway 30 is quite difficult with a Learjet 45).

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I like to handfly as much as possible. I will never engage the auto pilot below 2000, unless nessecary for the SID, often though it may be anywhere between 5000-10000. I will often hand fly from 10000 on approche unless workload is too high, and at latest when establishd on final. I will only do an autoland if opporationly required.Can't wait for the HUD on the NGX, I'm gonna love that plane!

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I haven't flown the 747 as much recently, but almost anything I fly is by hand until cleaned up and on course to the first waypoint. Flying out of major hubs with noise abatement procedures, this is usually 4-5,000' AGL. I will then let automatics fly the aircraft until I get my clearance for localizer intercept and will then fly the intercept and rest of the approach by hand. Typically I will let the autothrottle do all the work on approach through touchdown unless it doesn't have a flare/retard mode and I have to disengage 2-500' AGL to manually retard the throttles. Maybe 15-20% of the time I am full manual including the throttles. Occasionally I will fly manual up above FL180 and down from 10,000' MSL and in low visibility I will leave the autopilot on longer (arrival) or engage sooner (departure). However, unless visibility is less than 2 SM requiring a CAT II ILS with autoland (or certified HUD), I will still fly the approach by hand.Workload can be very high and this is one of my highest praises for the new voice versions of FS2Crew. For aircraft that have such versions, I can make voice commands for almost any heading/altitude/speed/FD Mode/flaps/gear setting without removing my hand from the controls. There is even the option to have the virtual FO set nav radios by voice commands. It makes hand flying things much more reasonable and realistic. The only thing I still have to do that would normally be done by the FO at these times is interact with ATC. For that, I have a button on my yoke programed to "1" for the frequently needed ATC response.Why do I hand fly? As much fun as pushing buttons is, I get enough of that in the pre-flight flows. The fun of flying for me is, well...flying. I am also in far better practice for the rare instances when failures do occur and I need to take over manual control.

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biggrin.gif Thanks for the responses guys. Much appreciated! It will help me immensely. I should be flying manually more often.Rob - I like your dad's take on automation with a touch of hand flying to keep the rust from setting in. Nice!Alex - I do exactly the same things Just%20Kidding.gifFelipe - PADU? Never heard of it. Can you guess where my next flight is going to be in a Learjet 45? Oh god yes Tim. Can't wait until the NGX comes.Ashley Frew

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I only recently got the 747X, and since I know how to work a FMC I have only handflown it on the take off until I engage the autopilot.. When I first got the MD-11X though that was my first commercial jet.. Had absolutely no idea how to program the FMC/FMS. So I had no choice but to hand fly it. After a couple hundred hours behind the yoke though I managed to figure out how to program it, and in the last several hundred hours I really only hand fly it whenever there is no ILS approach to the airport.

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I will only do an autoland if opporationly required.
Same here. Haven't done one in more than 2 years.

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Steve - Thanks for the response buddy. Good to hear from a fellow auto-lander.Farlis - Shocked.gif 2 years and no auto-land.... at all?! Somebody slap some wings on this guy!Thanks for the responses guys.Ashley Frew.

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Same here. Haven't done one in more than 2 years.
I have yet to do an autoland in a PMDG aircraft, I fly with real weather, and it always seems to be VFR, maybe I'll do one to see how it lands ;)

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You wont be disappointed Tim. The 747's auto-land function is well modeled. It'll fly the STAR then intercept then track localizer and capture then track glideslope, flare, land and even keep the aircraft on the centreline until a certain speed (20 knots I think?) can't remember.Ashley Frew.

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I have yet to do an autoland in a PMDG aircraft, I fly with real weather, and it always seems to be VFR, maybe I'll do one to see how it lands ;)
You should try flying in India, VIDP seems to be in CATII and CATIII 99% of the time :( Europe in the winter gets pretty bad.Regards

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You should try flying in India, VIDP seems to be in CATII and CATIII 99% of the time :( Europe in the winter gets pretty bad.Regards
Anyone knows how this is in real world. If I look at youtube video's it looks like no real pilot ever fly using an autoland. Or are they just hold the yoke in case....Eric

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Anyone knows how this is in real world. If I look at youtube video's it looks like no real pilot ever fly using an autoland. Or are they just hold the yoke in case....Eric
There are plenty of autolands on youtube - they just keep their hands on yoke/thrust levers to intervene if necessary.

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Anyone knows how this is in real world. If I look at youtube video's it looks like no real pilot ever fly using an autoland. Or are they just hold the yoke in case....Eric
I read that 98% of all landings are manual. Here in the UK, CAA rules require all pilots to do a minimum of 3 autolands in any three month period. Most do the minimum required.Iain Smith

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biggrin.gif Thanks for the responses guys. Much appreciated! It will help me immensely. I should be flying manually more often.Rob - I like your dad's take on automation with a touch of hand flying to keep the rust from setting in. Nice!Alex - I do exactly the same things Just%20Kidding.gifFelipe - PADU? Never heard of it. Can you guess where my next flight is going to be in a Learjet 45? Oh god yes Tim. Can't wait until the NGX comes.Ashley Frew
Is the famous Dutch Harbor airport, at Unalaska-AK. FSX have an expert mission called Dutch Harbor approach if you wanna try it.

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Is the famous Dutch Harbor airport, at Unalaska-AK. FSX have an expert mission called Dutch Harbor approach if you wanna try it.
Another great one is the "Innsbruck Approach" mission (Austria). Innsbruck Approach is one of the most challenging approaches in the world for smaller aircraft and very fun to fly.*This may be only a Deluxe or even an Acceleration added mission though. I never bothered with missions much before but some of them especially the ones in the acceleration pack are tons of fun.

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Both Innsbruck Approach and Dutch Harbor Approach are missions available in the Deluxe edition, no need for Acceleration. There is an Acceleration mission called Resort Supply that is a beginner level mission with the Baron and is pretty fun too.

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I would like to add that as far as I've learned, pilots are prohibited from performing auto-lands in the United States. I've been told, by several of my aeronautical professors, that in the US Pilots have to turn off the auto-land and perform the flare/landing themselves here, even on runways that have the capable equipment to handle it.Let me pull out my FAR and see if it actually says that before I start spewing nonsense. :(Edit: Right then, it's just CAT III C at 0/0. Apparently the whole "Taxi in zero visibility thing" isn't part of ATP training. Nevermind!

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The misconeption with ILS is they need to be certified and maintained. From other posts I've read here in the past is most are not tested enough to maintain such certification and most ILS approaches the pilots still disconnect the AP and manually land at or well above Decision height. I personally disconnect and have visual before MDA.

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Hand flying the climb I find difficult due to workload issues. I always fly with FS2Crew, so dealing with checklists, ATC, and getting the aircraft clean can get overwhelming very quickly. I usually get the A/P on by 1500 AGSL so I can focus on flaps and after takeoff checks.Landing is a different story. I will most of the time use autopilot to get the aircraft on the localizer course, but will almost always (except for very bad weather or flying a CATII/III just to keep "current"), take control of the aircraft well above the decision height. Also do enjoy time and again on flying an RNAV approach by hand as opposed to ILS. I have found myself opting for RNAV a lot recently.

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Same here Scott, Rnav is a lot of fun. I often also fly via MCP the last few legs and to my IAP. I go by the real world charts for glideslope, set my VS to 700 or 800 and fly by arc as much as possible. I never did until I got the AOA media DVD's, those tought me a lot of different techniques and up until that point I was always only letting the queen do all the flying and never would have ever known some of the cool things modeled in the queen or how easy some other types of approaches/landings were. I haven't had much time in the queen if any for a long time, thinking of this I may do some short hops tonight.

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Just try landing ILS in the fsx default SKCL airport.... hand flown landing is the only way to land there. I modified SKCL after installing fspilot mesh as it was then in 500ft hole lol.John Ellison

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Whether you are in a 747 or any other aeroplane use the installed systems to help you fly the a/c single handed. Remember that no pax jet transport in reality has only one pilot. Having said that the sim is the perfect place to practice cockpit procedures and emergencies. All of which should be hand flown until the a/c becomes stable and then you can re engage the AP. The flight manuel for the VC10 for example is well over 600 pages. Probably about 25% is modelled in the sim. Here's a list of procedures and emergencies that I practise. Having flown the real a/c it's not quite the same though!!1. 2 engine out procedure. The VC10 manuel says to fly V2+60 and dump fuel above 6,000ft2. Emergency depressurisation. Don't let the a/c get to VNE especially as you reach lower altitudes. For example if you are diving from fl330 at vne as you approach fl240 your airspeed will dramatically increase causeing possible satructural damage.3. Gross upsets e.g. inverted spiral dive. Stalls etc.vololiberista

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