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Would you be able to land an Airliner in an emergency ?

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Hi All I started this topic on another FS 2002 forum ( im sorry if some of you are from that forum ) and it became quite a good topic , so here goes ...... Imagine this , you are on a flight some were when disaster strikes and both pilots have been badly hurt and are unable to fly the A/C , would you have the nerve to take over and get it down ? Richard Keen

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I'd have no problem taking over....I'd go to the cockpit, get on the intercom, and say:"This is the Captain speaking. Are there any children who want a cockpit tour?"My reasoning is simple. I have a two year old daughter. Already, she knows how to paint on the screen with the mouse, exit programs, and launch her favorite programs by clicking on icons. With a learning curve like that, any child would stand a better chance than I can with only FS to guide me on cockpit drill...

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I've thought the very same thing MANY MANY MANY times, even my friends have asked me the same question........and without a doubt YES!

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Well; if there wasn't any cessna drivers on board, with the help of a well qualified X-Plane fanatic in the right seat, and a very good pilot on the radio on the other end; the three of us could keep it in the air and just might get it somewhere in the vacinity of the airport. As far as landing it; some of us would live and some of us probably wouldn't live. I guarantee she'd come down right side up for sure!!! She'd just likely need a whole lot of body work afterwards. Don't kid yourself. Flying these simulations on a PC isn't even close to the real thing. But at least you'd have an advantage and know what some of the instruments are for and what the pedals are for and how to keep it straight and level.I was driving back to my home state last year. After about ten hours behind the wheel, a car in front of me braked hard. I braked hard and pulled back on the steering wheel. Scary!!!!!!!!!

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Back in 1984, I had obtained 10 hours in a C-172 but quit because the money ran out, so I never finished my licence. If I were in a situation where the pilot of a C-172 lost consciousness, I have no doubt that with my 10 hours of C-172 experience and my 100s of hours of flight simulation experience that I could land the plane safely under most decent weather conditions. I might be scared and all of that, but with a clear head, I could do it, or so I believe.As far a jet airliner:I'll be very honest with you. I recently boarded an MD-88 in Atlanta on route to Washington National. Something or another happened in the airplane to either a passenger or something while I was in line and I stood right at the doorway to the cockpit which was open and in full view. I stood there for what was at least 10 to 15 minutes, or it seemed. It was very warm and uncomfortable with the door open and you are just standing there. Because there were people in front of me who were stuck and people behind me who trying to get on because of the heat in the doorway, I got caught in the little section there right at the cockpit door. I was closer to the cockpit than even the stewardess. I remember thinking to myself that although I am could probably land a C-172, and am very familiar with FS2002 and its ins and outs and can land the 767 Pilot In Command almost anywhere under most emergency conditions bla, bla, bla... that what was in front of my face (cockpit of an MD88) was for real. I could smell the inside of this thing which had that distinct old steelly smell. I remember looking at the gauges and how they seemed to pop out (as they would in real life) and how much larger they seemed and how it must be tough sitting where the pilot was sitting to being able to see the runway because the panel seemed so high up to where the pilot was sitting and all of that. The flight computer was blinking and there seemed to be a lot more in there that you would expect just being a computer pilot. I then remember thinking to myself that flying a real jet is not PACMAN and that there is no way in hell I could do it. It is one thing being at home, all comfortable and in front of your computer and quite another being in a real life situation with real people, a real airplane, and all of that. Had I not had that simple small experience, I might have thought to myself that I might could, but now, I really doubt it... and am being 100 percent honest.

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> would you have the nerve to take over and get it down ? Yes, barring any alternatives I would have the nerve to take over but, getting it down - now that's another story. If the autopilot works anything like the PSS 777 I think I might have a chance but who knows.

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As Clint Eastwood says in Magnum Force 'A man's got to know his limitations.'This topic pops up every few months.IMHO, I don't think playing flight simulator on a computer, as much fun as we all have doing it, in any way qualifies us to land an airplane in a disaster.I think the biggest obstacle would be an individual handling the stress that real danger (i.e., you screw up you will die) that would be involved. Someone would have to supress the anxiety, andrenaline and fear to try to do something very complicated that they've never done in real life.It's not like sitting in motion simulator where everything is a controlled environment. It's definately not like sitting in a chair in front of computer playing a computer game.Every good pilot knows the key to being a successful pilot is knowing your limitations. Most of my flight time was in a Cherokee. I knew that plane like the back of my hand. The first time I made flew a complex Piper Arrow, it seemed like the world had sped up 50%. And that just gaining 40hp and retractable gear. Flying a turbine plane, with no real seat time, is totally out of my league.Pilot's aren't paid a lot of money because flying is difficult. They are paid to handle the unexpected. The train their butts off to be able to think clearly through the stress of an emergency to solve the problem. Having the fantasy that a $70 computer game would give you a high enough comfort level to think clearly in the stress of an emergency is unrealistic.That being said, I think a lot of us could impress a lot of pilots with our knowledge of an airliner cockpit. I think many of us would do much better than expected in a full motion simulator. I just don't think that FS2002 prepares you to handle a real life emergency airliner landing.My 2 cents.

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Hello All,This subject just doesn't seem to go away--and rightly so, as I am sure that it still will be a point of discusion until perhaps, flight simulation has gone to the great, software reward in the sky. I can only give you my thoughts on this, as some of you know, I am a 'real-world' pilot who has in excess of 15k hours in all type of aircraft, ranging from B-52D's, 707's (or KC-135's), 727's and a hoard of smaller piston engined twins, turboprop and business jets. Having had a quintuple bypass 4 years ago, my last 'real' flying experience in the left seat was six months before in a friends King Air. Now, true, an aircraft is an aircraft -- however each one has its own little good and bad habits. Hence, one is required to train and be checked out, in each type one flies. Saying this, a highly skilled King Air pilot could perhaps land a 737 without bending the bird too bad, with his knowledge of turbine power, and the general flying skill he has obtained flying a twin. In an emergency, perhaps even a good 172 pilot could do the same. Now, it is very possible that a novice pilot or a avid, by the numbers, flight simmer could do the same . . . but the odds start squaring themselves as the experience in a 'real' cockpit, goes down.Granted, the knowledge of the cockpit basics would be most helpful, I guess you could understand how fast you were flying, and at what rate of desent you were, and perhaps even contact ATC before you became a lawn dart . . .(please, no flames, as this is not blasting our hobby)but the chances of survival of both yourself and the aircraft would highly depend upon your level of skill, calm and control of your bodily functions, 'cool' of head, and willingness to 'listen' to the experienced pilot on the ground which would attempt to talk you through this mess. We won't even add in weather, wind shear, failure of systems on the aircraft, bad habits you have picked-up from simming which DON'T APPLY to real aircaft, (I NOW have a ton of those) or some type of damage which caused the initial incident which made you 'pilot de jur'.I understand that most of us simmers, would like to think we could do this, (and there are some--read that:very few--who could), but the majority of flight simming fans, probably just would extend the life expectancy of the bird and its passengers by a short time before the end came. It would be the same for most of us who like 'driving sims' to jump into Michael S's formula 1 Ferrari and post lap times close enough to just 'stay behind' and keep Michael S in sight. It just isn't likley to happen.A modern jetliner, for all its refinment is a huge job . . .hence two pilots are required, not to mention the endless hours of training . . . forget all the automated systems, as most of us would NOT even know how to properly turn them on . . . and just so you don't think I'm being an old 'stick in the mud' . . .if I was on a 727 and they needed a pilot, believe me, before I raised my hand, I would wait to see if a current pilot wasn't deadheading from somewhere who was 'fresh' and up on the curve. Its been awhile since I was behind the yoke of a 'two-seven', and that rust would be most evident. Being 'up on the curve' is the big difference. Still . . . I know most of us would raise our hands, because that is what we are made of . . . and give it our best shot . . .despite the odds . . .and some of us, might just pull it off. And I also know, that out there, in sim land, are some serious simmers, who do, 'do it by the numbers' and have the talent, but have just never had the chance to do their magic. Thats what makes our hobby so fantastic . . .Walter Mitty has nothing on us folks. So I guess the answer to the age old question of 'if' is . . .yeah, its possible, and likely if all went well, the skill was there, lady luck was smiling on us and the God's held their breath for just those precious moments which counted.Please no flames--I wasn't slamming our hobby, but there is a most distinct difference between 'simming' and the real world of 'could and most likely, will happen' because simming cannot reproduce some of the most needed inputs of real flight. I love FS2002, and it is now my only escape into the skies, because of health reasons . . . and I do enjoy it so . . .but there is a difference. But . . . perhaps one day, MS or someone else will come across with that magic combination that will put all those items into the sim which are now lacking. We can only hope, and keep on clicking on the Flight Sim icon.Best to allClay Dopke

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Just remember, the autopilot would most likely be on....so if you aren't a pilot or very little hands on time in a real airplane, the autopilot will save your bacon! Remove one pilot and restrain the other (or remove also if you can), hope it the seat, strap in tight, put on the headset, press the push to talk switch and call for help, something with the airline name, flight number and problem. Then calmly wait for the friendly controller to answer back. It's as easy as that, but never forget it's not a game, you can't crash, go around or panic, just keep your speed up so you don't stall!. Or heck if you can, dial in an ILS and hit APR on the A/P. So yes, I'm ready to help in such a way should it ever happen cause I know I'm the only one who could save the plane should something like that actually happen.

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I think with a lot of ground coaching I would just get it low and slow and stable enough for Charleton Heston to rappel into an open door.

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Both pilots are badly hurt? My checklist at that point goes somehting like this:1. Get anebriated... very anebriated.2. Have a very close and personal relationship with anything not bolted down.-John

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I agree. We would all like to think that we could land an airliner. I would say only one with an autoland. I have PPL with 80 hours in C-150s and 172s. The tranzition from the 150 to the 172 its self was 3 hours learning the charictaristics of the airplane and how it felt crossing the threshold. I might be able to get a large aircraft down, but not smoothly and in one piece. There is a difference between 65 kts and 130 kts. I say that only because I have some real world landing experience. DAVID C. FREEMANCONTINENTAL VIRTUAL AIRLINESHouston

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I too have considered this. After much laughter and not-so-good-natured ribbing from Management at home, I reckon I might just slide the baby down.Course, depends on a few things:ILSNo cloud, no wind, no rain, daytimeSix pairs of underwearBut, just maybe......

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