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6FingerSays

You are a passenger on a B737-800NG and both pilots are unconscious. Could you land it?

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Will not be able to use the radios, and believe me no one likes the idea of a civilian in the cockpit these days. Probably you will be shot down by 2 F16s :)


Murat Ozgul

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With the door locked... who would determine that both pilots had indeed been incapacitated? And how long would that take? And what would the aircraft be doing in the meantime?

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With the door locked... who would determine that both pilots had indeed been incapacitated? And how long would that take? And what would the aircraft be doing in the meantime?

I think you would know soon enough there be cabin crew making announcements on the pa system are there any pilots in the passengers that are able to fly this plane, or that the plane starts to nose dive and the lights go out is another way. And if the aircraft is on auto pilot, and than you hear the engines flame out due to lack of fuel since no one bothered to check geez we been flying in a circle for the past 4 hours.


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Peter kelberg

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I see that a lot of posters have missed the point here.

 

I would imagine that should such a situation arise, and you were aboard, then someone obviously would have to do something. Doing nothing would not be an option.

 

Had I not been a 'serious' simmer, but merely a passenger, I'd much rather have an experienced simmer at the controls than a FA. Yes - the FA would be experienced in emergencies, but not in the actually flying. I'm not saying that a simmer would be successful in safely bringing the aircraft down, but I'm pretty sure that a level headed 'experienced' simmer would have far more commom sense, and would think carefully prior to any control input. In addition - he/she would be well aware of the location of the switches/controls and would, in response to ground instructions, give a good account of themselves under pressure.

 

Having said that, I certainly wouldn't like to be in that position of having so many lives depending on my efforts. However if I was aboard, and there were no other passengers qualified to take the controls, then I would, in all probability, be more successful than a FA in at least maintaining controlled flight, enabling a safe descent, maintaining airspeeds and setting up autoland, conditional upon constant input from the ground.

 

It is fine discussing whether a simmer or FC could do better - but that would be a little irrelevant if you were aloft and had to make a decision on 'who'. Would there be enough time to take a vote on who should take the controls ?

 

I would not feel comfortable knowing that a FA was flying the plane.

 

Nice post, Bruno.

 

Ronan:

'Here here, I was honestly expecting a lot more "I could maybe set up an autoland, sorta, kinda." type answers, but some people have blatently come out and said that they'd manually land it no bother.... '

 

I agree with you. No way would I attempt manual control. I'd just act as the monkey pulling the switches under

ground instruction...

 

Being serious for a moment - re the Helios flight 522 - I do feel for the CC who was seen in the cockpit by

that F16 pilot. What a situation to find yourself in....

 

Bill

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Possibly I could do autoland if someone was also telling me same time what to do through ATC. Manually? I have no idea. I have never flown any kind of airplane IRL, so I don't really know how much harder it is from simulator.

 

Maybe I could do at least manual survivable crash landing in good weather conditions and with plane working completely normally... With crash landing I mean maybe plane out of the runway and landing gear collapsed.

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Easy. And I'd taxi it to the gate as well for free!

 

As Jeremy Clarkson always says "How hard can it be?"


www.antsairplanes.com

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No - for all the reasons mentioned repeatedly in this thread.


 R. Scott McDonald  B738/L   Information is anecdotal only-without guarantee & user assumes all risks of use thereof.                                               

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I'm quite sure I could land it. There wouldn't be much left once they'd put the fires out though.. :lol:

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There wouldn't be much left once they'd put the fires out though

 

Yea, but the plane can do that by itself!

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Yea, but the plane can do that by itself!

 

I think under optimum conditions, properly programmed panels, with no failures of any kind or bad weather (wind shear, crosswinds, severe storms) - the plane might be able to land itself. In emergency conditions, with possible failed or sabotaged components, the outcome could be surprisingly different. That said, one of us AVSIM pilots having never flown a heavy jet RW would doubtless require some kind of divine intervention plus Lloyd Bridges (reincarnated) on the radio to have any hope of success. That is assuming we could get the VHF radios working to even talk to the ground/ATC.


 R. Scott McDonald  B738/L   Information is anecdotal only-without guarantee & user assumes all risks of use thereof.                                               

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Perhaps more realistically, how likely is it that a non-RW, sim-only pilot (experienced) could land something like a Cessna 172 or equivalent in those circumstances?

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The thing with this question is that it is assumed that only systems knowledge could be used to fly an aircraft. The NGX is a great 737NG Systems simulator. But it only approximates what it is like to fly. FSX physics is completely screwed, and hardly real at-all. Now its not terrible, but not a great platform to learn anything on.

 

However, if you are a serious sim pilot, with a reasonable level of GA hours... that changes things somewhat. You should understand the principles of flight, you'll know what really happens when you move the trim, or when you pull out the flaps. Now obviously this can't be applied directly to a large airliner, but you will know what to generally expect when pulling a certain lever or when a control input is entered.

 

Now lets say that the option was a full cat III auto-land. To most simmers with some RL experience I don't personally believe this to be too implausible, with reasonable guidance from the ground. I'd like to at least think myself and several others are intelligent enough to be guided into pressing some buttons in the correct order... The problem comes with adverse conditions should there be any. But lets say that for the purposes of this fairy-tale story that there are none, its a calm 5kt wind day, no turbulence max visibility and a 8000ft cloud base, steady temperatures and the flight deck crew have both eaten the fish and passed out stone cold.

 

I'm not going to go into how your going to get into the flight deck and get through the door, thats taking this to sillier levels than this hypothetical situation has already got to. But lets just say that you are a PMDG 737 simmer and have spent over 1000 hours on that simulation, you know every button inside out and like to fly to real world SOPs, you also have a full PPL with IMC rating and over 1000 hours in something like a Baron. Your familiar with twin engine operation and are comfortable with the principles of flight.

 

I would imagine that someone like that should be able to take the controls, assuming that the auto-flight system has died and be able to at least maintain a reasonable level of straight and level flight, and should also be able to initiate a reasonable descent. The problems would come when landing, lets face it it would be effing difficult! Even for a pilot of that calibre to get it down safely, but the chap would have at least half a chance with reasonable guidance from the ground (lets assume they've found the Boeing chief instructor...) and if given a long enough straight-in approach should at least have a good chance I'd say. It wouldn't be a procedure landing, I'd imagine flaps and gear would come down much earlier and further out to reduce the low-level workload, but my personal feeling is that this could be done. I've had this discussion many times with several military pilots I know and their feeling is the same.

 

To give a little perspective from personal experience, I've spent a lot of time on the JS41 - Now I used to know someone who was a technician on a JS31 (or 32..?) simulator. It was a full simulator designed for full flight training - motion simulation, impressive graphics the whole works!!!!

 

I was able, with little instruction other than what each button does and the max temps, speeds and a short brief on the behaviour of the aircraft. To Take off, perform a reasonable circuit, approach, go-around, fly to an alternate airport and do a full-stop landing without massive issue. Yes some of it was a bit sloppy and had I been a professional pilot sat next to the CFI I'd probably have been given a good talking to and ordered to pay for the next round in the pub. However it was all safe within-limits flying!

 

Anyway that's my take on it, rather good discussion!


James W

 

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Some of you might recall we sort of tested this theory a few years ago at the Denver Avsim convention using UAL's 744 sims. If I recall they put us about 10 out with some pretty narly crosswinds with AP's off. I remember my approach was not pretty at all. It started pitching and yawing and the feel of a real yoke is vastly different from what we have hooked to our computers which was the biggest shock. Had I had another 10 miles or so to stabilize things it might've been better though. I think one guy out of the three? of us who did the test did a respectable landing. The moral of the story is, Yes, probably...., IF the weather was favorable AND all systems were operable.


Jay EKlund

UVA/GCVA Pile-it

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