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WestPatriot

Can anyone land the plane?

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So the flight attended comes to the cabin and asks if anyone is a pilot. You, the simmer, complete with a Logitech 3D Pro, takes up the responsibility of getting the bird on the ground. Do you think you could do it?

When I started my flight training I thought the obvious answer was yes, and it seems a lot of other simmers think so to. While undoubtedly many of you could, here are some of the things that might surprise you.

1. Force Feedback. Many simmers can't afford force feedback equipment, so many of you might be surprised at some of the forces you might feel while flying. Using a joystick gives you extreme amounts of authority with the controls. This could be disastrous in real life if you don't consider some of the forces required for rudder to maintain centerline, or judging the right flare. Because of these forces, trim is very important in real life. When I started my training, I didn't think about the trim wheel often, and I would work harder than I had to. This is something to consider.

2. Workload. In real life, in an emergency situation, focusing becomes much more difficult. Especially considering, both pilots are likely incompacitated when you take up the mantle, the configuration might not be something you are used to in the sim. In real life, skipping checklists and cutting corners, can cost everyone their lives, especially in an emergency. Taking the controls of an airplane for the first time is also a challenge if you have never done it before. Seemingly for me, it felt like so many things were happening at once. Working the radio, dealing with the emergency, trying to understand how the airplane flies, knowing where you are and where to go, will all present major challenges for some sim pilots. 

3. IFR. I know I am guilty of this, but when I started simming, I jumped right into IFR. IFR is much more difficult in real life as obstacles, illusions, and navigation are much more difficult. It is necessary to properly configure the airplane, while running checklists, navigating, and maintaining positive control of the airplane. In many cases, if a certain system fails, you might not have some of the luxuries autopilot affords. Over-speeding can have disastrous effects on parts of the airframe and guidance capture. This is something many simmers ignore, or do not pay attention to. If you want to experience a true workload, turn off the autopilot on pilotedge and try simulating various emergencies such as an engine failure. It might be eye-opening to you. 

I know there is more things I could talk about, but what do you guys think? Do you think you could land an airliner having never flown in real life before? As a pilot, I am not 100% sure I would be completely successful. Let me know your thoughts!

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I, too, arrogantly thought I'd be able to land a real-world flight (although more in ideal weather conditions - crosswinds? Probably not). Especially with the fact that in the real-world cockpit you have peripheral vision working for you so I thought, hey - it may be possible.But I would certainly jump at the chance to find out that it isn't as easy as it would seem.


Mario Di Lauro

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Even if you were able to manage all systems in a controlled fashion, the realization that "this time" there actually are 180 passengers behind you -- depending upon you -- would add a whole new level of stress to the task.

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Robert Marton

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Me...
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Bill

P3Dv4.5.13.32097 ASP4, ASCA, A2A, Milviz, PMDG 7's, RealityXP GNS/GTN, SimElite Solutions TZF, SM

White over White, you're out of sight. Red over White, you're alright. Red over Red, you're dead.

 

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I believe with proper coaching from ATC a civil pilot might possibly be able to pull off such a landing on an airliner if a flight attendant were available to help with some of the cockpit workload.  When we have civil GA jets nowadays that are one pilot certified, it may be possible.  The flight physics and basics are still there "lift/thrust/drag"...  The hard part would be getting a feel for the aircraft, since it might be perceived to have a control input lag or lumbering feeling as compared to a general aviation piston aircraft.  There is a good old book, Runway Zero-Eight, about a WWII fighter pilot taking over an aircraft some ten years after his flying experience when the pilots fell ill.

There was recently a documentary about a man in Britain with zero flying experience having to land a Cessna when his pilot friend passed out during the flight and died (he did not know his friend was dead until he landed).  He told ATC he knew enough to keep the aircraft in level and stable flight by taking the controls after his friend passed out and working the throttle.  He had to make many attempts at landing the aircraft, and was escorted by helicopters helping give him visual cues because on top of everything else, night had fallen.  But British ATC got him down and it was probably the closest example of someone with no flying experience landing a plane safely.  The man rolled off the runway into the grass but was otherwise OK.

John

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How would you feel? You're on a camping trip with say a dozen or so buddies. You become terribly ill with a stabbing pain in your gut. Appears to be appendicitis. Your guide call's out and asks if anybody here is a doctor . Ole Joe Blow the rag man steps forward with his Swiss Army Knife and says "I can handle this! I've been playing the Microsoft Surgeon 3D game every weekend for years!"

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Vic green

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23 minutes ago, PATCO LCH said:

How would you feel? You're on a camping trip with say a dozen or so buddies. You become terribly ill with a stabbing pain in your gut. Appears to be appendicitis. Your guide call's out and asks if anybody here is a doctor . Ole Joe Blow the rag man steps forward with his Swiss Army Knife and says "I can handle this! I've been playing the Microsoft Surgeon 3D game every weekend for years!"

Man oh Man, I hope my cancer surgeon hasn't been trained this way (I will let you know in a month :huh:)


Robert Marton

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1 hour ago, Bob Marton said:

Man oh Man, I hope my cancer surgeon hasn't been trained this way (I will let you know in a month :huh:)

Robert,

I'm sure you're in excellent hands! 


Vic green

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3 hours ago, Cactus521 said:

I believe with proper coaching from ATC a civil pilot might possibly be able to pull off such a landing on an airliner if a flight attendant were available to help with some of the cockpit workload.  When we have civil GA jets nowadays that are one pilot certified, it may be possible.  The flight physics and basics are still there "lift/thrust/drag"...  The hard part would be getting a feel for the aircraft, since it might be perceived to have a control input lag or lumbering feeling as compared to a general aviation piston aircraft.  There is a good old book, Runway Zero-Eight, about a WWII fighter pilot taking over an aircraft some ten years after his flying experience when the pilots fell ill.

There was recently a documentary about a man in Britain with zero flying experience having to land a Cessna when his pilot friend passed out during the flight and died (he did not know his friend was dead until he landed).  He told ATC he knew enough to keep the aircraft in level and stable flight by taking the controls after his friend passed out and working the throttle.  He had to make many attempts at landing the aircraft, and was escorted by helicopters helping give him visual cues because on top of everything else, night had fallen.  But British ATC got him down and it was probably the closest example of someone with no flying experience landing a plane safely.  The man rolled off the runway into the grass but was otherwise OK.

John

With all due respect....how much of a help do you really think a flight attendant can be. They are in no way trained to do ANYTHING up front. They would be a huge hindrance instead of any help whatsoever.

I have to disagree with you on every point you have made. Respectfully of course.

Flying a transport category airplane is much much different than a Cessna. Lift/thrust/drag......yeah you're right, it's all there....however, it's all happening so much faster with an airplane that feels so much more heavier. They also react much differently too.

I dont thi k anyone could really land an airliner with their only experience being flightsim.

They definitely could get into a level d simulator and under near to perfect conditions land the sim....

Even a cessna...they would most likely seriously impress the instructor. 


FAA: ATP-ME

Matt kubanda

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7 hours ago, WestPatriot said:

So the flight attended comes to the cabin and asks if anyone is a pilot. You, the simmer, complete with a Logitech 3D Pro, takes up the responsibility of getting the bird on the ground. Do you think you could do it?

Let me know your thoughts!

Do you know how many times this question has been posted on Avsim? About as often as some one asks “What’s the best AI package?”

The same conclusion is drawn every time. 

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Avsim Board of Directors | Avsim Forums Moderator

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35 minutes ago, ahsmatt7 said:

With all due respect....how much of a help do you really think a flight attendant can be. They are in no way trained to do ANYTHING up front. They would be a huge hindrance instead of any help whatsoever.

I have to disagree with you on every point you have made. Respectfully of course.

Flying a transport category airplane is much much different than a Cessna. Lift/thrust/drag......yeah you're right, it's all there....however, it's all happening so much faster with an airplane that feels so much more heavier. They also react much differently too.

I dont thi k anyone could really land an airliner with their only experience being flightsim.

They definitely could get into a level d simulator and under near to perfect conditions land the sim....

Even a cessna...they would most likely seriously impress the instructor. 

I did not think flightsim helped me get the feel of a plane when I first started my Light Sport flight lessons out of Falcon Field in Mesa in 2006.  My CFI did not expect it would. But my sim knowledge gave him the trust to let me handle the aircraft right away, from takeoff to touchdown.  As it so happened the CFI, a man named Jason Bullard, was an MSFS fan and user, and he had faith in the ability of the sim to get a new student comfortable with situational awareness in a cockpit.  His main complaint with those of us who came from simming was not in the way we handled the aircraft, but our focus on instruments and not surveying outside enough.  He would admonish me for that "LOOK OUTSIDE QUIT LOOKING AT THOSE INSTRUMENTS!".  He said he could teach anyone to fly a plane well very quickly, but it takes longer to become a pilot with the hindsight and experience and situational awareness that pilots embrace. 

I was surprised when I took my first flight lesson at how jumpy the air was.  Almost all the sim aircraft I had flown were closer to flying on rails than the way the air treats aircraft in real life.  I had to go back to MSFS and tweak the weather settings to simulate better the way one has to handle an aircraft in the normal chop that the atmosphere has.  Of course I also live in Phoenix, I need to qualify my remarks by saying I have flown my friend's aircraft back east in more stable air, and the feeling was more akin to the simulators I knew.

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35 minutes ago, cmpbellsjc said:

Do you know how many times this question has been posted on Avsim? About as often as some one asks “What’s the best AI package?”

The same conclusion is drawn every time. 

lol, whats the best AI packagegiphy.gif

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I honestly don't know. I do know that a few years back I was lucky enough to get a shot at a 737-700 Level-D at the Southwest training center and I was able to get off the ground at LAX, circle over the San Fernando valley, and land it back at LAX with no assistance.  But, (there is always one of those) I have no idea what would happen in RL when the pressure was on. Given some ATC input on an ILS approach... maybe. Left to my own devices...probably a slim chance.........Doug


Intel 4790K CPU, MSI Z97 Gaming 7 motherboard, Noctua NH-U12S cooler, Corsair Vengeance Pro 16GB 2133 MHz RAM, nVidia GTX 970 GPU, Cooler Master HAF 932 Tower, Thermaltake 1000W Toughpower PSU, Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit, and other good stuff.

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I've thought about this sort of thing a fair bit both in my day job and my hobbies.  As I progress in my career and get more confident in my abilities, I try to keep a fair but critical assessment of my actual skills in mind to keep from getting what I've heard referred to as "Engineer's Disease" -- I excel in this one very specialized area, so I must be good at other things, too!

I'm not licensed, but I've Actually Flown a 172 a few times with a CFI on board to keep us alive.   Even that small jump from FS is a very different experience when it's "real", but I didn't feel like I was too far out of my depth until it was time to manage the pattern and landing -- instructor took over for those.

(FWIW, the first time I did this, the CFI was surprised that I'd never actually been at the yoke of a real plane before, said I was one of the best first-timers he'd ever seen.)

With that experience in mind, and trying to look at my own skills critically, if the problem were simply a pliot INOP, rather than bits of the bird INOP, and the weather weren't hostile, I think I could take a small prop craft down to 100'.   If I had an unlimited number of go-arounds I could probably get it down safely, although possibly only in the "any landing you can walk away from is a good one" sense -- I would make no promises about the plane ever getting off the ground again.

For a full-size jet?  I've never flown one at all, and I would make many fewer promises.   *If* it were a model I were familiar with from a sim, and *if* I had functional ILS, and *if* I had an engineer on the ground to help me figure out the V speeds and talk me down... maybe I'd be able to get it on the ground with out hurting too many people, but I'd be scared poop-less the whole time.   I wouldn't put much money on it being an experience everyone could walk away from in good health.  I'd still try it if no one else were more qualified, but I'd want people to be ready for their own personal end.

That's my best attempt at an honest assessment of myself, anyway.

 

Edited by kaosfere
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Rob Jones

Professional Nerd

Park Ridge IL (KORD)

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