thenikos

real pilot procedures

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hi, i am not sure if this is the right thread to post this topic but i couldn't find another. my question is this: in many videos of real flights, almost all the pilots take-off or land, manually.

for example, in the depart procedure, they don't go to autopilot and lnav mode after 1000ft, but they keep to turn based on the flight plan manually. the same with the landing. some of them, even if there is ils. at 1000ft, they turn off the autopilot, the autothrust and they land manually.

why is that? are in real life the auto-help systems (toga, lnav/vnav,  autothrust, ils etc) unreliable? 

because in our sim world (fsx, p3d, xplane) they all work fine. for example when an airport supports ils landing, i turn off the autopilot around 100ft before touchdown.

thanks

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1 minute ago, thenikos said:

why is that? are in real life the auto-help systems (toga, lnav/vnav,  autothrust, ils etc) unreliable?

It's all based on company policies.  

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Second the company policies.

I'll also add that some autopilot manufacturers have their own limitations in terms of when the autopilot can be turned on and when it needs to be turned off. 

Another thing to note is that outside of company and system limitations, it's all about preference. I'll usually hand fly up to 10k feet and then wont ask for the autopilot until I'm on speed in the enroute climb.

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Posted (edited)

No such thing as Auto takeoff for one.  Secondly especially for long haul flying.  You only get maybe 2 landings a month.  Autolands at most companies do not count towards our required landing currency so if at all possible the automation is disconnected for a manual landing to count.  Also what's the point in flying for a living if you want to watch the computer do it all?

Edited by thibodba57

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Brian, safety reasons maybe? i watched many videos of aircrafts crashed and most of them was because of human error. thats why i said that at least on the computer, the flight plan/ils never made a mistake. even at total fog or windy conditions, the aircraft landed perfectly aligned.but of course in real life, maybe these auto systems are not as much trusted as in computer enviroment

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Sure, yeah, it's based on company policies, however I'm not aware of any aircraft that takes off by itself (not yet).  For the landing, there is another way to look at this.

Pilots love to fly, and with airliners being highly automated these days and the FAA/CAA and the European equivalent recommend the use of Autopilot when in crowded airspace the accuracy is far greater when using the Autopilot, but for landing it gives the pilots an opportunity to hand fly the aircraft during approach and landing.

In so far as landing, even when aircraft have autoland, aircraft often land with weather/wind outside the rated operational limits of the autoland system   Grab an FCOM for your favorite aircraft and you'll see the limits of the system.

Beyond the above, there are probably as many different reasons as there are pilots.

 

Best wishes.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, thenikos said:

Brian, safety reasons maybe? i watched many videos of aircrafts crashed and most of them was because of human error. thats why i said that at least on the computer, the flight plan/ils never made a mistake. even at total fog or windy conditions, the aircraft landed perfectly aligned.but of course in real life, maybe these auto systems are not as much trusted as in computer enviroment

It's not just a safety thing. The aircraft aren't designed for them, to track centerline, to take into account winds or to even handle an engine failure pre or post V1 let alone decide pre V1 if the condition warrants a reject.  Contrary to what some UAS fans might believe. We are a long way off from a fully automated aircraft.  All autopilot aircraft have a minimum altitude which the automation is allowed. In the 74 it's 250 AGL. The MD-80 if I recall is 1000' AGL.

Edited by thibodba57
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9 hours ago, thenikos said:

hi, i am not sure if this is the right thread to post this topic but i couldn't find another. my question is this: in many videos of real flights, almost all the pilots take-off or land, manually.

for example, in the depart procedure, they don't go to autopilot and lnav mode after 1000ft, but they keep to turn based on the flight plan manually. the same with the landing. some of them, even if there is ils. at 1000ft, they turn off the autopilot, the autothrust and they land manually.

why is that? are in real life the auto-help systems (toga, lnav/vnav,  autothrust, ils etc) unreliable? 

because in our sim world (fsx, p3d, xplane) they all work fine. for example when an airport supports ils landing, i turn off the autopilot around 100ft before touchdown.

thanks

I believe that if they are able and the company lets them, they will try to get in as much manual flight as they can.

Usually, when I see Airbus pilots takeoff, they will put the aircraft on autopilot almost immediately while Boeing pilots seem to fly more manually, but just for a little longer and just on departure and approach.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, thenikos said:

hi, i am not sure if this is the right thread to post this topic but i couldn't find another. my question is this: in many videos of real flights, almost all the pilots take-off or land, manually.

for example, in the depart procedure, they don't go to autopilot and lnav mode after 1000ft, but they keep to turn based on the flight plan manually. the same with the landing. some of them, even if there is ils. at 1000ft, they turn off the autopilot, the autothrust and they land manually.

why is that? are in real life the auto-help systems (toga, lnav/vnav,  autothrust, ils etc) unreliable? 

because in our sim world (fsx, p3d, xplane) they all work fine. for example when an airport supports ils landing, i turn off the autopilot around 100ft before touchdown.

thanks

It is all about personal preference subject to company policy. My airline recommend AP usage under certain circumstances, but also remind us to practice manual handling when the weather is good. It is important for us to learn where to draw the line. 

 

i have flown both the 777 and A330, both airplane I will try to hand fly until cruise. But of course this is very much subjected to workload.

 

I must say a light weight A330 (~155-165 Tons TOW) is quite a bit hard to handle in wake turbulence after take off especially when trailing behind the 330/777  even with my hands off the side stick. The latest A330 i recently flew which was delivered about two years ago was way better. 

 

At 200tons or above, the airplane has more inertia and the speed is higher for the aeilerons to become more effective to counteracts the turbulence. Which greatly minimises the wing rocking motion of the airplane in turbulence.

 

when the weather is bad, or flying to places with complicated departure procedure involving high workload (i.e. metric altimetry in China) couple with bad ATC coms like in China, Indonesia and India. Also when the airport is surrounded by hills. I would not hesitate to put on the AP at 400ft. 

 

Sometimes hand flying can induce unnecessary stress. Because commercial airline flying, unlike GA, it’s way busier and we all try to minimise threats and risks to achieve a safe operation. 

 

The truth is after one has been flying for a long time, we don’t need to prove that we fly the airplane anymore. Just like when you drive your car you don’t doubt yourself the ability to drive. 

 

We all try to do what is sensible for the day. On a fine day at familiar airports, I will hand fly as much as I can. 

 

But the autopilot system, especially the one on the 777, is very very capable. I would say it’s autoland at gusty at 38kts cross wind is really really good. 

 

Also the RNP AR approach procedure requires strict use of AP until visual at minimum. Because the AP can fly a much more accurate track than human. 

 

‘On approach, when I foresee a high chance of the need to go around ( most likely due to traffic conditions ) I would leave the AP in to help minimise the workload in the event of miss approach. Particularly in the US, where a lot of times you may get quite a few instructions at the same time at the time when the miss approach is initiated. 

 

The key is to brief the other pilot the miss approach action, so that both guys are ready. 

 

 

 

Edited by Driverab330

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