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What's The Deal With Autopilots?  
User currently offlineDelta727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

I would think that pilots would want to keep their flying skills sharp by disengaging the autopilot on the approach providing that the conditions permit. If I am correct, at what point in the approach will the pilot turn off the autopilot and fly the visual, ILS, or FMS routing by hand?

Thanks for your responses!
delta727

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

The FP will usually hand fly the plane on the handover from center to approach control, or whenever the plane begins being vectored for the approach. The only time an approach can't be hand flown is when on a category II or III approach.

User currently offlineDC-10MAN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

I was riding the jumpseat on WN and noticed the "heads-up" display. Upon further conversation with the captain, it's for manual CATIIIa landings. I don't know who else does this. Thought you would like to know. Adios

User currently offlineGnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

What a/c type at WN has the new HUD?
Also, can a pilot manually land an a/c on a CATII approach after, say, the LOM? Or must autoland be used right to the ground?


User currently offlineDC-10MAN From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

GNOMON,
The HUD was on a -300 or -500, it was a about a year ago. The Capt said it was manual to the ground, IIIa, not sure about II, I asume the same.


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

On the CAT II ILS the approach is flown by the autopilot down to the 100 foot minimum. At the decision height if the landing environment is not visible the aircraft must go around. All the pilot has to do is push the TOGA (Takeoff Go Around) switch on the throttles and the auto throttles advance to Go Around power.

The missed approach is selected in the FMS if the aircraft is to shoot the published misssed approach. Or the pilot may manually input the heading and altitudes in the VNAV And LNAV command for the auto pilot if he is being vectored.

Only cat III has 0/0 minima criteria. Cat II is 100 1/4


User currently offlineBryanG From United States of America, joined May 1999, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

The HUD is standard on all new Southwest planes, and it's being added to the ones that didn't get it in the factory. The planes that have the HUD aren't fitted with autoland, so the only way to get them in through the fog is by hand.
It looks a lot like a fighter HUD, with altitude and speed indicators on the side. A "virtual" runway is projeted on the screen to help the pilot align. It folds down from the overhead like a sun-visor, so it can be stowed away when not needed.

Some new bizjets also have options for ILS CAT II/III capable HUDs, though I've forgotten which ones exactly. The Southwest pilots that I've talked to love the equipment.


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

While we're on the subject of CAT III approaches. In order for the approach to be legal the airplane needs to be CAT III equiped. The system must also have been inspected and tested to be within acceptable limits, and then signed off.

The aircrew must be certified and current for CAT III approaches.

From what I understand most companies that do have the capability do not use it. I have personally never seen or heard of any aircraft doing a CAT III approach.

But the HUD helps on any appraoch due to the fact that the approach information can be projected on the visual picture.


User currently offlineBryanG From United States of America, joined May 1999, 436 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1453 times:

The *airport* must also have a CAT II/III rating. Not every runway in the world is capable of these landings, only a very small percentage. The CAT II runways need inner marker equipment and need their ILS beams tuned to much finer tolerances, and the CAT III ones have even more exacting standards.

A little old DC-9 that does runs to Nowhereville all day doesn't need a CATIII rating because most of the airports that it serves won't have CAT III runways. And even if the airport is CAT III rated, there's not a big problem in delaying the arrival into Nowhereville for a few minutes to wait for the fog to lift.

On the bigger planes, it becomes more important. They'll spend all their time around bigger CAT III airports. A big 777 arriving at a hub airport with 300 passengers, many of whom are connecting to other flights, MUST get there on-time or else it would throw the entire airline's schedule out the window.

A pretty good percentage of the old commercial planes out there today, meaning the old 737s and 727s, are at least CAT II rated, which is enough to keep the airline's schedule running smoothly in case of fog.


User currently offlineJETPILOT From United States of America, joined May 1999, 3130 posts, RR: 29
Reply 9, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1452 times:

If a plane needs to shoot a CAT III approach in order to get in, I promise there will be no one leaving that airport on connecting flights. The departures would be way below minimums for 121 departtures.

User currently offlineEvgeni From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

What axactly is CAT III approach?
What does it do?

Evgeni K.


User currently offlineIce Cream Man From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (15 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 1451 times:

I dunno about the US, but in Europe CAT III (a, b, or c) approaches are quite common. CAT IIIc is an approach with no DH (decision height), ie the visibility can be zero (as well as the ceiling).

I think a CAT III approach, especially in a large widebody, is considerably more dangerous than a CAT III (autoland), because you break out at a very low altitude and then may have to manually land it. There is little or no time for corrections due to the low altitude and the large momentum of the plane.


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