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When Pilots Change Aircraft Type?  
User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3262 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4043 times:

Is it easier for a pilot to train down to a smaller aircraft from a larger one or harder to train up?
Say 747 down to 737 or round the other way.


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4041 times:

Neither. It's different, not harder, and size doesn't matter. Every aircraft has unique characteristics that must be learned.

User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4017 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Is it easier for a pilot to train down to a smaller aircraft from a larger one or harder to train up?
Say 747 down to 737 or round the other way.

The size isn't a factor, as PGNCS said. The major factors are the compexity, and the relative difference, between the two aircraft.

From a 757 to a 767 (or the other way) is a whole lot easier than a 777 to a 737 because the design of the flight decks and systems is so different.

Tom.


User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3984 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 1):
and size doesn't matter

I would disagree.
With line operations, a much larger aircraft has much greater momentum that the smaller one, and this takes TIME for the new pilot to adapt.
Not especially difficult...just more time consuming, generally.


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3262 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3978 times:

Okay, thank you,I understand now.
And just one more question, take the Boeing family for example, which of their craft is the "easy" one to fly?



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3962 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 4):
which of their craft is the "easy" one to fly?

Can't reply to that, as I have flown only one Boeing jet type, the 707.
The 707 required manual dexterity to fly properly, as all of its primary control surfaces, except for the rudder, were without hydraulic assist.
IE: heavy controls.
I personally line trained brand new First Officers (with about 300 total flying hours) onto the type, and once standard procedures were properly learned, they did very well.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 79
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3930 times:

Quoting 411A (Reply 3):
With line operations, a much larger aircraft has much greater momentum that the smaller one, and this takes TIME for the new pilot to adapt.

That depends a lot on how the control laws are done. For manually controlled, or simple hydraulic boost controls, this is often true. For FBW controls, the momentum differences are much less apparent because you're controlling, approximately, on normal acceleration and roll rate, which are both momentum-insensitive.

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 4):
And just one more question, take the Boeing family for example, which of their craft is the "easy" one to fly?

The FBW ones (777 and 787) have the most predictable controls and most automation, so they're the "easiest" to fly. Not sure that they'd be called the nicest to fly though.

Tom.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3839 times:

Quoting 411A (Reply 3):
I would disagree.
With line operations, a much larger aircraft has much greater momentum that the smaller one, and this takes TIME for the new pilot to adapt.
Not especially difficult...just more time consuming, generally.

Feel free to disagree, but I went from the DC-9 to the B-727 to the MD-80 to the A-320 to the B-757/767 to the B-744 to the B-727 to the B-737 to the MD-80 to the B-757/767 to the L-1011 to the B-757/767 to the MD-80 and had no difficulties in any of the aircraft, though I had certain favorites, of course. When I said in my original comment "every aircraft has unique characteristics that must be learned," that adequately covers any inertial differences inherent in larger aircraft. I think that the B-744 and L-1011 are FAR easier to physically maneuver than many of their smaller brethren. That doesn't mean that understanding their systems are as easy, but that's a function of systems and performance knowledge not size, per se. The hardest schools I ever went to without question were A-320 and L-1011 Initial, two aircraft that have much more docile flight characteristics than the others I've flown, but also have much more complex systems knowledge requirements. The simplest of the bunch, the B-737, also has the most unpleasant flight characteristics in my opinion (especially the low-speed engine out stuff.) I feel perfectly comfortable with my views on this subject.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3828 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 4):
And just one more question, take the Boeing family for example, which of their craft is the "easy" one to fly?

I haven't flown the B-707 or the B-777, but have flown some model of all the rest (except the B-787, obviously,) and for ease of maneuvering, predictability, and control harmony, as well as relatively simple and logically-designed systems, I have to say the easiest to fly and best of the bunch is easily the B-757 in every regard. It's also, uncoincidentally, my favorite Boeing to fly. My least favorite is the B-737, though it isn't especially difficult to fly, excepting V1 cuts, and especially engine failure when airborne just after V1, when it's a real handful.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 3776 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 7):
Feel free to disagree, but I went from the DC-9 to the B-727 to the MD-80 to the A-320 to the B-757/767 to the B-744 to the B-727 to the B-737 to the MD-80 to the B-757/767 to the L-1011 to the B-757/767 to the MD-80 and had no difficulties in any of the aircraft

...And with that, I'd say our friend PGNCS has put the smack in the down and locked position.   



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 7):
Feel free to disagree, but I went from the DC-9 to the B-727 to the MD-80 to the A-320 to the B-757/767 to the B-744 to the B-727 to the B-737 to the MD-80 to the B-757/767 to the L-1011 to the B-757/767 to the MD-80 and had no

Well line maintenance seems to get no respect but I have gone to all the above aircraft with the exception of the L1011 and had to address issues and was expected by pilots to know the the differences sometimes all in one day. If you work for an airline with a diverse fleet and work the line and have years of knowledge you are worth your weight in gold but you would never get airline management or anyone else to acknowledge that.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 9):
And with that, I'd say our friend PGNCS has put the smack in the down and locked position.

Agreed



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 20 hours ago) and read 3499 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 2):
The size isn't a factor, as PGNCS said. The major factors are the compexity, and the relative difference, between the two aircraft.

It seems as though the MD-11 was in class of it's own as far as getting used to flying.



"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
User currently offlineMax Q From United States of America, joined May 2001, 4521 posts, RR: 18
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 18 hours ago) and read 3437 times:

The 727 was and still is the best handling Boeing narrowbody. The 757 handles reasonably well but nothing special, it just has a lot of power for it's weight. The 767 Handles like a dream, Boeing got this one just right.



In my experience bigger is always better, generally more stable with good response, the 747 is a good example. the advantage of size and more importantly, weight is the Aircraft simply goes where you want it to.



The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 18 hours ago) and read 3437 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 7):
I feel perfectly comfortable with my views on this subject.

As I'm quite comfortable with mine.
Are you, or have you been, an instructor on any of the types you've flown?
And, if so, how long?


User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 17 hours ago) and read 3381 times:

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 10):
Well line maintenance seems to get no respect but I have gone to all the above aircraft with the exception of the L1011 and had to address issues and was expected by pilots to know the the differences sometimes all in one day. If you work for an airline with a diverse fleet and work the line and have years of knowledge you are worth your weight in gold but you would never get airline management or anyone else to acknowledge that

Touche, A&P, touche. I've worked a line or two, and yeah, we're basically the Rodney Dangerfields of aviation. You know what really bugged me?

The way that the Airport franchise turned Joe Patroni into a Concorde check airman for the last movie. Seriously, was he not cool enough as a badass mech? It was really sad/funny as I knew a lead or two in my time that could have been well played by George Kennedy there. . . Ok, selfish rant over now.

One thing I think is always interesting is how few people realize exactly how extensive the differences type to type really are, even amongst series. For the record, most pilots I know are pretty good about this. But if you tell the average enthusiast (yes enthusiast, not just brainless media twit, lol), that there is a far greater difference in parts & construction from the 732 to the 739 than there is between say a 752 & 764, the looks one get could skin a tiger.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 3349 times:

Quoting 411A (Reply 14):
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 7):
I feel perfectly comfortable with my views on this subject.

As I'm quite comfortable with mine.
Are you, or have you been, an instructor on any of the types you've flown?
And, if so, how long?

Like I made clear at the outset, that's fine.

Yes; DC-9/MD-80 7 years; A-320 4 years; B-757/767 2 years; B-744 about six months. Some A-320 and B-757/767 was concurrent. I was an examiner on the A-320 for 3 years as well.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
The 727 was and still is the best handling Boeing narrowbody.

I never understood why people like that thing. I couldn't wait to get off of it.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
The 757 handles reasonably well but nothing special, it just has a lot of power for it's weight.

Given the above, obviously I disagree.

Quoting Max Q (Reply 13):
The 767 Handles like a dream, Boeing got this one just right.

As I have said in other threads, I very much disagree. After the B-737 and B-727 my least favorite airliner to fly; it's control harmony is like a bad dream at low speeds with all four ailerons active.

[Edited for clarity.]

[Edited 2010-04-22 00:27:21]

User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 11 hours ago) and read 3242 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 16):
After the B-737 and B-727 my least favorite airliner to fly; it's control harmony is like a bad dream at low speeds with all four ailerons active.

Recall reading in a neighbouring thread that the L1011 comes out as the top control harmony champ, followed by the 757 and 747. The 767 was deemed too sensitive in roll and the 727 very vulnerable to a sinking flightpath on mishandled approaches.

Faro



The chalice not my son
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9101 posts, RR: 75
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 11 hours ago) and read 3235 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Is it easier for a pilot to train down to a smaller aircraft from a larger one or harder to train up?
Say 747 down to 737 or round the other way.

Staying within the same manufactures line of aircraft would have to be easier than going from one manufacturer to another. Aircraft generally have the same sort gear that does the same sort job, getting your head around all the acronyms they use to perform those functions is the hardest.

The flying is not so hard, same as a C-172, keep the blue side up, and land the main wheels first.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 3232 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 18):
Staying within the same manufactures line of aircraft would have to be easier than going from one manufacturer to another. Aircraft generally have the same sort gear that does the same sort job, getting your head around all the acronyms they use to perform those functions is the hardest.

Quite correct.
I noted that the L1011 type was many times more difficult for pilots to understand fully (systems-wise) because, if they had come from Boeing aircraft, the nominclature used was quite different with Lockheed....as was systems design, generally.



Parked next to my private airplane, is an aircraft owned by a former Boeing design engineer, now retired.
He mentioned one day....'When we first got a close look at the L1011, it was a huge wake up call for us, as we found the systems and autoflight operation/integration far superior to what we had at the time.'

Flying the L1011 is the easy part, fully understanding its systems, far more difficult.



I have been an instructor and senior check and training Captain on the L1011 for twenty years.
In that time I have trained quite a number of First Officers and Captains (mostly First Officers, however) and I personally found that many First Officers that had come from the B737 (for example) took just awhile longer in line training, to master the airplane, rather than if they had come from a larger type.
Why?
Number one reason was learning to use the automatics to their full potential.
Number two reason, the airplane was much larger, and the slam-dunk type of approach they were used to on the 737, simply could not be accomplished with the L1011, due to its size and weight.


User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 3179 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
DATABASE EDITOR

Quoting 411A (Reply 19):
Number two reason, the airplane was much larger, and the slam-dunk type of approach they were used to on the 737, simply could not be accomplished with the L1011, due to its size and weight.

But isn't the "slam-dunk" capability more a function of the wing, spoilers, flaps, speedbrakes, etc?



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

Quoting 2H4 (Reply 20):
But isn't the "slam-dunk" capability more a function of the wing, spoilers, flaps, speedbrakes, etc?

Yes, however, when you have 380,000 pounds of airplane to deal with (versus 110,000 or so) , it takes more TIME to get it stabilized, with a reasonable rate of descent established, and engines spooled up properly.
Once learned, it is thereafter easy.
In addition, former Boeing pilots learned that the 'Boeing push' on landing, was not possible with the L1011.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 6 hours ago) and read 3086 times:

Quoting faro (Reply 17):
Quoting PGNCS (Reply 16):
After the B-737 and B-727 my least favorite airliner to fly; it's control harmony is like a bad dream at low speeds with all four ailerons active.

Recall reading in a neighbouring thread that the L1011 comes out as the top control harmony champ, followed by the 757 and 747. The 767 was deemed too sensitive in roll and the 727 very vulnerable to a sinking flightpath on mishandled approaches.

I agree with the L-1011 being the champ in all aspects, and I imagine 411A will fully support that as well. There has never been an airliner (that I have flown, anyway) with better handling characteristics than the L-1011. I also agree with you about that the B-757 is the best harmonized of the Boeing aircraft, much better than the B-767 which is pointlessly sensitive in roll, most notably at low speeds. The B-744 is fine, but nothing special. The B-727 is relatively underpowered, which initially led to some low-speed sink issues, but as training improved and people were taught to plan ahead a bit better that problem went away (although it could still be mishandled, like any airplane.) I didn't dislike the B-727 so much for its handling qualities (which were OK, but nothing to write home about,) but for having among the worst ergonomics in any Western airliner, numerous ridiculous systems quirks, virtually no automation, and an extremely noisy cockpit. Some people loved it and elected to retire when they left the fleet. I never understood that, but I was happy to see both the plane and the senior pilots go.

Quoting zeke (Reply 18):
Quoting readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Is it easier for a pilot to train down to a smaller aircraft from a larger one or harder to train up?
Say 747 down to 737 or round the other way.


Staying within the same manufactures line of aircraft would have to be easier than going from one manufacturer to another. Aircraft generally have the same sort gear that does the same sort job, getting your head around all the acronyms they use to perform those functions is the hardest.

I do agree with that wholeheartedly. Different manufacturers embrace different philosophies, which run like threads through their different designs. The autopilot on the B-757/767 and the B-744 work very similarly and either transitioning pilot would be at home with the other plane's autopilot very quickly, where a pilot coming from either fleet would have to be much more studious to master the A-320 autopilot, for example.

Quoting 411A (Reply 19):
Quoting zeke (Reply 18):
Staying within the same manufactures line of aircraft would have to be easier than going from one manufacturer to another. Aircraft generally have the same sort gear that does the same sort job, getting your head around all the acronyms they use to perform those functions is the hardest.

Quite correct.
I noted that the L1011 type was many times more difficult for pilots to understand fully (systems-wise) because, if they had come from Boeing aircraft, the nominclature used was quite different with Lockheed....as was systems design, generally

I completely agree with this statement. The L-1011 was a delight to fly, and is my favorite type by a long shot. Having said that, it is an EXTREMELY sophisticated and complex aircraft, and learning its nuances are a bit daunting, particularly for someone coming off something like the incredibly simple B-737. Lockheed (and other manufacturers) have different terminology for everything. Most was better on the L-1011 (though I wonder about who decided to go with "latched" vs. "unlatched"...411A, do you know if those are historical terms at Lockheed?) but it is still different. Even now there isn't much I'd change about the L-1011 (well, OK, I would like glass) except I wish there were more of them left.

Quoting 411A (Reply 19):
Parked next to my private airplane, is an aircraft owned by a former Boeing design engineer, now retired.
He mentioned one day....'When we first got a close look at the L1011, it was a huge wake up call for us, as we found the systems and autoflight operation/integration far superior to what we had at the time.'

And he was right. Moreover certain features (e.g. DLC) are STILL better than what they've got now. The L-1011 has the best and most consistent autoland I have ever seen, by far.

Quoting 411A (Reply 19):
Flying the L1011 is the easy part, fully understanding its systems, far more difficult.

Absolutely 100% correct. That was what my original point was trying to get at: that it doesn't matter that it's bigger as much as it is more complex. You have probably distilled the essence of my thoughts down better than I did. Thank you.

Quoting 411A (Reply 19):
I have been an instructor and senior check and training Captain on the L1011 for twenty years.
In that time I have trained quite a number of First Officers and Captains (mostly First Officers, however) and I personally found that many First Officers that had come from the B737 (for example) took just awhile longer in line training, to master the airplane, rather than if they had come from a larger type.
Why?
Number one reason was learning to use the automatics to their full potential.
Number two reason, the airplane was much larger, and the slam-dunk type of approach they were used to on the 737, simply could not be accomplished with the L1011, due to its size and weight.

I generally agree with you, but again, I don't think mastering the automation or systems on the L-1011 are related to its size, rather its complexity. We saw the same thing with guys transitioning to the A-320 coming off of bigger and smaller aircraft. Actually the B-737 is relatively difficult to slam dunk compared to some other Boeings (here the B-727 wins,) but I do understand and respect the point you're making.


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3262 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 3016 times:

You guys are brilliant with your in depth comments. Really adds flesh to the bones of the question. Thanks.
Experience wins out over Knowledge.



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 2 hours ago) and read 2988 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 23):
Experience wins out over Knowledge.

And, it will continue to do so.
Make no mistake.


25 474218 : Truer words were never spoken! I rigged L-1011 flight controls for six (6) years on the production line, taught L-1011 flight controls for four (4) y
26 Max Q : The 757-300 handles a lot better than the -200. The 200 has a 'dead spot' in pitch on rotation and you also encounter it on landing. The Ailerons are
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