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Faro
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Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:29 am

In one of the IITV DVD's, an engine failure on T/O is practiced in an A320 simulator. On reaching stabilised level flight after T/O, the pilot then engaged the autopilot. Is this usual? I would have thought that any emergency situation is flown manually.

Faro
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DescendVia
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:51 pm

Quoting Faro (Thread starter):
Is this usual? I would have thought that any emergency situation is flown manually.

Nope....... its actually strongly suggested (mandatory at some airlines maybe?) since it allows both pilots to work the problem while someone is always flying the aircraft. When the blank hits the fan it comes fast and furious.

Now remember you always got to have someone flying the airplane, since most crashes ultimately stem from failure to do so, but the autopilot lessons the work load and allows for better handling of the emergency.

Our engine out profile "recommends" autopilot on at E/O accel height after the plane is trimmed out and then the pilots pull out the QRC/FM and work the problem together, unless in a very desperate situation where the QRC could be run prior to E/O accel. Granted its says "recommend" but your going to be told to do it if you don't when flying the sim during recurrent.

[Edited 2009-06-18 07:18:57]
 
Bellerophon
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Thu Jun 18, 2009 2:28 pm

Faro

...In one of the IITV DVD's, an engine failure on T/O is practiced in an A320 simulator. On reaching stabilised level flight after T/O, the pilot then engaged the autopilot. Is this usual?...

Yes, in general.

Different airlines have different SOPs, and some aircraft have type specific requirements, so it is not universal, but I would say that it is usual.

As an example, in my company, on the B747-400, following an EFATO; provided the aircraft is stable in pitch, roll and yaw; it is SOP to engage an autopilot at 250 feet on climb out.


...I would have thought that any emergency situation is flown manually...

I would say that the most common fault in dealing with an emergency is rarely poor aircraft handling but rather an inadequate or over-hasty diagnosis of the problem, followed by an incorrect or sub-optimal solution being applied. Frequently this is caused by a pilot who is also hand-flying his aircraft, and thus not having as much spare mental capacity to devote to diagnosing the problem and selecting the appropriate solution as he might have.

Modern teaching is generally that, once the immediate safety of the aircraft is assured and where appropriate, you reduce your workload by engaging an autopilot and then handing over the flying to the co-pilot.

You now have a greater mental capacity with which to discuss and analyse, along with the co-pilot, exactly what has happened, diagnose the problem, select the correct solution, speak to ATC, cabin crew and passengers etc. than if you were physically flying the aircraft yourself.

Some pilots are more than capable of doing it all themselves, however most will find it safer and much easier this way.

Modern autopilots (when working properly) are extremely capable, let them do what they do better than pilots, which is fly the aircraft.

That leaves the pilots to do what they do better than auto-pilots, which is thinking and problem solving!


Best Regards

Bellerophon
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Thu Jun 18, 2009 3:15 pm



Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 2):
That leaves the pilots to do what they do better than auto-pilots, which is thinking and problem solving!

If I may interpret this it means "leave the knuckle-head stuff to the chimps while we evolved upright human beings deal with the real threat".  Wink
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:21 am

We would engaged the A/P at 500' in the MD-11.
 
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Faro
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:10 am



Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 2):
I would say that the most common fault in dealing with an emergency is rarely poor aircraft handling but rather an inadequate or over-hasty diagnosis of the problem, followed by an incorrect or sub-optimal solution being applied. Frequently this is caused by a pilot who is also hand-flying his aircraft, and thus not having as much spare mental capacity to devote to diagnosing the problem and selecting the appropriate solution as he might have.

Modern teaching is generally that, once the immediate safety of the aircraft is assured and where appropriate, you reduce your workload by engaging an autopilot and then handing over the flying to the co-pilot.

Thanx for the feedback, quite logical and actually make one wonder whether the regulators will one day impose this modern teaching as mandatory, standard operating practice for all operators.

Faro
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Airbus_A340
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:25 pm

Engaging the autopilot as soon as possible to reduce immediate workload in order to better deal with the problem.

In my company, use of Autopilot is "strongly recommended in the case of engine failure, without any restriction including autoland".
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wilco737
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:37 pm



Quoting Airbus_A340 (Reply 6):
Engaging the autopilot as soon as possible to reduce immediate workload in order to better deal with the problem.

Exactly. Company policy here as well. Maximum use of Autoflight System.

Back on the 737 it wasn't too easy as the AP was not allowed to be engaged below 1000' AGL. So you had to fly quite a bit until you could use the autopilot.

Now on the MD11F it is different. Above 400' AGL Autopilot on and 'Otto' does a good job Big grin

wilco737
 
sudden
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:19 pm



Quoting Bellerophon (Reply 2):
As an example, in my company, on the B747-400, following an EFATO; provided the aircraft is stable in pitch, roll and yaw; it is SOP to engage an autopilot at 250 feet on climb out.

Interesting fact.
Just out of curiosity, was the AP on the Concorde able to handle an EFATO as well?

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Sudden
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airbuster
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:27 pm

on a n-1 after v1, the first call is GEAR UP - SET AUTOPILOT on our fokkers....and it frees up a lot of mental thinking space as stated above
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2H4
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:29 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 7):
Back on the 737 it wasn't too easy as the AP was not allowed to be engaged below 1000' AGL.

What are the reasons for the variance in min altitudes for AP use? If I'm not mistaken, you flew the 737 for the same company as your current ride, so this suggests the limitations are manufacturer-specific. Is this true? And if so, is this indicative of the MD-11 somehow having a superior AP, in that it may be engaged at lower altitudes?

2H4
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wilco737
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RE: Use Of Autoflight In Emergencies

Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:37 pm



Quoting 2H4 (Reply 10):
What are the reasons for the variance in min altitudes for AP use? If I'm not mistaken, you flew the 737 for the same company as your current ride, so this suggests the limitations are manufacturer-specific. Is this true? And if so, is this indicative of the MD-11 somehow having a superior AP, in that it may be engaged at lower altitudes?

It has something to do with the manufactor. For the 737 we had the rule not to engage the autopilot below 1000' AGL. On the MD11F we can do that above 400' AGL.
Where this exactly comes from, I don't know. From what I've been told there was some trouble with the autopilot which could occur if engaged below 1000' AGL (on the 737).

wilco737

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