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Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:37 pm
by flyenthu
Hi!

Do pilots rely on manual flying than autopilots where the flight route deviates or jogs a lot like in the pic attached?

Thanks!

F/E

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:12 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
No pic attached that I can see, but I’m guessing enroute, select heading (HDG) on the autopilot and fly a heading until ready to go back on track.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:26 pm
by Aesma
What about patterns, for example circling when an airport is busy ?

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:38 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
Either way, probably hand fly unless it was an established hold.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:46 pm
by bradyj23
flyenthu wrote:
Hi!

Do pilots rely on manual flying than autopilots where the flight route deviates or jogs a lot like in the pic attached?

Thanks!

F/E


No pic and not really sure what you are asking. But we usually leave it on autopilot during cruise, holding, etc. It allows us to monitor better.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 6:21 pm
by CosmicCruiser
it's easier to just make any edits to the route in the FMS and be done with it. Also if you're in RVSM airspace better keep the A/P engaged. If I were being vectored for an approach it would depend on work load.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:30 pm
by timh4000
As I've learned from the pilots on this site when asking similar questions, the modern a/p has several modes and choices, variables to operate in all kinds of conditions and situations.

While I've not been one to criticize pilots on a/p use, there are those out there with a very myopic mindset that modern pilots and modern aircraft are relying on it too much, thinking it's due to laziness or hand flying inability. Let's not get facts of of modern percentages of how safe commercial aviation has become to get in the way of their arguments and lines of thought. As a passenger I need not overly concern myself over how pilots get the job done when it's getting done with odds of fatality being so low that flying beats every other mode of travel by countless margins.

Your question is a good one though and as the pilots on here will so often say the answer is most often what it is due to the many variables they encounter.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:45 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
HUD makes a lot of difference for me, especially around the airport or low altitude—easy to fly accurately, great SA and presents a lot of information you’d have make a mental picture of heads down.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:04 am
by Starlionblue
flyenthu wrote:
Hi!

Do pilots rely on manual flying than autopilots where the flight route deviates or jogs a lot like in the pic attached?

Thanks!

F/E


Can't see the pic but I think you might be thinking of things like deviating around weather. Typically for that sort of thing you'd just go to heading mode. No need to disengage the autopilot. Once clear of weather you can go direct to the next waypoint, or let the FM calculate an intercept with your flight plan track.

As timh4000 says, modern autopilots have many modes. Autoflight on a modern airliner has dozens, so there are rarely cases where you can't use automation just because of a feature limitation.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:56 am
by timh4000
Something I think people who are not pilots may not think about is that other than 1st generation regional aircraft like the DC-9'S and 737's, pretty much all commercial jets from the 727 on up had at least 3 in the flight deck and sometimes a navigator making it 4. So the pilots who back then still had autopilot, but quite limited compared to today's autopilot and now most also with auto land capability had to mostly focus on manually flying the plane through deviations, take off up to cruise and most or all of the decent and landing. Watching old video's from say the 60's on a 707, DC-8 or the last remainders of the big long haul props, the engineer especially was quite busy and had as much knowledge of the aircraft and what it was doing as the pilots did. The pilots today handle the workload that was once the job of the additional flight crew. Today It may be computerized and the aircraft can diagnose issues and problems, but the pilots workload of today is far different and way more complex then that of 40 or more years ago.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:13 pm
by AABusDrvr
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
HUD makes a lot of difference for me, especially around the airport or low altitude—easy to fly accurately, great SA and presents a lot of information you’d have make a mental picture of heads down.


I love having a HUD, once I got comfortable with it. It took some getting used to in the beginning. We do all our CAT II/III approaches hand flown on the HUD, I have yet to do one all the way down to 600 RVR, but they say it works well. I do wish we had EVS, but the airlines will never spring for that.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:43 pm
by CosmicCruiser
we had EFVS projected on our HUD in the MD-11 and it was fantastic with smoke, fog and mod. rain. I only saw one incident where it was raining too hard for the EFVS in BOM.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:28 pm
by Canuck600
timh4000 wrote:
Something I think people who are not pilots may not think about is that other than 1st generation regional aircraft like the DC-9'S and 737's, pretty much all commercial jets from the 727 on up had at least 3 in the flight deck and sometimes a navigator making it 4. So the pilots who back then still had autopilot, but quite limited compared to today's autopilot and now most also with auto land capability had to mostly focus on manually flying the plane through deviations, take off up to cruise and most or all of the decent and landing. Watching old video's from say the 60's on a 707, DC-8 or the last remainders of the big long haul props, the engineer especially was quite busy and had as much knowledge of the aircraft and what it was doing as the pilots did.


I would disagree on this, the engineer probably had a greater knowledge of the aircraft & it's system then the pilots.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:34 pm
by AABusDrvr
Canuck600 wrote:
timh4000 wrote:
Something I think people who are not pilots may not think about is that other than 1st generation regional aircraft like the DC-9'S and 737's, pretty much all commercial jets from the 727 on up had at least 3 in the flight deck and sometimes a navigator making it 4. So the pilots who back then still had autopilot, but quite limited compared to today's autopilot and now most also with auto land capability had to mostly focus on manually flying the plane through deviations, take off up to cruise and most or all of the decent and landing. Watching old video's from say the 60's on a 707, DC-8 or the last remainders of the big long haul props, the engineer especially was quite busy and had as much knowledge of the aircraft and what it was doing as the pilots did.


I would disagree on this, the engineer probably had a greater knowledge of the aircraft & it's system then the pilots.


A professional engineer, probably, but doubtful for a pilot engineer.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 9:58 pm
by Zeke2517
Canuck600 wrote:
timh4000 wrote:
Something I think people who are not pilots may not think about is that other than 1st generation regional aircraft like the DC-9'S and 737's, pretty much all commercial jets from the 727 on up had at least 3 in the flight deck and sometimes a navigator making it 4. So the pilots who back then still had autopilot, but quite limited compared to today's autopilot and now most also with auto land capability had to mostly focus on manually flying the plane through deviations, take off up to cruise and most or all of the decent and landing. Watching old video's from say the 60's on a 707, DC-8 or the last remainders of the big long haul props, the engineer especially was quite busy and had as much knowledge of the aircraft and what it was doing as the pilots did.


I would disagree on this, the engineer probably had a greater knowledge of the aircraft & it's system then the pilots.



Depends on the airline, right? In many cases the engineer was the new hire waiting for his turn to fly the plane. So it was very possible that the engineer had the least amount of knowledge of the aircraft and its systems.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:07 am
by timh4000
In some cases, but overall they were pretty busy and really had to know his stuff. Just as there are cases due to seniority the guy in the right seat had more experience and was a better overall pilot

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:37 am
by Canuck600
I was thinking more of the era when the engineer was strictly a engineer & not a pilot in waiting

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 3:02 am
by GalaxyFlyer
Canuck600 wrote:
I was thinking more of the era when the engineer was strictly a engineer & not a pilot in waiting


That era ended in 1962 except for a few PAA and,I think, AA professional engineers.

GF

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:16 am
by spacecadet
In fact that era didn't even overlap much with the jet era.

Modern pilots are expected to know aircraft systems, pretty much inside out. I can't say this is the case everywhere around the world, but certainly in the United States. This starts right from the PPL stage and only becomes progressively deeper as you move up through each stage and eventually reach ATP level. So pilots spend years learning this stuff even before they ever set foot in any kind of airliner. You're going to know everything about how turbines, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, glass cockpit systems and automation, and many other things work before you even begin type training.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:46 am
by Starlionblue
spacecadet wrote:
In fact that era didn't even overlap much with the jet era.

Modern pilots are expected to know aircraft systems, pretty much inside out. I can't say this is the case everywhere around the world, but certainly in the United States. This starts right from the PPL stage and only becomes progressively deeper as you move up through each stage and eventually reach ATP level. So pilots spend years learning this stuff even before they ever set foot in any kind of airliner. You're going to know everything about how turbines, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, glass cockpit systems and automation, and many other things work before you even begin type training.


While we are expected to have comprehensive knowledge, I don't know about "inside out". We need to know the bits that are relevant to us very well, for example all the autoflight modes or the consequencesy of the flaps being locked at position 2. However, we don't need to know stuff like exactly how variable inlet guide vanes react to a surge, or where exactly the hydraulic lines run. The engineers have much more in-depth knowledge of the systems. Pilots know how to apply the systems to the jobs of getting from A to B in a safe and expeditious manner.

Someone with a CPL and no jet time will know the general concepts of hydraulics, bleed systems, electrics and turbines, but not at the engineering level. In the same vein, I can explain the lift equation and the general behaviour of airflow over a wing at various speeds and angles of attack, but I don't know how to work with Reynolds Numbers like a professional aerodynamicist.

All that being said, the required knowledge to understand modern autoflight system automation has increased as autoflight systems have steadily increased in complexity.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:07 pm
by CosmicCruiser
Starlionblue made a good point. Early in my career I went to North American in St. Louis for Saberliner ground school and the instructors were way more in depth than necessary. They talked about the size of bolts and the ft.lbs of torque on them. This was obviously waaay more info than a pilot needed and I went away wondering if I really needed to know this at some point in my career. Now flash ahead 10 yrs and the grd school became more pilot useful with very indepth teaching of systems but what was relevant to the pilot.

Re: Manual or Auto?

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:39 am
by B777LRF
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Canuck600 wrote:
I was thinking more of the era when the engineer was strictly a engineer & not a pilot in waiting


That era ended in 1962 except for a few PAA and,I think, AA professional engineers.

GF


In the US, yes. In the rest of the world, no.

We only ever flew with "real" engineers on our A300s and 727s, and that was also the case for every non-US operator I know of, who had an aircraft type requiring a FE.

We we phased the 727 and then the A300s out, the FE's were offered a conversion course to become pilots. Most took up the offer, and those who did went on to become excellent pilots, who had forgotten more about the technical details of the aircraft than us "real" pilots ever knew.