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Trimeresurus
Topic Author
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:06 pm

Workload of the PNF in the 732

Sun Nov 15, 2020 11:09 am

As we all know, the Boeing 737 Jurassic was a two man cockpit in an era which three was standard for the pressurized, fast and high flying planes. This was before FADEC, EEC, automatic cabin pressure control, EICAS, electronic control of buses, and most importantly, FMS performance calculations. So the PNF had to keep the cabin altitude in a set value by controlling the bleed supply and the outflow valve manually, make fuel calculations, work through all the systems if something fails, read the meteorological reports and calculate if an offset or a diversion from the route is needed, constantly watch over the engines to make sure it is always between certain parameters, and the rest of the FE duties in the seventies which I may not know of, and in addition to all of this, also navigate, and communicate(at least the PF did the aviate part). DC-9 I assume was the same. Wasn't this a lot of work?
 
VSMUT
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Sun Nov 15, 2020 1:27 pm

The old ATR 42-300 was the same in many ways, and those still fly today. The workload is higher, but nothing you can't manage. The airlines at the time also had less paperwork and less focus on saving money, so it isn't as hard as you make it.


Trimeresurus wrote:
and most importantly, FMS performance calculations.


What FMS performance calculations, and why so important? You can normally find everything you need to know in the quick reference handbook, including relevant performance tables. Anything else will be handled before the flight.


Trimeresurus wrote:
So the PNF had to keep the cabin altitude in a set value by controlling the bleed supply and the outflow valve manually


I'm pretty sure the 737-200 had an auto-pressurization system. That's not a difficult thing to design.


Trimeresurus wrote:
make fuel calculations, work through all the systems if something fails, read the meteorological reports and calculate if an offset or a diversion from the route is needed, constantly watch over the engines to make sure it is always between certain parameters, and the rest of the FE duties in the seventies which I may not know of, and in addition to all of this, also navigate, and communicate(at least the PF did the aviate part).


Easy, we still do all those things on modern aircraft. You are just reading too much into the tasks.

Fuel calculations = At most once an hour at a waypoint you check how much fuel you have remaining vs how much the flight plan says you should have at that point. We still do that.
Work through all the systems if something fails = Open the QRH and read the corresponding checklist. We still do that, although on newer types the checklist displays on a screen.
Read the meteorological reports = Unless you are flying long distances, you listen in on an ATIS before approach. Takes under a minute. We still do this.
Calculate offsets and diversions = Should already be in your flight plan.
Watch over the engines to make sure they are within parameters = Once established in cruise, with a bit of experience you learn how to set the power so everything is within parameters. Then you just give it a glance once every few minutes. All pilots should still be doing this, even on a 787.
 
e38
Posts: 859
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:26 am

Quoting Trimeresurus (topic author), "Wasn't this a lot of work?"

No.

Everything VSMUT stated above.

In addition . . . when I was first hired at a major air carrier in the United States--yes, the era of the 737-200 and DC-9, the initial training program lasted approximately six weeks which consisted of ground school covering company procedures and aircraft systems, a series of procedural trainers (in non-motion training devices), followed by a series of full motion simulator sessions. We had an outstanding curriculum and exceptional instructors. By the time I completed training and started flying the line, I felt confident, comfortable, and proficient in the aircraft. So, to answer your question, "Wasn't this a lot of work?" No, I was prepared for the job and it was FUN!

VSMUT above provided excellent answers. Just a few additional thoughts . . .

You stated, "So the PNF had to keep the cabin altitude in a set value by controlling the bleed supply and the outflow valve manually."

No, it was automatic. Even the pressurization system in the B-52G was automatic. All you had to do was set destination field elevation in the pressure controller prior to descent. There was no other management.

"electronic control of buses" No, automatic as well. The generators came on-line automatically during engine start and you simply checked volts and frequencies once an hour during flight. For major aircraft systems, at level off and once each hour thereafter we conducted what we called a HEFOE check--Hydraulics, Electrics, Fuel, Oxygen/Pressurization, and Engines. 99.9 percent of the time everything was normal. If not, we referred to the appropriate manual.

"constantly watch over the engines to make sure it is always between certain parameters."

Well, you don't stare at them constantly. You include the engine instruments in your normal cockpit and instrument scan and as VSMUT commented, you become accustomed to what is normal and can detect anything abnormal fairly quickly.

Most tasks are not particularly difficult if you are properly trained, study hard, and prepare appropriately.

e38
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7823
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:17 am

The FMS was the PNF and a chart—PNF, looked at chart, tuned the next VOR and mentioned the next radial to PF. Simpler in many instances than hand jamming the FMS if you didn’t get it via dataIink. Even flying a fighter in congested airspace like the Northeast wasn’t that onerous.
 
e38
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Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:33 am

GalaxyFlyer, yes! it worked like that.

just an additional comment . . .

some companies have changed the terminology from PNF (Pilot Not Flying) to PM (Pilot Monitoring). At the company at which I work, all the manuals were changed from PF/PNF to PF/PM.

e38
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 3:52 am

Same here on now being PM, but in the days we speak of, it was PNF, if not “bubba”, or “co”.
 
Max Q
Posts: 8986
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:09 am

e38 wrote:
Quoting Trimeresurus (topic author), "Wasn't this a lot of work?"

No.

Everything VSMUT stated above.

In addition . . . when I was first hired at a major air carrier in the United States--yes, the era of the 737-200 and DC-9, the initial training program lasted approximately six weeks which consisted of ground school covering company procedures and aircraft systems, a series of procedural trainers (in non-motion training devices), followed by a series of full motion simulator sessions. We had an outstanding curriculum and exceptional instructors. By the time I completed training and started flying the line, I felt confident, comfortable, and proficient in the aircraft. So, to answer your question, "Wasn't this a lot of work?" No, I was prepared for the job and it was FUN!

VSMUT above provided excellent answers. Just a few additional thoughts . . .

You stated, "So the PNF had to keep the cabin altitude in a set value by controlling the bleed supply and the outflow valve manually."

No, it was automatic. Even the pressurization system in the B-52G was automatic. All you had to do was set destination field elevation in the pressure controller prior to descent. There was no other management.

"electronic control of buses" No, automatic as well. The generators came on-line automatically during engine start and you simply checked volts and frequencies once an hour during flight. For major aircraft systems, at level off and once each hour thereafter we conducted what we called a HEFOE check--Hydraulics, Electrics, Fuel, Oxygen/Pressurization, and Engines. 99.9 percent of the time everything was normal. If not, we referred to the appropriate manual.

"constantly watch over the engines to make sure it is always between certain parameters."

Well, you don't stare at them constantly. You include the engine instruments in your normal cockpit and instrument scan and as VSMUT commented, you become accustomed to what is normal and can detect anything abnormal fairly quickly.

Most tasks are not particularly difficult if you are properly trained, study hard, and prepare appropriately.

e38



The engine driven generators do not come on line automatically during engine start on the 737-100/200, they are placed on line manually after start, this is the same on all 737’s up to and including the NG (not sure about the MAX)
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
chimborazo
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:53 am

It doesn’t sound that different to flying GA, just more systems to check, but also more automated systems (there are no automated systems on the singles I’ve flown). In fact, it sounds like there’s less “checking” - FREDA checks every 15 mins for the flying I do. Of course every pilot is/should be constantly scanning the instruments and systems no matter what they are flying or how many pilots there are. And as systems developed over the years on commercial jets there are more and more things that are notified to the pilots when they fail/go out of required settings.
 
Trimeresurus
Topic Author
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:06 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:01 pm

Why did the 727 have a flight engineer then? With wide bodies I think it was a FAA requirement.(though I don't imagine 747 classic being that different to operate than 737 Jurassic other than the taxiing part and maybe the flare) But 727 was light enough to bypass that requirement?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 7823
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:15 pm

The FAA 80,000 pound rule said the B727 needed an engineer, besides in 1956 when design started no one would have considered NOT having an engineer.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Mon Nov 16, 2020 11:41 pm

Trimeresurus wrote:
Why did the 727 have a flight engineer then? With wide bodies I think it was a FAA requirement.(though I don't imagine 747 classic being that different to operate than 737 Jurassic other than the taxiing part and maybe the flare) But 727 was light enough to bypass that requirement?


AFAIK, the systems on the 747 Classic are quite a bit more complex than those on the 737 Jurassic.

As GalaxyFlyer mentions, the 727 is heavier, and also a 4 year older design compared to the 737.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Max Q
Posts: 8986
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:05 am

The 727 was really a generation earlier than the 737-100 and -200 series and the systems were considerably less automated


While the 737 did require both engine driven electrical generators to be placed on line manually it had a split bus system designed to automatically power the other side if one generator failed


The 727 had a three electrical bus parallel system that required the FE to manually parallel each generator before placing three on line using flashing lights to indicate when to do so (engage between flashes)


It had an essential power system switch that was controlled by the FE with a priority of 3-1-2, if a generator failed it was up to the FE to reselect essential power if necessary and manually download to avoid excessive electrical demand on the remaining generator(s)


That was all done automatically on the 737, the fuel panel was a little more complex on the ‘72 and the early pneumatic pressurization controller on the -100 and some -200 series was very much a manual system, the air bleed and pack system was again pretty much all manual on the 727, in addition it had the capability to dump fuel, all these functions were designed from the outset to be operated by a dedicated FE

The 727 bridged the technology gap between the very basic 707 and the early 737

It was quite an advance over the 707 with fully powered controls, built in APU and an automatic pressurization controller on later models (the same as the 732)


If Boeing had wanted to they probably could have pushed the state of the art to make it a two pilot aircraft but there was next to no pressure for that along with the weight requirement for an FE the union’s would never have gone for it so it was designed from the outset to include an FE


I can tell you personally after doing that job for three years that the FE was vital, especially when things started to go wrong you could get very busy
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:44 am

Not an exact parallel, but do you think a Steam-Gauge equipped C172/206 is more difficult to fly than one equipped with the fancy Garmin 1000Nxi?

I am dating myself with this post, but I personally find the Gauge equipped C172/206 more easy to fly. Monitoring the gauges is actually quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. In my case, that was after about 100 hours when it came quite naturally. Never failed my re-currency checks even once on the old birds!

This G1000 "crap" on the other - OMG! Fancy features presented very nicely on fancy screens. But you have to get to the screen first to access a feature! And THAT does not come as intuitively. Well, to me atleast. So many screens and button combinations to remember that it makes my head spin. Have failed my re-currency test multiple years and had to finally get a G1000 home cockpit thingie to ensure that I passed every year.

I think it will be the same thing with the Jurassic 732's. The PNF and PF both had assigned tasks which after some experience would have come quite intuitively. In Indian Airlines, they had a rookie pilot go through 2-3 months of training at HYD followed by a series (>100 hours) of flying the jumpseat as an observer. Training was much more intensive than it is these days. Plus, the airline had ground crew trained to do many of the calculations that were done by the pilot. The Commander just signed off on the paperwork. This would have further reduced the overall workload?
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:15 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Not an exact parallel, but do you think a Steam-Gauge equipped C172/206 is more difficult to fly than one equipped with the fancy Garmin 1000Nxi?

I am dating myself with this post, but I personally find the Gauge equipped C172/206 more easy to fly. Monitoring the gauges is actually quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. In my case, that was after about 100 hours when it came quite naturally. Never failed my re-currency checks even once on the old birds!

This G1000 "crap" on the other - OMG! Fancy features presented very nicely on fancy screens. But you have to get to the screen first to access a feature! And THAT does not come as intuitively. Well, to me atleast. So many screens and button combinations to remember that it makes my head spin. Have failed my re-currency test multiple years and had to finally get a G1000 home cockpit thingie to ensure that I passed every year.

I think it will be the same thing with the Jurassic 732's. The PNF and PF both had assigned tasks which after some experience would have come quite intuitively. In Indian Airlines, they had a rookie pilot go through 2-3 months of training at HYD followed by a series (>100 hours) of flying the jumpseat as an observer. Training was much more intensive than it is these days. Plus, the airline had ground crew trained to do many of the calculations that were done by the pilot. The Commander just signed off on the paperwork. This would have further reduced the overall workload?


Agreed. The G1000 has many more features than steam gauge, but there's a lot of fiddly bits in the interface.

That being said, navigation units like the Garmin GNS530 installed on steam gauge aircraft are even more fiddly. ;)

An airliner FMS is way easier to work with, and of course with two pilots you don't have to split your brain, flying and programming at the same time.

Image
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VSMUT
Posts: 5498
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:39 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Not an exact parallel, but do you think a Steam-Gauge equipped C172/206 is more difficult to fly than one equipped with the fancy Garmin 1000Nxi?

I am dating myself with this post, but I personally find the Gauge equipped C172/206 more easy to fly. Monitoring the gauges is actually quite intuitive once you get the hang of it. In my case, that was after about 100 hours when it came quite naturally. Never failed my re-currency checks even once on the old birds!

This G1000 "crap" on the other - OMG! Fancy features presented very nicely on fancy screens. But you have to get to the screen first to access a feature! And THAT does not come as intuitively. Well, to me atleast. So many screens and button combinations to remember that it makes my head spin. Have failed my re-currency test multiple years and had to finally get a G1000 home cockpit thingie to ensure that I passed every year.

I think it will be the same thing with the Jurassic 732's. The PNF and PF both had assigned tasks which after some experience would have come quite intuitively. In Indian Airlines, they had a rookie pilot go through 2-3 months of training at HYD followed by a series (>100 hours) of flying the jumpseat as an observer. Training was much more intensive than it is these days. Plus, the airline had ground crew trained to do many of the calculations that were done by the pilot. The Commander just signed off on the paperwork. This would have further reduced the overall workload?


My biggest gripe with all these fancy new displays is so much information is hidden. On the old aircraft you had everything on display at once. All navigation and communication frequencies were visible with a quick glance at the pedestal. On the newer glass cockpit designs you will find stuff placed in a corner of the MFD, but only one kind at a time. I can alternate between VHF, HF, NAV, Transponder or something completely different, but never two at once.

I don't like the G1000. Too difficult to program and work with. I don't fly GA aircraft often enough to become intimately familiar with how they work, which probably goes for most GA pilots. They need to take some cues on user friendly and intuitive design from Apple.
 
Woodreau
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:49 pm

It seems like something so simple like setting speed bugs is made so difficult in modern GA avionics

Where before I just referred to the speed cards and slide the plastic bugs into the appropriate place on the airspeed gauge. 2 seconds

With the glass Avionics you have to go into a menu select which bug youre setting. Spin the knob or repeatedly mash the up or down arrow. Then enter confirm enter. Then move to the next bug. 2 minutes to set the speed bugs.

Just griping but that’s what pilots do they like to gripe.
Last edited by Woodreau on Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:00 pm

And that’s why a bizjet “quick turn” takes so long; it’s almost always governed by typing skills, not the fuel truck or the handler.
 
AABusDrvr
Posts: 172
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:48 am

Re: Workload of the PNF in the 732

Wed Nov 18, 2020 3:13 pm

Max Q wrote:
e38 wrote:
Quoting Trimeresurus (topic author), "Wasn't this a lot of work?"

No.

Everything VSMUT stated above.

In addition . . . when I was first hired at a major air carrier in the United States--yes, the era of the 737-200 and DC-9, the initial training program lasted approximately six weeks which consisted of ground school covering company procedures and aircraft systems, a series of procedural trainers (in non-motion training devices), followed by a series of full motion simulator sessions. We had an outstanding curriculum and exceptional instructors. By the time I completed training and started flying the line, I felt confident, comfortable, and proficient in the aircraft. So, to answer your question, "Wasn't this a lot of work?" No, I was prepared for the job and it was FUN!

VSMUT above provided excellent answers. Just a few additional thoughts . . .

You stated, "So the PNF had to keep the cabin altitude in a set value by controlling the bleed supply and the outflow valve manually."

No, it was automatic. Even the pressurization system in the B-52G was automatic. All you had to do was set destination field elevation in the pressure controller prior to descent. There was no other management.

"electronic control of buses" No, automatic as well. The generators came on-line automatically during engine start and you simply checked volts and frequencies once an hour during flight. For major aircraft systems, at level off and once each hour thereafter we conducted what we called a HEFOE check--Hydraulics, Electrics, Fuel, Oxygen/Pressurization, and Engines. 99.9 percent of the time everything was normal. If not, we referred to the appropriate manual.

"constantly watch over the engines to make sure it is always between certain parameters."

Well, you don't stare at them constantly. You include the engine instruments in your normal cockpit and instrument scan and as VSMUT commented, you become accustomed to what is normal and can detect anything abnormal fairly quickly.

Most tasks are not particularly difficult if you are properly trained, study hard, and prepare appropriately.

e38



The engine driven generators do not come on line automatically during engine start on the 737-100/200, they are placed on line manually after start, this is the same on all 737’s up to and including the NG (not sure about the MAX)



The MAX is the same, the generators are manually brought on line.

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