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highflyer9790
Topic Author
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Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:01 pm

Hi all,

A few questions have been in my mind:

1. how does an airline pilot maintain their instrument currency if lets say, by chance, they hadnt shot 6 actual IMC approaches in the last 6 mos.? btw, who logs the approach if its a CAT III and neither pilot is necessarily manipulating the controls?


2. i've heard its actually an issue sometimes for international crews that dont fly often/have relief pilots to maintain their 90 landing currency day/night... any truth? ps- who logs the landing, if any, during a CAT III autoland?

a little off topic, but do airline pilots ever hand fly an instrument approach (assuming its not CAT III) just to keep their skills up, or because they want to?


Thanks!

Highflyer
121
 
swiftski
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:19 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:18 pm

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
1. how does an airline pilot maintain their instrument currency if lets say, by chance, they hadnt shot 6 actual IMC approaches in the last 6 mos.? btw, who logs the approach if its a CAT III and neither pilot is necessarily manipulating the controls?

I don't know if it's the same in the US but here, approved operators can operate under an internal, cyclical training/recency scheme
 
N243NW
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:44 pm

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
a little off topic, but do airline pilots ever hand fly an instrument approach (assuming its not CAT III) just to keep their skills up, or because they want to?

Sure. This ILS begins with autopilot disconnection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZ-cOJJv24c

You have some really good questions, though...wish I could answer them all, but I'll leave it to the real professionals here. I'm curious to hear the answers, too 
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
Mir
Posts: 19491
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sat Jan 22, 2011 9:50 pm

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
btw, who logs the approach if its a CAT III and neither pilot is necessarily manipulating the controls?

The PF, because even though they're not directly manipulating the controls, they are the one flying the aircraft through the autopilot.

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
do airline pilots ever hand fly an instrument approach (assuming its not CAT III) just to keep their skills up, or because they want to?

Sure. You can even handfly CatIIIa approaches if the airplane is equipped properly.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:16 am

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
1. how does an airline pilot maintain their instrument currency if lets say, by chance, they hadnt shot 6 actual IMC approaches in the last 6 mos.?

At AA, recurrent simulator training.

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
btw, who logs the approach if its a CAT III and neither pilot is necessarily manipulating the controls?

At AA, the Captain since he will be the one technically flying the plane --and ultimately responsible.

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
2. i've heard its actually an issue sometimes for international crews that dont fly often/have relief pilots to maintain their 90 landing currency day/night... any truth?

True. At AA pilots who fall out of currency are sent to the simulators for a Landing Currency period.

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
ps- who logs the landing, if any, during a CAT III autoland?

At AA, the Captain.

Quoting highflyer9790 (Thread starter):
a little off topic, but do airline pilots ever hand fly an instrument approach (assuming its not CAT III) just to keep their skills up, or because they want to?

Yes... all the time. And your reasoning is correct... to keep your skills up. The nice part of flying AA's 738 is that all approaches and landings are hand flown.   
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Woodreau
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 2:15 am

There is no requirement to shoot instrument approaches to maintain currency.

The only requirement is to log 3 landings in 90 days and recurrent ground and flight training. The cycle varies depending on the airline but at mine captains go through ground and flight training every six months, first officers every 12 months.

If you don't get your 3 landings in 90 days then you have to get requalified again. Again it depends on the airline but at mine it's another proficiency check, e.g. Checkride
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:03 am

Quoting woodreau (Reply 5):
There is no requirement to shoot instrument approaches to maintain currency.

Uhh, you might want to go read the FAR's again, since your profile says you're a pilot. 61.57(c) to be exact. Essentially, 6 approaches, holding, & intercepting & tracking. Very much there are requirements on IFR currency.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 7:05 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 6):
Uhh, you might want to go read the FAR's again, since your profile says you're a pilot. 61.57(c) to be exact. Essentially, 6 approaches, holding, & intercepting & tracking. Very much there are requirements on IFR currency.

Might want to check the ego and understand that there is more out there than you know! Part 61 pilot currency is different than a Part 121 airline pilot.

The OP's questions were directed to airline pilots, who's currency is maintained under their airline's Part 121 certificate. It basically boils down to 3 takeoffs and landings every 90 days and a trip to the sim every 6, 9, or 12 months depending on the training program. We were a 12 month trip to the sim airline, but are transitioning to a 9 month trip to the sim. Smarter, if you ask me.

There is no reference to instrument approaches being flown, holding, and intercepting/tracking under any airline's currency requirements that I've flown for or heard of. That's all taken care of in the simulator, and the fact is that you're operating under IFR every flight and most approachs are instrument approaches. Holding comes with the territory.

CAT II/III approaches are captain only landings at my carrier (autoland or a HUD equipped aircraft does it handflown if HGS AIII is desired), so they log the landing but the FO also logs the approach as we have a required part in the completion of the approach and doing such is tied to our currency. We have to at least practice CAT II/III procedures every 6 months whether or not it's required for weather.

Hope this helps!

[Edited 2011-01-22 23:08:39]
Chicks dig winglets.
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:13 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 7):
We were a 12 month trip to the sim airline, but are transitioning to a 9 month trip to the sim. Smarter, if you ask me.

I think you will like the 9-month cycle. AA was a 6-month (CA) and 12-month (all others) airline way-back-when. We tried 12-month cycles, but too many CA's kept complaining that that was too long between training cycles and while we may have been "current" we certainly were not "proficient." The compromise is the 9-month cycle we've been using for about a decade or so which seems to be working well.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7184
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:48 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 7):

Might want to check the ego and understand that there is more out there than you know! Part 61 pilot currency is different than a Part 121 airline pilot.

Hmmm... So if you're current under part 121, but you haven't met the currency requirements of part 61, can you legally fly IFR under part 91?

I'm guessing that's a no   
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Sun Jan 23, 2011 11:33 pm

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 9):
Hmmm... So if you're current under part 121, but you haven't met the currency requirements of part 61, can you legally fly IFR under part 91?

I'm guessing that's a no   

Well... in true FAA fashion... that in itself isn't just a straight forward answer either... the answer is Yes AND No...

As airline pilots we are still current to fly Part 91 operated flights for our Air Carrier ONLY... flying part 91 outside of our employment we would not be current in your example...
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:05 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 10):
Well... in true FAA fashion... that in itself isn't just a straight forward answer either... the answer is Yes AND No...

As airline pilots we are still current to fly Part 91 operated flights for our Air Carrier ONLY... flying part 91 outside of our employment we would not be current in your example...

Bingo.

The original question was in regard to an airline pilot maintaining operational currency... our manuals make zero reference to any of hte normal part 91 currency requirements.

For flying outside of your airline, you're currency is subject to whatever regs are applicable.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7184
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:10 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 10):

As airline pilots we are still current to fly Part 91 operated flights for our Air Carrier ONLY... flying part 91 outside of our employment we would not be current in your example...

Makes sense.

However, I'd like to know how many 121 pilots that have their Cessnas, Mooneys, and what-have-you-nots for the weekends actually take the time to do get IFR current per part 61.   
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:18 am

Quoting Fly2HMO (Reply 12):
However, I'd like to know how many 121 pilots that have their Cessnas, Mooneys, and what-have-you-nots for the weekends actually take the time to do get IFR current per part 61.

Everytime we go out in the airliners we're flying IFR. Even the international guys don't have any problem staying standard instrument current per Part 91 regs for the most part except for maybe holding since most approaches we do at least start as instrument approaches (it's legal to log an approach as an instrument approach if you were cleared for the approach and the clearance was not amended to the visual, regardless of visibility conditions).

Then for holding, the simulator would take care of that when you go back through.

With the 91 flying I've done on the side the only problem with currency I've ever had is the single engine takeoffs and landings and day/night. My schedule takes me down to central and south america enough as well as new york to where holding happens to me with reasonable frequency.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:38 am

Quoting AAR90 (Reply 8):
I think you will like the 9-month cycle. AA was a 6-month (CA) and 12-month (all others) airline way-back-when. We tried 12-month cycles, but too many CA's kept complaining that that was too long between training cycles and while we may have been "current" we certainly were not "proficient." The compromise is the 9-month cycle we've been using for about a decade or so which seems to be working well.

I'm looking forward to it!

We are 12 months for all pilots except the 777 category which has more frequency visits due to lake of repetition (average 777 leg is above 12 hours). I've got to say, 12 months really is too long in between recurrents. I never feel a lack of proficiency, but I would like to have the crazy stuff a bit more fresh on the memory.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Fly2HMO
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:19 am

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 13):
it's legal to log an approach as an instrument approach if you were cleared for the approach and the clearance was not amended to the visual, regardless of visibility conditions

Hmmm that's a little caveat I hadn't considered. I'll jot that one down in my trick questions book for future IFR students   
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:15 pm

Quoting XFSUgimpLB41X (Reply 14):
We are 12 months for all pilots except the 777 category which has more frequency visits due to lake of repetition (average 777 leg is above 12 hours). I've got to say, 12 months really is too long in between recurrents. I never feel a lack of proficiency, but I would like to have the crazy stuff a bit more fresh on the memory.

Hmmm... sounds familiar with my carrier; I wonder if this is more an industry normalization occuring?!?... We are currently a 6 mo CA and 12 mo F/O... but, we too, are In the process of going to a 9 mo cycle for all...
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
DashTrash
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:44 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Wed Jan 26, 2011 5:20 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 16):
Hmmm... sounds familiar with my carrier; I wonder if this is more an industry normalization occuring?!?... We are currently a 6 mo CA and 12 mo F/O... but, we too, are In the process of going to a 9 mo cycle for all...

The company I'm furloughed from has had captains on a 6 month cycle and FO on a 12 month cycle for years. FO's did a non-jeopardy training event in-lieu of another 6 month recurrent but if done by the book you had both engines running the whole time. They've swapped it to 6 months for both seats. It's a 91K / 135 company so there is no getting around recurrent every 6 months.

The airline I came from had both seats on a yearly cycle unless you sucked in the sim. Then they'd bring you back in 6 months. All pilots, FOs included were required a line check every 24? months. Every other airline I've heard of only directly evaluated the captain on a line check (not that they wouldn't haul a weak FO back to the sim if need be).
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
Posts: 3961
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Wed Jan 26, 2011 6:51 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 16):
Hmmm... sounds familiar with my carrier; I wonder if this is more an industry normalization occuring?!?... We are currently a 6 mo CA and 12 mo F/O... but, we too, are In the process of going to a 9 mo cycle for all...

We are AQP, which is a wonderful training program allowed by the FAA. Things are just.... better. For low time pilots a stricter program might be better to weed out the "lesser talented" pilots, but once you've made it through the hoops AQP is just fantastic. Everything is line oriented and minimal jeopardy is involved while showing you a lot of the crazier events that have happned on the line... at least if your airline does it right. For us, training supports line operations as opposed to a previous carrier I flew for.

Everyone went to the sim on a 12 month interval, while the 777 guys had their own deal due to currency problems with the high % of ULR flying they do.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 540
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RE: Staying Current As An Airline Pilot Ques.

Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:08 pm

Hey D!
Yeah, the regionals are changing quickly in training (for the better)... a far cry from the one you were at... mine is in the middle of transition to AQP... right now we are non-jeopardy Recurrent LOFT's for F/O's yearly and 1 PC / 1 (non-jeopardy) Recurrent LOFT on 6 mo intervals for CA's... at least over the last 2 years... AQP starts up for us within the quarter and we'll all be transitioning to the 9 mo cycles...

-C
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"

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