Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

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Dagwood
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by Dagwood »

If there are instructors who don't use the autopilot, are there instructors who don't use a gps? weather radar? stormscope? tcas?

A person's training would be incomplete if they did not know when, and when not to use every piece of equipment that is installed in the aircraft.
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Gannet167
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by Gannet167 »

The basics of IFR probably need to be taught in a hand flown situation. I agree that these basic, core skills should be taught first and need to be the solid backbone of a competent pilot's skill set. Once able to hand fly IFR properly ; however, the use of automation is the next step. This is the 21st century and realistically, a lot of aircraft are flown using automation.

Using automation I don't think is a 15 minute exercise in what button to push. There is a whole new, different dynamic in the cockpit and between the crew in using this kit. To do it well and fully utilize the safety and operational benefits of automation, you need to have good and strong SOP's that address the limitations and dangers of using it and maximize it's advantages. When you're hand flying, your mind is occupied with actually driving the aircraft around. When you're on automation, a completely different part of your mind is active. Now, rather than "doing" your "monitoring" and humans are very poor monitors - particularly of reliable equipment.

Using automation, you tell the equipment what you want it to do and then monitor for performance accuracy and adjust as required. Which mode you use, how you switch between them, what to do if the system doesn't do what you want, knowing how to manipulate the equipment, what to do when thing go wrong, how to effectively involve the other crew member(s) etc, can be a very complex skill set to learn properly.

I think training should initially be conducted without any automation. However, once a pilot is at a commercial multi-IFR level, understanding the professional conventions of using automation is very important.
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by hairdo »

Gannet167 wrote:I think training should initially be conducted without any automation. However, once a pilot is at a commercial multi-IFR level, understanding the professional conventions of using automation is very important.
Agreed. Not every IFR aircraft you run into in 70X operations will have an autopilot (SPIFR excluded), so proficiency at hand flying in the soup is needed (yes, this is the 21st century, but we still fly a lot of aircraft from the 20th). That said, a pilot should know how to properly use every piece of equipment available to them. Just start with the basics and work from there. That's not a new concept, unless I'm terribly mistaken... :wink:
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5x5
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by 5x5 »

It seems to me that there is a contradiction in some threads in this forum. There are numerous ones that go on about schools "milking" the students. More hours than actually necessary. Others that carry on about the high cost of getting your licence.

Then there are ones like this that think that "extra" items should be incorporated into training. People complain that new pilots don't have all the line skills they need at their first job. At $5/min (representative cost of dual twin time) do students really need to spend the extra time while in school?

Flight training is intended to provide the basic skills. A pilot's first few jobs are intended to further their training by gaining experience under the guidance and instruction of a captain and/or company training pilot.

Why should students have to absorb extra cost for their training?

Isn't it better for new pilots to get the additional training and experience while actually on the job and getting paid?
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tonyhunt
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by tonyhunt »

5x5 wrote:Isn't it better for new pilots to get the additional training and experience while actually on the job and getting paid
What about those of us who didn't take the training in order to get a "job" and "get paid"? Why should our IFR training only cover the flight test basics? :roll:

That is why private owners have to turn to more experienced IFR pilots (NOT the FTU instructors) to learn how to fly in the system and use the advanced equipment in our own aircraft - after we log the required 15 hours dual IFR training at the FTU.
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by trey kule »

Isn't it better for new pilots to get the additional training and experience while actually on the job and getting paid?


I suppose it is for the new pilot. Not so much for an employer, but heck, it is their job to supply machinery and training crews so the new guys can "get experience". Expecting a standard of competence is really a big unrealistic.

this is an interesting discussion. single pilot IFR (even if not required as it is in commercial ops) really requires the use of an autopilot if it is to be done safely, in minimum Wx conditions, and routinely. Odd that in commercial ops an autopilot is a no go item, and yet it is not required for private ops.. Gotta wonder about how the rationale works there. On the other hand, IFR basic flying skills are critical. So lets look at where we are at. In Canada the number of hours accumulated in IFR training is enormous compared to other countries as a reslut of PPL IF, Night rating, possible commercial, and then IF Rating. One of the reasons is we spend far to much time doing abnormal stuff in general before a student has mastered the basic skills. Read the posts here..."fail the autopilot" Fail it? Just turn it off. Every learning experience in an airplane does not have to be the result of a simulated failure of some kind.. And this is a big problem.
Flight tests emphasize single engine and other failures. Instructors, who for the most part are not expereience IF pilots themselves simply do not let the student practice and become comfortable with basic flying. Q. How many instructors after going through the basics, simply let the student hold heading and altitude for 15 mins and just sit there and shut up.
You would be surprised how much a student actually learns doing this as they become more comfortable and can divert some of their attention to doing other things...That is the time to start introducing procedures, and when they are comfortable with that, then the abnormal things.

so lets all work at getting it to be more effecient. More time spent initially just flying plane...S&L (yes S&L), turns, then turns climbing and descending, speed changes.. The basics. Not much fun for the teenage instructor crowd but that is what is needed.
Then when the student gets to the IR itself, the emphasis can be put on procedures, abnormal situations, and getting to use the auto pilot
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by 5x5 »

tonyhunt wrote:
5x5 wrote:Isn't it better for new pilots to get the additional training and experience while actually on the job and getting paid
What about those of us who didn't take the training in order to get a "job" and "get paid"? Why should our IFR training only cover the flight test basics? :roll:

That is why private owners have to turn to more experienced IFR pilots (NOT the FTU instructors) to learn how to fly in the system and use the advanced equipment in our own aircraft - after we log the required 15 hours dual IFR training at the FTU.
Tony, you're right that additional training is required for a private owner since they don't have an employer to do it. If the FTU you deal with can't provide it, then of course go to freelance/IFR guy who can provide what you need.

On the other hand, if you think that the more advanced or aircraft-specific training should have been provided in the 15 hours, what specifically should be replaced? What exercises and procedures and how many hours did they take, in the school provided training was unnecessary? And would those "wasted" hours have been sufficient to provide what you need?

If you can provide some specific examples it could helpful for instructors and schools looking to consider in their ongoing refinement of their training procedures and syllabus.

But you can't simply add additional training and not expect it to take longer and cost more.
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Re: Auto pilots in IFR trainers.

Post by Hedley »

Goodness.

An initial instrument rating simply proves that you got 70% on the written, and have enough flying skill to hand-bomb a hold and two approaches. That's it.

Just as a new Private Pilot Licence is a licence to learn to fly VFR, a new Instrument Rating is a licence to learn to fly IFR.

There are lots of things about IFR flying that aren't taught during the initial rating - not just auto-pilots. There is diddly taught about wx radar, stormscope, xm radar, and the limitations of the above. Diddly is taught about how to deal with Cbs or icing, and those are at least as important - if not far more so - than how to use a frigging autopilot.

Personally, I like to see someone hand-bomb their initial instrument rating - it proves that they have the fundamental skills to fly the aircraft in the soup. This is a really important skill which should not be glossed over too quickly.

After someone gets their initial Instrument Rating, they should try really hard to not get all their experience in one day. Start with some high ceilings and good vis underneath, and flying from crappy wx into improving wx. No icing, no Cbs. And if at all possible, have an experienced IFR pilot in the right seat to coach them along. JFK, jr could have used one of those.
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