"it's just good airmanship"

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digits_
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"it's just good airmanship"

Post by digits_ »

Time for a rant.

I've been amused, annoyed and disappointed lately in the fashionable use and abuse of the word and concept "airmanship".


Some examples.

I recently casually observed 2 pilots in a training environment. The trainer often pointed out relatively small mistakes of the trainee. Nothing wrong with that. What ticked me off was that "It's just good airmanship" was being used as the reason for the feedback or why the trainee should improve certain areas of their flying.

I overheard 2 relatively experienced pilots talking to each other. Their was some discussion about the optimal way to perform a task. The exact details don't matter. Here again the argument was "it's just good airmanship to do it this way (read 'my way')".

To me it seems these arguments are being used more and more in all levels of aviation.

This is just silly. Airmanship should never be the justification or explanation on why you do something. It is way too vague and prevents any discussion, because who wants to argue airmanship isn't important? We're all Great Pilots right?

A much better way to deal with this, would be to explain *why* the mistake needs to be corrected. What could happen if you do not correct the mistake, and how said correction could improve your flying skills. It encourages discussion, but it also requires the pilot making the comments to have the arguments to back up his claim. That seems to be more and more lacking, especially in a training environment. Merely repeating what a previous instructor told you one day, does not make for effective instruction, be it PPL instruction or 705 line indoc. Critical thinking is essential.

I claim that "it's just good airmanship" in reality means "I have no clue why, but since I am convinced I am a much better pilot than you, you should do it my way"

Rant over.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Beefitarian »

Sometimes telling these guys that probably guilts them into fixing something. You're a better guy for taking the time to explain things instead though. Cheers.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by valleyboy »

I guess it boils down to what your definition of airman ship is. To me it's got nothing to do with hands and feet, check lists, abnormals or SOP's. I think it's about decision making and we all know there is more than one way to skin a cat. Examples, the pilot who parks on the ramp and doesn't blow you away, the guy who will cancel IFR in remote areas in a cavu day to help the other guy out. The pilot who thinks about passengers and fellow crew. Giving up your meal because they are short in the back - haha - And just plain using your head and thinking of others.

Training and SOP there is no excuse not to know but in my mind it's got nothing to do with airman ship.

You can be a great pilot but have shity airman ship, which usually boils down to ego and thinking one can walk on water.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by GRK2 »

valleyboy wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:49 pm

Training and SOP there is no excuse not to know but in my mind it's got nothing to do with airman ship.

You can be a great pilot but have shity airman ship, which usually boils down to ego and thinking one can walk on water.
Hmmm...I would suggest a rethink of that final statement. Pretty hard to be that great pilot without that "airmanship" to go along beside it.
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digits_
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by digits_ »

valleyboy wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 5:49 pm
I guess it boils down to what your definition of airman ship is.
Not really. Doesn't matter how you define airmanship, which is in some areas a bit abstract. You can always come up with a reason why you should or shouldn't do something.

In your examples you could tell the pilot to not put the prop or jetwash facing a hangar door, because it might damage the buildings or the planes in side, not because "it's just good airmanship".

You can explain (have a discussion) to a pilot to cancel IFR on a clear day so other people can get in or out, not because "it's just good airmanship".

Just because someone isn't skinning the cat in your way of thinking, doesn't mean he isn't showing good airmanship. But claiming your way is the right way because "it's just good airmanship" without any further explanation prevents any meaningful discussion from happening.
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As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
-the probability of 'entitlement' being mentioned, approaches 1
-one will be accused of using bad airmanship

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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by corethatthermal »

Hmmm...I would suggest a rethink of that final statement. Pretty hard to be that great pilot without that "airmanship" to go along beside it.
Excellent statement and the definition of a mature pilot !
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by photofly »

Isn't airmanship the art or skill of behaving towards others the way you would like other pilots to behave towards you?
That certainly covers not dusting out the hangar with your prop wash (or blowing me off a ladder while I was checking fuel on a high wing, thank you that Cherokee pilot), and cancelling IFR on a clear day.
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rookiepilot
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by rookiepilot »

Do until others.......you know. Common courtesy is in shortage.

PF, you ever walk downtown.....how many people walk with their heads down in their phones. Expecting you to move out of their way.

It's a broader mentality, nothing to do with airplanes
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by photofly »

New pilots are in a most unfamiliar environment, and even normally very considerate people can lose track in that situation. So it’s perfectly reasonable to mention airmanship in a training environment. I guess it also helps to explain why something is part of “airmanship”, too. If you haven’t had someone else’s taxi lights in your face on short final you might not appreciate the difference turning them off briefly can make.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Beefitarian »

rookiepilot wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:06 am
Do until others.......you know. Common courtesy is in shortage.

PF, you ever walk downtown.....how many people walk with their heads down in their phones. Expecting you to move out of their way.

It's a broader mentality, nothing to do with airplanes
Because that's the old Golden Rule. That ancient outdated lesson has been swapped out for things like.

- He who has the gold makes the rules.
- Look out for number one.
- Cash me owside.
- Mercury retrograde.
- You're mommy's special prince

And a few I probably missed.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by shimmydampner »

Just because it's a good idea to explain the "why" of good airmanship doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water. Airmanship is still a very real, very valuable concept. Given the choice between two technically not incorrect courses of action, good airmanship will choose the one that is the most considerate and thoughtful of all variables that could be impacted by that course of action like passengers, crew, ground crew, other flight crews, aircraft, ground equipment, etc, even if it means taking a little extra time or effort to do so. Sure, explain the why, but it's not incorrect to call it what it is.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by digits_ »

shimmydampner wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:27 am
Just because it's a good idea to explain the "why" of good airmanship doesn't mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water. Airmanship is still a very real, very valuable concept. Given the choice between two technically not incorrect courses of action, good airmanship will choose the one that is the most considerate and thoughtful of all variables that could be impacted by that course of action like passengers, crew, ground crew, other flight crews, aircraft, ground equipment, etc, even if it means taking a little extra time or effort to do so. Sure, explain the why, but it's not incorrect to call it what it is.
I don't disagree with that.

But if that is the full extent of your argument, and you can't explain *why*, you're just abusing it as an argument from authority. And that's a shame. That eventually leads to people achieving the opposite: they do something a certain way, assume it's the best way, claim it is just good airmanship and close their minds to alternatives, and thus achieving exactly what they claim to prevent: bad airmanship.
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As an AvCanada discussion grows longer:
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-one will be accused of using bad airmanship

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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Zaibatsu »

There’s two times I say it.

One is after explaining to a pilot who didn’t know.

The other is after not explaining it to a pilot who should have known better.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by GRK2 »

This how a teaching point disguised as "good airmanship" along with a cultural (to be read as, this is how we did at my last place, you need to know this or I'll mark you as incompetent") acceptance of an instructional policy shift causes a near crash in a heavy jet.

The day before the incident, the crew had operated from Dubai to Johannesburg in an Airbus A340-300 and on that occasion the First Officer was the pilot flying (PF). That flight had been the first occasion either pilot had actually operated, or been in, the Airbus A340-300 apart from their flight simulator experience. The crew were licensed to participate in Mixed Fleet Flying (MFF), but had previously only operated the Airbus A340-500 and the Airbus A330-200. On the take-off from Dubai, both crew members noticed that, whilst the aircraft performed adequately, the Airbus A340-300 seemed to have visibly less performance than other Airbus types they were familiar with.
Emirates night flight 764 back to Dubai was cleared to takeoff from Johannesburg's 4,420m (14,500 feet) runway 21R.
After a normal application of the reduced, flexible, thrust all required calls were made and the aircraft behavior was entirely normal. With the power set, both crew stated that they considered the aircraft acceleration to be slow, in comparison to the other types which they flew (Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A340-500), but that this matched their expectations, in light of their experience the previous day and the Captain's earlier briefing.
The Captain maintained the aircraft on the centreline as it accelerated, with the First Officer monitoring airspeed , the engine instruments and the centreline tracking, etc. During the initial ground run the PF applied a forward stick control input as described in the Flight Crew Operating Manual to counter the nose up effect of setting engine takeoff thrust to about 80 knots. At 75 knots the Side Stick Order Indicator (SSOI) started moving back to the centre position as the PF centralized the sides tick. As the aircraft approached 144 knots the First Officer called "V1" and this was reiterated by the auto call-out. At 152 knots the First Officer called "rotate". The Captain stated that, at this point he went fully onto instruments, to ensure the rotation was as accurate as possible. His understanding of the new technique was to achieve 2/3 back stick, by bringing the stick rearward at a measured rate, over three seconds. This he achieved by cross-referring to the SSOI and finally placing the SSOI at +9° on the Primary Flight Display (PFD) pitch scale, to initiate rotation and to maintain this, to get the aircraft airborne. Thereafter to follow the flight director Speed Reference System (SRS) pitch command.
Recorded data shows that, in initiating the rotation, the Captain applied rearward sidestick such that the SSOI, displayed on the PFD indicated +9° and that, after approximately 4 seconds the aircraft nose started to move upwards at a normal rate.
The Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) data then shows that, over the next 3 seconds and simultaneously with the pitch up, there was a progressive relaxation of the rearward stick input, which had the effect of keeping the SSOI in its original position on the PFD but also decreased the nose up pitch demand. Over the next two seconds, the aircraft pitch attitude stopped increasing with a maximum achieved value of +5.6° and, after a further 4 seconds, the pitch attitude had decreased to +3.5°. With the aircraft main wheels still on the ground, the SSOI remained displayed on the PFD and the Captain continued to control the SSOI at go nose up on the PFD, failing to realize that, to do so, he had moved the stick forward from the original 2/3 back position, thereby lowering the nose and keeping the aircraft on the ground. Keep in mind that the moment the aircraft start to rotate and the nose rise, the horizon indication on the PFD start to sink lower on the PFD display. With the PF attempting to keep the SSOI at a 9° relative to the horizon effectively caused him to relax back pressure on the stick and thus lowers the aircraft's nose. (my words: they ended up under rotating and took out lights at the far end of the runway, seriously damaged the underside of the aircraft, and almost didn't make it back to the airport.)

This was the method that was being taught as a way to properly rotate this jet and it was wrong, but accepted as a technique. It was disguised as "Airmanship." My point here is that blindly accepting any technique that is not a manufacturers procedure, or making one up on your own then teaching it as "Airmanship" is extremely dangerous and simply wrong. Leave all that crap to the test pilots, they will have tried it already. Personally I'm not a fan of making stuff up as a teaching or training point. I'm not that good and it never really works very well. Be safe.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

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I usually use it to cement my argument that in the event of an emergency, the Captain MUST go down with the airship. No questions. ... and few dare to as they stare into the eyes of the falcon resting on my arm as I neatly adjust my monocle before retreating to my gondola.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by valleyboy »

So much verbosity, in its simplest terms it is taking what you learned and applying it. Like I said you can be the world's best pilot ability wise but still lack the required airman ship to make a professional.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by C.W.E. »

Airmanship is linking good hands and feet with good decision making skills.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by KissPlusOne »

Any conflicting traffic, please advise.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Beefitarian »

I am considering using this on my kids. "Who drank all the milk? You have to put it on the shopping list before we're out. It's just good airmanship."
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by photofly »

I think you need to fly more. That might help.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Beefitarian »

Maybe. They probably boarded up the place. It started snowing yesterday and just won't stop.
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by corethatthermal »

Who drank all the milk? You have to put it on the shopping list before we're out. It's just good airmanship."
Umm, That would be good milkmanship OR in Trudeau's world " Good Milkpersonship"
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by corethatthermal »

Airmanship
You folks are not as "woke" as the woke one in Ottawa,,,, It is Airpersonship you Dumb peoplekind !!!
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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Beefitarian »

People kind is fine but... That guy should wash his face and go back to kindergarten.

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Re: "it's just good airmanship"

Post by Big Pistons Forever »

PPL students are blank slates. Their only frame of reference is their instructor. Instructors set an example on every flight good or bad and I think it is something that needs more emphasis by class 1’s and CFI

Last week I was number 2 behind a flight school airplane with an instructor and student. He calls ready for takeoff and I call ready # 2. Tower clears the first plane to position and for me to line up number 2. They then taxi out right to the end of the runway and tower has to tell them to move up to make room for me to lineup.

Not a huge deal but a perfect opportunity to show the student one aspect of airmanship, understanding what is happening around you, that was totally missed......
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