Fact vs. Fiction

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, lilfssister, North Shore, I WAS Birddog

bmc
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 4014
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 10:06 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by bmc » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:14 am

I'm confused.

How come the Canadian Armed Forces don't hire guys with Ho time in the bush to fly CF-18's, and Herc's? Aren't they compromising safety?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Nark
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2967
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: LA

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Nark » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:29 am

I see a bit of jealousy.

I slugged it out here-there etc... These guys should too.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Meatservo
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2433
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:07 pm
Location: Negative sequencial vortex

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Meatservo » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:32 am

So can we all agree, then, that new pilots should not go up north anymore to fly Navajos and King Airs? And Twin Otters only if they want to be off-strip pilots for the rest of their lives? There seems to be no advantage, according to most of you.

Since I'm all full of bad habits and don't fit into the corporate scheme, I gave up on the airlines years ago and am now just slumming around the world, bottomfeeding and feeling sorry for anyone low-class and stupid enough to be my copilot. :roll:
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
flying4dollars
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:56 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by flying4dollars » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:32 am

I'll bat for both sides on this one on a couple of different points. Yes, excellent training goes a LONG way. However, it does not always teach decision making and 'outside the box' thinking. You cannot teach that in 40 hours of sim time. This is something you learn over time working for operators with less than stellar maintenance/safety rules, in less than favorable terrain (when things go bad).

Flight Safety's motto is very correct. 'The best safety device in any aircraft is a well trained crew' - Absolutely and I don't think we should completely discredit any pilot in any system who is well trained, whether they come with experience or not. I'm sure the training EU and Asian carriers give are quite good. However, most of the training is given for pre-meditated and fixed emergencies. There isn't always simulator training for things that we don't normally think of that could go wrong, from minor to major, that lead to disasters. That kind of 'training' is normally (and inadvertently) done in the real world. This 'training' happens quite often in many 703/4 operators in Canada. This 'training' gives pilots a solid backbone when they make their moves to the majors. Besides, everyone gets the same training in the sim when they make the move. The difference is, the cadet hasn't learned a lot of the things a guy from the bush (or the city) with prior experience has. When things are going normal, both 'bush' pilots and cadets will probably perform at the same level. It's when things go from normal, to bad, to worse, that experience plays a factor.

In reality, both will make good and safe pilots, but there is always something to be said for experienced gained in situations that aren't offered in a sweat box.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18920
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Cat Driver » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:33 am

In reality, both will make good and safe pilots, but there is always something to be said for experienced gained in situations that aren't offered in a sweat box.


When I did my training in the A320 box in Toulouse and had finally reached a comfort level in it where me and one of my instructors ( An Airbus test pilot and French astronaut who had flown the space shuttle. ) decided to see who could do the shortest circuit in the simulator in direct law, I won the contest because he finally dragged a wing turning short final and crashed the airplane ( Sim. )

I credit my success in beating him to having flown in Ag work for eight years and water bombers for fifteen years as well as being the holder of a European air-display Authority for flying in the air show business.......ergo my experience in high command airplane handling skills at low level may have given me the edge over him. :mrgreen:

Thus it is my opinion that experience trumps training in a lot of cases.
---------- ADS -----------
  

ahramin
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5832
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by ahramin » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:05 am

Just look at the trends in training programs today. There is a huge movement to replace PPCs with LOFTs as much as possible. More hand flown and raw data approaches are being required. What are they trying to accomplish? They are trying to provide training that resembles real flying as much as possible. It's gone a long way to improve training, but 4 hours of Line Oriented Flight Training every six months is not going to replace 1000s of hours of Line Flying.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Nark
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2967
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: LA

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Nark » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:41 pm

LOFT is a joke at my company.
We spent the 4 hours flying up the East Coast with a caution light here and there. However; I would have to say LoFT is more beneficial to training, compared to line flying. The most out of ordinary thing I/we see on line is getting slammed dunked or the aircraft deciding to do something we weren't expecting, which is very rare.

I like the idea if AQP, as I understand it. I'm pretty sure I have V1 cuts down to a science. What I don't have is expirience prioritizing multiple emergency situations that may arise.

Which supports the argument of quality training vs 1000's of hours elsewhere.
---------- ADS -----------
  

ahramin
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5832
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by ahramin » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:18 pm

Nark, I think you said it right there. 1000s of hours on autopilot IFR with a perfect airplane doesn't provide much experience. Similarly an easy LOFT with a minor fault may shake the cobwebs off ECAM protocols and NPA SOPs but it still doesn't do anything to prepare you for a QF32 event.

In 3000 hours in King Air aircraft here is a sample of some of the problems I dealt with:

Engine failure
Prop de-ice failure in icing conditions
A snow storm that wrecked another aircraft at a nearby airport
Several diversions due to weather or equipment failure
Smoke in the cabin
Bleed leak warning
Landing gear failing to retract on departure with weather below minimums at departure airport.

Now in some of those situations (engine fail, bleed leak) the training I received at Flight Safety International was instrumental in making the situation easy to deal with. In other cases though, none of the training I had ever received was of much use. What helped the rest of those situations turn out as well as they did was previous experience.

In 1000s of hours flying airliners in a very controlled environment sooner or later something out of the ordinary is going to come up and we're going to deal with it and learn from it. In the small aircraft environment without the support of 24 hour maintenance, operations, and dispatch teams those sorts of things happen far more often, and consequently the learning curve is much faster. It doesn't do a whole lot to prepare you for an SOP, controlled, supported environment. It can do wonders to prepare you for situations outside of regular airline line flying when everything is going perfect.
---------- ADS -----------
  

loopa
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1500
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:57 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by loopa » Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:56 pm

ahramin wrote:Nark, I think you said it right there. 1000s of hours on autopilot IFR with a perfect airplane doesn't provide much experience. Similarly an easy LOFT with a minor fault may shake the cobwebs off ECAM protocols and NPA SOPs but it still doesn't do anything to prepare you for a QF32 event.

In 3000 hours in King Air aircraft here is a sample of some of the problems I dealt with:

Engine failure
Prop de-ice failure in icing conditions
A snow storm that wrecked another aircraft at a nearby airport
Several diversions due to weather or equipment failure
Smoke in the cabin
Bleed leak warning
Landing gear failing to retract on departure with weather below minimums at departure airport.

Now in some of those situations (engine fail, bleed leak) the training I received at Flight Safety International was instrumental in making the situation easy to deal with. In other cases though, none of the training I had ever received was of much use. What helped the rest of those situations turn out as well as they did was previous experience.

In 1000s of hours flying airliners in a very controlled environment sooner or later something out of the ordinary is going to come up and we're going to deal with it and learn from it. In the small aircraft environment without the support of 24 hour maintenance, operations, and dispatch teams those sorts of things happen far more often, and consequently the learning curve is much faster. It doesn't do a whole lot to prepare you for an SOP, controlled, supported environment. It can do wonders to prepare you for situations outside of regular airline line flying when everything is going perfect.
Ultimately, experience teaches you to think outside of the box which from what I'm getting from your post is not what you get from flying on an A340 as a career starter/finisher.

If that's what you're talking about I'm 100% on board!

Experience can't be bought 8)
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Lost Lake
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1132
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:11 am
Location: On top

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Lost Lake » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:01 pm

Hey Doc, I don't consider Jazz, perimeter. Bearskin and others alike as heavies. I am talking about "HEAVIES" as in stuff I haven't flown, i.e. A 320's plus. At my age, like you, hiring practices aren't going to affect my career. I just see a new type of pilot that needs to be trained in a different way. Flying skills will be of lesssor importance (but still important) than systems management skills. Like all big business run by bean counters and software engineers, the company will make the decision, not based on tradition, but based on engineer egos (my program is perfect) and people who have abolutely no knowledge of how to put flaps on let alone fly an airplane.

As an example, I own a Bell HTC sensation 4G. The f$%^king phone is so smart, it turns itself off at random. There is a company chat site that complains about the problem. The company refuses to believe there is a problem and instead points fingers at the user. There is no way the company screwed up. In the event of an aircraft accident, the company will blame pilot error!
---------- ADS -----------
  

ahramin
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5832
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by ahramin » Wed Apr 25, 2012 7:40 pm

Lost Lake, a 320 isn't a heavy. An A320-200 has a max weight of 78t. Heavy is 136t or more.

The weight and complexity really have no bearing on this issue though. Your opinion is shared by many pilots and managers but the last two decades have shown us that it simply isn't true. What has been found by the forward thinking pilots and managers who do fly heavies is that pilots need to assure the lateral and vertical paths of their aircraft at all times, regardless of size and complexity. There are many, many situations where the autopilot is not capable of doing this, and therefore piloting skills are of the utmost importance.

In addition to the simple requirement for pilots to be able to fly an aircraft, another finding by those forward thinking managers is that when pilots don't have the confidence to fly their aircraft proficiently in all situations, they sometimes end up trying to operate the aircraft at too high a level of automation for the task at hand. This leads to task saturation and a loss of situational awareness and is a factor in the majority of CFIT accidents. More and more we are finding that good automation management skills turns out to be not just an ability to handle the complexity of the flight guidance systems, but also an ability to not use that complexity and revert to a lower level of automation.
---------- ADS -----------
  

BTyyj
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 537
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:11 pm
Location: CYYJ

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by BTyyj » Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:30 pm

Fact - Canada doesn't need a cadet program and has many pilots with more experience who could easy take those positions at Jazz.

ahramin - I think lost lake was referring to "heavies" as a relative term, rather than the technical term.

Lost Lake - I believe aviation has already reached that point, where flying skills have already taken a back seat. It seems like many of the more recent accidents have been a result of poor flying skills, rather than poor systems managing skills.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18920
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Cat Driver » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:58 pm

There has to be a reason that flying skills are declining, so what is the root cause?

Maybe poor training quality control and to many low time instructors without proper supervision by experienced instructors?
---------- ADS -----------
  

ahramin
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5832
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by ahramin » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:08 pm

In this case Cat I don't think poor instruction or quality control has anything to do with it. Flying is a perishable skill. You take the best pilot in the world, who had the best basic instruction and lots of time to perfect their skill and stick them in an airline environment flying 4 or 5 legs a month with a restrictive set of SOPs and a chief pilot who wants the autopilot on before 400' and off no sooner than 1000' and you lose those skills. It doesn't matter what skills you started with, without practice they disappear to the point where the pilot is no longer comfortable without the autopilot in most flight regimes.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Driving Rain
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2694
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:10 pm
Location: At a Tanker Base near you.
Contact:

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Driving Rain » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:46 am

With the 215/415 fleets of Europe and North America about equal the European accident rate is many times higher than the North American record. 1 215 tanker crashed in Quebec many years ago claiming 2 lives and a Canadian crew crashed a 415 in Italy a few years back with no loss of life.

The European accident rate is much greater standing at 25 hull losses and the death toll at 21. About 1/2 of the tanker fleet comes under the control of the military or police branches. (Spain, Greece, Croatia). What would explain the much higher loss rate compared to North America? Are the fires that much more dangerous? Or, is the training and flying skills the European pilots bring to the job of aerial fire fighting that much less than Canadian companies demand?
I know Canada is lucky with respect to having a Seaplane culture with some if not the highest time seaplane pilots in the world. These aircraft do not have auto pilots and must be hand flown in some of the worst conditions one would care to take on. I know for a fact that many if not all the civilian tanker pilots in Europe are graduates of their countries military air forces. This is fact not fiction.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Doc
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 9241
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:28 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Doc » Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:32 am

Cat Driver wrote:There has to be a reason that flying skills are declining, so what is the root cause?

Maybe poor training quality control and to many low time instructors without proper supervision by experienced instructors?
A large part of the problem Cat, as I see it, is the simple fact that actual "hands and feet" flying skill (outside of bush flying etc.) is just not as important to the airlines as it use to be. I'd wager a 777 is a far easier beast to master, what with auto-everything, than, say a DC6 on a windy strip in Anything Lake, Anywhere? Not talking computer systems here....just "handling" the beast.
I know I like to bitch and moan (as do you) the demise of the "good old days", but my friend, they are perhaps moments in the past. There really is NO reason "non-pilots" (because, lets be frank, that's what they are) can't safely operated the newest that Boeing and Airbus have to offer. Hell mate, bloody Airbuses don't even have control wheels! So, probably one time in several hundred thousand flights "hands and feet" are REALLY needed, then you get pilots like the Air France crew, (none of which were "cadets" I take it?) and these guys were so far behind in brain cells they couldn't even recover from a simple stall?

My only beef with the cadet programme in Canada is.....we have a pretty large number of GA pilots to select from. Asia and Europe do not.

Another interesting thought. While many of the "bush rats" would love to put on stripes and strut through terminals at major airports, that would leave the "farm teams" with VERY low time pilots.....who, to be honest, would create a major hazard in that sector of the aviation community. Do we want 800 hour captains in King Airs? 300 hour captains in Navajos? We do NOT!
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
flying4dollars
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:56 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by flying4dollars » Thu Apr 26, 2012 8:25 am

ahramin wrote:Nark, I think you said it right there. 1000s of hours on autopilot IFR with a perfect airplane doesn't provide much experience.
I agree, 1000hours flying straight and level, normal ops etc isn't giving THAT big of an advantage. But, airplanes are not perfect and it's the things that happen between those 1000 hours that you learn (about the airplane, environment and even yourself) that gives experience a 1 up. It's not just about emergencies and aircraft system failures; it's also about operational considerations. Fuel, weather, passengers, comfort, airframe, performance etc. Yes, you learn some of these things in ground school/sim, but if you are a cadet, you cannot learn enough in 20-40 hours to bring you up to par with someone who's experienced.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Doc
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 9241
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:28 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Doc » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:20 am

flying4dollars wrote:
ahramin wrote:Nark, I think you said it right there. 1000s of hours on autopilot IFR with a perfect airplane doesn't provide much experience.
I agree, 1000hours flying straight and level, normal ops etc isn't giving THAT big of an advantage. But, airplanes are not perfect and it's the things that happen between those 1000 hours that you learn (about the airplane, environment and even yourself) that gives experience a 1 up. It's not just about emergencies and aircraft system failures; it's also about operational considerations. Fuel, weather, passengers, comfort, airframe, performance etc. Yes, you learn some of these things in ground school/sim, but if you are a cadet, you cannot learn enough in 20-40 hours to bring you up to par with someone who's experienced.
Without sounding like I'm arguing for the other side, these skills, and the ability to think "outside the box", with the modern airliner, will occur SO infrequently, as to be almost unnecessary. On the ONE flight in your very long career, you a can always rely on the guy in the left seat. Hopefully, he was never a cadet?

Funny thing. I land the airplane at least once for every flight hour (on average). Or my co-hort does, so lets say I have around 27000 hours give or take? That's at the VERY least 13500 landings? I have a lot of single pilot time, so it's more like, maybe 18000 landings? (Jesus, that's scary! Never thought of it like that!) Some of them were pretty nasty ones too! Perhaps my "hands and feet" are at least on par with guys who do 5 landings a month....on auto-land? I admit to being a little higher time than most airline applicants, but that's what the airlines don't seem to need. So, lets all hope the emergency the "cadet" does not have to deal with too soon, is the loss of his mentor in the left seat?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Nark
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2967
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: LA

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Nark » Thu Apr 26, 2012 9:35 am

flying4dollars wrote: I agree, 1000hours flying straight and level, normal ops etc isn't giving THAT big of an advantage. But, airplanes are not perfect and it's the things that happen between those 1000 hours that you learn (about the airplane, environment and even yourself) that gives experience a 1 up. It's not just about emergencies and aircraft system failures; it's also about operational considerations. Fuel, weather, passengers, comfort, airframe, performance etc. Yes, you learn some of these things in ground school/sim, but if you are a cadet, you cannot learn enough in 20-40 hours to bring you up to par with someone who's experienced.
You sir are absolutely right in that respect however;

Day to day normal operations, having a few thousand hours flying in the "bush" does not transfer all that much to what I do now. Lower and upper atmosphere weather is different. Pressurization, and jet engine performance is different. Crosswind landing's are different, as I have an engine on a pylon I have to be aware of.

In today's day and age, these large transport jets are very much systems management. I have to manage numerous systems, be it the FMS and Autopilot mode, while being situationally aware of where the jet is, and where it needs to go.

A near daily example is coming into the New York/Chicago/Atlanta corridors. ATC wants us at 270-300 knots at 10'000. If I were to sit back and and let the FMS/Autopilot do it all, as I descend to 10,000' from higher, the FMS will automatically slow the aircraft down to 250knots as it thinks it's transitioning below. Being aware of this is not something I learned in the bush, flying in the cold blowing winds. A competent cadet can very easily learn this.

Another example is using "Flight-level Change" as a vertical mode on the auto pilot. Below 10,000 again, the autopilot keeps the aircraft at 250 knots until it transitions through 10,000'. However FLCH uses full thrust for climbing (and idle for descents). If I was cruising at 5,000 and ATC gives me a climb to FL2-3-0, pressing FLCH will cause the aircraft to accelerate beyond 250 knots before it pitches up to climb. This will cause you to bust the speed restriction below 10. Using vertical speed hold is great at lower altitudes, however at 30,000+ it's not desirable.

Again, a competent cadet can be taught this.
You don't need to be a 5000 hour pilot to be situationally aware.

Throw into the mix accidents like Air Ontario (Dryden), US Air (LGA), Jazz in North Bay, AA in Columbia, etc... having several thousand hours and experience didn't really do much did it?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Colonel Sanders
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7512
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Over Macho Grande

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Colonel Sanders » Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:40 am

having several thousand hours and experience didn't really do much did it?
Experience is no guarantee of competence, but you would be hard-pressed to find any individual pilot that thinks he knew as much at 400TT as he did at 4000TT.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Doc
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 9241
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 6:28 am

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Doc » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:11 am

So, what I'm hearing from Nark, and quite a few others is to just stream "pilots" from grade 10 or 12, channel them right into the airlines. Train them to be politically correct enough to make it past the blond airhead with the BA, that is human resources, and get them right into computer/ground school, follow that up with 40-60 hours of running check lists, QRH's and FMS management in multi-million dollar simulators, transition them directly into cruise pilot positions for a few years, then the right seat of large modern passenger jets carrying several hundred trusting souls across oceans and continents.
It's a proven model. Works just that way with many airlines.

So, if some poor sot wanted to actually FLY, he/she would have to actually go out, and learn to fly, work ramps, work docks, pay bonds, cough up big dollars to slime ball (too strong? Tough) operators , like the ones we deal with daily here in Canada.....and never get any further than flying in the north/bag runs/instructing/.......but WHY THE FU&K WOULD THEY???

It's all in what you want? Taxi driver? Bus driver?
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Nark
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2967
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 6:59 pm
Location: LA

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Nark » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:21 am

Point being that expirience isn't total time in a log book.
---------- ADS -----------
  

CID
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3544
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:43 am
Location: Canada

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by CID » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:30 am

Let's all whip out our dicks and measure. That's basically what most of the posts here amount to....
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Wacko
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 824
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:39 pm

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Wacko » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:42 am

CID wrote:Let's all whip out our dicks and measure. That's basically what most of the posts here amount to....
You said a bad word!
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Cat Driver
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 18920
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 8:31 pm

Re: Fact vs. Fiction

Post by Cat Driver » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:54 am

Let's all whip out our dicks and measure. That's basically what most of the posts here amount to....
Interesting thought process in the above comment.

Those of us who do actually have high time flying airplanes in a broad spectrum of aviation dare not mention it as we will be seen as dick measuring individuals which has a negative connotation to some members of this forum. :prayer:

Therefore only males can be guilty of such activity, what do female pilots do?
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”