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Old 01-31-2012, 01:02 PM   #3  
BTDTB4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaflyer View Post
Well - quite a post. Anyway - AQP allow the training/checking function to be focused on the problem areas. Most of us don't need training and checking on flying a normal, all-engines ILS. We see that in the line constantly - thus, many AQP programs don't focus much on that. At my airline, the Safety department uses FOQA data (anonymous data from the FDR) to see where each fleet is having problems.

For example, the Safety department sees many unstable approaches at MCO, landing on 18R. So this year we spent some time with unstable approaches at, you guessed it, MCO.

Airline Y that also flies into MCO and flies the same approach might have different procedures (configured by a different altitude, different flap settings, different engines) so they don't have the problem at MCO. So they focus on say, RNAV approaches to EWR instead.

As I see it this way, everyone is meeting the standard of a "safe operation", but working on their individual problems rather than a boiler-plate approach.
Well, first, it seems that the example you cite prompts a different set of questions. While few would argue the logic behind training pilots on what controls to use to correct any instability at any time during flight, it seems that if the instability you describe was or could have been caused by the timing of any configuration change, an adjustment in the location or timing of gear, flap, and/or speed brake deployment would be warranted. Sorry, I just don’t see how using different flap settings or having different engines might cause anyone to either have, or not have, stability problems. If there is a geographic anomaly that regularly or irregularly contributes to turbulent air or visibility problems, an awareness program supplemented by control application suggestions and an opportunity to see demonstrated and perhaps practice such applications, might be all that is necessary.

Secondly, if “most” folks don’t need training and checking on “fill-in-the-blank,” does that not imply that there are at least some who DO need that kind of training and checking? If that answer is “yes,” how might those persons be identified? One could also ask about the purpose of recurrent training. Should recurrent training be applicable only to those tasks that crew members see less than some specific number of times per year? Traditionally, recurrent training programs call for 2 precision approaches and 2 non-precision approaches. I know that most airlines, if not all of them, are authorized and actually fly many more than 2 of each of these kinds of approaches. I get from your comments that you may believe that this requirement is too much, leading me back to the question above … what is the purpose of recurrent training? The reason it’s called “recurrent” is that it is supposed to recur, or happen again, at least periodically.

Going through “recurrent” training is not a sign of pending doom or demonstrated failure. Each year sports professionals regularly go through a “pre-season” training camp of some sort. No one believes they do this because the players have forgotten how to hit a baseball, field a “hot” grounder, roll in a lay-up, or make a corner kick. They do it because muscles have memory and eye-hand coordination is a beautiful thing when done correctly. Besides, it provides for the coach to notice anything that may be starting to go askew, and offer corrective advice or suggestions. I can’t help but believe that pilots have the same muscle memory, use eye-hand coordination the same way, and can periodically use an objective review of their rather large set of skills … just in case “the coach” (the instructor/check airman) notices something that could make the difference in doing or not doing something that could become important at some critical phase of flight.
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