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Old 10-04-2017, 07:33 AM   #1
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Default Hand Flying policy

Hello everyone,

It's not a secret a lot of companies prohibit manual flying as much as possible, especially asian and middle-eastern companies.
In Europe, it looks like it's rather a "it depends" approach based on company culture/weather/crew fatigue and captain's decision.

What's the policy/rule in US airlines ?
Feel free to share if you have info about legacies/major/lcc and even regional airlines (I dont want to create a double topic in the regional subforum)

Cheers

P.S. We're obviously talking about Take-off/climb and approach, not cruise in RVSM airspace.
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Old 10-04-2017, 07:42 AM   #2
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The only time one really needs to be on autopilot is doing an autoland or in RVSM airspace.

Most hand fly after takeoff up to 18-20k or so, of course that varies widely. There is no company directives(with us) on when the autopilot has to come on.

When descending, weather may be a factor, plus you load up the other, non-flying pilot some with working the MCP panel and watching things more closely.

There is no average on when the A/P comes off. With a visual approach, maybe 10 miles & 3000', again varies widely. When something extra is planned, the flying pilot often mentions ahead of time that they would like to do extended hand flying.

I've had friends that have flown in the Mideast, seemed to say it was a lot more regimented dealing with the A/P.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:04 AM   #3
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Autopilot - RNAV departures, IMC approaches, I'm tired.
Off - "Cleared for the visual". Climbing usually to about 10,000, unless I'm just flying straight to a fix 80 miles away.

That about covers it.
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Old 10-04-2017, 09:26 AM   #4
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At my small regional that operates easy to hand-fly 30 year old, steam gauge turboprops, we unsurprisingly have lots of hand flying here. On short legs in good weather with everything normal I'll often hand fly the whole leg from takeoff to touch down. Otherwise usually up to cruise altitude and then again when reaching the terminal environment.

I'll definitely miss flying this airplane once its gone. Hand flying super short visual approaches and being able to easily turn off the runway in under 2000 feet is always fun.

As far as company policy, automation is encouraged in general, but occasional hand-flying is also encouraged to maintain proficiency.
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Old 10-04-2017, 10:16 AM   #5
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The USA is God's gift to aviation.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:11 AM   #6
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I hand fly the Airbus as much as I can. Usually up to 10,000, then as soon as cleared for the visual approach for sure. One of the best flying planes I've flown actually. A joy to hand fly.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:54 AM   #7
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2nd transcon red eye in a week with a dawn landing into the sun? Off at 500'. Or lower. Commute to catch? Medium brakes, max reverse...

I take into consideration the airspace and loading up the other pilot as well. Our manual recommends - but does not mandate - we go on AP at minimum activation altitude when taking off from Burbank for instance. So I'll do that at 200'. I guess the company figures if one quits on the A320 the computer will do a better job.
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Old 10-04-2017, 11:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverside View Post
The USA is God's gift to aviation.
Which God?
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Old 10-04-2017, 12:35 PM   #9
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I hand fly to 400’ and down from 200’
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Old 10-04-2017, 02:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Czervik View Post
I hand fly to 400 and down from 200
You sir are an over achiever. I'm exhausted by 300'.
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