Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

Welcome to Airline Pilot Forums - Connect and get the inside scoop on Airline Companies

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ. Join our community today and start interacting with existing members. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free.

User Tag List

Post Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-04-2017, 06:33 AM   #1  
Line Holder
Thread Starter
Arturito's Avatar
Joined APC: May 2016
Posts: 44
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)


P.S. We're obviously talking about Take-off/climb and approach, not cruise in RVSM airspace.
Arturito is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 06:42 AM   #2  
Gets Weekends Off
sourdough44's Avatar
Joined APC: Sep 2013
Position: Left
Posts: 545

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.
sourdough44 is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 08:04 AM   #3  
Layover Master
PotatoChip's Avatar
Joined APC: Jan 2013
Posts: 3,482

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.
PotatoChip is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 08:26 AM   #4  
Custom User Title
AZFlyer's Avatar
Joined APC: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,828

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.
AZFlyer is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 09:16 AM   #5  
Gets Weekends Off
Riverside's Avatar
Joined APC: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,568

The USA is God's gift to aviation.
Riverside is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:11 AM   #6  
Joined APC: May 2017
Posts: 733

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.
ecam is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:54 AM   #7  
Gets Weekends Off
Joined APC: May 2009
Position: Square root of the variance and average of the variation
Posts: 1,602

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.
Std Deviation is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 10:59 AM   #8  
Gets Weekends Off
Joined APC: May 2009
Position: Square root of the variance and average of the variation
Posts: 1,602

Originally Posted by Riverside View Post
The USA is God's gift to aviation.
Which God?
Std Deviation is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 11:35 AM   #9  
You scratched my anchor
Al Czervik's Avatar
Joined APC: Feb 2011
Posts: 3,245

I hand fly to 400’ and down from 200’
Al Czervik is offline  
Old 10-04-2017, 01:29 PM   #10  
Gets Weekends Off
qball's Avatar
Joined APC: Mar 2011
Position: Cockpit speaker volume knob set to eleven.
Posts: 1,408

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'.
qball is offline  

Post Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any "Latest & Greatest" about Delta? Guard Dude Delta 198944 03-26-2020 03:13 PM
ALPA and Pseudo-Science on FTDT PEACH Union Talk 8 03-30-2010 08:40 AM
Union at SkyWest?? RedBaron007 Regional 30 04-04-2007 09:16 AM
Pilot violated Southwest policy RockBottom Major 42 06-14-2006 10:41 AM

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:52 PM.