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Nick Warren
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Came across what I thought was a very well written article on cockpit automation vs. stick and rudder. I share it because often the frustrations of Vatsim controllers and pilots alike are attributed to automation blame. Additionally, I have always found some symptomology in the Vatsim pilot who begins their flying endeavors solely with automation. Anyway, if anyone would like to read it, it is here: Sky Kings: Are Pilots Losing Stick and Rudder Skills? http://www.flyingmag.com/technique/proficiency/sky-kings-are-pilots-losing-stick-and-rudder-skills?con=TrueAnthem&dom=fb&src=SOC&utm_campaign=&utm_content=58328e9104d301795de43bdf&utm_medium=&utm_source=

 

Nick

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Nick,

 

I found this post while reading another thread where you linked here.

 

...are attributed to automation blame

 

While I understand your [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ertion that VATSIM pilots often lack the skills to manually control their aircraft, the problem you are naming is not an argument for better manual skills, but rather an argument for better education on the automation of the aircraft. Also, education in exactly what the aircraft should be doing as both of function of its proper operation, as well as as a function of a procedure or instruction being followed in flight. This is applicable to manual and automated flying both. Just because the FMS is following a STAR doesn't relieve the pilot of the responsibility of understanding what the STAR requires and ensuring their aircraft is actually correctly following it.

 

As I said in the other thread, the pilot in the article you link to admits that the only reason he went manual was his lack of knowledge of the automation - in the moment he forgot were the needed control was, so he changed to manual flight. His error is understandable since he was in fact in training for this very knowledge, and his decision was reasonable in the face of the problem, however this situation is NOT an argument for more hand flying; it is ONLY an argument for better automation training. I think it was ingenuous of the pilot to try to conflate his lack of familiarity with a blanket need for more hand flying skills and less dependence on automation.

 

The argument doesn't fly (pardon the pun).

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Hi Nick,

 

I found this post while reading another thread where you linked here.

 

...are attributed to automation blame

 

While I understand your [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ertion that VATSIM pilots often lack the skills to manually control their aircraft, the problem you are naming is not an argument for better manual skills, but rather an argument for better education on the automation of the aircraft.

 

It was both actually. Wrong turns, overshoots, over-climbs, under-decents, etc. more often than not in the Vatsim world = "My FMC and/or Autopilot is not functioning correctly". Poor traffic patterns, poor approaches, misunderstanding of basic aviation 101 often = poor manual skills. We recognize it as it being what it is. This was merely one article of many differing viewpoints to showcase to those who want to better themselves in this experience the value of educating themselves at their craft. There are those who want push button flying from wheels up to touchdown. We are a diverse mix of enthusiasts.

 

however this situation is NOT an argument for more hand flying; it is ONLY an argument for better automation training.

 

And an argument for when automation just flat out fails, be it by failure itself or by the human element.

 

Thank you for the follow up. You provide some good insight to the discussion.

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