Forum - A Worry For Some Pilots: Their Hands-On Flying Skills Are Lacking
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Post 155314       March 14 '19 at 11:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Pilots now spend more time learning automated systems than practicing hands-on flying, so newer pilots are less comfortable with taking manual control when the computer steers them wrong, according to interviews with a dozen pilots and pilot instructors at major airlines and aviation universities around the world. "The automation in the aircraft, whether it's a Boeing or an Airbus, has lulled us into a sense of security and safety," said Kevin Hiatt, a former Delta Air Lines pilot who later ran flight safety for JetBlue. Pilots now rely on autopilot so often, "they become a systems operator rather than a stick-and-rudder pilot."

As a result, he said, "they may not exactly know or recognize quickly enough what is happening to the aircraft, and by the time they figure it out, it may be too late." [...] While automation has contributed to the airline industry's stellar safety record in recent years, it has also been a factor in many of the crashes that have still occurred around the world. A 2011 study by a federal task force found that in about 60 percent of 46 recent accidents, pilots had trouble manually flying the plane or handling the automated controls. Complicated automation systems can also confuse pilots and potentially cause them to take action they shouldn't, pilots said.