Do airline pilots stick fly at all these days? My flight instructor tells me often in his thick European accent how he’ll miss stick flying when he gets hired by an airline. I was under the impression that airline pilots leave the AP on most of the time but stick fly the approaches and possibly other maneuvers. Is this true?
I believe autopilot is required for both, and the aircraft must be certified. For Cat III approaches, the aircraft must have multiple autopilots, and not all airliners are equipped for them, nor the crews certified. I’m not sure, but I would be surprised if SW was certified for Cat III ops.
RVSM does require an autopilot.
Autopilots are not required for CAT II and I don’t think for CAT III as long as the aircraft has a HUD. Autoland obviously requires multiple fail operational autopilots.
The original SW -200’s did not have autothrottles so they have never ordered their aircraft with them. This according to a Boeing BBJ demo pilot I talked to once, the switch is there but not the magic box.
Wiki says full approach lights are required for CAT III but I have seen elsewhere they are not required since you are past them at touchdown. hopefully.
I recall something about Southwest and Alaska being the first to convert their entire fleets to CATIII with heads up displays, etc. I have a friend who is a Captain with Southwest and he told me they hand fly sometimes.
They accomplish he same thing, but the means in which they accomplish them are radically different. I’m asking because airline pilots are just sitting there most of the time, while the guy flying low and slow in a cessna or glider is actualy flying the plane.