Stick flying.

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?

The AP does most of the flying. Airlines like it because it makes for a smoother ride for the passengers. Southwest however requires all approaches to be hand flown, to keep pilots proficient.

What are the requirements to be in RVSM airspace?

And on the CAT IIIB approach what are the requirements? (even SWA has to follow these rules)

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.

Southwest is certified for CAT IIIA operations, with their HUD equipped aircraft, and their policy is that the pilot hand fly the aircraft.

As for RVSM, it is REQUIRED that the aircraft be on autopilot while in RVSM airspace.

Both RVSM and CAT III require aircraft and crew be certified/trained.

Woa guys I’m just a single engine land student pilot. What are CATIII approaches? And airliners have HUDs?

I’m asking this because I’m wondering if it’s fun to fly airliners. I don’t want to be an airline pilot, but I do want to be an AF pilot, and I’ll most likely be flying big airliner type jets.

And airliners have HUDs?


C-17 and newer C-130’s do. But of course those are not airliners.

I thought the 737-800 and 737-900 had the HUDs as an option…

It is an option on all the NG series.

I believe a HUD was also available on other types of airliners as well. Call me crazy, but I think I’ve even seen them on the Mad Dogs (MD-80 series). I know the 737NG has an available HUD.

MD-80, E190, Saab 2000, Dash 8, Airbus, and others. Numerous business jets, too.

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.

It’s probably just as much fun flying a jet as it is a glider.

Both accomplish the same thing. :wink:

Now if you are talking working for airlines, that would be a horse of a different color as to whether it is fun or not.

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.

Popcorn anyone ? :mrgreen:

Say what? Once we are told to head direct after we take off, the AP goes on almost instantly, and that is in a PA46.

Going along with the football theme in another thread, pass completed!

**first down! **

Just for sh*ts and giggles yesterday I hand flew a raw data ILS into MCN.

And everyone survived?!?!? I always tighten my belts up really tight before I turn off the autopilot. Never know what I might do!