Are Pilots Forgetting How to Fly?
Pilots manually fly for a total for three minutes in flight. The Federal Aviation Administration worries that pilots are forgetting how to fly. Continue reading
Safety officials worry that pilots are forgetting their hands-on instincts because they fly on autopilot too much. Eleven news reporter Elissa Urban tells us how one local flight school emphasizes manual flying skills to stay safe.
Captain Jim Green has flown for decades and has seen how relying on technology can lead to catastrophic results if pilots forget how to react when autopilot fails them.
“Complacency is a problem nowadays for pilots. It takes a real discipline to force yourself to monitor everything.” Captain Jim Green said.
If anything goes wrong pilots need to be able to use their flying skills but the Federal Aviation Administration worries pilots are suffering from an automation addiction.
“Because the technology is so advanced pilots are programming computers rather than flying with their own hands… A pilot may not be as proficient as he would be if he hand flew quite often.”
Instructors at UVU’s flight school teach students to check their systems every fifteen minutes and emphasize hands-on instincts to ensure safety.
“I would say the structure is unique here because of the way the program is designed so that we are not required to use the autopilot on every flight….we actually start off not even using the autopilot” said UVU flight student Vincent Faggioli
“When they start out we don’t let them use the autopilot much at all because we want them to learn how to fly manually and they are actually quite good at it” said Green.
This means safer flights in the future for everyone. The FAA says that pilots use automated systems for all but the take-off and landing, totaling about three minutes of the flight.