The pilots they train look like they have to deal with a lot of non-normal situations /
No, I haven't, but I have flown with a lot of people who gained their initial experience flying up in Canada.
The initial cadre of instructors and line pilots for the A380 all had experience on the A330. Some of the 'chosen' senior check pilots moved from the 767 and 747 a couple of years before the planned 380 arrival to gain that experience. All of them did their conversions with Airbus in Toulouse, and flew some hours in the AB test aircraft.What sort of training is required for an endorsement of a new aircraft ? The introduction of the 380 comes to mind, being a switch from Boeing design to Airbus.
This is the biggest newbie question but how the hell can you see the painted lines rolling when along the tarmac esp. when sitting so high up in like a 747 / 380 ?! Is there like a camera behind the front landing gear or something?
You squint a lot. Sunglasses can be a problem as you need to see inside and out, and when it's very bright outside, it's always very dark inside.Second big newbie question, when taking off into the bright sunlight, how do you cope with the extreme glare? Do you have super coated sunglasses? Or would the right answer be, pilot/s are too occupied with their instrument to be looking out alot.
Not too sure how much the 4000 volts would help...Does an Airbus aircraft, with its joystick control, also have the shaker action? Or does it just inject 4000 volts through the seat (or an audible alarm) as the stall warning?
When the engines are started, they are initially run up using air (from the APU or an external source). They are run up to at least 15%, but normally as much as 25%, prior to introducing any fuel into the combustion chambers. When the engine stops accelerating, that's 'max motoring', and it's time for fuel and ignition.Recently I was watching a Just Planes video of the cockpit of a Orient Thai flight using an old 747 ,at engine start the flight engineer used the expression "Max Motoring",what does this mean?
Yep, every time in my operation.Pre-flight checks
Just wondering how many physical preflight checks you do as a pilot? When flying in raining many years ago I used to do a detailed physical inspection of the aircraft every time I flew followed various system and other checks in the cabin. Do commercial jet pilots actually do physical inspections or rely on reports from engineers?
Any time the aircraft is towed, and often when the engineers are working on it, they will insert large pins, about 20 cm long, into the landing gear. These pins are inserted in such a way, that they will stop the landing gear from retracting. Good idea when towing or doing some work on the hydraulics, but not so good if you take off with one still inserted.Why are you always on the look out for the gear pins, and what are they?
Well, if you believe some people, we just sit there and count our dollars.Could someone describe what the pilot does before, during and after for a typical long haul flight? For example on a flight SYD-SIN.
We work on a two month roster, so you could know up to two months in advance. On the other hand, if you have a 'blank line', you have no allocated flying for the roster, and just respond to whatever appears. Mostly you will have about 36 hours notice, unless....How far in advance do you know what route you will be flying?
....you are 'standby', in which case you're supposed to be able to launch in 3 hours from the time of the phone call. Two weeks ago, I was on a day off, and was asked to operate a flight out of Melbourne, leaving in about 2 hours.Do you get late call ups like if the scheduled pilot falls ill?
Yep, you've got 5 to 10 minutes to do that. A flight plan package (plan/notams/weather) to Europe could consist of up to 70 pages..and you need to find the important, and disregard the tripe...so we split up who does the various sections.What work on the ground do you do before the flight? Check weather? Calculate fuel requirements?
By definition, you were permitted up there when things were quiet. And even then, if you were to walk into a cockpit, and it seemed busy, then I'd suggest I'd rather not be on that flight. A lot of the time you are watching what the aircraft is doing, and hopefully, thinking out ahead of time, what comes next. Even when talking to you, the pilots will almost invariably rest one hand on the control wheel (on a Boeing anyway), and they will be turned in towards the centre...they can feel what the autopilot is doing, and see the centre displays, and the opposite flight displays. And of course, they can listen to the radio.Many years ago (before 9-11) I visited the cockpit of a 747 during a long haul flight (the view was amazing). The pilot and co-pilot weren't doing a lot.
No. Totally banned these days. And, as I've said there's a lot to do so it's never boring. Though, perhaps boring would be good, as it means nothing is going wrong.And were free to talk for quite a while. Are visits like this still even possible after 9-11? How do you pass the time when your full attention is not needed?
Varies depending upon what you've done, and what you'll do next. 767 domestically, you might be back at work in 9 hours, but long haul stuff will normally be at least 12 hours, and most likely 24 to 36. Longer slips exist of course, but they only happen when there isn't an earlier flight to put you on.After the flight I assume you go to hotel and rest. How long before your next flight?
There is no conventional feel in the stick. For instance a speed change will not cause any change in stick loading.In an Airbus how much "feel" do you get through the joystick,is it difficult to learn how much pressure you have to use to achieve the desired change in attitude,for example how far back on the joystick do you have to pull to get an A380 off the ground without going too far and causing a tail strike ?
+1 from me jb747,Wow what a great read so far.
Thanks JB for taking the time to answer peoples questions
Well, if I go back to my earliest life, before I became a pilot, I was an RAN Observer...which is basically a navigator. I did two cruises on the war canoe in that role, but by the time I got to the A4, the ship was running down. I had actually completed all of the quals required at Nowra, before going out to deck qualify, but then, over the course of about a week they lost two aircraft off the ship. The A4 was temporarily withdrawn, but we never went back. So, I got close...but that was it.Did you ever fly off The Melbourne ?