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Mogul

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Lately there has been some talk around pilot hours on type, especially after the Lion Air and Ethiopian incidents.

When a new type is introduced eg. 787 / A380 how do pilots get their hours up prior to flying revenue flights. Is it mainly sim based (do these hours count) or hours in the sky and just build them up as you go.
 

jb747

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Lately there has been some talk around pilot hours on type, especially after the Lion Air and Ethiopian incidents.

When a new type is introduced eg. 787 / A380 how do pilots get their hours up prior to flying revenue flights. Is it mainly sim based (do these hours count) or hours in the sky and just build them up as you go.

There are a number of avenues. Firstly, the pilots won’t just be anyone who bids for the type. The initial cadre will be hand picked from the instructor pilots ranks. In the case of the QF 380s, they all came initially from pilots on the 330, so Airbus time was mandatory for that first group. Some moved from the 747 to the 330 for a year to gather that experience. They were then sent to France, to do conversion training with Airbus. When they came back to Oz, there was still a wait for our aircraft, so they spent a lot of time in the sim. When the first aircraft were ready for delivery, a group of about 20 went back to Toulouse to get 10 hours each in Airbus’s aircraft, with an AB instructor. I’m told that was great fun, taking an empty 380 to various secondary fields around France.

When QF bought 330 and 787, much the same methods were followed, but pilots were also farmed out to some airlines already operating the aircraft to gather some hours.

For pilots like me, converting from the 747, I did about 60 hours of sim time (which is what happened to my hair), and then around 100 hours in the aircraft before being let loose.

The only time that I’ve ever seen a conversion that was as limited as the one being given for the MAX, was when QF got the ex BA 767s. In that case though, the aircraft was virtually identical to the ones we were already operating, with the only coughpit difference involving the engines. Just about everyone had already flown the 747, so the engines (which were the same) were not new to us...we just had to relearn a few limitations. There were some slight differences in the way they flew, but far less than existed between the 200 and 300.
 
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flyer89

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For pilots like me, converting from the 747, I did about 60 hours of sim time (which is what happened to my hair), and then around 100 hours in the aircraft before being let loose.

Was the 60 hours sim time done in quite a condensed period of time? That would be approx 15 sims? 2-3 or more a week?
 

jb747

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Was the 60 hours sim time done in quite a condensed period of time? That would be approx 15 sims? 2-3 or more a week?

Mostly it was two sims, then a day or two off, and then another couple. You really can't do more than a couple back to back, as there's at least a full day of preparation for each one. So, 15 sims, plus prep, takes about 30 days...and that's exactly how long it took.
 

Melburnian1

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Ex-Emirates pilot Byron Bailey says in 'The Australian' (page 27, the usual Friday aviation section) today that he obtained some fuel consumption figures from a 'pilot colleague', commenting that neither flight (see below) 'could carry full passenger load' (although he doesn't say by how many seats this was reduced).

I gather the latter is quite normal (seasonally) for DFW to SYD but on AFF, while MEL_Traveller and others may have asserted passenger numbers were reduced for PER - LHR nonstops (northbound only?), the hard evidence seems to have been lacking as I don't believe anyone has quoted specific figures.

QF9 B789 PER - LHR:

MTOW 254t, fuel on board 98t
Flight time 16 hrs 45 mins
Fuel burn 93t
Average fuel burn 5.5t/hr

-----------

QF8 A388 DFW - SYD:

MTOW 572t, fuel on board 233t
Flight time 16 hrs 30 mins
Fuel burn 220t
Average fuel burn 13.3t/hr

------------

He then discusses how much more efficient (fuel wise) a twin-engined aircraft is, saying that QF ought have purchased B777s/B777Xs.

Then there's some discussion about ways to save fuel with which many AFFers will be acquainted through jb747's many previous posts on that subject, so I won'r regurgitate those points from today's 'The Oz' article.

Do the figures quoted above seem realistic and typical to our aviators?
 

jb747

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Ex-Emirates pilot Byron Bailey says in 'The Australian' (page 27, the usual Friday aviation section) today that he obtained some fuel consumption figures from a 'pilot colleague', commenting that neither flight (see below) 'could carry full passenger load' (although he doesn't say by how many seats this was reduced).

He doesn't say, because he doesn't know.

His basic numbers are correct, and he has obviously gotten access to a couple of flight plans. In the case of the 787, it would have a number of tonnes left between the TOW and the RTOW...so no need to leave anyone behind. In the 380s case, a look at the difference between the zero fuel weight, and the empty weight, would indicate that there's sufficient weight available for a full, or very close to it, load. The one time I flew that trip, we had no issues, and filled all seats. Obviously conditions will vary.

I gather the latter is quite normal (seasonally) for DFW to SYD but on AFF, while MEL_Traveller and others may have asserted passenger numbers were reduced for PER - LHR nonstops (northbound only?), the hard evidence seems to have been lacking as I don't believe anyone has quoted specific figures.

I expect they could be limited on specific days (or times of the year), but overall I don't think there is any need to. The route has no issues southbound...in theory you could carry enough fuel to get to Adelaide.

He then discusses how much more efficient (fuel wise) a twin-engined aircraft is, saying that QF ought have purchased B777s/B777Xs.

There was an argument for 777-300 ERs. The X has only just been released, so we're yet to find out what it can, or can't, do. The 380 is probably not the ideal aircraft for the Dallas flights...two 787s would probably be better. With decent loads it (380) would be better than the 777.

I'd take most of what he says with a fair bit of salt.
 

Melburnian1

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...The 380 is probably not the ideal aircraft for the Dallas flights...two 787s would probably be better. With decent loads it (380) would be better than the 777....

Great answer thanks.

The 787 multiplied by two consumes less fuel per passenger than an A380 for lengthy sectors, yet carries a similar number of travellers (although not an identical split between classes).

However wouldn't the high costs of staff (flight, and cabin crew) engaged at Australian salary or wage levels be a disincentive for any Australian-domiciled airline to operate two x B787-900 flights (say per day) in place of one A388?

There's many other considerations (including that having two differently timed flights may attract more passengers who like a choice in flight times) but aren't staffing costs fairly hefty for airlines, maybe 20 per cent of costs at least on longer flights?
 

jb747

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The 787 multiplied by two consumes less fuel per passenger than an A380 for lengthy sectors, yet carries a similar number of travellers (although not an identical split between classes).

Yes....and two 787s probably cost more to buy, and insure. And guess what...they've got four engines. Your airways charges would probably be higher. Lots of extra costs.

However wouldn't the high costs of staff (flight, and cabin crew) engaged at Australian salary or wage levels be a disincentive for any Australian-domiciled airline to operate two x B787-900 flights (say per day) in place of one A388?

I assume that you worked in Australia for Australian wages. Perhaps if we could have a cheaper country's tax rate, you wouldn't need to pay as much. The 787 contract is not one that I'd want to work under, so it is already substantially cheaper. Two 787s have the same number of cabin crew as a 380...the only difference is in the number of pilots required. Anyway, the MCAS programmers are currently working on pilotless...

There's many other considerations (including that having two differently timed flights may attract more passengers who like a choice in flight times) but aren't staffing costs fairly hefty for airlines, maybe 20 per cent of costs at least on longer flights?

It's a cost. If you don't like, then don't run those flights. Are you suggesting that the staff should bear the cost?
 

Melburnian1

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...It's a cost. If you don't like, then don't run those flights. Are you suggesting that the staff should bear the cost?

No, all I was doing was trying to ask which would be more profitable (or in bad times less lossmaking) to operate on a longer route: two by B787s, or one A380, daily in each direction. That's all.

I can see advantages in both but despite the extra flexibility of two flights a day each way not just one, my preference as a passenger would be for the largest aircraft - in this case A380 - to operate, because it offers an arguably superior experience. But I'm not an airline CEO, or revenue analyst/staff member.
 

Dale Eastham

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Possibly a very small question, but as they say, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask, so...

A while back I travelled in an Emirates A380 - roughly mid-plane, in economy, bottom floor (only a trans-Tasman, so no issue with the seat, but I digress...)
When accessing the overhead bins I noted on several occasions a noise coming from behind/above them, sounded for all the world like hydraulics or servos cycling back & forth. This was when the plane was on the tarmac at both ends.

Must admit, I'd assumed there wouldn't be much 'infrastructure' within the space between the cabins, perhaps cabling, etc - but this sounded like more than that. What would this have been, pumps of some description?
 

jb747

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Possibly a very small question, but as they say, the only stupid question is the one you don't ask, so...

A while back I travelled in an Emirates A380 - roughly mid-plane, in economy, bottom floor (only a trans-Tasman, so no issue with the seat, but I digress...)
When accessing the overhead bins I noted on several occasions a noise coming from behind/above them, sounded for all the world like hydraulics or servos cycling back & forth. This was when the plane was on the tarmac at both ends.

Must admit, I'd assumed there wouldn't be much 'infrastructure' within the space between the cabins, perhaps cabling, etc - but this sounded like more than that. What would this have been, pumps of some description?

There’s nothing of any consequence between the floors. There’s a/c ducting in the overhead of both levels. On the tarmac, the hydraulics are shut down, and all that would be running is the a/c. There could possibly be some noise from the APU bleed travelling to the packs, but I don’t think you’d be able to differentiate that from the normal a/c noises.

You can hear the flaps when they run through the early stages of their motion. The aircraft actually has a surprisingly limited hydraulic system, so there’s a lot less plumbing than earlier aircraft.

During shutdown, you sometimes get a momentary thumping noise from the hydraulics, but only for a couple of seconds.
 
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flychrisfly

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There’s nothing of any consequence between the floors. There’s a/c ducting in the overhead of both levels. On the tarmac, the hydraulics are shut down, and all that would be running is the a/c. There could possibly be some noise from the APU bleed travelling to the packs, but I don’t think you’d be able to differentiate that from the normal a/c noises.

You can hear the flaps when they run through the early stages of their motion. The aircraft actually has a surprisingly limited hydraulic system, so there’s a lot less plumbing than earlier aircraft.

During shutdown, you sometimes get a momentary thumping noise from the hydraulics, but only for a couple of seconds.
Maybe it was electric cargo doors?
 

Himeno

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I assume that you worked in Australia for Australian wages. Perhaps if we could have a cheaper country's tax rate, you wouldn't need to pay as much. The 787 contract is not one that I'd want to work under, so it is already substantially cheaper. Two 787s have the same number of cabin crew as a 380...the only difference is in the number of pilots required. Anyway, the MCAS programmers are currently working on pilotless..
I've sure that if they thought cabin crew costs on a given route were too much and the end point of the route allowed for lower rates, they wouldn't have many issues opening up a new overseas crew base.
 

jb747

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Maybe it was electric cargo doors?

I've never heard the cargo doors open, though I have sat over them plenty of times. Their operation is actually hydraulic. A small subset of the system operates using an electrical (hydraulic) pump to open the doors.
 
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Hvr

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With Qantas putting on seasonal flights to Sapporo in the A330, what, if any extra training will the pilots get to learn about the extreme winter conditions? And noting it will need to be current, what would the timeline be to have the training and commence flying.


Also, do they get issued additional uniform items to keep them warm?
 

jb747

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With Qantas putting on seasonal flights to Sapporo in the A330, what, if any extra training will the pilots get to learn about the extreme winter conditions? And noting it will need to be current, what would the timeline be to have the training and commence flying.

The sim sessions regularly include ice and snow, so I doubt that any changes would be needed.

Also, do they get issued additional uniform items to keep them warm?

You very funny person.....
 
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