More stick time for pilots?

It is being reported in the Feb. 7 edition of AvWeb, that the FAA is concerned about a lack of ‘stick time’ for pilots. According to the pending Advisory Circular (AC) 120-FPM, which is in ‘draft form’, with the subject being ‘Flightpath Management’(FPM), this AC addresses “manual flight operations, termed ‘MFO’, including managing automated systems, pilot monitoring (PM), and energy management.’ That’s mouthful.

More ‘stick time’ is needed by pilots

What it amounts to is nothing new. We’ve been saying this for decades. With the increased reliance on automated systems in the cockpit, the FAA is now concerned that pilots ‘stick ‘n rudder skills’ are deteriorating, and more ‘stick time’ is needed by pilots, to maintain proficiency.

A question: if this is being proposed by the FAA for airline and charter pilots, then what does this say about GA pilots, some of whom fly very sophisticated, very capable airplanes with lots of automation. Many are more sophisticated than some Boeing or Airbus aircraft. Heck, even single engine turboprop aircraft like the TBM 900 series boast very high-end avionics.

So, some questions for you, the reader. What’s your take on this? Are modern cockpits becoming too automated? If you the reader are a pilot, how automated is the cockpit of the airplane you fly? Do you have an autopilot? If so, how often do you use your autopilot?

Post your comments below.

1 reply
  1. Yvonne M Guerra
    Yvonne M Guerra says:

    If Asiana Flight 214 had concentrated more on “flying the airplane” they would have avoided the death of 2 people. But pilots are in danger of letting computers fly the airplane. Go back to stick and rudder.

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