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Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!! (Read 2317 times)
Captain Sask
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Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Jun 16th, 2017 at 3:12am
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I am in love with the 737 Captain and gladly paid top price for it last year.

The 737-200 compared to other 737NGs is quite a jump in aviation tech and it seems too difficult to operate!

Everything nowadays is automatically controlled! The challenge of flying manually, or even using the Sperry 77 autopilot, seems so confusing to me so much sometimes that I end up in another plane!

I hate to admit giving up on my flights in the 737-200, but I have been doing so a lot more lately. The use of time it takes for me to even get to the runway I waste too much of.

Pretty sure that I am not alone with the frustration and confusing buttons and switches.
I know that it is easy to fly once I get around what needs to be done, and not focusing on what is unusual for me (I find the 732's CDU to be distracting and have no idea what it actually does???)

All I need to know is the best simple explanation for the fastest way to get to my destination in the 737 Captain.

The side-by-side comparison of the 737-200 to the 737NG setting up for flight, would be the best way to go?!? Huh

If anyone has a sort of explanation-answer to give the confused, greatly appreciated!!! Thanks! Smiley
  
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Palmdale_3Holer
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #1 - Jul 9th, 2017 at 3:59am
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I guess I'll take a stab at this.

I think in order to best understand the 737-200 and other aircraft of her vintage, it would be good to understand that in reality, the 737 Classics are just not even the same aircraft as the other or even now, the MAX. True, put them side by side and the lineage/pedigree of the Boeing narrow body is obvious going back to the 367-80 (which, incidentally, has its own unique fuselage cross section as does the KC-135 - there are actually four different cross sections but I'll move along).

The similarities end in appearance and you are correct in that decades bring about change across every element of our existence. But we'd have to go back a few more decades to really understand how to approach the idea of becoming one, with the 737-200. I'll spare you and all else my version of commercial aviation history here and condense things to the basics.

Just after the turn of the last century, the postal service figured that sending a letter on a Boeing Model 200 Monomail was a huge advantage over that of rail transport. It took a pretty salty guy with some grit to fly a few passengers and bags of mail over the Rockies - all from an open cockpit. I'd imagine an intrepid, young barnstormer pilot jumped at the chance to fly mail for what was once called Boeing Air Transport. It was these early beginnings with Boeing during which United Airlines came to be.

Moving ahead, to the Forties, America was in need of a lot of pilots all at once. The Second World War would largely be responsible for creating the best trained pilots in such sheer numbers in a short amount of time. Think, the Link simulator. Rather, Google it. These guys, who more often than not, were in their early twenties, became highly seasoned in a skill set that laid the foundation for which every 737-200 driver demonstrated mastery decades later.

The 737NGX and every aircraft since the first 767, with the beginnings of the glass cockpit, has been developed over time for many good reasons. for the sake of your curiosity given your post, the other serves to significantly reduce crew work load for every flight cycle. I'm not suggesting that the crew of a 737NGX has neglected to master the same skill set as the crew of a 737-200, the skills are very much present.

Here's the takeaway...

When piloting a vintage airliner having old, analog "steam gauges, you are exercising the skills of "old school," very basic but essential navigation. It doesn't matter a bit if you are in command of a Beechcraft Bonanza, stuck in the soup of a very dark cloud or that 737-200 en route to the next leg of the day - the principles of navigation are the same. The instrumentation is largely, the same. You are a consumer of a great deal of information all at once. What you do with that information and how you translate required inputs to the aircraft no matter the vintage, mean the difference between a successful flight or one you might hear of in the news.

Pilots of modern airliners are in reality, "energy managers." Not only is a pilot responsible for the safe navigation of their aircraft, the company insists it be done in the most efficient/cost effective way without jeopardizing safety of flight. So imagine yourself in the 737-200. No, not this simulated version. Imagine it's 1979 and you are sitting in the left seat with 83 souls onboard. You smell the coffee brewing in the forward galley. The acrid scent of electronics from the E&E bay below you. It's cold outside on the ramp in Chicago. The weather is a mess all the way to Phoenix but because you have mastery of the skills, everyone onboard will be home in time for Christmas dinner that night.

There is a saying about glass cockpits. Don't become a child of the magenta line. As you push back from the gate in Chicago in that 737-200, consider the principles as applied to the other and not only look at but USE the tools in front of and around you in the 37-200. Short of studying the basics of navigation (which, Microsoft has offered a ground school in FSX by the way) I would recommend that you look at what is going on with the information given by the PFD and ND of the other and find the instruments on the panel of the 737-200 that correspond with that information displayed in the other. It's all right there. Every bit of it. If you have successfully made flight after flight in the other and have a solid understanding of what your instrumentation is telling you, the consumer, applying it to the 737-200 is not difficult.

If, on the other hand, you fire up the APU, load a flight plan and depart into clear skies with the aircraft doing the thinking for you all the way to flare and rollout, you'll likely continue to find the 737-200 to be a bit much. You are, the FMC in a big sense.

The pilots who made their way across Europe and back in the B-17, the flight engineer of a 314 Clipper, crawling out into the wing to change spark plugs in flight over the Pacific, the navigator in a Stratocruiser, using a sextant to cross-check his plots on an airways chart; they each relied on their mastery of the principles of flight in its many chapters.

The other is an incredibly sophisticated aircraft for sure. Step aside from it for a while, read up on the essentials of navigation, weight and balance, subsonic/transonic flight, transport category aircraft systems, and FAR Part 121. Get a copy of the ATP rating book and absorb it - memorize it. Start your IFR training in a Cessna 172 without the Garmin panel. Things happen a whole lot slower in a Cessna and you'll soon appreciate what the instrumentation is telling you.

Twist, Turn, Time, Talk.


I don't know why by the word "other" replaced "N G X"
  
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Markoz
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #2 - Jul 10th, 2017 at 2:38am
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Quote:
I don't know why by the word "other" replaced "N G X"

It is replaced because the "other" developer's name/product is not allowed to be written in the forum. Don't worry, you get used to it. Wink
  

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Palmdale_3Holer
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #3 - Jul 10th, 2017 at 4:19am
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Ah, got it.

I was born and raised in Seattle; a Boeing family. Folks here don't generally refer to them as N G X.

375
376
377
378
379

And so on.
  
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LOU
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #4 - Oct 17th, 2017 at 3:29pm
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Palmdale_3Holer,

Good discussion on the old school vs new fancy computer loaded aircraft. I learned to fly back in the late 50's in a Piper J-3 and then a C-150. It is SO important to learn the basics and how to hand fly the plane. As an example I look to the Asiana 777 crash in KSFO. There was nothing wrong with the aircraft, but the pilots had very little experience hand flying the plane. The were reliant on the computer automation and were not able to go back to basics when needed.

I was an FAA check airman and observed many supposed "high time" pilots that were unable to hand fly the plane and not familiar with the Airman's Information Manual - an absolute must for any pilot!

I believe, having learned to fly in the "dark ages" - before computers, it made me a better pilot. Later in life, I had to add the computer into into my cockpit, but always remembered the words of my flight instructor to FLY THE AIRPLANE!

The CS 737 - 200 is a joy to fly. I have a lot of fun shooting approaches with the ceiling and visibility reduced and adding in a bit of crosswind to boot.

Lou
  

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Ols500
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #5 - Dec 3rd, 2017 at 11:22am
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Yes The 732 Is defiantly Grin a challenge.
  
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Captain Sask
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Re: Wow, what a difference a few decades makes!!!
Reply #6 - Jan 18th, 2018 at 9:41pm
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Your explanation of the 732 is great!

I see how important it is to start training with C172s, or VOR-VOR radio flying aircraft. The best skills come from the pilot's head, rather than the aircraft's computers. Replacing our future pilots with them only knowing the new technology (GPS, FMS...) is a recipe for disaster.

Hand-flying an airliner no matter the size, and using the radios for navigation is, in my way the more respected teaching plan, rather than right off the start using the FMS.

For a pilot-in-training nowadays, the touchscreen glass displays are simple. The digital EFB being very handy can change how the way ongoing generations of pilots view the correct way to fly. Is it a bad idea? Hmmm....

Palmdale_3Holer, you put it in perfect words, thank you.

This discussion has alot of input which next-gen pilots can use to "see" how the 737 was in its younger years. Years in which every decade added to the 737, more technology and safer practices. But in that, the reliance of computers and automatic route positioning (or GPS) is replacing the skills to proper flying.

I love the 732. It was my first plane as a passenger and was the only plane in which I had the opportunity to be inside the flight deck to view history.
I will never forget that flight when I was 8. My love for aviation grew 100-fold that day. Never will that chance come to ANY passenger nowadays! Looking back I realize how lucky I am.

Awesome topic-discussion guys!

Braden
  
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