Every professional pilot has been taught about Crew Resource Management, but the most important crew member has been left out of the conversation – the relationship between pilot and airplane automation. By the time they go to the counselor for therapy (Chief Pilot’s office), the relationship is ruined. I’m a pilot, so I know how to fly this thing without you! Off with automation. Do you have two good engines, with normal indications?

The Dysfunctional Relationship

Consistently, the problem lies in the pilot misunderstanding the variables of a selected setting, but also automation having an erroneous belief and then demanding that the pilot react to this incorrect input.

Even with autopilot off, internal automation (MCAS) kept screaming at the pilots to listen to it, by shaking the stick, moving the trim and forcing the nose over to comply with a faulty AOA indicator. The pilot neglects their basic piloting skills because no matter how good you are, the autopilot is better.

Renewing Your Vows

The impossible happens all the time.

It broke all the time and the pilot had to do everything. It’s time to go back to your pilot memory bank when you were blissfully happy flying a crappy old airplane. I used to frustrate the pilots I flew with because at least once a week, I’d hand-fly the airplane up to cruising altitude.

With the pilot shortage, we all see the trend. We don’t have the luxury of having young pilots spend lots of time in old airplanes. We’re putting newer pilots in more complex airplanes that require automation.

Healthy Relationship

There is a reason why empty leg flying comes with higher risk so keep this in context, but empty legs are a good time to get back to the roots of an intimate relationship with your airplane. Tell the other pilot what you’re doing, learn together. I teach Aircraft Systems and Propulsion and I spend most of my time explaining how one system can affect so many variables that pilot input makes the difference between life and death. It’s not understanding each system, it’s about understanding the relationship each system has with each other.

When you get in the cockpit today, take a moment to look at your airplane and decide that today, you’re going to be a better spouse. Agree to learn something about it that you didn’t already know and make the commitment to keep the communication going both ways. The airplane will love you for it…

Collected and summarized from the source below by Minh Pham