Excelent response from LAS authorities, maybe this saved the Pilot's life, not like in Taipei some time ago, when the Captain suffered a heart attack and the F/O executed and exellent job bringing the aeroplane back to land safely, but, for God knows why, the airport authorities didn't allow an emergency equipment to the aeroplane until it had been towed all the way to the gate. This took more than 30 minutes, in such a way that when the Captain made it to the Hospital the Doctors culdn't do anything to save him. Of course, the airpot authorities are clean, just as in the SIA Jumbo case. Only a comment for 123.45
It's not hard to land a jet on your own - its called an autoland! It's something we practice in the sim for. You get another pilot (if there's one travelling down the back), or the senior cabin attendant to read the checklist. It's an extremely rare event, thankfully.
I wasn't necessarily worried about landing. . .just about having one less person available in general. What if something happened to the other pilot? Are any of the cabin crew trained to land the plane in an emergency?
Negative on any of the cabin crew being trained to land the plane.
There is usually one or more pilots riding in the back, either on holiday or positioning to next assingment. Should not be a problem that both pilots die and the plane crashes. The only time it happened, both pilots were shot by a mad pax. California, 1986 or 87 if I remember correctly.
>>The only time it happened, both pilots were shot by a mad pax. California, 1986 or 87 if I remember correctly.<<
Actually, it's happened at least a couple of times in California:
05/07/1964 Pacific Air Lines
Fairchild F-27A San Ramon, California
The aircraft went into a steep dive and crashed while on a flight from Stockton to San Francisco, CA . The last message which had to be obtained through laboratory analysis was "Skipper's shot. We've been shot. I was trying to help." Francisco Gonzales, a passenger, who had told several people he was going to kill himself, shot both the pilot and co-pilot.
12/07/1987 Pacific Southwest Airlines BAe-146-200a San Luis Obispo, Calif.
A fired USAir employee, David Burke, after leaving a goodbye message to friends, shot both pilots. The aircraft went into a steep dive and crashed.
Are you for real? Talk about automation dependant.
Think about what is really important about landing and then tell me why, in an emergency situation, you couldn't land an aeroplane by yourself, wheels down, flaps set, airspeed, landing clearance, what else is REALLY important. This assumes that you don't have a few seconds to read the checklist yourself. Or maybe you prefer to depend on a passenger / flight attendant to read a checklist they have never seen before. Can you not recite your checklist challenge and response by heart?
If it is Cat 1 minimums or worse then things may get a little more tense, but still very doable. That is what alternates are for.
Gspot: Yes, the plane can be set up to autoland itself on an ILS. The copilot would have to sit in the left seat to operate the tiller after rollout. There is nothing to it. The flap lever and gear lever can be reached from either seat. Even plenty of time to read and do the checklist while on A/P. And you can do all that and talk to ATC simultaneously with the push-to-talk switch in the yoke. You wouldn't need a "helper."
Interesting medical aspect to this. Heart attacks are a sudden blockage of one of the coronary arteries, usually starting in a trivial area (10-20% of vessel X-section) of "hardening of the arteries", correct term atherosclerosis. Only significant blockages (50-70%+) cause symptoms (angina), changes on stress testing, or are regarded as significant on angiography. So the stress test in the medicals really does very little to prevent this happening.
a 777 operating on this route would have three pilots on board. although the captain was disabled there was a proper cockpit crew compliment to handle the emergency. as far as how many people it takes to land an airplane. physically landing the airplane isn't the issue but rather the possibilities for something to go wrong during the crisis, prior to landing and particularely after the landing. that's aviating and distinguishes professional pilots from those are skilled solely in stick and rudder. i don't fly a 777 but the airplanes i am familiar with require certain ground equipment for autoland. the last time i was in las, a few months ago, i don't remember noting any such facilities.
LazyB: I think what sonoma was talking about is the CAT II and beyond Runway/ILS configuration which includes rollout alignment guidance.
But I have used Autoland on CAT I runways just to see the difference. The only difference was that on some CAT I certified runways the airplane would not track dead centerline, but the airplane stayed on the pavement nevertheless.
With so much talk of autoland and "shock horror" the Captain is gone I wonder why peole don't realise the First Officer/Co Pilot is perfectly able to land the aircraft himself with or without the help of anybody else! A jet can be flown single Pilot with no huge problems. [I am an F/O 747-400]
Capt is at home and doing fine. Doctors have established it was not a heart attack . Will do additional tests to figure out what. LA to LHR is crewed by a captain and two first officers. Both FO's are typed in the acft. Hardly an emergency, autoland indeed! It's hard enough getting a landing on international, I'm not giving it up to the computer.