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Old 1st Aug 2022, 08:54
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Automation has far less risks, the historical data proves it. There are different risks, but airliners are far safer now than say in the 1970s, when there was a lot of handling accidents on large jets. Part of the reduced handling mishaps are due to better SOPs, but a lot is due to modernisation of approaches, aircraft equipment and ATS coverage. Planes tell you when they get too low, come too close to other planes and getting off course by more than a mile means serious pilot input error to the FMS, rather than just some slight miss tracking or DR between ranged NDBs. You also now have RADAR/ADSB watching you over most areas with alarms built into the system if you stray from plan/clearance. Major airports have sensors to tell ATC when you cross a hold line, etc etc... Then there's just general reliability of the machines and maintenance practices that means major failures are few and far between. Most air returns and shut downs are due to indication errors rather than actual component failures. And when you have a failure its now really not a struggle between man and machine to remain airborne, where early aircraft didn't have the design features or thrust in some cases to deal with problems with many more cases of overloading occurring.

Its very easy to see types that are not as 'foolproof' and have nasty traits, like the ATR, which has an abnormally high accident rate for that type of aircraft. Or some Russian or Chinese types that regularly appear in footage with some catastrophic failure, or fire.

Pre 1980s a Captain was paid to not only fly and command the aircraft but bare a lot of responsibilities on layovers such as making decisions given no or difficult communication with the company. Now you can call company from just about anywhere, and more modern stuff will communicate aircraft issues inflight before the crew know it, with engineering able to send crew alerts and so on.

On the Met side, pilots have ridiculous amounts of information at hand, from close to real time radar coverage of huge areas to satellite pictures, hundreds of automated weather stations, weather cams. If you seriously think that today is anywhere near as bad or worse than years ago you simply are not using the system.

With regard to pay, none of that matters, you get paid what the company offers and what you accept. Now if the accident rate started to go up, you would see some companies lift pay and conditions to attract better pilots as a result, as with recruitment standards and minimums going up. Thing is, the accident rate is very low and really non existent in most notable Airlines, so they see no need to have Chuck Yeager in the left seat anymore. We havn't even got to desperate airlines yet either, where they actually pay for mass cadet courses, then you know the pilot shortage is real.

Last edited by 43Inches; 1st Aug 2022 at 09:04.
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