PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Automation versus "Mandraulics"
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Old 28th Feb 2009, 17:36
  #7 (permalink)  
ramen noodles
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: SW Asia
Posts: 82
We Make Accidents with our Heads not our Hands

The age-old belief that we must continue to wiggle the sticks to prevent accidents flies in the face of the accident record, where at least 10 times the number of commercial accidents are the result of loss of situational awareness (where are you, what are you doing with this machine?) as opposed to precise stick wiggling (make the airplane go where you want accurately).

In other words, the inadvertant CFIT accident, or running out of gas, or flying into thunderstorms or a thousand big-picture causes are the cause of accidents.(Latest EC225 accident, anyone?)

If the pilot is meerly a meat-servo, chasing needles, he/she has less mental bandwidth to also fully monitor WHERE the machine is and WHAT it is doing, relative to what it SHOULD and COULD be doing.

In other words, stick manipulation is no longer the limiting thing, it is systems monitoring where we will make the biggest safety strides.

For those who doubt this, look to big airliners and EMS Helicopters, where the "systems breakdowns" are the single biggest accident causes, and stick wiggling causes are nearly nil.

The next gen controls will not be helicopter controls at all, they will be positional beepers that guide the machine to land by itself, as we command them with sticks that are a long shot better than what we have now.
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