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Single pilot airliner

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Single pilot airliner

Old 8th May 2007, 02:54
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Having had some exposure to the bleeding edge technology in the field of artificial intelligence and considering how far we have come in the last 50 years, I can tell you with some degree of certainty that it won't be another 50 years before the first officers seat in the heavy commercial airliner is replaced completely with a fully automated self contained machine.
Single pilot at any one time in any flight regime at the controls, I am confident, less than 20 years away.
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Old 8th May 2007, 06:56
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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The Predator drones used by the US military are the leading-edge of what is to come. Totally pilotless, controlled by a geek on the ground.
On the other hand, the NYT estimates that upto 30% of Predators are lost in operation. The actual number of course is classified.
Single pilot and no-pilot will happen, but not for a few years yet.
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Old 8th May 2007, 07:33
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Today, most of the Predator drone aircraft flying combat missions over Afghanistan, are actually being remotely controlled from thousands of miles away, in the Nellis AFB area (actually Creech AFB, located near Las Vegas, Nevada) via satellite link.

Also - Check out Evergreen unmanned aviation systems at http://www.evergreenaviation.com
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Old 8th May 2007, 08:05
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Talking

So they won't even trust me with a tube of toothpaste, but they'd happily lock me alone in the flightdeck to join in paradise with The Prophet pbuh?

Give me a break.

I'm sure this came out of Beancounter's Monthly as the centrefold. Watch out for the suited ones with a copy under their arm, skulking off for a physiological break in the executive bathroom with a box of tissues.
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Old 8th May 2007, 08:11
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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""A system that slaps the pilot round the head every twenty minutes"" ??

KLM were doing this 30 years ago.......using a KITCHEN TIMER fitted in the overhead !(DC8s/DC9s)

"Your turn for a kip, mate ? Set the timer for 15-20 minutes. ......then that'll wake us both up !
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Old 8th May 2007, 08:19
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As stated earlier. The great god 'Security', will be perfectly adequate to knock this idea on the head.

Having said that, we do already have single pilot cruise. I guess it's just a question of the duration!!

Can't help thinking, any savings would be negligible, until we get single (or pilotless!) take off and landings!
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Old 8th May 2007, 08:25
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"A system that slaps the pilot round the head every twenty minutes"

Or a dog that bites him when it's hungry (or he touches anything).
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Old 8th May 2007, 15:56
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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many pilots die in flight each year , so
think about it best regards
Another reason to remove them entirely and fully automate the process perhaps.....Dons the proverbial

What is the MTBF for a pilot these days anyway ?
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Old 8th May 2007, 16:04
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Can't help thinking, any savings would be negligible, until we get single (or pilotless!) take off and landings!
We already have cruise pilots, who are not allowed to perform takeoffs and landings.

Wouldn“t there be savings if long flights can be flown by 2 real pilots one of whom is alone while the other is sleeping in crew rest, instead of having 2 real pilots and 1 cruise pilot?
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Old 8th May 2007, 16:34
  #30 (permalink)  

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Boeing had a proof of concept single pilot flight deck 737 mock up in Seattle many years ago, and were suggesting that for flights up to 4 hours the statistics on crew incapacitation were well within the 10 to the -6 required. The technology is available now, especially on the new machines.

Most passengers would accept single pilot already, if it results in a cheaper flight. The only reactionaries would be airline pilots, for obvious reasons.

It will happen, and certainly in the working lifetime of a 40 year old pilot, which may well be 30 years. Just as all the other inovations of aviation have changed our profession, we need to be involved in the evolution at the design stage, and not act as Luddites and try to fight off the inevitable progress of the industry.

Ground controlled passenger carrying commercial aircraft, or futher in the future, autonomous unmanned passenger aircraft will also be seen within the 25 to 35 year time frame. The technology is almost there, and the social acceptance will be as unremarkable as the introduction of attendant-less elevators and driverless trains.

So just as Darwin pointed out, adapt or die.
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Old 8th May 2007, 16:41
  #31 (permalink)  

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Or adapt AND die...
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Old 8th May 2007, 16:46
  #32 (permalink)  
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If you have single pilot aircraft, how would the then non existent First Officers get the experience to become captains?
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Old 8th May 2007, 19:19
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On a computer keyboard.
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Old 8th May 2007, 20:34
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Wouldn“t there be savings if long flights can be flown by 2 real pilots one of whom is alone while the other is sleeping in crew rest, instead of having 2 real pilots and 1 cruise pilot?
So. Let's say you remove a 'cruise pilot' from a flight. He/she earns £60k?? and flies only 40 trips per year. Using these ball park figures that represents £1500 per trip. (I suspect this is an EXTREMELY optimistic figure!)

IF that is distributed amongst the 400 passengers in a 747-400, that represents less than £4 per ticket! On a fare that could easily cost £400, that's 1%. I'm sure robber Brown will find an excuse to take that.

There is a 'counter safety' argument, and there is no significant financial imperative. No savings will be passed on to passengers, under ANY circumstances! This is not like flight engineers (more accurately, panel operators) becoming redundant in modern aircraft.

It is of course already feasible for an aircraft to 'cruise' with NO pilots (Think Helios and a number of other similar events), never mind one pilot. Whether it is desirable is another matter.

Anyone who thinks one pilot at the controls is the master of all he/she surveys, really hasn't considered the impact of a decompression on a NAT track or over terrain (for example). Contrary to populist opinion, the job can rapidly descend into something a little more than just 'button pushing' don't you know!

A very old and bold pilot once told me; "I don't get paid for what I do. I get paid for what I can do!"

Hear, hear to that!

Last edited by Tandemrotor; 8th May 2007 at 20:50.
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Old 8th May 2007, 21:36
  #35 (permalink)  

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A back of the fag packet calculation for a typical LoCo 2 hour sector. Crew cost per year £120,000 for a max of 900 hours. Therefore £133 per flight hour, so going to single crew would save £133 on a 2 hour sector or less than £1 per ticket. I'd happily pay that. Although I could see a certain blue and gold LoCo going the way of no salary for FO's, tips only, passing around the hat just before landing should ensure a better result.
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Old 8th May 2007, 21:58
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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hello

just for once i thought i would respond. A320 junior f/o, on approach to EGCC yesterday, hold at dayne, exit dayne through wx, AP disconnect due to very interesting updraught, told to descend, ap would not reconnect no matter what i or very experienced training captain could do. capt flew rawdata until out of wx, land no issue. i too had held automation as the best thing since etc................

will remember to be a professional pilot like all my training taught me to be.............................

a lesson well taught...............................

please............... fly ginger!!
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Old 8th May 2007, 23:57
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OTOH, if bunks provided within the flt deck zone, in spite of the reduction in pilot establishment required on the fleet, wouldn't it be better to take rest on longhaul 2-crew ops in a proper bunk instead of 'controlled' rest in the seat?

Heard various rumors that 748 (er, no, not the HS one!!) is designed for single-pilot monitoring in the cruise.

Having worked with PREDATOR & GH it is probably a 50-yr trend, sadly...
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Old 9th May 2007, 00:32
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Crew costs are more than just what crews get as salaries! Add about 20% social charges (country-dependent), initial and recurrent sim training, ground training, and all the rest... We cost a fortune...
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Old 9th May 2007, 07:15
  #39 (permalink)  
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Fly Ginger I sure do agree!
All those flying long enough will have experienced fuzzy logic (!) thru autopilot disconnect, FD loss, AT channel failures, FAC faults, etc etc the list is too long.
Fact, actual technology is not ready for fully automated flight. Open questions such as redundancy, weather avoidance, and how much would one really save (just see estimates of crew factor savings, what about additional costs of development, RC controller, programmers and so on?) need some serious answering first.

Single pilot ops... if you loose that one, as did happen many times already, start reading again the above text
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Old 9th May 2007, 08:03
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Single Pilot Airline Ops....

Those of us old enough to remember single-pilot ops on 19-pax schedules... in very busy airspace ... will remember the workload (eg being directed to a hold you've never heard of), the difficulty in aviating whilst communicating and the countless occasions when an extra pair of ears and eyes would have been priceless! Dear Lord, for the first time I'm glad I've left the party! bm
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