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Unnecessary first officer...

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Unnecessary first officer...

Old 26th Mar 2010, 09:27
  #201 (permalink)  
 
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Your CEO a Ph.D - but in which discipline?
I'll warrant it has nothing to do with aviation.
Probably gets a thrill from spreadsheets, especially if the pilots' salaries are down.

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Old 26th Mar 2010, 13:00
  #202 (permalink)  
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"Your job as a pilot is very easy, you just follow procedures and if something out of the ordinary happens, there are checklists for everything".

In the Sioux City DC-10 accident, after the engine blew and sliced through all three hyd systems, the captain (Al Haynes) called for the triple Hydraulic Failure checklist. The F/E told him that it didn't exist.....
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 13:01
  #203 (permalink)  
 
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In my earlier post i mentioned unions preventing driverless trains from being brought into service in the late 60s. Surely unions now should be activated and motivated to ensure that the flight deck population does not get reduced by a further 50%.

Furthermore, I listened to the radio yesterday and Capt Burkhill recounting the moments before the successful forced landing of the 777. By having a co-pilot sat next to him concentrating on the real time aviation, he was able to assess the situation and by reducing the flap setting save all souls on board.

None of the sophisticated systems on board the aircraft either highlighted the problem or offered any diagnosis to the situation.. All the aircraft did was point out what was bleedin obvious, i.e. that the airspeed was too low...

i think when someone sits down and programmes a flight guidance computer for a future pilot free aircraft, they will have to be in possession of all the known knowns, known unknowns, but most importantly, the unknown unknowns...

Good luck.
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 13:40
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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C'mon chaps
The anti automation group will just read out the incidents where the pilot/s did the right thing and saved the day.
The pro automation group will just read out the incidents where the pilot/s missed some action or misread the situation that an automated system would probably not have done.
IMO, it will probably be decided by a statistician who will analyse which operations (dual crew v single crew with whizz bang automation) will lead to least incidents and accidents (hence cost) with the available technology at the time, offset against the cost of setting in place single crew operations. Then follows the "focus groups" of industry who will advise the legislators, who will then incrementally allow these types of single crew operations. 10-15 years off I reckon. Hows that for a prediction
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 15:47
  #205 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Neptunus Rex
Your CEO a Ph.D - but in which discipline?
I'll warrant it has nothing to do with aviation.
It does have something to do with the very wrong part of the aviation - airline marketing.

This debate would be much more comprehensible, if participants' experience were posted along with the opinions.

For my part:

2600 hrs in ATR-42
1200 hrs in A320/319
450 hrs in Q400

I have never, ever trusted automatics in any of my aeroplanes blindly and all of them gave their best to prove me correct on more than few occasions.

Autonomous and/or remotely controlled aeroplanes?

Maybe.

Not with the today's technology though.

Same goes for single-pilot operations. Once the spectre of incap is safely done away with through use of automatics and telecommands, we'll just switch to no-pilot on board. Don't hold your breath waiting for it.
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 16:32
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Not buying from you mate...

Small MEP operators aside: It would be a brave airline that decides to launch a service with only 1 pilot onboard. I'm betting it wouldn't get too many customers...
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 16:36
  #207 (permalink)  
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IMO, it will probably be decided by a statistician
Just remember, if you have one foot in a bucket of ice water, and the other foot in a bucket of boiling water, statistically you're comfortable.....
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Old 26th Mar 2010, 17:00
  #208 (permalink)  
 
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'Surely the main reason for having two pilots on board is quite simply in case one has a heart attack (or similar 'event,' ) and therefore is no longer able to perform his duties, or worse dies!

In this situation, even the worst FO in the world is still a far better proposition in the cockpit than having nobody who can fly at all!

Thats the end of the debate surely?'

This is not the reason at all. The main reason for having two pilots is that this way most of the errors that would go unnoticed in a single crew situation, don't when there are two pilots.

Also, even though one pilot may be sufficient in the cruise when everything is normal, even two pilots may seem not to be enough when things get difficult. Go to a simulator and observe an engine fire on take-off or an unreliable airspeed exercise. You'll know what I mean!
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 00:08
  #209 (permalink)  
 
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So LNAV VNAV, why have the FAA approved the SJ30 then?

Agreed Nigd3. It's slowly creeping along, which is not to say I approve of it.

Where is the weight/pax limit now, is it 10 tons, 20 tons next year perhaps? As I said, the thin edge of the wedge has appeared. It is unlikely to be retracted.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 04:47
  #210 (permalink)  
 
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I don't see your point. There are single crew aircraft and there are multicrew aircraft.

There were single crew aircraft long before the SJ30. The Piper Seminole for example.

Still, the reason for having two pilots in multicrew aircraft is not pilot redundancy. It may be a welcomed byproduct but it's not the reason.

Will there be larger single crew twin jets in the future? Of course there will be.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 08:31
  #211 (permalink)  
 
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Think of a heavy aircraft passing Norilsk (UOOO) during winter with smoke in the cabin, then show me automation to deal with it, or one guy who can handle it by himself...

You might need a 2nd pilot even in a Piper Seminole, but neither will the ops ever pay for him, nor does the financial risk will finance his position. And then there are the insurers of the operator: There will be a huge premium for operating an B787 or an A380 with one pilot only. It just depends on the pay scale.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 10:38
  #212 (permalink)  
 
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My point, LNAV VNAV, is that the SJ30 is a modern, high performance, jet aircraft, with most of the same characteristics as a 737/320 et al, a Seminole patently is not. There used to be a weight limit, it has now been officially breached. Don't see many Seminoles at 49,000' doing M.83 transatlantic! Doesn't the SJ 30 have EFTO,s, unreliable airspeed, smoke in the cockpit etc problems? Is the insurance premium more when it is flown single pilot? I don't know, would be interested to find out the facts.

The major difference is the size/pax limit of, say, the 7X7/3X0. The trend is upward, when will it stop? Who will stop it? Who will encourage it? [Already answered, O'Leary] Comes down to money, nothing else. As you say:-

"Will there be larger single crew twin jets in the future? Of course there will be."

How big? 330/777? You tell me.

That is the problem, and, being a cynic, I fear for the worst.

I hope I'm wrong.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 14:15
  #213 (permalink)  
 
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Aircraft like A320/A330/A340/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777 were designed in the 1980's, early 1990' s with proven technologies from the '70' s.

The philosphy back in the '60' s was an automation that assist pilots.
The designers of the '80' s decided to couple automation with computers (FMC) using 1970' s computer technology, reducing the pilot' s function to monitoring the automation-FMC combination in non-critical phases of flight.

With the advance of UAV technology and other remote processing systems, the automation - 2010 computer technology - remote processing combination will certainly remove at least one pilot from the cabin.

A cabin smoke/fire situation can be processed on a flightcrew less aircraft as follows:

Smoke on board, smoke detection by sensors, information passed to on-board computer system and to a team of remote operators as a warning.
Variable smoke density sensors and remote operators using on-board camera' s can determine the extent of the situation. The computer can do all the checklists and the remote operator can be assisted in real time by a team of mechanics to determine the potential cause and risks of the fire.

The remote operators team can then decide to divert the flight to the nearest airport or if unable to reach one on time, determine the nearest forced landing location based on a database and real-time satellite imagery.
Examples of on-board fires that ended-up fatal:
Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

To the BAC 1-11 with the windshield torn off in flight, it wouldn' t have made a difference if the aircraft was autonomous and remotely controllable.

The DHL A300 in Baghdad, a master piece of flying.
Yet the PCA (Propulsion Controlled Aircraft) concept has been tested and can be installed on any recent aircraft to control aircraft in case of total flight controls failure: NASA - Propulsion Controlled Aircraft (PCA)

I think that the A320/B737NG replacement (2027 entry into service) will be autonomous operations with a single monitoring pilot and remote operators, with the monitoring pilot progressively removed by 2040 and airliners becoming a largely autonomous with remote monitoring operation.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 16:21
  #214 (permalink)  
 
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Exclamation

A colleague of mine had an electrical fire in the avionics compartment of an A310, about 1,5 hours away from a suitable aerodrome, four or five years ago.

Auto-Pilot went off plus a series of other systems. It was a scary situation. The co-pilot had to come down to the avionics compartment to face the smoke and the fire. Fortunately for everybody, they were able to put down the fire and landed safely.

I don't think a situation like this could be managed in a single pilot environment.
Remember aircraft are only new, until delivered to the customer. They are designed to fly for more than 30 years. They age and loose liability. And there are a lot of things going wrong that are impossible to predict and to program a software to cope with.

The worst scenario is a hacker to enter into the wireless "control" system. Even yesterday I read about an 18 years old French hacker who entered into a social network (was it T or was it Facebook?) and took over, because he was bored and jobless.

All flight information and all aircraft operations have to be done through the pilots, in order to keep them in the loop. As soon as you start taking pilots out of the loop, you will buy your ticket to hell. Sht happens, even with two pilots in the cockpit. Someone has to be taking care of things, during all phases of flight. Especially when everything seems to be boringly OK. How would you keep a single pilot alert (awake) on a 12 hour flight? How would you choose your (single) captains? Where would they gain experience?
LNAV:
The main reason for having two pilots is that this way most of the errors that would go unnoticed in a single crew situation, don't when there are two pilots.

Also, even though one pilot may be sufficient in the cruise when everything is normal, even two pilots may seem not to be enough when things get difficult. Go to a simulator and observe an engine fire on take-off or an unreliable airspeed exercise. You'll know what I mean!
Agree. And would like to add that the F/O is also there to reduce workload in the cockpit. And this is truth in the medium as well as in the long-haul. Today's working hour rules are hard to comply with, once airlines are reducing costs and making us all working more and more. I honestly don't think we will see a single pilot policy on commercial flights in our lifetime.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 16:27
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What happens when the fire burns through the antenna feed for the datalink? Or overheats the datalink processor? How are your remote operators going to save the day then? Say "bye bye all passengers"?
Any critical systems are usually duplicated and certification is there to prove that the systems are built to cope.
In worst cases, all you need to do is to send the program sequence before the datalink goes down and the autonomous airplane could land itself according to that program.
Or easier even, build the systems to be fireproof.

Rubbish. There will be no reduction to single pilot operation for large passenger aircraft for the same reason there will be no reduction to one engine, generator or hydraulic system. They are all subject to failure, so to reduce the risk of it being catastrophic you have two or more.

Then there's the cost to consider. If you're building a passenger jet you'll need pressurisation, oxygen and the like for the passengers. It doesn't cost much to add two seats for pilots. Far less than the certification costs of an unmanned system.
First, the pilot is not vanishing. His job is going to be taken over by computers, just like computers took away the flight engineer' s job.
For exceptions, major problems and critical phases of flight, remote operators could be put in place but in largely reduced numbers compared to the actual pilots/aircraft ratio.

Take for example a 10 hour flight from London to Bangkok.
On an average flight, your pilots will be actually doing nothing significant for 9 hours and will be doing things that computers and remote operators can do for the 1 hour that they do provide significant work.
By cutting on those 9 useless hours, you save on staff cost.

Cost.
The cost of going from 10 pilots per aircraft to one remote operator per aircraft (since remote operators can handle several aircraft at the same time, depending on phases of flights) is a big saving to the airlines.
If you think of that it costs on average around $1 million per year per aircraft to the airline to pay (gross salary), train and retrain, insure, pay for hotels and meals of pilots, over a life span of an aircraft that is around $25 million, half the price of an A320.

Add revenue lost by over 100 inches of fuselage length lost (narrowbody); or 1 row of 4, 2 rows of 6 for a narrowbody like a B737NG/A320, you lose 16 passengers or 10% of your total seating.
The revenue generated by such a narrowbody during its lifespan is hundreds of millions of $.

Add aerodynamic drag caused by ergonomic requirements of the cockpit (the need to have a windshield is a major source of added drag!), the weight of piloting equipment (including the well-fed pilots) minus added weight of on-board sytems for autonomous operations (processors, wires, antenna' s, sensors, camera' s, etc...).

Add the reduced cost of insurance through lower premiums.

Add improved operational efficiency through improved air traffic management.

Cabin crew can be trained to fight fires in the cabin and in avionics compartments.

Hackers are a risk, but so are hijackers.
If aircraft were already autonomous, 9/11 wouldn' t have happened (2992 deaths, over 6000 injured).
Systems can be designed so that hackers have no way of commanding an airplane to deliberately crash into terrain (EGPWS one-way override link to FMC) or into other airplanes (TCAS one-way override linked to FMC).

Last edited by fly_antonov; 27th Mar 2010 at 16:42.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 17:46
  #216 (permalink)  
 
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All very interesting reading but tell me and the pax who's going to manage ATC when they acknowledge a 'Stoping' call on Take-off with 'Roger. Airbourne contact Departure 124.95' (Dubai), Who's going to manage ATC when they clear the wrong aircraft for take-off on a different runways and then get annoyed when both crews recoqnised the error and questioned it just to be told by ATC basically to "Pull their Heads in", ATC is not wrong(Jakarta), who's going to dodge the person walking down the runway checking the runway lights on a wet, dark night during your landing (Mumbai), who's going to remember where the potholes are on the runway and aim to miss them during Take-off and landing (Dhaka)? I could go on.

No doubt aircraft can be automated to operate both on their own and with a remote operator/Pilot but the overall picture of the dynamics happening around you will never be there.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 17:51
  #217 (permalink)  
 
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Wasted time?

fly_antonov

I don't know you nor have I researched what you have posted before. But what you write is really nonsense. Any person which has enough experience with the real thing (that is computers, technology, and aviation) can see that. And I don't have alot of aviation experience, and can still easily see that.

Why do you waste your time on here? And my time? I come here to learn, and fantasizing without basis like you do wastes time and lets us needlessly sit in front of these dull computers. Go outside, take a walk in the forest and marvel at these wonders of nature that are far more advanced that anything humankind can ever come up with.

The whole thread is a shame. When Mr. MOL makes remarks like this, how do the pilots that are flying for Ryanair feel? I am sure quite a few are reading here. The chief of your company is publically insulting you, that is the way I see it. It makes me sick.

Our society today is very greedy, that is in the lofty positions like the CEO's but also young pilots who are so greedy for their cool pilot jobs on shiny jets that they don't care about anything but THEIR career. And accept that their chief calls them useless etc.

I am right now doing my ATPL learning, and there are moments when I just want to drop it all and call it a failure. Not because it is too difficult but because it sometimes seems that only misguided, greedy spineless people with a need to show off become pilots. I know its not the whole truth, that's why I will finish my ATPL, other factors permitting.

If I should abandon my own values and start working for a company like Ryanair and still posting here, please give me a kick in the a**.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 18:19
  #218 (permalink)  
 
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Not going to happen soon. The paying customer, never mind insurance requirements will never allow it to happen.

Some time in the very very distant future perhaps but in your lifetime, very very doubtful.
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 18:33
  #219 (permalink)  
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fly_antonov;
Any critical systems are usually duplicated and certification is there to prove that the systems are built to cope.

In worst cases, all you need to do is to send the program sequence before the datalink goes down and the autonomous airplane could land itself according to that program.

Or easier even, build the systems to be fireproof.
You place far too much trust in official documents and processes and don't examine the industry "as-is". There are many counter-examples which illustrate that while such systems are very good they are far from infallible.

Cost and a 'because-we-can' attitude, and not primarily risk-management or the safety of passengers has already driven this industry towards:

- untoward modifications to crew complement,

- unacceptable levels of experience,

- the mistaken notion, almost universally issuing from those who don't fly but manage aviation nevertheless, that substitution by automation for a thinking pilot actually has a place in this industry and in the cockpit,

- the misapprehension of the nature of the job of "flying an airplane".

In short, because of serious misunderstandings of what pilots do, the industry is just beginning to see what happens when, purely to keep the payroll down and profits up, "expensive" humans are designed out of the process. We know it works better when the vehicle in question is running on tracks but even then, serious failings have occurred.

Your scenarios, arguments and your proposals of and trust in solutions are all substantiated and based upon official, tidily-documented bookshelf versions of reality. They are "smart like street-car" solutions. Such clinically correct but completely impractical solutions to problems on board airliners which have already been pointed out by others here, are regularly debunked by aviation's daily realities in which crews, not computers, bring airplanes home safely. "Automation-in-service-of-pilots" is an appropriate level of intervention; "automation-in-service-of-programmers'-notions-of-self-diagnosis", so that "expensive" pilots can be removed from the cabin [sic] is not.

respectfully,

PJ2
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Old 27th Mar 2010, 19:15
  #220 (permalink)  
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Take for example a 10 hour flight from London to Bangkok.
On an average flight, your pilots will be actually doing nothing significant for 9 hours and will be doing things that computers and remote operators can do for the 1 hour that they do provide significant work.
Your ignorance is showing.

Weather avoidance, FIR boundary negotiation, reroutes and the weather/fuel/NOTAM decisions that come with them, monitoring alternates, redispatch legalities, fuel scoring, plotting in case the FMS craps out, dealing with medical emergencies, dealing with violent pax, dealing with system failures, spotting system failures (lots of times no flags are raised), engine trend monitoring, PIREP's, coordinating ride reports on # 2, reporting ELT's, relaying VHF messages for ATC....

Doing nothing significant? Hardly. Long haul cockpits are alot busier than you've been led to believe.
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