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Unnecessary first officer...

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Unnecessary first officer...

Old 19th Mar 2010, 20:57
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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soddim

I think the only thing O,Leary was contemplating was more champagne from the Cheltenham bar this week.
His horse ,War of Attrition,suffered fatigue in the final furlongs ! (sounds familiar!)
Apart from the obvious windup and free pubs in the papers he once again shows his total contempt for his employees and for the pilot community in general.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:10
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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How about just one pilot and a dog?

The dog being there to make sure the pilot doesn't touch anything.

(old joke I know)
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:22
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Pilot-less plane is/will be possible soonish

Buran (Russian space shuttle) flew to orbit and back without pilots in bad weather conditions (Buran (spacecraft) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). The risk was reduced somewhat by having no crew at all and by building a HUGE runway in a remote location.

International Space Station supply ship automation turns out to work reasonably well, although emergency remote control possibilities saved the day in a few cases (e.g. Progress M1 - progress M1-4 part)

Of course none of these ships or their technology are cheap in any possible way, but public funding pays for technology development and both Boeing and EADS (Airbus) are big players in the space industry.

I for one would accept pilot-less flying if an independent authority can produce convincing reliability statistics and backup plans.

However, as passengers might object to flight delays of several years, pilots will be in control for some time to come.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:29
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The argument that 70% of aircraft accidents is due to pilot error is one which I have always thought is a great credit to pilots as a whole. If you compare flying with road transport, over 95% of accidents are due to driver error. So road transport ought to be the first mode of transport that gets the driverless treatment.

I think in time there will certainly be one pilot aeroplanes operating large commercial flights - the technology will surely exist to fly the aircraft remotely from the ground in the event the on board pilot keels over - a job for the "duty pilot"?

I don't buy the argument that pilots save the day many times on a daily basis that you never get to hear about. This is true, but the on board computers would do exactly the same, so this is not a deciding factor.

The fact is that computers could probably fly aeroplanes more safely than pilots can (and I say this with a couple of decades of airline experience and a vested interest in this not turning out to be true). Yes there will be the odd occasion (e.g. Hudson) where the computer states that an exception has occurred and everyone dies, but those very few occasions will be countered by it not flying into the side of a hill every so often when it gets confused about the navaids it's supposed to be using, because it won't. Likewise it will not press on in poor weather, but will simply divert when the intended destination weather falls below a pre-determined threshold. It won't be able to even move off the gate with ice on the wings. It knows the recall actions for unreliable airspeed and has all the data in its memory to get safely through the pitot icing incident without getting disorientated, flustered or even slightly worried.

In effect, all the decisions that we make as pilots every day can be programmed into a computer that never has a bad day, is always objective and dispassionate, and never gets tired or runs out of hours to bring the jet back.

There will be pax opposition of course to start with (not to mention pilot opposition), but like all new technology people will simply get used to it in the end.

We're probably talking 15-20 years mind, but it will come.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:43
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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When a Pilot seats on his cockpit and buckles-up his seat-belt he "offers" his own life as a warranty and proof of his proficiency. (A UAV pilot would only do his job when trying to safely land a crippled UAV, full of pax, knowing his own life would never be in danger...which is a completely different thing...).

Any pilot with a minimum of experience knows that flying is a very complex and dynamic task. (I didn't say it was difficult, but there are so many parameters to cope with, millions of them). Its more easy to send a rocket to Mars than to make a self-sustained new generation commercial aircraft able to fly without incidents to every suitable runway on Earth, full of passengers.

Aircraft do loose liability with age and computers do not gain flight experience. There are emergencies that need to be interpreted because the monitoring systems (ECAM on Airbus A/C) are unable to properly identify them and rely on the pilots to cope with. Manufacturers are always finding bugs on their won aircraft systems (we receive hundreds of OEB's per year). Aviation is a dynamic world that will always need human handling. If the technology is there, why then do aircraft manufacturers tend to leave to the pilot the handling of several emergencies which lead to auto-pilot disconnection?

I'd love to see the millions of inputs that would have to be entered into the "new generation pilot-less airliners" each time one of those would have to fly to third world countries like Zaire, Angola, Nicaragua, Venezuela, etc, whose facilities are always under-maintained or simply in "maintenance".

I know that pilot error is the main cause of airline accidents but they are also the main obstacle to an accident to happen. Thousands of accidents did not happen because pilots were simply there, and did their job. And the number of accidents that did not happen are hugely compensating the industry for their presence in the cockpits. But pilots are humans and have their weaknesses and needs. Lack of resting can lead to lack of attention or awareness and that is why we do need two in the cockpit.

Last edited by aguadalte; 20th Mar 2010 at 00:08.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:43
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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MOL is just doing this for publicity, he is constantly causing stirs. I do like to read what he has to say. CEP Chief executive MOL is just doing this for publicity, he is constantly causing stirs. I do like to read what he has to say. CEP Chief executive plonker!

In the Encarta dictionary, plonker means‘ 1, an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody’s intelligence or common sense’ or ‘2 an offensive term for a penis’. I prefer the latter for Mr. O’leary!!

I am only being factious!
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 21:48
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If at 100' on the approach the aircraft has an engine failure due to bird strike the computer will assumedly do what the F/O in Ciampino did , and initiate a go-around.
When, several seconds later the second engine calls it a day, will it have the experience to "modify" an approach sufficiently to land on the rapidly vanishing runway ? ? as the Capt did

Too many unpredictable variables IMHO. But please , fell free to board before me, I'll take the (quite happy if it's unmanned ) train.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:05
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Can't see what MOL's problem is............

I want to enter into a contract with FR to be carried from A to B?

Let see, to give money to FR to buy the contract, I pay a fiver per pax per sector, unless I have the right pre-pay CC.

To check in, also I believe a requirement, I pay a fiver per pax, per sector, if I do it at home on my own PC!

Of course, should I wish to pay and book via a premium phone line, I can at least double this.

Wake up and smell the coffee MOL, a fiver per pax, per sector, per Pilot with a one time minimum quid per annoying cabin announcement per pax per sector.


Simples
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:24
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Why are you guys talking about MOL?

Read this article about GE already conducting trials for integration into airliners.

Unmanned flight tests to advance airline reduced-crew concepts

During the test flights, Shadow pilots performed lateral path guidance to airways, flew direct to waypoints and issued airspeed and altitude commands during climb, cruise and descent. "The precision of navigation in manoeuvres was much better than can be done by pilots in the cockpit," says Hoover.
Hoover says the technology, which will eventually allow air traffic controllers to perform a real-time trajectory negotiation with an UAS, could also have far reaching consequences for manned aviation.
"The way an FMS is operated on a commercial aircraft is that air traffic control gives information to the pilot, which he finger codes into the FMS," says Hoover. "Once we develop the ability for FMS to control an aircraft without the pilot in the aircraft, and if it [the FMS] also has the ability to negotiate trajectory with the en route ground stations, you could think about having a single pilot in cargo aircraft."
We cried when the flight engineers went, we will cry again when the other 2 go.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:32
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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unbelievable

Can't believe that these people are running in aviation business
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:42
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I'm all for a degree of automation if it prevents an Aeroflot pilot from doing a "Crazy Ivan" into MRV as happened to me recently.

I would trust automation a lot more if things like Vista operating system worked properly. Computers are still at the inherently stupid phase at the moment in that they cannot learn. They cannot handle anything outside of the parameters set. How the parameters get set is in the hands of humans. It is more than conceivable that operational parameters will be set by humans who have a different motive than the safe operation of the aircraft. In short, a bean counter decides the limits of such things as fuel load for a particular flight plan. All well and good but something non-automated happens, such as bad weather, which no computer has ever managed to predict, then it goes pear shaped.

Also, is every aircraft in the world going to be automated at the same time with standard equipment?
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:56
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Well I have asked this one before but here we go again! There are wind limits associated with autoland - typically max 15 kts crosswind.

Will we ever see an autopilot that can autoland on RW 27 when its 310/28 gust 42 kts?

Sorry I think we are decades away from fully automated flight, let alone pilotless a/c on pax flights. Far too many variables! Many of the comments on this thread show total ignorance of the airline pilots task, thinking it's just a question of pushing a few buttons and throwing a few switches. There is a huge amount of planning and revision that goes into every flight which we, as pilots, take for granted,

As for "pilot error" I thought that term had been consigned to the waste bin decades ago. Accidents are a product of the total system. Pilots dont go round making errors deliberately.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 22:58
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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If at 100' on the approach the aircraft has an engine failure due to bird strike the computer will assumedly do what the F/O in Ciampino did , and initiate a go-around. When, several seconds later the second engine calls it a day, will it have the experience to "modify" an approach sufficiently to land on the rapidly vanishing runway ? ? as the Capt did
The statistician would say that even if the computer crashes the aircraft in that (demonstrably very rare) instance, ON AVERAGE it will perform better by not making all the other types of mistakes that are attributable to human error. A programmer would say that his computer can quite easily switch into a different subroutine if the second donk quits, just as the Captain allegedly did in the incident you refer to. It's not rocket science - with no power the aircraft looks for the safest place to land (and is quite capable of landing on a road or in a field if necessary, avoiding the obstructions that the panicked pilot simply hasn't the capacity to account for - it even knows it will miss the power lines or stop before the hedge).

The trick of course will be to convince the public that the aircraft is safe, even though once in a while it will throw its hands up and go "tilt". The fact that it doesn't in the other 95% of cases (whereas human pilots do statistically) in theory will make pilotless aircraft safer. Of course the kit will need to be there on the ground and this will mean that many destinations would be unsuitable at least at first, but certainly on the major European routes between capitals for example it seems a likely scenario in 15-20 years.

There seems to be an inherent line here that computers can't assimilate as many inputs as a human can, but the fact is that they can do this now and have been able to do this for decades. They can also assess situations and review a thousand outcomes from a scenario in a millisecond. All that is missing is the ability to program the code the way a pilot thinks. Once significant resources are directed to this task (if they aren't already being so directed) ALL aircraft will in theory eventually have the brain of the most experienced Captain that ever lived.

Yes it will take time, but to say it won't ever happen is absurd.

Last edited by Rushed Approach; 19th Mar 2010 at 23:13.
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 23:05
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If he just wants to pay the one pilot to be on the aeroplane, wouldn't it be safer and easier to just pay two pilots one-quarter of what they get now?

(runs and hides!)
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 23:14
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the next step is indeed the groung controled pilotless commercial aircraft.
my problem is my memory of evacuating from a very large well run simulater centre in the uk (i think 35 sims) because some idiot in a JCB dug up an underground cable.
the twit was,nt even terrorist motivated let alone trained!
some ideas are just stupid
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Old 19th Mar 2010, 23:39
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Cool

The real problem with this one pilot concept is

If it was actually technically approved there will be someone out there who WILL DO IT on his own for less money than anyone gets now.

Pilots are their own worst enemy.

very glad to be retired

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Old 19th Mar 2010, 23:53
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Rushed approach

"There seems to be an inherent line here that computers can't assimilate as many inputs as a human can, but the fact is that they can do this now and have been able to do this for decades. They can also assess situations and review a thousand outcomes from a scenario in a millisecond. All that is missing is the ability to program the code the way a pilot thinks. Once significant resources are directed to this task (if they aren't already being so directed) ALL aircraft will in theory eventually have the brain of the most experienced Captain that ever lived."

Computers can only assimilate the inputs that they are programmed to accept. They exclude anything else. A computer is restricted to the sensors which are attached to it. Humans are too, but are far superior in discriminating which sensors are failing and to what extent. Humans make sense of seemingly unrelated observations and sensory inputs.

Computers can also get trapped into logical circles and trap themselves into subroutines if not crash altogether.

As for your comment "all that is missing is the ability to program the code in the way a pilot thinks" is a difficult concept on many levels. Human brains are really cheap to produce and very effective in what they do. (Thanks Mr Clarke for that thought) If you program a computer with the way a pilot thinks then you assume that there is a super pilot without fault which is an absurdity. All pilots of all type ratings and backgrounds have differing views and influences on the aircraft they fly and have flown. To assimilate the knoweldge of a WW1 Sopwith Camel pilot to a F15 pilot is unattainable.

A computer can appreciate what information it is given. It is dependent upon data being current and appicable. A computer-flown aircraft may think it knows where the power lines are but that is dependent on human systems giving that data to the computer. I still believe that a computer flown aircraft will be capable of flying into a power line not because it is not visible but has not been updated with current hazards.

I would also repeat my comment earlier that human influences such as profit margins will never be excluded from flight operations and may actually reduce safety.
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 00:19
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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I suspect in twenty years, airliners will have two pilots, but one of them will be at a remote control console, just like UAVs. The one "airborne" pilot will be assisted by the UAV pilot who could land the plane just fine. The USAF is producing a large generation of guys who will fill the positions with lots of experience. The AF is planning on large parts of its operations, even outside of combat vehicles, being unmanned or single-handed.

GF
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 00:29
  #79 (permalink)  
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Funny thing about those UAV pilots, though.

You put them in charge of an aircraft full of people, make them responsible for the lives they hold in their hands, and guess how much you're going to have to pay them? About as much as an onboard pilot....
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Old 20th Mar 2010, 00:30
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I've flown a 737 single pilot, on passenger carrying commercial airline operations (in effect). It's not difficult, and military pilots have no trouble doing it every day of the week. The only trouble would be staying awake, with the silly locked cockpit door rules in place these days.

Save a load of cash on CRM training, as well.
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