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Unnecessary first officer...

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Unnecessary first officer...

Old 21st Mar 2010, 06:43
  #121 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
 
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Fly antanov - sorry, but you are talking tosh. I have said the same on any previous thread here that has suggested the possibility of doing away with pilots, it simply isn't going to happen, if for no other reason than security.

Two obvious scenarios, terrorists attack and take over a controlling ground station, (in a carefully selected location, possibly in a sympathetic area), leaving dozens of uncontrolled aircraft in the air, or, worse still, now being controlled to deliberately crash in various places, they would only need ten minutes and would accept certain death when security forces moved in, or terrorists jam the controlling network and take over control with a more powerful pirate system that has been cloned from the original genuine station, (just to get over the password problem etc.). There are probably several other scenarios too.

(I appreciate that there are several trolls, flite-sim specialists and wind-up merchants on this thread).
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 08:19
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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"Hero" Pilot not at controls on landing:

From todays MailOnline. Perhaps he should have taken command as soon as they realised they had problems?:

[quote]
At times I feel my wife and children would be better off if I'd crashed the plane and died...



By Angella Johnson
Last updated at 12:10 AM on 21st March 2010


Former British Airways pilot Peter Burkill is not a man naturally given to displays of emotion.

Keeping calm and controlled is vital when your job is to captain airliners packed with hundreds of passengers.

So he was shocked to find himself in floods of tears while watching television coverage of the British female bobsleigh pair’s terrifying crash during the Winter Olympics last month.


Peter Birkill with his wife Maria and sons Troy, Logan and Coby: Peter says he feels like a 'broken man' now he can't find work as a pilot


‘I was stunned at just how hard it hit me,’ he says. ‘I felt the athletes’ disappointment as if it were my own. I knew how much training had gone into preparing for the Games.

'It shows how, in just a few seconds, everything you’ve worked hard for can be cruelly snatched away.’
The speeding sleigh’s perilous slide, upside down along the icy track, exposed an emotional fragility over his own brush with death when his stricken Boeing 777 dramatically crash-landed at Heathrow Airport in January 2008.
Only his intervention in the last few seconds – lowering the wing flaps to gain more height – prevented the first major catastrophe at Heathrow and saved the lives of 152 people on board.

He was hailed a hero and, the day after the crash, was greeted by cheers and applause not only from BA staff but from reporters and photographers too.

One commentator summed up the mood: ‘He should be given a medal the size of a frying pan.’ He was even invited to meet the Queen at the opening of Terminal 5.
And yet a few days later all talk was of the heroism of co-pilot John Coward because he had been flying the plane.

And, disastrously for Peter, false rumours began that he had ‘frozen’ at the controls, leaving his co-pilot to land the aircraft. Within months Peter found himself driven out of BA by whispering within the company.
‘There are days when I feel bitter. I’ve lost everything – my job, my home and the secure future I had worked hard to provide for my family. I am a broken man. I feel hung out to dry'
Two official reports into the crash cleared him of any wrong-doing, yet he is now unemployed and unable to find work as a pilot.

Despite applying for more than a dozen jobs to fly 777s in the past 12 months, he has not even had an interview.
Speaking for the first time about how his life has been all but destroyed by the crash, Peter blames BA’s management for allowing the false suspicion to fester that he had done something wrong, damaging his previously unblemished professional reputation.
He says: ‘There are days when I feel bitter. I’ve lost everything – my job, my home and the secure future I had worked hard to provide for my family. I am a broken man. I feel hung out to dry.

'Even though airlines accept that my actions were commendable, they refuse to interview me because the crash was high-profile.
‘It looks like I’ll never get another job as a commercial pilot. I feel cheated. People tell me, “Surely, after what you did, every airline would want you.” Sadly, the opposite is the case.’
Peter, 45, from Worcester, insists: ‘Had I not adjusted the flaps, the plane would have struck a line of Instrument Landing System antennae and probably exploded.

'Yet my colleagues gained the impression that I had done nothing to save the aircraft. They heard that I froze on the flight deck.
‘Despite pleading with BA to issue a statement explaining what happened, they refused. I was told to keep quiet and hide from the media.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 08:48
  #123 (permalink)  
 
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Technically, the track is providing your 3 dimensions and the train with or without driver is following the track. The train will only operate in one dimension forward/back along the track for the entirity of it's journey.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 08:57
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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The technology is there already to have no pilots..

. . . Yes, as long as it's a normal flight and everything works. No hyd/fuel valve/pump failures; no A/P, A/T snafus; no auto press failures; no bird strikes; no asymetrical/split flaps; no smoke in the cabin . . .

Check with the military and ask how many multi-million-dollar UAVs haven't returned to home base.

As to Captain Birkill: Where is BALPA? Where are his BA colleagues? BA should have him fly right seat for 6 months and let him get his bearings back, then have him resume his captain duties.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 09:43
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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A truly pilotless commercial jet aircraft is pure fantasy. As has been stated before the complexity required to ensure a safe flight from A to B is immense. It's not a limitation of computers (they can do anything you tell them and very fast). Rather, it's man's inability to be able to program a computer which takes into consideration all known and unknown variables. We can't predict the weather accurately and we can't program unforseen events. Thus no safety expert would ever sign of such a design.

It's a human trait as we advance with technology to achieve more and more with less effort. All industries employ automation and some go to greater lengths then what we see in aviation. However, even with this being the case, every automated system that is responsible for the lives of people or which could cause large scale damage if it fails (dam control, nuclear power plants, train signalling etc etc) usually has a minimum of 2 people monitoring it. Again, the computer is not the limitation, it's man and his capacity to program the computer to get it right in all cases! All the time! This is never going to happen despite the pseudo science field of "artificial intelligence". We can't even create a single living cell, how can we create a computer which "thinks"???
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 10:04
  #126 (permalink)  
 
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The technology is there, but the software is not. Unfortunately, human beings have to write the software, because only they understand what the software must do. Or at least they understand in theory—in reality, they typically don't really understand what the software must do, so they write software that fails in catastrophic ways when it comes across situations that it wasn't designed to handle. As a result, even the most heavily vetted software is awash in bugs, even software used for safety-of-life applications. And if you run software like that in a system that has no human override, bad things happen.

That's why you aren't likely to see vehicles with no operators in the near future in most domains of transport.

Sure, there have been a few exceptions: some subway lines are automated now (BART being one of the first, and it had many, many problems). There are UAVs, but they are unmanned mainly because unmanned aircraft don't kill pilots, rather than because unmanned aircraft fly better. And you still don't see unmanned buses, cars, ships, or trains. If a reliable system for running trains without operators still hasn't been put into service, one can assume that unmanned commercial airliners are still a long way off.

I've worked with computers for decades. I trust the hardware … but I do not trust the software. The more experience I've gained, the more I've come to insist on human presence in any system that is used for safety-of-life applications. (That's also why I'd rather fly on a Boeing aircraft than an Airbus aircraft.)
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 10:56
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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The technology is there.

This is GM' s driverless car:
YouTube - GM's driverless car
YouTube - GM's driverless car

The U.S. DOD holds what' s called the Darpa Grand Challenge where all sorts of driverless cars are exhibited in a competition.

I am not necessarily in favour of removing the pilots out of the cockpit, but with the FAA involved as an interested party, chances are that it' s going to happen anyway.

The technology is there already to have no pilots..

. . . Yes, as long as it's a normal flight and everything works. No hyd/fuel valve/pump failures; no A/P, A/T snafus; no auto press failures; no bird strikes; no asymetrical/split flaps; no smoke in the cabin . . .
When there is a systems malfunction, there is not much a pilot can do.
If you have flaps assymetry, it' s not like pilots take out their toolbox, open the door to go and fix the thing.

All pilots do is they follow a checklist and activate alternate procedures, things that a computer can be programmed to do, even for very complex tasks. You can program a computer to do a single engine failure climb, you can even program it to glide and ditch after an all-engine failure, at the most suitable location according to an integrated database, wind calculations and water surface wave calculation patterns.
During the glide, your computer could do 50 relight attempts where pilots could only do 3.

An airplane, unlike a car, costs several dozens millions, and can afford a full automation. They can afford to pay for the software, and as said before, it is alot more complex to design a software for a driverless car than it is for a pilotless airplane. As a safety back-up you still need people who monitor and can override, at remote locations.

Airbus and Boeing have the same level of automation if you compare same generations of aircraft. The illusion comes from the sidestick vs. control column philosophy, but you can fly an Airbus in direct law without any computer protection.

Last edited by fly_antonov; 21st Mar 2010 at 11:07.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 11:05
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RB311
As i understand it, the tube trains on the Victoria Line, which were introduced in the late 1960s are able to operate fully automatically without drivers. However the unions never allowed this to happen so ever since there has been a driver on the train making sure it does what it's supposed to do.
Well, the Victoria Line is quite a relevant example, because:
It can drive automatically between stops on the main part of the line,
BUT
Drivers are needed to do some maneuvres in the depot which the automatics can't handle;
Drivers are needed to make sure no passengers have got themselves stuck in the doors as the train is ready to depart, leapt onto the track, or so on;
Drivers are needed to handle any mechanical problems such as having to isolate a faulty system to allow the train to run;
Drivers get the train out of the tunnel if the automatics break down, or direct the passengers' evacuation so they don't kill themselves blundering down a tunnel with live rails and trip hazards;
The Victoria line is a very simple train line, it is almost a straight line except at the depot;
and finally if you are on the Victoria line and you think the train really bumps you around more than the other tube lines, the track seems rougher, etc, that is because drivers on other lines have finer control over speed than the automatics, they slow down over where they know the rough bits of track are, etc - in short, their detailed control of the train is better. That is a comfort issue, not a safety or reliability one.

Some of this is because the train, track, and stations don't have enough safety features to remove some of these risks - such as highly redundant control systems, platform doors to stop people falling onto the track, etc.
Some of this is because the driver is there for exception handling.

Comparisons with flying should be fairly clear:
ILS may allow autoland, but auto-taxi needs a lot more new infrastructure, and it may well be easier to get a pilot to do the taxiing - especially when some prat has left some ground equipment in the taxiway.
It's hard to keep non-automated flying things out of the air anytime soon - and birds will always be there.

cpt_sunshine's comments that rail is easier than air are true; but even rail is not very easy, especially not easy on a large scale in an existing system with existing vehicles that have a long lifetime.

So we may see entirely automated flight, but not in the lifetime of the currently-operating vehicles and infrastructure.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 11:05
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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And without pilots, the triple7 would have crashed on the highway and the Hudson would have had a wreck on the bottom. There are and will be some situations in which a computer cannot be the one to solve the problem at hand. Flying fully automatic guarantees crashes.

(But, flying with pilots does also...)
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 11:36
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Every now & again, I just need a reminder why I will not fly with Ryanair.
This is one of them days.
Get rid of the CEO & maybe one day I might even think about it for a few seconds.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 12:27
  #131 (permalink)  
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AS A CAPTAIN , I FEEL FIRST OFFICERS ARE AN ASSET TO ME, and that's what the manufacturer thinks, when he allots specific roles for a PF AND PNF , neither of them is complete without each other, its just my more experience as a captain , that I am more aware and have in the past dealt with the situation before, and my decision making process helps me with that, F/O is equally capable, he has a type rating, he clears his checks every 6 months, he flies with other captain ( good and bad) and is more situationally aware....thats what my feeling is.
Capt. Chander, this is an excellent post, and well worth repeating.


Check with the military and ask how many multi-million-dollar UAVs haven't returned to home base.
A friend of mine at the FAA hints that that number is about 30%.....
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 12:41
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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AS A CAPTAIN , I FEEL FIRST OFFICERS ARE AN ASSET TO ME
..and they certainly are to the airline, especially when they are paying for the most expensive seat on board.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 13:18
  #133 (permalink)  
 
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All, MOL needs to remember the Italian Ryanair incident! ken Hughs, just try flying CRZ in the tropics. Only experience can plot a safe path through the CBs!
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 14:00
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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How about the FO sits in the jump seat and only gets paid if the captain gets incapacitated .
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 14:24
  #135 (permalink)  
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The technology is there.
It just is not very good.

Simply look at the modern UAV accident rate. There are notably more takeoffs than landings, and these are flying fairly simply takeoff/orbit/land missions.

And there is hard data on the value of first officers. A number of the smaller business jets can be operated single pilot, but the insurance costs of doing so are significant. So it would appear that insurance companies, which work on real data and not popular magazine articles and U-Tube videos, have determined the value of a second pilot in even a relatively simple aircraft.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 14:38
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
Check with the military and ask how many multi-million-dollar UAVs haven't returned to home base.
A friend of mine at the FAA hints that that number is about 30%.....
absolute rubbish!

http://www.acq.osd.mil/uas/docs/reliabilitystudy.pdf

page 71
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 14:54
  #137 (permalink)  
 
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Not Rubbish its in the document:
Page 23:
Figure 3-1 shows the numbers of Predators, Pioneers, and Hunters lost in Class A
mishaps by year for the period 1986 through 2002. Class A mishaps are those aircraft
accidents resulting in loss of the aircraft (in Naval parlance, “strike”), human life, or
causing over $1,000,000 in damage. These data show a cumulative mishap rate (i.e.,
Class A accidents per 100,000 hours of flight) of 32 for Predator, 334 for Pioneer, and 55
for Hunter (16 since the major reliability improvements in 1996). In comparison to
manned aviation mishap rates, general aviation aircraft suffer about 1 mishap per 100,000
hours, regional/commuter airliners about a tenth that rate, and larger airliners about a
hundredth that rate.
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 15:12
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Are you comparing UAV accident rates with airliner accident rates?

What' s the rate of material failure on UAV' s compared to remote pilot error?
Is it anywhere comparable to commercial aviation? What other factors are we forgetting here, like maybe the kind of operations they are flying or even certification, maintenance and operations standards?

There is enough material online to figure that the comparison is irrelevant.

I' m curious, does anyone here honestly, all personal feelings and job protectionism aside, believe that airliners will still have pilots on board in the year 2050?
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 15:40
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Proof that I am not inventing this, is that a European consortium lead by Alenia, EADS, Thales, IAI and others have already been doing serious research on this under the IFATS program, similarily to what GE and FAA are doing right now.

ifats-project.org
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Old 21st Mar 2010, 16:44
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Not Rubbish its in the document:
My comment was in reply to the made up statistic of the previous poster.

These old statistics show that almost 10 years ago the loss rate was a long way below the 30% rubbish that Huck claimed. The newest has a class a rate of 32 per 100,000 flight hours.
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