Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Unnecessary first officer...

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Unnecessary first officer...

Old 21st Mar 2010, 16:47
  #141 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1998
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
EasyJet/Ryanair F/O's pay to fly anyway.....if the airlines want rid of the F/O....they are cutting of a source of income.

I wouldnt pay to fly Ryanair......Id pay less to fly with them without an F/O.
aileron is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 17:31
  #142 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Paris, France
Posts: 350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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?
Yes. That's only 40 years away. Changes like this are not driven by advances in technology, they are driven by social and economic change, and these latter factors change with glacial slowness compared to technology.

The technology to fly airplanes without pilots, gate to gate, has existed for a long time. But it isn't really cost-effective, and it carries with it the danger of catastrophic failure that is inherent to all digital systems, and it is socially unacceptable.

Just passenger attitudes alone are enough to prevent pilots from being eliminated. Fear of flying is very prevalent among passengers, and even those not handicapped by fear are still often nervous about flying. Removing the pilots would amplify this feelings by a hundred. Many passengers are nervous enough about not being in control of a flight themselves; knowing that no human being in control would increase their anxiety by orders of magnitude.

And, unfortunately, there might well be a basis for that increased anxiety, because there is currently no way to ensure that software systems are foolproof. There is no way to test them adequately, and any software system of non-trivial complexity will contain bugs that can cause catastrophic failures—failures that could be avoided if a human being is in the loop.

And when and if airplanes ever do fly without pilots, the very last passengers to board will be the software engineers … because they know too much. If superintelligent aliens wrote the software, it might be safe, but as long as human beings are writing it, it's scary.
AnthonyGA is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 17:43
  #143 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Gone Flying...
Age: 63
Posts: 270
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
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.
32 per 100,000 flight hours is faraway from the actual (depicted in the same document) 1 per 100,000 attributed to general and commercial aviation. They do have a long way to run...

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?
2050...honestly? I really don't care! If it was the discover of some cure to cancer...I would care.

Remember 2001 Space Odyssey? We should have been commercially flying to the moon, but we are already 9 years late...and I still don't care.
aguadalte is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 18:03
  #144 (permalink)  
Trash du Blanc
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: KBHM
Posts: 1,185
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My source for the 30% comment is an FAA engineer involved with the integration of UAV flying into U.S. airspace.

The rate loss per 100k hours is irrelevant in refuting said comment.

The actual number is classified.

You got any better data as to total hull loss percentages, post it. But I've known my friend for 20 years, since we were both government flight test engineers.
Huck is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 20:44
  #145 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southend (SEN/EGMC)
Age: 30
Posts: 196
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Haha, if this ever went ahead I could predict O'Leary stripping out the right hand side of the cockpit and sticking seats there, with a divider in between to make the CAA happy

Shouldn't have said that, don't want to tempt him
aviatordom is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 21:15
  #146 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 163
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How many seats would fit in the front there?
Talk of additional revenue! Cost effective? Absolutely!



European Commission's IFATS team unveils unmanned vision of air transport -18/12/2006-Flight International

I' m not in favour of this, but who is going to stop them when they decide to do it?
fly_antonov is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 21:35
  #147 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Where the Quaboag River flows, USA
Age: 71
Posts: 3,453
Received 25 Likes on 10 Posts
The AF UAV rate is high, but these are vehicles aimed for combat, not expendable, but hardly "airline" grade--no backup systems, experimental engines, etc. An airline with one pilot on-board and a virtual co-pilot is quite conceivable, if it can be made cost-effective. We have lost the radio operator, the flight mechanic, the navigator and the flight engineer. In the '60s, the navigator was considered indispensable, paid better than the F/E; then flight engineer was considered necessary. Anyone remember the 3-man commission on the 3-man cockpit? The 737 was designed for a 2-man cockpit, but several US carriers had an engineer anyway. (Yes, union requirement) When companies can show the "virtual" co-pilot saves money, is just as viable and the public wants cheap tickets--the F/O will go the way of his predecessors.

I don't like it, but believe it will happen. Pilotless, no. Hell, I'll bet the marketing spin will make the virtual co-pilot seem safer than having a real one. "Hijackers seize the plane?" "We can take it back!" Both pilots incapacitated due to smoke?" We can land it without them!"

GF
galaxy flyer is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 21:47
  #148 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Correr es mi destino por no llevar papel
Posts: 1,422
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I' m not in favour of this, but who is going to stop them when they decide to do it?
Economics, batko.

1) to replace pilots (or train drivers, or bus drivers), you have to build the intelligent computer. AFAIK it's not in the pipeline yet.

2) When (and if ) truly intelligent computers are made, they won't be costing peanuts for first cuople of years (or decades)

3) Even with todays distinctively non-intelligent and allegedly cheap computers, it was cheaper to equip my current type with IRS and HGS and teach me how to play game of circles-caret-column every time RVR goes below 300m than to install proper autoland capable autopilot.

Don't be fooled by HR honchos and rest of MBA gang whining that we pilots are overpaid. Check the actual numbers in airlines' cost analysis. Sobering read, I'd say.

OTOH, if HR honcho has a vested interest in reducing labour cost as it might be linked to size of the bonus, who are we to blame her/him for spouting a bit of propaganda. Innocent fraud, as late JK Galbraith would say.

Originally Posted by Roland Berger, strategic consultants, Munich, aug 1 2006.
Legal and technical requirement to deploy a cockpit crew of two limit LCC's respective potential for cost reduction
Writing was on the wall. Seemingly Easyjet has found the way to circumvent the limit for its potential cost reduction.
Clandestino is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 22:34
  #149 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 3,984
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Haha, if this ever went ahead I could predict O'Leary stripping out the right hand side of the cockpit and sticking seats there, with a divider in between to make the CAA happy
And a surcharge for having seats with a forward facing view?
fireflybob is offline  
Old 21st Mar 2010, 22:49
  #150 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: London, UK
Posts: 197
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And, unfortunately, there might well be a basis for that increased anxiety, because there is currently no way to ensure that software systems are foolproof. There is no way to test them adequately, and any software system of non-trivial complexity will contain bugs that can cause catastrophic failures—failures that could be avoided if a human being is in the loop.
This is true, and as someone who used to test military HUD software before becoming a commercial pilot I can tell you that way less than 10% of paths through software are ever tested even once!

However, the point being missed by this poster and others is that the software WON'T make the basic errors that pilots do every day. So yes, the software will encounter situations to which it simply goes "tilt" perhaps 5% of the time there is an incident (your Hudsons, BA 777 at LHR, etc) but the other 95% of the time it WON'T be flying into the hill or going off the end of the runway or taking off iced up etc, etc. In time, even the more miraculous "escapes" from disaster will be built into every airliner's software so that they all have Cpt Sullenberger's "experience". Quite nice to know that your computerised pilot has all the experience of every pilot that ever lived!

So the accident rate attributable to human pilots will be reduced potentially by 95% (hypothetical numbers for the sake of illustration). Most pax faced with this statistic (if proved as the technology is brought in over a couple of decades) will find this a powerful persuader that pilotless aircraft can be very safe.
Rushed Approach is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 14:21
  #151 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 802
Received 40 Likes on 16 Posts
A First Officer is, in effect, serving an apprentice ship. He is supervised by someone more experienced whilst he gains experience, learns valuable lessons and improves his handling skills.
A Captain is a First Officer who has gained enough experience, learnt enough lessons and improved his handling skills to a point where he is considered suitable to take Command
If you do away with First Officers, where will you find your next lot of Captains?
The fact is, gentlemen, that MOL has yet again made a statement which is nonsense, but which brings Ryanair more free publicity.
In the process he has yet again pulled your collective chains.
If he ever suggests launching aircraft from a conveyor belt, I fear Pprune will overload and self-destruct.
oxenos is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 14:31
  #152 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: L.A.
Age: 56
Posts: 579
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Rubberduck
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!
)


Must have been all those 20 minute turnarounds between races that tired it out.

Mind you, this is very unusual, I thought the nag would do absolute maximum speed to the last furlong, before suddenly slowing down - but not slowing down quickly enough and skidding into the horsebox backwards.

Isn't that the equine SOP?
silverstrata is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 17:50
  #153 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: 'An Airfield Somewhere in England'
Posts: 1,094
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
oxenos - the most sensible post by far on this debate. Well said
Norman Stanley Fletcher is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 19:05
  #154 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: uk
Posts: 802
Received 40 Likes on 16 Posts
Thank you NSF
oxenos is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 19:42
  #155 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
Posts: 4,099
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yes Oxenos, I agree with you 100%, your point and the security issue should ground control fall into terrorist hands are deciding factors.

We humans control automation, it will never be the other way around.
parabellum is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 20:00
  #156 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: shropshire
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dear Oxenous,
Total agreement with everything you say,people have also
very short memories.Can you remember BA 1950 June 10th 1990 when if
there had been no First Officer ,there would be 94 people less walking
around today and G-BJRT,the beloved BAC 1-11 would be a smoking heap
near Didcott power station in Oxfordshire.Training and professionalism should never be foregotten by management or they do so at their peril !
commanchee is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 20:20
  #157 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: FUBAR
Posts: 3,348
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry, too dumb to post the link via my Mac (technophobe ) but there is a very interesting little news item on www.flightglobal.com about this self same subject, and the possible dangers arising from terrorist/criminal corruption of gps signals (never mind UAV commands )
Scary stuff.
captplaystation is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 20:31
  #158 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Hotel Sheets, Downtown Plunketville
Age: 77
Posts: 0
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
ACTUV

The above title is the acronym for Anti - Submarine Warfare Continous Trail Unmanned Vessel. It is the equivalent, but shall we say the full scale version of the UAV for the high seas. The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) have already invited solicitations for participation. It basically means fully automated, crewless, robot frigates/war ships are to sail the high seas in hunting for submarines. Perhaps it is a matter of time before the technology is adapted and applied in aerial transport, beginning with carriage of freight and eventually extended to carriage of passengers.

See link below:

https://www.fbo.gov/index?id=dd047d7...b4c14c5a5aeab7

So whilst this thread started with the future fate of the co-pilot, it is correct that it has developed the discussion to the issues of pilotless aircraft.
Chronus is offline  
Old 22nd Mar 2010, 20:48
  #159 (permalink)  
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Derbyshire, England.
Posts: 4,099
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
tkazaz - Are you not pulling a rather long bow comparing submarine activity with aviation?
parabellum is offline  
Old 23rd Mar 2010, 00:35
  #160 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: world
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The thin edge of the wedge is already appearing. A Swearingen SJ-30, and perhaps other types, are already flying with one pilot above the old weight limit for single crew, 12,500lbs I seem to remember, with special FAA approval. It is virtually as complex to operate as an airliner and quicker than most.

So is this the future, and will we go the same way as the old lift operators?
xrba is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.