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Airbus + Cathay working on Single Pilot during Cruise with A350

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Airbus + Cathay working on Single Pilot during Cruise with A350

Old 6th Dec 2021, 15:43
  #241 (permalink)  
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The article is quite depressing to read but we have to remember this not Airbus speaking , just a journalist speculating and mixing up 3 things .

One pilot during the cruise will come with or without someone ( kind of a ground F/O) on the ground watching up is the issue . USA (NASA CONOPS) says there should be one , monitoring a few flights. Airbus says there is no need for that .
However as Less Hair remarked either way this needs a safe and functioning data link to work ,. Data link is still not working today as it should , and no quick fix in sight. Currently , outside VHF coverage HF is the CPDLC back up .. I do not see any authority certifying emergency procedures relayed via HF radio operators.
..
Single pilot operations ,is an aircraft operated by a single pilot , a totally different concept and cockpit design . Embraer has the lead on that . Whether we will see a E190 sized aircraft certified for singled pilot on short flights using ADS-C is only a matter of time I would say .

Then we have autonomous flight . Nobody on the aircraft .We call this drones. For the moment drones carrying pax is out of the question .But the technology is there already , however 3 things block : insurance premiums is one , acceptance by people is another . But both can and will probably be solved, as both are only a question of money. . The 3rd one is the critical one : who will be responsible for software programming errors or omissions leading to a massive loss of life ? The manufacturer, the programmer of the autonomous software codes or of the aircraft operator ( i.e. airline ) . That is not only money but facing judges. Every management always wants a responsible layer to protect them , with autonomous flight , the barrier is much thinner and easier to jump.
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Old 6th Dec 2021, 21:59
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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For technology to be adopted it has to be relevant and cost effective. Man has been able to go to the moon since 1969 but since 1972 it has not been cost effective and its relevance has diminished. It is still possible however. Autonomous passenger aircraft don't meet the relevance and cost effective criteria. Airline travel is still the safest form of travel despite its complexity. The technology that is currently in aircraft meets the cost effective and relevance criteria because 2 pilots are still present. Once they are taken out then the cost of the technology is going to skyrocket because of the certification and testing of the concept. Its not just the technology required to get the plane off the ground and back on in a safe manner. What about the integration with ATC, integration with airports, handling of diversions, handling of emergencies. Its not just about flying from A to B. Yes the technology exists but what is the relevance and is it more cost effective? Technology does not = zero accidents.
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Old 7th Dec 2021, 07:22
  #243 (permalink)  
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Its not just the technology required to get the plane off the ground and back on in a safe manner. What about the integration with ATC, integration with airports, handling of diversions, handling of emergencies. Its not just about flying from A to B.
Exactly . I like your analogy with man on the moon, not to mention the Safety case on that one .
I am in my onw area currently arguing with engineers regarding implementation of fully automated ATC in periods of low traffic. Machine issuing instructions for separation , the whole lot. The technology is there already ,using machine learning ( Artificial Intelligence ) One of their main augments is : "if it works with Tesla, why not with aircraft ? "
No need to post arguments here against that statement , I know them and used them. But one thing that scare the S* *t ..out of them is their personal liability in case the machine they designed gets it wrong.
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 06:49
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Thread seems to inexplicably drift to autonomous flight again. This is about single pilot ops coming - by the way not just cobbled up by some journo, but the CEO of Airbus hinting at this very thing
we all agree we're a bit of innovation away from autonomous flights, maybe we'll never get there
But single pilot, especially only during cruise, will come in a few years. A350F first

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Old 11th Dec 2021, 07:13
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The only good thing that may come out of single pilot ops is no more need for CRM. But no doubt the woksters will think of some other BS.
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Old 11th Dec 2021, 08:18
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You might end up with AI and CRM. Even more fun.
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 06:43
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The immediate suggestion for only one crew member on the flight-deck during cruise would have to consider the content of that ‘operation’ at that time, i.e. during specific flight phases, including the necessity for a pilot to return to the flight-deck.
Also what constitutes ‘material’ times.

AMC 25.1523 Minimum flight crew
1 Both the number and identity of the flight crew members should be established.
2 If the minimum flight crew varies with the kinds of operation to which the aeroplane is limited, the approved number and identity of the flight crew members should be stated for each kind of operation.
3 If a particular flight crew member's station has to be occupied at all material times, this should be stated when specifying the minimum flight crew.

The early versions on the HS125 (Jet Dragon - cf Dragon Rapide) were single pilot, but required a second person with access to the flight-deck to operate the emergency discharge value. Later versions of the aircraft had two crew (but not by requirement), primarily due to longer range flights and to promote a sales image of a grown up aircraft; single pilot during cruise was accepted, a norm.

“...you can always tell the pioneers – they’re the ones with all the arrows sticking in their backs!”
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 06:56
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Wouldn't it be way more promising to keep two pilots on the flight deck all the time and hook up some unmanned freighter electronically as automated formation flying buddy behind it? Maybe even with this energy harvesting vortex formation flying or similar?
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 16:10
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Airmann
Those are the sort of things safety engineers and risk management processes need to address. Once they can successfully show that they have a method of dealing with that and then the other issues then the soulless and cold world of aviation regulation might allow it.

At the end of the day aviation only exists because the parties involved have proved that they can mitigate the risks involved with it to make it acceptable to the traveling public. There's no reason why they couldn't do it again.

Remember, the aviation community was in arms when the flight engineer was replaced by computers.
I would not like to be in their shoes, when they will have to explain to relatives of 350+ victims when (not if) something goes wrong.

and of course - if flight crews are seen only as cost, then pilotless planes are not far away. But this would also mean end of aviation as transport.
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Old 19th Dec 2021, 18:54
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Originally Posted by kontrolor
I would not like to be in their shoes, when they will have to explain to relatives of 350+ victims when (not if) something goes wrong.
.
Why? The current absence of any corporate morality means that any accident will be explained by a pithy “Oops”, followed by finding some flunky software certifier to suffer the indictment. Just like what happened with the Max.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 00:16
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by kontrolor
I would not like to be in their shoes, when they will have to explain to relatives of 350+ victims when (not if) something goes wrong.

and of course - if flight crews are seen only as cost, then pilotless planes are not far away. But this would also mean end of aviation as transport.
I guess it won't be very different from explaining to the families of the Ethiopian and Lion Air crash victims why a ****ty patch flight control design for a warmed over 1960's aircraft design is the cause of their loved one's death.

But again, we digress into fully autonomous flight. I'm also unsure if that's the inevitable end game, but should it happen, I have very few issues boarding such a plane in the future. Where I live, airlines train their crews based on rote memorization, combined with a rather toxic unjust safety culture. People like to think the likes of China Airlines and Korean made huge improvements in CRM. I firmly believe that their improved safety record is mainly linked to the introduction of more dependable automation in their respective fleets. More of that please...

I'll see myself out
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 06:43
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FMS82
I guess it won't be very different from explaining to the families of the Ethiopian and Lion Air crash victims why a ****ty patch flight control design for a warmed over 1960's aircraft design is the cause of their loved one's death.

But again, we digress into fully autonomous flight. I'm also unsure if that's the inevitable end game, but should it happen, I have very few issues boarding such a plane in the future. Where I live, airlines train their crews based on rote memorization, combined with a rather toxic unjust safety culture. People like to think the likes of China Airlines and Korean made huge improvements in CRM. I firmly believe that their improved safety record is mainly linked to the introduction of more dependable automation in their respective fleets. More of that please...

I'll see myself out
I am in agreement with you. All the objections raised to autonomous flights assume that humans in front make the safest flight which is far from the truth. I said it before many fully serviceable aircraft are crashed in perfectly fine weather due to pilot error and to make matters worse this word is frowned upon and some human factor is flashed to close the chapter. I have repeatedly said that human factor is the worst advertisement for human presence in the cockpit. Many incidents it's used to cover up poor acts of Piloting. So if humans can't be changed then can they be replaced is a logical thought. Accidents happen with humans in front, they will happen without them in front but as long as the frequency is less and makes flights significantly cheaper it will be accepted.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 07:24
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Non-piloted cockpits just move the human error to the ground. Be it wrong code, unreliable datalinks or inept remote operators as has been proven by high military drone crash rates and "stupid" accident scenarios like steep turning at high altitudes and such.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 07:56
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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It will be good for career progression, because pilots will leave in droves.

I for one won’t be flying my 350 alone in the cruise for 8 hours. Not a chance. I’d rather do literally almost anything else.

So, every cloud..
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 09:20
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vilas
I am in agreement with you. All the objections raised to autonomous flights assume that humans in front make the safest flight which is far from the truth. I said it before many fully serviceable aircraft are crashed in perfectly fine weather due to pilot error and to make matters worse this word is frowned upon and some human factor is flashed to close the chapter. I have repeatedly said that human factor is the worst advertisement for human presence in the cockpit. Many incidents it's used to cover up poor acts of Piloting. So if humans can't be changed then can they be replaced is a logical thought. Accidents happen with humans in front, they will happen without them in front but as long as the frequency is less and makes flights significantly cheaper it will be accepted.
I would object to that. A properly selected and well trained pilot is a huge safety improvement. Only a properly selected and well trained pilot has the ability to manage a complex machine like a modern airliner in a complex environment to the necessary relatively failure free level over a career of 30 years.

"Fully serviceable aircraft crashed in perfectly fine weather" are overall still a very rare occurence and limited to operators who do not properly select and do not well train their pilots.

I do not remember when a fully serviceable aircraft was crashed in perfectly fine weather by one of the US major airlines, although they are by far doing the most legs worldwide.

The reaction to substandard pilots can not be to increase complexity by making the aircraft even more automated, the reaction must be to install better selection and training standards worldwide. We know what it takes. It is not rocket science. But it has to be done.
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Old 20th Dec 2021, 10:01
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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I still don't get the logic behind using a cockpit designed for two with just one inside. In long range cruise over hours during commercial flights. Just because it is cheaper? Is this the new dogma for commercial aviation? Sounds like a joke. What is taken out next? Fuel reserve? Generators? A second engine?
How about developing a cockpit for one guy first and see how expensive this will be and how reliable it can be made? And then test it over some desert.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 15:40
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Originally Posted by 1201alarm
I would object to that. A properly selected and well trained pilot is a huge safety improvement. Only a properly selected and well trained pilot has the ability to manage a complex machine like a modern airliner in a complex environment to the necessary relatively failure free level over a career of 30 years.

"Fully serviceable aircraft crashed in perfectly fine weather" are overall still a very rare occurence and limited to operators who do not properly select and do not well train their pilots.

I do not remember when a fully serviceable aircraft was crashed in perfectly fine weather by one of the US major airlines, although they are by far doing the most legs worldwide.

The reaction to substandard pilots can not be to increase complexity by making the aircraft even more automated, the reaction must be to install better selection and training standards worldwide. We know what it takes. It is not rocket science. But it has to be done.
just from the top of my head;
  • AA587 in 2001
  • The recent Atlas 767 nose over
  • UPS1354
all very flyable aircraft flown into the ground in benign weather. We can debate training standards I guess, but even in decent outfits, low performers slip through the cracks... If we include a bit broader scope (not just us majors) the list becomes long (Asiana in SFO comes to mind most prominently, the fairly recent Emirates botched go-around, Turkish in AMS, those PIA cowboys landing on their engines and going round again...)

​​​​
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 15:42
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Here is some interesting drone accident collection about military drones for comparison.
https://dronewars.net/drone-crash-database/
Admittedly some got shot down others malfunctioned mechanically or had weather issues but there is the odd pilot (operator) error as well.
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 05:11
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Originally Posted by FMS82
just from the top of my head;
  • AA587 in 2001
  • The recent Atlas 767 nose over
  • UPS1354
all very flyable aircraft flown into the ground in benign weather. We can debate training standards I guess, but even in decent outfits, low performers slip through the cracks... If we include a bit broader scope (not just us majors) the list becomes long (Asiana in SFO comes to mind most prominently, the fairly recent Emirates botched go-around, Turkish in AMS, those PIA cowboys landing on their engines and going round again...)

​​​​

And I completely agree with you. AA587 was I think I failure of how training was conducted, UPS 1354 was fatigue induced. But the Atlas 767 was 100% pilot error, and at least one of those pilots had no business being in any cockpit.
And with the broader scope, again yes, and although I do not think the MAX should have been certified, it should not have crashed twice either.
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Old 23rd Dec 2021, 13:13
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Fully agree with hans brinker.

And that gets us to the core of the issue: ever growing traffic and most of the growth in parts of the world where culture and relentless cost cutting eats CRM for breakfast, all while operating machines that are essentially 80's technology that require highly competent pilots. And against that background, I can only see safety stay at an acceptable level by moving the pilots out of the loop, where they can not do the damage they have done in the past two decades.

And the technology has arrived, and it's time we move from the hybrid first generation glass human machine interface and the good old magenta line to something that can do the job on its own, supervised by a somewhat trained competent individual. An A350F with a single pilot during cruise for example...

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