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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 24th Jun 2021, 06:49
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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LH will roster a senior first officer as third crew member for long range cruise not take one less.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 06:12
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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But flying for the airlines is not supposed to be an adventure. From takeoff to landing, the autopilots handle the controls. This is routine. In a Boeing as much as an Airbus. And they make better work of it than any pilot can. You’re not supposed to be the blue-eyed hero here. Your job is to make decisions, to stay awake, and to know which buttons to push and when. Your job is to manage the systems.”
Which is all fantastic until they screw up. I have personally saved myself from an autopilot in an airliner trying to kill me twice in five years. Sure they're great most of the time but they are not infallible and need to be monitored. The other issue that really irks me is the way regulators treat automation screw ups. If a pilot tries to spear an airliner into the ground he gets called in for counseling and revaluation. If the automation does it then they just shrug their shoulders. I know of one particular known software issue which should have grounded the fleet until it was fixed but despite being reported the regulator didn't have the courage to do something and take on a manufacturer. They just sat there and watched the reports pile up until 6 months later a software update came out. This in my opinion is why automation is treated with almost God like reverence. If we saw some real data on how many times pilots save the day from automation killing them I think the attitude in the industry might change. However it looks like they are hell bent on proving the hard way why two pilots and good automation is the only real safe option.

Last edited by neville_nobody; 25th Jun 2021 at 09:39.
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Old 25th Jun 2021, 08:44
  #103 (permalink)  
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A great description of why full automation is still years away. The drone industry is going to pioneer this for us and I fear is not going to be as smooth and accident-free as they are all claiming . The attitude of the regulator(s) is going to be interesting to watch ,
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 03:20
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Enthusiasts for fully automated flight might like to review the multiple Bulletins issued by Boeing over the last decade or so regarding flight path “anomalies” in both VNAV and LNAV in RNP approaches in FMC updates U11.0 / U12.0 / U13.0 etc.
Fixed now , but a reminder ; there is no such thing as fault free software.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 06:22
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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A drone crash database.
https://dronewars.net/drone-crash-database/
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 08:11
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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The problem with this statement is it assumes that humans are fault free. The software assistance wouldn't be in the picture at all if pilot error was not the biggest cause for incidents/accidents. Human performance is highly variable during day and night. With the same individual on day to day basis, when not rested even if he was off any duty, country to country, region to region. Proper Selection and training is not possible even in the US as Atlas, Colgan accident prove. So it's question of finding which one is more dangerous and expensive. Are CAT III operations, RVSM possible without automation?
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 08:18
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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I personally have conducted RNP approaches with the software glitches I referred to above and watched the autopilot quietly drift off profile with no warning.
I am a big fan of RNP , GLS and GNSS etc.
But don’t tell me you are going to trust an autopilot to fly the 400 SLF, including your own family, throughout a whole flight sequence.
I’m certainly not.
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 17:04
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Sitting in front as the PF Pierre-Cédric Bonin who crashed AF447 had his wife on board.
what difference did it make?
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Old 26th Jun 2021, 19:09
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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vilas

Consider that pilots, potentially, while bot error free, commit different kinds of errors and have the capability for creative problem solving. They are not preprogrammed computers limited to actions and reactions thought of ahead of time. Think of Sioux City, Hudson River, Gimli, etc.

For all the money presumably saved, consider the cost of a single catastrophic accident. When things are working normally, the automation can perform more efficiently and in some cases with higher performance. But not so win non normal circumstances.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 04:44
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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I am trying to be the devil's advocate so the community understands how technology fares against them. Soux city was a great feat, Hudson, gimli is nothing compared with it. However for Sioux city problem a software to use thrust/weight and asymmetry is possible and was being developed but due low probability of repeat it wasn't pursued. In Hudson, gimli case providing data base of gliding range without power and an additional electric hydraulics for AP can be even better managed. All credit to Sullenberger for doing what he did but if you critically analyse except the decision to ditch rest of the things human error under pressure was evident. He wasn't maintaining proper speed and when his speed dropped 19kts below Vapp it triggered alpha protection which prevented stall but also hampered proper flare and aircraft impacted heavily. So automated Airbus protection did help. Computers can handle data base of similar or possible accidents and quickly provide the lone pilot with correct solutions, and with better automation execute itself. As against this Mangalore accident in 2010 (not the only one) despite good aircraft and perfect weather due to poor Piloting158 people lost their lives. These things will be taken in consideration.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 05:05
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Should you think having the humans role in the cockpit replaced with automation is a good idea you only need to review incidents and accidents caused by automation, A320 written off because software wouldn't allow the crew to flare for landing for example. Replacing pilot error in the cockpit is merely replacing it with human error on the ground by way of software coding/design errors, hardware design, inability to test all electronic failure modes etc Failure mode of the 777 upset in Oz had previously been deemed as not possible.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 15:33
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Currently, when one of the pilots takes a break, they put a senior crew member on the flightdeck, so there are always 2 up front...
So it appears this is already happening...

Enthusiasts for fully automated flight might like to review the multiple Bulletins issued by Boeing over the last decade or so regarding flight path “anomalies” in both VNAV and LNAV in RNP approaches in FMC updates U11.0 / U12.0 / U13.0 etc.
Fixed now , but a reminder ; there is no such thing as fault free software.
Yes that was true, that is a problem with an technologically outdated FMS system running legacy software with 14 plus versions of software updates and patches.......


Last edited by turbidus; 27th Jun 2021 at 15:48.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 15:39
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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As a general rule I suspect that for every automation induced error someone can find an equivalent pilot error to balance it and vice versa. It will never be possible to prevent all fatal crashes but I think most would agree that the goal is to reduce such crashes to as low as possible bearing in mind the economics and practicality of such interventions.

What automation offers is consistency. Over the years there have been many great saves by pilots but equally there have also been many failures by pilots, be that through fatigue, inattention, misunderstandings, unprofessional behaviour or even downright recklessness. I have no stats but I strongly suspect the failures vastly outweigh the saves. OTOH I am sure there are many automation failures that might have resulted in fatal crashes if it were not for the human pilots intervening. This means that any aircraft with a reduced number of pilots will need rigorous testing but also that rigorous controls and testing are needed over software updates.

We can be certain that at some point a single pilot or autonomous airliner will crash through programmer error. The acid test will be if the average number of fatal crashes per year is considerably reduced through further automation.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 16:18
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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turbidus

Really? People still do that? Not required with a working camera system.
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Old 27th Jun 2021, 16:30
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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I can think of many examples where pilots have saved the day, many times having to intervene over the automation.

Can't think of one example where the automation saved the day and did the opposite of the above.

Now, with dreadfully low experienced, low paid, and under motivated pilots coming into the ranks, that muddies the waters.

Perhaps the best way to increase safety is to intervene with better training and standards.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 00:12
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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To a pilot that statement is immediately obvious, to the accountants and business MBA,s that run the airlines, that statement is like showing a cross to a vampire. Their recent iteration of reducing crew costs was the introduction of the MPL. Thats where you took a zero hour candidate,gave them ten hours in an aircraft then 100 hours in a sim and plonked them in the RHS to act as a low paid, debt ridden, seat warmer. There is no technical advantage in single pilot cruise ops ( or the Airbus acronym Single Human In Technology), only a supposed cost one.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 09:58
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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There is also no need to have two pilots in the cockpit during cruise, especially not if they are poorly trained cruise only pilots. My only concern is that the remaining pilot falls asleep due to boredom or needs to go to the bathroom.

Having less crew on long haul flights also means that each pilot will get more opportunities to take-off and land, which are the critical parts of the flight.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 10:16
  #118 (permalink)  
 
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My only concern is that the remaining pilot falls asleep due to boredom or needs to go to the bathroom.
You have just contradicted your own statement. Thats at least two reasons why you need two pilots in the flight deck during all stages of flight.

Having less crew on long haul flights also means that each pilot will get more opportunities to take-off and land, which are the critical parts of the flight.
So instead of doing 10 take-off and landings a year they get to do 12? Not sure that is going to substantially enhance the flying skills of long haul pilots.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 11:03
  #119 (permalink)  
 
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There is also no need to have two pilots in the cockpit during cruise, especially not if they are poorly trained cruise only pilots. My only concern is that the remaining pilot falls asleep due to boredom or needs to go to the bathroom.

Having less crew on long haul flights also means that each pilot will get more opportunities to take-off and land, which are the critical parts of the flight.
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Old 28th Jun 2021, 15:31
  #120 (permalink)  
 
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There are too many incidents/accidents due to human failure to brow beat technological intervention. Two Bonafide pilots in front with headsets off and speakers off. Not an isolated incident. In one case fighters were scrambled. One taking rest, other on ipad dials altitude instead of resetting heading leading to altitude bust. Capt sleeps for hour plus, starts ATC delayed descent, 9000ft out of slot never realised(sleep inertia) lands deep out of badly unstable approach and go around after reversing kills 158 people in good weather. No! This will not do. Now only question is whether technology can do better. May be not present machines but more redundancies and reliability can do it. Or can humans be changed?
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