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Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot

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Aviation regulators push for more automation so flights can be run by a single pilot

Old 23rd Nov 2022, 13:46
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This can be handled a different way: Offer the choice when passengers are booking their tickets: "Would you like to fly in an airplane piloted by two pilots? Or, just One? (or none, if full automation is reality). The market will speak!
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 14:31
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Let's fully automate it guys and then we can all finally start working in real jobs.

The captain has successfully connected to your airplane on EK flight 011; he will fly you to Mumbai tonight with pleasure.



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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 15:32
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My other question for all of this is: if we get to a stage where aircraft are flying around completely autonomously, all cars, taxies, buses, trains, etc will also be autonomous. Logically, if AI is good enough to fly an aircraft, it's probably good enough to do most jobs you can think of. Managing that fund? easy. designing that scyscraper? done. routine operation? half the time a doctor would need. My point is, To what end do we do away with all these jobs in favour of automation? Who's then earning money to pay for all the things to keep the economy going? Or do we all become 'thinkers' ?
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:02
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Aircraft have crashed, had incidents with one, two or even three pilots in front and for reasons like inability to land fully serviceable aircraft in VMC or executing an improper go around. So the safety theory with more humans in front doesn't hold any water. Piloting errors still remain major cause of accidents. Improved safety is due to more automation. Militant flashing of Human factors doesn't really come to the rescue of the pilot but in fact becomes the worst advertisement for human presence in the cockpit. Humans in front don't provide 100% Safety . So why expect 100% safety from fully automated aircraft? As long as it is better than human operating aircraft and significantly cheaper it will be accepted. It's the March of technology it may be delayed but can't be stayed.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:06
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Bear in mind systems like the Garmin autoland - today only for general aviation, but it will likely exist soon on larger stuff.

https://discover.garmin.com/en-US/autonomi/#autoland

The real issue is probably the Germanwings case, but experience shows having 2 pilots only partially mitigate the risk associated with mental health issues. And we have yet to see a computer committing suicide.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:08
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Incapacitation was rare in the past...... So I never will enter a flight with only one crew member. Do I know what I'm talking about? 21,000 hrs ATPL B737-2-3-7-800. Wondering what medical doctors think.
Know what the beancounters think....
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:12
  #47 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Qanchor
This needs to be called for what it is. It's about money & distraction.
....
HEAR HEAR (and read his posting)
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:31
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Soon we will have 200 hrs junior Captains. No prior experience possible.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:41
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Originally Posted by vilas
Aircraft have crashed, had incidents with one, two or even three pilots in front and for reasons like inability to land fully serviceable aircraft in VMC or executing an improper go around. So the safety theory with more humans in front doesn't hold any water. Piloting errors still remain major cause of accidents. Improved safety is due to more automation. Militant flashing of Human factors doesn't really come to the rescue of the pilot but in fact becomes the worst advertisement for human presence in the cockpit. Humans in front don't provide 100% Safety . So why expect 100% safety from fully automated aircraft? As long as it is better than human operating aircraft and significantly cheaper it will be accepted. It's the March of technology it may be delayed but can't be stayed.
This is a really interesting point. I believe the same to be true of self driving cars at the moment. Humans not providing 100% = automation not having to either does make sense at some level, but there's a bit of a moral / ethical question about a machine being unsafe vs. 'what if there'd been a pilot there'. As you say, time will likely cause us to accept the higher-than-human-safety-stamdards-but-not-100%-either, but I don't believe anyone will accept it in the near future.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:47
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Piloting errors still remain major cause of accidents. Improved safety is due to more automation.
I cannot entirely agree with this. I have personally encountered situations where the automation (Garmin in GA airplanes) was, for programming thought/scenerio omission, enticing me into a situation I would not normally allow to develop. I resisted, reverted to the "old fashioned" way of piloting, and am here to write my opinion. If I had blindly followed the magenta line, I would not be here. Automation is an aid to a wise pilot. At a certain threshold (set by national regulation) a second pilot is a wise backup.

Soon we will have 200 hrs junior Captains. No prior experience possible.
This possible future situation does concern me!
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 16:48
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Ask navigators and flight engineers- they have thought it is unthinkable to operate an aircraft without them.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 18:03
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If ever single pilot commercial flights become a reality, all pax should have
on their smartphones as a requirement before boarding
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 18:17
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Originally Posted by FullWings
The automation will have to become better, as we are at the unfortunate time where itís reliable up to the point where things get really bad, then it dumps the whole mess on the (single) pilot. Much in the way of self-driving vehicles in their current state of evolution. If the sole pilot who is awake is in the toilet when something bad happens (there was an opportunity for a joke there but I resisted it), then the aircraft must be able to cope.
I think this is the key point. Making judgements based on current aircraft automation isn't valid because the current systems are all designed assuming human monitoring and input. The classic example is that modern automation is designed to disconnect and dump things back on the pilot(s) if it runs into trouble. To make single pilot (and eventually fully autonomous) operations viable will require a complete rethink of the automation systems - such that the 'backup' is not an external human but logic (and perhaps systems) integrated into the automation.
Referring to the area of my expertise, take engine controls. 80 years ago the pilot moved a lever that opened and closed the throttle on the engine to control engine power - the pilot was directly involved in the physical control of the engine. Modern engines used FADEC - the pilot (or automation) requests the power/thrust level desired, computers handle everything after that including the fuel metering valve position - there is no 'backup' - if the computer quits, so does the engine. Yes, there are backup modes to deal with loss of certain inputs, but again this is all controlled by the FADEC. Yes, most commercial aircraft have two or more engines - but if the FADEC software is defective and causes the engine to quit, they're all running the same software so there is no redundancy for s/w errors - all the engines will make the same error.
Commerical Aviation is necessarily conservative and resistant to change. It took decades to get comfortable with the idea that you don't need navigators and flight engineers. It took decades to get used to the idea that we didn't need more than two engines for long, overwater flights. It'll take a long time - probably decades - before automation advances to the point where the human pilot is redundant and can be reduced (and eventually eliminated).
But I have little doubt it'll eventually happen.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 19:32
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Did not see this one on similar threads before (coming via FullWings at #40)

Even for the most basic case with remotely-piloted, autonomous in an emergency, single-pilot supervised cruise phase mode, there would need to be a toilet inside the secure flightdeck perimeter.

Althought I understand the available P2F Airbus conversion already may have that.

Job-wise what scares me more is ranges (=flight-times) that'd allow the full 'basic-rest' to be taken on-board, closed loop. Tongue in cheek? Knowing what the 'west' could come up with, looking at the ideas that may spring up from the SE Asia region makes you shiver.

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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 20:12
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I'm sure technology will get to the point where one experienced pilot can safely manage a flight.

But where do they get the experience?
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 21:14
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Why does my deja vu feeling get active whenever I see this topic come up again? My response is and will continue to be:

- Who is building commercial quantities of these planes? Boeing have announced they are not designing anything until at least 2030 and Airbus' latest product is the A350.
- When freight aircraft are single pilot then passenger planes will follow. Where do freight aircraft come from? See above.
- Technology has to be relevant and affordable for it to be developed into large scale commercially viable projects. In 60 years man went from the Wright Brother to outer space and supersonic commercial flight. In the next 60 years man is still flying commercial airliners that were initially designed during that 60 year period. Technological advances in the last 60 years have just produced more fuel efficient commercial airliners not innovative ones.
- Even if EASA do approve this they are not a worldwide regulator. After the Max grounding I doubt that the FAA or other regulators will be as keen to allow single pilot RPT jet operations through their airspace.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 21:17
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Originally Posted by Theholdingpoint
They still fail to understand the FO is a CP in training...
This to me is the single point nobody has been able to counteract. How do you become a Captain without the many hours (years) of learning your trade from the RHS? How will it provide a cost saving significant enough to be justified? Not to mention the insurance premiums.

Fully autonomous flight will happen, but I would suggest that there wont be an interim single pilot operation. It will go from 2 to 0, and it wont be in the next 30 years.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 22:23
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And the US Airforce has started https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...t-the-controls.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 23:10
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Originally Posted by pug
This to me is the single point nobody has been able to counteract. How do you become a Captain without the many hours (years) of learning your trade from the RHS? How will it provide a cost saving significant enough to be justified? Not to mention the insurance premiums.

Fully autonomous flight will happen, but I would suggest that there wont be an interim single pilot operation. It will go from 2 to 0, and it wont be in the next 30 years.
Looking at the blue button on the dash in me little runabout, and what were on the dash 30 years ago, Iím thinking less than 30 years. Though agree with the two to none pilots suggestion.

Re current two pilot ops: If the argument is one pilot is enuf and the Ďelectronicsí can take over if needed then why are any pilots needed?.. perhaps just in caseÖ Iím thinking if one pilot is still required, then two are still required.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 23:43
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Expanding on that. Reduction from 2 won't happen until the plane is ready to recover itself from an emergency (the double failure case where incapacitation is the first one). Fully autonomous normal flight as well as fully remotely piloted are natural precursors to that.

Hence, as implied above, the 1 pilot phase will go live (or?) on a 0 required pilot aeroplane. That is the block II of the next generation design which will have the necessary provisions embedded from its lauch.

The 1 pilot remaining will not need CP or FO qualification as he will be only the controls operator (a.k.a. button-pusher) in-situ. But a member of the piloting team which is remote and flies the fleet. Like the radio operator on HF areas - part of the ATS but not ATC himself. The command decisions will not be taken by the operator (PF = Pilot Flown).

That takes care of all the training - none required on the live hardware, all synthetic (25 years from now). Most of the beyond-machine, real and irreplacible piloting skills of today are actually skills of handling the other human / liveware elements of the SHELL model. Not required in the future auto-enabled configuration because that scope will not have any liveware elements in direct interaction with the seated human.

For those familiar with the Airbus FBW: the future 1 pilot is equivalent in intended function to the F/CTL mechanical backup of today. To serve as a bridge across an unexpected multisystem failure. Designed not to solve the problem but reconfigure into a known failure mode.
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