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Will One Day Pilots Become Obsolete?  
User currently offlineAr385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6206 posts, RR: 30
Posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3181 times:
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I don´t intend to offend anyone but I ´d like to know wether given the current trend of automatizing everything in the cockpit, the pilot will become a simple systems monitor. What´s the general consensus?


MGGS
38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7175 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3166 times:

Never. You cant take the chance of system going down and than what? Have a pilot on the ground fly. That is possible. But I think a pilot in the plane will do a much better job since he knows if he messes up he can die too.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineFutureUApilot From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1365 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

I must agree, it will never happen. As described above, the pilot would still be a back up tool in case the computer went down (no pun intended). Also, one of my favorite mottos comes into play here, "The autopilot may fly the plane, but the pilot flies the autopilot."
-future  Big thumbs up



The Pilot is the highest form of life on Earth!
User currently offlineJeffDCA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3137 times:

the pilot will become a simple systems monitor

Some argue that's all pilots are today! Seriously though, pilots will never be out of the cockpit; in any stage of flight if something goes wrong the pilots are trained to be more than competent to handle the situation. The same cannot be said for the autopilot. Also several surveys have been conducted in the past that reveal the vast majority of pax would not fly if there wasn't a pilot on board the aircraft.

There is also the question of what would all those lovely stewardesses do on those cold winter layover nights without pilots?  Big grin

Cheers,

Jeff


User currently offlineJfkaua From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1000 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3130 times:

Not anytime soon.. you will see trains/monorails without conducters way before pilots leave.

User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3130 times:

No, however, perhaps single pilot ops in RJ's or pehaps aircraft under say 100 seats will be possible in the future (10-20 years).

User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3126 times:

It's been proven ( scientifically ) that computers do a better job than humans when cruising at high altitudes...But when it comes to landing, computers operating landings spells disaster, and humans are much better at operating that.

Reason why is... computers cannot anticipate any type of failures, or weather-related phenomena, such as windshear, which can cause pretty bad catastrophe's.

So... i dont think we'll see any loss of pilots in the future, at least in my lifetime, thankfully  Big grin

[Edited 2004-09-08 03:54:16]


Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
User currently onlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8270 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3122 times:

One day they will, but the public will never trust their lives on a jet to a computer. There will always be a pilot as far as I'm concerned. Maybe in the next couple hundred years when space travel is common then we'll see computers flying. Military aviation is a different story. It'll likely be 50/50 in the near future, what with UAVs.


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlineBoeing7E7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3120 times:

But when it comes to landing, computers operating landings spells disaster, and humans are much better at operating that.

I disagree. Local Area Augmentation will change that.


User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3107 times:

But when it comes to landing, computers operating landings spells disaster, and humans are much better at operating that.


So the complete hands-off landing ability of the Airbus aircraft never happened, and the millions who have travelled on flights where the systems handled the landings have all died in horrific fireballs?


User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3098 times:

" and the millions who have travelled on flights where the systems handled the landings have all died in horrific fireballs? "

Yes, thats exactly correct  Insane

Grow up please with the rediculous remarks.

I'll go and edit the post for those who love to fight on the boards.



Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
User currently offlineORDflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3085 times:

Even if the technology becomes available, which I"m sure it eventually will, I could never see them getting rid of pilots. Much of the general pubic is nervous enough about flying with human pilots up front, I can't imagine the idea of a completely automated flight deck will ever catch on (except with the "bean counters" of course). On that note, I do imagine that someday we will see the day of one pilot flights if the airlines continue to experience such hard economies.

User currently offlineWhitehatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3064 times:

Grow up please with the rediculous remarks.


Really? So the fact that you have it completely wrong means nothing?

Autoland has been about for many years now. Airbuses like the A340 can do a complete hands-off landing. Even the 727 was available with an early autoland.

To get back to some sanity and away from strange comments such as yours....the pilot may have plenty of life left as the travelling public will not trust a machine for the foreseeable future. Automation may render the hands-on work of a pilot unnecessary but the final failsafe system will continue to be the man in the front office or the passenger will find it hard to get on board.


User currently offlineTrickijedi From United States of America, joined May 2001, 3266 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3013 times:

the pilot will become a simple systems monitor

Some argue that's all pilots are today!


Even so. Technology and general avionics may always improve year after year, generation after generation but there will always be the ever present human element. And thus so, human error will also be always around.



Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
User currently offlineBIGBlack From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 600 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3009 times:

I work in IT, that is with computers, and I can honestly say...

I most certainly hope not



Someone special in the air
User currently offlineBWIA 772 From Barbados, joined May 2002, 2200 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3006 times:

I dont thik that pilots will become obsolete one of the these days. As has been said the pilot will bceome the back up tool. Unless we have pilots that are robots but then we dont wont an I Robot thing happening just kidding with the robots thing though.


Eagles Soar!
User currently offlineWarszawa From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 727 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

Whitehatter,

" So the fact that you have it completely wrong means nothing? "

Completely wrong? I suggest you do a little more research into this subject, and you will find that im quite correct on what i said above.

And, im very familiar with the Auto-land systems, and how they work. And... i can tell you, if your using autoland with an ILS approach, and your 1/2 mile to TDZ, and you all of a sudden hit windshear, it'll toss you all over the place, and the auto-land system will have a VERY, VERY hard time re-aligning ( It'd turn the aircraft right, then left to join the localizer, then it'd overshoot it, and turn right again, it'd be a mess )... while Humans, could accomplish this much better.

No need to get an attitude. Based on your website, " About me.......and reputed to be a lunatic. "... not too sure if your information is really that credible either  Yeah sure



Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'
User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 17, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 2962 times:

I got two things to say, first i agree with the general view of the replies, and next is... WHOA i spent thousands of $ trying to get up there as an airline pilot, no way in hell am i gonna support non-crew haha. Also, what about simple things during the flight. What if there was a cockpit fire or some sort of fire the flight crew could put out. I mean on Swiss 111 there were pilots onboard and the a/c couldn't be saved with the fire situation, how on earth is that gonna be saved without an intelligent being. I'm sure navigation and precision approaches like CAT 3C and all will never be shot better by any human than computer. But then no computer can fight a fire like a human can, pull and point. The only way to put the fire out would be to flush the whole area like a toilet to make sure every inch was covered, not realistic or comforting, what do you guys say?


The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

Military sooner than civilian aircraft. The cost of pilots are too high, not to be
tempting to replace them with machines...


User currently offlineJasper711 From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 19 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2944 times:

A very wise old man once told me the following:

Never say never.

The computer and the pilot work hand in hand. The computer software is only as good as the human designer which is not to say that it can't be acheived. But pilots have had cause to lose control of their plane for whatever the reason. Is it not a fail safe mechanism that would allow remote intervention in order for it to land? Whilst I hope that it is never the case, I get back to my initial statement.........

Never say never.





User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3629 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2932 times:

Completely wrong? I suggest you do a little more research into this subject, and you will find that im quite correct on what i said above.

I'm not the guy you're fighting with, but seriously, quite correct about what? This is what you said:

But when it comes to landing, computers operating landings spells disaster, and humans are much better at operating that.

You're quite correct in that computers operating landings "spells disaster"? Is that what you're correct about? It's not only Airbuses that have autoland, you know - it's all (that I know of) current Boeing models as well. The last flight you or any of us took was very possibly an automatic landing (even in VFR conditions, pilots are encouraged to use autoland, and are in fact required to at least once a month). And I don't think any of us was involved in a disaster on our last flight.

In fact, under certain weather conditions the only airliners that can operate at many airports are airliners with suitable electronic systems to supplement or replace pilot manual control (such as autoland systems). A computer knows exactly where the runway is and which direction it's facing, and it knows exactly what the wind is at any given time. It doesn't need to look out the window.

I would suggest you read this document:

http://www.faa.gov/avr/afs/faa/8400/8400_vol4/4_002_06.pdf

If you've ever read any of Boeing or Airbus' technical manuals for their aircraft, you would also know that pilots are encouraged to use autoland on all precision approaches within certain glideslope and weather paramaters because of the system's... well, precision. In fact, the very last procedure in Boeing's 747 landing procedure table is simply "Monitor approach progress. Verify autoland status."

Now, onto the original topic - my point is not that pilots can be or should be replaced. My point is that there are many things in the cockpit already done by computer, and all of these things have made flying safer. Human error is the #1 cause of all airline accidents but the number of those types of accidents has dropped significantly over the years as automation has crept in, despite a huge increase in air traffic. Automation reduces a pilot's workload and actually lets him concentrate on his #1 job, which is ensuring the safety of the aircraft.

Pilots have a saying, and I'm sure I'm going to mangle it because I don't remember it exactly, but it's something like "we don't get paid to fly airplanes, we get paid for those few minutes of terror that most pilots never even experience." The fact is every year there are incidents ranging from bad ATC instructions to maintenance issues to production issues with vital airplane parts, and when something goes bad up in the air you want a human there who can make a real judgement. Not every incident can be anticipated ahead of time - which is what it takes to program a computer to make the right decision. A human needs to be there.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineAa777jr From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2926 times:

I know if all the pilots on the plane got killed, and the person in seat 1A was asked to land the plane, they could using the guidance and landing systems on the plane to land it and have never been behind the stick in their life.

regards,
AA777jr


User currently offlineSchooner From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 2912 times:

"(even in VFR conditions, pilots are encouraged to use autoland, and are in fact required to at least once a month)."

-Bobbins.
We aren`t encouraged to do them. If its VFR conditions the protected area is not in force so the ILS beam will be "interfered" with a lot more resulting in a less precise approach (not unsafe tho, just a bit more faffing by the a/p). You show me a well rested pilot who wants to do an autoland in VFR and I`ll show you a liar!
I don`t know what the regs are in the states but here its 3 autolands (2 of which can be in the sim) every 6 months.

"If you've ever read any of Boeing or Airbus' technical manuals for their aircraft, you would also know that pilots are encouraged to use autoland on all precision approaches within certain glideslope and weather paramaters because of the system's... well, precision"

-thats the whole point of autoland systems.
but.....for the 757 at least limits for the glideslope are 2.5-3.1 degree slope so once you are at a destination with an ILS outside those limits, no autoland but yes, once low vis ops are in force, its autoland time!

Cheers.



Untouched and Alive
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

I certainly hope not. It would not go down well with most passengers I would imagine.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17039 posts, RR: 66
Reply 24, posted (10 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

Of course it will happen, but probably not in this century. Never say never.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
25 Airbear : Ok... since noone else here has come up with it sofar, I'll have to wheel out this old joke myself... ready? Here goes... "In future a/c will be flown
26 Schooner : You forget to mention the pilot feeds the dog! Cheers
27 Post contains images Airbear : Hi Schooner ... yes, sorry! However the way things are going, the pilot will have to BUY a snack for the doggy!
28 JeffDCA : I know if all the pilots on the plane got killed, and the person in seat 1A was asked to land the plane, they could using the guidance and landing sys
29 CitationJet : Just because it may be technically feasible doesn't mean that it will happen. I think Flight Attendants will go away long before pilots do. If planes
30 Oftwftwoab : Yes. Computer technology, especially AI and expert systems, will at some point improve enough to exceed human capability in all circumstances. It then
31 Alessandro : SAABs version of the pilotless UAV http://www.saab.se/node3299.asp?id=2004090200260
32 Aa777jr : The average Joe isn't usually flying in 1A. I'm prolly more confident than most. I'm currently working on getting my instrument rating, so it would be
33 JeffDCA : The average Joe isn't usually flying in 1A. I'm prolly more confident than most. I'm currently working on getting my instrument rating, so it would be
34 BIGBlack : Computers are great things, I work with them everyday, but they are even greater with a human next to them operating them correctly.
35 Post contains images Aa717driver : Well, of course they will! There are already a whole bunch of them, just watch as you walk down the concourse. Those fat bastards, waddling along with
36 RareBear : The cockpit of the future will consist of the Aircraft Commander and a dog. The Aircraft Commander is there to feed the dog. The dog is there to bite
37 Iairallie : Yes, they will become obsolete. However, they will be able to find gainful employment as teleporter operators! Nostradamus has spoken.
38 KarlB737 : Look at how the capsule returned from its voyage to the sun and how it landed. That should mute the whole topic.
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