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Advancing Towards Commercial Single Pilot Option  
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6437 posts, RR: 34
Posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11150 times:

Considering that both A & B have stated that their all-new NB's won't grace the skies for another 12 to 14 years, there has been a steady advancement in technology that indicate that their NB replacements could well be single pilot (SP) capable. That is not to say that airlines would necessarily start flying SP at EIS but that at some date in the future the capability to switch over to SP would exist. The latest tech story link is below...

Unmanned flight tests to advance airline reduced-crew concepts

GE Aviation is participating in a series of unmanned flight tests with the FAA that the company says could eventually yield reduced-crew options for cargo airlines.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-advance-airline-reduced-crew.html


Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
173 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFighterPilot From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1418 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 11149 times:

Flying Bush planes... Big grin

Cal  airplane 



*Insert Sound Of GE90 Spooling Up Here*
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11128 times:

I just don't see it happening. That isn't because the equipment can't handle the task, but rather that there simply is no replacement for having two human brains in the cockpit to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints. It provides a broader perspective on any situation than a single person & computer could ever match. It's a system of checks & balances that shouldn't be removed no matter how 'efficient' the aircraft systems become. And it's a level of redundancy that can't be replaced with machines. Commercial aviation requires that level of safety because the passengers have demanded it, and we as aviation professionals have found ways to do it. Removing that second pilot brings us down to a level of safety that although would still be safe, isn't to the level we should require.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11098 times:

I've long advocated such and feel that its only a matter of time till technology and peoples comfort levels catch up.

As is we can fly unmanned long range military aircraft remotely, so a natural initial evolution could very well be for reduced crew, or unmanned cargo operations.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6437 posts, RR: 34
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11083 times:



Quoting HAL (Reply 2):
That isn't because the equipment can't handle the task, but rather that there simply is no replacement for having two human brains in the cockpit to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints.

That is the reason that is always given by naysayers why it won't happen... but the reality is that there will alway be more than one human brain available to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints - the only difference is that one of the viewpoints would be on the ground.

As stated in the article, the first SP would be in the cargo sector. Once a track record is established in cargo ops there is no reason why SP wouldn't migrate over to the commercial sector at some point in time.

As FighterPilot pointed out, there already is SP commercial ops in smaller planes.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21865 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 11044 times:



Quoting Planemaker (Reply 4):
the reality is that there will alway be more than one human brain available to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints - the only difference is that one of the viewpoints would be on the ground.

There are also cases where you simply need two people to fly the airplane. A limited number of them to be sure, but they tend to be ones where it really counts.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10866 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
As is we can fly unmanned long range military aircraft remotely, so a natural initial evolution could very well be for reduced crew, or unmanned cargo operations.



Quoting Planemaker (Reply 4):
Once a track record is established in cargo ops there is no reason why SP wouldn't migrate over to the commercial sector at some point in time.



Quoting Planemaker (Reply 4):
As FighterPilot pointed out, there already is SP commercial ops in smaller planes.

And in every one of these cases, the difference is that the number of passengers is either very small, or zero. In normal commercial ops however, we are talking about the responsibility for hundreds of human lives. The need for human redundancy in place, in the aircraft, that can analyze conditions that simply can't be replicated to a remote controller is why I don't see single pilot operations in the foreseeable future.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 10838 times:

Give it time HAL.

There are many things we likely would not have done, or expected to do 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago that are accepted as normal today.
Technology, and human perceptions will evolve.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2030 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10772 times:

One thing that will dictate if they go to SP operations will be insurance. Will insurance companies embrace this new technology or will it cost too much to airlines to insure a SP operation? I would think, in todays world, insurance would double if they went to SP operations, maybe down the road it wouldn't be so dramatic, but it will be a cost any company needs to look at.

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21582 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10766 times:



Quoting HAL (Reply 6):
And in every one of these cases, the difference is that the number of passengers is either very small, or zero. In normal commercial ops however, we are talking about the responsibility for hundreds of human lives. The need for human redundancy in place, in the aircraft, that can analyze conditions that simply can't be replicated to a remote controller is why I don't see single pilot operations in the foreseeable future.

This is purely a pilot union argument. That the number of people you are in charge of makes any difference at all. It's illogical. Or would you argue that it takes more skill to fly a 747 w pax in it than it does to ferry an empty 747 simply because one has 400 people in it. Hard to convince me it matters.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineFlyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10741 times:

I'm a relatively young airline pilot with over 30 years until age 65 retirement. I really feel that my retirement will not be based on age, but based on technology squeezing me out of the cockpit. I wish it were different, but I can see it coming.

Look at the past when we went from a 4 pilot, to 3 pilot, to 2 pilot crew. Next will be 1 pilot (with one "pilot" on the ground to communicate with and take the controls electronically if necessary). Shortly after that it will be only ground based human operators, then simply a computer will fly 50 planes at once from the ground.

Quoting HAL (Reply 2):
Commercial aviation requires that level of safety because the passengers have demanded it, and we as aviation professionals have found ways to do it.

I wish this statement was true, but look at the recent tragedies in aviation and what the traveling public wants. They want cheap tickets. Period. They don't care about you or I.



These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
User currently offlineFlyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10733 times:



Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 8):
One thing that will dictate if they go to SP operations will be insurance. Will insurance companies embrace this new technology or will it cost too much to airlines to insure a SP operation? I would think, in todays world, insurance would double if they went to SP operations, maybe down the road it wouldn't be so dramatic, but it will be a cost any company needs to look at.

I think the insurance cost will be much smaller than the overall future costs of pilot training, benefits, etc. As it stands today there are less and less new pilots entering the profession. Airlines can't afford to pay a livable wage to attract new applicants, so technology will become a necessity.



These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10681 times:

I think it will occur when automated flights (what % of flight / landings is automated allready..) could take-over more safely then pilots, and a pilot would stay in the the loop as a back-up.

These days pilots have to make a minimum number of landings manually to stay skilled..


User currently offlineJohnMKE From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10649 times:



Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 10):
Next will be 1 pilot

just make sure that professional pilot doesn't open up his laptop.

I say that as a joke, but I feel the reliance on an immediate second opinion for situations, or an immediate second response to a situation will demand the flight deck crew stays a flight deck CREW.
But the redundant back up, checklists, taxi, cruise, i don't know if that is needed.

Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 10):
Next will be 1 pilot

but do you think that will happen in 12-14 years?


User currently offlineGymClassHero From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10638 times:

Well the A320 is currently single-pilot rated, but no carriers are doing SP operations, because they recognize the need for redundency. There will still be TWO pilots, one in the air and one on the ground, it's not like one pilot will be removed from the equation all together - why not just keep him in the cockpit? This seems like a novelty more than anything. It's not really worth it until you can reach TRUE single pilot operation, and that technology is not here yet.

But then again, human life can seem pretty worthless when it's your bottom line at risk (yes, it's cargo ops, but consider those on the ground...).

This is just a study anyway, it's not like the army and the FAA are trying to put a final product together - don't make too much of it.

[Edited 2009-12-29 11:36:00]

User currently offlineHaggis79 From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 1096 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10637 times:



Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 10):
Next will be 1 pilot (with one "pilot" on the ground to communicate with and take the controls electronically if necessary).

Sorry but I don't believe that - simply because the data link between the aircraft and a ground station is too vulnerable and unreliable to constitute a safe fallback option in case the single pilot becomes incapacitated. The only plane capable of flying safely with only one pilot would be one capable of safely performing a full flight (from V1 to leaving the runway after arrival) without a pilot on the controls and with no data link to the ground.

My guess is we will have driver-less cars long before one-pilot airliners...



300 310 319/20/21 332/3 343 AT4/7 143 B19 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 742/4 752/3 763/4 77E/W CR2/7/9 D95 E45/70 F50 F70 100 M11 M90
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10619 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
Or would you argue that it takes more skill to fly a 747 w pax in it than it does to ferry an empty 747 simply because one has 400 people in it. Hard to convince me it matters.

Don't be stupid. It has nothing to do with unions. (And why does every argument with you turn back to unions?) I never said it takes more skill - it's a matter of the amount of risk involved for the passengers and for the airline. There's more risk to the public & the airline if 400 of them are aboard vs. an empty plane. Airlines have a responsibility to ensure that there is a maximum level of safety for their passengers, and a responsibility to their shareholders & employees to maintain a healthy, profitable business. The self-loading cargo pay the way, and if there is a perceived (or actual) reduction in safety for them they vote with their wallets, and the airline loses.

Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 10):
Look at the past when we went from a 4 pilot, to 3 pilot, to 2 pilot crew. Next will be 1 pilot (with one "pilot" on the ground to communicate with and take the controls electronically if necessary). Shortly after that it will be only ground based human operators, then simply a computer will fly 50 planes at once from the ground.

The difference is that going from 4 to 3 to 2 was done with either equal or greater safety because of technology. Based on how complex systems (aircraft) work however, you can't get to a greater level of safety by reducing the cockpit crew to one (or zero). You may reduce the risk to the crew in dangerous situations (e.g. battlefield) by going remotely-piloted, but you certainly increase the risk to the airframe and its contents by doing so. There is a long, long history of safety studies (I am involved with the accident investigation committee at my airline) that show how having two pilots greatly increases the safety vs. one & a machine because of the adaptability of the human brain. Am I completely certain? No, because eventually money may trump safety. But I still believe that from a practical and effectiveness standpoint, having two humans watching over the progress of the plane (from inside the plane) will always be better than the alternative.

Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 10):
I wish this statement was true, but look at the recent tragedies in aviation and what the traveling public wants. They want cheap tickets. Period. They don't care about you or I.

But also, people vote with their wallets, and if there's a general perception of lack of safety, it can cause harm to an airline, and even cause it to fold - especially smaller airlines who have less buffer in case of an accident. Why are so many people flying today? Because it's cheaper. Why is it cheaper? In large part, because there are so many more aircraft flying today vs. 40 or 50 years ago. And why are so many more aircraft flying? Because we have found - the hard way - how to make flying as SAFE as possible! Most people fly today not because they have to, but because they can. And they can because of the ease and frequency of those flights. That ease and frequency is a direct result of not plowing into the ground with a 727 or DC-6 every other month as they were back in the 'good-old-days'. And finally, it isn't specifically the number of pilots in the cockpit that matters, but rather finding the best and safest way to do the job. Having the option of multiple viewpoints in the cockpit where those pilots have to focus on the job at hand, and have every one of their senses available to tell them what is going on, has been determined to be the safest way to fly. Until computers can equal or better the entire human ability to sense what is going on with the aircraft, we will need at least two pilots in charge of each large passenger aircraft. We are still a long, long way from having computers equal humans in that respect; just ask any robotics engineer.

Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 11):
Airlines can't afford to pay a livable wage to attract new applicants, so technology will become a necessity.

Sure they can - they just don't want to. But in the near future when the pilot population dwindles past the 'hard-to-replace' point - and single pilot cockpits still aren't allowed - they will be required to pay enough to attract people to the profession. It's a simple matter of supply and demand.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10605 times:



Quoting Haggis79 (Reply 15):
The only plane capable of flying safely with only one pilot would be one capable of safely performing a full flight (from V1 to leaving the runway after arrival) without a pilot on the controls and with no data link to the ground.

Already exist. The US Global Hawk will revert to and operate on a preplaned path down to landing if all comms are lost.
You might recall a demo flight as this was flown from California to Australia a few years back.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2572 posts, RR: 53
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10557 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 17):
The US Global Hawk will revert to and operate on a preplaned path down to landing if all comms are lost.

And if all comms are lost, and that preplanned route takes the aircraft through an intense thunderstorm cell, what happens then? Who is in the cockpit of an unmanned airliner to see the cell and divert around it? Remember that not all bad weather is visible on radar - sometimes (especially in tropical areas) it's eyes only.

If a Global Hawk goes down, a Seargent may get his wrist slapped. If 400 people go down, it's a lot worse.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8478 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10548 times:

First look to liability. Look at the potential legal risks of cutting out the second pilot if there is an accident. No amount of "technical testimony" can overcome the "cheap option" of cutting out the 2nd pilot.

Then look at the training factor of the 2nd pilot. Like a doctor learning his speciality the 2nd seat is for development of the skills and experience of the person seating there, so they can effectively shift to the left seat.

And finally, look at the marketing issues. The airline with the "older" plane can advertise that they keep 2 pilots "up front - for your safety". Or "we don't gamble with your life". A SP approach does not work well with marketing.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10532 times:



Quoting Planemaker (Reply 4):
Quoting HAL (Reply 2):
That isn't because the equipment can't handle the task, but rather that there simply is no replacement for having two human brains in the cockpit to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints.

That is the reason that is always given by naysayers why it won't happen... but the reality is that there will alway be more than one human brain available to analyze problems and solutions from different viewpoints - the only difference is that one of the viewpoints would be on the ground.

So who here wants to be onboard with a datalink failure?

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
There are also cases where you simply need two people to fly the airplane. A limited number of them to be sure, but they tend to be ones where it really counts.

Yes there are, and there are PLENTY of times both pilots are extremely busy during normal operations, especially in busy terminal areas with convective weather.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
There are many things we likely would not have done, or expected to do 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago that are accepted as normal today.
Technology, and human perceptions will evolve.

Sure they do. Do the insurers evolve too?

Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 8):
One thing that will dictate if they go to SP operations will be insurance

DING DING DING!

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):


Quoting HAL (Reply 6):
And in every one of these cases, the difference is that the number of passengers is either very small, or zero. In normal commercial ops however, we are talking about the responsibility for hundreds of human lives. The need for human redundancy in place, in the aircraft, that can analyze conditions that simply can't be replicated to a remote controller is why I don't see single pilot operations in the foreseeable future.

This is purely a pilot union argument. That the number of people you are in charge of makes any difference at all. It's illogical. Or would you argue that it takes more skill to fly a 747 w pax in it than it does to ferry an empty 747 simply because one has 400 people in it. Hard to convince me it matters.

The difference is in the liability in an accident.

Quoting GymClassHero (Reply 14):
Well the A320 is currently single-pilot rated, but no carriers are doing SP operations, because they recognize the need for redundency.

Where is your information from? I have several thousand hours in the A-320 family, and was a type rating examiner on it for several years. This is news to me. In our limitations section it says "Minimum crew - 2".


User currently offlineFlyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10517 times:

At the current day, I would say there is no possibility of turning airliners into 1pilot ships tomorrow.

But 10-15years from now? I would not be surprised to see single pilot cargo airliners.
15-20yrs single pilot passenger airliners
20-25yrs ground based humans controlling airliners
25+yrs computer controlled airline transportation system

Advances in technology have allowed us to safely reduce the number of cockpit crewmembers. The technology is not here yet, but it will arrive soon.



These postings or comments are not a company-sponsored source of communication.
User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6437 posts, RR: 34
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 10517 times:



Quoting HAL (Reply 6):
The need for human redundancy in place, in the aircraft, that can analyze conditions that simply can't be replicated to a remote controller is why I don't see single pilot operations in the foreseeable future.

Not true... the technology just hasn't been implemented. As for implementation, as I mentioned earlier, it will happen in the next gen NB's.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
Give it time HAL.

Absolutely. The arguments against SP are always based on yesterday's events and technology.

Quoting Flyby519 (Reply 11):
I think the insurance cost will be much smaller than the overall future costs of pilot training, benefits, etc. As it stands today there are less and less new pilots entering the profession.

Even now, TOTAL pilot costs are huge. Being able to go to a one man crew will cut costs by hundred of millions of dollars annually.

Quoting JohnMKE (Reply 13):
but do you think that will happen in 12-14 years?

Absolutely... the technology already exists and it will only get better and cheaper with each passing year.

Quoting GymClassHero (Reply 14):
why not just keep him in the cockpit?

Because of the costs.

Quoting GymClassHero (Reply 14):
This is just a study anyway, it's not like the army and the FAA are trying to put a final product together - don't make too much of it.

It is not "just" a study... it is a "feasibility" test, and just one of many around the industry.

Quoting HAL (Reply 16):
it's a matter of the amount of risk involved for the passengers and for the airline.

And the risk will be no worse than today and, in fact, probably much lower in the future because of technology.

Quoting HAL (Reply 16):
Based on how complex systems (aircraft) work however, you can't get to a greater level of safety by reducing the cockpit crew to one (or zero).

Yes you can... you eliminate human error.

Quoting HAL (Reply 16):
There is a long, long history of safety studies (I am involved with the accident investigation committee at my airline) that show how having two pilots greatly increases the safety vs. one & a machine because of the adaptability of the human brain.

That is looking backward. Future tech will make the total costs of a second pilot unnecessary.

Quoting HAL (Reply 16):
But I still believe that from a practical and effectiveness standpoint, having two humans watching over the progress of the plane (from inside the plane) will always be better than the alternative.

Sure, it might be nice to have an extra pair of eyes doing nothing... but why? If... and only if an incident requiring 2 pilots happens (and in 10-15 years there won't be)... there will always be the guy on the ground.

Quoting HAL (Reply 16):
Until computers can equal or better the entire human ability to sense what is going on with the aircraft, we will need at least two pilots in charge of each large passenger aircraft. We are still a long, long way from having computers equal humans in that respect; just ask any robotics engineer.

Computers already sense what is going on way before pilots do... hundreds of times per second.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlineTranspac787 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3217 posts, RR: 16
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10497 times:

The evolution of computers isn't yet beyond humans.

Autoland, for example, has a 10 knot crosswind component limit on the 747-400, while landing by the crew has a 30 knot crosswind component limit.


User currently offlinePlanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6437 posts, RR: 34
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10480 times:



Quoting Ken777 (Reply 19):
First look to liability. Look at the potential legal risks of cutting out the second pilot if there is an accident. No amount of "technical testimony" can overcome the "cheap option" of cutting out the 2nd pilot.

If, if, if there is an accident. "If" seems to be all that naysayers can say. Well, even if there is an accident, the cause will have to attributable to not having a second pilot... and even then, what that probability would be... which would be extremely small. And the "cheap option" isn't cheap... it costs airlines worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 19):
And finally, look at the marketing issues. The airline with the "older" plane can advertise that they keep 2 pilots "up front - for your safety".

And 4 engines 4 long haul, too! That was a total failure as a marketing campaign.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 20):
So who here wants to be onboard with a datalink failure?

The datalink will be just one of several tech redundancies.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 20):
Yes there are, and there are PLENTY of times both pilots are extremely busy during normal operations, especially in busy terminal areas with convective weather.

And advancing tech will make that very much less so in the future.

Quoting Transpac787 (Reply 23):
The evolution of computers isn't yet beyond humans.

Autoland, for example, has a 10 knot crosswind component limit on the 747-400, while landing by the crew has a 30 knot crosswind component limit.

That, the 747-400, is "old" tech. That seems to be the problem with naysayers... they use "old" tech examples.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
25 Transpac787 : Then what is the autoland crosswind component limit on the 777, 787, or A380??
26 AirstairFear : Airlines do not use safety as a marketing tool. Perhaps they should IMO, but they really never have to any extent and likely won't in my lifetime. I'
27 GymClassHero : Why? Even if he's on the ground, you still have to pay to keep him current in his type, and you still have to pay him a salary. And if recent history
28 Planemaker : That is also "old" tech in that the systems were designed several years ago (just look at the EIS delays of the A380 and 787). When we talk about SP
29 HAL : Yes, in the technology that is simple - such as single system operations and control. Going from 4 to 3 to 2 pilots was done by technology that is th
30 Wing : This kind of debates going on since the Airliners.net established.As an airline pilot-talking from my experiences not from my science fiction dreams-I
31 Flyby519 : I sling gear in the right seat and flip switches. A monkey could do my job as FO. When the crap hits the fan I read checklists, flip more switches, t
32 LAXintl : In general computers are more predictable, faster and more reliable to the humans. You know today what my biggest fear of travel is? Its the human ele
33 PGNCS : So you say. You say the probability is "extremely small" that causation would be attributed to lack of a second pilot. How do you know this? Do you h
34 HAL : Then (as a 25+ year pilot) I would hate to have you as my FO. I want someone involved with the flight and decision making, not a detached 'switch-fli
35 XFSUgimpLB41X : Maybe a half % of landings each day are autolands. Yes, I said .5%. It really is that low. Most autolands are for aircraft currency. Even fewer are a
36 Post contains images MrChips : Moreover, show me a computer that has the decision-making ability of a pilot and I'll show you a computer that can easily replace an engineer at any
37 PGNCS : Agreed, HAL. I want and expect my FO to be involved with all aspects of the flight. I expect him or her to notice errors I make and call them to my a
38 JohnMKE : based off what? based on my prediction 40-45yrs a man with a Scottish accent will beam humans to the planed destination. 50-60yrs humans will ascend
39 XFSUgimpLB41X : Absolutely spot on!
40 Planemaker : First of all, it is not a huge leap... IT is already making "command" decisions faster and better than humans in many areas. In 15 years IT it will b
41 Alias1024 : When computers have the ability to think like and problem solve at the same level as a human we can talk about moving to single pilot operations. When
42 MrChips : So if it isn't worthy of consideration, how then do you propose to link up with an aircraft flying a polar route that runs into trouble? Normal GEO s
43 B2707SST : To reiterate what someone else said above, the pilot on the ground surely will have to be trained as robustly as the onboard pilot and clearly has to
44 Planemaker : So why aren't all the FBW aircraft crashing? And computers do not have to be "infallible" (though they certainly are less so than humans!) The reason
45 Silentbob : I know more than a few captains that treat the FOs that way.
46 Planemaker : And you think that it still will be in 15 years time? It is really interesting at how the naysayers are always projecting "yesterday's" technology as
47 Transpac787 : Save for how a computer can land an A320 in a 8 knot crosswind while a human can do a 30 knot crosswind.
48 Aircellist : I had UA 232 in mind as well... Not because it is an accident I think will happen again, but because it was an unforeseeable situation, which could on
49 Planemaker : But as time passes the machines have gained ground at being experts... and reproduceable at scale at that, while we, humans, have continued to be fal
50 Post contains images Transpac787 : Through and through, your posts remind me of that 1960's movie "2001: A Space Odyssey", how that in 40 years we'd be traveling to the planets. And no
51 Post contains images GymClassHero : I find it disturbing that some on here WANT SP or NP ops, what kind of aviation enthusiasts are you people? How many of you are here just to look at p
52 Post contains links HAL : FBW is simple mechanics! It translates what a HUMAN asks it to do, and does it. The FBW system does not make the decisions on where to go, when to ma
53 DocLightning : Until one day the comm goes inop and then the single pilot has a medical event and so the plane now has no pilot. This is like saying that there will
54 AirstairFear : Amen to that! Unless you are browsing these forums at the young age of maybe 14, all these discussions are academic because you will not be around to
55 Planemaker : Your post is a red-herring as no one has said any of the above in relation to SP ops. The facts are that with each gen of aircraft reliability and sa
56 Transpac787 : 40 years ago we landed on the moon. 40 years later we are..... well, still just here. You suggest in 15+ years pilots will be an obsolete profession.
57 AirstairFear : Which is part of the game. How are you going to solve that one in 15 years? It's worse than that. 40 years later we can't even put a man into orbit w
58 Planemaker : I'm not saying that it will be obsolete... just that new EIS aircraft will be SP. You don't need NextGen ATC to have SP though it is scheduled to be
59 Transpac787 : Regardless, how do you justify these new planes as being safer when you are advocating removing safety redundancies? Any pilot will tell you, day in
60 Planemaker : The leading cause of accidents is pilot error (according to Boeing's website) - you just can't improve humans any further. On the other hand, aircraf
61 AirstairFear : Actually I meant bureaucracy was part of the game, not NextGen. My fault, wasn't clear there. Even getting the frequency spectrum and so on licensed
62 Planemaker : For a couple of years now Boeing and RR have had real-time in-flight monitoring and trouble shooting so I don't see why not they couldn't "control" t
63 Transpac787 : And what you advocate is creating even MORE accidents due to pilot error by removing redundancies. You've completely contradicted yourself. Exactly.
64 Post contains images AirstairFear : I'm guessing "Spaceballs". Or.... Pilots? We don't need no stinkin' pilots!
65 Transpac787 : "Out of order?! F**K!!! Even in the future nothing works!!!" -Dark Helmet
66 727forever : I find it interesting that this topic is being discussed just days after the media reports on Taliban militants hacking into the video systems on the
67 Mir : I hate to say it, but you might think about it. At least take a long, hard look at where the industry is going before you really decide to take the p
68 AirstairFear : Well of course they're not phasing out pilot training programs, when they have people willing to pay $100k to go through the program even in the curr
69 Jetmatt777 : Aviation (operations) is so interesting to me because of all of the coordination. You have people on the ramp, gate agents, ticket agents, pilots, fl
70 Lightsaber : I quoted this early post as that is the answer. If something goes wrong, there is a pilot on the ground who can help. I've seen cases in flight testi
71 GymClassHero : I'm not talking economically, I'm talking technologically, LOL. Of course everyone is rooting for a recovery.
72 FLY2HMO : It will definitely happen sooner than later. And most definitely before you completely remove pilots from the cockpit (that though wont happen in my
73 HAL : The people pissed at removing FE's were the FE's, because they were losing their jobs. But their jobs consisted of running systems, something that we
74 Alias1024 : If I had been the first officer on Colgan 3407, where the stick shaker and pusher were going off and the captain was yanking the nose up toward 31 de
75 GymClassHero : People try and use the example of 5 pilots to 4 pilots to 3 pilots, etc, but those other guys were NOT pilots. There were radio operators, flight engi
76 AirstairFear : This is one of the funniest things I've read today. You will be lucky to pay back the costs of your specialized education before you die, let alone g
77 Lightsaber : No. But you could monitor icing conditions, recommend de-icing, etc. But what is your point? There were two pilots for flight 3407. Let us not forget
78 HAL : To anyone thinking of flying for a career: AirstairFear's comments show a very sad attitude. Yes, it takes time to make it to the majors. Yes, it can
79 Jimbobjoe : 10-15 years? Probably not. The 787 will still be pretty fresh in 10-15 years. But my feeling is that single pilot commercial flights may never happen
80 Glom : You can't have just a single pilot onboard. Without another pilot to watch him, he'd just spend the whole time shagging the flight attendants. And the
81 Haggis79 : sure it will - the laws of physics won't have changed in 15 years time (nor will they have changed in 150 years time, for that matter). In Germany th
82 MrChips : No advanced technology, no matter how close it borders on magic, can violate the laws of physics. GEO satellites simply are not useful at latitudes a
83 Molykote : Am I (and perhaps Stanley Kubrick) the only one who found that funny?
84 UncleKoru : Removing pilots from the cockpit does not eliminate the human element. It's not that I don't agree with you, the human element is the biggest problem
85 JoeCanuck : Here is the thing that will ultimately keep 2 people in the cockpit. There is not now, or will there ever, (in my mind), be a network communications
86 Post contains links Mir : Fair enough, but you should know that the statistics say that you're not as safe in a single pilot turbine aircraft as you are with two pilots: http:
87 Aircellist : My thoughts as well. My thoughts as well. Also, we can only plan for what we know. For everything else, we invent. Computers are not there yet, as fa
88 Post contains links Mir : I don't think so - I think the number of errors is the same, only that in a two-crew cockpit, the other pilot is able to catch them, and keep them fr
89 ANZUS340 : I find this sickening, again cost cutting takes precedence. With military fighters I understand why many A/C are single pilots. The same push has been
90 Aircellist : Nice precision.
91 UncleKoru : It is not uncommon for corporate clients in the charter market to mandate a two pilot crew when chartering aircraft that are (or can) be certified fo
92 Planemaker : No, things are constantly getting safer. Cars, for example, are much safer due to technology that protects us from human error. Right now, of course
93 UncleKoru : By which point AI will proberly be building and designing the aircraft as well! We won't be the only ones out of a job Planemaker.
94 Mir : That's quite a leap. Anything to back it up other than saying "this guy had low time, he must really suck"? -Mir
95 JoeCanuck : UAV's and cargo don't require the niceties required to keep passengers healthy and, relatively, happy. These craft can be made tough enough to withsta
96 Planemaker : You are absolutely right!! Let's face it, computers have already displaced a lot of people... and it is only going to increase. Yes, you just have to
97 Post contains images Transpac787 : Technology that makes the car itself safer, not the means of which someone drives it. You're all over the place on your argument. You are trying to c
98 Pohakuloa : I've read through this thread and it seems that the one common thing here is the intelligence of the human being itself. This being a case and point o
99 JoeCanuck : So huge, yet you don't hear a single airline asking for single pilot operations much less that it would be safer. What? That doesn't make any sense a
100 DocLightning : And even with three A/P's, modern aircraft STILL sometimes lose the A/P. I can hear the announcement now: "Ladies and gentlemen, if there's anyone he
101 Lightsaber : I wonder if that is true. But people might hesitate to fly sans pilot. I see a "B-movie" there. But I think there is an air-traffic control issue to
102 Ken777 : Lots of people look at risks - lawyers, insurance companies,etc. Doesn't mean that thsoe looking are "naysayers". A single accident can also be "hund
103 Planemaker : If you read my replies you will see that I did indeed post that we have the technology to have computers driving cars... it just is not cost effectiv
104 Transpac787 : And in the 1960's they were hellbent convinced that by the 21st century we'd be traveling to the planets. What makes you so supremely confident that
105 Planemaker : My assertions are not unsubstantiated... they are all around us if you have the interest to look. I may have a certain advantage in that I am exposed
106 Mir : You just repeated the same thing - since the guy has a fairly low amount of time (though 1,000+ hours isn't insignificant), he's automatically incapa
107 Lightsaber : It is at the point now that a copilot in a D sim would be safer (isolated from turbulence, cabin-depressurization, etc.) Ok, we would have to launch
108 Post contains links and images Planemaker : No leap in logic... and his hours are low for his age PLUS look at how low his IFR time is (which is crucial!) and the same would have happened if he
109 GymClassHero : I appreciate that (finally can play FSX with all-right sliders ), just don't take away my pilot's liscence. If this system is implemented some day, t
110 AirstairFear : Ok, did you have a point there? Present the information better; it's still the same info. Present it REALLY better and you'll have a patent after the
111 AirNZ : Absolutely non-sensical and irrelevant points......where on earth does a pilot union come into this discussion, except by your own personal agenda on
112 Post contains links Planemaker : It'll never be taken! BTW, I did you know that the Navy uses FS for some training? http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/co...uting/01/26/missile.idg/ind
113 MrChips : That will depend entirely on airline SOPs, and I guarantee you that it will happen hundreds of times more often than you think. Even if they linked u
114 Planemaker : You can guarantee no such thing... even today with "old" tech (in some case, very old tech) you don't see SP aircraft falling out of the skies. It sh
115 MrChips : Aircraft don't have to fall out of the skies to be in trouble. Spend a moment and go browse the daily occurrence logs from any country and you can se
116 Planemaker : Rarely... and, when they do, with old tech aircraft. And the cost is a pittance. Yet airlines buy the EFB... imagine that! Yes... of course, that is
117 PanAm788 : For all you guys saying that this will happen imminently, look to the facts. Flight engineers were not pilots. They just looked over systems and did n
118 Planemaker : FE were in fact pilots waiting to move up to the right seat. And the "pilot job" has already been automated in the Global Hawk. In one example, it fl
119 Transpac787 : This is your blanket excuse for everything thus far. This aircraft was old tech, that's why it crashed.... That aircraft was old tech, that's why it
120 HAL : Planemaker, Through this whole lengthy thread, you've extolled the virtues of technology, saying that it does a better job than humans. Maybe so, in t
121 Tdscanuck : There are actually ways to program for this kind of adaptability. NASA did a study with an adaptive FBW control system that was able to hold control
122 Zkpilot : I think it is more the difference between a 747 and a Cessna Caravan.... Sure the number of pax plays a part but it is more the size of the aircraft.
123 Planemaker : You haven't followed the thread time lines. I have never said 4-5 years but 5 to 6 times that time frame. If you want to call the demonstration of it
124 Post contains links ZANL188 : In fact there are computers that come close to this... Check out the Entry, Descent, and Landing system for the Mars Rovers... It uses radar and imag
125 Tom355uk : I see here many contributors (mainly U.S based, I should add) complaining bitterly about the wages paid to pilots, and how it is driving people away f
126 HAL : I agree that they're using a smart system for the Mars lander, but it's a far, far cry from what I'm describing. And I don't believe I'm being naive
127 Post contains links Lightsaber : FIrst, Everything proposed is to go to single pilot operation. There is already a substantial salary differentiation between pilot and copilot. So I s
128 ZANL188 : Lets rethink that for a moment. Multiple computers looking at only variable at a time?? The machines we websurf with have more power than that. Singl
129 HAL : No, no, no! NOT demonstrated by the Mars Rover. The landing mechanism on the rovers may have been able to cancel out sideways motion, but they DID NO
130 Prebennorholm : If SP ever happens, then it will happen decades later in the US than in the rest of the world. The reason is not technical, but economical. Should a S
131 ZANL188 : But they did analyze large amounts of data to avoid undesirable areas and conditions. And they did "look out the window" with both radar and visual s
132 Transpac787 : Absolutely. A one-time flight is, without-doubt, a publicity stunt. Through this line alone, you suggest that an engine failure (mechanical) is inevi
133 Tdscanuck : This thread is *not* about replacing the human brain. With single-pilot operation you have, by definition, a human brain. The safety critical issue i
134 UncleKoru : Synthetic vision devices? Perhaps we could automate lending decisions at our fine banks/finance companies first??
135 Lrinearson : The idea of having only one pilot flying frightens me. I always was partial to the 727. Airbus scares me too. I would much rather have experienced pil
136 Tdscanuck : The 777 and 787 are both just as computerized, vis a vis flight controls, as an Airbus. Tom.
137 Post contains links Planemaker : But building the "safest possible aircraft" has always been "compromised" by costs. As I already pointed out, we can design and build safer aircraft
138 ZANL188 : The Human brain can multitask as well... Try and walk or grip something with a brain that can't multi-task... tough to coordinate all those muscles w
139 Tdscanuck : You can't think about two thoughts at once...that's what I meant by not multitasking. Yes, our physical coordination is a largely separate (and uncon
140 Bond007 : These discussions are always interesting, and I always make the same observations: 1. Folks advocating single pilot airliners and autonomous flight ar
141 ZANL188 : I do this and I see others do it quite often.. In fact when we respond to a post we are doing exactly that : formulating a response, typing, and edit
142 PPVRA : That's basically what people said of fly by wire.
143 Bond007 : Well, actually, when 2 areas of the brain try and do 2 things at the same time, they do neither one of them very well. On the contrary, you could hav
144 Lightsaber : It does feel like a reprisal of the fly by wire discussion. Now... fly by wire is a given. Unlikely. That takes math. I would add, part is to draw at
145 Transpac787 : So you are, indeed, actually arguing that FBW is immune to failure?! Well heck, we've had a good record up until now so let's just assume that just k
146 Alias1024 : The point is that in 3407 it took two pilots not doing their jobs to crash the plane. If either one had done their job, there's no accident. The redu
147 Planemaker : Nice summary. I would also add that "folks against autonomous/single pilot flight typically" don't understand the economics. FYI, we already have lim
148 HAL : I guess this is where we have a disconnect from reality. You are looking at reducing human error by installing machines to do the job. Yet you have n
149 HAL : And after reading through this whole long thread again, let me say this: I am certainly not a luddite, just wishing for anything mechanical to go away
150 Post contains links Tdscanuck : Nobody's making that claim. Planemaker was just pointing out that FBW is more reliable than human crews (for its intended function), since there's a
151 Transpac787 : Please... I already clearly outlined this but here we go, again. All it takes is one pilot who's fatigued, hung-over, etc.... to make a mistake that
152 Planemaker : I have to give credit again to Tdscanuck for responding to your post but I have to highlight that it is not a leap... let alone a huge leap. The tech
153 Keesje : . Should an aircraft flight management system be able to overide a pilot just before controlled flight into terrain? Think 9-11, Egypt 767, Surinam DC
154 Tdscanuck : It probably depends on which OEM you ask. To me, active intervention prior to a terrain strike is completely consistent with Airbus envelope protecti
155 Transpac787 : Absolutely not. Having never flown it myself, I can only go off of the word of the pilots I talk to about it, but on a missed approach in ASE, the GP
156 Tdscanuck : Why is it OK for flight controls to do it, but not the FMS? Or do you feel that way about the whole envelope-protection concept in general? Tom.
157 Post contains links Planemaker : But again... what wrongful deaths? They are a figment of your imagination. And surely even in your imagination there is insurance - just like the ins
158 HAL : I never said it wouldn't happen. There's certainly a place for unmanned aircraft in survey, surveillance, and military applications. But as we've dis
159 Transpac787 : Are you having *that* much trouble coming to terms with what I'm saying, or are you just intentionally being thick-headed in the spirit of argument??
160 Planemaker : But why are you talking about "ANY" crash since this thread is about SP ops, which is not yet implemented. So again, since we don't have SP ops... "w
161 Post contains images Transpac787 : Because planes crash, simple as that. Your second-coming SP or no-pilot aircraft will crash as well. That is a fact you simply must accept, but up to
162 Planemaker : That is why I have said, "that is what insurance is for". But, as I have posted several times now, that an SP aircraft might crash is irrelevant give
163 Transpac787 : Great!! So as long as insurance pays for it, who cares if we have planes crashing down all over hell and creation!!! What other gypsie fortunes can y
164 Tdscanuck : No, they're not. At all. "Old tech" refers to when a technology was *started*, "obsolete" refers to when it *ended*. You can have either or both, com
165 Planemaker : Another example of one of your typical posts... you don't have a clue about the subject but post fabrication anyway because your assertion is proven
166 Transpac787 : I guess since you were clueless about such in incident, it is surely a fabrication. You know, I was gonna let this thread go. But, in the light of yo
167 Planemaker : Not only is it a fabrication, but a very poor one at that. You didn't even make an attempt to make it believable. Just like your Colgan and Comair fa
168 Transpac787 : Yea, that's obviously a very objective summation. What better way to support your argument than saying: A) I generally tend to have a better understa
169 PITIngres : "When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossib
170 AirNz : Sorry if I appear pedantic, but on a point of order that is actually incorrect. The US Congress is not empowered to represent "the will of the people
171 Planemaker : First, it never happened for the simple reason, as already noted, that a 150' near miss is a MAJOR incident and NW would have HAD to report it to the
172 Tdscanuck : It *already* happens for passenger service, all the time. I think you mean "it'll never happen for scheduled Part 121 service". Tom.
173 Post contains links Planemaker : Craig Hoover, director of advanced marketing and technology at GE Aviation, told flightglobal.com the FMS technology could have far-reaching implicati
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