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Embraer Considers Eliminating 'Last Taboo'  
User currently offlinesantosdumont From Brazil, joined Dec 2003, 1201 posts, RR: 4
Posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 26030 times:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,716225,00.html

I don't work in the aviation biz, but I was surprised to see the elimination of the co-pilot even being addressed at this stage. Reaction?


"Pursuit Of Truth No Matter Where It Lies" -- Metallica
134 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15829 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 25938 times:

Well, it is a logical step to take as planes get more and more advanced. That said, whether or not this ever comes to fruition in our lifetimes is questionable due to many factors. Some of them are technical hurdles and some are just political.


Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineflyby519 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 25794 times:

Reducing from 2 to 1 cockpit crewmembers brings up a unique problem that hasnt shown itself in the previous reductions of navigators and flight engineers. If there is only 1 cockpit crewmember then how does a new pilot get into the business? The time spent as a First Officer in an airliner provides valuable experience in operations, airmanship, and judgment through the mentoring of a Captain. Without that apprenticeship period we will have only 1 pilot in the cockpit, without any flying experience. At that point the aircraft designers might as well go from 2 cockpit crewmembers to zero.


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User currently offlineadxmatt From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 954 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 25642 times:

Is it possible? Yes

Many rules would need to be re-written. including on board security.

I could see an interim approach where the First Officer would do "other duties" during the low workload phase of flight. i.e. cruise. "other duties" could include serving customers with the F/A.

Next phase would be a dispatcher on the ground would assist the capt during high workload phases of flight using a web cam and remote access to the a/c systems. This would eliminate the F/O as we know it. He could do the reading of checklists, uplinking data/route changes to the FMC, talking on the radio.

Then finally going to where the ground dispatcher would be able to take over remotely in an emergency only.

This will not happen overnight but is possible.


User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25688 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 25487 times:
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Quoting adxmatt (Reply 3):
This will not happen overnight but is possible.

It isn't actually new.

One of my first commercial flights, in about 1950, was in a Dragon Rapide - seven or eight pax and one pilot.

It's just scale, I guess.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13520 posts, RR: 100
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 25414 times:
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Quoting mariner (Reply 4):
One of my first commercial flights, in about 1950, was in a Dragon Rapide - seven or eight pax and one pilot.

I've flown into MCO, JFK, and a few other large airports with a single pilot. So it is very plausable for single pilot ops.

Not to mention the ATC discussed in the article is far supperior to what is in service today.

Embraer already does single pilot ops in the same airspace with their business jets. Embraer has done PR on this topic before and we've discussed before on a.net. I'm not expecting any new views.   

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 2):
. If there is only 1 cockpit crewmember then how does a new pilot get into the business?

I expect there will be a seat there for training purposes. We have that seat in a Phenom 100, it will be there in the next Embraer.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinemurchmo From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 25079 times:

I like aviateur's article on this...

http://www.salon.com/technology/ask_the_pilot/



to strive to seek to find and not to yield
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25688 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 24910 times:
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Quoting murchmo (Reply 6):
I like aviateur's article on this...

As I've said before, I am concerned that to dismiss it as a "crackpot idea" by Michael O'Leary - in the first line of that article - misses the importance of the public debate that has to happen about this.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineAA43E From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 24666 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 5):
I've flown into MCO, JFK, and a few other large airports with a single pilot. So it is very plausable for single pilot ops.

Let's not get ridiculous now. I personally wouldn't want to do single pilot commercial flying into JFK or any other busy major metropolitan area. The Co-pilot:
1. Provides an extra set of eyes both in and out of the cockpit
2. Lessens the workload on the flying pilot
3. Provides a backstop since even the captain is subject to error
4. Can land the aircraft should the captain become incapacitated

I can just see it now! Flying single pilot approach to minimums and the autopilot goes out! While it happens I'm certain, I'd rather not be a passenger on an aircraft with only one pilot when it does. You may have my seat!   


User currently offlineCharlieNoble From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 24279 times:

Quoting AA43E (Reply 8):

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 5):
I've flown into MCO, JFK, and a few other large airports with a single pilot. So it is very plausable for single pilot ops.

Let's not get ridiculous now. I personally wouldn't want to do single pilot commercial flying into JFK or any other busy major metropolitan area. The Co-pilot:
1. Provides an extra set of eyes both in and out of the cockpit
2. Lessens the workload on the flying pilot
3. Provides a backstop since even the captain is subject to error
4. Can land the aircraft should the captain become incapacitated

I can just see it now! Flying single pilot approach to minimums and the autopilot goes out! While it happens I'm certain, I'd rather not be a passenger on an aircraft with only one pilot when it does. You may have my seat!

#3 is in my opinion the biggest reason because I don't see any way to automate the 'gut check' another human can provide. Smart people do really dumb things under pressure...good to have somebody there to tell the Captain to get his head out of his APU vent sometimes.


User currently offlineYYZRWY23 From Canada, joined Aug 2009, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 24278 times:

I don't know how easily this taboo can be eliminated. Even though we use many modes of transportation during the day with only one operator (subway, bus, taxi...etc), the consequences seem less dire if this person were to become incapacitated. For example, on subway's and trains, a dead man's switch is present. In a taxi, hopefully you don't hit something too badly, but a very survivable ordeal.

However, airplane crashes are not something, that as a society, are we used to. I don't wake up each morning to a broadcast that 4 planes have crashed, or even one for that matter. I wake up to multi-vehicle crash here, single crash there, coach bus rolled over there. We have become almost insensitive to these incidents. And I am very glad that society isn't insensitive to plane crashes, they are probably the most catastrophic of transportation accidents.

The taboo of having a second pilot is something that we the travelling public have become so accustomed to, and I don't see being given up in the future. Passengers also understand that the computers on an aircraft do a lot of the flying and managing of systems, however, they know that there are 2 (or 3-4) human beings that can take over. Even though we have had computers around for a while now, I don't think society is ready to hand over complete control to them. And I am addressing this in respect to the worst case scenario, the single pilot becomes incapacitated.

Take the typical person who has a home computer. I am sure many (if not all) of these people have had their computer crash. They know that it doesn't happen often, but it CAN happen. Now, anyone who knows their computer crashes knows that it is possible for the plane's computer to crash as well. Now I know there are several others ready, but what happens when they fail? There is nothing left. And if you tell people that in that case, someone from the ground would fly you down using a joystick, I don't see planes being very full in the future.

I applaud Embraer for putting forth the initiative to advance technology, and the aviation industry. They make excellent aircraft and are amongst my favourite to fly on. But I think their efforts should be put towards making plane crashes more survivable, maybe even developing technology to "act" as a first officer in the event one pilot becomes incapacitated.

I don't where everyone else stands on this issue, but coming from an aviation enthusiast, this means something. I will not board a commercial airliner that has only one pilot.

Now that I have put forth my view on this topic, I would like to comment on some others, as I think this can become an excellent discussion and topic on this baord.

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 3):
Next phase would be a dispatcher on the ground would assist the capt during high workload phases of flight using a web cam and remote access to the a/c systems.

And how many more dispatchers would an airline need to hire to cover all this work? Would probably cost way more than having the FO there. Most dispatchers, to my knowledge, handle between 20-40 flights at a time (please correct if wrong). How will a single dispatcher be able to handle assisting the Captain's of 30 airliners at the same time?

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 3):
Then finally going to where the ground dispatcher would be able to take over remotely in an emergency only.

An interesting thought, however, it comes with its own problem. Most dispatchers, to my knowledge, handle between 20-40 flights at a time (please correct if wrong). If one plane has an issue, the dispatcher helps out, but what happens to the other aircraft he/she is responsible for. What happens if the second aircraft has the same problem, then the dispatcher is stuck. Also, you know need to train every dispatcher on multiple aircraft because dispatchers at major airlines usually handle several different types of aircraft (or the entire fleet) on a single shift.

YYZRWY23



If you don't stand behind our troops, feel free to stand in front of them.
User currently offlineFlyHossD From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 975 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 24116 times:

There are several good points made above.

My first few flying jobs were "hard IFR" in the northeast U.S.A. - single pilot and no autopilot, just like every other
freight dog.

Having said that, I wouldn't ever put my family on a single pilot jet flgiht.

Also, left unsaid so far, what do you do when the pilot has to pee?



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineNW747-400 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 504 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 24040 times:

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 11):
Also, left unsaid so far, what do you do when the pilot has to pee?


Or how about when the pilot becomes incapacitated...

Its happened plenty of times before.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 13520 posts, RR: 100
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23667 times:
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Quoting AA43E (Reply 8):
Let's not get ridiculous now.

Then why are Beech and some firefighting aircraft safe solo pilot?

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 11):
My first few flying jobs were "hard IFR" in the northeast U.S.A. - single pilot and no autopilot, just like every other
freight dog.

Having said that, I wouldn't ever put my family on a single pilot jet flgiht.

Fair enough. If there was a ground based autoland, I would. We have landed malfunctioning prototypes that no airborne pilot could have handled.

Oh well, step #1 is UAV's in commercial airspace; that is a non-trivial effort.

The timeline Embraer proposes is reasonable. It does depend on a few enabling technologies.



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinemurchmo From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23600 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 7):

i dont know man...its all relative. Maybe a ten seater in a couple years. Maybe a 30 seater in 10 years. We might get there one day in a distant future. And perhaps this is just the begining of that dialogue. But to have an airline CEO say he wants to get rid of one of the pilots send passengers the wrong idea IMO. But i think its crazy to think an airliner with hundreds of people on it can get by with one pilot...

"I'm trying to picture some poor lone pilot in a Ryanair 737 shooting an ILS approach to minimums, with a go-around and diversion to an alternate airport, having to deal with the weather, air traffic control and company communications, fuel planning, reprogramming the flight management system and setting up the next approach, and so on. Not to mention flying the damn plane. Sure, there's an autopilot, and it requires a steady stream of inputs in order to manage speed, altitude and course." -from said article



to strive to seek to find and not to yield
User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25688 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 23405 times:
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Quoting murchmo (Reply 14):
And perhaps this is just the begining of that dialogue. But to have an airline CEO say he wants to get rid of one of the pilots send passengers the wrong idea IMO.

Why is it the wrong idea? It is likely to happen.

We went through all this in the other thread. but this is an issue that affects the traveling public as much as, maybe more than, any other group, and they are generally, either crap scared about it or genuinely puzzled as to how it will work.

What Mr. O'Leary did was lay out a possible future - single pilot aircraft are coming, this is what you, the public, may have to deal with.

It's all very well for the safety regulators and the pilots to decide the issues - he involved the public in the debate and I think that public should have a voice in this.

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 738 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 23042 times:

I think there is a huge difference between MOL over at FR talking about eliminating the co-pilot on current technology 737's and Embraer looking at 10-20 years from now with new technology, this could be very feasible. The weakspot in most highly automated systems is the human input point (it's also the slowest point of response) so there could be an argument to say removing the co-pilot would eliminate one weak point in the control system.

Quoting YYZRWY23 (Reply 10):
Take the typical person who has a home computer. I am sure many (if not all) of these people have had their computer crash. They know that it doesn't happen often, but it CAN happen. Now, anyone who knows their computer crashes knows that it is possible for the plane's computer to crash as well. Now I know there are several others ready, but what happens when they fail? There is nothing left.

The odds of all the computers with their multiple redundancies in a current modern commercial airliner failing are astronomically high, however if they did all fail then it wouldn't matter if there was 1 or 10 pilots on board, the ending is still the same.

Quoting YYZRWY23 (Reply 10):
I will not board a commercial airliner that has only one pilot.

I got on a train last week that only had one driver. Didn't even think it was a problem.

Quoting YYZRWY23 (Reply 10):

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 3):
Next phase would be a dispatcher on the ground would assist the capt during high workload phases of flight using a web cam and remote access to the a/c systems.

And how many more dispatchers would an airline need to hire to cover all this work? Would probably cost way more than having the FO there. Most dispatchers, to my knowledge, handle between 20-40 flights at a time (please correct if wrong). How will a single dispatcher be able to handle assisting the Captain's of 30 airliners at the same time?

Quoting adxmatt (Reply 3):
Then finally going to where the ground dispatcher would be able to take over remotely in an emergency only.

An interesting thought, however, it comes with its own problem. Most dispatchers, to my knowledge, handle between 20-40 flights at a time (please correct if wrong). If one plane has an issue, the dispatcher helps out, but what happens to the other aircraft he/she is responsible for. What happens if the second aircraft has the same problem, then the dispatcher is stuck. Also, you know need to train every dispatcher on multiple aircraft because dispatchers at major airlines usually handle several different types of aircraft (or the entire fleet) on a single shift.

I can see a ground based "co-pilot" monitoring systems on several aircraft simultaneously as a back up to the pilot. Worth remembering that the technology to actually fly the aircraft could be very different from what we have today which could change and reduce the pilot role very significantly from that we know today.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22954 times:

Quoting flyby519 (Reply 2):
Reducing from 2 to 1 cockpit crewmembers brings up a unique problem that hasnt shown itself in the previous reductions of navigators and flight engineers. If there is only 1 cockpit crewmember then how does a new pilot get into the business?

This is not a unique, nor new, problem...the military has been succesfully dealing with it for decades. I don't see why the same techniques won't work for commercial.

Quoting AA43E (Reply 8):
The Co-pilot:
1. Provides an extra set of eyes both in and out of the cockpit
2. Lessens the workload on the flying pilot
3. Provides a backstop since even the captain is subject to error
4. Can land the aircraft should the captain become incapacitated

None of the above require a second crewmember *on the aircraft*. I think an obvious transitional step is a ground-based "second pilot" handling multiple aircraft.

Quoting AA43E (Reply 8):
Flying single pilot approach to minimums and the autopilot goes out! While it happens I'm certain, I'd rather not be a passenger on an aircraft with only one pilot when it does.

That's certainly your choice, but I think you're making the very erroneous assumption that a single pilot airliner would be just like today's airliners, but with only one person. You can't do that...today's airliners are built for two person operation. To go single pilot at all, the workload and automation redundancy will all be quite different than what we have now.

Quoting YYZRWY23 (Reply 10):
Take the typical person who has a home computer. I am sure many (if not all) of these people have had their computer crash. They know that it doesn't happen often, but it CAN happen. Now, anyone who knows their computer crashes knows that it is possible for the plane's computer to crash as well. Now I know there are several others ready, but what happens when they fail? There is nothing left.

This all true, but having more pilots does absolutely no good when your technology fails, so it's not an argument against single pilot operation. It also ignores the vast (about 7 orders of magnitude) difference in reliability between consumer goods and aviation hardware.

Quoting YYZRWY23 (Reply 10):
I will not board a commercial airliner that has only one pilot.

There are already lots of commercial aircraft that run single pilot...do you just chose not to fly them today?

Tom.


User currently offlineLimaNiner From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 404 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22853 times:

Quoting FlyHossD (Reply 11):
Also, left unsaid so far, what do you do when the pilot has to pee?

Dang -- you beat me to it!!

Quoting NW747-400 (Reply 12):
Or how about when the pilot becomes incapacitated...

Just don't eat the fish -- problem solved, right?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkGR65CXaNA


User currently offlinemariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25688 posts, RR: 85
Reply 19, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22816 times:
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Quoting BD338 (Reply 16):
I think there is a huge difference between MOL over at FR talking about eliminating the co-pilot on current technology 737's and Embraer looking at 10-20 years from now with new technology, this could be very feasible.

He didn't say that.

In the original Businessweek article, Mr. O'Leary didn't mention the 737, nor did he put a date or aircraft type on the idea.

He simply advanced a concept. Now, I believe (?) he has put an application in to the regulators, to let them decide on the feasability, but I have seen almost no public debate about that.

mariner

[Edited 2010-09-11 19:08:43]


aeternum nauta
User currently offlinesilentbob From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 2176 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22790 times:

I know commercial pilots that are undiagnosed narcoleptics, have serious OCD issues or are just getting old and starting to lose their edge. I will never fly in a commercial single pilot environment without much more stringent medical requirements.

User currently offlinepeanuts From Netherlands, joined Dec 2009, 1445 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22715 times:

I don't know. Anything can happen with either one or two pilots in the cockpit, I know.

One pilot for me: it just lowers the threshold for stupid things. I keep thinking EgyptAir.

I like the "buddy" system. A "buddy" keeps some people in check, so to speak. Some people do stupid things when by themselves.

Unless advances have been made in developing flight systems that absolutely can't be sabotaged.

Engineers may push all they want. The public will have a say in this. With their wallet. We'll see.

PS: I get pretty uncomfortable on a plane when one of the pilots goes to the restroom. I don't' like it. Never have, never will. I trust an airplane more than a single pilot. No disrespect.

[Edited 2010-09-11 19:02:20]


Question Conventional Wisdom. While not all commonly held beliefs are wrong…all should be questioned.
User currently offlineUTAH744 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 207 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22678 times:

I recall two instances where having just one pilot would have led to loss of the aircraft and all onboard dead. North Central/Republic airlines CV-580 hit a Canadian Goose descending into KFSD and the bird went through the windshield and the Captain lost his left eye and Doctors were abvle to save his left arm with a few operations. The second was a DC-9 descending into KBOI and the Captain had a fatal heart attack which caused him to deflect full left rudder. The highly skilled F/O corrected the rudder, got the F/As to remove the captain and he landed and taxied in. Both of these happened fairly close to the ground precluding a semi-qualified person to come up and help.

I don't know how you feel, but for me there will be two pilots flying or I don't go.



You are never too old to learn something stupid
User currently offlineltbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13195 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 22679 times:

I think only for the smallest class aircraft (less than 20 pax) and small 'freighters' (like island hopping), on short flights (less than one hour) in low traffic areas (NOT in most urban areas of the USA for example), and only in VFR conditoins could be considered for 1 person cockpit operations. Beyond those narrow limits you need the main and co-pilot in the cockpit for safe operations.

User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6415 posts, RR: 34
Reply 24, posted (4 years 3 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 22500 times:

Quoting mariner (Reply 19):
In the original Businessweek article, Mr. O'Leary didn't mention the 737, nor did he put a date or aircraft type on the idea.

I don't think that people get that simple point.

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 17):
hat's certainly your choice, but I think you're making the very erroneous assumption that a single pilot airliner would be just like today's airliners, but with only one person. You can't do that...today's airliners are built for two person operation. To go single pilot at all, the workload and automation redundancy will all be quite different than what we have now.

It is quite interesting that so many people on here provide old incidents with old aircraft designs as examples of why there will never be single pilot ops. Or they think that today's ATC/aircraft/avionics design is static when the historical record (without going into specifics) shows constant technological progress.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
25 pilotpip : When they crash you don't kill 20-300 people. It would take a change in federal law to allow for part 121 carriers in the US to allow single pilot op
26 Quokka : Catheter, anybody? Sure, technology is advancing but I'm sure I'd feel safe thinking that the pilot has a stroke and the onboard computers are scream
27 Max Q : There simply is no technological miracle that will allow for elimination of the redundancy provided by two human Pilots. Humans are fallible, machines
28 YYZRWY23 : So is winning the lottery, yet, every week, every few weeks, or months, somebody wins. Even with the odds as long as they are of happening, I'd prefe
29 BlueJuice : For the foreseeable future, having two pilots will be the standard for passenger aircraft. One day the technology will come along for single pilot ops
30 silentbob : And any airline that didn't go single pilot would have a field day marketing against it. Crew costs really aren't all that high in the grand scheme o
31 ThePinnacleKid : More importantly is the notion the general public as a whole has.. even people on this site have.. about the roles of Captains and First Officers... t
32 DashTrash : I wouldn't go at all. Exactly. Amen! Having two pilots on board has prevented countless accidents you never heard about. There are also times when ha
33 brons2 : I dunno, I work in IT, have for 15 years, and I don't think computers and especially computer networking are yet advanced enough to provide for a comp
34 asteriskceo : Yeah, just more unemployment. Exactly what the world needs. Hats off to you Embraer and Ryan Air for your progressive thinking! Because less people wo
35 asteriskceo : And can you imagine the stress that airplane manufacturers and airlines would put on air crash investigators to not cite single pilot operation as par
36 Mir : 10-20 years is pretty unrealistic for airliners. Logical fallacy. The weak spot in entry is indeed the human, which is why it's great to have another
37 BMI727 : I think that single pilot ops are definitely an avenue worth pursuing so that maybe someday it will happen, but not in my lifetime perhaps. People ca
38 Airport : I have no doubt that someday computers will be able to not only rule out the co-pilot, but the Captain as well, and that if we so chose, we could brin
39 Mir : Not really. It will begin a descent if the cabin altitude exceeds a certain value and there is no action from the pilots. Incapacitation itself isn't
40 lightsaber : The insurance argument I understand. Hence why I want the ability for a ground station to land the airplane. No impact of cabin pressurization, etc.
41 meister808 : Brother, methinks everything you have just proposed is how we do business these days, and have been doing it for a while. You raise an excellent poin
42 Rabenschlag : And this is not the end of the line. Once failure rates of single engines are further declining, we may expect large single engined passenger planes f
43 328JET : How should that work out ? Today a pilot enters the right seat first and after getting trained by the pilots on the left side for several years, he/sh
44 SSTsomeday : First of all, I think the article exaggerates and is sensationalistic. It backs away from it's flashy headlines in the body of the piece. Big commerci
45 USAir330 : Not a plane I would want to be on board. Comair flight 191 had 2 pilots NW 188 had 2 pilots and they over flew the airport with all those pretty compu
46 Post contains images BMI727 : I think that is the case at this point in time. At some point, the two paths do merge, since the best way to keep a person from screwing up is to not
47 328JET : You really surprise me very often... On some days you are fighting for an old generation aircraft to be sufficient for next decade without big change
48 tdscanuck : Neither of those incidents would have resulted in the loss of the aircraft or the death of the passengers *in an airline built for single pilot opera
49 328JET : I did not write anything like this. Read my post again. Thanks.
50 faro : How much is single-pilot ops worth? The saving will vary considerably from carrier to carrier but what would be the upper and lower bounds of the mone
51 ZANL188 : The technology is already there and is proven... Google space shuttle redundant set. Probably pretty pricey for commercial ops at this point, but giv
52 planesailing : This is the way society as a whole is going, I cannot see how we can sustain it. We are continuously trying to do people out of a job by using techno
53 Post contains images kgaiflyer : On the other hand, on my last Cape Air flight (LEB-BOS) there was not only a pilot and a co-pilot on our Cessna, but a jumpseating FO along for the r
54 JAAlbert : The United Airlines DC-10 that crash landed in Souix City, Iowa certainly benefited from having two - wait three pilots - in the cockpit on that fate
55 BMI727 : It was actually four pilots. The three crew assigned to the flight plus a check captain who was sitting in first class. But the answer to that partic
56 Post contains links PPVRA : That's just bad economics. To understand why read this. It's quick, easy reading.
57 Post contains images Rheinbote : It puzzles me why key players in the aerospace industry keep trying to turn air transport into a commodity business while blabbering about "safety fir
58 FLALEFTY : Airlines' insurance carriers will certainly make SP operations of large transport aircraft more expensive. Any factor that increases perceived risk wi
59 tdscanuck : True, but again it's a red herring. A single pilot airliner *cannot* be designed and run like today's aircraft. Given that FBW is already pretty much
60 DashTrash : How so? Those control surfaces are still powered by something. With full FBW control, the outcome would most likely be worse than UA 232 since there
61 Post contains links PPVRA : I found this article. . http://www.militaryaerospace.com/ind...10/8/uavs-in_damage_tolerance.html Is this it, Tdscanuck?
62 Mir : FBW is irrelevant to that crash - the problem was that there was no hydraulic pressure to move the control surfaces. That's going to screw over any a
63 Post contains links ZANL188 : FBW could use the engines FADEC system to control the aircraft, similiar to what the Sioux City crew did. McDoug sucessfully tested the concept in th
64 tdscanuck : Cables didn't help UA232, and FBW would be no worse in that regard. What does help is that fact that FBW enables you to have electric actuators, whic
65 PPVRA : How much more costly would it be to introduce SP ops capability regardless of regulatory approval? You'd think over time some jurisdictions would re-
66 migair54 : We can replace pilots by computers and the F/A by vending machines....... that´s real cost-cutting.... and not only removing the F/O!!!!
67 Post contains images DashTrash : As long as the smoke stays in the wires.
68 BMI727 : And for that matter, hydraulic fuses make it much more difficult to have a complete loss of hydraulics.
69 twinotter : Absolute foolishness. Without a co-pilot, who will raise/lower the landing gear and spin the dials to set speed and altitude?
70 Tigerguy : That's a neat trick, but it was on a sub-scale UAV. Try that on a full-size E-170 with 70 passengers and their cargo. Granted, such an extreme situat
71 PH-BFA : First of all manufacturers and airlines can better spend their time and resources on finding cheaper alternative fuel sources if they really want to d
72 tdscanuck : The control laws don't know that...how does being a sub-scale UAV invalidate the concept? That would be considerably easier...a fighter like the F/A-
73 Tigerguy : I don't think the concept is invalidated. I just don't know if it can be successfully applied to a significantly larger passenger aircraft. I suppose
74 SSTsomeday : The miltary do not operate anywhere near the saftey standars of airlines. Miltary families may not sue the militray for any kind of wrongful or accid
75 mayor : My son-in-law flys his boss around in a Hawker 800 and he is single pilot qualified in the type. I think the sticking point with doing it commercially
76 Post contains images BMI727 : I agree that the major hurdles to are more on the human and legislative side of things than they are technological. Getting single pilot ops on comme
77 flyingAY : We've had subways/underground/metro completely without any driver for some years already. I think no-one in 19th century thought that they would step
78 ADent : There is that old joke: What is the ideal cockpit crew? A pilot and a dog. The pilot is there to feed the dog, and the dog is there to bite the pilot
79 Post contains links rheinwaldner : UAV's? http://www.law.und.nodak.edu/LawRevi.../web_assets/pdf/85-3/85NDLR623.pdf "The Air Force’s RQ-1 Predator had 32 times as many mishaps per fl
80 PPVRA : UAVs are not gonna be built to the same standards as manned aircraft. They can be built cheaply for easy replacement and maintenance.
81 Quokka : I have yet to see a train fall out of the sky. With remotely controlled trains there are all sorts of fail-safes and in rail-systems that rely on ele
82 rheinwaldner : It is only reality today because for smaller aircrafts a higher risk is acceptable. You say all the time that future single pilot aircrafts would fol
83 mrocktor : They crash and kill people if poorly designed, just like planes. Point being, there is nothing about aviation that metaphysically requires pilots in
84 PH-BFA : Wrong, see TK 1951 Quite an assumption to state that it would be 'perfectly' safe to have an 'autonomous' aircraft today... there are dozens of examp
85 rheinwaldner : That's clear. I only answered to the opinion that the accomplishments in the area of UAV's are relevant. As you write, they are not. Because they mis
86 brightcedars : Let's face it, if it happens price tickets will not go down as anyway the saving will only be marginally significant to the overall equation of a pric
87 norcal : Really? Tell me how would a computer handle UA 232 (Sioux City) or US 1549 (Miracle on the Hudson) type situations?
88 BMI727 : The computer would try to do whatever it could in order to control a plane. Computers can already compensate for the loss of a control surface or eve
89 norcal : The computer has to be programmed to do that itself. The point is you can't program every contingency into a computer. True, but a well trained pilot
90 mayor : Now, this is not a knock, specifically on Airbus equipment, but my son-in-law used to fly for JetBlue and he said he was never really comfortable with
91 Quokka : I accept that people have designed aircraft that can fly without a pilot on board. This is nothing new and such devices have been used in a military s
92 mrocktor : This is called a "straw man", where you argue against what you think I stated instead of what I actually stated. A perfectly safe (i.e. as safe as to
93 Post contains links spacecadet : Yeah, trains never crash because there's only one set of eyes: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0152835520081002 It'll happen in an airliner too.
94 tdscanuck : In this thread, at least, we're not talking about going pilotless. We still have the judgement and situational awareness of a pilot. The jump from si
95 flyinryan99 : I will admit, I haven't read all of the posts above but one thing that needs to be considered from an operational standpoint is liability. Say somethi
96 Post contains images lightsaber : That needs to be remembered. The systems we're talking about are to replace a *minimum flight hour* co-pilot! As long as what is implemented is bette
97 Post contains images BMI727 : An A300 did do it with no fatalities.
98 Post contains links planemaker : FYI, not true... a well trained pilot did not make the correct calculation. While Sully made a GREAT ditching, Sully, in fact, could have turned arou
99 Post contains images rheinwaldner : I agree fully. The problem that we don't know about the thousands of cases that get safed by pilots that would be close to unsolveable by a more auto
100 Post contains links ThePinnacleKid : I still think this whole thread is pointless because almost every single post tends to view the F/O as a pointless being up front that is incompetent
101 mrocktor : Not true. There are "pilotless" trains with spotless safety records. Trains are safe because they carry less inherent risk (they are, after all, on t
102 Post contains links and images rheinwaldner : How can that autonomous aircraft (or the controlling ground center) know in what direction the waves go in case of ditching into the sea? At the time
103 PH-BFA : Ridiculous statement Sure it exists and it fails as well, just see TK1951; that would be great sitting in the back of your autonomous flying airplane
104 planemaker : Anyone can come up with scenarios that are not realistic and are not relevant. A ditching and no pilot at the same time is a movie script writer's cr
105 mrocktor : You don't need to design in a way to deal with every 0.0000001% case. In fact, you don't have to design a way to deal with any 0.0000001% case (becau
106 tdscanuck : Actually, it doesn't even mean that...the probability of a UAV-type failure *AND* a simultaneous failure of the pilot is already so low as to be most
107 SSTsomeday : Yes, I understand, but the proposal to go from two pilots to one pilot would eliminate redundancy in THE most crucial of all areas, at a time when on
108 planemaker : But there is redundancy... it just isn't another pilot. Technology can pick up that slack. But you have to break out of yesterday's technology paradi
109 tdscanuck : Except it's not the most crucial of all areas. Redundancy comes into play in several crucial systems (engines and ECS packs come to mind) *far* more
110 SSTsomeday : Right - automation does not yet have the judgment skills of a pilot - though it may in 30 years. It lacks the situational awareness that we have, whi
111 flyingAY : But you can replace the spare tire with a tire repair kit and a compressor and call that redundancy. Likewise, you can replace a second pilot with a
112 planemaker : Autoland does not require consciousness. "Forseeable future" is around 20 years and SP will be standard option on new build airliners. And the cost w
113 PH-BFA : in your opinion, that is. Cost will be marginal?? Everyone is arguing that it cannot be done on current aircraft and that a completely new technology
114 rheinwaldner : Do you claim now that the automatic flight completion system does not need to be as good and as universal as a second pilot is? Then you can't claim
115 lightsaber : Efficiency is relative. If this gives Embraer a cost advantage over Bombardier... they'll do it. Combustors are already at 99.98% combustion efficien
116 PPVRA : You'd think a cross check between the two altimeters (by an automated system) could have found the problem and managed it without causing an accident
117 tdscanuck : Why would you want to? We're not talking about no-pilot operations. Not fully, no. It can happily mimic several of the things we do, it can do better
118 planemaker : You know, the anti-SP ops gang really make we wonder. They go to some lengths to try to create convoluted scenarios and yet the simple facts sitting
119 norcal : The preflight, taxi-out, T/O, descent, approach, landing, taxi-in, parking, shutdown, and post flight are high work load times (and also the most cri
120 BMI727 : I imagine that dispatchers and mechanics could take care of that. A computer would probably cut down on mistakes and make the job of the ground contr
121 SSTsomeday : But more problems are solved by pilots thatn they cause - by a very large margin. But there is no way to document that I suppose. Doesn't replace pil
122 tdscanuck : You've made that assertion several times, but since it can't be documented what are you basing it on? And we're not talking about removing pilots fro
123 PeterPuck : This is why I stay away from these threads. So many people know so little about things, yet pretend that they do.
124 PH-BFA : Amen to that. It looks like we do not only have quite a few arm chair CEO's active on this forum, but even more arm chair pilots... I am a bit tired
125 planemaker : I've been flying multi IFR for over 30 years so your statement doesn't cut it. Resorting to such comments is a reflection of not being able to articu
126 PH-BFA : With all due respect, I think this discussion is about flying commercial airliners with 150+ passengers in a multi crew cockpit environment not about
127 Post contains images planemaker : Size doesn't matter... in this case. Whether it is a 40, 50, 70, 90, 100, or 500 seat jet... the piloting is fundamentally the same. As I assume you
128 Bennett123 : IMO there are two issues here. 1. The technical issues. 2. Selling the idea to the punters. The second could well be the most difficult. If you fail t
129 BMI727 : It is a logical next step in technology. It's too bad the internet wasn't around in the early 60s. I wonder how the conversation would have looked wh
130 enilria : All you need is one new airline to do it and eventually the others will have to follow. I will say that at the regional level, which is where I'd exp
131 BMI727 : I agree. I think that once it breaks in on some jetliner, it will more or less be a jailbreak for future designs. Of course, that initial breakthroug
132 planemaker : Probably just as partisan. After all, who wants to have their job eliminated? We are talking 20 years out, remember. The FAA is already on board with
133 BMI727 : United did the same with their 737s. That would probably be a good idea.
134 tdscanuck : Even a stopped clock is right twice a day... If the argument is bad, say why the argument is bad. "Rebutting" an argument because of the perceived so
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