Guest

How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:44 am

With the advances in technology (Avionics and control systems) how long do you think it will be before we see single pilot ops in the regional and short to medium haul commercial aircraft.

Any takers? I think it will come with the 737 replacement in 15-20 years.
 
northstardc4m
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:46 am

never, too much can happen to 1 pilot... 2 is the fewest you'll ever see on an airliner over say... 10 seats
Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 8:51 am

I wouldn't say never. I would venture to say a fighter is more complicated to fly, yet requires one crew member. Automation and simplification can change all of that. Not to mention the cockpit will eventually become the last opportunity to reduce labor costs once maintenance becomes more simplified and ticket counters and gates are contracted out.
 
worldtraveler
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:09 am

a virtual certainty...at least on long haul aircraft during extended periods of cruise. Computers largely fly the plane and monitor systems during cruise. For all types of aircraft, I would suggest that it is likely that you will see some pilot responsibilities done by a ground based pilot who can assist during the critical periods of flight.

I wouldn't be surprised if reduced pilot staffing is part of the Dreamliner concept but certainly will happen within the next 10 years. Boeing and Airbus need to sell alot more new jets and the best way is by dramatically improving the efficiency of aircraft; and there are few things that can produce as dramatic of a reduction in costs as reducing the number of pilots required to fly a plane.
 
N243NW
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:26 am

I would venture to say a fighter is more complicated to fly, yet requires one crew member.
BoeingLongGone, don't forget, however, that a fighter doesn't carry hundreds of passengers that depend on the pilot(s). As stated above, I don't see a one-pilot airliner in the near future, mostly because of the chance of pilot incapacitation. Also, it is vital to have another pilot or two to verify (for lack of a better word) the captain's decisions. No matter how complicated avionics become, these two factors are hard, if not impossible, to eliminate. So in a nutshell, not for a loooong while. At least if I were an airline CEO I woudn't wouldn't feel comfortable "loaning" a 747 full of tourists to one pilot.
-N243NW Big grin
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:32 am

No, a fighter carries bombs which drop on targets surrounded by thousands of people who are relying on the pilot and his/her instruments to hit the target and not them.

Pilots.... What will you do????

If we can make automated drones, we can make a single pilot commercial aircraft. I'm sure most pilots in the 60's always thought they'd have an FE. Not many of those left are there? Technology changes as do the times.
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:32 am

short answer - never. Just ask any trial lawyer what his odds of winning a case where a transport plane crashes with just a single pilot aboard. Liability concerns alone will prevent this from ever happening.
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am

More like Labor lawyers and ALPA.
 
AvObserver
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:41 am

I agree with those who say it'll never happen, liability concerns would stop it dead. There's actually been some talk of eventual Unmanned Air Vehicles carrying passengers but I don't think most air travelers would put their trust in computers alone, I don't think they'd accept this scenario. The human factor must never be removed from aircraft control, no matter how much computer augmentation is built in. Human pilots can react to all sorts of unpredictable situations; computers could never be programmed to deal with all possible variables, no matter how good the A.I. or fuzzy logic becomes. And we must always have a pilot as backup to another so the cockpit will remain the domain of 2 people, even amid a sea of computer pilots.
 
User avatar
QB737
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:48 am

Well, both pilots will be replaced with one computer geek!
I just hope they wont run the computers running Microsoft Windows....Mind you, Boeing and Microsoft are both in the
Seattle area....Bad omen.



Ben

Very 9-p
Ben YVR
 
MD88Captain
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:57 am

Another silly post by someone who just doesn't understand commercial aviation.

Who will build such an aircraft? No one. AB and BA are not going to risk the farm by designing such a stupid concept. No market. Massive liability. You may as well ask when commercial airliners will be designed with one engine because it "so efficient".

Who will ride such an aircraft? Passengers will avoid it like the plague as long as two pilot aircraft are available. People are basically scared to fly. Not all of course, but a large percentage. Not one airline bought the 777 with folding wingtips. Why? They knew it would scare passengers.

Who will be the launch customer? Nobody. Why scare your passengers over to your competitors?



 
JumboBumbo
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:04 am

As an engineer I wouldn't cut my safety factor in half by kicking 175 lbs off an airplane, even if that redundant feature costs $250,000/year in operational costs.
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:06 am

There's nothing "silly" about it Mr. MD-88. How is dumping a pilot cutting safety in half? You pilots have some silly arguments for defending your jobs. Please... Show evidence that pilot error is not the number one cause of incidents.

It is the 21st Century folks. Get used to it.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:23 am

I agree with MD88Captain--it ain't gonna happen...

1/ Despite advances in technology, it still fails sometimes, and occasionally in a major way that was never considered in the original design and planning. Imagine United 232 as a single-pilot technoflight and how it undoubtedly would have turned out...

2/ Technology is not the only consideration, as there are human factors involved. Going from 3 (PIC, F/O and F/E) to 2 (PIC, F/O) is one thing, but a two-pilot aircraft will remain a basic level of human redundancy for the foreseeable future. It doesn't happen often, but pilots sometimes do keel over with medical issues. Single-pilot stuff might work in Alaska with small aircraft, but turbine-powered transports are another matter.

3/ As MD88Captain, mentioned, the liability aspect would be an insurmountable obstacle.

It won't fly Orville....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
cancidas
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:29 am

i hope not, i'm a pilot.

i doubt that this will happen in the near future. the workload could become overwhelming for one man. the only a/c that i know that is certified for single pilot is the C208 and the C525. the 525 is a bizjet so that's out of this discussion. whereas the 208 can be flown by one man with up to 10 pax onboard. i'm not 100% certain on this though, i'll be looking into it.

there is a famous video of an air france A320 crashing into the trees. a computer was flying it. i doubt that i can totally rely on computers to do my job. sorry mr. gates.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:37 am

1/ Despite advances in technology, it still fails sometimes, and occasionally in a major way that was never considered in the original design and planning. Imagine United 232 as a single-pilot technoflight and how it undoubtedly would have turned out...

This isn't United 232 and despite technology and learning ability, Pilots fail too.

2/ Technology is not the only consideration, as there are human factors involved. Going from 3 (PIC, F/O and F/E) to 2 (PIC, F/O) is one thing, but a two-pilot aircraft will remain a basic level of human redundancy for the foreseeable future. It doesn't happen often, but pilots sometimes do keel over with medical issues. Single-pilot stuff might work in Alaska with small aircraft, but turbine-powered transports are another matter.

The human factor will become less of a problem as technology advances. This is already being studied as a backup to 9/11. Highjack our plane.... Go a head. We cut the fly by wire control and land you at the nearest airport. Landings are already headed toward this for CAT IIIc autoland using LAAS. Communications will be reduced using direct data transfer. Fact: Pilot workload today is 40% less than it was 15 years ago.

3/ As MD88Captain, mentioned, the liability aspect would be an insurmountable obstacle.

Someone please prove this rather than repeating something that's been said for the last 75 years in the industry. Things like... You can't break the sound barrier, you can't make it across the Atlantic, You can't put a jet engine on the back of it, you can't make a plane go 8000, you can't make a plane any more fuel efficient, you can't use a glass cockpit, you can't use fly-by-wire... The list goes on, yet all of this has been accomplished in a relatively short period of time.

 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:44 am

>>>Another silly post by someone who just doesn't understand commercial aviation.

Look! There's another one just above...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:45 am

Not one airline bought the 777 with folding wingtips. Why? They knew it would scare passengers.

That, and the "small" 2000 added lbs  Big grin
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
gigneil
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 8:58 am

Not one airline bought the 777 with folding wingtips. Why? They knew it would scare passengers.

And it was hugely expensive.

N
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:13 am

>>>Another silly post by someone who just doesn't understand commercial aviation.

Look! There's another one just above...

Why don't you try to make an educated response rather than be a smart ass. I would venture to say I understand commercial Aviation more than you ever will.

Before you get smart again, refer to the initial post that this referred to smaller aircraft, not something on the order of a 777. I'm talking RJ's, 717 and 737 type aircraft.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:25 am

>>>Why don't you try to make an educated response rather than be a smart ass.

Actually, I rather thought I -did- but you chose to ignore my questions/points and proceeded to go off on various tangents...



>>>I would venture to say I understand commercial Aviation more than you ever will.

I'd be delighted (as I'm sure others would) to hear about your level of personal experience working in the industry. You -do- have some, right?



>>>I'm talking RJ's, 717 and 737 type aircraft.

Last time I looked, those types were still larger than the smaller aircraft where single-pilot ops are allowed. When you get into Part 121 ops (and I'm going to assume that you know what those are), it's a more-demanding set of regulatory requirements. Those aircraft still have things that can go wrong, and pilots that can still have potential (though admittedly remote) medical problems.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
asgeirs
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:26 am

Let's say that in the future, passenger aircrafts will be flown by one pilot with assistance from an on-the-ground control center.

What would you do if the aircraft would suddenly lose radio contact and the pilot would happen to have an heart attach at the same time?

Not a situation I would like to find myself in for sure ...

Reykjavik Aviation Photography - Just bring the aircraft to us and we'll photograph them! :-)
 
lmml 14/32
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:33 am

An Airbus man once said on camera that he does not envisage a single pilot cockpit but he does forsee an unmanned passenger carrying aircraft. The technology is certainly there. There is the small matter of who will fly in such an aircraft.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:35 am

>>>There is the small matter of who will fly in such an aircraft.

Yeah, those pesky "minor" details.....  Big grin
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:07 am

Why don't you try to make an educated response rather than be a smart ass. I would venture to say I understand commercial Aviation more than you ever will.


BGG - while I don't know OPNLguy personally (maybe this Thanksgiving we can meet on my annual lunch run), I do know from reading him here and in other forums that he's been doing a lot in the aviation industry for almost as long as you have been in this world.
 
Kohflot
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:09 am

There is a whole segment of Computer Science devoted to analyzing and assessing the risk posed by our reliance on automation. Most of the literature I've perused on the subject carries a sense of warning to it.. and these are the same people that write the software!

Besides, imagine what ALPA would say about the first single-pilot twin-engine Part 121able aircraft that rolled off the line!
Ask why..
 
planemaker
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:03 pm

I do not think that Boeing,Going,Gone was too out of line in his original post. Maybe not in 20 years but I think that single pilot RJ's are a very distinct possiblity.

As is common knowledge, current technology in the form of the Global Hawk has flown from California to Australia without any human intervention - from take-off to landing. We can very safely assume that technology will be much more capable and sophisticated in 20+ years to at least allow single pilot RJ operation. Currently, single pilot "single turbine" (Cessna Caravan) commerical pax IFR ops are permitted (In North America, Australia and parts of Europe.) It is not too far a stretch to imagine that in 20+ years this will extend to RJ's.

Yes, I understand those that post that they would not feel comfortable flying with only a single pilot. It brings to mind how my grandparents' generation would not get in an elevator without an operator (once upon of time all elevators had "pilots".) But like all following generations, in 20+ years time the current generation will feel completely comfortable with the concept of a single pilot.

For the benefit of those that say "never", I present the following from a NASA website. It illustrates the problem about predictions and saying "never":

1) "Man will not fly for fifty years!"
- Wilbur Wright to his brother Orville, 1901

2) "New Mexico and California - I hold they are not worth a dollar!"
- Danial Webster:Senate speach: 1848

3) "...It [airplane] is not likely that it will ever carry more than 5 or 7 passengers!
- Managing Editor of Scietific America - June 1913

4) "... Alaska is... worth nothing... Of what possible commercial importance can this territory be to us!"
- Orange Ferriss - Hose of Rep. Debate, 1868

5) "The telephone has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication."
– Western Union executive, 1876

6) "The problem with television is that the people must sit and keep their eyes glued on a screen; the average American family hasn’t time for it."
– NY Times, 1939 (World’s Fair)

7) "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
– IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, 1943

8) "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons."
– Popular Mechanics, 1949

9) "There is no reason for individuals to have a computer in their home.”
- DEC Chairman Ken Olson (DEC), 1977

10) "640,000 bytes of memory ought to be enough for anybody."
– Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates, 1981





Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
Shenzhen
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 12:30 pm

Whilst having a single pilot in the flight deck would work on 99.9 percent of the flights, it is the .1 percent that will keep this requirement.

There are many times during a flight that while one guying is controlling the airplane, the other guy is going through the check list to alleviate some type of malfunction. Example, during takeoff, the oil pressure drops to zero. Do you want the airplane to automatically shut the engine down? Say you had a vibration on the other engine at the same time... shut both down?

I would rather have a trained pilot making the decision to see if the pump has failed or if the pressure bulb (sensor) failed while the other pilot flies the airplane.

 
saab2000
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 5:58 pm

Technologically it is no problem. But there are many other issues. And cost is not one of them. The savings are not huge when considering the massive costs of maintainance and fuel and other personel costs. Pilots do not constitute the majority of personel costs for an airline.

If we go with single pilot ops why not just go to zero pilot ops? Again, the technology exists.

I agree with MD-88Captain.

Those who do not work in aviation or really understand what is going on can only make ridiculous statements regarding what happens in the airplane or aviation. And I am not trying just to defend my job as a pilot. The reality is that yes, it is technologically possible to have pilotless airliners. But we are a long, long way from having paying passengers willing to get in them.
smrtrthnu
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 9:43 pm

I've been working in commericial aviation for 13 years, I'm not going to sit here and have a credential battle. If MD-88 has been in aviation as long as I've been alive, then he comes from a completely different generation that grew up with a type writer. My statement is hardly rediculous. Do you have any idea the interest the air carriers (not pilots and ALPO) have in Single Pilot Ops?

Why single pilot over pilotless???

For the reasons you mention. There would be more concern over a pilotless aircraft, as opposed to a single pilot op, you can look for that option in 50-75 years.

Look, the technology is already here. Where will it be in 20 years? You think Engineers are just going to stop working on this technology? Please. Most of us either didn't have a computer at home or had that super fast commodore 64 at home... Yeah, you know who I'm talking about. Now kids are growing up with a P4. Fact, anyone over 50 will say it's improbable, everyone under 25 will simply say "why the heck not". Anyone with vision between the ages of 25 and 50 will say it's probable, the rest are either concerned about the future of their career or simply haven't been paying attention.

[Edited 2003-09-09 15:03:54]
 
Corsair2
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Tue Sep 09, 2003 10:35 pm

Completely pilotless airplanes would be unacceptable to the flying public. It will take a long time to convince the public of the reliability flying this way. Boeing and especially Airbus has pioneered a lot of the technology in getting us closer to a completely pilotless airplanes. I don't really want to see it happen. On airplanes like the A320, the technology is in effect being surpervised over by the pilots. With years field experience of the hardware and software being flown on Airbus planes, perhaps the manufacturers will be able to convince the public of its reliability. Probably another 25 or 30 years away.
"We have clearance Clarence. Roger, Roger. What's our vector Victor?"
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 12:30 am

BGG- after the first accident of a single pilot aircraft, how do you feel liability insurance rates would look for the airlines. Because unless the US suddenly becomes a whole lot less litigious, it would not be econcomically feasable to save a few bucks by eliminating one of the pilots from the cockpit. After an accident in a single pilot airliner, the airlines might as well hand out blank checks to the families of any victims, because all the lawyer would have to "prove" was that the pilot had his hands full trying to fly the plane and handle the emergency, and all he has to point to is that the accident "could have"...not necessarily would have...only that it could have...been prevented with a second pilot to handle some of the workload. And yes, kids today are hitting ALT CTRL DELETE just as often as I did on a Commodore 64.

I work with computers for a living, and I'll tell ya, I want a human up there with the final decision - not a computer. You gloss over OPNLguy's comments about UAL232...if we are forward looking, what would your computer copilot do in a similar situation? The nose is pointing down and the computer says "pull up". But there aren't any hydraulics, so that command is ignored over and over again. Would the computer automatically adjust the engine speed on the remaining engines to maintain some semblence of controlled flight? Or would it just go into overload since the condition it's facing is not a usual operating circumstance? Would it override the set alititude in the autopilot, or would it keep on trying to maintain FL320 even though that is physically impossible? Would the computer talk to maintenance or dispatch on the ground while the pilot attempted to control the plane? Would the computer try to override inputs from the pilot, sensing that IT knows better what needs to be done?

But that's all beside the point...Liability issues alone will prevent single pilot operation on commercial aircraft.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:07 am

>>>I've been working in commercial aviation for 13 years, I'm not going to sit here and have a credential battle.

Aw, c'mon. Surely you can do better than that and give us some specifics...


>>>If MD-88 has been in aviation as long as I've been alive, then he comes from a completely different generation that grew up with a type writer.

So he's from a different generation (as am I), so what? If you take a deep breath and think about it for longer than a nanosecond, it means that others (than your all-knowing self) have experiences that you do (or could) not, and ones that (gasp!) you -could- benefit from without having to experience them yourself. (P.S., respect your elders)


>>>My statement is hardly rediculous.

But it is -ridiculous-


>>>Do you have any idea the interest the air carriers (not pilots and ALPO) have in Single Pilot Ops?

Do you? (I mean authoritatively). Technology sometimes fails. I previously mentioned the United 232 scenario, which you conveniently ignored because it was a widebody, and not the smaller RJ/737-sized jet you envisioned. OK, United 232 suffered an engine failure of the same general type as did a Delta MD88 taking off from PNS a few years ago. They aborted, but push your imagination envelope forward a little bit and consider the cockpit workload associated with an in-flight emergency of that magnitude had they continued the takeoff and experienced the same control problems that United 232 did while in-flight, and task saturation of a single-pilot in your scenario.

Were airlines to go from a two-pilot to single-pilot configuration, their PR and marketing departments would be hard pressed to make it acceptable and attractive to the traveling public. Like I said previously, going from 3 (PIC, FO, FE) to 2 (PIC, FO) is one thing; going from 2 to 1 is quite another.

If your profile is indeed true and you've spent lots of time at ERAU earning all those degrees, it could be argued (politely, mind you) that you've been insulated from what's happening in the daily ops of the "real" airline world. Once you've been on a.net longer than the 4-5 days indicated in your profile, you'll hopefully come to know how to discuss matters in a more civilized and less alienating fashion.

Best of luck in your career....

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
762er
Posts: 522
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 1:31 am

I believe it will happen one day, when the integrity of the technology is proven. It'll get to the point where Pilots will simply be monitors and there will also be a ground monitor in dispatch checking systems as well as a backup. Hell, that's pretty much what pilots are today for 95% of flights. As a pilot myself in a flight safety profession, I hate to say it, but computers will soon be more reliable and safe than humans. I bet it'll be another 75 years before we see it, but I'm confident that it will happen.
 
N79969
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 2:25 am

There are already some limited part 135 single pilot ops but I tend to agree that will not happen for part 121 carriers in the foreseeable future.
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 3:56 am

OPNLGuy....

Where I work is none ya. What I do... Aviation System Analysis. From the ground up. I look at everything from aircraft performance to route structure analysis to improve the efficiency of a carrier. Basically, If I worked at a carrier I'd choose the best aircraft for the mission. If I worked for a manufacturer, I evaluate a product and provide analysis to the customer on how to best operate "their" system. I'm not going to tell you which I work for today, but I've worked for both.

No OPNL... It's not rediculous. At least two major carriers are interested in such capability for short haul missions.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 4:05 am

>>>What I do... Aviation System Analysis

Well, that certainly explains things...


>>>No OPNL... It's not rediculous.

Uh, it, oh, never mind...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
highliner2
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:09 am

Never, the FAA would never allow it. The unions would throw a fit. And the biggest reason is safety. What if your one pilot is incapacitated? And it has happened in the past few years where a crewmember has suffered some sort of medical condition leaving one pilot. In addition, having just one pilot increases the chances of there being some sort of human-error. The old saying "2 heads are better than one." I know I would'nt fly an airplane with just one pilot.
Go Cubs!
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:18 am

How about if I give you an example that wasn't UAL232:

NTSB Identification: LAX96IA032 . The docket is stored in the (offline) NTSB Imaging System.
Scheduled 14 CFR Part 121: Air Carrier operation of SOUTHWEST AIRLINES, INC.
Incident occurred Monday, October 30, 1995 in LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 1/17/97
Aircraft: Boeing 737-5H4, registration: N508SW
Injuries: 1 Minor, 96 Uninjured.
The aircraft was climbing through about 4,500 feet agl on a standard instrument departure route when the first officer, who was the flying pilot, said a laser beam swept past the cockpit and he immediately experienced eye pain and was completely blinded in the right eye. After image effects also induced a blind condition in his left eye. He said the total inability to see lasted 30 seconds, and for an additional 2 minutes, he could not focus on or interpret any instrument indications and was completely disoriented in his spatial relationship to the vertical. The captain was not irradiated by the beam and assumed control of the aircraft and continued the climb.

Wonder what the outcome might have been had he been the only pilot in the cockpit...
 
OPNLguy
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Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 5:32 am

>>>Wonder what the outcome might have been had he been the only pilot in the cockpit...

Doesn't matter--he's an analyst  Insane
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Kohflot
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RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 6:47 am

The NTSB database is loaded with events that could have turned out much differently without at least two people in the pointy end of the plane.. and those are just situations that have already happened!

The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming as well. BGG - you apparently worked for a manufacturer.. Why do they bother putting standby instrumentation in the flight deck if technology is so dependable and redundant? Why do we see situations where every screen goes blank at the same time? How bout all of the CAS messages that turn out to be just an indication problem? If the one crewmember is somehow distracted or incapacitated, won't the computer have to determine if the Pax Door Warning message it's posting is really a problem with the door? Oh wait - it already thinks it's a problem with the door (even though the door may be just fine).. that's why it's posting the message! A shame no one can ask a flight attendant to check it.. so the aircraft's already on its way down to 10,000 ft. on its own.. over the Rockies. Hope the GPWS isn't deferred (assuming the new GPWS technology they're working on is implemented by then)........

We've already heard from pilots and dispatchers - the two groups most responsible for the safety of each flight (not to get mechanics in a tizzy - I'm talking 'flights', not 'aircraft'). The overwhelming response from these two groups has been a resounding "NO WAY". I'd love to hear B747Skipper's angle on this as well....

And I stand by my suggestion that there aren't many pilots that belong to a union who will work for a Part 121 carrier and operate one of these things....
Ask why..
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:18 am

The anecdotal evidence is overwhelming as well. BGG - you apparently worked for a manufacturer.. Why do they bother putting standby instrumentation in the flight deck if technology is so dependable and redundant?

Because the FAA required it.

Why do we see situations where every screen goes blank at the same time?

Because it's still new technology. Reliability changes with time. Remember analog backups?

How bout all of the CAS messages that turn out to be just an indication problem?

They turn out to be just an indication problem.

If the one crewmember is somehow distracted or incapacitated, won't the computer have to determine if the Pax Door Warning message it's posting is really a problem with the door?

What if both are distracted or incapacitated.

Oh wait - it already thinks it's a problem with the door (even though the door may be just fine).. that's why it's posting the message! A shame no one can ask a flight attendant to check it.. so the aircraft's already on its way down to 10,000 ft. on its own.. over the Rockies.

Please.

Hope the GPWS isn't deferred (assuming the new GPWS technology they're working on is implemented by then)........

No, the internal navigation and mapping will cover that.

As for the SkyWest flight mentioned above... A system that would provide automatic re-route and landing capability would have prevented a disaster had BOTH pilots been harmed. This capability was being worked on a few years ago, so I can imagine where they are now with this. DGPS is the key to it's implementation.

For every argument against, there is an equal argument for. Lets just say we agree to disagree and be done with it. People who only have only a basic understanding of the technology will disagree with it's capability. Those who have a more thorough undertanding will see the technological worth.

We just have differing views based on our experience and viewpoint knowledge of the system.


[Edited 2003-09-10 02:21:09]
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:39 am

GBB - ever notice how on an old Windows 3.1 machine, the dang thing would just lock up and crash - now on my XP machine, I get the "an application has encountered a problem and will be shut down". When that application happens to be the one you really really need, the net effect is the same - your system is as good as crashed. Technology, while greatly enhanced, is still subject to quirks. And therefore, it shouldn't be trusted to handle the "copilot" operations in a single pilot airliner. Lest you think I am a technophobe - I've been in IT for 25 years.
 
Kohflot
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:51 am

>For every argument against, there is an equal argument for.

>Oh wait - it already thinks it's a problem with the door (even though the >door may be just fine).. that's why it's posting the message! A shame no one >can ask a flight attendant to check it.. so the aircraft's already on its way >down to 10,000 ft. on its own.. over the Rockies.

>Please.

That's an argument for your position? "Please."?

My original point is that there are incredibly intelligent individuals who have spent their careers dealing with technology - and they themselves warn of our increasing reliance on technology. Not exactly your "People who only have a basic understanding of the technology.." And to counter your point, I would say the following:

People who only have a basic understanding of the realities and dangers inherent in moving 350 people in a pressurized metal tube 6 miles above the earth at 500 miles per hour (or those that only see it as a vehicle for making money) might not see the problem with removing half of the flight crew from the safety equation. As for the rest of us....
Ask why..
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:55 am

I agree, there are hickups, but my XP does pretty darn well, and 3.1 was as fast as my 90 year old grannie on a race track . But we haven't seen any Airbus's fall out of the sky because the Fly-By-Wire went bad. Will it happen? I think it's a certainty at some point.

I don't think you're a technophobe either. But you have to agree, 20 years from now is a long time and a lot of advances will be made. Like I said, I'm not talking about a 200 pax aircraft, I'm talking RJ and 717/737-600/700 size. Something that can be modified to become as simple to fly as a Slowtation through the use of newer technology. We're only in our first generation of RJs.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:08 am

"pretty darn well" isn't good enough at 35,000 feet, IMHO. And what is your take on the SWA pilot who was blinded enough that for 2 minutes he had NO situational awareness? Don't you agree that a second pilot was really nice to have in that situation? Bear in mind that 122 passengers lives would be at stake.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 10:08 am

>>>I'm talking RJ and 717/737-600/700 size.

Back in reply #32, I converted the United 232 scenario into something more inline with your stated RJ/717/737-sized scenario.

Unless you can offer an opinion (and not evade the question, again) as to how your single-pilot RJ/717/737-sized aircraft is going to be expected to deal with that kind of failure, I'm afraid you're going to peg a zero on the credibility meter...

(BTW, do you have -any- operational AIRLINE experience, other than working for Delta back when you were in college?)
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Kohflot
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 11:04 am

>Something that can be modified to become as simple to fly as a Slowtation through the use of newer technology.

A sobering look at some single-pilot CitationJet accidents........

1)

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 04, 1998 in MARIETTA, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 9/7/00
Aircraft: Cessna 525, registration:
Injuries: 5 Fatal.
A Cessna 525 and a Cessna 172 collided in flight about 3,400 feet mean sea level on converging courses, with the 525 heading north and the 172 heading southwest. The converging speed was about 300 knots. The 525 departed under instrument flight rules, received vectors, and was initiating a climb on course. Training in the 525 emphasizes maximum use of the autopilot to afford greater outside scanning by the single pilot......Factors were the controller's failure to observe the traffic conflict, the lack of radar conflict alert capability, and the training emphasis on maximum autopilot usage with the autopilot controller placed at the rear of the cockpit center mounted pedestal.

2)

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, December 09, 1999 in BRANSON, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 6/12/01
Aircraft: Cessna 525, registration:
Injuries: 6 Fatal.

At 1430 cst, the weather observation at the M. Graham Clark Airport was 300 feet overcast, rain and mist, 3/4 miles visibility, temperature 53 degrees F, winds variable at 3 knots, altimeter 29.92 inches HG. Approach minimum weather for the GPS RWY11 straight in approach to Point Lookout are a minimum ceiling of 600 feet and visibility of 1 mile for a category B aircraft. An examination of the airplane wreckage revealed no anomalies....A friend, who spoke with the pilot just before the accident flight, confirmed the pilot saying "I haven't slept for three days." The friend stated further that the pilot "wasn't himself that day."....the pilot descended below the minimum altitude for the segment of the GPS approach. Factors relating to the accident were low ceilings, rain, and pilot fatigue.

While I won't post them, there are at least two other Cessna 525 accidents or incidents in the database that may not have occurred with effective CRM. The pilots elected to land in poor weather.. there was no one else in the cockpit to question that decision.

Respecting those that have lost their lives, we can't put our loved ones into these same situations.. situations that are a lot more likely when the successful outcome of a flight depends on just one pilot.
Ask why..
 
lovefieldflyer
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2001 11:14 pm

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:01 pm

Doesn't matter--he's an analyst

Now, now Opnlguy all analysts aren't bad. Just the ones that fall in love with their ideas...
 
Guest

RE: How Long Before Single Pilot Ops?

Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:34 pm

BoeingGoing...

I also have an Apple G5, which has never delivered a "fatal error".

OPNL...

UA 232 is a DC-10 incident and the complexity of that aircraft is exactly why larger aircraft will always be two pilot ops. While the actions of the crew were heroic in every sense, please remember, the individual operating the throttles that day was a non-rev UAL pilot. No offense to anyone who may have been on board that day, but it was the good fortune of him being onboard that made that landing even remotely possible. You are also referring to an aircraft that will be three and possibly four generations removed in 20 years. A more accurate comparison for a DC-10 would be the B-2. It has two crewmembers, but only because of mission length, not because it requires them.

Furthermore, in response to your earlier question, I do have operational experience. I've been flying since the age of 17. I exited Riddle after 7 years and found myself right seat in an EMB-120 for COEX. I found flying to be the work of a simpleton. Boring and unrewarding. Everyone is different. Learning for me has always come very easy, and I always need something new to keep me busy. After 2 years of boredom I went back to DL and worked in operations planning while I earned my second and third Masters through DDL. Then on to Fairchild-Dornier for the 328Jet program for three years. I have flown this aircraft and it was much easier to operate and manage than an EMB-120. The systems on board are light years ahead of those found on the EMB. When the project collapsed I went to work for Honeywell and have since moved on from there to be an analyst. I enjoy it because it’s always different (that and being married, it's nice to be home every night). Not that being a pilot somehow magically qualifies someone to talk about aviation technology either. So please, dump the "I'm a pilot and know everything" attitude, it's pretty lame and it only goes to further many peoples opinions that were a bunch of arrogant (expletives).

Kohflot.... Two pilots couldn't save Payne Stewart in a lear jet either, however, having a system on board that this thread is referring to would have. The same applies to the Southwest and SkyWest incidents over Vegas with the laser, had both crewmembers been blinded in those incidences.

Single pilot ops will occur and Pilots will transition from aircraft operators to flight manager. The capability exists today for this to happen and in 20 years it will still exist, and it’s justification for use will be very real. As far as insurance goes, you could increase it's cost ten fold and it would still be cheaper than a second crewmember.

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