QF747
Topic Author
Posts: 157
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 1999 9:53 am

Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:58 am

Significant event in that its both my favourite airline and it happened at my hometown of Melbourne. Are we heading for pilotless aircraft? Would you feel safe knowing that the a/c is controlled by "Virtual Pilot"?

http://www.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,9276292%255E421,00.html

Always fly QF!
 
radarbeam
Posts: 998
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 9:00 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:03 am

No I wouldn't. I want one of those grey-haired 100K paid captain on board, nothing will ever equal that in terms of safety.
 
downingbarry
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2004 12:31 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:10 am

"Conducted in association with Boeing, Air Services Australia and Europe's Air Traffic Alliance, the aim is to find solutions to the go-around landing problem for pilots and passengers at busy airports.

Capt Manning said that, unlike present landing strategies, the new system gave controllers more time to plot procedures and give incoming aircraft direct glide paths.

"It will reduce noise, cut fuel burn and noise and generate substantial savings," he said. "

Aren't go-arounds caused most frequently by aircraft on the runway that haven't cleared in time (for which the pilot must manually deal with) - what's that got to do with an aircraft coming in to land?
 
futureualpilot
Posts: 2403
Joined: Thu May 25, 2000 10:52 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:46 am

Im definitley with Radarbeam, I want pilot(s) flying my aircraft. But also want to BE a pilot so that might have something to do with it...
Life is better when you surf.
 
ua777222
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Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2003 11:23 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:54 am

Until that computer can control crosswinds, turbulence, weather, and the human brain this will never happen. It works for now but when a 744 falls out of the sky b/c a controller entered the wrong thing and the capt. can't do a thing about it you'll never see this happen again. I'm surprised this airline did this seeing how they are the safest airline in the skys.

UA777222
"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
 
727200er
Posts: 301
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:18 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 10:58 am

I definitely feel better with a cabin crew thanks. I am a computer nut but I want a "real" pilot in charge.
"they who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only at night" - Edgar Allen Poe
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
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RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:01 am

Christ. I hope they're not trying to make pilots obsolete so soon. I'll be out of a job.



FSP
 
airbear
Posts: 607
Joined: Tue May 29, 2001 9:27 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:10 am

No thanks ! To revive that old joke, I'll take the pilot & dog combination any day.

Aside from all of the obvious considerations, wouldn't the pilot's union(s) have anything to say about this? Particularly QF's pilots union!
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 11:55 am

From my reading of the article, this is not a pilotless landing at all. Rather, a computer is issuing instructions to the pilots, who then follow them. It is much like ATC, except with instructions tailored to a specific aircraft.

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
aerohottie
Posts: 702
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:52 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 12:30 pm

Concidering the majority of air crashes are caused through pilot error I would happily get onboard an aircraft with a computer at the wheel (so to speak)....
However I would feel safer should there be a manual overide for a pilot to take over should the computer malfunction etc etc....perhaps this will also cut costs by allowing aircraft to fly with only 1 pilot, and not 2, 3, 4 etc etc. Also if the aircraft is controlled by the ground by ATC or ground based pilots then the reoccurence of events such as 9/11 become impossible. The perception of safety is the issue, not actual safety... as I mentioned before, the majority of air crashes are cause by pilot error, not hardware malfunction.
What?
 
PER744
Posts: 397
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 11:38 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:20 pm

I agree with VirginFlyer.

It's not a pilotless landing, it's merely the way instructions are communicated to the aircraft. It helps reduce the possibility for human error. Rather than the controller telling the pilot to descend to a certain altitude/slow to a certain speed, and then have the pilot change that onboard, and then confirm, and then have the controller make the change on their system, the controller just has to make a few mouse clicks, enter the relevant information, which the pilot accepts with the press of a button, and it's updated on both the aircraft and the ATC system.

I've seen the way it works from an ATC perspective, and it seems to be a lot easier on both the pilot and the controller.

It wasn't a pilotless landing so much as a no-voice-communication landing.


It's really just an extension of current practice, rather than an entirely new system. It's not designed to eliminate pilots. Air Traffic Controllers do not want to have final and full responsibility for a plane.

The article is also clearly simplified for the public: Commands were issued for 45 minutes by the Tower?
 
Fiedman
Posts: 194
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2001 2:49 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 5:41 pm

I would have been terrified if I found out that the flight I was on was being controlled by a computer I would feel a whole lot safer with a human pilot on board.
Westjet - Canada's National Low-fare Airline
 
'Longreach'
Posts: 457
Joined: Fri Jul 27, 2001 11:36 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:45 pm

Sounds like a good invention. Obviously it would work out a lot more efficient for aviation in the long run.

I remember being taught that around 60% of all air crashes are due to human error? (anyone feel free to correct that figure) I would much rather get on a machine operated aircraft, plus the ticket would be much cheaper.
 
TexAussie
Posts: 142
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 5:26 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 6:50 pm


The lack of voice commands seems to be the biggest issue here, right, in terms of the fear of a "hands off" landing. Intersting that the tower can control those commands.

Technically, the rest could all be achieved by programming everything into the FMC and letting LNAV/VNAV and Approach modes sequence the plane all the way to touchdown.

I am sure many people have experienced fully-automated landings in poor weather, without ever knowing. I have been on BA and DL 767s in Europe where the captain announced they would do an automated landing... and they were all very smooth and quite impressive.

I don't think this will jeopardize the flight crew's job. I feel good knowing there are at least two very professional people at the controls, regardless of whether or not their hands are on the wheel at all times and would not envision any carriers approving a pilotless airliner for a very long time.

 
lauda777
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:17 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:29 pm

Interesting concept I must say!
I wouldn't mind if I was on one of these flights just to see how smooth a computer can land however I wouldn't get on a plane if it was completely pilotless which I don't think is the plan from reading the article, it's basically an autopilot landing with 2 pilots in the cockpit as per normal.
We remind passengers all flights are non smoking, if you are caught smoking you will be asked to sit outside on the wing
 
CX Flyboy
Posts: 6030
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 6:10 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:47 pm

I wish people would read the replies before replying themselves.

As others have said, it is merely voice-less communications. The pilots are still there to fly the plane, and the fac it did an autoland is not really anything special at all. Autolands are done all around the world everyday...the article obviously just mentions it to increase the dramatism (is that a word?) of the article.
 
User avatar
VirginFlyer
Posts: 3958
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 7:53 pm

the article obviously just mentions it to increase the dramatism (is that a word?) of the article

Hardly surprising when you see where it comes from. The same fine providers of news that bring us Fox News, among others. As they say in Melbourne, 'Is it true, or did you read it in the Herald Sun?'

V/F
"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
BD1959
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:09 pm

hmmm....isn't one of the great truisms of aviation that you need your ears to fly? OK this aircraft is responding solely to the commands it is being given - but those commands are not being heard by the other aircraft around it. What if a wrong mouse click was made such that an aircraft was cleared to 10,000 instead of 15,000 - and there was another flight already cleared at 12,000 - they would normally hear that command and be aware that a conflict had been issued.

BD1959
 
lauda777
Posts: 161
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:17 pm

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 8:20 pm

LOL @ VirginFlyer, I like the Herald Sun comment.... I know where you are coming from otherwise referred to as the Herald Slum...
We remind passengers all flights are non smoking, if you are caught smoking you will be asked to sit outside on the wing
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:33 pm

85%. Get used to that number.

That's the percentage of air disasters caused by human error.

N
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:40 pm

until someone can guarantee that the system is absolutely perfect and faces no danger from hackings, power outages or human error i want there to be at least one if not two competent pilots in that cokpit. then again, this coming from a pilot...
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:40 pm

until someone can guarantee that the system is absolutely perfect and faces no danger from hackings, power outages or human error i want there to be at least two competent pilots in that cokpit. then again, this coming from a pilot...
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
warszawa
Posts: 549
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 11:37 am

RE: Qf's Pilotless Landing

Wed Apr 14, 2004 9:50 pm

I dont see the big deal on the 85% human error part. Of course the number is going to be high because the only thing mainly flying the aircraft are humans. Theres probably 95% human error in all the worlds car crashes, nobody is complaining about that.

The day a computer takes over flying, if ever, is the last day i'll ever fly again.

Picture in 300 years, the population in the world is so huge, and everything is ran by computers. Computers pump your gas, handle your credit cards, money, work at the gas station, fly airplanes, drive your cars, drive taxis, drive busses, tea schools...basically do everything. Well hell so much for having an income. Everyone will be out of jobs!

Personally i'd rather have a job and make a substantial income than rely on a quirky computer who has all the jobs and steals my income.
Flying a plane is no diff. from riding a bicycle. Its just a lot harder to put baseball cards in the spokes. -'Airplane'

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