Geez, such a typical response, your a pilot no doubt.
If you read above I am talking about a pilot override. Which implies that the plane still uses a pilot on a normal basis.
In the event of a hijacking or hijacking attempt, either the pilot or remote location could initiate an override to all cockpit commands.
"Who's going to load the FMC for the approach in use?"
The computer would pick the closest emergency airport and derive the route, or the remote location would pick the route.
"Who's going to put the flaps out?"
In an advanced system, either the FMC would deploy the flaps or the remote location would. The FMC can control all other flight surfaces, so why is it unreasonable to believe it could control the flaps too?
"Who's going to put the gear down?"
See above. If the FMC can give audible warnings about ground proximity, it could certainly send a signal to deploy the gear at a certain altitude and airspeed.
"Who's going to land when the ILS is out and visual approaches are in use?"
Worst case scenario, the remote location has to pilot it in. I think the ILS you are talking about uses a combination of radio based communications from the airport to land. Airports are testing (or were talking about testing) a newer version based on GPS, where by the info to the plane comes from high tolerance gps positioners at the airport. Even if this system went down, planes themselves could use higher tolerance gps positioner and rely on. If the military can hit a 3 foot box with missile then technology is available to locate an airplane within 3 feet of the runway with the same technology.
"Who's going to divert when a passenger has a heart attack?"
This isn't even relevant to the conversation I was trying initiate. I am speaking of a pilot override in the event of a terrorist action.
"More than a few problems with your statement."
Sorry you see it that way. I still stand by my statement that there is no doubt that with gps and autonav that a plane could fly to a destination and land without pilot input. Maybe it would be clearer to say that the technology exists today for a commercial plane to do so. If you don't believe me then look at the Global Hawk accomplishments.
Once mission parameters are programmed into Global Hawk, the UAV can autonomously taxi, take off, fly, remain on station capturing imagery, return and land. Ground-based operators monitor UAV health and status, and can change navigation and sensor plans during flight as necessary.
[Edited 2004-06-09 00:25:41] - Got that link right this time.
[Edited 2004-06-09 00:27:05]
Air transport is just a glorified bus operation. -Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive