But why would the plane go into a spiral in such an event? If it would be certified for 1 pilot operation in cruise, it would keep flying just fine without you noticing anything contrary to the bus that would surely go off road. In those days when we can land driverless rovers on Mars why wouldn't you trust that a plane could operate for a few minutes without pilot in a well understood environment?
Yes, that's a good point. I was just thinking of the Helios crash ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helios_Airways_Flight_522
) where the pilots were incapacitated due to lack of oxygen because they did not configure the plane correctly and did not interpret the warning horn correctly. In this case, the airplane flew to its destination and entered a holding pattern.
I am curious as to how pay would work in the sense that prior to this taking place, a pilot is expected to be working for a certain portion of the time they are on-board. And, they are paid for that. With this new possible system, a pilot would be on-board and away from home yet not paid for the time they are resting.
Pilots and cabin crew are paid for the entire flight, even when resting.
Well if that's the case why is this even being proposed ? There would be no cost saving .......
Because fewer pilots are needed with single-pilot operation. Right now two pilots are required in the cockpit even when cruising hour after hour TPAC or TATL. The idea is to reduce this to one.
Suppose you have a repeat of Qantas 32 after the pilot croaks. Then what.
Then it may lead to a crash. Pilot incapacitations happen but are relatively rare, on the order of 1e-6 per flight hour. Uncontained engine failures are similarly uncommon. For ETOPS beyond 180 minutes, an IFSD rate of less than 1e-6 per flight hour must be demonstrated - and that includes mostly benign and contained failures.
The probability of the two occuring simultaneously within any given 15-minute window is less than 1e-12. There are other potential catastrophic failures that are much, much more likely.
Not sure exactly what metrics will be applied. TFA suggests the standard will be that the automation needs to handle anything that can happen for fifteen minutes straight. Seems to be a much higher standard than dealing with certain known events with varying levels of probability.
It's my understanding that QF32 truly was against the odds i.e. it fell outside the 1e-6 window.
It seems to me we should remember to balance the QF32 style events where the pilots saved the day against the Helios and PIA ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakistan_ ... light_8303
) events where they did not.