ZaphodHarkonnen wrote:keesje wrote:Weatherwatcher1 wrote:I’m struggling to figure out what single pilot A350 operations means. My understanding is that Cathay Pacific is working with Airbus to allow only one pilot in the flight deck during cruise so that they don’t need to fly with augmented crews for long flights. Whether Airbus can convince the regulators that 8+ hour flights are acceptable with only two pilots on the plane is a mystery to me. Anyone know if any regulatory authority will actually buy off on the concept?
Is it actually feasible or is it marketing bluster?
I think the challenge is to convince the regulator a new design / interface / communications can make a flight safer, despite 1 pilot in the cockpit seat. From what I read it would include cockpit instrument modifications, enhanced crew monitoring (both automated & ground), crew rests, lav's positioned so that a second crew member can be warned & back in his seat at short notice if required. In practice e.g. with one pilot in the lavatory while the other has a heart attack, both would be noticed, as well as ATC.
Compared to 25 years ago, we already saw autoland, brake to vacate, emergency autoland (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSMPduA0vH8), and Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL). https://www.airbus.com/en/newsroom/pres ... ight-tests .
So the possibilities to convince authorities reserve crew on board can be reduced, seem to be growing. Airbus and airlines are trying to certify this.
If they want this to rollout without too much pain then they need to make sure that various pilot unions are properly involved and have an actual say. Without pilot buy-in trying to roll such a thing out will take decades longer. I'd be totally ok doing a SIN-LHR flight with only one pilot in the cockpit during cruise. But ONLY if the pilots were happy with the implementation.
I could even see it turn into something like ETOPS/EROPS where an airline has to meet extra requirements to be approved to operate flights in such a form.
Not that I suspect they would have say in the matter, but I’m sure many members of the public that remember what happened with a certain Germanwings A320 wouldn’t be great fans of single pilot operation……..!