If he is referring to statistical comparison, he is incorrect due to the change in variable sets. That's what I was getting at. Comparing rote accident rates between eras requires considering far more factors than simply amount of automation or hand flying.
Automation got rid of the other variables.
Do you know how data analysis or testing is done? You vary one thing and all the rest remain constant.
The only variable measured is flying without automation and flying with it. This is why it is always stated, and as a fact that automation made flying safer.
I am all ears as to how you are going to make considerations and measure more than one variable.
Absolutely aware - data analysis is a major part of my work. What you are doing is varying the scenario, then comparing results, and that’s simply not logical. The accident rates due to pilot error in the 1960s encompass the complete picture of failure modes from that time, and the same is true of the modern era where safety is dramatically improved.
Your argument is also smeared by using emotionally-loaded descriptors like ‘sky jockeys’ - usually such language indicates some degree of animus and reduces credibility. Would you use such phrasing in a report?
I've stopped debating the poster in question, I think we're gonna agree to disagree. But for anyone viewing this thread on the sidelines, I'll once again point out that most, if not all, the major airlines I know of and have friends at encourages
hand flying. It's in their official pubs!!! Now that's not to say they say to brush up on your proficiency on a difficult arrival with super strong crosswinds, but most pilots I know will hand fly departures and approaches when it's not too busy.
I actually agree with this poster in the overall premise—automation is great. It saves lives, improves efficiency, is and should be encouraged, and will only increase (until us pilots are merely monitors or completely obsolete).
But I doubt the poster is a pilot. I doubt this poster knows what it's like to fly the line day after day and encounter the plane and all the great automation failing daily. In small ways, but it's there. It can often be misprogramming of the FMS or even an anomaly (known, predictable deficiencies in the automation) that requires pilot input. Sometimes, the automation can kick off at the worst time, the startle factor is real. When that happens, you need a sharp pilot... The automation is completely out to lunch and completely worthless.
If all airline pilots were private pilots with 100 hours and trained to hit buttons only, I think our favorite poster would see how much manual flying is required to keep the airliners of today
in the sky. I think this poster is thinking our tech is a lot further along than it actually is... In the mid future, I think he/she will be mostly correct. We ain't there yet.