747megatop
Topic Author
Posts: 1702
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 8:22 am

Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:32 pm

We have seen 4 high profile crashes over the past decade - AF 447, QZ 8501, JT 610, ET 302 which in some shape or form involved confused pilots and confused automation. I agree that automation can do stuff much better than humans and it has saved a lot of lives in aviation. But, in my view there are times that automation gives up & throws up it's hands (as seen in the 4 crashes above) where the well trained pilots (or should i say true aviators) start earning their money [UA 232, NW 85, ].

So, will we ever be able to complete replace pilots on commercial jet liners and have them fly themselves? I know that given a choice money hungry CEOs would want to have passengers board planes & planes fly the passengers without employing one employee (gate agent, pilots, flight attendants etc.) but i doubt any would step on into their private terminal or fly on a plane without any human involved.

Considering the automation factor and man machine interface rearing it's head i wanted to see what a.netters have to say in the context of these 4 crashes.
 
Boof02671
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Mon Mar 18, 2019 11:54 pm

Unsafe and stupid.
 
PixelPilot
Posts: 252
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:19 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:00 am

One day? Sure. In our lifetime? It would be insane.
 
JHwk
Posts: 562
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:11 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:02 am

As much as I used to think it was just over the horizon, it seems apparent that we are an order of magnitude away in terms of control algorithms. Writing the code wouldn’t be that hard, but validating it requires a level of oversight that simply doesn’t exist today. The fact that input validation is as miserable as it was on the MCAS system suggests that things simply are not nearly as robust as the general public is led to believe.
 
buzzard302
Posts: 152
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:06 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:06 am

Although we live in a world with very advanced technology, airplanes are not ready to fly unmanned. Remember, an unmanned airplane is only as perfect as it's human designers, and the most recent accidents have proven that we have a lot further to go in terms of programming, automation, and safety. Humans are not perfect and can not write program/code for every possible scenario. I'll skip the flight on an unmanned plane for the foreseeable future.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2062
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:09 am

AI pilot. The old chestnut resurrected.
Long before there is pilot-less pax carriage, there will be an AI cockpit friend you can talk to when the other pilot isn't into conversation.

After that is perfected, the relief pilot for long haul may be AI, so 2 man crews become 2 plus "Hal". Hal is never alone in the cockpit, and there is a Big Red Switch both in the cockpit and in a secure area outside the cockpit.

"One pilot plus"Hal" ". Never.

"Open the cockpit door, Hal."
"I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that."
 
a/c dxer
Posts: 414
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2001 10:52 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:21 am

Never will happen. passenger would never go for it.
 
moa999
Posts: 516
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:37 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:23 am

We are getting there with trains, albeit generally only on greenfield dedicated track, there haven't been many conversions from driven to driverless.

Cars are coming along, but a truly integrated system is a long way off.

Planes are far more complex again and the danger of getting it wrong more amplified. You need to design a collision avoidance system for the flying pigs first.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 3523
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:46 am

If there’s a “problem” with modern planes is that they are so reliable that many, perhaps most, pilots won’t deal with an true emergency in their entire careers. Things go according to the script every time.

I lost a lot of friends over 45 years, some flying checks, some in the military, some just driving home. I never set my car or the plane I was assigned without a private thought, “today could be the day I don’t come home”. It’s not “it can’t happen to me”; it’s “i won’t let it happen to me”.

GF
 
mapletux
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:49 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:53 am

WPvsMW wrote:
After that is perfected, the relief pilot for long haul may be AI, so 2 man crews become 2 plus "Hal". "


I think the first step will be having a remote relief pilot and then gradually reducing the number of pilots in the cockpit to zero. With no one in the cockpit who's to know if the aircraft is being flown by the onboard computer or a remote pilot?
 
ABpositive
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:36 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 12:59 am

I would think that there would be a more gradual weening off. The economics of paying less for pilots would be the main business driver (although safety would be spruiked as being the main driver):

1. One pilot in the cockpit, one pilot on the ground.
2. Two pilots on the ground.
3. One pilot on the ground with machine support
4. Machine flying with on the ground pilot support
5. Machine flying with one pilot supporting multiple machined flights
 
AleksW
Posts: 71
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:18 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:24 am

No.
 
Varsity1
Posts: 1934
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:30 am

Replace them with what? Nobody can even specify that yet.

Drones in the Air Force haven't replaced pilots, they just sit on the ground and fly the airplane through a data link. Even that has created an unacceptably high non-combat attrition rate.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
32andBelow
Posts: 3993
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:36 am

You realize there are 10s of millions of flights per year right?
 
User avatar
ADent
Posts: 1025
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:11 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:55 am

Automated cockpit of the future: A dog and a pilot.

The dog is there to keep the pilot from touching anything.
The pilot is there to feed the dog.
 
1989worstyear
Posts: 615
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:53 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:59 am

I don't know if the A320 TC would support this.
Stuck at age 15 thanks to the certification date of the A320-200 and my parents' decision to postpone having a kid by 3 years. At least there's Dignitas...
 
rbretas
Posts: 49
Joined: Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:21 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:55 am

a/c dxer wrote:
Never will happen. passenger would never go for it.


For the same ticket price, I agree. But give a 5% discount and nobody will care about it anymore.
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2062
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:58 am

ADent wrote:
Automated cockpit of the future: A dog and a pilot.

The dog is there to keep the pilot from touching anything.
The pilot is there to feed the dog.


Do you a DTP for that? (dog type rating)
 
User avatar
SierraPacific
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:01 am

If we replace pilots nobody is going to be buying tickets since 99 percent of people will be out of a job before we get to the technology level required for autonomous flight
 
TUSDawg23
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun May 30, 2010 2:43 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:55 am

O gosh here we go again with this. The short answer is that I can see a one pilot cockpit with more of a systems manager role in my lifetime but not a fully autonomous one with passengers. Pilots are paid for when shit hits the fan and so to have someone in there who can quickly diagnose a system malfunction and make the correct decision is really vital.
 
Varsity1
Posts: 1934
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 5:22 am

SierraPacific wrote:
If we replace pilots nobody is going to be buying tickets since 99 percent of people will be out of a job before we get to the technology level required for autonomous flight


This is actually a really practical answer.
"PPRuNe will no longer allow discussions regarding Etihad Airlines, its employees, executives, agents, or other representatives. Such threads will be deleted." - ME3 thug airlines suing anyone who brings negative information public..
 
anshabhi
Posts: 2109
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:40 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:10 am

Modern day AI can at best play Chess.

ET 302 will happen if you want it to fly aircraft
 
M564038
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:16 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:13 am

Yes. We will se atonomous airliners.
We will accept the idea very quickly once we see traffic getting safer and faster with autonomous cars in the next decade.
 
LAXLHR
Posts: 444
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:07 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:16 am

747megatop wrote:
We have seen 4 high profile crashes over the past decade - AF 447, QZ 8501, JT 610, ET 302 which in some shape or form involved confused pilots and confused automation. I agree that automation can do stuff much better than humans and it has saved a lot of lives in aviation. But, in my view there are times that automation gives up & throws up it's hands (as seen in the 4 crashes above) where the well trained pilots (or should i say true aviators) start earning their money [UA 232, NW 85, ].

So, will we ever be able to complete replace pilots on commercial jet liners and have them fly themselves? I know that given a choice money hungry CEOs would want to have passengers board planes & planes fly the passengers without employing one employee (gate agent, pilots, flight attendants etc.) but i doubt any would step on into their private terminal or fly on a plane without any human involved.

Considering the automation factor and man machine interface rearing it's head i wanted to see what a.netters have to say in the context of these 4 crashes.


The CURRENT version of humans will never ever say yes to this. NO WAY!!
BA IB ET JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO W7 WN NW DL UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR WY MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN LO OK OZ UL SQ LA

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 332 333 342 343 380
 
AngMoh
Posts: 974
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:03 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:50 am

M564038 wrote:
Yes. We will se atonomous airliners.
We will accept the idea very quickly once we see traffic getting safer and faster with autonomous cars in the next decade.


Ships are getting close. The idea is that there is still a crew but significantly reduced and they are not on standby but off-duty for most of the trip except bad weather (the kind of weather which affects sensing) and harbour operations. Even for bad weather, it will tell in advance that the crew is required to take over at a specific time in the future rather than operating and then hand back to the crew in emergency once it finds out that it can handle the situation anymore. These ships are currently in design and the classification rules (naval equivalent of certification requirements) are being developed right now.

I can see a single pilot who is on standby during takeoff and landing and sleeping during cruise. But it will take longer than other domains because the risk is "catastrophic" if it goes wrong and therefore much harder to prove safe than other areas like cars and shipping.
727 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 739ER 742 743 744 752 753 762 772 77E 773 77W 788 A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A343 A345 A346 A359 A35K A388 DC-9 DC-10 MD11 MD81 MD82 MD87 F70 ERJ145 E170 E175 E190 E195 ATR72 Q400 CRJ200 CRJ700 CRJ900 BAE146 RJ85
 
Lufthansa
Posts: 2583
Joined: Thu May 20, 1999 6:04 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:09 am

Doubt it. Look at the driverless cars such as the ones google put out there and other companies. A few of them have hit and even killed people. And that's just a car.
 
Zodiac787
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:53 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:39 am

a/c dxer wrote:
Never will happen. passenger would never go for it.

That's indeed the main and probably only obstacle...
Otis had the technology to make elevators fully automated 40 years before they introduced it... why? Because humans wouldn't go for it.
Train one cabin crew for emergency flight situations (or let one "pilot" be required in every crew) and let the machine fly which it does anyway.
Is it feasible? Most likely. Am I ready to go for it... not so sure...
 
Zodiac787
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2015 7:53 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:41 am

M564038 wrote:
Yes. We will se atonomous airliners.
We will accept the idea very quickly once we see traffic getting safer and faster with autonomous cars in the next decade.

Is that the order? We have never seen a kid run after a ball in front of an airplane flying or a man crossing an airway while looking at his cellphone. Flying is a lot easier... but humans are not :)
 
afgeneral
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:43 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:55 am

If anything JT 610, ET 302 are proof that automation is just not ready.

In both cases the pilots at least tried to save an aircraft which wanted to plunge into the ground. Without them the aircraft would have simply crashed. The previous JT flight which made it to its destination was saved by its pilots.
 
Arion640
Posts: 2385
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:08 am

afgeneral wrote:
If anything JT 610, ET 302 are proof that automation is just not ready.

In both cases the pilots at least tried to save an aircraft which wanted to plunge into the ground. Without them the aircraft would have simply crashed. The previous JT flight which made it to its destination was saved by its pilots.


Agreed. And there was almost 2 similar incidents recorded where the pilot managed to (the max) from attempting to do the same.
223 319 320 321 333 346 359 388 733 73G 738 744 752 753 763 764 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 MD83 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75

Brexit - It’s time for global Britain.
 
User avatar
SierraPacific
Posts: 309
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:15 am

I’m sorry, I just have to comment again since the sheer ignorance of how airline cockpits work on a aviation enthusiast forum is astounding. The problem with discussing automation in the cockpit is that we have absolutely no data on when it messes up since the pilot simply alters the mode on the autopilot or reverts to manual control and is never noted. I have heard plenty of stories just in my short time as a student pilot of automation either messing up or at worst almost causing a major incident to occur but is never written up
.If we had this data, it would make automation just a distant dream. The comparison to driverless cars is also another bad argument when it comes to arguing for automation saying that planes are simpler to automate. Aircraft operate within a 3D realm where the automated craft can’t just pull over and stop when there is a problem (I live in the number one place for autonomous car testing so I see this quite a bit).In a prefect world with no traffic, weather, or passenger issues, it would be possible with today’s technology to fly A to B without disconnecting an autopilot but this is just not realistic and is foolish to think that we are even within 50 years of this happening.

The only way that a plane could operate autonomously would be with a full fledged AI that can receive data and coordinate on the same level as a human person. The worst part about this is that every person would be hitting the unemployment line at the same time as pilots.

I hate to say it but it seems like some of the posts here are why industry professsionals have been leaving the site at an alarming rate.
Last edited by SierraPacific on Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
User avatar
CARST
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2006 11:00 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:17 am

It will happen. And it will happen within the next 50 years. Most of you totally underestimate the speed of our technological progress. Look back 50 years, when computers just were introduced for business applications.

In the end pilotless planes will be safer. Of course they need like three or four redundant computers, also working in case of a complete power-loss. With own, dedicated back-up-batteries. And they will have automation build in, just in case that their connection to the also computer-run ATC is lost, that they will go into some form of safe autoland-mode, checking weather and suitable airports on their own.

It's not a question of if, just a question of when...

And the only things keeping us from doing it now are unions and the fear of the common people...
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1489
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:37 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:18 am

There are a lot of ways in which aircraft can go wrong and in that case, there needs to be a human that can manage the situation and make decisions. For example, what happens if there's a fire on board or some system starts malfunctioning. A computer wouldn't know what to do when anything outside of the scope of its programming happens and will ignore the problem, jam up or switch off.

There's also communications, which I can't imagine a computer doing properly yet. Normally if you want to use a voice-activated Satnav you have to tell it the address 5 times before it understands.
 
VSMUT
Posts: 2894
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:27 am

SierraPacific wrote:
If we replace pilots nobody is going to be buying tickets since 99 percent of people will be out of a job before we get to the technology level required for autonomous flight


This ^

Flying (and especially problem solving when something doesnt work) is one of the hardest tasks we can make a computer do. If we get to that stage, computers will long since have taken over everything from secretaries to factory workers, doctors and dentists etc.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 325
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:42 am

Let me know when technology can figure out how to call for and how to run an unannunciated checklist. Then we'll talk ;)
 
SurlyBonds
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 10:24 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:46 am

SierraPacific wrote:
is foolish to think that we are even within 50 years of this happening....The only way that a plane could operate autonomously would be with a full fledged AI that can receive data and coordinate on the same level as a human person. The worst part about this is that every person would be hitting the unemployment line at the same time as pilots.


Ever heard of Moore's law?

Ray Kurzweil says that computers may surpass human level intelligence by 2029. Masayoshi Son puts the date at 2045. So some of the best minds in AI disagree with you.

I hate to say it but it seems like some of the posts here are why industry professsionals have been leaving the site at an alarming rate.


Aviation industry professionals are less likely to be knowledgeable about AI than computer scientists.
 
Virtual737
Posts: 608
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:16 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:57 am

Done by a "for profit" entity? I hope not.
 
Crazy4Planes
Posts: 95
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2015 12:05 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:31 am

Even if planes become capable of flying without pilots (won’t happen at least in the foreseeable future), who’s gonna do the RT?
 
barney captain
Posts: 2212
Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2001 5:47 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:48 am

Most of you are missing the number one reason this can't/shouldn't happen - judgement. You can't teach a computer "spidey sense" - and it's a player far more than most think.

Just tonight we were approaching the Rockies and felt/noticed just a tickle of what felt like mountain wave. With nothing forecast we queried the controller - nope, smooth rides ahead. As a precaution we decided to ask for a lower altitude and sure enough, a few minutes later at our previous altitude all hell was breaking loose. Our new altitude remained smooth.

Btw, in that same situation in the AI cockpit, at what point in the moderate turbulence would the accelerometers determine (after the fact) that the cabin crew should be seated?

One of an unlimited number of examples of why this is a very bad idea.

Flying is still an art.
Southeast Of Disorder
 
Boof02671
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:14 am

I’ll wait for the Star Trek Teleporter before I step foot on a pilotless plane.
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1714
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:09 pm

747megatop wrote:
I agree that automation can do stuff much better than humans and it has saved a lot of lives in aviation. But, in my view there are times that automation gives up & throws up it's hands (as seen in the 4 crashes above) where the well trained pilots (or should i say true aviators) start earning their money [UA 232, NW 85, ].


But you have to bear in mind that the "throwing up its hands" behaviour is actually required by regulation since certification assumes that "true aviators" can save the day.

This despite the fact that the majority of incidents are actually down to human error.

If aircraft were designed to be fully automated from the outset then you can bet that 1) they will actually be more capable (no need to keep systems similar to existing systems for pilots to understand or take over - all control design can be rewritten and optimised for better response based on better sensory input), 2) the response to unexpected situations can be made much more robust (e.g. very rapid "learning" of how the aircraft behaves under changed conditions - think fighter aircraft continuing to fly after losing sections of wing), 3) a clean-sheet approach to systems design may actually reduce outward complexity and therefore points of failure (if you basically have multiple-redundant sets of sensors, control logic and actuation systems replacing the myriad of "separate yet co-dependant" systems which have evolved in current aircraft as a result of new developments and user interface elements).
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
User avatar
DL747400
Posts: 684
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:04 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:11 pm

Good grief.

This is one of THE MOST ridiculous threads ever started on this site.
From First to Worst: The history of Airliners.net.

All posts reflect my opinions, not those of my employer or any other company.
 
Boof02671
Posts: 1626
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2016 12:15 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:12 pm

Computers can’t t handle what if’s like a human.
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1714
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:17 pm

JHwk wrote:
As much as I used to think it was just over the horizon, it seems apparent that we are an order of magnitude away in terms of control algorithms. Writing the code wouldn’t be that hard, but validating it requires a level of oversight that simply doesn’t exist today. The fact that input validation is as miserable as it was on the MCAS system suggests that things simply are not nearly as robust as the general public is led to believe.


But surely this actually proves the opposite - that humans trying constantly to patch on fixes to existing old physical systems is the cause for the issues. As I said above - an aircraft designed from the outset to be aware of all sensory input and use that to optimally control all ouput variables simultaneously should (with robust redundancy built in) never crash an aircraft when one sensor (or it's interpreted data) is in question.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
TWFlyGuy
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:10 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:19 pm

For the forseeable future I see a need for someone in the cockpit. However there are also instances where outside control could have helped. I think of the Miracle on the Hudson as an instance where having someone on-board in control was immensely beneficial. Conversely, the AF flight off of the S. American coast or the Egypt Air flight out of JFK which ended up being a suicide would have benefited with some intervention from someone on the ground. I could also see an effort to reduce int'l crews by having a ground controller manage the flight during long cruise segments with only 1 person in cockpit.
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1714
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:21 pm

M564038 wrote:
Yes. We will se atonomous airliners.
We will accept the idea very quickly once we see traffic getting safer and faster with autonomous cars in the next decade.


An autonomous cars are actually dealing with a far more dangerous and unpredictable world than an aircraft does.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
BlatantEcho
Posts: 2110
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:21 pm

It’s so funny to hear people say things like ‘no way, too complicated!! Only humans!’
It’s like people in 1900 saying ‘horseless carriage??? No way, I like being in control of things’

Of course pilotless planes will happen, and I’ll be the first person to happily sign up.
No fatigue, no lack of training, more room in fuselage for more paying passengers, so lower prices and lower environmental footprint.


No one will think twice about pilotless planes/cars/trains in 30 years.
It makes me chuckle to see people today argue with this sort of progress.
 
User avatar
SomebodyInTLS
Posts: 1714
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:31 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:23 pm

Lufthansa wrote:
Doubt it. Look at the driverless cars such as the ones google put out there and other companies. A few of them have hit and even killed people. And that's just a car.


Yes "a few of them" versus how many kilometers travelled? Versus how many thousands of people killed by human drivers? AFAIK their safety record is already better than humans.
"As with most things related to aircraft design, it's all about the trade-offs and much more nuanced than A.net likes to make out."
 
User avatar
SEPilot
Posts: 5450
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 10:21 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:26 pm

mapletux wrote:
WPvsMW wrote:
After that is perfected, the relief pilot for long haul may be AI, so 2 man crews become 2 plus "Hal". "


I think the first step will be having a remote relief pilot and then gradually reducing the number of pilots in the cockpit to zero. With no one in the cockpit who's to know if the aircraft is being flown by the onboard computer or a remote pilot?

The idea of a pilot on the ground is a non-starter. If a human is ultimately responsible for the safety of the flight, his butt needs to be on the line as well as the passengers’. Add to that the fact that there will always be a risk of lost communications, plus the risk of communications being hacked. Someday (not soon) we may get to pilotless aircraft, but remote pilots, never.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
frmrCapCadet
Posts: 3072
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 pm

Re: Man vs machine; are we ready to replace pilots completely?

Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:59 pm

barney captain wrote:
Most of you are missing the number one reason this can't/shouldn't happen - judgement. You can't teach a computer "spidey sense" - and it's a player far more than most think.

Just tonight we were approaching the Rockies and felt/noticed just a tickle of what felt like mountain wave. With nothing forecast we queried the controller - nope, smooth rides ahead. As a precaution we decided to ask for a lower altitude and sure enough, a few minutes later at our previous altitude all hell was breaking loose. Our new altitude remained smooth.

Btw, in that same situation in the AI cockpit, at what point in the moderate turbulence would the accelerometers determine (after the fact) that the cabin crew should be seated?

One of an unlimited number of examples of why this is a very bad idea.

Flying is still an art.


Incidentally, Cliff Mass a weather scientist at U of WA has discussed this on his web site. Weather forecasting (or more accurately now-casting) can provide this sort of information, but at this time it is not provided to pilots. He also discusses how it might be done. And it should be.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: TangoandCash, ThaneC and 11 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos