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POLL: Would you be happy with this??

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  • View Poll Results: So, how do you rate the Single pilot option?
    Sounds promising
    11.86%
    Don't like the idea
    11.86%
    Would prefer to stay as it is (2-pilots)
    67.80%
    Unsure - need more info
    8.47%

    • Thread Starter
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    How would you feel the next time you were on a airplane, with the knowledge that only ONE pilot was flying the aircraft as apposed to the standard 2 (pilot+co-pilot)??

    Before you answer this consider the following:

    • >80% of current airline accidents are principally attributed to Human Error
    • The military already actively use only 1 pilot in all their aircraft (even in high risk operations) with optimum success
    • With the raising fuel costs, it is becoming critical that the airlines industry reduce their operating costs before it gets cast onto the consumer.
    • There is little potential cost saving reduction to be made from the current aircraft design
    • New adaptive technology is being developed to 'replace' or 'displace' the co-pilot so as to remove the tasks he/she currently performs


    However with all new developments there are disadvantages/negatives to content with:

    The largest obstacle to this option is airline regulation/training which makes it illegal to fly any commercial aircraft with only 1 pilot on board.

    The second major issue is Public Perception. It is expected that the general public will disprove of this development on the grounds that they wouldn't trust technology over human beings.

    Of course the ultimate goal could be UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicle), which is also being used more and more in the military with great success.

    The major issue of course is in the advent that the one-pilot becomes incapacitated. But it is envisaged that the aircraft could have a remote control feature on the ground (Like UAV) to take over control of the plane and be able to land it.

    There is alot of detail not discussed here, but generally I am interested to know what your opinion would be, how you would receive this advancement? P.s. this is for my dissertation 3rd year engineering student. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have/questions/concerns

    Thanks for reading
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    I would prefer it to stay as it is, although I wouldn't object to flying within Europe with only one pilot, especially if there was UAV technology on board (otherwise, tbh, I would worry slightly about heart attacks, food poisoning etc.). There does come a point where a pilot needs a break, or their concentration just starts to go, hence why I'd only want to fly like that short haul.

    PS I probably ought to mention that having spent several years flying gliders, I probably have a non-standard perspective on it. I'm one of those people who finds it slightly objectionable that cabin crew have rear-facing seats with four-point harnesses, whereas the self-loading cargo only gets a lap belt and a forward facing seat, just so they don't think it's dangerous . . .

    Edit: I'd also like to know that the UAV tech had been tested in just about every conceivable condition going
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    No.

    /thread.
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    It does sound promising, think there will always need to be an active pilot aboard because currently no matter how advanced auto systems are there is no way they can account for every single possibility and it does strike me that the public perception will revolve around something like "what if the one pilot has a heat attack and then unforeseen circumstances arise that the drone pilot can't handle?"

    It would depend on how the technology is developed over the coming years, although i would be interested to know if they have begun development of an automated system that could be implemented into a large commercial plane? Last i heard the military were still working on drone systems for aircraft that could carry larger payloads? Seems like a big step up is required in order to implement something that could hypothetically operate a commercial jet on its own
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    There is no way that any auto pilot could land the plane safely especially taking into consideration strong winds etc... so if the pilot was to have a heart attack, stroke or something like that then it would essentially be a death sentence for all those on board the plane.

    So for the forseable future there should always be two people aboard capable of flying the plane otherwise I will be demanding to take a parachute with my any time I flew.
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    The options are quite dumb to be honest...I mean...option 2 and 3 are basically the same thing. However, yeah, it's stupid to reduce the number of pilots. In my opinion, 2 is too low. There should be 3.
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    (Original post by Origami Bullets)
    I would prefer it to stay as it is, although I wouldn't object to flying within Europe with only one pilot, especially if there was UAV technology on board (otherwise, tbh, I would worry slightly about heart attacks, food poisoning etc.). There does come a point where a pilot needs a break, or their concentration just starts to go, hence why I'd only want to fly like that short haul.

    PS I probably ought to mention that having spent several years flying gliders, I probably have a non-standard perspective on it. I'm one of those people who finds it slightly objectionable that cabin crew have rear-facing seats with four-point harnesses, whereas the self-loading cargo only gets a lap belt and a forward facing seat, just so they don't think it's dangerous . . .

    Edit: I'd also like to know that the UAV tech had been tested in just about every conceivable condition going
    Thanks for the response , the obvious stumbling block is the pilot incapacitation issue, however there is technology being developed to account for this but, like you, agree it would need rigorous testing in all scenario's possible. The issue about pilot's needing a break is usually only during Long Haul flights, where a single pilot operation would not be feasible. Therefore only short haul/freight haulage/etc would be ideal.
    Single pilot operations are already being actively used by 1 airline for a while now called ' Cessna CU Citalion using Raytheon 390/preimier'. Mostly for low risk tasks though.

    Your experience flying gliders will give you a more informed opinion, as you can to some degree relate the to issue. And your right, most things must be 'seen' to look safe for people to use them, even if those measured arn't directly necessary interms of safety.
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    Depends on how much it costs.
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    Czech plane makes emergency landing after pilot dies at controls

    I'd rather it stayed as it is. :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Darth Stewie)
    It does sound promising, think there will always need to be an active pilot aboard because currently no matter how advanced auto systems are there is no way they can account for every single possibility and it does strike me that the public perception will revolve around something like "what if the one pilot has a heat attack and then unforeseen circumstances arise that the drone pilot can't handle?"

    It would depend on how the technology is developed over the coming years, although i would be interested to know if they have begun development of an automated system that could be implemented into a large commercial plane? Last i heard the military were still working on drone systems for aircraft that could carry larger payloads? Seems like a big step up is required in order to implement something that could hypothetically operate a commercial jet on its own
    Pilot incapacitation is one of the biggest obstacles when designing the new automated technology, rigorous testing will undoubtedly need to be done in flight simulators before it ever got the green light. There won't be a drone pilot as such, more of a ground based crew which remotely controls the aircraft (in the advent of pilot incapacitation), and can land it, as is already being used in the military/scientific research/etc.

    As far as I am aware, long haul flights are not likely to be considered due to the sheer amount of time the pilot is in the air working; there must be a change over to account for fatigue etc. Definitely a massive step up to the completely unmanned option, hence the first steps into single pilot, but all this is currently in the developmental stages. Lots of research being done and the next steps requiring advanced flight simulators...

    Could be a few years yet till single pilot, but in terms of cost savings, removing 1 pilot could provide massive savings but at what cost to humanity...
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    Of course there is times when this new development is questionable, another example would be the Hudson River incident, it may have had a different outcome entirely...

    It is worth noting that the designers of this new technology will take these cases into consideration, and rigorous simulation tests will be done before it ever got the green light. It could takes years. It is only at the preliminary stages of development...
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    (Original post by Shabalala)
    There is no way that any auto pilot could land the plane safely especially taking into consideration strong winds etc... so if the pilot was to have a heart attack, stroke or something like that then it would essentially be a death sentence for all those on board the plane.

    So for the forseable future there should always be two people aboard capable of flying the plane otherwise I will be demanding to take a parachute with my any time I flew.
    I don't particularly fancy leaping out of an aircraft moving at 850km/h at 30,000 ft, with a rudder several meters in length. Would you?
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    They should do loads of test flights without passengers first, and if most of them succeed, then I'd be happy with it if technology becomes developed enough for the plane to pilot itself for the most part.

    However, the technology is going to stay the same & there'd just be 1 pilot instead of 2, I would prefer 2.
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    (Original post by Shabalala)
    There is no way that any auto pilot could land the plane safely especially taking into consideration strong winds etc... so if the pilot was to have a heart attack, stroke or something like that then it would essentially be a death sentence for all those on board the plane.

    So for the forseable future there should always be two people aboard capable of flying the plane otherwise I will be demanding to take a parachute with my any time I flew.
    Seconded.

    Leaving people to the mercy of a machine and not the humans who created it and know how to control it?? A plane can malfunction but if the pilot does, for some reason, there should be back-up! I'd rather it stayed the same Don't wanna put people's lives in danger for reasons that are less important.

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Updated: February 29, 2012
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