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18 Oct 2017, 16:20 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


DShannon Aviation (banner)



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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 10:41 
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I had an experience about a month ago that made me really question the possibility of eliminating the FO in a jet.

Bouncing around at 410 in IMC trying to pick around T-Storms. Think we're past it so go direct. Nope, radar shows green but the dirt flying out of the carpet into my face says otherwise. A few major updrafts and the autopilot kicks off. CA is now hand flying through some extreme airspeed and altitude excursions. Stall margin is a concern but can't descend, ride reports indicate it's worse below. Picking up ice now and Quack, Dual fadec failures on the EICAS. I'm running the QRH and looking for a diversion while the CA is riding the bull, still trying to pick around the worst of it.

It can go from fine to an absolute shit show in 10 seconds. One person in that cockpit would have drowned.


This argument keeps dragging on, and I think both sides are somewhat right but also somewhat missing the point. Current pilots (like the above) are saying single pilot is not safe enough in the cockpit of current airplanes. That is true, but they are forgetting that a single pilot cockpit would be entirely different design. Right now the pilot is the backup when automation fails. In the future there will be a second (or third of fourth) automated backup instead. The autopilot in that kind of cockpit would never disconnect.

Folks on the other side understand the above, but are forgetting how much it costs to make radical changes in airplane design, and how long it takes. So yes - single pilot and no-pilot airliners will happen, but likely not in our lifetime.

Not exactly what I said. I said single pilot isn't safe enough for 121, period. This after flying single pilot jets, designed to be single pilot jets.
Most current guys could fly their airliners SP without much trouble. In designing a single pilot cockpit, what you need most is a second pilot. Not an autopilot. Not a data link, but a separate, functional, thinking, interacting, pilot who can make a set of parallel judgements and provide a layer of oversight, from a position of being actively engaged in the flight.

As a crew, the PM can generally stay a step ahead of the PF. This allows errors to be caught before they are made, and keeps the PF on his or her toes. The synergy between two pilots is greater than the sum of the parts.

A second pilot also allows load shedding of taskings, which is definitely not the same as turning the autopilot on (AP on is usually the first thing you do in a non-normal).

The engineering assumption is that a better autopilot will do most of what pilots do. The problem with that concept is that the autopilot does the easy part.

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 10:48 
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You hit the nail right on the head Jim!

Until you sit in the situation, and deal with an abnormality (of any form), it's difficult to get a good grasp of the importance of a second live, functional person sitting there making their own decisions of the situation. Throw in a flight control issue, or and external communications issue in busy airspace, and you have a recipe for disaster.

We even operate only with two pilots in a GA charity that I'm involved in as it is very obvious that many of the similar operational charity accidents/incidents could have been prevented with a second brain in the cockpit...

Jason


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 11:27 
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Today's young new hires will retire on the same 777,787,350 we are flying today...with two or more pilots. Maybe by then they will have an EFB that works. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 11:37 
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Today's young new hires will retire on the same 777,787,350 we are flying today...with two or more pilots. Maybe by then they will have an EFB that works. :D

Your EFBs glitch too?! LOL.
Seems like a relatively easy thing to get right...


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 22:34 
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Username Protected wrote:
Not exactly what I said. I said single pilot isn't safe enough for 121, period. This after flying single pilot jets, designed to be single pilot jets.
Most current guys could fly their airliners SP without much trouble. In designing a single pilot cockpit, what you need most is a second pilot. Not an autopilot. Not a data link, but a separate, functional, thinking, interacting, pilot who can make a set of parallel judgements and provide a layer of oversight, from a position of being actively engaged in the flight.

As a crew, the PM can generally stay a step ahead of the PF. This allows errors to be caught before they are made, and keeps the PF on his or her toes. The synergy between two pilots is greater than the sum of the parts.

A second pilot also allows load shedding of taskings, which is definitely not the same as turning the autopilot on (AP on is usually the first thing you do in a non-normal).

The engineering assumption is that a better autopilot will do most of what pilots do. The problem with that concept is that the autopilot does the easy part.


Eh, you are still thinking about current crop of airplanes and the things you use to fly them, e.g. autopilot. I am talking about entirely different airplane designed from the ground up to be autonomous or fly with minimal supervision. There won't be a need for sharing of tasks because there won't be any tasks for humans to do ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 06 Aug 2017, 23:13 
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Username Protected wrote:
As a crew, the PM can generally stay a step ahead of the PF. This allows errors to be caught before they are made, and keeps the PF on his or her toes. The synergy between two pilots is greater than the sum of the parts.


Robo-plane wont have a PF. Only a PM. He can 'parallel think' to his hearts content and sit on his hands until all three computers freeze at the same time.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 02:41 
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Username Protected wrote:
As a crew, the PM can generally stay a step ahead of the PF. This allows errors to be caught before they are made, and keeps the PF on his or her toes. The synergy between two pilots is greater than the sum of the parts.


Robo-plane wont have a PF. Only a PM. He can 'parallel think' to his hearts content and sit on his hands until all three computers freeze at the same time.

All that setup would do is exacerbate the problems with the current system.

Three parallel systems sounds great, but the airplane I fly has three autopilots and three IRUs, and they occasionally argue with each other. That is with a relatively simple system.
Robo planes three brains won't agree all the time...

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 02:44 
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Username Protected wrote:
Not exactly what I said. I said single pilot isn't safe enough for 121, period. This after flying single pilot jets, designed to be single pilot jets.
Most current guys could fly their airliners SP without much trouble. In designing a single pilot cockpit, what you need most is a second pilot. Not an autopilot. Not a data link, but a separate, functional, thinking, interacting, pilot who can make a set of parallel judgements and provide a layer of oversight, from a position of being actively engaged in the flight.

As a crew, the PM can generally stay a step ahead of the PF. This allows errors to be caught before they are made, and keeps the PF on his or her toes. The synergy between two pilots is greater than the sum of the parts.

A second pilot also allows load shedding of taskings, which is definitely not the same as turning the autopilot on (AP on is usually the first thing you do in a non-normal).

The engineering assumption is that a better autopilot will do most of what pilots do. The problem with that concept is that the autopilot does the easy part.


Eh, you are still thinking about current crop of airplanes and the things you use to fly them, e.g. autopilot. I am talking about entirely different airplane designed from the ground up to be autonomous or fly with minimal supervision. There won't be a need for sharing of tasks because there won't be any tasks for humans to do ;)

That is a pretty nebulous supposition, and a blind faith in something that hasn't been designed yet.

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 09:31 
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That is a pretty nebulous supposition, and a blind faith in something that hasn't been designed yet.

if we didn't have that, we'd still be living in caves and hunting with spears


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 11:13 
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That is a pretty nebulous supposition, and a blind faith in something that hasn't been designed yet.

if we didn't have that, we'd still be living in caves and hunting with spears

I'll grant you that, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a teleporter either.

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 11:43 
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I'll grant you that, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for a teleporter either.

to a caveman, an elevator or subway train, looks like a teleporter. Given the exponential rate of change of technology, that's how our great grandchildren will look at us. Vehicles carrying people, which can be driven manually by other people ? The idea will be ludicrous.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 11:48 
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Vehicles carrying people, which can be driven manually by other people ? The idea will be ludicrous.


Maybe - look at the Jetsons. They had skycars and video phones. They didn't even consider the ludicrous idea of a video phone that you could carry in your pocket - and we all have them now. Kids commuting to school alone in a skycar ... not so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 11:56 
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Vehicles carrying people, which can be driven manually by other people ? The idea will be ludicrous.


Maybe - look at the Jetsons. They had skycars and video phones. They didn't even consider the ludicrous idea of a video phone that you could carry in your pocket - and we all have them now. Kids commuting to school alone in a skycar ... not so much.

so the best futurist is a cartoonist with a 1960's paradigm ?

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:25 
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The thing about positing the future is that if you throw out enough ideas, one will be right. The problem is recognizing the difference between the one or two viable ideas, and the thousands of unworkable ones. For every visionary there are stadiums full of tech savvy crackpots.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:25 
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Username Protected wrote:
All that setup would do is exacerbate the problems with the current system.

Three parallel systems sounds great, but the airplane I fly has three autopilots and three IRUs, and they occasionally argue with each other. That is with a relatively simple system.
Robo planes three brains won't agree all the time...


That's the point you are not getting. Current systems are not designed to be autonomous. Even though there are 3 autopilots, they are all designed with the assumption that there is a human pilot who acts as the final arbiter when they start to argue. Design criteria for an autonomous system would be entirely different.


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