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17 Dec 2017, 04:03 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


Greenwich AeroGroup



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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:27 
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That's not entirely true Yuri, cf autoland systems and fail-active vs fail-passive systems.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 12:54 
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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.

You are assuming I don't get your point. I do. Step beyond that. Give me something beyond "autonomous will be different".

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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 13:41 
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Sometimes people that work in the forest never get a chance to see the expansive view because of working with the trees all day.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 14:13 
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Username Protected wrote:
Sometimes people that work in the forest never get a chance to see the expansive view because of working with the trees all day.

Great input. Then there are those who assume no one else can have the big picture if they hold a different viewpoint. :shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 14:16 
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This conversation reminds me of the whole "video phone" mantra. Sometimes even if the tech is there, people don't want it.

For those that don't know or don't remember, AT&T introduced the video phone at the Worlds Fair back in the day. It was supposed to be the hot new thing.

Turns out there were a number of technological issues. One was what we call "bandwidth" today, but AT&T was the behemoth and a monopoly, and they could have done whatever they wanted to fix it.

Turns out, their studies showed that people didn't like video phones. Showing yourself to a person, as it turns out, is a great big hassle.

Even today, when we have the tech and the bandwidth to do person-to-person video calls on impossibly thin mobile devices, people ACTUALLY went in the other direction...not even talking, but texting. The digital age version of the telegraph.

Sure, some people use Facetime and similar programs, but its, by far, the exception rather than the rule.

The moral of the story is...sometimes conventional wisdom isn't, and never try to guess that people will make a leap they don't want to take.

Best,
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 14:38 
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Username Protected wrote:
This conversation reminds me of the whole "video phone" mantra. Sometimes even if the tech is there, people don't want it.
...
Turns out, their studies showed that people didn't like video phones. Showing yourself to a person, as it turns out, is a great big hassle.

Even today... people ACTUALLY went in the other direction...not even talking, but texting.

Here's a related question- How many people, just here on BT, have regular "telemeetings" as part of their work? And of those, what is the proportion between teleconferences and video teleconferences? I bet straight teleconferences are still very common, perhaps more common than VTC. Unless there are compelling reasons to see the other person's face and their body language in real time, many times a sound-only teleconference (augmented with pictures, charts, diagrams, etc. sent by email or other means) is a better communication tool than VTC.

:shrug:


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 15:49 
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Boeing has already started to test fly AI in simulators and expects to move to testing in the aircraft next year with the stated goal of helping airlines with pilot cost and easing the burden of recruitment. Whether it will come to full fruition or not, no one knows for sure, but with all the money and energy being expended, it's a safe bet that some substantial changes are coming in a few short years.

I'm old enough to remember when Boeing and MCD starting similar testing to remove the Flight Engineer. We all sat around and reassured one another, with union support, that we were just too ingrained and vital to the industry and the public would never stand for just two pilots in the cockpit. And that was during the period when there were far more experienced applicants than jobs available.

There were even a few "letters to the editor" from passengers and passenger groups stating that they wouldn't fly on a large airplane without the third pilot. That lasted as long as the first scheduled flight of the new aircraft.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 19:18 
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Does it have to be one pilot or two? Why can't it be 1.25?

That is, why can't the PNF be not flying? ISTM that one guy could sit at a console somewhere in Kansas, monitoring 4 flying airplanes. In an emergency, the PF could continue flying while the PNF ran the checklists and did all the other stuff that makes a second pilot necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 19:40 
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Username Protected wrote:
Does it have to be one pilot or two? Why can't it be 1.25?

That is, why can't the PNF be not flying? ISTM that one guy could sit at a console somewhere in Kansas, monitoring 4 flying airplanes. In an emergency, the PF could continue flying while the PNF ran the checklists and did all the other stuff that makes a second pilot necessary.

The problem there is that you need a second pilot on site, engaged, and ahead of the game to begin with. There is a synergy to having two pilots. That doesn't happen remotely.
The other issue is that at times, two or three aircraft might need help simultaneously. Weather events, terrorist attacks, or any of a host of other reasons. I don't know how many aircraft dispatchers cover, but about half the time when I need them in flight, the help they offer comes well after the event I needed them for.
In short, you need someone on site and already up to speed when things start to get interesting.
A byproduct of two pilots is the experience gathered in the right seat. Like instructing, you learn a lot by watching others, whether they are doing a great job, or doing a poor one. There are a lot of things I'm glad I saw as an FO first.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 21:02 
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I just returned from a several thousand mile driving trip....

You pass people and EVERYONE is on a phone, texting, surfing, watching a movie, or otherwise distracted. Plenty of semi drivers swerving and obviously tired. Many times people pull out in front of you to avoid turning off cruise control or do other unnecessary and dangerous maneuvers. Others must have just graduated from Kamikaze school because weaving in an out of traffic over 100MPH in a lifted pickup seemed like they were planning to ram into a large object in the near future.

All things automation would avoid and I would gladly welcome.

However, during one stretch we drove through a heavy thunderstorm, driving rain you literally couldn't see through, high winds, hydroplaning trucks and cars, etc. Very dangerous conditions that you had to feel your way through.

I really wonder how automation would deal with that?

This is my simple minded analogy for the challenges of automating airliners.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 07 Aug 2017, 21:50 
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You pass people and EVERYONE is on a phone, texting, surfing, watching a movie, or otherwise distracted. Plenty of semi drivers swerving and obviously tired. Many times people pull out in front of you to avoid turning off cruise control or do other unnecessary and dangerous maneuvers. Others must have just graduated from Kamikaze school because weaving in an out of traffic over 100MPH in a lifted pickup seemed like they were planning to ram into a large object in the near future.


My experience just about every time I get on I-35. I heard many years ago the Austin Police Dept averages more than one citation per day for over 100 mph. Not too long ago, a n Austin assistant Police Chief got clocked doing 92mph in a 65 mph zone while off duty...


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 00:03 
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Username Protected wrote:
You are assuming I don't get your point. I do. Step beyond that. Give me something beyond "autonomous will be different".


Well, I didn't just say "they will be different", I said how they will be different, i.e. they will be designed to be fail-safe. That said, you have a legitimate question - how can you design something to be fail-safe when everything in my cockpit fails sometime? The answer to that question is, it's because your existing systems are NOT designed to be fail-safe; in fact, they are designed to fail!

That's right, designed to fail. That doesn't mean these systems are poorly designed or unreliable or don't have certain level of protection against failures. What that means is that they are designed with assumption that failure is an acceptable outcome, which is OK because there is a human backup.

Take your autopilot as an example. You have your triple-redundancy, of course, but that just protects you against hardware failure in one of them. Give it some common failure mode like loss of airspeed indication a la AF 447, and the A/P fails and hands the plane back to the pilots (who then promptly proceed to crash it - but I digress).

Why do you think that is? Do you think it is impossible to design an autopilot which can fly the plane without airspeed input? Of course not, it would be trivial to design one. But the designers weren't given a requirement to design the system to be completely fail-safe, they were asked to design a system that's "good enough" - works well under most circumstances, but fails (disconnects) when design parameters are exceeded. Loss of airspeed indications was one of those things deemed not important enough to design for.

When designing an autonomous system, on the other hand, failure is not an option. That means that every possible failure mode needs to be painstakingly examined and appropriate counter-measures developed. None of this is particularly difficult technologically, but it's much more laborious and expensive undertaking to design the system that way - which is why I say we are at least 50 years away from seeing it in use.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 03:09 
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Username Protected wrote:
However, during one stretch we drove through a heavy thunderstorm, driving rain you literally couldn't see through, high winds, hydroplaning trucks and cars, etc. Very dangerous conditions that you had to feel your way through.

I really wonder how automation would deal with that?


Robo-truck and robo-car dont really care about visibility as they know each others positions from both differential GPS and their respective following radars. To make the humans less afraid, they would probably be programmed to slow down and stop until that 'visibility' humans seem to require improves. If all the cars are either autonomous or assisted, there is no more risk of a big pileup in a fog bank or rainstorm.

During this afternoons rush-hour, I drove through Las Vegas on I15. Autonomous cars can't do worse than Nevada drivers.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 08:35 
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Username Protected wrote:
Robo-truck and robo-car dont really care about visibility as they know each others positions from both differential GPS and their respective following radars. To make the humans less afraid, they would probably be programmed to slow down and stop until that 'visibility' humans seem to require improves. If all the cars are either autonomous or assisted, there is no more risk of a big pileup in a fog bank or rainstorm.

During this afternoons rush-hour, I drove through Las Vegas on I15. Autonomous cars can't do worse than Nevada drivers.


I wasn't really referring to position as in place on the road as much as processing the difference between rain and harder objects when its coming down that hard and probably providing lots of close returns for whatever radar type system they will use. The other things like possibility of hydroplaning, crosswinds over-turning a truck, etc. there are not sensors for, yet very real dangers. My point is that those 1% circumstances would be very challenging to automate more so when we are talking about flying vs. driving.

Vegas... HA I hear you.


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 Post subject: Re: Airlines Scrambling to Prevent Pilot Shortage
PostPosted: 08 Aug 2017, 10:28 
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Recent article from the business section of the London Telegraph.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/08/07/computer-speaking-now-cruising-580mph-altitude-36000ft/


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