It's all on autopilot, right?

People are arguing that flight will be autonomous in the future and that aircraft will fly without pilots, because it’s all on autopilot, right?? So why do we need pilots?

Just thought I’d share this article with you guys and gals.

Definitely worth the read!

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You still need pilots because jut like everything with technology it breaks. Pilots will be a fail safe

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I hope planes don’t become to automated because it would make being a pilot boring.

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Trust me, no one will go on a plane with no pilot, and pilotless planes are never gonna succeed. Seeing the world is the most peaceful it has ever been, there are no wars to motivate us to make better aircraft. The Cold war was an excellent time for space and aviation. Everyone wanted to make that supersonic aircraft, to beat the Soviets at something. Everyone wanted to make the most advanced aircraft. Trust me, we’re thankfully slowing down in our advances.

And you’re all not gonna get fired because Airbus manages to land an Airplane without falling into trees

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If war would be the only thing pushing the evolution of aircraft forward we would not be where we are today. For example, from an economic perspective it would be very cost-efficient to fly without pilots, but I have said it before and I am saying it again. How would you feel if you sat on a plane and all of the sudden the two pilots came into the cabin and took a drink and ate a little? We can never say never but it will take a long time before automated aircraft enter regular service, I believe.

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Fully with you on this one. ;)

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No technology is foolproof. QF72 is a good example. Pilots are necessary since they also have the last say and in case of a software failure, the pilots are needed to guide the aircraft to safety.

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You know what this reminds me of? Terminator…

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Qantas, the safest airline in the world, had an incident with an A330 (I think that was the aircraft) a long time ago. The autopilot was engaged and everything was normal. Suddenly, the plane made a violent jolt up and began speeding up. Then, it made a violent jolt down and defended. The pilots turned off the autopilot and everything was fine. What happened was an autopilot instrument on the outside of the plane was malfunctioning and told the plane to make those movements. Had the pilots not been there, the plane would have crashed, and would have ruined Qantas’ reputation of being a safe airline.

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In my opinion pilots will never be replaced by automation. Although automation has made aviation much safer in many ways, the passengers still feel safer when there is a thinking, rational (Most of the time) thinking human being sitting up front. Hell, although I feel absolute comfort while flying and I am not nervous at all, I would still like to see humans flying planes for as long as possible.

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The economy isn’t the only other thing that pushes aircraft technology forward. Accidents stir the FAA to change rules or create new ones, which make safer aircraft.

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RIP DC-10… It never lived up to our expectations

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I doubt both pilots will be replaced. Technology fails and pilots are a fail safe. I could see the first officer getting replaced in the next few decades.

Here’s a fact: Machines can do things infintely better than humans can.
Here’s another fact: The more machines we add to the cockpit the safer air travel will be.
Here’s another fact: Humans can also do things and make decisions machines can’t.

Conclusion: We must add both. Only machines isn’t as effective as it could be. Only humans is basically the same as a flying tube dedicated to slaughtering people. Both together, obviously with a lot more machines than humans, can achieve the best safety.

For example, US Airways flight 1549.

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I have a simple question:
If you were a passenger would you get on a plane knowing there was no one flying?
I think we should have both man and machine in the cockpit. If for some reason the autopilot were to fail the pilots would be there to hand fly the plane.

It will never happen. Ever. There was a poll about this exact topic and the public voted 17% yes on having automated planes. Why would any airline choose to go automated if only 17% of the people who fly on them would want to take that flight? Even if it was 85% yes, they still wouldn’t do it.

I wouldn’t care how safe the automation would be. I would never fly on a pilotless aircraft. Another issue to look into is how advanced cyber terror has gotten. Remember when Iran hijacked one of our most advanced UAVs then landed it at one of their airports? I know that it would be highly unlikely but… That’s just on of many things that could go wrong.

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I don’t fancy getting on a plane run by Technology by it-self. Just doesn’t feel right…

I feel as though this day will come sooner or later. However, they’ll have to sort out a lot more, like midflight scenarios and how ATC is going to handle traffic when they’ll be talking to robots

Yeah that was exactly what I was trying to say. ;))

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