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In normal operations, the super dispatcher is there to watch the operations and offer advice or help for the pilot. In a contingency, which has to be triggered by the captain, the super dispatcher transitions into dedicated support mode as a first officer in the left seat of the ground station; the pilot and first officer then conduct a briefing over an open microphone loop to assign duties, including who will fly the aircraft (the first officer flies via inputs to the autoflight system in the mode control panel representation in the ground control station). The super dispatcher can then brief the captain about information available in the ground station, including the most viable diversion choices given the environmental conditions and aircraft’s physical state.
The issue isn't a matter of aircraft being so complicated that they need two people simply to run everything, but rather one of human nature. Humans make mistakes every single day. Having a second set of eyes up front to catch those mistakes is probably the best safety device you could possibly have on a flight deck. Whether it be something as simple as helping run a checklist or offering advice on a situation the other pilot has not encounter before, having a second pilot is priceless.
originally posted by: moebius
I think those are actually steps towards fully automated flight, with the pilot being the operator monitoring the system (practically we are pretty much there already).
"Seventy five percent of commercial airline accidents are caused by human error, with flight crew failure at the top of the list."
Absolutely one hundred percent correct. Even a premium long haul airline flying 777's, 380's or 747's with a full crew amounts to probably no more than about $20-30US per passenger in wages. Fuel makes up the vast majority of a flights cost with the rest going to aircraft leasing payments, flight attendants wages, catering, company operations etc.
Agree, if pilots / co pilots and engineers are becoming too expensive then air fairs are too cheap.
So I think Airport Tax, yes the delights of #ty queueing, poor security, obscene sales which makes a massive profit from you being there and then charges you a tax to take off should make way for pilots and redundancy in the human pilot loop
Leeches, grabbing leeches...