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NASA Studying Single Pilot Cockpits

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posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 07:01 PM
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I was under the impression that "hands off" landings were fairly routine these days?




posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 07:22 PM
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a reply to: MystikMushroom

No just the final approach. The last portion of the landing is manual.



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 07:37 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Pay day for you too huh?



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 07:48 PM
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a reply to: aholic

We use truck stop internet, so it's a pay to use thing. But if you don't get in certain parts of the lot all the trucks between you and their router kill it ded dead.



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: aholic

We use truck stop internet, so it's a pay to use thing. But if you don't get in certain parts of the lot all the trucks between you and their router kill it ded dead.


At sunrise and sunset the sunlight interferes with the wifi signal. When the sun is inline with the transmitter.

Loves and Pilot seem to be better lately. In previous years TA was good enough to watch "The Sarah Connor Chronicles",
not as good this year.


The pilot shortage could be about the political attitude of the pilots, New World Order or such like.
edit on 18-1-2015 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 09:03 PM
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originally posted by: aholic
Anyone else think this is a horrible idea?

In an age of dwindling pilots and airline profits the government turns to Rockwell Collins to test solutions that will eventually remove the copilot/first office/monitoring pilot from the flightdeck.

In the plan, the copilot would be sitting at a ground station monitoring 12 different aircraft, not unlike an ATC, and only step in when necessary.



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.

aviationweek.com...



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.

flightclub.jalopnik.com...

Anyone else find this to be an atrocious idea?


The fact is they could have removed the pilots years ago, its a wonder that they haven't done so already. I certainly wouldn't fly in a pilotless drone. Its all a bit obscene and a great way to cut costs. The human pilot, has a vested interest in getting the plane down, because his life depends on it. A geek in an office flying ten planes at once hasn't.

Personally I think if their are to many computerised components, a good lightening strike will still fry the equipment. Or at least render the majority of it unserviceable.



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 09:07 PM
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a reply to: anonentity

It doesn't do that now, why would it with a remotely operated aircraft?



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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originally posted by: justwanttofly
a reply to: aholic
More than just a couple occasions. There is a whole category of ILS approaches(Cat III) for fully automated landings. However, the use of these are very rare and still require heavy pilot supervision.

This probably won't happen for a very long time, if ever, for a lot of reasons besides lawmaking. Pilot unions, consumer confidence, and logistics would be the three biggest that I can think of.


There's another one: the MK1 eyeball of the pilot looking for unexpected runway incursions; his hand on the throttle to do a go-around.



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 10:17 PM
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a reply to: anonentity
Automated landings have been possible since the 70's. The L1011 was equipped for it. Modern aircraft such as the A-380 do, do hands off landings daily. You can usually pick the autolands because they are nearly perfect as opposed to often a bit more lumpy with a pilot in command. The only reason that pilots grab control at the last second is because a) They need to perform a minimum number of hands on landings per month/year to retain their rating currency, and b) They can get an additional payment if they hit the deck with auto land disengaged or c) Something unusual has happened and they need to make a quick decision like a go around. Most of the big airliners can put it on the runway and only need to hand over to manual control on the roll out at about 80kts. If they wanted, a simple software change could bring the aircraft to a stop on the runway. From here it would be only a simple upgrade to add shape recognition to taxi cameras already fitted to some types and cross referenced with GPS and Nav database charts of the airfields to automate everything, right up to the stop bars at the gate.

They dont do it because of the less than 0.1% were something happens that requires a human to make a valued judgement very quickly. And because it isn't accepted as a convention yet.

LEE.


edit on 18-1-2015 by thebozeian because: Something weird happened that clipped the end off the post!

edit on 18-1-2015 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-1-2015 by thebozeian because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 10:41 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

I personally feel that no matter the automation human input when passengers are involved is important. Even having a capable, certified, professional on hand to administer only when needed. It's more than pilot unions and wages, it's common sense.



posted on Jan, 18 2015 @ 11:06 PM
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a reply to: thebozeian

Most airliners do not do CAT IIIC landings(autolands) on a daily basis. They will always hand fly the landing if possible- which is the vast majority of the time. There are specific conditions that must bet met in order for an autoland to be used. Not because they get paid more or because something went wrong. Autolandings are not smoother than handflying can be.

Modern aircraft such as the A380 can be used as an argument against single pilot and autonomous airliners. The pilots of Qantas 32 had to manually step in and figure out how to safely land the airplane after it suffered an uncontained engine failure. The computer had no idea what was going on or what to do.



posted on Jan, 20 2015 @ 04:59 AM
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originally posted by: anonentity
Personally I think if their are to many computerised components, a good lightening strike will still fry the equipment. Or at least render the majority of it unserviceable.



originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: anonentity

It doesn't do that now, why would it with a remotely operated aircraft?


A commercial airplane with metal skin doesn't seem to have many problems with lightning strikes, though the pilots and passengers might get a little freaked out when it happens.

The only problems with lightning strikes on aircraft I've heard of are when they don't have a metal skin and use some kind of composite, for example I saw this about having trouble with composites not saving as much weight as Boeing had hoped due to lightning protection issues when using composites:

Lightning a weighty issue for the 787

On an aluminum plane, he said, a bolt of lightning can leave a tiny pinhole in the skin. That would require that systems behind the hole be checked.

On the composite fuselage or wing skin of the 787, although the impact area would be about the size of a baseball from the lightning hit, there would not be penetration of the skin, Sinnett said.

Still, the lightning will look for any path of least resistance into the composite material, such as through a wing-skin fastener. Making sure that does not happen has meant adding materials or changing the design, which has increased the weight of the wing.

"We always planned to deal with this issue, but we did not anticipate the complexity," acknowledged Boeing's Scott Strode, head of 787 development and production.
And there was this helicopter problem related to composites not being as safe in a lightning strike:

flightsafety.org...

So we might have more issues with lightning if we're not careful about the use of composites, but I don't see what this has to do with removing the co-pilot from the cockpit.

What will the pilot do for rest periods if there's no co-pilot? There would be nobody in the cockpit at all during the pilot's rest period?



posted on Jan, 20 2015 @ 04:16 PM
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What will the pilot do for rest periods if there's no co-pilot? There would be nobody in the cockpit at all during the pilot's rest period?


Another good point. I guess the ground controller could take over for that time period but still doesn't not seem sensible to me.



posted on Jan, 20 2015 @ 04:40 PM
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a reply to: aholic

They'd probably have multiple pilots on board in that scenario, like with how they do now. The number would just get cut in half I assume.



posted on Jan, 20 2015 @ 05:09 PM
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Where this theory will be fail is in the regional carriers where a pilot flies 10-12 legs a day. The crew alternates flying every other leg which makes 12 instrument approaches do-able. With a single pilot, even with auto-pilot, at the end of the day he or she would be fried mentally and unsafe.

Regional airlines are the greatest source of stretching the FAR's in the industry. I can only imagine a broken auto-pilot and the chief pilot throwing the MEL out the window just for one more revenue flight "just to get the plane to a maintenance facility".



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 02:32 AM
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a reply to: buddah6

So we're assuming this won't apply to long-haul? Frankly the regional legs are where I see this being most dangerous. A twelve hour over ocean leg between continents can easily be handled by a ground station for most of the duration but a one hour jump run in trafficked airspace? No no sir. That's where I want four eyes in the cockpit.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 04:49 AM
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a reply to: buddah6

I can only imagine a broken auto-pilot and the chief pilot throwing the MEL out the window just for one more revenue flight "just to get the plane to a maintenance facility
Agreed, and to the point what would an MEL/DDG look like for a 'Nil ops remote pilot"? What, an ATP?



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 05:02 AM
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a reply to: Arbitrageur
Lightning strikes dont cause a problem because everything on the aircraft is bonded so it is all at the same electrical potential. Most damage is caused to fasteners that get fried by slight potential differences as the strike jumps around/down the airframe, or static wicks or the point the lightening charge exits the airframe. And even then its not that big a deal, it happens every day. Composite airframes regardless of whether they are fixed wing like the 787 or a helicopter have an embedded mesh within the matrix layup that is designed to carry the charge so it can be safely dissipated. So its not an issue.

LEE.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 06:28 AM
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a reply to: justwanttofly I stand to be corrected as I haven't looked for a while but I believe that at present there are still no CAT IIIC landings being performed anywhere. Even though some airports technically may have the capability and some operators and aircraft types are theoretically able to operate under Cat IIIC requirements. But that was what I was eluding to in a future system where you can be guided all the way to the gate. As I said earlier Tristar's and even earlier Trident had the capability to perform a complete auto land (up to at least CAT IIIB equivalent), it just wasn't employed much in practice at the time due to a variety of reasons.

I had the opportunity today to clarify with some colleagues as well as an A-380 Captain after an arrival as to the use of auto land under CATII. They all confirm that not only do they do it regularly but that they will take it in past the decision point provided that conditions are clear without crosswinds. Because in practice ILS will allow you to do that, categories are set by parameters that are not physical limitations but guidelines of equipment and conditions as you eluded. Further, pilots most certainly do need to perform auto lands on a regular basis and I know because I'm one of those people that has to enter Tech Log coupons where there is a box labeled "Auto-land Y/N", not to mention the auto land record sheet in the front of the log. They also do get paid a payment for making a manual landing, maybe though not all companies do that. "Autolandings are not smoother than handflying can be"? Hmmm in calm conditions? Sorry that sounds like a pilot talking. Its true that in heavy rain or snow or with varying winds an auto land can be no better or even not as quick to react than hand flying and in fact the ILS may shutdown or be useless. But I will put my money on auto land in conditions other than these.

I agree that aircraft like A-380's are a good argument against single pilot ops. Qantas recently tried a penny pinching practice of deleting extra crew and deadheading some on its very long haul routes from SYD/DXB, SYD/LAX and to DFW and it didn't work. So I dont see remote piloting working in practice or being practically worth it when there are plenty of other avenues to cutting greater costs.

As for Capt de Crespigny and the QF-32 accident, his real achievement was in textbook use of proper CRM procedures and making the final call, not in hand flying the aircraft. I have seen him make some silly mistakes and witnessed him making an ass of himself on one occasion, not a criticism per se ("there but for the grace of god goes I"...) but a reflection that he isn't perfect or better than an FCS. I'm afraid this "hero pilot" story has been propagated by clueless media, Qantas's corporate media dept spin and people parroting inaccurate information. I know de Crepsigny, the airframe involved (VH-OQA) and the people who carried out the troubleshooting of the equipment in Singapore post accident as well as the rectification. They were very fortunate to have extra experienced crew on board at the time in the form of a check Captain. As for the statement that they had to take over and land the plane because "the computer had no idea what was going on or what to do", that couldn't be more inaccurate, the pilot could not have physically flown that aircraft without the control laws, CPIOM's and Prims & Secs doing what they were designed to do. The flight control system knew exactly what it was doing even in a degraded law state.

LEE.



posted on Jan, 21 2015 @ 10:04 AM
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a reply to: thebozeian

Well not legal IIIC




edit on 21-1-2015 by Imperium Americana because: (no reason given)



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