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Embraer reveals vision for single-pilot airliners

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Embraer is preparing for the possible introduction of airliners designed for single-pilot operation by as early as 2020, following the roll-out of next-generation air traffic management systems in Europe and the USA. (www.flightglobal.com) עוד...

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jdworley
jdworley 0
Great, less jobs for pilots! :-(
dbaker
Daniel Baker 0
I wouldn't worry too much about it. ;-)
cowbert
Cow Bert 0
I suppose it's more palatable to regulators and pax than having pilotless airliners (that are of course monitored during critical flight phases via the ground, which is what the US Army does with their drones).
mff500
Michael Fitzpatrick 0
When they can get the 190 to stop acting like a 180, maybe that might be considered.
joelr
Joel Rodriguez 0
I think this vision is awesome. There was a lot of whining when Flight Engineer positions were removed from aircraft, as that job became obsolete. However, over time, the public and flight crews accepted this, as this was the way it was going to be.

As technology expands, and ground radar systems become a thing of the past, we will continue to advance into the future.

I am a huge supporter of Embraer and I applaud them for thinking outside the box. GM/GMC is already designing GPS auto-driven/navigated automobiles to be unveiled in 2020 as well. So its only a matter of time until SPC becomes reality.
dbaker
Daniel Baker 0
I'm going to be upset the first time that my car drives to work without me.
joelr
Joel Rodriguez 0
ROFL - DB, I am sure Mark can whip up a program to keep it in line. :)
AirPSG
Mike Ryan 0
Joel, wasn't there a squawk yesterday or Tuesday about a flight attendant taking the right seat when the First Officer fell ill? What happens when there's one pilot and he or she is incapacitated? That's the key question the passenger's will want to have answered.
joelr
Joel Rodriguez 0
Mike, the flight attendant went above the call of duty and I applaud her. Having two pilots in the flight deck today is mandatory, but as we progress, this will not be the case.

As aircraft become more and more advanced, functions handled by 2 pilots while inflight may not be warranted. If we continue to chart the course the FAA has intended, its only a matter of time before operations can control aircraft from the ground. We do this already with drones. Why can't we apply the same technology to commercial aircraft when it has been well tested and fail proof. This will allow us to have one person on the ground, and one person in the air to maintain a safe flight.

I am sure the general public will have lots of questions, if and when this happens, and I am sure there will be plenty of answers and tests to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Look how far we have come in 100 years in aviation, we can only push the envelope if we want to dominate the sky and space.
cowbert
Cow Bert 0
There are already currencies for CatIIIc autolanding operations at supported airports with supporting aircraft which involve a "human in the loop" in the form of existing crew on the flight deck. It appears to me that the technological barriers to cutting the flight crew to 1 and moving him/her to the ground are minimal; we basically need someone to implement the system, safety-rate it; then develop a certification process. Should all of this come to pass, in fact, we may actually see *safer* operations during critical flight phases with more emphasis on computer control, as reflected by the recent spate of human-error incidents involving pilot fatigue, sterile cockpit violations, and crew resource management issues; not to mention the GAO study showing the higher rate of vehicle losses during human-piloted USAF drone landings operations compared to US Army fully-automated drone landings.
hodgman
Dick Hodgman 0
Security would have to be rock-solid and maintained round-the-clock. I would not want a malefactor able to hack into the control systems of an airplane. Maybe some terrorists can't even light their pants on fire but the more capable ones would be willing hack in and crash airplanes from the ground.
Conversely, a ground-override could subvert a terrorist takeover in the cockpit.
Jonathantack
Jonathan Tack 0
hodgman that´s a wonderful idea!
mtwillman
mtwillman 0
Joel, I am sorry to say, but you are fantastically naive in your thought process. Your comparison between the transition of 3 pilots to 2 pilots, and 2 pilots to 1 pilot (in the cockpit), has nothing to do with one another. Aircraft that were (are) flying around with a crew of three did so because it was necessary for that aircraft. Have you ever seen the inside of an older 747 or 727? The technology to monitor each of the systems in those airplanes was not centralized in a manner to have a crew of 2 monitor/operate (that is why there was 3). It's not like the operators of airplanes with flight engineers just up and decided one day, "upp, we need to cut costs, so we are eliminating your position." Nope. In fact the aircraft that had flight engineers on them (DC-8, 727, etc) all STILL have flight engineers flying on board, if they are flying in their original configuration. So to say flight engineer position have become "obsolete" is deceiving, as they still exist in older aircraft that still REQUIRE the position.

"As technology expands, and ground radar systems become a thing of the past, we will continue to advance into the future." - Thank you for contributing nothing to this conversation with this doozie. And, second of all, if you know anything about outdated technologies and aviation, you would see that navigation by NDB is still frequently used (not to mention LORAN still hasn't been done away with yet). How many ILS approaches require either DME or an ADF? So, to say ground based radar will become a thing of the past shows your obvious disconnect from the industry. It might not be used as primary, but will be kept operational as back up.

"I am a huge supporter of Embraer and I applaud them for thinking outside the box."- Really man? Single pilot operations are nothing new, if you think about it, the Wright Flyer was a single pilot operation- a single pilot operation is nothing innovative. Airlines that are rolling off the assembly line can be safely operated by one pilot already when all systems are functioning properly. But, it is when systems start failing, weather starts deteriorating, crew members become incapacitated when a second crew member on board is necessary. There will not be a point, in the next 20 years that airliners will be operating single pilot. There are simply too many variables that a computer or some guy on the ground will not be able to make with great success, when abnormal conditions exist.

Honestly, if you are going to post something, have some substance. This is just another crap idea that sells airplanes.
joelr
Joel Rodriguez 0
Tyler - Seems most of us here understand why the Flight Engineer position was removed, however, let me put it in laymen terms, so you can comprehend the subject at hand.

Those OLD aircraft were replaced with new generation aircraft that DO NOT need a Flight Engineer position. Those OLDER aircraft you speak of, are a dying breed. How many airlines still fly a DC8 or 727 these days??? Unless you are flying in a third world country, I highly doubt any US or European airline would want a DC8 or 727 for passenger service.

Furthermore, ground radar is aging and over-sourced, the FAA has stated this numerous times, EVENTUALLY we will upgrade to a GPS system to advance our air network system. Sure we utilize this OLDER equipment now, but eventually we will find a more advanced system to gradually shift to. History has proven this. From the guys utilizing flags for approaching aircraft, to radio frequency, to ground radar, and eventually ADS-B, once the funding process is appropriated and approved.

Do US a favor and re-read my postings. I never stated this is something new. I SIMPLY & PROFESSIONALLY stated, I applaud their thought-process on this approach. – REALLY MAN! Furthermore, research Embraer, they have proven their A-Game in the aircraft industry, and are highly respected by many out there.

Honestly, if you are going to post something, have some courtesy. Everyone is entitled to their own view. Some of us, just prefer a more educated approach to what the future may hold.
airblitz
Elvin Zhou 0
I think that it is nothing new because right now in the industry two pilots don't fly together, only one at a given time. So reducing that other pilot is just like what flight-simmers have been doing for years, flying with one pilot. It is possible and perfectly achievable to fly a 747 with one pilot. I'm a flight simmer myself and I find that flying the complex 747's are a stressful but achievable job. And yes I fly PMDG, so the cockpit and overall feel of the aircraft is identical to the real world. Now here comes my main point. If you eliminate one pilot, it would put so much stress on the other. he would have to be flying the plane, talking to ATC, looking up charts, performing checklist, all at the same time. many of us flight-simmers know that when operations on VATSIM get crowded, you can just sit near the runway and watch planes come in to short and crash, bounce, flip, all kinds of weird stuff. And many of those pilots are real world commercial pilots. Why? Because of the amount of work they have to do on takeoff and landing. No one calls out V-speeds, no one raises the flaps and landing gear while you are trying to maintain acceleration height and program the FMC in accordance to ATC at the same time. So I personally think it is a risk to cut that other pilot short. And also, if two pilots on that Northwest flight could have tuned to the wrong frequency and flown past MSP, then imagine what would happen with one. Just my two cents.
mpkct
martin kubik 0
The flight attendent turns to the passengers, our pilot is a little tired, who would like to be next to fly the aircraft ?
bboaze
Bruce Boaze 0
This is the captain speaking, please fasten your, please fasten your, please fasten your,...
Fcbrgsch
Fred Bergisch 0
Sometimes pilots have hart-attacs and die in the cocpit.
It happened in my company, and the co-pilot was able to land in a busy airport.(LFPG)
If this occurs in a single pilot commercial jet operation, the pax have time enough to write a
goodbye letter to their relatives until the fuel runs out.A good thing for the companies is to write a``what to do`` in the extra pages of your ticket, just underneath carrying dangerous goods on board aircraft.
cowbert
Cow Bert 0
Again, there will most likely be some sort of automated/ground flight control system in place in order to safety-rate a single pilot passenger aircraft anyway. Pilot incapacitated? Lead flight attendant calls the company, company logs into aircraft, sets the waypoints for the AP, on approach to "busy" airport, the AP can intercept the glideslope just fine all by itself, initiate a cat3 landing, done.
captleo2010
leo cordero 0
JUST LET ME KNOW BEFORE I BOARD A SINGLE PILOT AIRCRAFT AND I WILL JUST WAIT FOR THE NEXT FLY WITH 3 PILOTS OR MORE.
Fcbrgsch
Fred Bergisch 0
Of course everything can be automated, but still on CAT III B/C approaches, a pilot has to monitor the approach and call for go-around if there is a deviation of glide,localiser,speed or a GPWS warning.If that has to happen via remote control,the seconds lost can be fatal. This also apply for every approach even under good weather conditions.
sfjaero
SF Johannsen 0
Fred, you mentioned seconds can be fatal, realistically how much time does the pilot have to react? And you mentioned under good weather conditions, what if you have cross-winds with rain? What happens then?
Fcbrgsch
Fred Bergisch 0
We as pilots all know, that even if you fly the same route every day, that the circumstances change.
( weather,wind, traffic )
I wonder if somebody can anticipate that hunderds of miles away?
Look at the space shuttle, it only lands when the conditions are good.So if they cannot land manually the computer can do that or even remote controlled.
sfjaero
SF Johannsen 0
Thanks Fred for the clearer picture. I guess I am old school and the thought of everything going completely electronic with one pilot is a bit risky, unless you have the best alert team available....we still have a ways to go and handling a commercial plane remote is much riskier then handling a Beamer remote. Maybe..maybe not. Btw, your co-pilot sends his regards, BJ Mathot. Give him a courtesy call soon. He would like to get your take on a few items he is working on.
Fcbrgsch
Fred Bergisch 0
B.J.Mathot rings a bell, but I cannot connect a face to the name.
Btw. I`am old school as well. Retired 5 years ago from aviation.
Love to call but I have no phone number of B.J.
sfjaero
SF Johannsen 0
Fred, does Aircraft cleaning AEV International at XP Parcel Systems ring another bell in Rotterdam,Maastricht? Hehe...he says his knee is STILL hurting.(sorry everyone to chng sbjct here). aaawa_bjm (skype). bj_mathot@yahoo.com.
Fcbrgsch
Fred Bergisch 0
Small world.
Of course I remember our shining aircraft, thanks to AEV.
Mail him now!
Thanks.

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