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Old 02-02-2018, 02:52 PM   #1  
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Default Threat of unmanned aviation in cargo...

I'm a career changer on track to begin flying professionally in my early 40's. I'd envisioned pursuing Part 121 opportunities flying pax (a destination job with Big 3/legacy or perhaps a major or LCC), but - at this point - I'm finding myself motivated to learn more about Part 121 cargo roles as I'm getting indications it might be a better fit for me, personally.

One of my big motivations for flying pax has been a perceived increased threat of unmanned aviation adversely affecting cargo flying (relative to pax). Given that I'll have 25+ years until mandated retirement, is my concern with unmanned aviation affecting cargo (more than pax) legitimate or unfounded? Should this be a significant factor in my decision to pursue cargo or pax opportunities?

I've looked into the threat posed by unmanned aviation to a flying career a significant amount and for every input one way there's an input the other way, so I've essentially cast my general fear of unmanned aviation aside and focused on my passion for flying. But I'm uncertain whether unmanned aviation is substantially more of a threat to cargo ops than pax. I apologize if this thread seems out of place here, but I couldn't think of a better group to ask so thanks for any help you're good enough to provide.
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:04 PM   #2  
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I think you're gonna be alright.

In my opinion we'll have to go a long way before we'll see an unmanned 777 goofing off in the sky. The public is terrified of flying to begin with. One of the main reasons in my opinion why it won't happen for a while is that passengers look for that last bit of human connection. And yes while freighters don't have pax, the public on the ground still wouldn't be comfortable with that. People would rather place their lives in the hands of other humans, not machines. It's more relatable and therefore more calming in psychological sense. Just my $.02
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Old 02-02-2018, 03:11 PM   #3  
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Default Threat of unmanned aviation in cargo...

Iím in my mid-30s and not worried in the least about remote-piloted transport category cargo aircraft interfering with my career.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:04 PM   #4  
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I used to be concerned. Not at all now. The Iranians have mastered the hacking of supposed stealth UAVs. Our military also has the same capability. In my opinion we will never see a 747/777 unmanned due to the potential of it being hacked and flown into a city.
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Old 02-02-2018, 04:08 PM   #5  
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The UAV folks in the USAF supposedly want autonomous drones meaning you press a button and it completes its predetermined flight path independent of, and not subject to, outside control. The hacking risk is so high remotely piloted is not viable for airline size platforms.

I just canít foresee an autonomous 747!
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Old 02-02-2018, 05:47 PM   #6  
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I wouldn't worry too much until trains are all autonomous. They are on rails and don't have to contend with weather too much. Still have engineers in the cockpit. Knowhere near as complex as flying a plane. It may happen, but first would be a reduced cockpit of 1 pilot. If that happens probably got another 10-20 years before you'd need to worry about them flying solo. Airlines buying planes right now that they'll fly for 15+ years.
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Old 02-03-2018, 06:10 AM   #7  
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My buddy flies drones in the Air Force. He says the general public has no idea how many we lose every month because of the poor infrastructure, and they donít have plans to improve it soon. It would take years and billions of dollars to build an infrastructure capable of reliably piloting unmanned airliners and nobody will be willing to commit the resources to it.

The certification for Part 25 airplanes today is years in length. To add extra redundancies and ensure the flying public these planes couldnít be hacked and flown into an elementary school would be an undertaking the manufacturers likely wouldnít commit to. In the long run, itís much cheaper to have a couple schleps in the front seat to handle the flying.
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Old 02-03-2018, 08:27 AM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Kinsella View Post
I used to be concerned. Not at all now. The Iranians have mastered the hacking of supposed stealth UAVs. Our military also has the same capability. In my opinion we will never see a 747/777 unmanned due to the potential of it being hacked and flown into a city.
This ^^^
The technology may be there or not far out from present but a safe enough data link may never be accomplished.
Look back at WW2 and the use of gliders during D-Day. I can foresee one time use cargo drones in war zones.
Troops in engagement and low on ammo and a disposable drone crash lands with new supplies.
Reusable cargo drones to and from forward air bases over hostile terrain.
But I donít see converted pilotless freighters over congested areas.
We canít even secure our national electrical grid.
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Old 02-03-2018, 10:38 PM   #9  
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Thanks to all and great points all around.

If unmanned aviation somehow sneaks up on us, will a career flying cargo likely be more at-risk than a career flying pax?
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:42 AM   #10  
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Women have been pilots for a while now, I'm not sure why this is being discussed.
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