Go Back  Airline Pilot Central Forums > Pilot Lounge > Safety
Lobbying for single-pilot ops: >

Lobbying for single-pilot ops:

Notices
Safety Accidents, suggestions on improving safety, etc

Lobbying for single-pilot ops:

Old 12-11-2022, 04:18 PM
  #11  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,235
Default

Originally Posted by captjns View Post
Atriums 1 / Orion / 1.4 million miles from Cape Kennedy to off the coast of California with pin point navigation. Soooo… why not, lets say from a coastal airport departure, to a destination with an arrival pattern from over the water?
Maybe for cargo someday. But NATS and HI tracks are pretty busy, don't really need any rogue airplanes there.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 12-11-2022, 04:23 PM
  #12  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,235
Default

Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
Our arrogance will be our downfall if we continue to think that we are indispensable.
We don’t even need to be in the cockpit in front of the airplane.
As single pilot we’ll be in the forward cargo hold looking at three video screens.
Free up three additional palet positions on the main cargo deck of the 777X
Arrogance has nothing to do with it. When it happens, it happens, almost nothing we can do about it. I have enough relevant education and experience to assess that it's not happening any time soon.

The technology does not exist (for pax ops, or large cargo planes which operate in the proximity of people).

The closest plausible technology for a general AI application is non-deterministic, and therefore non-certifiable.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 12-12-2022, 12:02 AM
  #13  
Gets Weekends Off
 
captjns's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Feb 2006
Position: B-737NG preferably in first class with a glass of champagne and caviar
Posts: 5,904
Default

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Maybe for cargo someday. But NATS and HI tracks are pretty busy, don't really need any rogue airplanes there.
Very true. I envision test flights from West Coast Airports straight out over the Pacific to remote island airports with arrival routes over uninhabited terrain.
captjns is offline  
Old 12-12-2022, 05:42 AM
  #14  
Disinterested Third Party
 
Joined APC: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,005
Default

That's what you want; when the waste hits the rotary cooling appliance, a single pilot night divert in weather to Midway, or Cold Bay. Nice, long pacific flights with one pilot and no relief. It it too early to buy a ticket?

Having spent some years in airspace saturated with unmanned equipment which was rarely where it was supposed to be, and averaging some three near mid-air's a night, I've not got a particularly high opinion of the process. Throwing a single pilot in operations that should have more, my apreciation-meter pegs no higher.
JohnBurke is offline  
Old 12-12-2022, 03:55 PM
  #15  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Jun 2019
Posts: 167
Default

As a student pilot, ever time these articles come out it scares the heck out of me.
tsimmns927 is offline  
Old 12-13-2022, 05:58 AM
  #16  
All is fine at .79
 
TiredSoul's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Sep 2016
Position: Paahlot
Posts: 4,082
Default

Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Arrogance has nothing to do with it. When it happens, it happens, almost nothing we can do about it. I have enough relevant education and experience to assess that it's not happening any time soon.

The technology does not exist (for pax ops, or large cargo planes which operate in the proximity of people).

The closest plausible technology for a general AI application is non-deterministic, and therefore non-certifiable.
Bear with me here, current situation:
747 lift off LAX bound for NRT
200’ autopilot on.
Log on CPDLC
HF check with SFO
Systems are remotely monitored by MX
1 hr into the flight operating crew goes into rest.
Captain says it wake me up if any of these 5 things occur.

How significantly different is that from:
7X7 lift off LAX bound for NRT
200’ autopilot on
Long on CPDLC
HF check with SFO
Systems are remotely monitored by MX
1 HR into the flight crew goes into rest.
Capt says HAL2000 wake me up if any of the following 5 things occur.
.
​​​​​…
……single pilot.


Dispatch is monitoring weather.
MX is monitoring systems.
You really need two relief pilots up front playing candy crush and watching Netflix?
TiredSoul is offline  
Old 12-13-2022, 06:51 AM
  #17  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 39,235
Default

Originally Posted by TiredSoul View Post
Bear with me here, current situation:
747 lift off LAX bound for NRT
200’ autopilot on.
Log on CPDLC
HF check with SFO
Systems are remotely monitored by MX
1 hr into the flight operating crew goes into rest.
Captain says it wake me up if any of these 5 things occur.

How significantly different is that from:
7X7 lift off LAX bound for NRT
200’ autopilot on
Long on CPDLC
HF check with SFO
Systems are remotely monitored by MX
1 HR into the flight crew goes into rest.
Capt says HAL2000 wake me up if any of the following 5 things occur.
.
​​​​​…
……single pilot.


Dispatch is monitoring weather.
MX is monitoring systems.
You really need two relief pilots up front playing candy crush and watching Netflix?
I was responding to a post about an autonomous spacecraft, so the reference was zero pilot not single pilot.

Over-water cargo appears to be the obvious place to test out both single pilot (relief pilot sleeping or no relief pilot), and someday potential autonomous airliners.

But the only thing that could be remotely cost effective would be two pilot long haul, with one up front, on the premise that you don't have to change the hardware much or at all. True single pilot has to account for the rare but inevitable incapacitation events, so that would need massive and costly systems enhancements which would likely be impractical cost-wise to retrofit on existing designs.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 12-13-2022, 11:15 AM
  #18  
All is fine at .79
 
TiredSoul's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Sep 2016
Position: Paahlot
Posts: 4,082
Default

What you mean is that you need to find a way for a Dispatcher/Flight follower to authorize an autoland?
TiredSoul is offline  
Old 12-15-2022, 05:32 AM
  #19  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Oct 2020
Position: SIC
Posts: 125
Default

The flying public and the FAA has zero tolerance for controlled rest / naps in the cockpit and we are somehow going to jump into single pilot ops for 121?

Fascinating 🤔
Recliner is offline  
Old 12-15-2022, 07:36 AM
  #20  
Disinterested Third Party
 
Joined APC: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,005
Default

Most aircraft have a plethora of unannunciated events for which there's a QRH, and a host of others that simply need to be addressed based on airmanship and common sense. Loss of engine oil, for example, may not have a procedure, but may state that given various factors, it may be an indication, or may be an actual oil loss, or it might represent something else (failure of fuel-oil heat exchanger, for example). The procedure may tell us to use judgement and watch for other indications. On a blue-water oceanic trip involving limited diversion possibility with long transit times between destination and departure, and ETP alternates (which, let's face it, legally only need 15 minutes of fuel on arrival...not a lot of room to screw around), a diversion is complicated b the use of things like operations specifications that further reduce fuel (B043, B044), etc, and ETP alternates that may raise the workload substantially. Judgement time; more heads with more experience on site, in real time, are better than fewer, dumb automation, and a dispatcher eating crackers in a dim, stale room that wreaks of last week's coffee.

Loss of all aircraft nav (standby nav, IRS reference unavail)...I've experienced that twice now, once mid pacific, once mid atlantic, two different aircraft types, two different operators, and something that really needed to be handled on site, rather than from afar. Until that's sorted out or otherwise handled, needle, ball and airspeed time; basic airmanship, and remote control won't do it. Much better to have extra heads.

On my captain observation ride in one type, we developed a fuel situation that had two checkairman, two captains, and two first officers on the flight deck trying to sort out, which started with the strong possibility of loss of one engine due to fuel starvation (fuel migrating, valve stuck), then a second engine, and finally, the very real possibility of a third due to an escalating problem. It began 45 minutes out of Honolulu. I was a lot happier having extra hands on deck. And on site, rather than somewhere else.

Arrival into LAX, began configuring, and the airplane began turning. Asymmetric problem, roll problem. Busy area, additional hands welcome, good crew coordination, and oh-so-important that at least one person is flying the airplane and dedicated to that, while the other handles radios, checklists, and everything else.

I could go on all day with examples, and each one could be picked apart all day, but it doesn't matter...most of us will have them, and the bottom line is that while an employer might salivate at the thought of saving the overhead cost of a first officer on a long flight, safety is invaluable, and that's what's being bought with a second pilot.

Descending in the mountains in Afghanistan, the cockpit went dark. Pitch black. Nighttime. Big hills. The flight engineer restored power quickly, albeit with a split bus, and I made the call to hold the procedure there, rather than troubleshoot and try to restore more. We had nav, and we could look at the problem once we got on the ground. Which we did. Thank God for FE's. That was in an airplane designed for three, and which took three...but I've flown airplanes that were designed for three, rebranded for two, and really required two. The notion of taking it down to one pilot and flying a large transport category airplane in the system as if one were flying the King Air somewhere to get a five hundred dollar hamburger, is ludicrous. It's well and good to suggest that on an eventless oceanic trip one need only make an occasional HF call, position report, or CPDLC checkin, but we don't just fly in such conditions. We also fly into the busiest corridors on the planet, like the Northeast, or the NAT. Couple such places with things that go wrong, and the workload goes up considerably...quite possibly beyond what one pilot can, or should handle, and certainly can or should, safely.

I've tried my hand at a lot of things in aviation, including some fairly demanding stuff, from formation flying under powerlines to low visibility formation through narrow burning canyons in severe turbulence with exploding trees, and frankly, the most demanding, highest workload flying there is, involves single pilot IFR. I certainly thought so a great many years ago, and my view on that hasn't changed, but is more firmly cemented than ever, based on a lot of years of experience doing an extremely broad range of things in this business. The mentality that "if we can send a rocket to the moon, why can't we do single or no-pilot IFR in big airplanes" reminds me of a poster a girlfriend used to have on her wall; "if we can send a man to the moon, why can't we send them all?" Cute, but pointless and nonsensical. After trillions of dollars, NASA has managed a few remarkable feats, but given so few flights, a remarkable number of dire emergencies, including shuttle losses. We'd all be hurting for jobs if such a high loss rate occurred in commercial aviation. That Artemis mission that just splashed down, that was one, with mannequins board, and I'm not ready to take a bite of an apple that tastes of one-successful-experiment-in-space-means-we-can-abandon-flight-crew.

If one is to suggest that a transoceanic crew has too little to do, therefore we should cut the crew in half and up the workload on what's left, I'm thinking the person making such a suggestion is either management, has never set foot in a cockpit, or needs his or her head examined. There is far too much that is unpredictable in an airplane that requires on-site handling, and though it may occur infrequently, it still happens, and once is enough. Moreover, workload can be high under normal circumstances; add abnormal circumstances, and it can be too high. Our job is safety; we preach it, worship it, adhere to it. Compromising it by reducing to one pilot (or no pilots) flies in the face of a call to safety. It really does.
JohnBurke is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Asevans9
Delta
3
04-21-2017 03:56 PM
skyshadows74
Corporate
5
01-15-2017 09:04 AM
EFIScompmon
Regional
9
07-21-2008 07:56 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Your Privacy Choices