After a nasty apple got into a German wings flight crew and created a very sad and upsetting case, Airline Safety is at the top of everybody’s mind. This singular occurrence was a deranged person’s handiwork and is not representative of competent Aircrew members’ attitude.
As terrifying as this incident was, if one feels there is an industry-wide safety concern here, then he obviously doesn’t know what pilots are actually doing.
It is easy to assume that making technology operating the aircraft will be easier, safer, because of the actions of 1 deranged European Co-Pilot. Firstly, odds say there is no structural problem here, and secondly, logic implies that one must agree that in flying there will always be some element of risk. As a 40-year veteran with experience in General Aviation and Commercial Airlines, I am sure once I tell you, “Airline Safety requires considerably more in its composition than simply technology.”
So you ask, “don’t airliners just fly themselves?” Well, yes, and no, really, really. Technology or not, “pilots are always those flying the airplane.”
In keeping with these ideas, we need to recognize the very fact that there is always a risk in all that we neutralize life, especially if our activities include riding in the flying machines of man’s crossing the sky 8 miles high and at a speed of 9 miles per minute.
Let us remember for a second the statistics of US Airlines and thus the amount of danger to a passenger. If only one airline such as Delta Air Lines operates a total of 5,000 flights every day, there could be a very large amount of Air Carrier flights daily within the US. We all know that last year, global airline flights made up a whopping 37.4 million total flights flown, averaging 102,465 daily flights.
In terms of passenger deaths, the figures for 2014 indicate that the airline industry is doing an excellent job of steadily improving passenger safety. Flying passengers on airlines is now safer and safer, year after year. Amazingly, only 1 airline fatality per 2,925,000 flights in our world occurred last year. Holy smokes—only that’s a .000034 percent death chance while flying on an airliner! Your risk of dying from cycling is 1 out of every 340,854 days, to put it in perspective. Are we concerned about 1 fatality on 2,925,000 flights by airline? Not me, I’m not worried about that one, thank you at least.
So, you ask, do we substitute machines and technology for humans inside the cockpit? Oh, uh. Uh.
You say, “today’s jet airliner has more and more technology to try to work, right?” Well, yeah, that’s true, but not completely true, because computers don’t, and maybe not, do all the work.
Pilots are sort of like bus drivers, huh? Definitely not real, let’s believe one for a short period of time.
Usually, a new-hire Airline Flight crewman has a 4-year college degree, a complex FAA pilot license, the very best FAA Medical Certificate and at least 6-7 years of experience before being employed. Then he’s qualified for a full 3 more months before he can sit in a co-pilot seat, then he’s supervised by a teacher pilot for a few more months. A pilot undergoes annual recurring training and must consistently show a high degree of competence in coping with abnormal and emergency incidents. To urge the blessing to travel, captains must test their acumen every 6 months. In addition, every Aircrew Member is required to prove medical fitness to an FAA Aviation Medical doctor every 6-12 months, or guess what, it is not permitted to figure.
“Sully”Sully”the layman features a fundamental misunderstanding of what pilots do, and what technology can and can’t do. “The layman has a fundamental misunderstanding of what pilots do, and what technology can and cannot do. “Pilots are always those flying the airplane. “Pilots are always those flying the airplane.
Ok, what of the drones that are flying themselves? Drones crash all the time and, for a very good reason, nobody pays much attention to those figures. Drones, as impressive as they are, are quite unlike aircraft used in passenger airline operations as they do not hold the most precious cargo of life. On my behalf, a much higher safety level is required to urge the airplane to do so!
In order to help complement their acts in the way they fly the airplane, pilots regularly use technology, or some level of it. A pilot must take over the controls and fly manually without support from electronic boxes when technology fails and it fails. I can assure you that a competent pilot typically expects equipment to malfunction in my profession as an airline captain and sounding line check airman, and anticipates what he will do when he does.
Technology has been introduced into an airliner’s flight systems over a few years since it allows the pilot to operate the machine by relieving pilots of routine and often monotonous activities. Computers perform this role tolerably, but do not solve problems that do not need to be programmed. In addition, for each imaginable event and possibility, they cannot be programmed, and positive not for multiple failures occurring in some perverse random order. Things happen very rapidly as a jet airplane flies through the atmosphere, and so the order they occur is during a constant state of transition. The pilot must constantly think about where the airplane will be at least 8 minutes before it finally arrives.
Complex problems on the wing are better handled by a person who can adapt quickly to what is unexpected, unforeseen and unforeseen. It is necessary to apply a solution, and it must obviously be the correct solution. In this climate, there is no room for a wrong decision to be applied to a dire problem.
A fundamental difference between technology flying an airliner and a human doing it supported by technology lies in that notion. Humans are inherently blessed with an uncanny capacity to investigate, then react to dynamic and rapidly changing circumstances that are unanticipated.
Although he has never seen a particular scenario before, a pilot can reason, prioritize, and innovate inflight safety monitoring system. Well-trained, skilled pilots quickly adjust to problems in a timely manner and respond with correct actions. This protects the flight and therefore the passengers inside it.
Humans, too, have weaknesses and we’re not fine, of course. Yet year after year, astute individuals flying passengers in the airline industry are accomplishing remarkable feats in making aviation increasingly secure.
The remarkable U.S. Within us, passenger protection that we enjoy has not arisen by itself. It is the result of a combination of continuously evolving technologies designed to help pilots fly “safer and safer.” to other people.
So, if you say that you just “must have both astronaut/pilot “Dave” and computer “Hal” to fly your family to Chicago for the vacations,” you’re going to have it right. Passenger safety systems are mandatory for both pilots and machines.
For 25 years, Captain Michael S. Hatfield worked as a Captain and Sounding Line Check Airman for one of the largest international airlines in the world. His status put him in the safe operation of huge turbine-powered commercial jets in passenger operations as a “center court” Interested in aviation since the age of 18, he continues to enjoy flying while representing buyers and sellers in the San Francisco Bay Area as a real estate broker and consultant.