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Does your airplane really need windows?

Does your airplane really need windows?

Old Jul 6, 14, 2:15 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by SherlockHerbert View Post
At the risk of starting a flame war, there is plenty of evidence sighting the flight safety benefits from removing the human in the loop...
Yeah, right. When the computer can't figure out what to do, the autopilot shuts off, and leaves the humans to figure it out. When they crash the plane because they can't figure out what to do, either, it's listed as 'human error'.

Which it is, in a way, but it only mattered because the computer was unable to fly the plane. Without the pilots, the situation could only be worse.
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Old Jul 6, 14, 11:29 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by fL1Pm0d3 View Post
Lol, would love to see the pilots that would want to test this type of plane.
Well, the initial flight tests of "out-of-the-window-view" screens are done with a setup with one pilot having the normal setup, one only the screens. This was done in the US more than 10 years ago for sure.

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Old Jul 7, 14, 12:33 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by I'mOffOne View Post
It's true that a majority of the aviation incidents these days have pilot error as a contributing or primary cause. However, there is no data on how many times the airplane has a mechanical issue but is landed safely by the pilots. I'm not talking about headline news-style Hudson river landings, I'm talking about the still fairly routine mechanical failures that require physical pilot intervention such as autopilot failures, autopressurization failures, etc. These happen every day and far outnumber the now-rare accidents that have pilot error as a contributing cause.
I have to admit that I'm somewhat surprised by that. Surely such mechanical failure would be logged by the pilot, so gathering this data would be possible, at least in principle?

Seems to me that this is something that would be investigated by the sort of people who get themselves patents for 'windowless' flight decks.
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Old Jul 7, 14, 1:39 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by ROCAT View Post
Not sure where you got this info but it is very very wrong...what the heck is a talk down even. The vast majority of approaches in the US are visual approaches I would say I clear 10 visuals for every ILS and almost no RNAVs. Most airports ILS systems are not even rated for full autoland, Upstate NY has 0 units with that capacity.
A talk-down? I've never heard of that except in my very early training days on how to handle a total systems failure and ATC using radar to "talk me" from IFR into a visual approach.

I don't know anyone who uses autoland unless it's actually required by the prevailing IFR conditions. I haven't ridden an autoland in over 30 years of flying - the closest was a CATII to about 50' or so minimums after which the pilot landed by hand.

More automation is exactly what we don't need - and Airbus still doesn't get it no matter how many 'mysterious' accidents or incidents their techie aircraft are involved in.
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Old Jul 7, 14, 8:26 am
  #20  
 
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No matter how good the automation gets in the future, the pilots will still need to be in the plane, and have good direct sightlines, even if only as a backup to the automation.

And we're not even close to that point today.

I'm a techie. I love gadgets and technology. And anything that gives the pilot MORE options or better control will be a welcome addition to the aircraft systems. But any moving vehicle MUST be equipped with manual controls and a control deck with direct lines of sight. TRAINS aren't even automatic and don't have zero-sight control cabins yet, and they only move on rails in two dimensions!
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Old Jul 7, 14, 8:34 am
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by TravellingSalesman View Post
I have to admit that I'm somewhat surprised by that. Surely such mechanical failure would be logged by the pilot, so gathering this data would be possible, at least in principle?
Yes and no. Every aircraft has a logbook and every "discrepancy" and routine maintenance action is logged. These logbooks must be made available to regulatory authorities like the FAA when requested, and most airlines freely share maintenance data with the manufacturer. However, you can see why both airline and manufacturer wouldn't want data on aircraft mechanical breakdowns to be publicly available. If you were, say, a grad student trying to research the pros and cons of having a human in the aviation safety loop it would be very difficult to get an accurate read on how many times pilots quietly handled a mechanical issue without the passengers knowing.

Note that Airbus isn't trying to remove the pilots, just exploring ideas about alternate cockpit placement. I'm glad that manufacturers are always looking into ways to improve on aircraft design because that's how we get cool new technology, but Airbus filing for this patent doesn't mean that they think pilots are irrelevant today.
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Old Jul 9, 14, 11:15 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by I'mOffOne View Post
Yes and no. Every aircraft has a logbook and every "discrepancy" and routine maintenance action is logged. These logbooks must be made available to regulatory authorities like the FAA when requested, and most airlines freely share maintenance data with the manufacturer. However, you can see why both airline and manufacturer wouldn't want data on aircraft mechanical breakdowns to be publicly available. If you were, say, a grad student trying to research the pros and cons of having a human in the aviation safety loop it would be very difficult to get an accurate read on how many times pilots quietly handled a mechanical issue without the passengers knowing.
Understood. I guess I was trying to say I'm surprised agencies like the FAA don't undertake such studies, at least not publicly. They could publish their findings without disclosing too much of the raw data, perhaps even averaged over airlines.
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