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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 10:40 am 
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This has got to be the most intelligent thread on Avcanada.ca in a while. Very good points by all.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 2:22 pm 
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"Is AI self-aware? Can it exercise judgement, intuition and self-determination? Can it have empathy and provide leadership for the passengers and crew onboard the aircraft?"

Agreed but it can help augment your judgment and intuition and reinforce or challenge it. Clearly the aviation equivalent of Siri should be called Sully ;)



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:15 pm 
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I still don't really understand the "one pilot" thing. I suppose it might make it easier to convince passengers to accept further crew attrition by convincing them there is still a "Captain" on the plane, but other than that, what is to be gained by eliminating the co-pilot? People are always trying to sell AI from a human-error standpoint, so how can having one instead of two humans working together reduce human error? We've already conceded that one person can fly an aeroplane. Having two pilots has never been about aircraft complexity or lack of automation.

This battle is being fought in other areas too- One-man bridge operations or "OMBO" has been a highly contested maritime practice for decades, and has never really been accepted by many of the IMO member states. The UK, US, Australia, and many more maritime states have banned OMBO in territorial waters, especially at night.

Railways, too, have been trying one-man train operations and have been facing fierce opposition not only from Unions but from the general public, particularly after the Lac Megantic tragedy.

What I learned from looking all this up is that the companies and the tech manufacturers (who stand to gain financially) are responsible for 100% of the "positive" research supporting one-man operation, and as for the opposition, you can expect unions to oppose reduced crew numbers, but in the case of railways, a poll in the states revealed that public opinion " overwhelmingly supports" a law that requires two-crew operation of trains.

Now we know that the public does support some complete automation- the BART system in San Francisco has been automated since its inception, and of course we have all seen the Skytrain in Vancouver happily humming away with no-one in the front.

This makes me suspect that until full automation is achieved, one-person operation will never have a reasonable safety case. As long as there is a human being up there to potentially screw everything up, there is no safety case to be made against reducing that possibility by having two. The public has already accepted one-man operation of aeroplanes with its acceptance of the Cessna Caravan and Pilatus Porter. Although these aeroplanes do demonstrate the concept is achievable, it seems to be kind of a conceptual dead-end. I can't think of what sort of automation could be introduced in these aeroplanes to make them safer than they already are, and that would be the kind of automation we are talking about here. I am not sure anyone has ever believed these aeroplanes are saferbecause of their lack of a co-pilot.

My point is, I suppose, that if we are to accept AI as a way to eliminate human error, we must use it, as robots have long advocated, to "eliminate all humans" not, just some humans.

(I do concede however, that while consciously objecting to one-man operation of public conveyances, the public will inevitably vote with its feet if the cost savings reflect themselves in the freight or ticket prices.)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:33 am 
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timel wrote:
If this industry wants to attract pilots, they should stopt saying they want to design aircraft without pilots.


True but the 767 has been around for nearly the span of my career and while my days are dwindling, the aircrafts are not quite yet. With all current production aircraft being multiple crew machines, it is pretty safe to say folks starting in the current environment will enjoy a full career behind the controls.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:24 am 
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There will be indeed pilotless airliners, just not in the next few decades.
Military drones don't have a perfect performance record yet and will not for a while. As stated previously, the cost of flying an airliner is still cheaper with pilots than the amount of research and maintenance of systems required to go pilotless.

Public probably has a perception about the industry getting safer and not require pilots, we are obviously doing our jobs right by making sure most situations onboard are handled safely without the public needing to know.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:39 am 
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cgzro wrote:
The "pre-programming" is essentially done by training rather than programming, so you have to feed these systems massive amounts of training data (100's of millions of flights I suppose) which then causes the neural nets to weight and form pathways, very similar to the human brain. Its a very different model than even a year ago. There was a very significant discovery a few years ago which is transforming these systems and making the training much faster, its why you are hearing more about them today. They don't care about small amounts of hardware failure of course. Currently they are performing spectacularly at visual tasks in particular and are outperforming doctors at various diagnostics problems. Long way to go yet, but you likely may end up with some very good automated advice that you can ignore, modify etc. in the not too distant future.


You can feed as many data as you want into computers, accidents do repeat, but there are also new cases unseen before. It can be because of new technology, new procedures, aging aircrafts and so on.
Sully is a great example, he lost both engines and made the call to ditch it in the Hudson, the day computers manage this kind of creativity and thinking, there won't be much jobs left on the planet.

I think we have to be careful about what we want, like self driving cars, autonomous airplanes. There is a right amount of automation to make our life easier and perform best, but too much will just make us become dumb and lazy. If they push it too far, in a possible emergency when human inputs will be needed, we will maybe not be able to respond appropriately.



Last edited by timel on Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:48 am 
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Broker wrote:
timel wrote:
If this industry wants to attract pilots, they should stopt saying they want to design aircraft without pilots.


True but the 767 has been around for nearly the span of my career and while my days are dwindling, the aircrafts are not quite yet. With all current production aircraft being multiple crew machines, it is pretty safe to say folks starting in the current environment will enjoy a full career behind the controls.


Me and you we know it. But medias and general public, you can tell them airplanes will be flying to Mach 24 next year and pilots will be wearing tutu, and everyone is like sharing it on Facebook and be like wow, waw, amazing!

If I am 17 years old right now, I have the option to become a computer programmer and make very good money or pay over 100000k to get a pilot license, I read what this guy at Boeing is saying, maybe I would give it a thought.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:27 am 
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Great topic. I am wondering what insurance company would get behind the idea. Perhaps there are some that might. But I still think they would need to have a human being to pin it all too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:28 am 
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timel wrote:
Broker wrote:
timel wrote:
If this industry wants to attract pilots, they should stopt saying they want to design aircraft without pilots.


True but the 767 has been around for nearly the span of my career and while my days are dwindling, the aircrafts are not quite yet. With all current production aircraft being multiple crew machines, it is pretty safe to say folks starting in the current environment will enjoy a full career behind the controls.


Me and you we know it. But medias and general public, you can tell them airplanes will be flying to Mach 24 next year and pilots will be wearing tutu, and everyone is like sharing it on Facebook and be like wow, waw, amazing!

If I am 17 years old right now, I have the option to become a computer programmer and make very good money or pay over 100000k to get a pilot license, I read what this guy at Boeing is saying, maybe I would give it a thought.


Why not do both? You have all the time in the world to do both. Go after both I would say.



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:53 am 
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Another issue would be developing and third world countries. How would they incorporate this technology(pilotless aircraft) into their infrastructure which as we all know isn't up to international standards in many cases and may never will. The concept(pilotless aircraft) would have applications - it already does but for commercial passenger transportation I am not convinced.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:37 pm 
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Quote:
The public has already accepted one-man operation of aeroplanes with its acceptance of the Cessna Caravan and Pilatus Porter


Pilatus Porter?? :smt040 Has a porter ever been flown with two crew?.

One of the things I understood in my old brain about the new AI is that they are working on them semi-programming themselves.
Thus one can input aircraft data from thousands of flights and the robot will look at deviations from its programmed input and adjust its responses.

I do think it is coming though timing is always a bit tricky. Modern airplanes are really to complex for humans, and the level of automation will increase. A computer can run a human done QRH 30 minute checklist in a fraction of a second...

As to costs. The new fatigue rules are just the beginning. And every time some pilots have an oopsie and crash a plane there is a few hundred million lost with aircraft costs, and people. Every pilot- responsible screw up is another nail in the coffin.
And , it seems to me, that for every Sully saving a hundred people, there are several Air France, Air Asia accidents that kills far more.
Pilots are becoming the weakest link in the evolution of aviation....just as drivers in cars...



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 12:58 pm 
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trey kule wrote:


Pilots are becoming the weakest link in the evolution of aviation....just as drivers in cars...


Future.
Programming? Human
Engeenering? Human
Maintenance? Probably human
Let's fix it all with AI pilots. :smt040
Weakest link or last line of defense against human made technology?

Sully was a very public accident, how many will never be known by the general public?



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 3:13 pm 
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trey kule wrote:
Pilots are becoming the weakest link in the evolution of aviation..


No, we're the strongest link because a brain is still required during normal ops to tie everything together and make intelligent decisions encompassing more than rote responses. During abnormal ops 100X so.



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:32 am 
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I guess I'll just take the stage coach to get some groceries and ride my horse to the airport...

Humans are smart and stupid. The only reason we are not further ahead is we have stupid emotions and complaints and are too greedy. Think about how we waste so much time on CRM because we are basically monkeys in uniform; its a very thin veneer of civilization that keeps us from bashing in the heads of our copilots. Suicide bombers? I want to be one when I blow up...

If we could actually concentrate on the tasks and lose the stupid conflicts we'd be pilotless already. We need another war to kill more of the godless and spur military development - that's how we move forward technologically, we concentrate.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:21 am 
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Rockie wrote:
No, we're the strongest link because a brain is still required during normal ops to tie everything together and make intelligent decisions encompassing more than rote responses. During abnormal ops 100X so.


Even with current technology levels I'd probably rather send my family on the computer driven airliner over the q400 piloted by two millennials; the captain who just upgraded to his first PIC job (!!!!), and the FO who was up really late and barely slept because his tinder date from the previous night went went really well.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:36 pm 
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ragbagflyer wrote:
Rockie wrote:
No, we're the strongest link because a brain is still required during normal ops to tie everything together and make intelligent decisions encompassing more than rote responses. During abnormal ops 100X so.


Even with current technology levels I'd probably rather send my family on the computer driven airliner over the q400 piloted by two millennials; the captain who just upgraded to his first PIC job (!!!!), and the FO who was up really late and barely slept because his tinder date from the previous night went went really well.


The Boeing people are self admittedly not completely there yet. They said that AI is the way to go, and they also said that they have no idea, yet, about how they are going to implement all of this. Read the reports carefully. It is a work in progress and a study. Making a plane do some circuits at an out of the way place with a couple of engine failures is one thing, making them operate in the airspace with a whole lot of traffic and storms, is quite another.

Pilotless airplanes will probably happen, someday. After self cleaning houses and apartments, and electric self driving cars (for everyone, not just the test vehicles), and self built buildings, and self done landscaping.

Long long way to go.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:24 pm 
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I can see the co-pilot being removed and sitting in an office looking after 4 to 6 flights, would probably be a better resource on the GND, as he would have better support. Once we get to the pilot being removed, another crew member like the Head cabin attendant can be trained to supervise the taxi/positioning of the AC on the runway. Then control would be transferred to the remote pilots. Just a matter of time IMHO.

I think the hold up will be reliable data transfer, but once these guys are up, it will be pretty cool!

http://oneweb.world/



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Prodriver wrote:

I think the hold up will be reliable data transfer, but once these guys are up, it will be pretty cool!



Reliable data transfer..., to me it is completely non sense to allow remote control of airplanes. NSA, FBI, CIA They all got hacked. No software system is completely fail proof from hacking.



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:40 pm 
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Military drones have a high loss rate, and not due to enemy fire either. Won't see pilotless commercial passenger flights during my career. Boeing is just talking about it now. That's a long way from a plane on the tarmac


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 3:26 pm 
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http://www.bbc.com/news/business-40860911

Quote:
A survey by financial services firm UBS suggests that pilotless aircraft not be too popular, however, with 54% of the 8,000 people questioned saying they would be unlikely to take a pilotless flight. The older age groups were the most resistant with more than half of people aged 45 and above shunning the idea.


Self reported data is almost worthless. When that same 45 year old is faced with a $40 price difference they'll skip the pilots, especially once pilotless planes have been flying a year or two.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:58 pm 
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Rockie wrote:
People who tout automation as taking over from the pilot probably don't fly an automated airplane. If they did they would know how quickly automation can switch from being an aid to a hindrance.


Can't agree with you more...
I don't know how many times I have kicked the AP off just to hand fly the aircraft because it was easier to get it to do what I wanted it to or the automation doesn't capture the Localizer or glideslope for example. I don't fly an overly sophisticated aircraft but it has an FMS, Flight Director, Basic EFIS, Autopilot and Yaw Damper. Automation is great but sometimes you just have to do it yourself and hand fly it



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:23 pm 
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totalflyer wrote:
Automation is great but sometimes you just have to do it yourself and hand fly it

Then how do big airliners fly on autopilot from take off through landing every day with no issues? Automation on new aircraft is miles ahead of what it was even twenty years ago, and there are no technological reasons we couldn't have fully autonomous aircraft already. If planes were able to directly communicate, they could arrange flights much more efficiently than if they had to go through an ATC middleman; they could go directly to their destinations without needing to fly specific routings or STARs, and they could adjust their speeds en route to arrive at a precise time relative to the other inbound aircraft, without needing the margin of error used by controllers because of the preciseness of the computer calculations. Spacing would be the absolute minimum required with no buffer needed to be built in. Fog would be irrelevant because autopilots don't need any visibility for take off or landing.
It's uncomfortable to think about as pilots, because it means the end of our profession, especially if you have children or grandchildren just getting into the industry, but it's only a matter of time. Anyone who ignores the value of automation in both increasing safety and reducing costs is being illogical and burying their head in the sand; there may be some luddites who will never accept it, but the public is increasingly accepting towards things like self-driving cars, and eventually they will be fine with pilot-less aircraft. Pretending it isn't going to happen will result in a mighty shock in the future, especially if you find yourself suddenly replaced by a robot.



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:38 pm 
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The only way it will happen in my life is with a pilot on the ground looking at the instruments/cameras and ready to take over. ...Taxiing on snow covered taxiways....Turbulent clouds not seen on radar....Major failures (Hudson river, Sioux Falls) that automation can't handle. I'm sure the list goes on


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:42 pm 
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Diadem wrote:
Then how do big airliners fly on autopilot from take off through landing every day with no issues?


There are different levels of automation and all of them are used in the course of any flight, right down to no automation. It's a common misconception that the automation flies the airplane - it doesn't. The pilot flies the airplane and the automation is one of the tools he/she uses to do that. Automation isn't a brain, it doesn't think and it isn't smart. It does what the pilot tells it to do, except when it doesn't and then guess what?



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:37 am 
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Maybe in 50 years, but we will all be retired by then.


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