Boeing studies pilotless airplane

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valleyboy
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#51 Post by valleyboy » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:11 am

From my scan of the thread and I might of missed it but no one is mentioning the one basic flaw. How do you integrate advanced technology with, by that time 100 year old technology. Aviation is not all about dream liners and heavy metal. The majority of aircraft around will be still out dated by then. The infrastructure for ATC will cost much more and will need to be over hauled. It will likely mean 2 systems and services. There are also advances in other technologies and ground transportation could very well replace what we call commuter aircraft today up to stage lengths of transcontinental. The way of the future will to reduce air traffic, saturation of airspace will force this and we will going into low orbit transcontinental flights to ground hubs for distribution on high speed with such things as hyperloop trains.

Aircraft with no flight crew on board in the grand scheme of things is a logical and simple step(US military have been doing it but have lost some metal) but it's not as we perceive. Air travel will likely increase with far less aircraft and short haul air service, as I said, will be replaced with ground transport. Lets face it heavy aircraft are not "green" and the movement to replace them with something will always be there and research to develop alternate fuels and propulsion systems are needed. Having said all this I'm sure guys just starting will be able to retire before we see all these changes.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#52 Post by Prodriver » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:34 am

I see one pilot in the aircraft and a co-pilot on the ground with the ability to lock out the pilot and auto land if required. He would be a pretty handy resource in the event of a problem. Once the infrastructure in 2027 is built out for data transmition and communication, look out!

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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#53 Post by Prodriver » Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:38 am

Once there is the ability to have global data, we are going to see one pilot and the co-pilot on the ground working multiple flights with the ability to override the one pilot and auto land in the event of an emergency or unscheduled event. He would be a handy resource and he would still be talking in your headset.

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Look at the investors Airbus and Virgin.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#54 Post by Meatservo » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:17 am

I doubt it. The only case to be made in favour of that is money. There is no safety case that favours a pilot on the ground above a pilot in the plane. Especially if the guy on the ground is the one with the “override” capability. You could cite the circumstances of the German Wings event as a possible case for a ground-based guy, if you willfullly ignore the equally real possibility of the guy on the ground with a kill-switch on multiple flights being the one who is deranged.

Possibly the one-man cockpit may come to pass, but I will be interested to hear the sophistry that emerges to explain why one crewman is safer than two. Many countries have banned one-man bridge operations in home waters for shipping. I expect we’ll see the same thing for aviation. Likewise, maybe we’ll see aircraft being controlled by a ground-based drone operator, but I think it will only be when the planes no longer have flight-decks at all. Any safety-based justification for a one-man cockpit which can be overruled from the ground is equally valid for a completely pilotless one.

And, like I said, what a shitty job for the one pilot!
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#55 Post by North Shore » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:04 am

Prodriver wrote:I see one pilot in the aircraft and a co-pilot on the ground with the ability to lock out the pilot and auto land if required. He would be a pretty handy resource in the event of a problem. Once the infrastructure in 2027 is built out for data transmition and communication, look out!

http://oneweb.world/
2027 - I'll be 61 then (Holy F@ck - how did that happen so fast?!), so not much of a worry. Beyond that, there will always be a market for people who didn't rush off to OneBigAirline, took the time to develop a wide aviation skillset, and can fly floats/wheels/skiis off-strip in the barrens, on floats into logging/fishing/mining camps, or rotary into Alpine lodges, and remote drill sites...
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#56 Post by Prodriver » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:08 pm

Meatservo wrote:I doubt it. The only case to be made in favour of that is money. There is no safety case that favours a pilot on the ground above a pilot in the plane. Especially if the guy on the ground is the one with the “override” capability. You could cite the circumstances of the German Wings event as a possible case for a ground-based guy, if you willfullly ignore the equally real possibility of the guy on the ground with a kill-switch on multiple flights being the one who is deranged.

Possibly the one-man cockpit may come to pass, but I will be interested to hear the sophistry that emerges to explain why one crewman is safer than two. Many countries have banned one-man bridge operations in home waters for shipping. I expect we’ll see the same thing for aviation. Likewise, maybe we’ll see aircraft being controlled by a ground-based drone operator, but I think it will only be when the planes no longer have flight-decks at all. Any safety-based justification for a one-man cockpit which can be overruled from the ground is equally valid for a completely pilotless one.

And, like I said, what a shitty job for the one pilot!

Ya, you would lose your wingman for Bar adventures!
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#57 Post by Meatservo » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:30 am

Prodriver wrote:
Meatservo wrote:I doubt it. The only case to be made in favour of that is money. There is no safety case that favours a pilot on the ground above a pilot in the plane. Especially if the guy on the ground is the one with the “override” capability. You could cite the circumstances of the German Wings event as a possible case for a ground-based guy, if you willfullly ignore the equally real possibility of the guy on the ground with a kill-switch on multiple flights being the one who is deranged.

Possibly the one-man cockpit may come to pass, but I will be interested to hear the sophistry that emerges to explain why one crewman is safer than two. Many countries have banned one-man bridge operations in home waters for shipping. I expect we’ll see the same thing for aviation. Likewise, maybe we’ll see aircraft being controlled by a ground-based drone operator, but I think it will only be when the planes no longer have flight-decks at all. Any safety-based justification for a one-man cockpit which can be overruled from the ground is equally valid for a completely pilotless one.

And, like I said, what a shitty job for the one pilot!

Ya, you would lose your wingman for Bar adventures!
“Ya”, and for “avoiding accidents” too! But whatever...
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#58 Post by Meatservo » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:30 am

Prodriver wrote:
Meatservo wrote:I doubt it. The only case to be made in favour of that is money. There is no safety case that favours a pilot on the ground above a pilot in the plane. Especially if the guy on the ground is the one with the “override” capability. You could cite the circumstances of the German Wings event as a possible case for a ground-based guy, if you willfullly ignore the equally real possibility of the guy on the ground with a kill-switch on multiple flights being the one who is deranged.

Possibly the one-man cockpit may come to pass, but I will be interested to hear the sophistry that emerges to explain why one crewman is safer than two. Many countries have banned one-man bridge operations in home waters for shipping. I expect we’ll see the same thing for aviation. Likewise, maybe we’ll see aircraft being controlled by a ground-based drone operator, but I think it will only be when the planes no longer have flight-decks at all. Any safety-based justification for a one-man cockpit which can be overruled from the ground is equally valid for a completely pilotless one.

And, like I said, what a shitty job for the one pilot!

Ya, you would lose your wingman for Bar adventures!
“Ya”, and for “avoiding accidents” too! But whatever...
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#59 Post by pelmet » Fri May 11, 2018 2:36 pm

Looks like the fight is starting....

"Action Needed: Tell Congress No Single-Pilot Aircraft
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the long-awaited Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill in the next week. The bill, in its current form, is largely pilot-partisan, except for one provision. Section 744 of the proposed bill directs the FAA to conduct a study on reducing crew complement to one captain and a remote first officer for all-cargo operations. Join us in telling Congress "no" to this measure that would jeopardize the safety of all who depend on air transportation.
As pilots, we are trained for life to operate an aircraft in a dynamic environment. Our responsibility for the safety of the flight constantly changes and includes duties such as interacting with air traffic control; communicating with dispatch; checking current and future weather; visually scanning for other aircraft; and monitoring engines, fuel, and other systems. Even in non-routine situations, the workload on the flight deck can increase rapidly and in a short time period. Maintaining safety for airline crews, passengers, and individuals on the ground requires at least two well trained, fully qualified, and adequately rested pilots in the cockpit.
Additionally, it is often necessary to communicate with multiple entities on the ground as situations arise. For example, in case of an aircraft emergency, crews may need to be in constant contact with air traffic control, the fire department, dispatch, and other emergency response teams. It is essential to communicate in real time and without delay or the potential for a lost connection.
ALPA members may understand the safety risk from a reduced crew complement on all-cargo flights, but Congress won't know unless they hear from us. Join our union today in calling on Congress to uphold our safety standards and keep two well trained pilots in all of our Part 121 aircraft.
Your engagement is important because the bill, as introduced, supports many significant ALPA priorities. It protects first officer training and qualifications, requires secondary barriers on new passenger aircraft, includes H.R. 2150 (Flags of Convenience Don't Fly Here Act), mandates automatic acceptance of voluntarily reported safety information, authorizes the Human Intervention Motivation Study Program, harmonizes lithium battery rules with international standards, and authorizes the Essential Air Service program and Pacific Island reliever airports."
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#60 Post by Boreas » Fri May 11, 2018 8:22 pm

Hope that the guys/gals south of the border get on this. Don't think they'd care too much about hearing Canadians out...
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#61 Post by trey kule » Sun May 13, 2018 8:15 am

I like to go back and look at all the predictive threads once in awhile...

There is a theme. The use of antcedotal examples as if they were the norm....
It is interesting. If not always relevent,

Or, only looking at half the picture:
For example, Bede posted the flight crew cost...but conveniently did not look at the cost of accidents caused by flight crews that might be reduced...
sully’s water landing is constantly brought up...but again there is no comparison to how many accident could have been avoided. In the big picture, a reduction of injury, death, accidents is what is being sought.

So, is automation progressing?

Btw. I very very seldom see anyone bothering to reference articles like this:

http://www.ijtte.com/uploads/2012-12-05 ... 2(4)_6.pdf

It is all about using specific examples which just happen to co incide with our point of view.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#62 Post by Rockie » Sun May 13, 2018 12:25 pm

I like reading posts from people who miss the big picture entirely.
trey kule wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 8:15 am
Or, only looking at half the picture:
For example, Bede posted the flight crew cost...but conveniently did not look at the cost of accidents caused by flight crews that might be reduced...
Or miss 99% of the picture by conveniently ignoring the cost of the potential accidents pilots prevent every single flight.
trey kule wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 8:15 am
but again there is no comparison to how many accident could have been avoided.
There is no comparison to how many accidents brainless, unthinking automation would cause without human intervention. Automation is flawless...blah...blah...blah.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#63 Post by trey kule » Sun May 13, 2018 12:59 pm

Its coming Rockie..

Time will tell who did not see the big picture.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#64 Post by Rockie » Sun May 13, 2018 2:49 pm

trey kule wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 12:59 pm
Its coming Rockie..

Time will tell who did not see the big picture.
It might be coming, but not in our lifetimes. First they'll have to figure out the countless practical, not to mention ethical and moral issues that come with real artificial intelligence because nothing else will suffice. But even before that real artificial intelligence has to be invented.

Then they have to convince people to trust their life to it.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#65 Post by StudentPilot » Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm

pelmet wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:36 pm
"Action Needed: Tell Congress No Single-Pilot Aircraft
What allows some business jets flying at the same speeds and altitudes to fly single pilot but not a jet carrying cargo? If telling "Congress no single-pilot aircraft" does that mean all single pilot planes (including 172s) should require two crew? Why do cargo jets need two pilots to talk to people and fly the plane? How do single pilot business jets manage it? What happened to aviate, navigate, communicate?

Sounds like they are very worried about jobs (and the number of union members) more than safety of flight. Ground-based control would have been nice in the German Wings suicide/murder, not to mention during 9/11.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#66 Post by Boreas » Mon May 14, 2018 1:53 am

StudentPilot wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm
pelmet wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:36 pm
"Action Needed: Tell Congress No Single-Pilot Aircraft
What allows some business jets flying at the same speeds and altitudes to fly single pilot but not a jet carrying cargo? If telling "Congress no single-pilot aircraft" does that mean all single pilot planes (including 172s) should require two crew? Why do cargo jets need two pilots to talk to people and fly the plane? How do single pilot business jets manage it? What happened to aviate, navigate, communicate?

Sounds like they are very worried about jobs (and the number of union members) more than safety of flight. Ground-based control would have been nice in the German Wings suicide/murder, not to mention during 9/11.
More people in the cockpit would have been better, not less. The single-pilot setup they're trying to implement is a Pandora's box.

A single individual with ill intent in the pointy end can do a lot of damage before any ground-based system can take over. Are there not going to be any CBs for onboard automation / external control? Even if you take them out, how quickly can a ground-based F/O step in when the sole pilot onboard decides to go rogue on short final with a bunch of airplanes lined up on the adjacent taxiway? It won't matter much if its a cargo plane or not. Lots of scary scenarios here.

For what its worth, I took the train the other day and there were two guys up front. Not sure if thats standard for them, but still. The train. Its on the ground and on rails. It can just come to a stop at any time...
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#67 Post by goingnowherefast » Mon May 14, 2018 2:59 am

StudentPilot wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 5:44 pm
pelmet wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 2:36 pm
"Action Needed: Tell Congress No Single-Pilot Aircraft
What allows some business jets flying at the same speeds and altitudes to fly single pilot but not a jet carrying cargo? If telling "Congress no single-pilot aircraft" does that mean all single pilot planes (including 172s) should require two crew? Why do cargo jets need two pilots to talk to people and fly the plane? How do single pilot business jets manage it? What happened to aviate, navigate, communicate?

Sounds like they are very worried about jobs (and the number of union members) more than safety of flight. Ground-based control would have been nice in the German Wings suicide/murder, not to mention during 9/11.
Safety and risk management. A 172 is a small, simple aircraft, very forgiving to human error. Single pilot biz jets are also small and fairly simple. Plus when one crashes in downtown, small fireball and a few casualties. Crash a complex cargo 777 into downtown and thousands of casualties.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#68 Post by StudentPilot » Mon May 14, 2018 3:56 am

The 1.5 pilot idea is a Pandora's box. The FAA is only being directed to study reducing crew complement, not make regulations or implement it. Sounds like a good idea to me, even if it points out what issues are preventing it. How quickly a ground-based system can take over (and how ground-based pilots are alerted), how to lock out suicidal pilots/hijackers as well as how to lock out crazed ground-based pilots intent on destruction, etc are all things that need to be considered. Ideally without any time constraints such as when Delta, AA, and United are telling Boeing they want single pilot airliners and Boeing is pushing for regulations so they can get on with their design. Perhaps the FAA would do the study and conclude there are reasons that make single-pilot operations unfeasible or that further technological innovation must happen first.

My initial annoyance with the release is that it does not mention any thing reasonable such as CBs, response time, or the size of the fireball which are all valid points.

"Maintaining safety...requires at least two...pilots in the cockpit" - again no reference to aircraft size or type of operation, a business jet or a cargo jet would both ruin your day if there was a midair with your airliner. From their words, rather than fighting against a reduction of crew they should be fighting to get three or four flight crew to be the minimum because it is safer according to them. It drones on about talking with ATC and dispatch, checking weather, looking for traffic, and monitoring systems. Either they think these routine tasks should be accomplished by two pilots all of the time for safety (and inferring all single pilot aircraft are creating hazards in the air and to those on the ground) or it is wasted words that have no bearing on (and distracts from) what they are actually talking about, which annoys me.

Personally, barring any massive jumps in technology (say, from a global war between nations), I doubt pilotless airliners will happen soon and reducing crew complement will take a while yet. If the worst part of the bill to fund the FAA is a directive to study 1.5 pilot operations, why not? I seem to recall seeing numerous articles in the recent past about short term funding for the FAA so they don't shut down for lack of cash...

Personally, I would rather not see either happen. The demand for pilots in the airlines right now makes things better for pilots at all levels.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#69 Post by confusedalot » Mon May 14, 2018 4:38 am

I guess I am a bit thick. I am also guessing that the notion of having one on board and one remote pilot is primarily driven by a perceived or real cost advantage. But what would that advantage be? You are still paying for two pilots. So I am guessing once again that the ground based pilot would be tasked with operating multiple aircraft at any given time, which introduces a cost advantage?
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#70 Post by Rockie » Mon May 14, 2018 5:19 am

C172's don't operate in the same environment large passenger jets do, and when one of them goes down it's on page 25 right behind the latest mass shooting of the day. Large passenger jets operate in an environment where controlling/configuring the aircraft is only part of the picture because where we go everybody in the cockpit has to have their heads as much outside in the airspace as inside in the cockpit. It's a very crowded, procedurally complex, at times environmentally hostile, very dynamic and usually unpredictable 4-dimensional world we operate in...not a people mover on rails.

And we haven't even begun to discuss when things go wrong with the much ballyhooed automation and aircraft systems.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#71 Post by Posthumane » Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 am

Rockie wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 5:19 am
C172's don't operate in the same environment large passenger jets do, and when one of them goes down it's on page 25 right behind the latest mass shooting of the day. Large passenger jets operate in an environment where controlling/configuring the aircraft is only part of the picture because where we go everybody in the cockpit has to have their heads as much outside in the airspace as inside in the cockpit. It's a very crowded, procedurally complex, at times environmentally hostile, very dynamic and usually unpredictable 4-dimensional world we operate in...not a people mover on rails.

And we haven't even begun to discuss when things go wrong with the much ballyhooed automation and aircraft systems.
C172's don't, but certainly many of the single pilot jets do, like Citations, Phenoms, and even some of the higher end turbo-props. They can fly single-pilot, and if one of them crashes it's generally front page news, especially if they happen to crash into an airliner.

Automation to assist the pilot can not yet handle many scenarios and a pilot is still needed. Perhaps in the future it will be able to handle more. Even then it may not be able to handle a Sully type scenario to a successful outcome. But on the other hand, maybe it will do better than humans in a air france of air asia type scenario. I guess what needs to be looked at from a safety standpoint is how probable are scenarios where it will fail and do worse than humans vs. how probable are scenarios where it could improve safety over just humans.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#72 Post by Rockie » Mon May 14, 2018 9:23 am

Posthumane wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 am
But on the other hand, maybe it will do better than humans in a air france of air asia type scenario.
Both those accidents were triggered by equipment failures (well, Air Asia captain made it a lot worse, but still). What was critically missing in both those cases was a properly trained pilot. Automation is equipment...and equipment fails.
Posthumane wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:03 am
I guess what needs to be looked at from a safety standpoint is how probable are scenarios where it will fail and do worse than humans vs. how probable are scenarios where it could improve safety over just humans.
Equipment fails all the time and does worse than humans. Automation is a fancy way to keep the wings level, the airspeed stable, and follow a pre-programmed line without thought and hopefully free of interuption or disruption. It isn't a brain and it isn't a pilot, it's a tool for an actual pilot to use. That's all.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#73 Post by fish4life » Mon May 14, 2018 10:32 am

Think about it this way, a 172 only requires one engine yet 2 engines is safer. Why? well at a point the risk reward doesn't add up, at the end of the day safety costs money and the line usually gets drawn around the 9 passengers in the back. Then it becomes more essential to have the added layer of safety.

on a side note their is wayyyyy more movements of airliners every day than GA aircraft, yet GA aircraft have a much higher rate of casualty so keep in mind how safe things are right now.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#74 Post by Posthumane » Mon May 14, 2018 10:59 am

Rockie wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:23 am
Equipment fails all the time and does worse than humans. Automation is a fancy way to keep the wings level, the airspeed stable, and follow a pre-programmed line without thought and hopefully free of interuption or disruption. It isn't a brain and it isn't a pilot, it's a tool for an actual pilot to use. That's all.
Of course equipment fails. Pilots fail sometimes too. Do you have good data as to which one kills more people?

The discussion about increased automation potentially reducing 2 crew aircraft to one crew in the future is not referring to the systems in your airplane designed 20-30 years ago. Those are piecemeal solutions designed to, as you say, "keep the wings level, the airspeed stable, and follow a pre-programmed line without thought and hopefully free of inter[r]uption or disruption." What you are flying is not an automated aircraft, and that is not what the discussion was about. We've discussed this before, and while I respect your skill and experience as a pilot, I also know you have little to no experience with system design or modern automation.
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Re: Boeing studies pilotless airplane

#75 Post by Posthumane » Mon May 14, 2018 11:12 am

fish4life wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 10:32 am
Think about it this way, a 172 only requires one engine yet 2 engines is safer. Why? well at a point the risk reward doesn't add up, at the end of the day safety costs money and the line usually gets drawn around the 9 passengers in the back. Then it becomes more essential to have the added layer of safety.

on a side note their is wayyyyy more movements of airliners every day than GA aircraft, yet GA aircraft have a much higher rate of casualty so keep in mind how safe things are right now.
Except that statistically, two engines are not much safer than one. Twin engine piston aircraft have a similar fatal accident rate to single engine piston aircraft of the same class (i.e. faster, traveling singles), and two engine turbo-props have a similar fatal accident rate to single engine turbo-props of the same class. I don't think there's much data for comparing single engine cabin class jets since there's so few around.

Interestingly, this article talks of a study comparing single pilot and two-pilot ops in biz-jets. Same aircraft, only difference being the number of crew members. The sample size is low, but the fatal accident rate is comparable; close enough that they stated it is inconclusive.
https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... -advantage
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