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Future of Airline Pilots...?

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Hey everyone,I've just been thinking about this.First off, I'm a bit of a retro man. In other words, I'd prefer to fly a 747 classic than the 400 series.As we all know, the future of planes is becoming more advanced; and from the time pilots were really 'Hands on', its now coming to a matter of the pilot being someone who monitors computer screens.I've always wanted to be an airline pilot in the future.However, if in x years, the pilot would just have to press a button, and the plane would take you from the gate of departure to arrival, would there really be any point of an 'airline pilot'?In my opinion, if what I predict IS the future, then I might as well take my career else where.Does anyone agree or disagree?Thanks...James Pearceconcorde3@concorde3.freeserve.co.uk

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James, it is really hard to say where all this automation will lead us. Personally, I hope to never see the human variable removed from the equation. There will always be things that humans can handle better in emergencies and with as easy as it is to hack computers, I can see some real problems with flight be totally controlled by computers and no one onboard that cannot get hacked.If pilots were reduced to nothing but pushing a button to start the whole process, their piloting skills would certainly diminish, so I would hope a happy medium could be found.

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I think your fears will eventually come true, but later rather than sooner. Look on the bright side, they are still making 757-200 and the like which still require a pilot or two who are plenty busy to fly and to guide the aircraft with the obvious help from a computer. If 767 Pilot In Command is nearer to your type of flying, that sort of work will still be here it 10 to 15 years, so if you get started now, you should be ok, for at least half of your career anyway.

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I think pilots ARE safe in thier jobs! Nobodyin their right mind would fly from A to B withouthumans in TOTAL control :-roll Machines/robots help in surgery, but Im sure doctorsarent going anywhere! The concorde is planned to flyas late as 2017 for goodness sake!? Just my to cents :-wave

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I can just see the NTSB finding that a "memory overflow buffer" caused the plane to crash. Maybe they will use Windows XP. :-lol:-haloBrent

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Very true comments.Thanks for everyone who responded to this post.I have to say nothing beats human work, even robots in the end.Thanks...James Pearceconcorde3@concorde3.freeserve.co.uk

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I am a 15 year old student and I wish to become an airline pilot, hopefully on the 767. Does anyone know if the airline pilot industry will still require pilots by the stage I am qualified for CAT4, otherwise I will lead my studies elsewhere.

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I would not worry about it in the least. While the technology or the ability to create the technology exists to create what would be essentially a pilotless aircraft, the time and money this would take would be massive. Not only do suitable aircraft need to be designed and built, but the air traffic control system must also be upgraded to suit these aircraft. In the USA alone, that would be a massive undertaking, then there is the rest of the world! You will see such aircraft in the military (pilotless fighter aircraft) before you see this in the civilian sector, and what the military may do will not necessarily tickle down to the civilian sector. Having remote controlled dog fights over hostile terrain is one thing, transporting millions of people throughout the world is another.Yes, there are many ideas being tested for improving ATC, in order to allow for expansion (higher traffic density) and greater safety, but little if any of it has to do with eliminating pilots. Most of it has to do with improving communications / interface between the cockpit and ATC, and between one aircraft and another.Perhaps your grandson/daughter may have to worry about it. ;-)Regards,http://www.dreamfleet2000.com/gfx/images/F..._FORUM_LOUd.jpg

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I also worry about this. I, too, am an aspiring airline pilot. In fact, one of the reasons I would like to be one would be the satisfaction of mastering all of the controls and systems of such an aircraft. If that challenge was taken away, I would have to seriously reconsider my career choice.I even get scared when I hear about "highway in the sky" and so-forth for GA. Yes, it could possibly be an incredible safety improvement, but then you lose the prestige of flying. At that point, it would seem that just about anyone could fly: it would just be too easy. I enjoy the mental challenges associated with independently navigating and controlling a plane.I sometimes think about possibly forgetting flying for a living, maybe just volunteering my time to flying old airplanes. I would love to fly an old radial-engined bomber or airliner.If all I did was punch a button telling the plane where to go, I wouldn't enjoy flying.Ray

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