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Fitz505

Ground Control of an Aircraft? Possibility?

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This is a topic from "Can you land an aircart during an Emergency".With technology today, not only in the aircraft but high speed interconnect from the aircraft to ground, why, during an emergency, coundn't the aircraft be controlled by a ground based (simulator interface) with a pilot and get an aircraft potentially back to mother earth?We all know that AP is really sophisticated these days and we have seen that while on flights for years. In the 60's they had it and "autoland" was there plus other features. A pilotless flight has been a vision for a long time and the industry has worked on it. Is there some reason why this technology could not be used today for situations where pilots and crew are out of the picture?Comments?

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Don, Remote controlled aerial vehicles are already in everyday use in the military. Some of the RCAV's used in Iraq were controlled by a crew member of a JSTARS. Others were pre-programmed with all the flight data. Boeing is working on a system that could possibly remove control of an airliner from the cockpit and put it in the hands of a ground based pilot in cases of hijackings, pilots being disabled, and severe weather. It is coming, and it will arrive.Glenn

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It's been said, that except for recreational purposes, the last generation of pilots has already been born. John Fitzpatrick

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Right!!! Until the first totally computer controlled aircraft crashes due to a computer malfunction and kills hundreds of passengers. Then wait for the hue and cry. Every politicina wanting a soundbite will be fighting to get on TV. Old Joke:Aftertakeoff Announcement: Welcome aboard fight 1313. You will be interested to know that on today's flight, there are no pilots in the cockpit. Everything is computer controlled, and has been tested thoroughly. You can rest assured that this flight is totally safe and that nothing can go wrong---can go wrong---can go wrong---can go wrong---Yup, end of pilots on aboard aircraft. Right!!! "We don' need no steenking pilots" (with apologies to Humphrey Bogart and the rest of the cast--youngsters, do some research!! :-lol ) Paul

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It's true that todays airliner cockpits are very automated, however even in the most modern glass cockpits, knobs must be turned and buttons pushed to set the commands for the autopilot and it would take considerable modification to the aircraft to interface the onboard radios to be able to do these functions at this time. Even trying to interface to the flight management system from the ground by radio would require major changes and be very costly for the airlines.Until such time that an airliner is built from scratch like the military pilotless vehicles to allow this, command from the ground is not an option.Ed Weber a.k.a tallpilot

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Boeing is already developing the X-45, which will be a full fledged pilotless fighter. There is a Pentagon planning document ( I think it's called Looking Glass, but I'm not sure) that predicts by 2020, 1/3 of military aircraft will be pilotless. Fedex and UPS are looking into pilotless transoceanic flights in the future. The NY Times had an article last year, the title was "The Pilot, Gone, The Market, Huge". The FAA is already considering rules that will allow pilotless aircraft to fly in U.S. airspace. Is it just around the corner, of course not and I'm sure passenger travel will be the last to happen, but to say it isn't going to happen is absurd. I'm sure some guy sitting in a horse and buggy said the same thing when somebody mentioned he heard about this thing called a Horseless Carriage. Will pilotless planes crash? You bet they will. But golly gee wiz, don't they already with pilots on board! By the way, if this sounds anti pilot, I have a pilot's license and to quote a popular saying.."I will give it up, when they pry it out of my cold, dead fingers". However, tecnology advances and time marches on. John Fitzpatrick

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