An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Unmanned Commercial Flights

Will the career as a pilot be over soon because the planes be unmanned? No I aint talking about the air force or those toy ones.. I mean the commercial ones.. those that you take from JFK or Heathrow! Yeah you get into the plane and some old looking flight attendant comes in and gives you peanuts while the plane is flying on its own – no one in the cockpit for you!

The good side? There will be no one to tell you how high you are now .. just as you were about to doze off or when your favorite song was playing on your MP3! Why do these pilots have to tell me what they are upto? Just get me where the ticket says and that will be fine!

hey.. but no pilot on the plane? Will you fly such a plane? btw…careers of the Osama’s boys’ who fly planes into building is also pretty much over.. have fun guys!

My seatmate told me that within 5 or 10 years, it may well be common to fly on a commercial airliner with no pilot in the cockpit. Instead, the plane would be controlled from the ground by someone who’s half air-traffic controller and half kid-with-a-remote-control-airplane. The technology, he told me, is pretty much already in place: about 80% of commercial airliner takeoffs and landings are already remote-controlled (and it is the human landings that are the bumpy ones, he said, performed mostly so that pilots can keep up their landing chops). I assume that one “pilot” on the ground could easily fly more than one plane at a time.

Unmanned aircraft have been around for awhile. Think of the Predator drone, which the U.S. military uses reliably for attack and reconnaissance purposes. And the U.K. Ministry of Defense recently conducted a two-hour test flight of an airliner in which the pilot was on board (for legal purposes only) but controlled the plane via a computer in the back of the plane.

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