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Frighteningly- that's exactly what is happening. I have a friend who is a pilot and pilot trainer with JetBlue, and one of his main functions is conducting recently-required yearly "basic flying" requalification for pilots. He explained to me that due to cockpit automation pilots have become passengers whose job it is to keep an eye on the computers that are actually flying the planes.

He described how JetBlue has been forced to make changes relating specifically to the problem of "passenger pilots" and began requiring "basic flying" yearly requals and removing free Wi-Fi in the cockpit. He said that pilots basically go over checklists, communicate with tower/groundcrew/gate/passengers, monitor flight computers, and keep their hands "close" to the controls during takeoff/landing- otherwise they spend their time on their laptops watching movies/porn, playing games, and surfing the net. It became such an issue that JetBlue even took away their free internet in the cockpit.

He flies Internationally, and says he used to find it humorous thinking about how if only all the folks "back there" had any clue about what what was actually going on "up here" in the cockpit- they'd never want to fly again... until he started to realize that the pilots were literally forgetting how to physically fly the aircraft.

After several loss-of-life incidents involving automated flight controls and widespread random basic competency pilot test failures, JetBlue began requiring yearly pilot "flight retraining" on the simulator. And that's what my friend does for them when he's not watching movies in the cockpit of a Caribbean-bound JetBlue Airbus.

It's no joke, and it's damn scary.
When I am training my guys we use the systems to lighten workload to help with other tasks they need. My world is a bit different from commercial though, this may very well be a problem for them but it sounds like a cultural one and prioritization
 

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I would think that money spent on teaching marksmanship skills would be a better payout. That scope is way too complicated to keep it running in the field. The military is relying on technology too much instead of individual rifle skills, which is not stressed enough in both military or law enforcement.
This was my entire question about replacing the 5.56 doctrine of “more shots downrange” with giving a bunch of 18-22 year olds a weapon that sees its primary advantages at like 1000 yards. I suppose this scope is the answer.
 

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Im seeing a lot of echoes of when the USMC shifted from irons to ACOGs and a lot of old timers grumbling about what it was going to do to the future of marksmanship. If the attitude assumed at the range is that this is a replacement for fundamentals, well obviously that is a problem but as long as the system is used to enhance the skills they should be getting trained on it sounds like a good deal.

Imagine if a tanker bemoaned the adoption of a modern fire control system.

On the flip side, Rob has a point about electronic signature management. Having your unit emit like a christmas tree is not a survivable posture when in the peer/near peer threat picture
 

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I don’t necessarily think technology is a bad thing but once you become dependent upon it and you do not practice skills you once used before technology replaced it you become complacent and then that is when their is a problem.


Frighteningly- that's exactly what is happening. I have a friend who is a pilot and pilot trainer with JetBlue, and one of his main functions is conducting recently-required yearly "basic flying" requalification for pilots. He explained to me that due to cockpit automation pilots have become passengers whose job it is to keep an eye on the computers that are actually flying the planes.

He described how JetBlue has been forced to make changes relating specifically to the problem of "passenger pilots" and began requiring "basic flying" yearly requals and removing free Wi-Fi in the cockpit. He said that pilots basically go over checklists, communicate with tower/groundcrew/gate/passengers, monitor flight computers, and keep their hands "close" to the controls during takeoff/landing- otherwise they spend their time on their laptops watching movies/porn, playing games, and surfing the net. It became such an issue that JetBlue even took away their free internet in the cockpit.

He flies Internationally, and says he used to find it humorous thinking about how if only all the folks "back there" had any clue about what was actually going on "up here" in the cockpit- they'd never want to fly again... until he started to realize that the pilots were literally forgetting how to physically fly the aircraft.

After several loss-of-life incidents involving automated flight controls and widespread random basic competency pilot test failures, JetBlue began requiring yearly pilot "flight retraining" on the simulator. And that's what my friend does for them when he's not watching movies in the cockpit of a Caribbean-bound JetBlue Airbus.

It's no joke, and it's damn scary.
Just before I left the railroad, they began introducing technology that the train runs itself. And as the Engineer all you do is monitor it, overide only if needed. You are disciplined if you don’t let the technology do the running of the train. Worse case scenario is dismissal.

Bad thing is, running into the mountains of WV where you are in a valley along a river then climbing several thousand feet, not all at once mind you, and in and out of tunnels (almost 30), with longest almost 7000’ long. There is no possibility that nothing could go wrong! Right!

Or a train of 278 loads of coal, at two miles in length, and almost 40k tons in same scenario but not involved in the elevation but still in tunnels but only 7 this time, and nothing can happen there either.

We all know or should that a train running at speed just can’t stop on a dime. So, either train goes into emergency brake application and it is brought about say because of this technology, what about the community’s of people living near the railroad and this time we are hauling say 100 loads of shale oil, stuff that can go boom, then what?!

So we take an Engineer that gets training running a train. A LOT of running a train was by the seat of the pants so to speak. You can feel the train stretching out or running in, slack in or out. Part of an Engineer is to know how to manipulate that slack, because to much or to little can make the train go snap and that shale oil you are hauling that can go boom, could go boom. But now we have a new Engineer that won’t never learn how to run that train properly or learn where he is within a tenth of a mile all because technology is doing it for him.

Just like your Pilot friend is aware pilots are physically forgetting how to fly because of technology!

Scary, yea and so are those 18 wheeler rigs they have designed to drive themselves! We only can go so far until we loose ourselves along the way, yea it is scary!
 

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And as the Engineer all you do is monitor it, overide only if needed.
And therein lies the true evil of autonomous integrated digital systems... I can't believe anyone would voluntarily get on a plane after finding out that hundreds of people have been killed by automated flight control systems that actively overrode the human pilots' inputs and flew perfectly operating aircraft straight into the ground.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE- IT. IS. MURDER. People MUST be held accountable.
 

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And therein lies the true evil of autonomous integrated digital systems... I can't believe anyone would voluntarily get on a plane after finding out that hundreds of people have been killed by automated flight control systems that actively overrode the human pilots' inputs and flew perfectly operating aircraft straight into the ground.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE- IT. IS. MURDER. People MUST be held accountable.
The single greatest source of mishaps in aviation is pilot error, with about an 80/20 breakdown between human error and aircraft failure.
 

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While distressing, I can accept human and mechanical failure, but when a machine is allowed to forcibly override a human's input which results in the death of every human on board the machine- that is intentional CRIMINALITY, and those responsible for it's design should be charged with MURDER.
 

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And therein lies the true evil of autonomous integrated digital systems... I can't believe anyone would voluntarily get on a plane after finding out that hundreds of people have been killed by automated flight control systems that actively overrode the human pilots' inputs and flew perfectly operating aircraft straight into the ground.

THERE IS NO EXCUSE- IT. IS. MURDER. People MUST be held accountable.
Sounds like you have seen the video from an airshow where a new (at the time) Airbus, with a factory test pilot at the controls, went into auto landing mode and set down in the trees at the end of the runway. He was unable to override it.

At least that's the way I heard it.

A family friend that was an experienced commercial pilot (DC-9s and MD-80s mostly) always called it a "Scarebus".
 

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Sounds like you have seen the video from an airshow where a new (at the time) Airbus, with a factory test pilot at the controls, went into auto landing mode and set down in the trees at the end of the runway. He was unable to override it.

At least that's the way I heard it.

A family friend that was an experienced commercial pilot (DC-9s and MD-80s mostly) always called it a "Scarebus".
I believe that this is referring to Air France Flight 296. From the investigations launched there seems to either have been pilot error (their chart did not have the trees depicted that they hit) or the Fly By Wire setting prevented the additional power asked for by the pilot by increased throttle as it believed it was in the landing environment.

I have unfortunately lost a few friends in this business, and every single one was due to human factors whether that be spatial disorientation or poor decision making. I think there is a very reasonable wariness of automation because of the lack of human input, but aviation technology has progressed to the point where the risks that automation introduce are greatly outweighed by benefits when it comes to safety.
 

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but aviation technology has progressed to the point where the risks that automation introduce are greatly outweighed by benefits when it comes to safety.
In many cases, yes, but in others- a big HELL NO!

Unsafe at any altitude...


Fines don't cut it- people need to go to jail...

 

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The issue was created by people attempting to design a machine that protects humans from themselves. And therein lies the impudence: the human end user must always have complete command and control of the machine- not the machine, not the software engineer, not the manufacturer, not the services provider... but the human being with their life on the line.

Automotive lighting Camera lens Lens Cameras & optics Gas


Asimov's First Law should be updated to include:

A robot may not injure a human being or, through [action or] inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

Every person who knowingly takes part in designing, testing, promoting, and implementing systems that allow erroneous sensor data to empower autonomous control systems to bypass direct human input without immediate human override capability should face jail time (that's how you slow down this off-the-rails technology train of terror).

And, in my opinion, all integrated autonomous digital control systems should retain direct mechanical connection (minimally- for redundant backup). Actively removing one's physical control over a machine in exchange for "trusting the computer" is simply... insane.

But, to each their own.
 

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Well, the efficiencies in aero dynamics that you gain and the safety margins that are achievable put a lot of positives in the automation category.

One of the key issues with the Max was that Boeing failed to disclose how they had updated their AoA system and so the crews were not correctly trained on it. Therein is the key part of all the whole thread - pure automation will never replace high quality training, but it sure can help.
 

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Absolutely.

I am not an engineer or a pilot, but people whose opinion I respect have shared with me that they feel Boeing's terminal error with the 737 Max has been that in their effort to remain competitive with Airbus they've shoehorned engines onto the 737 that are too large for the airframe and it cannot mechanically cope with them (AoA), and the MCAS system is Boeing's "software solution" that is required to keep the aircraft in the air.

From my perspective, when you start with an aircraft with a service record as stellar as the 737 and alter it to the point that it takes a computer to keep it in the air- you've gone too far. In this case, the computers haven't made the aircraft better- they've made it deadly. And there's hundreds of innocent passengers that have lost their lives because of it.

To me- that's unforgivable.
 
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Lot of truth there. One of the interesting bits about the thought process behind needing a software fix for an apparent aircraft design flaw is that is exactly how we got fly by wire in the first place - we wanted to squeeze more maneuverability out of our fighters but that required them to be inherently unstable platforms. Humans couldn't keep up with that so we needed software in the loop to translate pilot input into aircraft performance.

Obviously an airliner isn't the same nor does it have the same requirements.
 

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New Vortex podcast discussing the NGSW optic -

That's very informative- thanks.

It is encouraging to hear that it's simply an analog, etched reticle low-power variable optic integrated with "digital enhancements". When everything is working as designed (batteries/power, electronics/software, connectivity/communication)- it has some very impressive "smart" capabilities.

And in the real world (where Murphy enforces the law)- it's simply a traditional, manually-operated "dumb" glass telescope. I like that.

Seeing the contract being awarded to a relatively small American company with US-sourced parts (including glass) being fabricated and assembled in WI is outstanding.
 

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One of the interesting bits about the thought process behind needing a software fix for an apparent aircraft design flaw is that is exactly how we got fly by wire in the first place...
Nevins, is there a story behind this or a particular airframe or event? In other words, how did fly by wire come about? Genuinely interested.
 
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