• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.
  • Logbook Pro for Apple iOS version 8.1 is now available on the App Store. Major update including signature endorsements and dark/light theme support. Click here to install now.

"pilots almost superfluous"

densoo

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 2, 2004
Posts
2,054
Total Time
yes
William Langewiesche’s new book, “Fly by Wire,” “The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson”
What the public doesn’t understand, he writes in “Fly by Wire,” is the extent to which advances in aviation and digital technology have made pilots almost superfluous, perhaps even “the weak link in flight."

He assesses the low morale at most major American airlines caused by bankruptcies, pay cuts, union strife and the decimation of retirement pensions. He refers to these things as “the insults of an airline career.”

“If you had to pick the most desirable trait for airline pilots, it would probably be placidity,” he says. He adds that “with exceptions, the ‘best and the brightest’ have never chosen to become airplane pilots, at whatever salary, because of the terrible this-is-my-life monotony of the job.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/11/books/11book.html?ref=todayspaper
 

Hose A. Jiminez

Well-known member
Joined
May 20, 2003
Posts
600
Total Time
no mas
did he mention that Airbus that took out all of those trees at the French Airshow?
 

cessnapilot

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2005
Posts
95
Total Time
23 yrs
Last edited:

CRJ's suck

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Posts
105
Total Time
-0
Wait, Capt. Sullenberger didn't have to do anything? Guess he just sat there and watched as the plane did all the work. Mr. Langewiesche is a d0uce bag.
 

crj567

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Posts
2,052
Yeah-What a clown....

This guy is so clueless.. Let's all think about the things that never made the papers. Remember all the times that some computer crapped out, and you figured out some other way to do things-or some way around the problem

Some minor system malfunction in a fully-automated aircraft has the potential to kill everyone on board. Think about how many times you have picked up the checklist, hit some buttons, and solved the problem. What if no one was there to it these buttons.

I can think of secan think of several times during my airline experiences where something happened, and there was no checklist for that failure. We firgued things out, landed and things were O.K. A computer will just crap its pants and you will literally get the "blue screen of death."

These things happen every day, the plane lands fine, and the people in the back have no idea that we just saved them a lot of anguish. You cannot create a computer which cannot fail-you cannot design a system which will not crap out on you in new and inventive ways. We have come to take human intervention for granted-but it is a very important part of this equation.

-I know I will never set foot on any fully-automated airplane. You can take that one to the bank.
 

Ed Harley

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2009
Posts
33
Total Time
6500
This guy should ride along with me on one of my DC9 5 day trips. The only thing "superfluous" in my flight deck is the recline lever on my chair.
 

no1pilot2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
529
Total Time
2100
Apparently, the person who wrote this article hasn't been at the controls of an airplane.
 

IBNAV8R

Stand-up Philosopher
Joined
Jul 3, 2008
Posts
843
Total Time
9:30
I notice these people aren't very quick to say they'd be perfectly happy riding in the back of a pilotless aircraft.
 

no1pilot2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
529
Total Time
2100
Maybe someone should take him up in an airplane, enter into a stall or spin and see if this guy can do any better recovering from it. He's on the outside, looking in.
 

nimtz

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 5, 2001
Posts
1,442
Total Time
?
Writing for Vanity Fair! Only the finest Upper East Side 'creme de la creme' read such a stellar publication. Let me just glance at The New Yorker cartoon from this week and give a peruse to Mr Langeweische's analysis. I bet my paltry career earnings that Sully's book trounces Mr Langeweische's at the cash register...
 

AvroGuy

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 30, 2005
Posts
297
Total Time
>3000
Maybe someone should take him up in an airplane, enter into a stall or spin and see if this guy can do any better recovering from it. He's on the outside, looking in.

if the plane was fully automated he wouldn't enter a stall/spin accident the computer wouldn't let it. Then the whole Airways/Hudson thing, the odds are stacked in the computers favor of that ever happening again. Technology exists today, this very moment for an automated, read pilotless, airplane. The thing we have going for us, pilots, is integration into a system with piloted airplanes, ie. logistics, and public acceptance. It may happen in the next 50 years. I say that becuase look 50 years back. What are we doing today that was said would never happen then.
 

Ad Lib

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 1, 2005
Posts
89
Total Time
4,700
He also wrote a damming account of the Legacy pilots in the accidents with GO's 737 down in Brazil. He completely overlooked the maintenance issues on the Transponder and makes it sound like the pilots turned it off.
 

Bad-Andy

waiting.......
Joined
Jan 31, 2002
Posts
324
Total Time
11k
Well, there is $24 I won't be spending. What an ass-clown. Maybe he should stick to whatever drivel he normally writes for Vanity Fair. To praise the automation and the airframe for saving the day??? Give me a break, without pilots, the thing would have ended up going straight into the water (or worse hitting a building full of people). Even the cheese-eating surrender monkeys here in Toulouse admit that it was superior airmanship that saved a lot of lives that day. Maybe he should have asked some of them about Sulley...
 

no1pilot2000

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 11, 2006
Posts
529
Total Time
2100
He's like a lawyer telling a doctor how to treat people patients or vise versa. I was going to tell this guy to stick to writing, but he's not very good at that either.
 

Abernathy

Truthiness
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Posts
1,490
Total Time
Lots
He's like a lawyer telling a doctor how to treat people patients or vise versa. I was going to tell this guy to stick to writing, but he's not very good at that either.

Say what you will about his attitude (which does reek of an aviation version of "penis-envy"), but Langewiesche does happen to be a superb writer. I have read many of his articles in Vanity Fair--non aviation related--which have been some of the better researched and written articles I have ever come across in a magazine.

The problem is, in this situation, he can use this to be very persuasive. He does have one good point, though. Airbus got no real credit for the successful outcome of the accident. His article on the Hudson incident in Vanity Fair, where he discusses this, is a good read and worth googling. Whether or not the Airbus could have done this itself is not really a question--it's a ridiculous assumption.

It's apparent he's got a chip on his shoulder with airline pilots. I don't know if he was rejected one too many times in his past (he does claim he flew professionally to "pay the bills")--but his criticism appears based more on scorn than actual reality.

Regardless, I'll continue to read his articles whenever they appear as they are usually pretty good.
 

Mud Eagle

Aviator
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Posts
516
Total Time
69
It's apparent he's got a chip on his shoulder with airline pilots. I don't know if he was rejected one too many times in his past (he does claim he flew professionally to "pay the bills")--but his criticism appears based more on scorn than actual reality.

This.
 
Top