|As the tragedies in Indonesia and Ethiopia happened in a short time, experts are now thinking if the aviation industry will rely on automation or not / Photo by: Max Pixel|
Following flight incidents with Ethiopian Airlines, Lion Air, and Boeing 737 Max planes, there are talks in the aviation industry about how best to go about understanding the tragedies that planes are getting caught in, with a predominant focus on what a future with more automation means for the industry.
In an article by Scott Winter and Stephen Rice from Channel News Asia, more investigations now are seeing that the future of flying has an inclination to lean towards automation, and with that, the question being posed is actually how involved automation will be and how much it might affect--and is currently affecting--our planes today.
If you think that calculated and automated flying in aircrafts is all well and good, there are still incidents peeking through the cracks and showing what the real problems still are deep within. For instance, when some planes are fully automated, there is a very real possibility that some pilots “can lose track of what’s actually happening.”
Winter gives the Air France’s 2009 Flight 447 crash in the Atlantic Ocean as an example.
At that time, the flight was on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when the airspeed sensors failed. This prompted the autopilot to turn it off, embarrassingly, after that, the pilots were left largely clueless. They didn’t know what to do.
There is also the very real consequence of pilots eventually losing their way while learning in the cockpit. How is that possible? Well, in a future filled with automated planes, pilots may just become almost irrelevant stewards of the plane, as the increasingly automated controls would only serve to dull their plane-flying skills.
This is dangerous when it comes to risky situations in which the only option is to literally fly the plane.
There’s not really a light way to put it: flying will largely become more automated. As it does, companies would need to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape.