How automation is changing flying | CNBC Reports


Being a commercial pilot is still seen as
one of the world’s most glamorous jobs, but as parts of the industry face pilot shortages
and planes become more automated, I want to find out what it takes for today’s future
pilots to get their wings. So you have control. Let’s turn around towards Brighton. It’s a weird sensation,
turning an entire plane. I’ve come to the south coast of England,
to a commercial pilot academy called Flying Time Aviation or FTA. This is where hundreds of students take their
first steps toward achieving their dreams of becoming an airline pilot. What do you think will be the biggest challenge
for me up in the air? So you need to have a reasonable level of
hand/eye coordination. We have a vast array of abilities and some
students will struggle. It’s very, very rare that we get students
that don’t have the ability to pilot an aircraft. So what draws people to a career of flying
planes all around the world? Being up front. That’s I think the key part, you get the
full spectrum of what’s ahead of you. You can feel everything a bit more. It’s not the same as pressing against a
window in the back. You get to see a lot of places
for your day job. I think that’s definitely a perk
of becoming a pilot. That first moment where you got in a plane
and took the controls. What did that feel like? That was terrifying. That exhilaration, it’s like,
this is the beginning. But is a career as a commercial pilot
as glamorous as it once was? Paul Heaver flew for British Airways
for more than 40 years. I think pilots are working harder today. I was probably flying 500 hours a year, whereas
today I think the maximum legal limit is 900 hours and I believe that pilots are right
up against the 900 hours. The main line, full-time pilots are actually
working really quite hard. Typically for a lesson we’d go
either east or west. So east towards Brighton or we could
go west towards Worthing. Wherever your heart takes you. Well you’re the one flying. Yeah, that’s true. What we want to focus on today
is looking out the window and using the surroundings to position the aircraft. Pilot academies like these are becoming more
important, as concerns spread over a pilot shortage in the commercial aviation industry. One reason for the decrease, according to
industry experts, was the 1978 Deregulation Act. It removed federal government control over
the U.S. airline industry and began the era of the low-cost carrier. As a result, airlines
such as Pan-Am went out of business. This led to widespread redundancies across
the industry, and the pilots that kept their jobs saw a decline in wages.
Just look at this graph. In 1980, there were about
827,000 pilots in America. That means there are more than 200,000
fewer pilots flying in the U.S. today, despite increasing demand for air travel. The number of global air passengers is
expected to double to 8.2 billion by 2037. The 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 also saw
many major airlines declare bankruptcy and caused further job losses. U.S. passenger airlines
employed about 520,000 people in 2000. By 2003, this fell nearly 15% to about 445,000. Employment in the U.S aviation sector continued
to fall for the next seven years. American aircraft manufacturer Boeing say
that by 2038 the global industry will need more than 800,000 new pilots to keep up with
demand, with the Asia Pacific region leading the growth, requiring 266,000 pilots. The airline industry is particularly
lacking female pilots. There were more than 9,000 female
commercial pilots globally in 2019. That means that just over 5%
of commercial pilots are women. I read the in-flight magazine and it was talking
about the lack of females in the industry, and it was like 4% at this time and
I was like, why’s it so low? And then it talked about the criteria needed
and what this industry entailed and I was like that’s it, sign me up. I made the financial means
come together and I’m here. We’re going to climb out at 100 knots. So we’re on the runway.
We’re cleared for take off. Hold the brakes.
Advance the power to full. Temperatures and pressures
are all good. Off we go. There you go. 35 to 50. So here we go. 72.
Off the ground. Then there’s not enough runway left.
Positive rate of climb. Gear up. Just before landing.
Let the nose come round. There’s one wheel, wheel
and then the nose. I can see the pure enjoyment of being a pilot,
and why someone would want to become a pilot. Yeah, absolutely. It’s just the cost is the big barrier. You know a commercial pilot it’s really
rewarding, it’s lovely conditions, not all the time. Learning to fly any plane is no small task,
but how much more skill and knowledge do you need to fly a commercial aircraft? Located thirty miles north of FTA
is a company called Jet Masterclass. This is where pilots from FTA come to do their
multi crew training, the last stage of an expensive, two year long
commercial pilot’s qualification. The training for a commercial pilot’s
license costs around $146,000. To pass the FTA integrated course you need: 188 flight hours, 50 of which are without
an instructor. Six months studying in the Airline Transport
Pilot License ground school that ends with 14 written exams. And finally cadets need 45 hours of multi
crew training – which involves 25 hours theory in the classroom and 20 hours in a simulator. The simulator is the first time cadets will experience
the feeling of flying in a commercial airliner. We take them from a basic commercial license
on a light multi-pilot airplane and we deliver the multi crew training on a
complex 737-800 simulator. Which these trainees have to do, prior to embarking
upon seeking employment with the airlines. Here we are. That’s our office. Wow. It’s quite spacious, isn’t it? Yeah. Amman is a recently fully qualified commercial
pilot and is currently interviewing with several airlines. What do you think though, the unique challenges
will be when you become a commercial pilot? To pay back the loans, I assume. We’ve trained on a propeller aircraft and now going
into a jet, you know more thrust, it’s heavier. Even though it’s in a sim, you can still
feel it on your controls. Gear up here.
Yup. Okay. But how much time will future pilots be
spending with their hands on the controls? Autopilots have evolved into flight-management
systems that can run almost every part of a journey. Automation’s been around for many years. Advanced navigation equipment nowadays that
allows you to fly very efficiently whereas in the older days it was much more sort of
conventional navigation from point to point. If you buy a car, you don’t go straight to
learning the cruise control, you learn to drive it first and our multi-crew courses
are fully manually flown to ensure that the underlying competency is there. When the automation is not doing what it should
be doing or what you ask it to do, then you need to be able to revert back to manual flight. To really get an idea of how automated planes
can be. I’m going to do an auto landing. 85 knots. Ok Ok, so you can do that. Ok and by doing that you’ve just commanded
the auto throttle. So the next stage of flaps is flap 5. So you call for it. Ok, flap 5. So you can turn left to a heading of 350 degrees. If we push this button here which is the approach
button. Ok That’s now going to arm the automatics to
what we call lock on to the final approach profile. You’re kind of still flying even though
you’re not. You’re managing the aeroplane Yeah. Still no visibility whatsoever. Correct. We’re at two thousand feet. We’re about eight miles from the airfield. Right, ok. You’re going to set the final speed of 147. Ok, we’re clear to land. Although the automation’s engaged what you
would be doing as a pilot flying is guarding the controls. Also you’ve got to really trust the automation
because I can’t see anything. 50, 40, 30, 20, 10. Ok, there we are. So that was a full auto land. So with your right hand, these are the thrust
reversers, you can select those. Just pull them all the way up. Well done, your first auto land. Oh, that was fun. Despite the reported demand for pilots, will
they be needed in the future? Both Airbus and Boeing are preparing for a
single-pilot commercial aviation world, re-designing cockpits and now testing in simulators single
pilot operated aircraft. Airlines are particularly keen on the financial
benefits.9 A report published in 2017 by the bank UBS,
suggests that moving a two-pilot set up to a single-pilot operation could save the civil
aviation industry $15 billion a year. Going fully pilotless would increase that
figure to $35 billion.10 We could be looking at a future of commercial
air travel with single pilot planes or no pilot planes, do you think that’s a good
thing? Automation is a highly valuable thing; it
decreases your workload absolutely. What I would say is when things go wrong and
you’ve got to make a decision it’s always best to be able to put that decision through
a second person and come to a consensus, rather than one individual
making that decision. The degree of sophistication in automation
of airplanes has improved enormously and so I think one of the biggest hazards, threats,
call it what you wish is complacency, but I somehow cannot see 300+ members of the public
getting on board a large metal tube and taking to the skies for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 thousand miles without there
being some form of human interface in control. However, in a recent survey of 22,000 people
in the U.S., 70% of respondents said they would fly without a pilot in their lifetime and 58%
said they would consider it in the next 10 years. There are some that believe single pilot
planes are just the next step in aviation. Ali Baghchehsara is CEO of Lisa Group, a company
that develops aviation automation systems. Right now you are exactly right on
the edge for the next generation. Pilots have been always getting new training
and they still make mistakes. Single pilot operation is requiring a lot
of mindset change as well because we are going to rely on something that we haven’t been
relying on much. The commercial airline industry has become a symptom
of the increasingly automated world we live in. Autopilot can now fly the majority of commercial flights
and single pilot planes are being considered. But it’s clear that the ability to fly the
plane and not just manage them is still as important for tomorrow’s pilot as it is for today’s. Hi guys, thanks for watching our video. If you want to see more of our content, then
you can check out these videos on the right and remember to subscribe but before you do
that we’d love to know your thoughts on becoming a pilot. Have you ever considered it? Comment below the video to let us know and
we’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “How automation is changing flying | CNBC Reports

  1. G: "We have new automated plane that can fly by itself"
    C: "Do yo have automated car that drive by itself?"
    G: "No, it keep crashing"

  2. It’s inevitable. But question: what happens if there’s an issue with autopilot and the sole pilot has a medical issue during the issue with no co-pilot backup? Then what?

  3. I'm in first year of a 2 year pilot diploma program partially-subsidized by the government I'm only 18 and wonder if I should be worried about robots replacing me as a pilot in say 20 years?

  4. Single pilot commercial operation? Not in your life. No pilots, at all: not in fifty years. Flying is way too complex. It's a three dimensional, high speed environment with weather involved. Every single day there is at least one so called inflight engine shutdown on a big commercial jet. This requires the skills, knowledge and decision making of two well trained pilots. Computers? Dream on. It's not a drone or a remote controlled toy airplane. Greets from the -8i flight deck and the experience of 35 years of flying almost everything from the P-51 Mustang to the jumbo jet and from hang gliders to helicopters. Regards to the clueless news media and to the silicon valley dreamers. R
    By the way; a normal auto landing requires more brain power than a manual landing with cross wind. The word "autoland"is misleading, too make you feel better, passengers… Have a safe flight.

  5. How about in some airport ,auto-landing system might not be able to use due to terrain and lack of equipment.Or even sometime ,do you ever meet some airport 's environment which lead to automatically disconnect of auto-land system,that will make you scare if no pilot sit right on those fancy chairs. O_O "

  6. I highly doubt that planes will ever be”unpilotable”. One, no one would fly on a plane if they knew no one was in control of the aircraft. Two, turbulence or storms could throw a plane off course and who knows could happen next. This is very misleading.

  7. Hold up was her only reason to become a pilot cause she read in a magazine that "there's not enough female pilots?" 🤔

  8. The biggest threat to pilotless aircraft is going to be hackers. Once the planes are remote and connected to the internet they can be hacked. Researcher have successfully Hacked In-Flight Airplanes – From the Ground
    already. Imagine the next 911 attack but on a massive scale. You could crash hundreds of airplanes at once from China, Russia, etc. Want Boeing's or let's say Airbus stock to crash so you can short investments and make billions crash a few of there planes…

  9. Well I'm pretty sure this was said about trains too like 10-20 years ago already, but they still have drivers even though it can only do motion on 1 axis while a plane does it on 3.

  10. As a pilot, I find it hard to believe we will ever reach unmanned commercial flights. There are waaaaaaaaaaaay too many variables that will bankrupt any airline if one of those things went wrong. Not to mention lives that will be at risk.

  11. Trains are on rails and many still have conductors, I doubt we will see automation taking over the aviation industry anytime soon.

  12. I can see the next aviation accident with thousands of fatalities just because the industry once again once to put profits first and safety last. No matter how much they try to sell me the automation I'll never fully trust it. Need two humans in the cockpit. Period

  13. What about those who are currently children in elementary school then what is the point of these kids studying so hard at school just for the sake of their parents.

  14. Going from two pilot environment to single pilot would likely be okay, however zero pilot would spell disaster in the event anything failed.

    I would rather place my hands in a single skilled human with thousands of hours of knowledge and experience flying aircraft rather than some programmers and engineers who are far removed from the situation. Flying a plane is nothing like driving a car or a boat, and involves far too many variables to be completely computerized.

  15. I really don't know if even one pilot could be in control of an airliner. I'm not a real pilot, and even though simming isn't even close, it is hard to manage the plane by myself during critical parts of flight like takeoff or landing. I truly believe that this much workload on a single pilot flying could eventually lead to a minor or big accident.

  16. Single/no pilot operation is just a recipe fr disaster. Not unless we have perfected it would i go onboard one. They lack accountability.

  17. I'm already halfway there.. I put my life into my flight training.. I hope for a future in the Airlines!
    (Looking into going to Pan Am Academy soon)

  18. 1. How long would it take to make automated system reliable
    2. How long would it take to develop automated system to do self decision making if “single” pilot got incapacitated?
    3. How long would it take to be legalized by law?
    4. Would people be willing to take risk after all these?

    Maybe not in our generation…

  19. We want to fully automate massive passenger airlines yet we can hardly automate a car without it crashing… Flying is multidimensional in terms of movement in comparison to a vehicle’s. Besides all the technical aspects society still has to come to terms with an empty cockpit. Not to mention Boeing’s MCAS problems haven’t helped personify automation.

    Just my two cents…
    Credentials: CPL

  20. Lol it doesn’t take $146,000. I got my private in under $10,000, instrument another $8,000, and commercial right at $23,000. Cfi will be maybe $3,000 and multi another $2,000-$3,000. That’s a grand total of about $36,000-$37,000. The rest is going to be payed for because I’ll have a job flying as CFI or some other non-airline to get my ATP. In my opinion, this is one of the best almost guaranteed payout for careers

  21. Electric trainers are game changers as cost is concerned. Automation, though, is always a step ahead of what we think, and financial results dictate the future, perhaps pilotless airliners and the 35 B will be too sweet to ignore.

  22. Just for fun, imagine a universal airline, straightforward fares, excellent cabin service, flown by vocationally tested pilots assigned to retire with full benefits when they reach 18,000 total flight time, or stay on. Passenger loads would be nearly 100%, no congested airways, less contamination and overall benefits for us all….This would ensure human pilot employment and create a win/win future.

  23. There is no way that Single Pilot Operation (SPO) will affect the market this and even next generation of Pilots. This would have impact on the high safety standard set into place by Crew Ressource Managment (CRM), which has made flying incredibly safe. Ripping the symbiosis of Captian and First officer apart can only mean a step back when it comes to safety for the next couple of decades and this industry can not afford a compromise when it comes to safety!

  24. As a pilot, the automation systems fail all the time if the lose GPS, failed to update databases in maintenance, or just dont work like they should. I'd never trust it.

  25. If you are money minded, becoming a pilot is still cheaper than a college education. Degree is useful but you can still make a VERY good career without it and even better with it.

  26. This is just stupid one seat cockpit is not going to work what if a pilot has a hart attack at least there is another pilot to take controls.

  27. Tbh, I’d love a plane with no pilot. Pilots are becoming the main reason for airplanes crashing nowadays. Too many think it’s ok to commit suicide while taking many many lives with them. Current pilots can be on standby if something happens. In Dubai the metro is completely driverless, never late and perfect at it’s job I do understand that flying is a lot more work but if aircrafts can flying themselves then why not spend decades fine tuning till it is perfect? AI could be taught to only think about flying. Imagine a pilot that will never get bored, preoccupied or feel stress/fatigue. I believe pilots are better off researching and helping make better planes, also rather than blame the rich remember the rich need you to have job so you buy their shit and give them money.

  28. I seriously considered it when I was in college. Was actually studying for my student pilot certificate at a local Tim Hortons when the Colgan crash happened just a few miles away from me. I did some digging on the accident while the investigation was ongoing and quickly found out just how awful the industry was at the time: insane hours, awful pay, bunk accommodations with scant sleep….I thought to myself 'Can I reliably fly a plane being super tired, for the passengers and my safety?' as I was cramming for an exam during an all-nighter?

    No, not really.

    So I threw that idea away in the dustbin. I don't handle sleep deprivation well. I'm a light sleeper and need decent accommodations to get a decent sleep. Some people handle that super well and I commend them. I knew my own limitations as a human being and did not want to put other people in a dangerous situation. While it would have been fun to be a pilot for several years, I can't see myself as a full-on commercial pilot my entire career anyway.

  29. You want to become a pilot? And you have to pay 146,000$ for pilot license? Just save up 2,000$ and buy a good gaming Pc and wait for Microsoft Flight Simulator releasing in 2020.

  30. I'm a pilot in the US, and there's one concern I have regarding this no pilot debate. To have a fully, pilotless aircraft would require some ground-based control — meaning there's an uplink to said aircraft. How long would it be before that uplink is compromised and aircraft are now being used as missiles (again) or held hostage in the sky for ransom? It's extreme, but considering how Epstein didn't kill himself and no one is in jail tells me anything is possible. On another note, the 737 max accidents (whether it was automation failure or Boeing not telling pilots how to fix it) grounded the aircraft and people refuse to fly on them. After one accident in a single pilot or in a drone style aircraft with the root cause being directly related to the single pilot or lack thereof, the airlines are going to lose more than $15bn when passengers refuse to board them. Just my 92 cents.

  31. Single pilot cockpit, the single pilot has no one to keep him grounded. With two pilots it' much harder for the pilot to do something really bad with the plane!

  32. The things is, planes are expensive and can usually work for a long time (much longer than a decade), so airlines are gonna have a hard time getting rid of all their older planes, which are still worth a lot.

  33. This video litterally explains nothing about the reality of Airline flying. Very out of touch. Only if people really knew what goes on in the flight deck.

  34. People don't seem to realise that pilots MANAGE the automation

    Single Pilot Airliners. Absolutely not! Governments will never allow it

  35. As a commercial pilot and engineering, I honestly have conflicting views on the future of the aviation industry become fully automated. With today’s technology and the use of modern computers the idea of a pilotless aircraft is laughable. However with next generation leaps in AI the future of not only pilots but around 90% of all jobs will be at risk of being taken by a computer in the next 20 years.

  36. Yeah that’s all these companies can do take away jobs. I still have 25-30 years before I even have my hands on the yolk of an commercial aircraft and they are going to take us away from us??? These crazy people.

  37. You remember the case of a terminally I'll boy who killed himself at age 15 bcoz he was so miserable and he was centred on becoming a pilot?

  38. Passengers would never put their lives on the line to be flown by something that doesn't share the same fate as them. There will always be the need for a pilot and second pilot for redundancy.

  39. This isn’t happening anytime soon. Not for at least another 50 years. I don’t get why they decided to go to a small flight school instead of to a much more regulated scheduled air carrier.

  40. As a pilot looking to go commercial, this is a slap in the face. I think automation and advancement is a good thing but this is quite a few jobs losses we are talking about.

  41. I’m kinda sad because I was thinking about pilot middle school or pc designer middle school. I chooses designer just because it scared me that it would take me ages just to make big money on airlines. But I think I’m gonna still take pilot school after I end attleast middle school or high school 🙁

  42. So now we’re talking about robots taking PILOTS jobs? Everyone will be homeless with no money or job at this rate.
    I’m a 26 year old corporate pilot and the plane I fly is certified as a single pilot plane but our operator still wants two up front because it’s SAFER.

  43. Seem to forget that automation would’ve killed sully And his passengers

    Had it not been for pure human gut feeling, and sully landing that bird in the water, everyone would’ve died had the autopilot tried dead sticking and returning the aircraft to the runway after both engines blew out

  44. Do u know how long it would take to restructure the whole airspace system along with how the snails pace of FAA regulations to be reformatted completely. If U think 5 g is taking long imagine this. 100 yrs.. I could see this happening with long range cargo flights not with people in the aircraft.

  45. I have earned a private pilot license dreamed of becoming a commercial pilot but got very expensive to continue my dream of a career pilot. I rather be flying just wish it would be less expensive to earn my ATP license. Would love to fly for regional airlines to build hours on CRJ Aircraft.

  46. So what will happen in the future when people don't have to do anything anymore ? Oh. I know. We are going to improve our antidepressants as well 😉

  47. Even though human errors occur 1000x times more than autopilot errors
    Still can't fly on complete autopilot atleast for 10 years from now
    AI and autopilot isn't that much reliable as per standards

    But definitely it will be in the coming years
    It will be much smarter and more reliable than human pilot

    High speed onboard internet, can enable them to communicate in between them and ATC and fly accordingly to new/changed flight plan

    Can't wait for that time

  48. Yeah, even if this incredibly stupid idea ever comes to fruition, after the first computer-only crash I can absolutely 100% guarantee no one will fly in a plane without a pilot again.

  49. Why is an industry having few women a problem? Women are free to become pilots but given a free choice they don't want to do this job – just like men don't want to do HR or become nurses.

    This isn't a problem if these jobs are open to all, and they are. The problem is with people who think it's a problem. It isn't. Newsflash; men and women are different on average. Who knew? If you didn't you should pay more attention in biology class SJWs….

  50. Of course… it will just be less task involved but if something goes wrong which it always will you'll need a real pilot who by then prolly woulnt hardly know how to fly lol

  51. No matter how much automation is available, you are going to need two pilots when things go wrong, especially in a large aircraft. Otherwise you may hear the flight attendant saying over the loud speaker,”is there anyone on board with flying experience?” I hope there is.

  52. Hey guys I really need opinions I am currently 15 and have to take decisions on what I want to do in life and yes aviation for commercial airlines that's what I wanna do but will it really be worth it all this technology is taking over will I still be able to provide for my family and thankfully from god right now for me money is not an issue

  53. Automation will surely substitute this job in its more annoying and repetitive parts leaving more space for important decisions and safe measures.. of course the pilot will remain there, but in charge of different tasks

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