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Autolander

land planes without pilots
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Planes already can land themselves, and have been able to for some time.

So...

Navigation: check Fuel gage: check Autopilot with landing capability: check

It seems that once a computer determines that the course does not have a reachable destination within fuel tolerances, it should just target an airport and land regardless of pilot input

theircompetitor, Mar 25 2014

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       There are these things called circuit breakers …   

       Aircraft systems are strongly biassed towards" inaction"; even critical systems like the stick pusher on high-tail rear-engined coffins like the MD-82 are designed so that the slightest imperfection will inhibit operation.   

       Nudge the control yoke on an airliner and the autopilot drops out.   

       It it trivially easy for an experienced crew member to intentionally bring about circumstances where the automatic systems disconnect, except for some parts of die-by- wire designs like the airbus.   

       Sorry, unworkable.
8th of 7, Mar 25 2014
  

       Clearly not technically unworkable
theircompetitor, Mar 25 2014
  

       The worst words to hear on the flight deck are "what's it doing now?" This feature would most likely cause multiple accidents while trying to prevent that once-a- decade freak occurrence.
DIYMatt, Mar 25 2014
  

       Can this nonexistant super-autopilot communicate with ATC's? Ground crews?   

       I can just imagine now, wailing and hand-wringing when the accidentally activated autopilot goes and lands an Airbus 380 straight onto a runway under repair, or over the top of a smaller noncommercial aircraft performing an emergency landing. Or any of a huge number of possibilities.   

       I warrant that there is no such thing as a foolproof system for safeguarding against a suicidal or terrorist pilot. Even exotic arrangements such as 3-pilot input-polling could be compromised by a determined individual or group.   

       There's inherent risk in every activity we do. Generally our perception of risk is incorrectly biassed due to excessive focus on consequence/magnitude and poor evaluation of probability.   

       We should focus on reasonable, achievable, realistically priced systems. Cost/resources are asymptotal when approaching 0% error.
Custardguts, Mar 25 2014
  

       That was a really good book, [bigsleep]
theircompetitor, Mar 26 2014
  

       // The worst words to hear on the flight deck are "what's it doing now?" //   

       The worst words to hear on the flight deck are "What do you mean, all gone ? I didn't get any of that ... OK, here's the corkscrew, open another".
8th of 7, Mar 26 2014
  

       The worst word to hear at the moment of one's death is, "Oopsie ! "
skoomphemph, Mar 26 2014
  
      
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