Plane lands fully autonomously for the first time

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by dealmaker, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. dealmaker


    Plane lands fully autonomously for the first time
    A team of German researchers created an automatic landing system for small planes that allows them to land without a pilot and, for the first time ever, without traditional landing tech. (watch here)
  2. I sat jump seat in an MD-80 when the pilots let the plane due a CAT III approach and landing. We were fully VFR and not operating commercially at the time as the pilots and the plane weren't actually certified for CAT III approaches, just equipped with the capability. It was cool, but I will say the pilots were monitoring everything all the way down, and I wouldn't have it any other way. The idea of "rescuing" general aviation pilots when they screw up and get into conditions they can't handle is nice, but I worry about the morons who will use it as an excuse to fly in conditions they know they aren't capable of handling, and assume the systems will save their asses.
    For me part of the joy of flying is shooting for that sweet landing on my own. At the same time I've flown in instrument conditions where having an option to monitor a system that is assisting the approach would have been nice. The work load in smaller aircraft with single pilot can get pretty hefty in instrument conditions, so the capability to offload at least partially would be nice, but I would still want a human sitting in the seat to take over if a camera or computer goes bad. The thought of crashing into a house or a traffic filled road because I was lazy scares me.
    That being said, it is pretty cool.
    d08 and dealmaker like this.
  3. Pilots do get incapacitated up in the air sometimes, it can happen to anyone. This technology would be indispensable in situations like that.