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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Remove the Pilots

Remove the Problem?

Last week someone tweeted this statement to thousands on the internet:

"The skies will be safer if you remove the Pilots. 
Pilots attribute to mostly all fatal accidents"

Photo from

While there is accuracy in that 90% of accidents have been attributed to pilot error, that figure does not tell a complete story. What they really should say is 90% were due to "human" error, combined with contributing factors.

Humans will and do make errors. Yet, if you look into a critical analysis of those accidents that created those stats, you would see that pilots are the last line of defense, and ultimately have been blamed, despite multiple contributing factors of training inadequacy, poorly contrived and written procedures, fatigue, systems failures, technology failures, and unexpected weather phenomena, to name a few.
 What the author of that statement failed to realize is 
how safe our industry is because of the pilots. 

Thousands of pilots daily are using their experience, knowledge, instinct and innate skills to prevent accidents. You never hear about the decisions made by a human, in an aircraft who has stopped the catastrophic accident. These are unacknowledged heroes.

Days apart, I had flown with two different captains that made a decision for an alternate course of action that would not have been made by a ground-based operator,  because they were not in the seat, observing the dynamics of the environment. I have no doubt had we proceeded as the aircraft and ground operator would have programmed, the ending would have may CNN breaking news.
Photo from

Speaking of ground-based operators. If pilots are removed from the flight deck, these ground based people are humans and prone for error, as well. You will not eliminate human error by managing the system from the ground. You will remove multiple levels of safety. The ground based operators will not have the first hand observation, or the experience and knowledge pilots have to make the best decision. There is also a question as to the education level of these operators. As of now, I think any high school graduate can be a drone operator in the military.

Photo from

Airline Pilots Save Lives!
Don't ever doubt that, 
and don't ever lose them! 
 Flight For Sanity coming soon....
Catch up on the series so you will be ready!


  1. The idea of pilotless airplanes is scary!

    1. David, It's very scary. And the scariest part is that people would think this would be safer.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. No and absolute NUTS! When I must fly commercially, I want and well trained, experienced. certificated PILOT in both front seats, 0A and 0B. Both are fully able to operate the aircraft - and even alone should circumstances demand it. Controlled or operated from the ground, perhaps two thousands miles away? Heck No and I will not go! Those sorry SOBs, would like nothing better than to layoff those 'expensive' pilots. No! The experienced pilot's skills and years of experience constitute about 95% of what makes flying so safe. If I must fly, I want - I DEMAND, two fully qualified drivers at the pointy end.
    If I've been too loud or opinionated, please forgive me. Still, we need you and your experiences colleagues, a pair on each and every pax-transporting flight. That's what I think and I am not likely to change my mind. Properly qualified PILOTS are valuable and obviously, we do not have enough of them.

    1. Craig, part of what I am doing with continuing my education is creating a background from an educational perspective and combining that with operational experience to be able to speak with authority when someone attempts to make this a reality.

      I'm waiting and watching for the day they cut back the crew by one. That will be the beginning, but I will do my best to not allow the ball to roll in that direction.

      Stay strong with your beliefs, and the customer shall prevail.

      Thanks so much for your comment!


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