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Lufthansa CEO thinks passengers are not ready to travel on large planes with only one pilot

Brussels - According to Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr, it is technically possible to assign only one pilot per flight, but passenger trust is a problem. ( More...

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Chris B 3

Don't forget, a Lufthansa Germanwings pilot, intentionally crashed his aircraft killing himself and everyone on board after locking the cockpit door.

There is significant workload even with two pilots and no emergency. Imagine the Quantas A380 engine explosion or Southwest explosive decompression events. Two pilots really does make sense.
Dubslow 2
I'd be fine with it in cruise phases (with a standby pilot on duty but not necessarily in the cockpit), but we *continue* to have accidents and disasters exacerbated by crew overload, especially in modern congested airspaces (and ATC still manually accomplished via voice). For instance the Qantas A380 engine explosion -- would that not have ended worse if there hadn't been *5* pilots in the cockpit purely by coincidence?
s2v8377 1
One pilot is a bad idea. On long legs in particular at night the potential for the pilot flying to become fatigued and follow a sleep is definitely possible. Having two pilots up front is important to prevent this.
bbabis 2
No, both pilots have fallen asleep many times. The loudest snorer usually wakes the other up though.
30west 1
I agree with Herr Spohr's hypothesis on the public accepting single pilot ops at this time. They (we) are not ready.

However, he was either misquoted or he is unaware of the current regs on pilots sleeping on long haul flights. On long haul flights schedules over eight hous, a relief pilot is added to the crew to allow one to sleep in a crew rest area or seat and still have two pilots at the controls. On flights scheduled over 12 hours, two relief pilots and a sleeping area with beds are required in order to allow adequate rest for the primary crew.

From the article. "Spohr also said that it still will be an option to put only one pilot in the cockpit in the future. "On current long haul flights, one of the pilots can go to sleep, while the other is in command. 'In that case, the systems check the pilot or vice versa', said Spohr on the sidelines of the A4E (Airlines for Europe) summit in Brussels".
Luke Runciman 1
Commercial airliners have 2 or more pilots for redundancy. Regardless, almost all phases of flight require a PF and PM. If QF32 or U.S Airways 1549 were without an F/O let alone 3 additional pilots (QF32 scenario), I believe the outcomes in both instances would have been much different...
jbermo 1
Yes, but such airplanes were built of yesterday's technology. . . like those before them that required the radio operator, navigator, and flight engineer of years ago.
patrick baker 1
i hear the hopes and dreams of airline accountants and boards of directors, who think reducing crews size and expenditures is a good thing. Two pilots at a minimum, more for longer flights, and if there is not that number up front, i will not fly that or any other day.
what if the pilot needs a nap, or a bathroom break, or has a medical emergency- all of these things have happened before, so NO, No way....
mary susan watkins 1
there was an article similar to this one a while may have been about the Lufthansa group, but in any case, the consensus with regard to the idea of a one man (or woman) cockpit by all of those who commented,was a definite no..there should be a two person cockpit crew for safety,as well as making the passengers feel comfortable onboard..i agree...
sparkie624 1
I think he is right!
yatesd 1
I was a pax on AA1353 from DFW-ABQ when the FO died en route. The pilot very professionally brought us down and to the gate. Board a commercial passenger plane with only one pilot? Not going to happen for me.
bbabis 0
I'll be the realist and say it's coming. Not quite yet but sooner than later. As autonomy improves any pilot is primarily a PM right now. At some point there will be no need for two PMs.
jbermo 0
In working for a well-known avionics manufacturer, and within our age of drone refinement, the future plan for the fifth generation cockpit is - retaining two pilots in command of the aircraft (both with equal aircraft control) - BUT - with the PIC on the airplane and his co-pilot operating remotely from a ground station (again - both with equal control capability) - an added benefit would be always a survivor in every crash . . . . expect this by the mid-2030s. Such technology will not die. . . an increase of bandwidth capacity is of the few limitations remaining to be resolved, but they are working on it . . .
bbabis 0
A survivor in every crash...unless, the aircraft hits the control facility.


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