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Wednesday, 09 August 2017


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Sorry, David, for commercial jets it's already too late:

"Question: How much of a 3,000-mile flight is controlled by the autopilot?

-- submitted by reader Norm, MA

Answer: Usually the autopilot is engaged soon after takeoff and remains engaged until just before landing. I would estimate that over 90% of most flights are flown with the autopilot engaged."

You'd best learn to love our new robot overlords.

I have wondered about a pilot's visual skills more than once. Out my window I could see the sides of too many high mountains at a distance that alarmed me. Once I asked a stewardess, yes I know, if the pilot might want to come look out my window as it might give him a different perspective. She assured me that the pilot was flying VFR and no auto anything was activated. We landed in the right place. I was glad Hughes Air West went under.

Mostly off topic, but these machines are interesting too:

Bob, you missed the point, it's not auto pilots I object to, they are switched on by the pilot and switched off when he takes over. It's *pilotless* planes I don't trust.

I was reminded this morning about how vulnerable we are when we rely on technology. I arrived at my desk and my cubicle had no power. I couldn't even get a phone number to call in for the service. It was just my cubicle so others made the call for me.
At home, I am very low tech. I do have a computer and a quite clever phone, but everything else is low tech with hard copy backups. I have a phone book, I make ice the old fashioned way. I would cook over an open fire if I could get away with it!

David, if you already trust autopilots to fly a jet 90% of the time, what's the problem? Robots are already better than humans at lots of tasks. They can fail, but so can people, and for now robots are incapable of being malicious or depressed.

If it goes wrong all you gotta do is switch it off and on again. ;-)

Mind you, when my cycle computer ran out of battery it was rather disconcerting not knowing how fast I was going and what my heart rate or cadence was. I don't know how I managed to get home. :-(

Unlike cars, aircraft are surrounded by lots of empty space.

surrounded by lots of empty space

BoE it is probably the bit of empty space underneath the aircraft that worries Duffers.

When do robots and the like generally go wrong? When some idiot human interacts with them.Left to their own devices they do have an incredibly good record.

Well Epi of course I cannot know but, perhaps David last Christmas received from SoD (the tech expert) a Galaxy Note 7?

(No, no need you Epi suggest regicide. My reach is wide.)

"Unlike cars, aircraft are surrounded by lots of empty space."

"It is probably the bit of empty space underneath the aircraft that worries Duffers."

It's the hard ground or the ocean under the empty space that worries me Chaps!!

And me, Juliet! Oh, and welcome to D&N.

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