Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Ryanair Chief Wants to Eliminate Copilots - Says "Bloody Computer" Can Run Plane

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary is not exactly a stranger to controversy. This time however, he has sparked outrage among California plane crash lawyers and the flying public over his comments that a copilot in a cockpit is not really a necessity. According to O'Leary, one pilot is more than enough to get the job done. O'Leary is quoted in Bloomberg as saying - "Let's take out the second pilot. Let the bloody computer fly it."

The "bloody computer" he is referring to is all the computerized technology in modern cockpits that make it easier for pilots to fly planes. California plane crash attorneys don't expect to soon see the day when we actually will have just one pilot, and plenty of gadgetry, flying planes. However, when someone in a position of responsibility, even if he runs a European budget airline, says something as outrageous as this, we need to speak up, and set them right.

Computers don't fly planes, people do. All that a computer can do is release some of the stress on pilots, and make their job easier. That's what computer systems in most other industries also do. Sure, planes can perform auto landings, but the numbers of landings that are automated constitute a minuscule percentage of the millions of plane landings every day. Even with all this automation, pilot and copilots can be very busy in the cockpit. Make no mistake. Flying a plane is stressful, highly sophisticated and skilled work.

It's also hard to imagine the kind of impact these kinds of statements will have on copilots who currently fly Ryanair planes. It can't do much for job satisfaction to find that your boss thinks you are useless, and can just as easily be replaced by a computer.

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