Over in Europe, a new research scheme is looking into the possibility of creating cockpits that require just a single pilot to fly aeroplanes. Would you take such a flight?
The project, called ACROSS -- Advanced Cockpit for Reduction of StreSs and workload -- brings together collaborators like Thales, Airbus and Boeing to design control systems that need only one pilot. Forbes explains the idea:
The traditional answer to pilot error has been to have two pilots monitoring one another according to agreed standard operating procedures and crew resource management techniques. The ACROSS project is looking to replace the second pilot (at least temporarily) with automated systems. In particular, it will investigate advanced avionics to allow pilots to cope with peak workloads and deal with crew incapacitation.
Of course, chances are that there would be a reserve crew member on hand in case anything went majorly wrong -- but how would you feel about the pressure being on a single pilot as you sail through the skies? [Forbes]