Southwest Airlines vs. Pilots

 

Southwest Airlines pilots apparently have been “sicking out” in response to news that if they are not vaccinated, then the airline will fire them to conform to Biden’s Executive Orders. The airline has insisted that the pilots are not striking. The union (covering its rear) also insists that they are not striking.

Governor Abbott gave the airline an “out” — and a big one. He declared that vaccine mandates are not legal for Texas corporations. It looked like the situation was saved – hurrah!

But… The idiotic management at Southwest decided that since Southwest (like all US airlines) is a federal contractor, the Texas “out” does not apply. So the vaccinate-or-be-fired ultimatum remains. The pilots, who were relieved, are now back threatening action.

The Southwest pilots provide a great opportunity to defeat the Federal Government. How can the rest of us support it?

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  1. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    • #1
  2. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    iWe: The idiotic management at Southwest decided that since Southwest (like all US airlines) is a federal contractor, the Texas “out” does not apply.

    I suspect that the company is working/thinking through the contract mods that were dropped on them last week and figuring out how much more money they are going to get as an offset for going along with the mandate language mods. Their priorities and not what most may think they are.

    • #2
  3. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    In related news, rules for thee, not for me:  the one percenters are now converting to private jets using charter flights or buying their own. So the elite really don’t care about the struggles of the commercial airlines or us plebes that might actually need to rely on those services. 

    • #3
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    My comment got too long, so I made it a new post: “About those vaccine mandates . . . ” I’m not sure the airline executives have more than a government popgun at their corporate heads at the moment.

    • #4
  5. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    There is. But if your plane hits a flock of birds on takeoff and you lose both engines, you’re going to want a Sully Sullenburger in the cockpit to put the plane down in the Hudson. They don’t have an autopilot that can do that yet. Just ask the guys who worked on the 737 MAX MCAS.

    • #5
  6. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    My friend was a pilot for United Airlines.  They told him not to touch the controls – it was more efficient if the plane flew itself.  He was only there in case something went wrong.  He eventually retired early, because he said he was getting rusty – he rarely flew a plane anymore, and he was worried that his skills were deteriorating to the point that he might have difficulty jumping in if something did go wrong…

    • #6
  7. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    They already mostly do fly themselves. There are even approved systems that will safely fly an airplane to an airport and land it if the pilot is incapacitated. These are for smaller birds.

    But commercial airplanes… the certification hurdles are orders of magnitude more stringent than a car, and everyone doubts whether passengers or regulators could be comfortable without a person in the cockpit. 

    After all, car crashes are usually not fatal. Airplane crashes, not so much.

    • #7
  8. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Anyone who believes that auto-pilots are more reliable than human because they are not subject to human weaknesses has not seen “Airport”.

    • #8
  9. DonG (CAGW is a hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a hoax)
    @DonG

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    You mean the daily news reports of Teslas hitting other cars??

    • #9
  10. Norm McDonald Bought The Farm Coolidge
    Norm McDonald Bought The Farm
    @Pseudodionysius

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    I have not evaluated the legality of the federal vaccine mandate is question.

    If it is legal, and has the force of federal law, then Texas law cannot invalidate it, under the Supremacy Clause.

    • #11
  12. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I have not evaluated the legality of the federal vaccine mandate is question.

    If it is legal, and has the force of federal law, then Texas law cannot invalidate it, under the Supremacy Clause.

    Nor can Florida. Or other states.

    Which is why creeping secession seems to be underway. I consider this a very good thing.

    • #12
  13. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    There are two separate Biden orders that airlines have to consider.

    An Executive Order that the Biden authoritarians probably can enforce is that the Biden Executive Order that requires contractors who sell to the federal government to force employees to undergo the specific medical treatment of getting a Covid vaccine. The executive branch of the federal government has fairly wide latitude in requirements it imposes on entities that sell to the government. All four major US airlines probably sell airline seats to the federal government, and may even on occasion charter entire airplanes to the government. So the airlines have to decide how to balance that business versus annoying or losing employees. I think that Executive Order is already in effect. 

    The order Biden issued to OSHA is different. That order was Biden telling OSHA (a government agency under the direction of the Executive Branch) to generate a rule requiring all employers with more than 100 employees to implement a Covid vaccine mandate. Biden’s instruction to OSHA imposes no direct requirement on employers until OSHA acts on Biden’s order. So far, OSHA has not acted on that order, so there is currently no OSHA rule requiring general employers to require their employees to get a Covid vaccine. The legal basis under which OSHA might issue the type of rule Biden is demanding is very shaky (which may explain why OSHA hasn’t done anything yet).  But currently there is no federal vaccine mandate for employers who are not selling goods or services to the federal government. 

    • #13
  14. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    • #14
  15. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    • #15
  16. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This won’t advance the cause of protest, but:

    I once heard an interview with a Massachusetts commercial pilot shortly after the September 11 Al Qaeda attacks on Manhattan and Washington. His viewpoint was interesting given that two of the flights had departed from Logan Airport.

    The pilot felt that none of the security measures being introduced at the time would be able to thwart a future attack. He said the biggest gap in the security system of an airport was the way they check in the flight crew–pilots and copilots. (1) They don’t necessarily know each other. (2) They have their own parking lots and entrances and exits. (3) He said the identification system was completely lax. Pilots are automatically given an enormous amount of deference in the airport setting.

    I imagine the airlines have closed all of those security gaps by now. But between the sealing off of the pilots’ cabin that came about during the hijacking decade and then the way they come and go every day from the airports, this particular group of employees has very little contact with the public and are not likely to be exposed to the virus or to expose others.

    My guess is that Southwest management wants to get rid of their older and more experienced, and to management, more expensive, pilots. All the airlines have wanted to do this for years. This vaccine mandate is a ploy made in heaven for Southwest management. They think they can replace their present pilots with H1B and other immigrant pilots. They are just following what hospitals have done and are doing: replace their older doctors with the less competent and cheaper foreign doctors.

    It will be interesting to see how many Southwest executives get on those planes piloted by those young kids from the Philippines who got most of their training on simulators. :-)

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing.  And perhaps pilots can do something similar.  Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    • #17
  18. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing. And perhaps pilots can do something similar. Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    It’s been a couple decades since I was more directly involved in the employee/contractor kerfuffle, but I remember that at some point the IRS was claiming that contractors had to provide their own equipment.  If that’s still the case, since the pilots aren’t providing their own planes to fly, at least for the IRS they would not be considered contractors.

    • #18
  19. The Cynthonian Member
    The Cynthonian
    @TheCynthonian

    MarciN (View Comment):
    ago

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This won’t advance the cause of protest, but:

    I once heard an interview with a Massachusetts commercial pilot shortly after the September 11 Al Qaeda attacks on Manhattan and Washington. His viewpoint was interesting given that two of the flights had departed from Logan Airport.

    The pilot felt that none of the security measures being introduced at the time would be able to thwart a future attack. He said the biggest gap in the security system of an airport was the way they check in the flight crew–pilots and copilots. (1) They don’t necessarily know each other. (2) They have their own parking lots and entrances and exits. (3) He said the identification system was completely lax. Pilots are automatically given an enormous amount of deference in the airport setting.

    I imagine the airlines have closed all of those security gaps by now. But between the sealing off of the pilots’ cabin that came about during the hijacking decade and then the way they come and go every day from the airports, this particular group of employees has very little contact with the public and are not likely to be exposed to the virus or to expose others.

    My guess is that Southwest management wants to get rid of their older and more experienced, and to management, more expensive, pilots. All the airlines have wanted to do this for years. This vaccine mandate is a ploy made in heaven for Southwest management. They think they can replace their present pilots with H1B and other immigrant pilots. They are just following what hospitals have done and are doing: replace their older doctors with the less competent and cheaper foreign doctors.

    It will be interesting to see how many Southwest executives get on those planes piloted by those young kids from the Philippines who got most of their training on simulators. :-)

    Actually, most of the airlines offered early retirement or laid off a lot of pilots and other staff during the worst of the COVID shutdowns last year.   Hard to believe there are many left who would be eligible.  

    • #19
  20. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing. And perhaps pilots can do something similar. Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    It’s been a couple decades since I was more directly involved in the employee/contractor kerfuffle, but I remember that at some point the IRS was claiming that contractors had to provide their own equipment. If that’s still the case, since the pilots aren’t providing their own planes to fly, at least for the IRS they would not be considered contractors.

    I said similar.  They could incorporate and provide supplemental staffing.  Would that work?

    • #20
  21. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    I have not evaluated the legality of the federal vaccine mandate is question.

    If it is legal, and has the force of federal law, then Texas law cannot invalidate it, under the Supremacy Clause.

    Jerry, is this right?:

    1. The USG can appeal the Texas law, probably pushing it to the Supreme Court for a decision. Nothing too shocking there. That is how the system has always worked.
    2. Texas can nullify the US law.
      1. According to one ancient argument, well-known to all lawyers and supported by precedents, nullification is illegal.
      2. According to the other ancient argument, well-known to all lawyers, and supported by a few other precedents, nullification is not illegal.
      3. According to well-established  constitutional legal doctrines, it is illegal.  Or maybe, legal.

    Like most ordinary, non-Lawyer  Americans, I strongly support the doctrine of Nullification in cases of clear violation of States’ rights, and am strongly opposed went it’s just people with bad ideas resisting the proper use of Federal power.

    If on any given issue, it is not clear to someone which rule applies, just post your question on Ricochet and I will give you the correct opinion.

    • #21
  22. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    • #22
  23. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing. And perhaps pilots can do something similar. Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    It’s been a couple decades since I was more directly involved in the employee/contractor kerfuffle, but I remember that at some point the IRS was claiming that contractors had to provide their own equipment. If that’s still the case, since the pilots aren’t providing their own planes to fly, at least for the IRS they would not be considered contractors.

    I said similar. They could incorporate and provide supplemental staffing. Would that work?

    Not if the IRS still requires “equipment” and not just “support staff.”

    • #23
  24. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing. And perhaps pilots can do something similar. Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    It’s been a couple decades since I was more directly involved in the employee/contractor kerfuffle, but I remember that at some point the IRS was claiming that contractors had to provide their own equipment. If that’s still the case, since the pilots aren’t providing their own planes to fly, at least for the IRS they would not be considered contractors.

    I said similar. They could incorporate and provide supplemental staffing. Would that work?

    Not if the IRS still requires “equipment” and not just “support staff.”

    The temp employee pilots would be employed by their corporations that act as small temp agencies.

    • #24
  25. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    MCAS was taking over control of the plane based on the output of a failed airspeed sensor. A single failed airspeed sensor. There wasn’t a big red button anywhere labelled “Give me back my plane.”

    • #25
  26. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    MCAS was taking over control of the plane based on the output of a failed airspeed sensor. A single failed airspeed sensor. There wasn’t a big red button anywhere labelled “Give me back my plane.”

    They put one in, though.

    • #26
  27. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    I read of a nurse who was fired for being unvaccinated (presumably with less than 100 employees) and immediately went to a temp agency that didn’t require vaccination and she sent back to work at the same hospital that she was fired from.

    I wonder if airline’s support staff can do the same thing. And perhaps pilots can do something similar. Perhaps even self-incorporate and return to their jobs as independent contractors.

    It’s been a couple decades since I was more directly involved in the employee/contractor kerfuffle, but I remember that at some point the IRS was claiming that contractors had to provide their own equipment. If that’s still the case, since the pilots aren’t providing their own planes to fly, at least for the IRS they would not be considered contractors.

    I said similar. They could incorporate and provide supplemental staffing. Would that work?

    Not if the IRS still requires “equipment” and not just “support staff.”

    The temp employee pilots would be employed by their corporations that act as small temp agencies.

    Yes they could be temps, but not contractors.  As has been mentioned though, the “rule” seems to apply also to temps, even if the hospital wasn’t checking for it.

    • #27
  28. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    MCAS was taking over control of the plane based on the output of a failed airspeed sensor. A single failed airspeed sensor. There wasn’t a big red button anywhere labelled “Give me back my plane.”

    Khan had that problem too.

    • #28
  29. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    MCAS was taking over control of the plane based on the output of a failed airspeed sensor. A single failed airspeed sensor. There wasn’t a big red button anywhere labelled “Give me back my plane.”

    They put one in, though.

    There was a post not too long ago, I’ve been unable to find it, that discussed a few “auto-pilot” incidents including one in which the ship navigator etc believed a SatNav system even though it wasn’t working properly, because the indication of that problem was a little thing that said “DR” (for Dead Reckoning) that was small, not flashing or a different color…

    • #29
  30. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Ma… (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    With what’s been going on with self-driving cars, why is there no talk of self-flying airplanes?

    The not so dirty little secret is that they already are, most pilots pop on the Flight Director (a big step up from your garden variety auto pilot) as soon as they clear the runway on take off. The systems are now capable of landing planes as well, and have been offered as an option on some GA aircraft as a safety feature for the “dead pilot” fear some passengers feel with single pilot operations. The biggest duty for pilots is the FAA required communications and taxiing the plane to & from the runway.

    I fly a lot both in my GA planes and commercially, and I have gotten so attuned to the plane’s control that I can tell when the guys up front are doing their currency hours on departure and especially on approach. Flight directors are much smoother than the “minute corrections” that is a “feature” of humans in the control loop.

    EDIT: Of course I should have read others comments before I posted.

    The biggest problem with the MCAS was that not only did the flight crew not know how to disengage it, they might not even have known that there was anything to disengage.

    I guess you think, “Gosh, I hope they finish their currency hours pretty quick…these guys really don’t remember how to fly very well anymore!”

    MCAS was taking over control of the plane based on the output of a failed airspeed sensor. A single failed airspeed sensor. There wasn’t a big red button anywhere labelled “Give me back my plane.”

    They put one in, though.

    There was a post not too long ago, I’ve been unable to find it, that discussed a few “auto-pilot” incidents including one in which the ship navigator etc believed a SatNav system even though it wasn’t working properly, because the indication of that problem was a little thing that said “DR” (for Dead Reckoning) that was small, not flashing or a different color…

    We wanted one that was big and red and flashing. It was also referred to as the YOYO light: You’re On Your Own.

    • #30