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BBC clip: why we still need pilots in the future

by Capt Tim Pottage Chairman of RPAS Working Group

On Friday 19th August, former BALPA General Secretary, Jim McAuslan, appeared on the Jeremy Vine show on BBC Radio 2. The topic up for discussion was pilotless planes and whether there really is a future for them – a subject we shared our view on recently here

The idea that when flying an aircraft, a “sophisticated computer” takes charge of pretty much everything in the cockpit is one which we hear all too often. With autopilot playing a role for years, and more recently, drone technology showing us that aircraft can take-off and fly without humans, it is suggested that there isn’t really a need for pilots at all, and that in future, computers may be safer. In the interview, Jim stood up for everything we, at BALPA, believe in, while also addressing the widely-believed myth that aircraft fly themselves.