Saturday, December 08, 2007

FAA History Lesson -- December 8

From the FAA Historical Chronology, 1926-1996...

”Dec 8, 1964: A United Air Lines Caravelle jet made the first computer landing (automatic touchdown) at Dulles International Airport. (See Jun 10, 1965.)“

I hope this will provide you with a little perspective. We’ve had the technology to let a computer land an airplane for 43 years. And yet, the vast majority of landings are still made by the human pilot.

We’re a whole lot closer to replacing pilots than we are air traffic controllers. It’s something to keep in mind when people start trying to tell you what is possible with computers and a “space-based” air traffic control system. Just because we can doesn’t mean we will -- or should.

Don Brown
December 8, 2007

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