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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14076754/

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FARNBOROUGH, England - Nail-biting blind landings in foul weather may soon be a lot less perilous, thanks to a new corporate jet technology that could also find its way into airliner cockpits.

At the Farnborough Airshow, Gulfstream became the first executive plane maker to offer the system, which displays a computer-generated view of the terrain ahead - even in heavy fog or cloud, when the ground can be invisible to the most advanced infra-red sensors.
Awesome technology. My brother in law has been talking about this type of technology for a while (he's a pilot of a small plane). Looks pretty cool.
 

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That is great, but like all technology capable of failure. Pilots have such advanced systems now that they barely know how to fly without a zillion systems telling them what to and when. I've seen some near misses with pilots depending too heavily on equipment only to find out that the ILS was displaying 180 degrees out, for example.

And this system sounds like it is using old information to create an image that may not be accurate in real time. Say a building has been erected since 2000, will they garuntee the image shown? It doesn't really make much sense to me. It isn't using radar to paint a picture, it is using old map data that would IMO be scarily unreliable.

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Nevertheless, there are still concerns that in some situations, pilots could be lulled into a false sense of security by the SVS - which does not itself detect potential obstacles in a plane's path, such as other aircraft or runway obstructions.

"Synthetic Vision may be so compelling that pilots try to use it beyond the intended function," the FAA cautioned in December 2005 guidelines.

But experts predict the technology will save lives, particularly during low-visibility landings at smaller airports without state-of-the-art instrument landing systems - or those where mountains or other obstacles force pilots to follow difficult approach paths.

"It enables you to fly very much more accurately for the sector of the approach on which most aircraft are lost during non-precision landings," said David Learmount, operations and safety editor with London-based Flight International.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by pumpkinsmama
That is great, but like all technology capable of failure. Pilots have such advanced systems now that they barely know how to fly without a zillion systems telling them what to and when. I've seen some near misses with pilots depending too heavily on equipment only to find out that the ILS was displaying 180 degrees out, for example.

And this system sounds like it is using old information to create an image that may not be accurate in real time. Say a building has been erected since 2000, will they garuntee the image shown? It doesn't really make much sense to me. It isn't using radar to paint a picture, it is using old map data that would IMO be scarily unreliable.
I assume you're referring to this:

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The software draws on an extensive global database of runways and obstacles, superimposed on global terrain mapping data gathered by the space shuttle Endeavor in a February 2000 radar survey of Earth's surface.
My understanding is that global terrain map is all about terrain as opposed to man-made obstacles. If memory serves the database of runways and obstacles referenced above is updated monthly.
Naturally the pilot must use common sense and be careful.
 

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Right. I was also remembering a recent incident where a runway was being repaired and since the pilot did not recieve that update, he attempted to land on it anyway, pretty much destroying the aircraft. Why? Because he was relying to much on instruments. There wasn't even bad weather... he was just making an instrument landing for cert. purposes. (something like that)

I just think some of the advances help the pilots rely too much on avionics systems that can concievably fail... which would indeed be the pilots fault but why add fuel to the flame IYKWIM.

I do agree the tech is pretty cool.

And they probably wouldn't be building any sky scrapers near airports anyway, that wasn't the greatest example
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I almost never buy the "people rely to much on technology so we shouldn't provide them with the technology" argument. More good than harm can and probably will come from using this technology. With every form of technology comes the responsibility to use it correctly. For example, flying at all.
A good analogy would be the concept of a speedometer. If you're speedometer says you're going 40 miles an hour but you're blowing by everyone on a highway, slow the hell down.
Anyway, it actually sounds like we more or less agree that the technology could be helpful but that proper care, training, and professionalism is paramount.
 
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