Just say no to driverless cars ?

Chip Fetrow tacos at fetrow.org
Sat Dec 1 20:50:54 CST 2012

My first flight to London was on an overnight flight on a 747,  I was  
on the upper deck, and ended up talking for several hours to two  
people I thought were flight attendants.  We really didn't talk much  
about flying or planes, but mostly what to see in London when I could  
find some time off.

At one point, one of those "flight attendants" opened a closet, took  
out his hat, put it on and said, "excuse me, I have to land the  
plane."  I was asked to take my seat.

I am a pilot, and have flown quite a lot commercially, so I am pretty  
familiar with what happens in flight.  I though the gear was down, but  
then there was a big thump.  I couldn't even see the wing, so I was  
sure we were still in cloud and not near the ground.  Then the nose  
started coming down, which happens, but the engines were spooling down  
too, which never happens in flight near the ground.

Then there was another thump as the nose wheel touched down, and  
breaking began.  HUH?  We were on the ground, and I was at the same  
height as the pilots, yet I could not see the ground, or even the wing!

That was my first encounter with auto-landing, which was not legal in  
the US at the time, about 1983 or so.


On Dec 1, 2012, at 1:00 PM, tacos-request at amrad.org wrote:

> Message: 2
> Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 16:41:34 -0700
> From: Joseph Bento <joseph at kirtland.com>
> To: tacos at amrad.org
> Subject: Re: Just say no to driverless cars ?
> On 11/30/2012 3:40 PM, Robert Stratton wrote:
>> Autoland pretty much works.
> Pretty much?  Except when it doesn't .  :-)
> Joe, N6DGY

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