The Pilotless Plane: The Future of Air Travel?

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Cockpit of an airplane. Italy 1920-30.
From and

In the aftermath of the Germanwings plane crash, which was deliberately taken down by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz and killed more than 150 people, there's been a great deal of discussion about how to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.

While some have called for more rigorous mental health screenings, or universally updated rules about how many people must remain in the cockpit at all times, other aviation experts have a different suggestion: Removing the pilot altogether.

Commercial flight operations are already heavily automated. And new advances in airline technology have reached a point where it could be feasible to fly a commercial jet entirely with robots and remote technology.  

But Amy Pritchett, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at the Georgia Tech, cautions against full automation of aircraft.