joe asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 1 decade ago

does the boeing 747 fly by itself?

My dream is to be an airline pilot and my dad says that the boeing 747 flys by itself and that the only reason there is a pilot is in case something malfunctions!

Is this true?

What do pilots do during the flight?

Do they take off and land or does the plane's computer do it for them?

13 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good on you for having a dream!

    Pilots are very much needed when it comes to flying any type of plane, let alone a 747. The 'computer' you're talking about is called Autopilot. The pilot will do the taking off and landing of the aircraft, and the autopilot is there for maintaining cruising altitude and making slight turns etc. Pilots are necessary for making changes to turns, routes, altitude etc. Autopilot can't completely fly a craft. If something unexpected happens, e.g. you hit turbulence or cannot land at the intended destination, the autopilot can't make the changed to the route, only a pilot can. Also, during a flight, the pilot will be in constant contact with ATC (air traffic control), who will be advising them on air traffic, weather warnings, and anything else which is relevant to that flight.

    Good luck, hope you make it!

    Mac x

    Source(s): My dad is an ATC.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I don't think your father understands the air transport world very well. It's true there are computers that can assist the pilots in operating the plane. Autopilots have the ability to fly the plane and on some aircraft can even land it. The autopilot will fly the plane while in flight but someone has to tell the autopilot what to do. The airplane doesn't have a clue unless someone tells it where to go and what to do

    It is the pilots that program the computers and make all the inputs that tell the autopilot and all the aircraft systems what to do. It is the cockpit crew that starts, taxis, takes off, avoids danger, and lands (most of the time), they find the gate and park the plane They flip the switches, turn the knobs, push the levers, enter the data into the navigation system and most importantly, make sure that everything is operating correctly. Without a flight crew the plane would just be sitting at the Jetway and going nowhere. Planes definitely don't fly themselves!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sadly true. As planes become more sophisticated, pilots become more obsolete. Most comercial aircraft have auto-pilots that fly the airplane in the right direction and at the right altitude. They also have ILS (instrument landing system) that can actually put the aircraft on the ground (calm down pilots, its been done before). Pilots are still needed to make necessary changes if faults occur however, and they still do save lives in the event of a disaster.

    Most pilots sleep or read magazines when they have nothing to do, one always being alert in case of emergencies).

    I wouldnt be surprised if they do make a fully automated cockpit free of any human imput. Might be a long while down the timeline, but I see it happening.

    Source(s): Aircraft mechanic at a commercial airline
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, the pilot can take off and land manually but the captain only has to set a heading and altitude and the 747 will fly you there

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hello, you might want to see some of the videos that show pilots doing their job in the cockpit. Yes they do use autopilot once at cruise altitude, but YES the pilots fly the takeoff and departure, as well as the approach and landing. Some planes are equipped with the ability to use Cat II and Cat III Autoland, but the flight crew has to be trained in doing so.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Why is the 747 so special? No not all planes can land themselves. Don't listen to your dad. Planes have to be CATlll certified as well as the crew and the approach and you don't see those too often. The autopilot is a pilots best friend. We use it a lot. Why? We have more important things to carry out such as check list's, and looking over instruments etc. Pilots takeoff and land like i said before it's rare you come across a CATlll certified pilot. Pilot's have a lot of duties during the flight like communicate with ATC and look over the instruments. does your dad have any knowledge in aviation? I have my doubts. Autopilot can't do everything. A humans mind makes better decisions that a computer ever will.

    Source(s): Im taking pilot lessons to be a airline pilot. Dad is a pilot for american 757/767
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    b-747 may require up to 2 pilot not just one.

    Auto-landing technology is there, but not safe at the moment, therefore the landing is still done manual. autopilot is done when you are up in the air when the pilot needs a little break besides that its all done manual.

    are you willing to risk 500 passengers life ?

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  • 1 decade ago

    It's true, planes can auto-pilot, but sadly humans can make mistakes, like an incident happened a few years ago, a plane was fueld up in litres instead of gallons, so it only contained about a fifth of it's requirements, the pilot had to do some quick thinking and calculations, he landed about 2,000 miles short of his intended destination. There are other problems, like the recent one, the wheels didn't lock down properly, so you see, pilots are needed still.

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  • 1 decade ago

    no, it does not fly by itself!

    ur father must be talkin about "autopilot" which only keeps the plane at a certain altitude and speed while cruising.

    the pilots have to takeoff, make in-flight adjustments, and land the Boeing 747.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Look I think your dad don't want you to become a pilot,your dad is very wrong.

    Believe me. Just relex.747 needs a pilot.

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