Where do you land if there is an emergency during a trans-atlantic flight?
If there is an emergency of some sort halfway across the Atlantic ocean on a transatlantic flight where do you land? Surely there must be an airport somewhere? Or are you confined to the water lading immediately?
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Re: Where do you land if there is an emergency during a...
You're stuck with a water landing (ditching). Hopefully at altitude the pilot can see a ship and make the landing in the vicinity of the ship for quick rescue. It so rare for a plane to lose power to all engines though that you should never hear of such an incident. Depending on the route, however, Bermuda may be within gliding distance.
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Modern Jet airliners already have electronic screens that depict the ground, the sky, maps, terrain and many more things, They are known as "Glass Cockpit" aircraft. These aircraft can land in Zero visibility fully automatically without the pilots having to see out of the window at all, just viewing the screens. The problems are in training of the flight crews. Full automated approaches and landings are far more exacting on the flight crew than a normal visual landing and crews have to be specially trained and certified to do them. The thought that on an automatic landing the pilots just sit there and do nothing is far from reality. The procedure is one of intense concentration and if the aircraft so much a twitches the pilots will abandon the approach, they have to watch everything. Training flight crews is a very expensive business and an international operator would have to have about nine crews for just one aircraft. Training those crews to operate with just view screens would blow the training budget out the bank. No matter how cleaver these modern jets are the fastest computer on board is still the one between the pilots ears and using all his senses and especially sight through a window will be with us for some time.
Technically is you are flying domestic you are not flying over foreign airspace. If flying IFR you must file one. Needless to say when filing a flight plan you must decalre if you are domestic of international flight.
Students and certificated pilots both are required to remain current and to have a check ride (flight review with an instructor) every 24 calendar months. The ones you're seeing are probably going out to the practice area to practice their flight maneuvers. If a pilot doesn't practice regularly his or her skills can deteriorate rapidly.