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Could a plane ever be hacked? Flight expert reveals this shocking secret

FLIGHT safety is at the forefront of many travellers minds, yet as technology continues to take over, could a plane ever really be hacked? Aviation safety expert David Gleave speaks to Express.co.uk regarding the likelihood of the danger.


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Plane hacking: Could it ever happen during a flight?

Airline safety is at a record high with 2017 having no fatal accidents on record for commercial airliners.

As more planes take to the air, other issues begin to arise such as a lack of pilots or experienced pilots.

The aviation industry is looking into aircraft carriers going from two pilots to one pilot, or even being run by technology completely to solve this.

But could a plane ever be hacked during a flight?

Whilst pilots are integral to the flying of a plane, a lot of the cockpit is flown using technology.

Aviation safety expert David Gleave spoke to Express.co.uk in light of the new series of Air Crash Investigation which analyses flight accidents and crashes.

He reiterated that in the long term: “Zero pilots could well happen. They’re looking at taking freighters down to single pilots and getting confidence doing that, then going to no pilots at all.”

This is due to a number of reasons such as “cost saving” and “removing human error in the flight deck”.

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Plane hacking: Cockpits are controlled a lot by technology

At the moment planes cannot be hacked

David Gleave

But when it comes to a cockpit being hacked externally, he confirms that it is very unlikely due to the way it is all connected.

He explained: “At the moment planes cannot be hacked.

“If you really tried hard enough you might be able to get into the telephone system. That isn’t connected to the important bits of the cockpit flying the plane as they are completely separate systems.

“It is like trying to get into your TV but only hacking the heating control."

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Plane hacking: It is very unlikely for it to happen at this current time

He also explains that even if technology becomes more advanced, such as artificial intelligence, cybersecurity will continue to address the situation.

“We’ve had a lot of experience now with spy planes without pilots and using communication links,” he confirmed.

“Planes are now very used to flying over the oceans as we have satellites monitoring and communicating”.

Plane hacking is not the biggest threat to flight safety, Mr Gleave reveals.

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