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Old May 11 2013, 01:55 PM   #31
WillsBabe
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Captain: "Computer, Set course two-one-three Mark seven."

Computer: ""Unable to comply, the automatic pilot system is offline."

Automation is all very well and good, but like any system it can fail. Today a plane could take off, fly to it's destination and land all by itself." But would you fly on it without a pilot?

As for having a dedicated department, sure everyone might receive basic training in piloting a starship, but their is a difference between basic and advanced training.
I hear what you're saying, but for me it was a case of not having really watched TNG for years, and getting a sense in the intervening years that tech has moved on here IRL and so feeling the ship should be able to fly itself. I still think it could. As for wanting to get onto a plane that could fly itself? No way!
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Old May 11 2013, 02:08 PM   #32
MacLeod
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Yes but tech had moved on, in TOS you needed a Navigator and Helmsman, by the time of TNG you where just down to the CONN officer, a combination of both positions.

And the ship can pilot itself, in TNG's "Remember Me" we see Beverly ordering the computer to lay in a course.
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Old May 12 2013, 03:20 AM   #33
Lee Enfield
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

WillsBabe wrote: View Post
MacLeod wrote: View Post
Captain: "Computer, Set course two-one-three Mark seven."

Computer: ""Unable to comply, the automatic pilot system is offline."

Automation is all very well and good, but like any system it can fail. Today a plane could take off, fly to it's destination and land all by itself." But would you fly on it without a pilot?

As for having a dedicated department, sure everyone might receive basic training in piloting a starship, but their is a difference between basic and advanced training.
I hear what you're saying, but for me it was a case of not having really watched TNG for years, and getting a sense in the intervening years that tech has moved on here IRL and so feeling the ship should be able to fly itself. I still think it could. As for wanting to get onto a plane that could fly itself? No way!

I don't think this is so much about the a ship being engineered to fly on itself, but the question wether humankind wants to step away from using technology and instead getting fed by it.
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Old May 12 2013, 06:57 AM   #34
KamenRiderBlade
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Most of us here can drive.

But how many of us can drive a car with such precision that they would be qualified to be race car driver quality, stunt driver quality, or even defensive driving level quality.

Just because everybody can drive, doesn't mean you can handle a vehicle or vessel to it's maximum potential.

There are lots of layers to driving, most people only know the surface layers of it.

The same can be applied to the helmsman.

A dedicated helmsman should be able to fly the shuttle or starship in ways that no average pilot could do.
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Old May 12 2013, 10:40 AM   #35
C.E. Evans
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
Yes but tech had moved on, in TOS you needed a Navigator and Helmsman, by the time of TNG you where just down to the CONN officer, a combination of both positions.

And the ship can pilot itself, in TNG's "Remember Me" we see Beverly ordering the computer to lay in a course.
Even as far back as TOS, it's been demonstrated that a starship can fly itself once a course has been set ("The Menagerie" comes to mind right now). The same kind of automation is likely true for the majority of the ship's systems, but it's still good to have a dedicated specialist to monitor & maintain those systems and intervene in the event of a malfunction or in a sudden situation change.
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Old May 13 2013, 12:44 AM   #36
Lee Enfield
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

In the end, wasn't it the point of the TNG episode Booby Trap? The computer is no surrogate for creativity asf ?
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Old May 13 2013, 03:49 AM   #37
CoveTom
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Third Nacelle wrote: View Post
^Yes, but most of them seem to have jobs too, from what we've seen. I mean, aside from the children. What exactly would a stay-at-home spouse do in the 24th century? Putting plates back in the replicator only eats up so many minutes.
Would there be a role for the traditional "housewife" in the 24th century? Probably not. Heck, our technology TODAY has rendered the need for that, from a practical house maintenance standpoint, largely non-existent.

OTOH, I would imagine there would still be plenty of people who choose to be stay-at-home parents because there is a lot more to raising children than just being the housekeeper. And in the 24th century, people apparently don't have to worry about their material needs, so there would be more opportunity for someone who wanted to stay home with their children to do so, as opposed to today when you hear so many people say things like "I'd love to stay home with my children, but we need the two incomes to survive."
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Old May 13 2013, 09:36 PM   #38
erastus25
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Similarly, I've always wondered if they ever need a transporter operator and a transport room as well. I mean, if Worf or someone on the bridge can beam directly from planet surface to sick bay, why bother with the actual room and extra personnel?
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Old May 13 2013, 09:48 PM   #39
MacLeod
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Because a computer even one as advanced as the ones in Star Trek can only do what it's programming tells it to do.
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Old May 14 2013, 01:46 AM   #40
Lee Enfield
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

erastus25 wrote: View Post
Similarly, I've always wondered if they ever need a transporter operator and a transport room as well. I mean, if Worf or someone on the bridge can beam directly from planet surface to sick bay, why bother with the actual room and extra personnel?
Perhaps it's about the risk being taken. It might not be as risky using a room where you can access the devices to counter problems.
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Old May 15 2013, 03:35 AM   #41
USS Excelsior
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

Someone also has to maintain and fix the transporters.
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Old May 15 2013, 10:09 AM   #42
T'Girl
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

IIRC, there was no transporter set used in Nemesis. What transporter activity we saw was directly to and from the bridge, outgoing controlled by a bridge console.

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Old May 15 2013, 10:46 AM   #43
Bry_Sinclair
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

In my fanfic, I always have it that the Flight Control Department covers the bridge officer (as well as their relief/cover), the hangar supervisor, shuttle pilots, hangar/shuttle maintenance techs, as well as specialists attached to the navigational systems (such as VOY's elusive 'astrogation plotter') and deflector. It's never a huge department, but it at least adds a few more redshirts to the crew.
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Old May 15 2013, 10:11 PM   #44
TheRoyalFamily
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

MacLeod wrote: View Post


Automation is all very well and good, but like any system it can fail. Today a plane could take off, fly to it's destination and land all by itself." But would you fly on it without a pilot?
Old-ish pilot joke:

They started introducing dogs to flight crews. Their job: to bite the pilot if he ever tries to touch the controls.

As of 2006 (when I was in school for aerospace engineering) the only thing the autopilot couldn't do was taxi to and from the gate. I'm sure that isn't an issue anymore.
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Old May 20 2013, 01:13 AM   #45
Galactic Alignment
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Re: Is there a need for a Helm Department?

MacLeod wrote: View Post
As for having a dedicated department, sure everyone might receive basic training in piloting a starship, but their is a difference between basic and advanced training.
Spot-on, IMO. Same in all walks of life and in all fields of work - that some basic tasks can be mastered by most people doesn't negate the need for specialist experts. I mean, I can prepare a basic meal with a microwave, kettle and toaster, but doesn't mean that trained chefs are an obsolete profession.
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