Unlike captain Clarence Oveur and co-pilot Roger Murdock in the 1980 movie Flying High, commercial airline pilots eat separate meals to try and avoid the problem in the movie where both pilots become incapacitated.
Having two pilots on an aircraft is something that is still supported by the airlines and associations representing pilots, along with the majority of the flying public.
When we read the rare story of a pilot becoming unwell on a flight, we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that there was another pilot in the seat beside him or her.
Could technology replace this requirement for two pilots?
The initial response from the majority of passengers is a resounding no, but that is exactly where the industry is headed with the latest developments by Airbus.
Airbus currently has an A350 fitted with cameras and using technology that was inspired by the eyesight of dragonflies to enable fully automated flights without human intervention - including taking off and landing the plane.
The direction is not necessarily to remove the pilots altogether, but there is a plan to look to remove the co-pilot by 2030.
Not surprisingly, pilot associations around the world have expressed their concerns.
These concerns are focused on safety, but there may be an element of self-interest there as well, as you would expect from an association for pilots.
Reducing the number of pilots required across the world does not sound great from an employment perspective.
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This does seem like a case of history repeating itself in some small way.
If you had the funds to be able to board a plane in the early days of commercial flights, the cockpit was a crowded place.
Typically it took five people to fly the plane - two pilots, a radio operator, a navigator and a flight engineer.
As technology progressed, these five roles were reduced to our current standard of two - but not without some protests along the way.
Most cockpits by the '60s and '70s had been reduced to three but that next step, removing the flight engineer, caused pilot strikes and high-level negotiations with airlines and manufacturers and pilots across the world.
By the '80s, most new aircraft manufactured required just the two pilots in the cockpit.
For several decades that has been the accepted standard and there has not been a lot of action aimed at reducing that number - until now.
Part of the discussion centres on whether the reason for two pilots is to share the workload or if it is just redundancy.
Pilot associations would say it serves a dual purpose but those developing better technology believe that more and more duties can be handed off to the technology on a modern aircraft.
Already most aircraft fly with autopilot for the majority of the flight, but we are potentially nearing the scene at the end of Flying High where Otto, the inflatable autopilot, taxis and takes off by himself.
The new Airbus technology employs biomimicry which is a technology process that creates designs by mimicking nature.
The planes fitted with the technology will not only use positioning systems and radar to determine their location but also recognise landmarks to divert, land and taxi planes, in the case of the one pilot becoming incapacitated.
Pilots still believe the biggest advantage in having two pilots is when that rare emergency situation develops - including when the computerised system itself fails.
Ultimately this will come down to regulators being satisfied safety is not being compromised and then the acceptance of the flying public.
Tell me if you would fly on a commercial flight with just the one pilot at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mathew Dickerson is a technologist, futurist and host of the Tech Talk podcast.
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