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Answer: Flying modern jets is not overly physical. The automation and powered flight controls have made it much easier and less physically stressful.

Q: Do both pilots fly the plane under normal circumstances or only when there’s an emergency?

– Cameron, San Diego County, California

A: Both pilots are fully qualified to fly the airplane. Usually, one pilot flies the airplane while the other performs the duties of the monitoring pilot, such as communicating with air traffic control, handling checklists and overseeing the flight path. The breakdown of tasks between the flying pilot and monitoring pilot is very clearly defined but pilots are trained to perform both.

On autopilot:‘Pilots are losing their basic flying skills,’ some fear after Boeing 737 Max crashes

John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consu