Urban Air Mobility — Four Paths to Disaster

Michael DeKort
2 min readFeb 17, 2021

It is mind-boggling that any industry could be on a more untenable and counterproductive path than the ground autonomous vehicle industry. That NASA is largely responsible for it. And that each one of the pending disasters is easily avoidable with existing technology. But that is where we are.

The List — with links to amplifying information

Autonomous development approach is same untenable approach the ground domain uses

· The Autonomous Vehicle Industry can be Saved by doing the Opposite of what is being done now — https://medium.com/@imispgh/the-autonomous-vehicle-industry-can-be-saved-by-doing-the-opposite-of-what-is-being-done-now-b4e5c6ae9237

Many eVTOL makers have little actual aircraft design experience

· Some warning signs Air Taxi and eVTOL makers are all not experienced aircraft makers — https://imispgh.medium.com/some-warning-signs-air-taxi-and-evtol-makers-are-all-not-experienced-aircraft-makers-3e9c3fae71f7

Industry with FAA and NASA have a Pollyanna and wholly inadequate approach to Urban Air Mobility Air Traffic Management when environments have any significant complexity or density

· Are NASA and the FAA leaving the UAM industry and Urban areas hanging? — https://imispgh.medium.com/i-just-read-the-nasa-uam-conops-for-uml4-unfortunately-it-seems-to-confirm-several-things-7da1e87b15a5

X-Plane cannot be used for critical aircraft development, pilot training or certification

· https://imispgh.medium.com/x-plane-cannot-be-used-for-critical-aircraft-development-pilot-training-or-certification-673215cf83d6

This industry cannot tolerate single air tragedy where the automobile domain has a much higher tolerance (This one is obvious)

(Note-I believe the root cause for this is the Silicon Valley Agile IT Holiday Inn Express syndrome — https://imispgh.medium.com/silicon-valley-and-agile-are-ruining-engineering-196099378028)

My name is Michael DeKort — I am Navy veteran (ASW C4ISR) and a former system engineer, engineering, and program manager for Lockheed Martin. I worked in aircraft simulation, the software engineering manager for all of NORAD, a software project manager on an Aegis Weapon System baseline, and a C4ISR systems engineer for DoD/DHS and the US State Department (counterterrorism). And a Senior Advisory Technical Project Manager for FTI to the Army AI Task Force at CMU NREC (National Robotics Engineering Center)

Autonomous Industry Participation — Air and Ground

- Founder SAE On-Road Autonomous Driving Simulation Task Force

- Member SAE ORAD Verification and Validation Task Force

- Member UNECE WP.29 SG2 Virtual Testing

- Stakeholder USDOT VOICES (Virtual Open Innovation Collaborative Environment for Safety)

- Member SAE G-35, Modeling, Simulation, Training for Emerging AV Tech

- Member SAE G-34 / EUROCAE WG-114 Artificial Intelligence in Aviation

- Member Teleoperation Consortium

- Member CIVATAglobal — Civic Air Transport Association

- Stakeholder for UL4600 — Creating AV Safety Guidelines

- Member of the IEEE Artificial Intelligence & Autonomous Systems Policy Committee

SAE Autonomous Vehicle Engineering magazine editor calling me “prescient” regarding my position on Tesla and the overall driverless vehicle industry’s untenable development and testing approach — (Page 2) https://assets.techbriefs.com/EML/2021/digital_editions/ave/AVE-202109.pdf

Presented the IEEE Barus Ethics Award for Post 9/11 DoD/DHS Whistleblowing Efforts



Michael DeKort

Non-Tribal Truth Seeker-IEEE Barus Ethics Award/9–11 Whistleblower-Aerospace/DoD Systems Engineer/Member SAE Autonomy and eVTOL development V&V & Simulation