“GCS this is Whisky Whisky. Can you hear us?” “Yes we can hear you.” “GCS you have control”.
With that, the crew on board the Jetstream 31 turboprop give up control of the aircraft and it starts flying by itself.
Some 15,000ft below, a land-based pilot in the ground control station monitors the aircraft. Peering out of the cockpit window I can see other aircraft in front of us, flying between Preston and the Isle of Man.
We are the guinea pigs for the successor to the driverless car: the pilotless plane.
Read more: Pilotless planes take to skies over England