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From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         22 Nov 94 12:10:41 
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>A slight aside based on hearsay: It seems that the automated/glass
>cockpit planes - that undoubtedly do drop out of the sky for human
>reasons every now and then - so far have done it outside of the United
>States.

>We're talking about automated planes here, not Airbus vs. Boeing and
>Douglas. I don't know excactly which planes are included
>in this category - A320, 757/767, MD11?

If you're counting those, you'd also have to count the A330 and A340
plus the A320 derivatives (A319 and A321).  From Boeing, the 747-400,
and of course the 777.

Beyond those, matters get a little fuzzy -- do you count the second
generation 737 (-300, -400, and -500), most of which do have a lot of
glass in the cockpit instead of more traditional gauges, along with
an FMS, which seems to be closer to the heart of the problem?  If so,
you also need to count some of the MD-80 models -- the MD-88 for sure,
I'm not sure which others.  It might also be appropriate to count the
A310 and A300-600.

My inclination is that it would be fair to exclude the 737 and MD-80
as their cockpit automation is far less sophisticated than the newer
aircraft.  I'm not so sure about the A310 and A300-600.

>Does anybody have more precise statistics?

1 hull loss apiece for the in-service Boeings, though only the 767 was
very interesting (a 747-400 ran into Victoria harbor at Hong Kong, a
parked 757 was hit by a 737, and a 767 crashed after an in-flight
thrust reverser deployment).  None for the A319, A321, or MD-11.  One
each for the A330 and A340 (the A340 was not very interesting, either,
as it was a parked Air France aircraft that caught fire) and four for
the A320.

I should note that there have been at least two in-flight incidents
with the MD-11 in which control of the aircraft was lost and then
recovered (China Air over the Aleutians and American out of Miami),
one of which had at least one fatality.

Except for the 757, here are the details of the hull losses of these
types:

date   regn    airline            c/n    l/n model       flt   dead location
----   ----    -------            ---    --- -----       ---   ---- --------
880626 F-GFKC  Air France         0009       A320-111    -        3 Habsheim
900214 VT-EPN  Indian Airlines    0079       A320-231    IC605   92 Bangalore
910526 OE-LAV  Lauda Air          24628  283 767-3Z9(ER) NG004  223 Bangkok
920120 F-GGED  Air Inter          0015       A320-111    IT5148  87 Strasbourg
930914 D-AIPN  Lufthansa          0105       A320-211    LH2904   2 Warsaw
931104 B-165   China Air          24313  977 747-409     CI605    0 Hong Kong
940120 F-GNIA  Air France         010(?)     A340-211(?) -        - Paris
940630 F-WWKH  Airbus (Thai)      042        A330-321    -        7 Toulouse

Looking at the A310 and A300-600, there have been six hull losses,
though again there were some sitting ducks, in this case a pair of
Kuwaiti A300-600s that were destroyed during the war.  There have
also been two cases of A310s going badly out of control but being
recovered (Interflug at Moscow, TAROM at Paris).  The details on
these losses and incidents:

date   regn    airline            c/n    l/n model       flt   dead location
----   ----    -------            ---    --- -----       ---   ---- --------
910211         Interflug                     A310-304    ?        - Moscow
910215 9K-AHF  Kuwait Airways     327        A300C4-620  -        - Iraq
910215 9K-AHG  Kuwait Airways     332        A300C4-620  -        - Iraq
920729 HS-TID  Thai               438        A310-304    TG311  113 Kathmandu
940323 F-OGQS  Aeroflot           596        A310-308    SU593   75 Novokusnetzk
940426 B-1816  China Air          580        A300B4-622R CA140  261 Nagoya
940810 HL      Korean Air Lines   (2/91)     A300B4-622R KA       0 Cheju, Korea
940924         TAROM                         A310        ?        - Paris

>Anyway, if it is true, the natural question is: Are there differences
>in training and/or culture that make American pilots more adapted to
>the modern planes? Any clues?

First and foremost, I think the sample is simply too small.  In many
cases (MD-11, for example) there aren't enough planes and they haven't
been in service long enough to have a reasonable base of experience.
If you ignore the A320 (and include the A319 and A321 as the same),
sitting ducks of various sorts, and runway overruns, only the 767 and
A330 have losses from the "new" batch, and then only one each.  The
A310 and A300-600 add three more losses, with the A310 being the only
one of the batch to have more than one loss after filtering.

Beyond that, US operators account for a relatively small fraction of
the fleets for nearly all these types, with the 757 and 767, and maybe
the MD-11, being the exceptions.  Thus sheer luck would suggest there
would be fewer American crashes of most of these types.

--
Karl Swartz	|INet	kls@ohare.chicago.com
1-415/854-3409	|UUCP	uunet!decwrl!ditka!kls
		|Snail	2144 Sand Hill Rd., Menlo Park CA 94025, USA
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