Re: "Die Zeit" article on Airbus (longish excerpts)

From:         Colin Povey <>
Organization: Delphi ( email, 800-695-4005 voice)
Date:         14 Dec 94 02:22:37 
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Onat Ahmet <> writes:
> That really seems to be the reason. Flight modes are frequently
>mistaken, and if the mistake ends the pilot up in an unfamiliar
>mode, he might not always know the way to change it back. At a 
>test conducted by NASA on 30 US airline pilots, a large number could
>not access unfrequently used modes, or could not leave them once
>entered. This seems to be the reason behind many of the Airbus
>accidents. One in India for example happened as follows:
I recently took a course in Human Factors Engineering for my masters
degree.  During the course, I researched four crashes of Airbus planes,
all related to incorrect flight modes.

In a recent crash, the pilot set a descent glide slope at what he
thought was -3.7 degrees.  Since he was in the wrong mode, the computer
took this to mean a descent rate of 3,700 fpm.  He flew into a mountain.
As I said, there were four crashes that I was able to find.  There may
be more.  I personally consider this to be an unacceptable rate of
crashes, and feel uncomfortable about flying A320/319/321 aircraft.