Re: FLY-BY-WIRE (AIRBUS vs. BOEING)

From:         rsteiner@earth.execpc.com (Richard Steiner)
Organization: Exec-PC
Date:         01 Jun 95 05:00:52 
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Jean-Francois Bosc (bosc@perige.eis.enac.dgac.fr) wrote:

: Now, my opinion is that systems are safer than pilots.
: Some day planes will fly automatically and be much safer.

My own general opinion regarding automation is that its effectiveness is
largely determined by (1) its creator's ability to accurately anticipate
exceptional circumstances, and (2) by its creators ability to correctly
implement the appropriate responses to those circumstances.

Automated systems are doubtless superior in many ways, particularly for
routine tasks, but the presence of an unexpected element can throw them
for a loop.  Ask any programmer (or any reader of comp.risks <grin>).

: In the meantime, maybe this or this type of failure will occur
: more often on this type than on that type. Who cares ?

Isolation of common circumstances a/o tendencies in similar systems is a
fairly standard debugging technique.  Statistics are useful for finding
tendencies, and tendencies can point to latent problems in a design.

I would think a number of people have a legitimate interest in that kind of
information, including the designers of said systems.

--
   -Rich Steiner >>>---> Programmer - IS/Flight Ops - Northwest Airlines
                         Preferred e-mail address: rsteiner@skypoint.com

                  The Theorem Theorem: If If, Then Then

     Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed are mine, *not* my employer's!