From: (Merlin R. Preuss)
Organization: Transport Canada Aviation
Date:         01 Jun 95 05:00:53 
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1995.651@ohare.Chicago.COM>, kls@ohare.Chicago.COM says...
>Jean-Francois Bosc writes:
>>> The result: an awfully high number of Airbus crashes, due to
>>> pilots that are either unsure of the autopilot's reaction, or
>>> the pilots "fighting" the inputs of the autopilot.
>>Always the same kind of assertion. Some STATISTICS, please !
>AW&ST had a number of articles spread over two issues several months
>ago detailing various concerns about complex, new flight deck designs
>and problems with the pilot-aircraft interface in these systems.  A
>rather memorable observation was the remarkable number of crashes or
>serious incidents of late in which comments such as "what is this
>thing doing?!" are heard from the pilots.  One article lists many of
>the accidents/incidents involving this sort of problem.  I'm afraid
>I don't have it handy, but I'll try to dig it out if nobody else beats
>me to it.

I've been follow the fly-by-wire discussions and find a couple things
missing.  First any discussion of Boeing vs Airbus seems to me to be filled
with rhetoric and emotion.

The simple fact of the matter is that for better or for worse engineers
had the predominant hand in the Airbus control design while I think
operators (pilots) had the predominant hand in the Boeing control design.
A simple indication of that is that Boeing retained the yoke on the 777
to increase pilot acceptance of the fly-by-wire technology despite the
fact that the side stick works just fine, takes about 30 secs to get used
to and leaves a lot of free space in front of you for such things as the
Airbus table.  The point is that there are major differences between the
operating requirements of the Boeing compared to the operating requirements
of the Airbus based on the different design philosophies of the companies.

That the industry has not understood this in total is witnessed by the
rash of accidents with the Airbus new technology aircraft....A300-600,
A310, A320 and A330.  To my knowledge in every case the aircraft that went
down were fully airworthy (perhaps you could argue that the terrorist
attack suspected as the cause in the most recent A310 crash is an
anomally).  Once everyone understands and trains to the technology
requirements of the Airbus, I suspect most of the problems will go away.

<<<<<I'd rather be flying, but........>>>>>
Ontario Canada
<<<<<I can't get away right now...>>>>>