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

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         15 Jun 95 14:25:26 
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>Looking at the underlying data, the 310 is not a fly by wire aircraft and does
>not have the "infamous" joysticks that the 320 has. Therefore the 310 should
>not be used in comparing Airbus FLY BY WIRE safety. (this topic)

The pilot interface is the concern with the A320.  Despite the subject
line of this thread, FBW is not particularly relevant.

>And since Airbus is the only manufacturer of a FBW aircraft of the 320s' size,
>you can't really compare the safety record of the 320 against that of the 777
>(once it gets a safety record).

If size is so important, why is Lufthansa allowed to cross-rate pilots
on the A320 (and soon A319) and the A340?  Clearly there are cases
where size is not particularly relevant.

Consider the Brittania Airways 757 which experienced an incident very
much like the A330 test flight crash at Manchester on June 21, 1994.
The 757 is significantly smaller than the A330 (though perhaps not as
big a spread as A320 vs 777), yet these two incident are comparable in
many regards.  (The fact that the 757 did not crash may well be as
much a function of alert pilots and luck as anything else.)

>As well, comparing an aircraft's record against another is only fair if both
>aircraft fly the same "routes". Eg: not fair to compare an airbus crash in
>Kathmandu (mountainous and poor region)

Which is exactly what I said, if you had bothered to read what I wrote.
To wit:

  However, in Airbus' defense, I think this is a good reminder of how
  one must look at the underlying data -- at Kathmandu (both this one
  and the A300 that went down there two months later) I thik the
  aircraft performed fine and there was no sort of pilot confusion with
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
  regard to what the aircraft was doing ...

Your juxtaposition of the comment about Kathmandu and the one about
avoiding later Airbuses, taken far out of context, do not change the
original argument, which in fact said exactly that the Kathmandu crash
does not appear to be relevant data in a discussion of safety of a
given aircraft type.

>against the 777 which flies the luxurious and safe LHR-Washington route.

Nobody was trying to make that comparison, though you seem to be
trying to pick words out of context to do so.  Hysteria isn't a very
good position from which to argue, pal.

With regard to the "luxurious and safe" LHR-IAD route, I'm sure it's
nearly as safe as, say, ORD-AMS.  That's the route a TAROM A310 was
flying when, over Riviere-du-Loup, Quebec, it suddenly encountered
major pitch excursions, apparently with no corresponding pilot input.

Next month, United will begin to fly the 777 into Paris (CDG).  Unless
Orly has some magic field that causes aircraft to behave strangely, I
suspect this is comparable to the environment in which the same A310
involved in the Riviere-du-Loup incident nearly crashed in 1994.

--
Karl Swartz	|INet	kls@ohare.chicago.com
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