Airbus - fly by wire

Organization: Singapore Telecom Internet Service
Date:         30 Jun 95 03:47:19 
Followups:    1 2 3
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A lot of talk these days focuses again on the merits (or lack of) of fly
by wire controls.  With the introduction of Boeing's first fbw aircraft,
the 777, again the talk of safety comes to light.

The facts speak loudly:

	- most pilots flying the A320 et al, can't wait to return to
	  'normal' aircraft.

	- the aircraft exhibits what most A320 et al pilots simply
	  refer to as 'unexplained phernomina'

	- from the first A320 flight, things have gone sque-if, if you
	  can recall the first public A320 flight crashed. Airbus
	  blamed the pilot, who ended up flying in outback Australia,
	  speaking with him the first flight experienced 'unexplained

	- the current adoption of automation takes the pilot out of
	  the 'operating loop' and is rise to the increase in pilot
	  fatigue - through bordom , and lack of control

	- Airbuses 'common cockpit' philosophy, if put into practise
	  as fully as AI claims, a lot of problems are bound to
	  arise.  The fact is that pilots are under extreme demands
	  today (extra flying hours long shifts etc) give rise to
	  accidents (such as the incorrect application of engine
	  reverses on a BA's 737 a few years back).  The extra
	  complications may prove to ultimately prove to be quite

Automation for the sake of automation is never a cure for any thing.  The
march of technology should be driven by a reason, not simply because it's
THERE.  Time will tell, but 'bean counters' will be accountants (or is it
the other way?!?), and a 0.5 percent saving is just that, but for the
other costs ...