Re: Boeing Design Philosphy

From:         fmcdave@aol.com (FMCDave)
Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
Date:         01 Jul 95 02:24:40 
References:   1
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>Sir,

>In your article 'Boeing Design Philosophy' dated 17 may 1995 you stated
>(in other words) that primary control of the aircraft should be with the
>crew (i.e. the captain). According to this statement I have two
questions:

>1. The central maintenance computer of a Boeing 747-400 registers
>non-flight deck effects. These 'errors' can not be recognized by the
crew,
>but can be important for the maintenance department. Who determines the
>importancy of these effects and what is the right treatment of these
>effects according to you?
The CMC is designed as an aid to maintenace.  The dispatchability of the
aircraft is determined by the messages on EICAS.  The CMC is basically
there
to corrolate detected failures with these dispatchability issues.  Non-FDE
effect failures are determined by the Safety Failure Analysis by the
aircraft design folks. Basically, they are failures which the system can
detect, but do not affect the operation of the aircraft.  The airlines
generally have maintenace crews review ALL CMC messages during certain
layovers and many times datalink the present leg faults down during the
latter parts of the flight in order to assure the right parts are on hand.

>2. With the development of more and more computers on board as well as
>systems for aircraft positioning and navigation, won't there come a time
>when (for example in aircraft positioning) computers will overrule the
>manual input by the crew?
Personal opinion here.  Even though I'm an avionics systems engineer, I'm
hesitant to design a system which would do that for a couple of reasons.
One, it is very difficult to design a system which has the capability AND
the integrity to make decisions to over-ride the pilots inputs.  Current
Boeing aircraft designs take credit for having the pilot in the cockpit.
Second, systems which are capable enough to make those types of decisions,
would be large, complex, and extremely difficult to certify (also make
that extremely expensive).  I believe that we have to achieve a balance
here; the automated systems need to offload pilot workload, give them the
right information in the best form, and help provide guidance.  The pilot
has to remain there to make the best choices and to basically aviate.

P.S.
I attended the FLight International congress on the 5 and 6 of may 1994 in
Paris. You told everyone they could get a copy of the FANS II document. In
my new position with KLM, I am interested in a copy. Could you please send
 me one?
Ir. M.A. van der Eijk
Oude Delft 155
2611 HA  Delft
The Netherlands
David Allen
FMCDave@AOL.COM
Boeing Flight Management Systems