Re: First 757 crash (and first AA fatality since 1979)

From:         sandee@Think.COM (Daan Sandee)
Organization: TMC
Date:         06 Feb 96 14:15:42 
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In article <airliners.1996.28@ohare.Chicago.COM>, rdd@netcom.com (Robert Dorsett) writes:
|> In article <airliners.1996.24@ohare.Chicago.COM> chrisddr@aol.com (chrisddr) writes:
|> >Lets think.
|> >The reports from the feds say the spoilers were slightly deployed for decent.
|> >Normally the pilots won't try to modulate the spoilers to get a correct
|> >decent because it is too hard.....
|>
|> They may very well modify them to control speed, though.  That's what
|> they're there for.
|>
|> >but the autopilot will, very rapidly.
|>
|> The autopilot has authority over the speed brakes?  I don't think so.  What's
|> your source?

The WSJ for 1/8 had a front page article about the crash, specifically
addressing this point.  Most of what they say confirms other reports, then
they claim
- they only needed 200 ft for safety
- with spoilers retracted, they would probably have made this
- Airbus jets (A320, A330, A340) have computer-controlled protection
   that would have retracted the spoilers when near stalling speed (i.e.,
   when other planes have the stick shaker activated - and AA965 has the
   stick shaker going in the last few seconds).
The main point the reporter wanted to make that an Airbus jet might not
have crashed, and he went on about how Airbus elects to let the computer fly
the plane, while Boeing prefers the pilot.  (He furthermore claims that the
MD-80 does not automatically retract spoilers when the stick shaker is
activated, and cites pilots that say that the L-1011 does.)

I don't want to start another battle in the Airbus vs. Boeing wars, but I
found this viewpoint, emanating as it did from the mouthpiece of American
capitalism, noteworthy.

Daan Sandee                                           sandee@think.com
Burlington, MA