Re: AA965 proves Airbus bashers deadly wrong

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         06 Feb 96 14:15:44 
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In article <airliners.1996.114@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Luc Bauwens) writes:
>I realize that this discussion has now moved on to the good old
>discussion.  But to come back to the subject of the subject
>line, I can't help thinking how wrong it sounds in this
>specific case.
>Isn't it true that
>1. A good computer would not have taken liberties with procedures,

Computers don't have anything to do with procedures.  Computers which do
try to automate automatic systems checks tend to isolate the pilot from the
control loop, which can result in things like flying into the sides of

The current design goal is NOT to freeze the human element out of the loop.
Until it is, and the decision has been made to completely elminate the pilot,
the reins should be pulled in on these clever engineers and they should be
made to design systems which provide appropriate control and feedback, to
coin a phrase from Don Norman.

>check points etc., and it would not have set up on a short cut thru
>a mountain, wouldn't it?

Nope.  No existing systems take account of those factors.

>2. And furthermore, a computer might have remembered about aerodynamic
>brakes when finally discovering the mountain?

That's what the Wall Street Journal was claiming, and which generated the
entire debate.    It's a specious argument: an airplane flying into a moun-
tain at 200+ knots only has a few seconds between the GPWS warning and impact,
and it is not at all clear whether automatic spoiler retraction would have
made any difference.

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation