From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         03 Nov 96 19:56:57 
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In article <airliners.1996.2217@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Louis K. Scheffer) writes:
>I would suspect that a modern ETOPS plane, where the automated cockpit does
>the 'right thing' upon an engine failure (where the right thing was thought
>through by experts who were not under time pressure), is probably safer
>than a 4 engine plane where an engine failure needs to be treated with
>a long checklist and modified procedures.

Interesting premise, except that on all airplanes, shutting off an engine
is still in the province of the pilots, and will likely remain so for the
indefinite future.  The most significant areas of automation "involvement"
(apart from navigation) are in fuel balancing and electrical load management.
Plus *simplified* operation of some systems (single-lever engine starts
in some airplanes, for instance, combined with start progress analysis and
automatic action).

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation