Re: ATR-72's and Airbuses

Date:         11 Nov 96 01:52:20 
From:         Jean-Francois Bosc <>
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kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:

> Jean-Francois Bosc <> wrote:
> >May I connect the fact that 99% of the contributors on this group are American
> >with the other fact that comments appearing in "Airbus vs Boeing" threads are
> >often single-sided, and sometimes obviously biased ?
> (Does the DGAC do such shoddy work in its accident investigations?)

Very handsome ! Btw, I'm not DGAC.

> For the first nine months of this year, 2014 articles were posted to
> sci.aeronautics.airliners by 720 individuals.  1536 articles or 76.3%
> came from 531 (73.8%) e-mail addresses with domains which could be
> associated with the US. [...]
> In France, does 76 equal 99?

OK, I probably haven't been very clear. So, here's what I meant : there's a
large majority of US contributors on this group, which may partly explain the
fact that most comments are anti-Airbus. But, believe me or not, I _knew_ that
the correct figure was not 99. More precisely, I knew that it was probably not
99, and even that 99 was not the most likely one (I can develop a bit more).

> A less hysterical view would be that they are run by financial folks
> who go for the cheapest deal.  That's what kept the DC-10 in the game.
> The stockholders came out ahead, and perhaps most passengers came out
> slightly ahead by paying lower fares.  Those who weren't killed, that
> is.

Do you mean that it was known in advance that the DC-10 was going to be a
dangerous aircraft ? Then the conclusion is that certification wasn't done
properly. I don't expect finance people of any company to take such hypotheses
into account. Anyway, I have no problem at all getting in a DC-10 (which is
much less dangerous than getting in my car). Actually my understanding is that
it initially had some problems that were fixed, after what it became a pretty
decent plane.

> >However, if some "USnationalist" can provide me with clear significant stats
> >showing that I should better not set foot on a European aircraft ...
> While you're apparently too irrational for it to have sunk in, nobody
> has ever suggested anything like this.

May I cite the original post :
"Frederick's analysis of Aerospatiale's continued denials of problems with the
ATR's performance in icing conditions is chilling enough to persuade me never
to set foot in an ATR. If the same company is connected with the Airbus, I
would be very cautious about travelling again in one of those, too."

There's a very interesting (and fair, IMHO) post by Mr Wangermann on the ATR
topic. I have to admit that he has a US address.

> Your own whining about nationalism is baseless, much as you might like
> to think otherwise to provide your vacuous arguments with a crutch.

> Now, since this is supposed to be a technical group, will you please
> stop whining and try contributing some substantive arguments based on
> at least an attempt at facts?  I've been extra tolerant of some of the
> pro-Airbus ranting, in hopes that some more technically savvy Airbus
> supporters might not feel threatened, but that hasn't happened and I'm
> growing wearing of rubbish.  So are many readers of the newsgroup.

I'm terribly sorry but my english is too poor to follow you into unpleasant
language. I just don't consider that this group is fair on average, in that
there has been some biased comments which have not been refuted. I have been
accused of nationalism for expressing this opinion, maybe in a rough wording
I'll admit. I can rephrase it into : this newsgroup is made by a set of human
beings, 76% (let's be precise on important things) of which are Americans
(sorry : USians). Understand : I expect that a 76% European group would be
equally unfair.

Anyway, the main content of my message was that Airbus finds customers to buy
its planes, and that those planes perform decently regarding safety. I don't
think that you addressed these points in your answer. I've asked a few times
for statistical data to be provided in support of Airbus criticism, and I find
quite amusing that you return this argument now.

Now, if you want facts, there has been many posts pretending that Airbus is
going the wrong way by removing too much control from pilots, but I'm still
waiting for the stats. Until they show up this is at best philosophy. To me the
fact is that Airbus planes don't fall down particularly often. And I've read
comments from pilots who liked them.

Another recurrent comment is that Airbus planes are cheap because of government
funding. This may have been true in the past, but not any more (since several
years). The fact is that the only governments helps allowed by the European
Commission, and provided by governments, are loans, which _are_ being returned
after a while.