Re: Airbus Safer?

Date:         18 Aug 98 01:04:26 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>And maybe you've never seen the film footage of the A-320 reaching
>extreme attitudes as the pilot fights the computer for control of the
>airplane.

The only such incidents I'm aware of with Airbus aircraft have been with
A310s (the best known being an Interflug A310 near Moscow on February
11, 1991, and a TAROM A310 near Paris on September 24, 1994) and the
A330 flight test crash (at Toulouse on June 30, 1994).  If you're aware
of any such incidents with an A320, please post details.

>Or the airshow crash of an A-320 whose computers would not allow the
>pilot to perfofm a go-around because the airplane was in landing
>configuration.

That would be the Habsheim crash on June 26, 1988, but there has never
been any clear evidence of the crash being the result of anything other
than the pilots putting the plane into a predicament they couldn't get
it out of.  There are, however, a lot of inconsistencies between what
the DGAC report on this crash says and various witness accounts and
third-party analyses.  Still, there's not sufficient basis for your
placing blame on the computers unless you're in posession of data which
the rest of the public lacks.

>Or the A-320 that crashed in Russia...the computer would not allow the
>pilot to increase altitude (a deviation from the preset flight plan) in
>order to clear terrain.

There have been no A320 crashes in Russia.  The closest crash which
comes to mind is the Aeroflot A310 crash near Novokusnetzk on March 23,
1994, but that had virtually nothing to do with computers and everything
to do with pilot stupidity.  Specifically, the captain and FO both
leaving their seats while the captains kids took over.

I'm not terribly fond of the recent Airbus products, but I also believe
they deserve a fair treatment.

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
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"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andrew A. Rooney