Re: Habsheim accident (was: Re: Airbus Safer?)

Date:         25 Aug 98 00:53:23 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>> Substituting others for the ones which were in the crash is a decidedly
>> non-standard action.

>How serious are the allegations that the flight recorders were
>substituted to protect Airbus?

That's two different questions.  As to whether the flight recorders were
substituted, the ones claimed to be in the posession of the authorities
are reported to be badly damaged.  (I can't remember if there have been
any photographs released of them or not; they are *still* being stored
under tight security.)  You can track down the Equinox episode yourself
and see the video footage which clearly shows the new-looking recorders
in the boot of a car immediately after the accident.  Someting clearly
doesn't match.

Nothing, however, says *why* they might have been swapped, if indeed
they were.  It could have been to hide evidence of a US missle fired
from off Long Island for all we know.  One can only wonder why they
would have gone to the trouble if there was nothing to hide.  Note
that this doesn't imply that Airbus was involved even if anything
devious did occur.

>Are they as serious as allegations that aliens shot down TWA800 or are
>there serious facts that lend credibility to this?

Real photographs which you can see yourself if you bother seem more
credible than most of the bizarre theories about TWA 800.  Once again,
dig up the Equinox program, which has a lot of food for thought.

>However, the fact that an investigation on one incident may have been
>flawed does not affect other investigations of the many problems of the
>A320, nor does it affect that once the plane was debugged after a couple
>of years of beta testing in production, it has become a fine plane.

Not if any problems which might have existed at Habsheim were in fact
fixed, but if there were in fact problems with the aircraft, we didn't
get to learn from the aircraft.  Perhaps they were merely rare and we
haven't seen the last of them -- not unlike the alleged rudder problem
with the 737, suggested as the cause of UA 585 at Colorado Springs and
US 427 at Pittsburgh.  Even though I know the odds are in my favor even
if there is a rudder problem with the 737, I find myself getting a bit
nervous before every flight on one of them.

Years of beta testing in production?!  I damned well don't want to use
any product whose manufacturer thinks of me and other paying customers
as unwilling test victims, er, subjects while they finish doing their
job, unless I've been aprised of the risks and have formally agreed to
accept them.  I do that regularly with computer hardware and software.
With products that can kill me, forget it unless I'm having a hell of a
lot more fun than getting a drink or two and a movie.

--
Karl Swartz	|Home	kls@chicago.com
		|Work	kls@netapp.com
		|WWW	http://www.chicago.com/~kls/
"The average dog is a nicer person than the average person." - Andrew A. Rooney