Re: Airbus Safety

Date:         07 Oct 98 02:49:23 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
References:   1 2 3
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>Although I can't argue with the numbers, you are incorrectly mixing
>aircraft of different generations together to support your claims. Using
>your figures, the A320 does have a significantly higher hull loss rate
>than its contemporary, the 737-300/400/500.

The post to which I was responding said:

   Fact is: the A320 family has a larger number of hull-loss accidents per
   million departures than does its competitor the B737 series. Check the
   statistics...

It didn't say 2nd generation 737, 737s of similar vintage, or anything
else.  I didn't pick the comparison, I just checked that statistics on
the comparison that was proposed.  (I didn't have the split of 1st and
2nd generation 737 hull losses readily available, unfortunately.)

>The figures you used are skewed by the inclusion of first generation
>transports such as the 737-100/200 series. Some would even argue that
>the A320 is a generation ahead of the 300/400/500 and therefore should
>be safer still. Instead the numbers show a significant increase in hull
>losses per departure.

I agree with all of that, including the argument that the A320 family
should be significantly better than the 2nd generation 737, but isn't.
But once again, I didn't pick the fight.

>Early 737's had no GPWS, no EGPWS, no windshear
>alerting or prediction, no moving map, no EFIS, no flight path
>protections, no autoland, no CAT II, no flight management system, no
>autothrottle, no ACARS, no color weather radar.

I know of some 737-300s built this year (and possibly even 737-700s)
that lack many of those features or at least have them disabled -- no
flight path protections, no autoland, no FMS, no ACARS, maybe more.
Despite that, their operator has never lost a plane or life.

Instead of technology, Southwest believes in good pilots who are fully
in the loop.

>Some have argued that the A320 suffers from a generational "learning
>curve" just as the first jets did. The fact is, the A320 should be
>measurably safer than its contemporaries and it is not.

I couldn't have said it better.

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