Re: Airbus Safety

Date:         12 Oct 98 00:02:23 
From:         JF Mezei <>
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John Vincent Lombardi wrote:
> 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 disagree. The A320 is still young enough that its V1.0 beta version
hull losses are still squewing the statistics big time. If at all, you
should be comparing it against the first 10 years of the 737-100/200s or
the DC10. The A320 had a very bad start. And statistics would probably
show that its startup was worse than other planes'.  But what counts is
the safety of an aircraft TODAY.

Once an aircraft has been debugged and stops falling out of the sky,
should it still be considered unsafe ?

If a manufacturer does release a plane which does need lots of debugging
(A320 and DC-10 come to mind), it is only normal that buyers be weary of
subsequent product introduction from the same builder, but once a
product has received good enough testing, should its past continue to
haunt it?

Airbus certaintly suffered a lot because it released a plane without
adequate testing and debugging. Boeing learned from this and made sure
quality control was top priority when it released the 777, the first new
plane Boeing built after Airbus introduced the A320. But so did Airbus
since it seems that Airbus' subsequent new products (A340 and A330) seem
to have had a pretty good startup (certaintly less controversial than
the A320).