Re: Trim Activated by the Autopilot

Date:         31 Dec 99 02:09:37 
From:         Carl Peters <>
References:   1
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While you point out a few accidents due to a common cause, remember that
the logic behind this system can not be that bad, as thousands of
flights are competently flown with the same aircraft types daily. Your
critique should be directed toward the pilots who do not understand the
system and its logic. These problems are not just with recent modern
aircraft, such as the Airbus family, but has been occurring for decades
in general aviation aircraft, too. A single rule was violated, one that
has been taught ever since the advent of autopilot control - you can
have only ONE pilot flying the aircraft, be it machine or person. The
pilots in the aforementioned accidents, such as from Mr. Job's three
(excellent) books, did not understand fully how the autopilot worked,
and tried to become a 'second' pilot, instead of working with the
machine versus depressing the single button that would have instantly
turned it off.

While my first perusing of these accidents made me first lay blame
toward a certain manufacturer in its approach to control logic, further
thought showed that the system performed exactly as the manufacturer
said it would, as was outlined in training. The mistake was simply the
pilots' lack of system mastery. They violated a quite old rule - only
one pilot.

Carl Peters