Re: Trim Activated by the Autopilot

Date:         08 Jan 2000 13:39:22 
From:         "John M. Hunt" <>
Organization: Internet Partners of America
References:   1 2
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  or MIME structure (PS2727) wrote:
> This is the scenario in a few of the accidents and the solution is to train the pilots
>accordingly. Unfortunately in some cases the pilots did not even know
>the autopilot(s) were on. This seems amazing until you see how these
>things work. There is little warning sometimes and requires constant
>attention to keep up with the mode of operation.
>Whether its a design flaw is a matter of opinion but I think we have
>taken a giant step backward in safety by complicating the task rather
>than by simplifying it.

This brings up another of my pet gripes.  Why can't the Flight
Management System simply announce in a very bossy voice "The aircraft
is seriously out of longitudinal trim"

Surely this would get the attention of anyone, at least to the point
where they would start verifying some of their assumptions.  My great
enthusiasm for audio verbal warnings is even further enhanced by the
fact that the programming of the computer for such purely audio
generation couldn't possibly introduce any hazards into the really
critical control coding.  It should also be the world's easiest
software to debug, as the consequence of faulty code would simply be
audio garbage, immediately recognizable on the very first test.
Programming in native tongues could also provided at little cost,
offering some much needed help to those who are, especially in an
emergency, not too comfortable with English.

John M. Hunt