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Old 12th Mar 2019, 18:59
  #775 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 49
Originally Posted by silverstrata View Post

Has it really made things safer?

When Airbus brought out the A320 they were plagued by incidents where the pilots did not understand (or did not interface effectively) with the computer systems. And they still have the same problem - accidents like AF447 were dominated by a lack of understanding about the aircraft, its systems, and how to fly a basic aircraft that has little or no computer assistance.

It is an undeniable fact that if Airbus had deleted the pilot from the flightdeck entirely, back in the 80s, none of these incidents would have occurred. (It would be simple to write a basic flying software to take over in alternate-law - a simple system based upon attitude and power.)

So the question Trump has posed is valid - is it time to delete the pilot from the flightdeck? Making a computer drive a car in an urban environment is MUCH more complex than flying an aircraft, and yet that technology is forging ahead. So should aircraft forge ahead as well? Face facts, Airbus could delete the pilot from its aircraft within 5 years. (That would not be possible with the 737, but that is another - related - issue altogether.)

Seriously ? While we all know that pilot error has been involved in a number of accidents, this potential fault in the 737Max shows that the pilots can be the last line of defence if properly trained. The Lion Air accident shows that the previous day the pilots successfully managed a serious computer error and saved all those on board. Unfortunately that is not always the case. The pilots were not successful in saving the AF447 but the aircraft would certainly have crashed anyway if just the computer systems were involved.
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