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Old 3rd Jun 2009, 14:02
  #697 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 180
"Isn't a computer on an aeroplane supposed to be an aid to good airmanship rather than a substitute for it?

The flying community is rapidly becoming totally dependent upon computers for all aspects of flight based upon the assurance of the manufactureres that "nothing can go wrong - it's all 100% reliable."
Zeque, there's a clear difference between the approaches of the two major manufacturers.

Generally speaking, Boeing leave the final decision to the pilot - they provide him with warnings, like stick shakers and klaxons -but if he 'decides' to try to stand the aeroplane on its head or its ass or its elbow, the 'systems' will let him do it.......

Airbus, on the other hand, build in 'protections' in normal flying trim. Essentially, they won't LET the pilot turn or climb or descend too fast or too hard - they just 'take over' and keep the parameters within set maximums.

"Pilots should be able to isolate computers when the programming has obviously gone wrong."
I believe that you can do that in either aeroplane, in theory. In a Boeing, you always have that privilege. In an Airbus, you can go to 'Direct Law' (I think!). But, also as far as I know, that means that you won't have elevators or ailerons to fly with, just the rudder and the trim controls.......

Others will correct me if I'm wrong - but as far as I know, that's the situation.

Both sides of the argument have their ardent supporters. All depends, I suppose, on whether you reckon 'situations' cause most accidents - or pilots do........
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