PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - AF447 final crew conversation - Thread No. 1
Old 8th Feb 2012, 14:34
  #1254 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: On the dark side of the moon
Posts: 946
JO, may I suggest that, in response to a problem, you are putting up an Aunt Sally of a wrong solution?
I don't have an aunt Sally so I'm not sure what you mean. In any case, I was not disagreeing with the need to ensure that pilots are adequately trained and prepared to handle a situation like that faced by the AF447 crew. But the devil is in the details and to suggest that the autopilot going off was somehow a bad idea is leading to the wrong conclusion, IMHO. If I used a bad example to support my position, then it is what it is.

This entire discussion raises the very complex issue of knowing where your next accident is hiding. For all the talk about SMS and proactive risk management, what is not being addressed adequately is the fact that accidents such as AF447 are difficult to predict, and therefore difficult to prevent proactively. I've been in this business a long time and around Airbus FBW aircraft for close to 20 years, and I would never have envisioned that a pilot would respond to those specific circumstances in the way that he did, nor that once it happened, a crew would be unable to get out of it with over 3 minutes to react. If the investigation doesn't help to determine why this is the case and why it made sense to them at the time, then the outcome will be wholly unsatisfying.

Alas, I fear that we will be left unsatisfied. Instead, what we may be left with is the same problem we've faced for decades, that of having to make "tombstone changes" to the system in response to a bad event. This thread is littered with accusations that this accident was entirely preventable, but I am just not sure that this is a fair analogy.
J.O. is offline