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If you have a choice at your airline - Airbus or Boeing?

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If you have a choice at your airline - Airbus or Boeing?

Old 10th May 2011, 00:28
  #41 (permalink)  
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if you have a choice buy douglas...boeing did!
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Old 10th May 2011, 07:50
  #42 (permalink)  
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It is designed to quickly increase thrust for speeds lower tha Vref and more slowly reduce thrust for higher speeds.
Yes, that's what we see. Works well enough. But I suspect the implementation is a bit more subtle. However, I don't remember it being documented.
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Old 10th May 2011, 09:27
  #43 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by sevenstrokeroll View Post
if you have a choice buy douglas...boeing did!
Let's be fair though, Douglas were responsible for one of the biggest airliner design SNAFUs in history (DC-10 cargo door/cabin floor failure), and then got caught with their pants down trying to hush it up.

In fact a lot of people forget that the earliest "What's it doing now?" accidents occured to neither an Airbus nor a Boeing product, but to the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar (EAL401) and the aforementioned DC-10 (ANZ901).
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Old 10th May 2011, 10:07
  #44 (permalink)  
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I don't think the ANZ accident was a real "what's it doing now" moment. The pilots knew exactly what it was doing, just not WHERE it was doing it. Not really theirs or the aircrafts fault really.
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Old 10th May 2011, 10:25
  #45 (permalink)  
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IMO the AA965 Cali accident (widely considered as part of the "What's it doing now?" category) was practically identical, though in that case it was the pilots that entered the wrong co-ordinates, not the Chief Navigator at base* (as was the case with ANZ901)

Don't want to drag this off-topic again, mind...

[* - Yes, I know that "technically" he corrected co-ordinates that were wrong in the first place, but by failing to inform the pilots, he ended up sending them somewhere they didn't think they were going. ]
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Old 10th May 2011, 13:52
  #46 (permalink)  
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EAL401 had everybody troubleshooting LG anomaly and nobody flying.

Same thing for the SAS DC-8 that crashed on approach to LAX. Study CRM.

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Old 10th May 2011, 19:50
  #47 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the comments, keep them coming!

Speaking of past accidents and "what's it doing" scenarios:

EAL401 (Everglades, FL) was a simple case of all 3 crewmembers forgetting to fly the aircraft while troubleshooting a burned out bulb.

ANZ901 (Erebus) was a loss of SA thanks to the company's navigation department screwing with flight plan coordinates the night before the flight and never telling the crew, essentially luring them down the wrong track in Antarctica, despite the crew having been briefed weeks earlier to fly a different track. Then, sector whiteout contributed to their loss of SA. The aircraft had nothing to do with it.

AAL965 (Cali) was a case of the PF (Captain) entering a fix into the FMC that had the same identifier as numerous fixes and executing it without confirming with the F/O. The aircraft turned towards the closest fix as they were in a descent in mountainous terrain, taking them off the airway and below the peaks.

In all three of these cases, the aircraft was not to blame - and they were all 3 different types (Lockheed, Douglas, Boeing)... ironically enough, neither one Airbus. That said - I'm sure there are several documented incidents of Airbus types confusing the heck out of their pilots, specifically in the earlier years.
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Old 10th May 2011, 19:56
  #48 (permalink)  
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The most powerful computers on both aircraft are the same. They are grey on the outside and squishy. On Boeing, they are directly connected to the aircraft, on airbus, there are much less capable computers in the way.

While some sing the praises of that [email protected]&Ły table, others look at the manuals and see that though not perfect, Boeing present their information (information that might save your life) much better than airbus, yet their aircraft is simpler.

Being build aircraft which suffer glitches, as airbus do, but the Boeing product is honest and doesn't try to confuse you when things go wrong - perhaps the greatest failing of the airbus product line for some time.

If you wish to be an aircraft manager, and don't mind handing some of the authority over whether you live or die to French technology, enjoy the airbus. If you are a pilot, and wish to control a machine, using your skills, experience, wit, and cunning to get the best out of it, then the Boeing is for you.
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Old 10th May 2011, 21:33
  #49 (permalink)  
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As I've said already, KG, if you want to be a pilot, don't be an airline pilot. The two things have very different objectives. Airline pilots are (in flying terms) fundamentally system managers. This should be built on a foundation of well-maintained flying skills, and there is no reason that these skills can't be maintained on the Airbus - it's possible to switch off the autothrust, flight director and area navigation display, and indeed my airline does that on sim checks (in addition to which, we fly to places where we do everything from IIIb autolands to circling approaches and visual approaches).

As far as the extra skills, wit, experience and cunning you use to fly a Boeing - can you give any examples? I'm not sure I really spotted any in 9 years on the Boeing that didn't apply in similar ways to the Airbus.
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Old 10th May 2011, 23:07
  #50 (permalink)  
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KG, I do not feel more a manager on the Airbus than on the Boeing. Day to day flying is exactly the same: program the FMC, take off, autopilot on, autopilot off, land. However...

There are some neet things that the 320 does for me which the 737 doesn't. It tunes my navigation radios automatically, it sets the courses on the ILS. It starts the engines for me. It handles the pressurisation completely automatically. I don't have to crank 4 switches to get engine anti-ice, just two button pushes. If I forget the packs, it will tell me. It will tell me the signs are on. I physically cannot make a PA over the ATC radio. My seat moves electrically. My seatback reclines. It will calculate my Vapp and it will make sure the groundspeed stays constant during the final approach. All this makes the Airbus very comfortable to fly on a day to day, sector to sector basis. In no way do I feel like a manager. If anything, it makes me feel a bit lazy. But if needed I can revert back to basics on all these points in an instant. I can manually start the engines, I can fly my own Vapp, I can tune whatever radio I want.

Of course there are things I do not like on the 320. The seats have no sheep's skin. The reading lights are vastly inferior compared to the 737. The only way to tell the FMC that we are going around is to actually select TOGA power. The FMS is not user friendly. The wipers are as useless as on the 737. ECAM, QRH, FCOM take years to really understand. Still, the word manager is not what I would call an Airbus pilot.
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Old 11th May 2011, 07:33
  #51 (permalink)  
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I flew B737-200/300/400/800, B747-400, B777-200,
A300-600R, A310-300
After five years in the Airbus, albeit not a FBW type, when I got out of it for the last time, I never even looked over my shoulder at it, as the crew bus drove away. All that was going through my mind was " Thank goodness that's over ", and I made myself the promise, that from that point on, I would never volunteer for another 'Bus assignment.

What put me off ? The disquieting feeling that I was never really in charge of the machine. At the time, probably 80-90 % of all Tech-Log write-ups were written off as " Re-racked - unable to fault, please report further ". On the very many occasions I saw the machine do or "say " something totally inexplicable out of left field, and went to an engineer to ask, " Hey, what's all this about ? ", the most common response was for them to look a bit sheepish, shrug their shoulders and say " Sorry, no idea ". The Frenglish manuals were seldom of any help. They don't want you to know how ( or why) they built it that way, they just want you to know the absolute basics of how to operate it. (The same, of course, could be said of the B777-200.)

One can never imagine getting ourselves into a situation where you could come out of cloud, pointing at a hill, but plenty of our colleagues have done it in times past. IMHO it would be cold comfort to hit the hill knowing that no flight envelope limitations have been exceeded.

If you look back over the last 50 odd years of jet transport flying, plenty of them have landed battered and bent, sometimes throw-away items after exceeding a lot of design limits, but landed safely nonetheless. Not many of them were Airbus.

If everything is going according to plan ... Magnificent piece of machinery ! For anything that requires a problem solving solution, outside of the square, as for all aircraft, be extremely careful. The technique of flying Airbus requires that a great deal of trust be put in the PNF, far more so, IMHO than any Boeing. When it gets really down and dirty, the sheer complexity of the design and operating philosophy could bring two good men undone. I used to think in those days, that the difference between the two, was that, for the Airbus, the skipper would need far more available RAM after doing his own job, than in the equivalent Boeing. On a good day, any mug can just sit there and play with the buttons, but the Airbus, in a severely degraded mode, really requires an Aircraft Commander who has a third eye on the rhs of his scone.

The salesmen, from both manufacturers would tell you " It is so easy to fly that even a trained chimp could do it ". The reality is maybe a little more complicated.

The earlier Boeings, although a tad agricultural, were pretty much "what you see, is what you get ". Functional , not flash, but with very few vices and no real tricks or traps that I remember. Uncomfortable ? Of course, but if you took a problem to any engineer over say 35 and asked " What's this about then ?", they would either be able to tell you on the spot, or at least go an look it up.

My all too brief flirtation with the B777-200, was a case of mixed feelings. The gee-wizz aspect of the toys was great ( EFB excepted ... what a POS ! Great idea, truly lousy execution.) I was wary of the FBW, but took some comfort in the sense that, if you asked it to do something radical, it would in it's own way. ask you, " Are you sure you really want to do that ? " If the answer was " Yes ! " it would at least let you do it. I was reasonably confident that a jet-upset was recoverable if unconventional technique was required.

So, that's my ten cents worth .... If you wish to discuss it further, PM me and I'll supply an address for the delivery of a case of nature's finest.

Of course this doesn't address the lifestyle, bid-line , domicile etc, etc. But that's another case.

This post is chardonnay assisted, and I'll deny everything.

Fly safe.

Regards Tpad

PS : If the chart table really means that much to you Airbus afficionados, maybe, just maybe, you need a holiday... ( On a boat !! )
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Old 11th May 2011, 07:39
  #52 (permalink)  
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In fact a lot of people forget that the earliest "What's it doing now?" accidents occured to neither an Airbus nor a Boeing product, but to the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar (EAL401) and the aforementioned DC-10 (ANZ901).
Aah well maybe to the inexperienced crews!
Never had any design issues with her.

Lockheed L-1011 - by far the greatest ever!
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Old 11th May 2011, 08:58
  #53 (permalink)  
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I Flew the worlds simplest jet to fly, yep the mighty tripple 7

Now on the Hyundai of the skies, yep the A330.

I probably don't need to tell you which I prefer

1/ The table is good on the Bus, I mean it's a very handy spot to put all those crappy FCOM's you seem to forever be needing in flight.

2/ The best thing about flying the Bus? After retirement you wont miss flying at all
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Old 12th May 2011, 13:53
  #54 (permalink)  
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Having flown both 744 and A330/340, as a place to spend a lot of time, the 330/340 for me hands down.
Cockpit it roomy, quiet(er) and no balancing meals on my lap with a pillow.
Not as fast as the Boeing, but hey, last time I looked I got paid by the hour :-)
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Old 12th May 2011, 20:38
  #55 (permalink)  
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I've flown the 727/737/A319/320/A310/A300, not in that order(plus a few other non A or B products). Looking back on it, the 737 is the one I miss the least. I agree that Airbus cockpits are quieter, more comfortable, and in general have more logical ergonomic features although some A310/A300 operators didn't consider a cupholder a necessary feature. While I absolutely love the classic Beast-727 and you won't find me saying anything bad about it, I've preferred the Airbus planes I've flown overall. Basically if you could give me an A320 with as much power as an A300, I'd be quite happy. Same thing for an A300/310 with a retrofitted A320 series style cockpit like they're doing with the 757/767's(plus cupholders!). Nothing is perfect, Airbus, Boeing or whomever, but I really love ECAM. I like coming into the cockpit and not being inundated with a bunch of yellow and red lights/messages on the screens. No messages about low oil pressure, low fuel pressure, low hydraulic pressure, etc because the engines are off. Basically if something on the screen isn't green check it out. I've found it easier to find glaring issues on setup quickly vs wading through a flow to find them or playing guess which one of the six pack lights shouldn't be on now, or which one of the 3 pages of EICAS messages isn't right. There are exceptions to the rule as nature abhors a vacuum, but it's overall a big plus for me along with the obvious ECAM checklist stuff.

As for the flying stuff, I've never really gotten into all the drama. They're both airplanes, they both fly just fine, and like different airplanes they fly differently. All of them will erode your skills if you allow them too. I know plenty of 727 pilots who flew with the A/P from about 800agl to 500agl on the way down and were pretty shaky skills wise if they had to do anything else. They probably had it years ago, but use it or lose always applies. I went from the 320/319 to the 727 and it was no big deal to me as I did a lot of hand flying (AT off as well) in the 319/320. I thought the non moving levers in the 319/320 would bug me, but they didn't. I had a pretty good idea of where the power was by feel/sound and the power lever doughnuts are there as well. Clicking everything off for a TCAS RA, quick leveloff, visual go-around, etc, I pretty much did like any other plane pulling the levers to where I felt they needed to be by feel then confirming with the gauges/speed tape/etc. Doing that a few times in the non-sim world really solidified it for me that I had a good idea of where the power was and it really wasn't an issue. Other than that most stuff seems minor to me. Boeings tend to take more rudder pedal travel to get the desired movement in a X-wind, which is no big deal as long as you realize what kind of plane you're in. Airbus medium autobrakes blow compared to Brakes 3 on a Boeing, I don't know if they fixed it in later planes or not but it seems to be an Airbus trademark. As for the rudder stuff, I also disagree with the poster that said that we weren't warned about the sensitivity of the surface at different speeds and the potential for structural damage. I know I was told about it in training at least 13-14 years ago and told that certain carriers were emphasizing training that was a bit too aggressive in their opinion.

In the end, I prefer the Buses a bit more, but you could plop me in a 757 or a 777 tomorrow and you probably wouldn't hear much out of me other than complaints about cockpit noise or relative comfort(757 not 777). I'd miss some things, like some things, would fly the bird in front of me not my personal idea of how things 'should' be, and enjoy myself which I'm sure you will whatever AA purchases. If you put me back in a 737, it'd be a different story though.....
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Old 13th May 2011, 04:22
  #56 (permalink)  
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''Of course this doesn't address the lifestyle, bid-line , domicile etc, etc. But that's another case.''

I used to fly for an airline that had both As and Bs, painted them red and silver and was owned by a man who looked like he should be selling copies of the big issue for a living. We on the B aeroplance, the mighty 744 looked down on our bretherin who flew the 'inferior' A340-300 as we considered our machine was the biggest and the best. And I went with the flow and actually for a while believed we were the best fleet. Then after a while, I noticed they had better destinations, better layovers, more time off and seemingly a better lifestyle overall. And one day I jumpseated on a 340 and realised the extra space and the quietness actually made it a much more pleasant working environemt. -and I found myself thinking that perhaps the 340 was the better option after all.

There's a lot more to life than what type you fly. The type is only a part of the equasion. After 27 years in the industry, I prefer the job which gives me the best lifestyle with the best pay. Not that I mentioned lifestyle and not type. The type comes with the job. And as for the enjoyment of flying for flyings sake, that went for me a long time ago soon after I left the military. I can only recapture that on the few occaisions a year I rent an aerobatic GA aircraft.

I liked the B product, but now I fly A's shorthaul around Asia and the automatics make the long working days very easy. To be faced with an NPA in bad weather with terrain all around at the end of a long tiring day, I thank whoever designed that little APP button which allows me to fly an NDB approach as if it were an ILS.
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Old 13th May 2011, 05:35
  #57 (permalink)  
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An Airbus is better at helping me keep my job
Literally, anything else you could have said would make me, as a passenger, feel better.

Not picking at you - but I sincerely hope that I'm never onboard.
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Old 13th May 2011, 12:25
  #58 (permalink)  
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How does the noise level differ between an A320/330/340 and the 75/76/77? About the same?

I just finished a year on the 738... needless to say, the 75/76 is so much quieter.
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Old 14th May 2011, 01:53
  #59 (permalink)  
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Well, I can fly a non precision approach in my 75/6 just like an ILS as well.I'm sure you can do the same thing in a B777.

So Airbus has no monopoly there.

I'm still not sure of the advantage of the Airbus 'constant groundspeed' approach.

It does help explain the far more pronounced and frequent power changes I notice on approach while riding in the back on the Ab.

up / down up / down all the way down the glideslope with the power, how is this an advance ?

Last edited by stilton; 14th May 2011 at 03:46.
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Old 14th May 2011, 03:49
  #60 (permalink)  
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Best a/c

Well one thing I've noticed over the years... pilot's will USUALLY say the aircraft they are flying currently is the best. That's because we love to fly them, and they are GENERALLY always improving.

That being said, best ever is the the 757!
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