Con Trails 200 - Sky Obscured: A Fiction Novel by HS135 Pilot
  Databases  airNEWS  Contact

Landings: Opinions: AirSafety, Airbus, and Boeing

Expert Forums
Discussion Boards
Aviation's Directory
Desser Tire: Americas 1st choice in Aircraft tires
By: T. D. Ponder
E-mail Address:

Scary New-Generation Aircraft

In the wake of the recent China Airbus crash there has developed a major, ongoing argument regarding the relative safety of Airbus vrs. Boeing aircraft. It is ironic that, facts notwithstanding, the China crash has many "earmarks" of pilot error, although that is yet to be determined. This argument is a matter of symptoms only, since the aircraft involved merely represent a small factor in a larger problem. The debate has quickly turned into an international bickering contest with accusations flying across the Atlantic Ocean at the speed of light. It is my opinion that no matter what a pilot's culture (the aircraft should not care!), when he/she straps into the seat of any airplane, she/he should not have to worry if he/she is going to fly it or if some competent or otherwise non- pilot software writer's work is going to jump in from time totime to have the AIRPLANE make a critical decision.

Are we moving into an era wherein pilots are going to become only guardians, when occasionally permitted, over computers otherwise totally flying the aircraft? Are we almost there now? We know the next set of steps, coming too soon perhaps, will bring pilotless aircraft from gate to gate. But for now, are pilots to be incapable of having the aircraft "feel" even when they are pseudo - flying new - generation aircraft? (c.f., the Delta Airbus "drivers" who sat and chatted while the auto-throttles backed off until the aircraft surprised them and their passengers with a full - blown stall and the loss of some 3,000ft. over Florida? Don't bother to yell that this particlar craft was not a newer, FBW version. The point is the same either way. BTW, Why does Delta no longer fly the Airbus?)

Somewhere a compromise has to be reached in the new - generation aircraft whereby a pilot, for now at least, knows he/she will have direct, total and undisputable control CAPABILITY of the aircraft in all phases of flight. I am not a Luddite and I am not opposed to progress. Progress, however, must include SAFETY as a mainstay, and not reduced it to a "necessary and, ergo, acceptable" human loss level.I am fully aware that many military aircraft have computer control devices that would otherwise make the aircraft unflyable (i.e., by hand) under certain mission flight conditions. I am not opposed to that. Nor do I expect airline pilots to hand - fly their craft at high altitude enroute (while wearing their caps crooked and sweating), because that is neither feasible nor desirable. I am not asking for a step backward, just a closer look at current and future options of a trend already well - established. I am talking about zero system/autopilot surprises of a lethal nature, and a pilot's having direct control capability. Aircraft designers, manufacturers and computer programmers must not be allowed to usurp this capability for now. Otherwise, crew and passenger deaths will continue to mount as they are doing currently while aircraft and aircraft system bugs slam aircraft into the ground, without regard for human life or culture.

As for the Airbus aircraft, it seems that the newer - generation "Baby Buses" are the ones being flown by video games. They need to find a parking space until the bugs/systems are corrected! Airlines flying Boeing products also should consider if they wish to park a particular model based on its "mystery" crash history. It will not happen, of course. There is no doubt pilots, as we know them today, will become obsolete in the future. But why should lives be lost in this transition? Is there no other way available? Should we set a level of human loss as aircraft systems and designs change? I have great difficulty with this line of thought --- much less its implementation.

T.D. Ponder ATP BHM 10,000 hrs.+ PIC

Back to Hangar talk

NOTE: Reviews and Opinions do not necessarily represent those of Landings, its personnel and employees.

Ch: Aviation (more->)

Tony Tyler: Aviation industry will handle over 3 billion passengers in ... (NWST)

Heathrow runway delay is hurting aviation industry, warns Iata chief (GUAR)

Raytheon increases pilot situational awareness with Aviation ... (AVIO)

Embraer jets receive Russian certification (JRLA)

Plymouth Airport celebrates its pioneers by naming gates for them (BOST)

Ajit Singh writes to UP CM on land for airport at Allahabad (INDI)

Airline profits pick up in 2012: IATA (TMSE)

Contract with the SAAF terminated Denel (POLI)

Denel aircraft specialists receive retrenchment notices Solidarity (POLI)

GAA signs up for BIAS2014 (BNA_)

Jet Aviation Dubai signs agreement with FEAG (CORP)

Marines hone command capabilities for Afghanistan (DVID)

Analysis: China acquires 90 ILFC stake (JRLA)

Dassault Falcon sells two jets to Wallan (TRAD)

AviancaTaca orders ATR 72 600s (JRLA)

New Issue Milestone Aviation sells 250 mln notes (RTRS)

A Chance for Ugandans to Fly (ALLA)

Col. Michael Musiol takes over 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade (OBRF)

General Aviation Taking off at MacArthur (AVIA)

Lady Antebellum chooses Skynet Aviation (REVI)

Future of GA sparks debate at Wichita event (AOPA)

The many sides of airlines (TTGA)

Ma speaks out on ICAO exclusion (TMST)

MEBA to move to dedicated Dubai world central expo site (ZAWY)

MEBAA Elects Two to Board, Ups Insurance Cover (ONLA)

Roundtable: Aviation 2013 The Latest Legal Features, Research ... (WHOS)

Research Trends and Conclusions: Aviation 2013 (WHOS)

Most Highly Regarded Firms: Aviation 2013 (WHOS)

BAE Systems Wins 400 Million US Navy Aircraft Maintenance ... (AVIA)

Natca: Sequestration Would Cripple ATC, NextGen (ONLA)

Ch: Incidents (more->)

Banner year for safety in global aviation (TN)

2012 named safest year in civil aviation history (_PST)

Neema Swai a Woman Flying Her Dream (ALLA)

Cessna aircraft makes crash landing in Malir Cantt (NWS_)

HAMM member and passenger killed in small plane crash (TYLE)

World War II Fighter Raised From Lake Michigan (CHIC)

WWII era plane recovered from depths of Lake Michigan (WREX)

Pearl Harbor Day event pulls up old fighter plane, and zebra ... (WBEZ)

WWII era plane found at bottom of lake (WZZM)

Strengthen English Skills in China's Aviation Industry (ENGL)

 [Quick NAV | Aviation's Directroy]MAY ALL YOUR LANDINGS BE GOOD ONES!
News/Forums Search/Ref Pilot-Supplies Aircraft/Parts Services Gen.-Aviation Gov./Military
GA-News Search Supplies Manufacturers A/C-Sales Helicopters Government
Forums Databases GPS/Tech. Parts A/C-Values Gyrocopters Research
Hangar-Talk Regulations Simulators Avionics Var-Services Aerobatics Military
Events/Airshows Reports Flight Tools Classifieds Homebuilding General
Offers Alerts Weather Engines Var-Products Ultralights Images
Promotions Publications Planning Mods/Restor. FBOs Soaring Miscellaneous
SITES Museums Clubs AirTransport Travel/Tours Hanggliding GA
Contact/Info History FBOs Airlines Insurance Paragliding Travel/Tours
Add-Link Organizations Flight-Schls Airports Medical Srvcs Parachute Safety
Logbook Companies Training Live-ATC Financing Balloons  
Awards Directory Simulators   Fuel    
Credits   Schools        
Contact   Safety        

   Sponsored links:
     Aircraft For Sale - FREE 90-day photo ads -
     Pilot Jobs - America's Pilot Employment Network - Free Access -
LANDINGS.COM Copyright © 1994-2012
Explicit permission required for any duplication or usage