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Fly-By-Wire Airplanes - Need Opinions  
User currently offlinePH-BZA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2416 times:

Guys, I have question.

We know that there are many fly-by-wire aircraft out there. In my opinion they can be both safe and unsafe in ways compared to conventional aircraft. They could be safe in that since more functions are computer-controlled, there are less dials and switches, thus reducing the risk of a pilot flipping a wrong switch and through a series of events crashing the aircraft.

On the other hand, since the pilot has less say in controlling his aircraft as more functions have been shifted to the computers, if a computer error was made the plane may also crash (in fact, this is what happened to a couple of French A320's about 10 years ago when the first ones came out).

Please give me your opinions on this.

PH-BZA

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline767-400ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

FBW is the route for airliners and military planes.
There is always problems with using new technology with anything. They just refine it to be better from experience.

I like Boeing's version of this because you can over right the computer. Well, thats what I heard.

I also heard from a US Airways pilot flying the A320, that he dosent like the Airbus version because on ILS approuch with auto pilot on, you can't feel the planes yoke move, unlike the rest with conventional cables. For know, he says he is sticking with the 737. Other then that, the plane flies with ease.

Im not sure if thats true to the rest of the Airbus fleet or the 777.


Rooz


User currently offlineTEDSKI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2336 times:

I know on the 777 even though it is a FBW aircraft the flight crew has the old fashioned control yoke versus the Airbus FBW aircraft which have a joystick. The 777 also has a manual backup flight control system in case the computer FBW doesn't function properly.

User currently offline777x From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2335 times:

I don't think any Airbus crashes have been blamed on computer errors (correct me if I'm wrong), however, some were due to humans and computers interacting in ways that were not anticipated, and selection of the innapropriate modes.

IMHO, computer controlled flight is safe, and if you look at crash causes, you will see that the human is quite often implicated, so it's my position that by eliminating the pilot flight could become safer   - BUT this is a long way from happening today, many advances are required first.

my 2c (flame away)



User currently offlineSndp From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 553 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2330 times:

It is indeed true that some pilots who used to fly on not fly-by-wire planes do not like to fly FBW planes which is due to the fact that they have got the feeling that they are not in control anymore. But they do have control as far as they stay within the limits of the aircraft. The aircraft will never do somethinng which is not safe, because the computer will not allow the aircraft to do so. Younger pilots are most of the time very fond of it. The problems with fly-by-wire aircraft, which are there, do not start at Airbus or Boeing, but at the training centres. The training to fly such an aircraft has not changed together with the new technology which is incorporated. So, airlines should train their pilots better to be able to fly those FBW aircraft in a safer way. Most of the time the problems are related to situational awarness, and this should be trained better. BUt do not tell me that FBW aircraft are unsafer than non FBW ones. The workload of the pilots is reduced in a great way.
sndp


User currently offlineDeltaAir From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1094 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2323 times:

The workload may be reduced, but pilot awareness is as well. The crash of the A-320 Prototype at an airshow was officially stated as being caused by the pilot, but in fact was convered up by the French governement to ensure the success of the A-320 Program. Some will argue that the government had nothing to do with this, but photos have proven that they did and that the black boxes were changed. FBW is safer than conventional methods, but total computer control is not as safe as the pilot still having the final say.

User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

The A-320 crash was neither pilot error, nor fbw failure. The crew had to do a fly-by of an unscheduled runway because the intended runway had people on it for the show! The A-320 was in a nose up attitude and the pilots could not see the trees. If the trees had not been there the plane could easily have climbed out safely. So it appears as though those responsible for this accident are the planners of the test flight. How could the fact that people were going to be on the runway be overlooked? Quite a blunder in my opinion....And what about the atc at the airport. Why didn't they inform the pilots that a low altitude fly-by was not safe on that runway because of the high tree level at the end of the rwy.

New fighter jets being designed for the U.S. are almost all fbw in nature. It makes sense that passenger jets are heading in the same direction. I think all planes designed in the future should be fbw, with a manual override switch just in case.


User currently offlineSmoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2311 times:

>>>>The A-320 crash was neither pilot error, nor fbw failure. The crew had to do a fly-by of an unscheduled
runway because the intended runway had people on it for the show! The A-320 was in a nose up
attitude and the pilots could not see the trees. If the trees had not been there the plane could easily
have climbed out safely. So it appears as though those responsible for this accident are the planners
of the test flight. How could the fact that people were going to be on the runway be overlooked? Quite
a blunder in my opinion....And what about the atc at the airport. Why didn't they inform the pilots that
a low altitude fly-by was not safe on that runway because of the high tree level at the end of the rwy.<<<<

Mostly correct, except the pilot gave it open throttle in the last few seconds and the engines failed to spool up. Clearly a FBW-issue. Then Air France fired him and had him declared insane while the French government stole the FDR and switched it so the truth would not be known.

I'm sure the problem has been fixed in the years since, but honestly!


User currently offlineBen88 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1093 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2307 times:

I've seen and heard the video and it is clear that the engines start spooling up about 2 seconds before the engines begin ingesting branches. It looked to me as though by the time he realized and opened up the throttles it was too late and the plane could not generate enough lift. Listen to the video and you will clearly hear the engines spooling up slightly before the plane made any contact with trees.

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3695 posts, RR: 35
Reply 9, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 2308 times:
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As I have posted before in reply to a post by Smegma (Smoo ???) I believe the A320 flew into the trees in a clean config (gear up/Flaps up), if this is the case the accident was pilot error.

In that config the engines would have been in Grnd idle. If the a/c had been in the correct config for the altitude the engines would have been in approach idle and would have spooled up a lot more quickly. Therefore pilot error for not allowing the engines the extra time to spool up.


User currently offlineSWA737-500 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2303 times:

My opinion? How about... AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

User currently offlineGate Keeper From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 176 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2294 times:

In the Air France into the trees incident what the test pilot failed to realise is that alpha floor protection which he was trying to demonstrate amongst other things does not function below 100' above ground level. Alpha floor is a function unique to the Airbus whereby the aircraft cannot be stalled in normal law by limiting pitch attitude to just below the critical AOA(angle of attack). Also included in this protection is the automatic addition of full power commanded by the autothrottles. This protection is not available below 100' to prevent full power from being added in the flare to touchdown. Hope this helps!

User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3695 posts, RR: 35
Reply 12, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 2262 times:
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Have you noticed when the Airbus detractors get presented with facts to counter they're opinion, you hear no more from them.

User currently offlineSmoo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2250 times:

>>>Have you noticed when the Airbus detractors get presented with facts to counter they're opinion, you
hear no more from them.<<<

I'm sorry I cannot be on airliners.net all of the time, but I certainly do try.  

I am not an "Airbus detractor". I simply do not like the politics of corporate welfare.

My only point was at the time (1988), for an aircraft as complex as the A320 with so few operators in service, an incident of this nature was bound to happen sooner or later. Do not try to deny that the 320-100 has not had many problems and software glitches, most of which have now been corrected with the -200.

If the pilot was so clearly in error (so it would seem), why was the FDR seized and switched by French authorities? Why was the pilot villified and declared mentally insane? Have you ever considered that perhaps Airbus had something to hide as well?

Obviously the pilot made some mistakes. I am not pointing fingers here, I would genuinely like to know why you think there was such a cover-up if pilot error was so clearly indicated.


User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3695 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2248 times:
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I do recall the post accident FDR & pilot incidents but it is so long ago since I saw a TV programme about them I am not prepared to comment as I cannot remember the details.

What I do know is the Grnd/Flt idle senario did not come in with FBW. It has been around since the first wide bodies entered service.

Finally my last post was not based just on this thread, I have seen it before when I have informed the uninformed (I am not getting at you).


User currently offlineSWA737-500 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2239 times:

www.airdisasters.com --- I think that's it, if not, try airdisaster.com

This may help.  


User currently offlineDC10 From Canada, joined Apr 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2226 times:

Read AirDisaster3, and you will understand this very complex crash; some points:
1/ Pilots didn't recognize the airfield before their flight: incredible for a "test flight"
2/ "Test flight" with pax, demonstration of alpha floor fonction: incompatible with pax!
3/ Engine responded in correct time: from full idle to full power, there is a few seconds (7 or 8 I believe)
Sndp is totally right: with fbw, the way of piloting is totally different: you have to understand all the actions "hidden" behind a button, and so on: this should be made very early in pilot trainings.
DC10


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5564 posts, RR: 37
Reply 17, posted (13 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2224 times:

A few weeks ago I visited the flight deck of a A-330-200 on a ZRH-EWR flight. Both pilots came from the B 747-300. I asked them if they like the A 330 and if there is a big difference. Both told me that there is a big difference but they like the new feeling in a A 330 too. They didn't have any problems with the new aircraft.

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