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A Twist On The A Vs B Argument  
User currently offlineabnormal From UK - England, joined Aug 2007, 81 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3045 times:

If you ever worked with the Airbus and Boeing FCOMs/AOMs at a management level then you'll notice that the Airbus manuals are much more detailed from a technical perspective than the Boeing manuals are and that in discussions re procedures, the Airbus folks seem to be more onerous and restrictive than Boeing in what they endorse when an Airline wants to do things their own way.

I'm beginning to wonder if this difference in approaches is due to the differences in the Legal systems of the US and France. The Airbus manuals, reflecting the folks who wrote the manuals, have more an engineering bent to them than the Boeing manuals and in France their engineers do go to jail when things mess up. My only recollection of a Boeing engineer ever going to jail was the Japan airlines tail failure.

Any comments? Does the difference in legal system (Napoleonic vs English Common Law) and the associated liability issues have a bearing on how the manufacturers work/interact with their airline operators?

3 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2996 times:
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As with manufacturing, there is no right or wrong way. Boeing technical writing strives for "Brevity and Simplicity" leaving cause and effect out of the equation. This way the results are repeatable flight after flight. I've seen people get lost in overly detailed manuals and decide just to do it their way.. sometimes with unintended consequences. When there were flight engineers (and much earlier mechanics) manuals were more (though not a lot) oriented to in-flight repair and problem solving. Today the trend is to get to ground quickly.

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2858 posts, RR: 48
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2880 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 1):
Boeing technical writing strives for "Brevity and Simplicity" leaving cause and effect out of the equation.

First things first: I have used both manufacturer's manual sets on a variety of aircraft and actually don't care for either. Having said that, the Airbus books are more complete, though, as you say, easier to get entangled in minutiae. The Boeing books are the far worse option, though, in my opinion, as they provide very little guidance and in the case of malfunctions that are manifested in a way other than exactly what's in the book (happens all the time) they become next to worthless. They are horrendously formatted and are EXTREMELY user-unfriendly in numerous ways (I am considering the whole manual set here, not just the QRH.)

Quoting kanban (Reply 1):
This way the results are repeatable flight after flight.

For a problem that's a simple indicator light with no other issues, that's true; they provide much worse guidance (with much less repeatable results) when an indication is not precisely identical to what's in the book, as they provide little to no background information on the actual system status, cause, or effects. In several instances I have seen, there are cautions and EICAS messages that have no guidance whatsoever available to the crew, the presumption being that if there are no crew actions available, there is no need to tell the crew the significance of the light.

Quoting kanban (Reply 1):
I've seen people get lost in overly detailed manuals and decide just to do it their way

And I've seen people not be able to find the correct conditional step in the Boeing QRH to figure out where to go next with equally bad or worse results.

I'm actually not trying to disagree with your points, kanban, I think you have delineated the two philosophies generally correctly. My point is that this is a two-edged sword and for every situation where Airbus gives too much information, there is a case at least as serious due to Boeing's "dumbed down" books.


User currently onlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3856 posts, RR: 27
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2840 times:
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Quoting PGNCS (Reply 2):
My point is that this is a two-edged sword and for every situation where Airbus gives too much information, there is a case at least as serious due to Boeing's "dumbed down" books.


can not disagree with you.. as I said initially 'there is no right or wrong way'.. just different. It's like cooking chili for a crowd of 1000... you can not create each bowl to each participant's individual criteria..


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