Who's Online

We have 1786 guests online

Live Traffic Feed

Life in the Skies

'A Local Bestseller!'

What Tony says
(See here)
and Book Launch video here
 
What others say

Les Posen
(See
here)

Yvonne Lee
(See
here)

Louisa Lim & Allan Koay
(See
here)

Aireen Omar, Asran & Bo Lingam
(See
here)

Get an autographed copy here

AMAZON.COM  -  To Order, please Click here 

(eBook) Kindle edition - please Click here

Latest Comment

Fear of Flying – Cau
Thank you!!! I made it!

A successful SIA Cad
Currently a 3rd yr poly student waiting to be enli

Ranking of Pilot Sch
Hello sir, i am looking for the best flying school

What are the eyesigh
Dear captain, I want to became a pilot but I have

Cadet Pilots and Pil
Hi Capt. Lim. I'm a diploma holder. But the result

What is the purpose
Great job,I easily understood!!!!!smiley Thanks for th

Can I be a pilot if
People with nocturnal epilepsy can become a ship c

Can I be a pilot if
People with nocturnal epilepsy can become pilots a

Ranking of Pilot Sch
I want to be pilot I want to pilot training in nz

Can I be a pilot if
i have nocturnal epilepsy and mine are rare so you

Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here
 
Home > Airplanes > Which has the better flying philosophy - Boeing or Airbus?
Which has the better flying philosophy - Boeing or Airbus?
Aviation - Airplanes
Thursday, 10 November 2005 05:12

Dear Capt Lim,

First of all, I do appreciate your work - you are doing a great job!

My question is about the auto pilot system on the Boeing and the Airbus.

On the Boeings, when the pilot engages the autopilot mode for landing, it turns off automatically if the pilot happens to push the steering (wheel? lever? - I*m not sure) down hard. It will then return to manual mode.

But on Airbus 300s the autopilot mode does not change even if the pilot does this. Is this true? I*ve heard that the 1994 China Airline Airbus 300 crash in Nagoya, Japan, was probably due to this. I have also heard that some accidents have happened with Boeings when auto pilot mode suddenly switched off during landing.

Which do you think is better?

Cheers,

Hari

Osaka, Japan

Hi Hari,

I have flown the Boeing as well as the Airbus A300s and I prefer the philosophy of Boeing that gives the pilot ultimate control. 


On the Boeing, it is true that a pilot can override the autopilot with a predetermined force applied on the controls. How? Well, the autopilot disengages immediately when the pilot manually pushes the control column, the control wheel or depresses the rudder pedals harder than usual. A warning message *AUTOPILOT DISC* is displayed in the cockpit if the autopilot is manually or automatically disconnected.

The Airbus philosophy is different. There have been some issues on the design of the autopilots on the Airbus planes. They prefer to give more control to the computer, believing that it would eliminate pilot error. However, some have expressed concern that the plane has become too sophisticated.

On 26th April 1994, A China Airlines flight took off from Taipei for Nagoya, Japan with a total of 271 persons, consisting of 2 flight crewmembers, 13 cabin crewmembers and 256 passengers (including 2 infants).

When the Airbus A300-600 was making an ILS approach to Nagoya Airport, the copilot, who manually flew the plane, accidentally depressed the GO lever. The plane automatically went to GO AROUND mode - causing the plane to increase in thrust and climb above the ideal landing profile.

The autopilot was subsequently engaged but the copilot was not aware of it and continued to fly the plane manually. In fact he was fighting against the automation! He continued to push the control column down to land but the automation countered the push by trimming off the forces.

When the captain, who was also not aware that the autopilot was still engaged, took over the hopeless situation to go around, the aircraft began to climb very steeply due to the excessive trimmed up force. It then stalled and crashed - 249 passengers, including 2 infants and 15 crewmembers were killed and 7 passengers were seriously injured. The aircraft caught fire and was totally destroyed.

Yes, the autopilot on the Boeing can fail when engaged. It is not a big deal as the pilot is always there to take over control manually. I am not clear which Boeing accidents you are referring to. On the Boeing 777, there are three autopilots and it is very rare for all the three to fail at the same time.

Trackback(0)

TrackBack URI for this entry

Comments (1)

Subscribe to this comment's feed
...
Hi Lim,

I know this is an old topic so sorry for bumping this up.

The questioner mentioned that when you press the control column, the auto pilot disengages giving the pilot manual control...which is correct as you also confirmed.

But isn't it the same in the airbus? particularly the older airbus? While you mentioned the Nagoya crash, how about Aeroflot flight 593? the (irresponsible) caption had his children in the cockpit and his son accidentally applied some pressure on the control column that disengaged the autopilot.

Also when the autopilot is engaged,it appears on your instruments (provided you scan them ofcourse) so its not like an invisible force out there to get you.

In the battle between giving more control to humans or computers, statistics have shown that humans (read pilot error) tend to make many more mistakes than a computer. Would you agree with this statement?

Incidentally, the safest of boeing planes- the B777 - also has a FBW system where pilot imputs are actually controlled and interpreted by computers. The 787 will be also be similar if not more sophisticated. Similarly, NASA and Boeing are working on AI systems (based on neural networks) that would take further control from the human and let the computer decide what and how to do it based on human input.

So it seems that, implicitly, Boeing is also going the airbus way and agree with their (Airbus) philosophy.

What are you views on this?

Thanks,
Fawad
Fawad , 17 Jul, 2010

Write comment

smaller | bigger

busy
 

Paperback Version

 For Local Availability - Check Here

Recommended By..


LIFE IN THE SKIES

'A Local Bestseller!'

Recommended by

Patrick Smith
Boston USA
(See
here)

Capt Meryl Getline
ex-United Airlines USA
(See
here)

Capt Doug Morris
Canadian Airlines
(See
here)

Capt  Robert J Boser
ex-United Airlines USA
(See
here)

Get an autographed copy here

AMAZON.COM  -  To Order, please Click here 

(eBook) Kindle edition - please Click here

View Book Launch video here

Follow me

@CaptKHLim

Like What You Read?


If you like what you read, more stories are found in my book LIFE IN THE SKIES (Preview here) and you can purchase a copy here. To check for any latest updates or postings, you can follow my Twitter at @CaptKHLim or Facebook here

MH 370 Interviews

Click here to View

10 Most Popular Posts


30 Previous Posts


Disclaimer | Privacy
2004 - 2011 © AskCaptainLim.com | Site Concept by eQuilec.com