A friend sent me this alleged quote from one of our ex PI pilots. I don't know where it originally appeared and I cannot vouch for its authenticity, but I thought all PI might like to read it!
If I'm not mistaken the Boeing 777, 767, 757 have fly by wire components as well, but not to the extent of the Airbus.
I think you will find very interesting... U.S. made vs European made...
An opinion about the A320 from one unidentified pilot!
I didn't know Sully the A320 pilot who landed in the Hudson River . I've seen him in the crew room and around the system but never met him. He was former PSA and I was former Piedmont and we never had the occasion to fly together.
The dumb press just won't leave this alone. Most airliner ditchings aren't very successful since they take place on the open ocean with wind, rough seas, swells and rescue boats are hours or days away. This one happened in fresh smooth water, landing with the current and the rescue boats were there picking people up while they were still climbing out of the airplane. It also happened on a cold winter day when all the pleasure boats were parked. Had this happened in July it would be pretty hard not to whack a couple of little boats. Sully did a nice job but so would 95% of the other pilots in the industry. You would have done a nice job.
Don't be surprised if the Airbus fly by wire computers didn't put a perfectly good airplane in the water. In a older generation airplane like the 727 or 737 300/400 the throttles are hooked to the fuel controllers on the engine by a steel throttle cable just like a TBM or a Comanche. On the Airbus nothing in the cockpit is real. Everything is electronic. The throttles, rudder and brake pedals and the side stick are hooked to rheostats who talk to a computer who talks to a electric hydraulic servo valve which in turn hopefully moves something.
In a older generation airplane when you hit birds the engines keep screaming or they blow up but they don't both roll back to idle simultaneously like happened to Flt. 1549. All it would take is for bird guts to plug a pressure sensor or knock the pitot probe off or plug it and the computers would roll the engines back to idle thinking they were over boosting because the computers were getting bad data. The Airbus is a real pile of crap! I don't like riding on them. Google Airbus A320 Crash at the Paris Airshow in 1998. Watch the video of an airbus A320 crash into a forest because the computers wouldn't allow a power increase following a low pass. The computers wouldn't allow a power increase because they determined that the airspeed was too low for the increase requested so the computers didn't give them any. Pushing the throttles forward in a Airbus does nothing more than request a power increase from the computer. If the computer doesn't like all the airplane and engine parameters you don't get a power increase. Airbus blamed the dead crew since they couldn't defend themselves. A Boeing would still be flying.
ILM, DCA, ROA
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2009 10:04PM by Don Shanks.