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Thread: The Hazards of Aircraft Automation

  1. #1
    Senior Member megatop412's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Philadelphia(south Jersey, actually)

    The Hazards of Aircraft Automation

    I'm glad this topic is finally starting to get the attention it deserves:

    I hope that link works because it's a good article.

    So my question, with us being aviation junkies with a little more knowledge than the average lay person, is do you think the much-hyped GPS-based ATC system will have its benefits cancelled out by the risks it poses when pilots have to go manual? Obviously the carriers would love to sell more seats. I thought 'how could there be that much demand' but obviously there is because we constantly are hearing about the 'overcrowded skies'.
    Personally I'm not sure that the advantages of being able to have more planes in the air spaced closer together outweigh the dangers inherent in one of those planes suddenly breaking formation, to, say, recover from a high-speed stall. I've always liked the saying "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes and No...

    I think the new FAA system is a must in the changing environment that we have- Whether that will have a significant impact on individual aircraft operations- like any technology you would have to say yes. What would the backup be to this system- that is my question. Has the FAA established an effective backup system?

    A classic accident in my opinion to highlight why we need the new system and the risks that it will overcome, is American 965 - the 757 at Cali, Columbia in 1995- I'm sure most remember that one.
    What strikes me about that accident is that Crew over reliance and ultimately complacency caused it with the Flight Management Computer (FMC) the system at play, yet we are easy to jump up and say that the FMC has been one of the greatest technological advances on the flight deck.

    I think its a case of you can never plan something in a utopian world with a 0 accident rate or risk rate, but as long as the backups as you say are sufficient and counter measures + comprehensive training are put in place- technological advances should serve to increase the so called 'safety space' in airline operations
    Qantas orders 188 narrow body aircraft!!!

  3. #3
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    traffic two o'clock two miles southbound flight of four C-130s
    the three most common phrases in aviation are: "was that for us?", "what'd he say?", and "oh ****!" since computers are now involved in flying, a new one has been added: "what's it doing now?"
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.


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