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Interesting Article on the Hazards of Fly-By-Wire

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Wow, that is an amazing balanced article, still makes me sad to read the last words of those onboard.  I have studied the AF447 crash in detail, we have also had deep and often heated discussion on the crash here in hanger chat. 


Not much I can add to what was written, they summed it up very well. Only a few things I would add.


1. No matter what, even if you think you are Chuck Yeager or an average pilot under pressure, you have to follow SOP.  All they had to do was follow the UAS procedure and they would have been ok.  You lose IAS and you fly pitch & thrust by the numbers while the person next to you trouble shoots.


2. I have come under fire here previously because I disagree that the crew where bad pilots. I believe that due to a small initial mistake (fixation with roll)  they got themselves into a panic, they also became victim to somatogravic illusion which also resulted in a breakdown in CRM


3. We don’t believe there are any bad pilots. We believe there are average pilots who have bad days


The system dumped them in ALT2B. Pitch was in alternate law but roll control was in Direct Law  - Roll in direct law at the best of times is extremely sensitive. At night in high altitude/turbulence & after being startled  I can see why he may have overeacted in roll.


He spent a critical time focused on roll (Believing that was the main issue) when they should have been following the unreliable airspeed procedure (UAS)


Personally I don't think the technology is the issue. Training needs to be looked at, fortunately every airline I know of has adjusted training since AF447.



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Quote "Personally I don't think the technology is the issue. Training needs to be looked at, fortunately every airline I know of has adjusted training since AF447."

I strongly disagree,There is arrogance in the french software and hardware engineering.


"Pilot-transparent auto-trimming is a set-up"

"there should be an inhibition on all auto stabiliser trim in Alternate Law. Auto is auto and manual is manual and let never the twain meet again"

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So you are saying it should go straight to direct law? oookay....


It's funny, you post a link to a guy that has never flown a A3xx, and who  also says 'Boeing simply equates with my simple intellect'    :)



Your second link backs up what I am saying, yet you strongly disagree with it? I'm confused...


More than 30 UAS incidents had happened on A330/340's prior to AF447, some of those incidents included Air France.  None of those incident's resulted in a loss of life or damage to the aircraft, why? Because the crew followed the UAS procedure.    


Instead of taking a sledge hammer to the problem  (always dump the aircraft in direct law) How about focusing on training & looking at why this particular crew acted the way it did?  Fortunately that is what is being done.. 

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   Fantastic article. Thanks for posting the link.  The words, " It seems that we are locked into a spiral in which poor human performance begets automation, which worsens human performance, which begets increasing automation." seems to say it all.

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I find it very hard to read, final minute or so is described so impressively I've felt like I was in the cockpit.

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Thanks for the link. An interesting read.


In the Aug '14 Australian Aviation magazine there was an article based on an briefing by Airbus's director of flight operations and training support for the A350. The training philosophy used to be to start in the sim with the computers on to learn how to use them. 'No more'. First three visits to the sim have no automation - fly the plane. It also discussed a change of focus - like less focus on engine failures because the things are so much more reliable now. Worth a read if you can find it some place.



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For sure three people that should have never gotten together. But they did. Very sad. Excellent read.



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