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Buy American, Not Foreign

by John M. White |  | 3 comments

Yesterday I posted an email I got regarding US Air Flight 1549, and as you all know by now there was an accident last night with a -8.  What a tragedy after such a prolonged period without any fatal airline accidents. Yesterday's post brought a lot of comments, so in that same spirit let me pass on the cover email in which I received that information:
"THIS CAME TO ME FROM A PILOT WHO OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T LIKE FRENCH MADE AIRPLANES..........................     The press is having a field day turning "Sully" Sullenberger into a Lindbergh-like hero.  All credit to him, and his copilot, but, and they will be the first to tell you, they just did their jobs.  They did them well, but when your job entails holding the lives of hundreds of people in your hands every time you fly then doing your job well is the minimum acceptable standard.   I don't, and I doubt if more than just a handful of other pilots, begrudge Sully his day in the sun. What I am concerned about is how the real cause of this accident is being glossed over and, on the part of Airbus Industries, actually lied about.  There are stories circulating now about how the flight computers helped "save" the aircraft by insuring the ditching was done properly.  The stories themselves are absolute nonsense and the contention that the flight computers ensured the proper attitude was maintained for ditching is pure fabrication.   So what's wrong with Airbus wanting to steal a little glory for their computerized drones?  There is a good chance it was the computers that put the aircraft into the water!   I readily admit I heartily dislike Airbus because of their design philosophy, I will never set foot in an A-380 (the superjumbo) as I consider it a really bad accident looking for a place to happen.  I am not much happier with the rest of them but especially the A-320 which has killed several folks, while the engineers try to perfect software that can replace a human brain that has a talent for flying.  Something that I, rather naturally, don't believe possible.   It is well known that I love Boeings.  I love to fly them.  Beyond the sheer joy of just flying the Boeing I also believe in their design philosophy that the last word has to be with the pilot, not the machine.  No pilot, no matter how hard he tries, can turn an A-320 upside down.  It just won't do it.  Airbus believes it has designed a computer that is smarter than a pilot (the evidence of dead bodies scattered around Mulhouse, France to the contrary) and gives the last word to the computer.  If a pilot moves the controls so as to turn the airplane upside down the computer will refuse.   I can turn the B777 upside down. Once I get it upside down, if I let go of the controls, it will turn itself rightside up (smart airplane).  I don't believe I will ever be in a situation where I will need to turn the airplane upside down, but I feel good knowing I have the control to do it.  That's why I'm not really kidding when I say "if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going".
The truth is airplane manufacturers, and the government with its UAVs, is moving forward with unmanned aircraft and all of this great computer driven technology, but I sure hope they don't forget the human element!  After all, its humans that build these things and ultimately humans are responsible for what happens with them. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 To invent a plane is nothing. To build one is something. To fly is everything. -- Otto Lilienthal

Comments (3)

  • JetMan7 on June 24, 2019

    You should read the post a little closer – this is NOT my opinion, but rather the opinion of someone who commented on one of my posts!

    I do admit I like Boeing aircraft better, but that is just a personal opinion. I have flown on many Airbus aircraft (they are everywhere) and I have no problem with them at all.

    And, what a cruel thing to say about the passengers on the Hudson River accident.

    I suggest you read the posts a little more carefully.

    JetAviator7

  • PlasticPilot on June 24, 2019

    Hi John,
    before starting I have to clarify two things about me. I’m no airline pilot and my job has to do with software development and software safety.
    I know several pilots flying Boeing and Airbus and even some who converted from one to the other. Being an engineer I understand well the Airbus philosophy, even if as a pilot it may sound surprising. Things like “the stick controls the roll-rate and not the ailerons position directly” were intensively discussed after the incident in Hamburg where an A320’s wing-tip hit the runway under nasty wind conditions ( http://www.plasticpilot.net/blog/2008/03/04/airbus-320-trying-to-land-in-crosswinds-in-hamburg-personal-opinion/ ).
    However recent history (except the Swissair 111 accident in Halifax) almost all accidents find a large part of their roots in human factors. My conviction is that Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, BAE and all the others are almost equally safe, as long as the crew is properly trained and operating in a favorable environment (not too much company pressure, good training, acceptable duty time, …).
    Finally, this has nothing to do with where the aircraft has been built. And after all, the accident causing the more fatalities was with to Boeing 747 (Tenerife), but no one said it was because the planes are US-built ;-)
    Just my two cents.

  • Dirk on June 24, 2019

    This is the biggest load of crap written by somebody claiming to know about aviation.

    “I will never set foot in an
    A-380 (the superjumbo) as I consider it a really bad accident looking for a
    place to happen”

    maybe you want to tell us a little about what is wrong with it, especially if you compare it with the other new plane the B787, and please, do not forget why you think it is safer to fly 787 then 380. I am very curious to hear your statement. And I am talking facts, occurances etc. Not gut feelings or such.

    “but especially the
    A-320 which has killed several folks”

    so, the A320 is the only plane with fatalities? or with the highest percentage? or what do you try to claim? some facts maybe if you can? Want to compare safety records of the A320 family to the B737 family? Let’s do it. You will see that there is no big difference whatsoever, no matter how you spin the numbers ( only newest generation, per seat mile etc.)

    “I can turn the B777 upside down”

    No, you can’t. You will be a pile of burning rubbish before you get anywhere near being upside down, just more rubbish from your keyboard.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am not an Airbus afficionado. I love aviation. I love the 777 as so many do, I love to recall my first flight on a DC. But what I really hate is turning facts, especially when it comes to safety, just for making the plane or even only the manufacturer make look better.

    Your blog looks just like the un-official department of misinformation by Boeing, and that’s just sad. Not even Boeing would try to turn such things as the ditching on the Hudson for their own PR. Any pilot will be giving credit to Sully and how great he, his crew and his airplane handled the situation. No matter if you like it or not. Your blog sounds as if you would be happier they all would have died…

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