"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 shit 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.On the Airbus nothing in the cockpit is real.
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 shit. I don't like riding on them. Google Airbus A320Crash 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."
• An Alternate View on
Why US Airways 1549 Ditched
An opinion about the A320 from one unidentified pilot . . . .
Wow...I'm calling jealous BS on this one. They simply did what they are trained to do. The odds don't favor this outcome but given the situation, they did they best they could and it worked in our favor.ReplyDelete
WHEN YOU LOSE POWER OVER WATER YOUR OPTIONS ARE VERY LIMITED BUT THE DITCHING SURVIVAL RATE IS IN EXCESS OF 85%. IF YOU FLY OVER "BLUE WATER" YOU SHOULD HAVE HAD "HOW TO DITCH" TRAINING. NO SPECIAL SKILLS REQUIRED . . . . THE DECISION TO DITCH OR POINT THE AIRPLANE STRAIGHT DOWN IS ALL YOURS. I'VE JUST SPENT TWO DAYS GOING THRU "DITCHING EVENTS ON THE INTERNET. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO "TAKE THE TRIP".ReplyDelete
former piston era PAN AM Stratocruiser Flight Engineer.
Who knows, as a kid I may have flown behind you to Japan back in 1953. Still remember the throb of those engines, and the occasional little syncopation as your or one of your colleagues played with the props or mixture. Stews wouldn't let us go downstairs, even to see the lounge. The stops in Wake and Guam were much more adventuresome than Honolulu for a kid—coral, sand crabs, crashing waves. Still have the certificate Pan Am issued us for crossing the date line.
Also flew on Pan Am DC-6s to Costa Rica and Guatemala a number of times. Indeed my grandfather was on the first DC-7 to Guatemala City. Oddly, he was the only passenger.
There are some amazing stories about blue water ditching out there. Military and civilian.Hi
I worked with Aerospatiale some years back on an Airbus-related project, and their software standards were appalling. This is magnified by their conviction that an engineer in Toulouse knows better how to fly the plane than the pilot in command.ReplyDelete
Airbuses have a long and colorful history of computers killing people, from the runway excursion at Warsaw in 1990 to the Air New Zealand crash last November - an inquiry found the engines at uncommanded full power on the approach. Poor bastards never had a chance.
The A320 flight into trees occured at Habsheim in 1988. The pilots survived only to get smeared by Aerospatiale after a dubious chain of custody of the flight data recorders: Google "Habsheim black box" for the full smelly details.