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Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

disk iops

I meant to add in my little screed that the first rule of being a pilot is to fly the damn plane. There should NOT be any software systems to second-guess the pilot(s) beyond anything more than an advisory role. There should be NO automatic trim. If you can't be arsed to pay attention to trim and adjust it with deliberate control inputs as speed and elevation changes you are NOT flying. You're barely supervising and probably inattentively at that.

Heck I used to sit in the jump seat on Tokyo to Anchorage when I was a kid for hours and well remember the clattering of the trim wheels as they spun.

I have no beef with how the Airbus (Air France?) software behaved. It's supposed to yield (I would argue software shouldn't be in control at any time...) on demand and for any reason. That the pilots screwed up is unfortunate but is the cost of flying silly fast at silly altitudes where the coffin corner is much too easy to hit. Shaving safety margins so excessively to save money is where this whole modern society has gone off the rails.

If you can't reliably hand-fly the plane from end to end you're NOT doing your job, your fitness to task is not acceptable, and your route is too damn long, and/or you're under-crewed. We don't tolerate autopilot for trucks or chartered busses, so why do we allow 200+ person vehicles to just let the fakakta computer run the show? Flying should be expensive, it should require the absolute best physical specimens with the sharpest minds and attention spans actively engaging the controls.

IMO pilots as a class are incredibly naive about how unreliable computers, sensors, and software is. Part of that I'm sure has to do with the manufacturers lying their asses off as well because millions of hours in fancy computers and control software THEY decided to develop have to be paid back somehow. Like e_is_real_i_isnt said, there are 6 basic controls - none of them should ever be run by a computer. Frankly I'd add FADEC to that as well although that is one "computer" that would be nearly impossible to remove. Then again, there have been crashes caused by them misbehaving as well.

When you have to have a computer run things because it's too complicated for a human to run things, we've gone way too far.

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