Saturday, August 1, 2009

Computer vs. Captain – Automation in Jets

Will Increasing Automation Make Jets Less Safe?

Computers on board aircraft have made flying safer, but when they encounter errors they can create turmoil. Engineers are pressing ahead with the automation of aircraft, but pilots warn that efforts to computerize jets are going too far and that diminished human control could create dangerous situations.

Ben Cave was starting to get bored. The Australian had been sitting in his seat for more than three hours, and he still had two hours left before the Qantas jet was scheduled to touch down in Perth.

The Airbus A330 was flying at a cruising altitude of 11,278 meters (37,000 feet). The calm of modern jet travel, accentuated by the monotonous drone of the engines, prevailed on board the aircraft…
Read more (by Gerald Traufetter, Spiegel)

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