Miranda Devine expanded her repertoire of hate filled kultur war persecutions of people who offend the decent common sense of ordinary conservative Aussie battlers or anyone who likes native trees this week to Qantas and its dangerous computer driven giant Airbus un-American monster jet.
This was in the same journal of record that sold wrap around faux front page ads extolling the A380 airliner and Singapore Airlines on the occasion of its world debut into service between Sydney and Singapore on 25 October 2007.
‘Too late to reboot in the air’ is typical of the journalistic genre that panders to the anger and bewilderment of slower witted less well educated conservatives.
It manages to mash the Air France AF447 disaster, involving an Airbus A330, into a diatribe about Airbus in general, computers in cockpits, Qantas, and the largest airliner yet built, the A380, which Qantas was the third airline to put into service last October.
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The diatribe gets it almost totally wrong.
Disgruntled passengers on the new Qantas A380 luxury superjumbos have started calling it the A3-Lately or the A-180 (as in degrees), because of delays as long as eight hours.
And, according to one Qantas insider, premium business passengers are demanding to be on the old Boeing 747, saying there is “absolutely no way” they are travelling on the Airbus A380 because of the unreliable departures.
Miranda, only eight hours late! After a year in which a Qantas international departure anytime in the 24 hours after it was scheduled to leave was interpreted as unparalleled punctuality by a besieged management this is proof of a massive improvement.
Another passenger reported an A380 flying to LA earlier last month had a faulty fuel gauge which showed a full tank halfway into the flight.
If there isn’t a full tank somewhere in any jet flying non-stop to Los Angeles when it is halfway across the Pacific you can look forward to diverting to Honolulu for more fuel, or completing the journey to nearest land fall in a very large inflatable raft.
You made it up, didn’t you? Passengers don’t get to read fuel gauges.
Just like you heard second or third hand, if not dutifully noted directly from the same publicist, your joke about the A-180, or the A3-Lately, the same guy who has been dribbling this nonsense into the ears of the aviation media for months and who tell him to p-ss off.
You are so easy.
There appear to be issues with plane layout as well. According to one flight attendant, when Russell Crowe was travelling in first class in the A380 recently, he complained about the noise from people walking up and down a set of stairs next to the first class suites. (The actor did not return a call yesterday.)
Crow is a smart dude.
The A380 is so quiet first class passengers could hear any clatter nearby. A barrier has since been erected to stop business class passengers using the stairs to access first class toilets.
The barrier has been there from day one. If you had paid attention to the voices in Boeing the complaint is that passengers in 1A can hear passengers fart in 99A. This is untrue. Extensive testing of this claim by aviation media verifies that you can only hear them over short distances.
And while pilots who fly the A380 say they are confident in the planes, the Air France A330 crash last month and other recent incidents involving high tech Airbuses have sparked concerns about over-reliance on technology which has essentially “pilot-proofed” aircraft.
Really. A380 pilots told you that? Not old 707 pilots? Or are you just gratuitously smearing the A330 accident all over the Qantas A380?
Here are some facts. Since 1995 when the A330 went into service the fatal accident record for Boeing 747s is nine crashes, the Boeing 757 four disasters (not including 9/11) the Boeing 767 three disasters (9/11 excluded) and the Boeing 737 with a total of 27 crashes with one or more on board killed.
The Boeing 717, 777 and Airbus A340 types have not had a fatal crash in their entire services lives to date.
The only other fatal accidents to ‘computer dependant’ Airbus models have been four since 1995 to single aisle A320, or 8 since entry into service which compares remarkably well against the 737 family since that year, even since before that year, despite their being a larger number of the single aisle Boeings in service.
There is not a scintilla of correlation between the computer systems used in ALL modern airliners, not just Airbuses, and fatal accidents, other than a series of incidents, like the Hudson River splash down where the computer generated flight envelope protections made the job of the pilots involved less distracted than it would otherwise have been.
Boeings limit pilot inputs to the critical flight control surfaces too. But they give the boys more to ‘feel’ with a traditional control column between their legs. Boeing is currently trying to get its much delayed Dreamliner 787s into the air for the flight testing of what is not just an airliner largely made out of plastic, but more dependant on computers than anything Airbus has yet attempted.
The angst about Airbuses, especially the A380, is that they are EUROPEAN and this is bad, wicked and immoral, despite the fact that the European industry makes half the engines on the 737s, and the critical rear pressure bulkhead on every 787, and the US industry makes around 40% or more of some Airbuses and the 787 is largely made in Japan and final assembled (once Boeing sorts out its act) in America.
Around the world, aviation experts and pilots are debating whether planes are becoming too automated for pilots to control in emergencies, in which computers override pilots.
Essentially pilots are flying a computer in the sky. “And sometimes things go wrong with your computer,” says the A380 captain Barry Jackson, president of the Australian and International Pilots Association. “It’s pretty hard to reset something in the air.”
Captain Jackson clearly isn’t as smart as Russell Crow, but he does know his aircraft, and he also knows that pilots like himself reset computers in flight without drama in Boeings and Airbuses somewhere every day.
Is your note correct, or did he screw up?
The problem with the A380 fuel gauge was a design problem that Qantas engineers have since developed a maintenance procedure to prevent.
Actually it was mostly about keeping the tanks clean.
Investigators of the Air France Airbus A330-200 flight 447 from Rio to Paris which disappeared on May 31 with 228 people, have been looking at technological malfunctions, beginning with the plane’s speed sensors, combined with stormy weather, as the cause of the crash. The A330 is typical of the fly-by-wire aircraft that use electronic systems to control the plane rather than hydraulic or mechanical devices.
Miranda, they all use hydraulic systems and mechanical devices as well as computers.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau has also been investigating recent incidents caused by computer glitches on high tech planes.
Since about 1990, when glass cockpits appeared on the first 747-400s.
Your references to the Melbourne incident with the Emirates Airbus A345 (that didn’t begin climbing until it was 292 metres past the end of the runway) gets it completely wrong.
If it wasn’t for the flight envelope protections found in that type of jet the rebuilding of Keilor Park and the air crash Royal Commission would be among the headlines of these days.
The computer control issues in aircraft are important and there is a serious discussion going on in relation to how the essential aerodynamic realities of flight must never be put out of mind by pilots flying today’s jets.
It makes the investigation of AF447 relevant to most airlines where management is no longer connect with the flight standards concerns of those that fly and maintain their fleets.
Think of this disconnection between pilot training issues and the cost fixations of airline executives as a metaphor for Fairfax and a management that sees professional journalism as content provision, and allows the sort of drivel you write to get into print.
|See Crikey Blog Plane Talking with Ben Sandilands.|