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Off in the distance
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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2006-05-06 21:04
Subject: Not a good week
Security: Public
... for the Airbus A320.

4 have been destroyed this week, of which
3 belonged to Armenian airlines, of which
2 belonged to Armavia, of which
1 crashed into the Black Sea, killing 113 people.

I can't think of another such horrible week for any model of airliner, though there have been worse fatality counts, much worse.
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User: simonb
Date: 2006-05-06 20:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I saw an "Aircrash investigation" on Nation Geographic not so long ago which involved a Russian Airbus A320 as well. In this case it was the Russian pilot who let his son take the controls for a little bit. Unfortunately the A320 has a nasty feature of pilots being able to disengage the autopilot for different control services - the pilot's son unwittingly pushed against the autopilot so it disengaged for just the aerilons and nothing else!

What is worse is that it turned out just a single indicator light to show this - as far as the pilots were concerned the autopilot was still working, which in a way it was. Apparently in most Russian aircraft, there is a large audio and visual warning for when the autopilot is disengaged.

The crash happened thanks to the pilots trying to correct a bank and then fighting the autopilot as it tried to bring the plane back on course using the other controls under its control.

It does seem that the A320 could be a little bit too clever for its own good and it would appear that pilots need a lot more training for it than other aircraft... and they're not getting that training.
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ξενική μὲν, χρησίμη δὲ
User: tla
Date: 2006-05-06 20:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Huh, where did you hear of the others?

I flew Armenian Airlines once. It was rather hair-raising. I unfortunately don't remember which aircraft it was, but it did strike me as "one of the ones that Aeroflot hadn't wanted in 1991".
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2006-05-06 22:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Three were in a fire in Brussels yesterday: BBC report
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2006-05-06 22:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's right.
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