Feeds

New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Computer rashly let pilots take over

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Lack of manual flying experience contributed to the crash of a fully functional commercial airliner two years ago, killing all 228 people aboard.

Air France Flight 447 crashed while flying through an Atlantic storm in July 2009, the worst ever French aviation accident. The black box recorders were not recovered for almost two years. They revealed that storm conditions caused instruments on the aircraft to temporarily malfunction, but that in fact it had crashed into the sea while completely airworthy, due to the pilots' failure to understand the situation. The official report concluded that lack of training in manual flying led them to actively fly the plane into the sea.

Now Popular Mechanics has published a step-by-step layman's explanation of the crash culled from black box recordings. Amongst the contributory factors were: confusion between the two inexperienced co-pilots, a possible failure to realise that the plane's flight computer - doubting its own assessment of the conditions - had temporarily allowed the pilots much more control authority than it normally would, and somewhat surprisingly a lack of synchronisation between the two joysticks.

Even more surprising is the lack of feedback. Even while the airline was plunging to earth at 10,000 feet per minute, the pilots were not certain whether it was climbing or falling.

It's old news, but it's a fascinating read - here. ®

Bootnote

Note that the magazine translates "putain" as "damn it", which isn't really accurate, something we attribute to prudery. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.