Question for John Tenney

Here was one of your posts in the Aviation Humor section.


The difference between new and old Airbus pilots?

New "Hey, what is it doing?

Old "Hey look, it's doing it again."

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Do these planes have problems with malfunctioning gear or electronics or something. The fact that you intended this to be obvious humor tells me that there might be a "record" with the plane that most pilots know of.
I once checked out some airline crash websites and it seems that most of the crashes with the Airbus seems to have been due to pilot error like not setting flaps right or hitting a mountain because of not knowing how to use the sophisticated navigational systems. (most notable malfunction I have seen is the one in NYC in Nov. 2001). Not really sure what caused the one at the French Air show though?
I believe it had something with trying to push the plane a little too much though. Again, I'm not sure though.

If there is something that makes these planes a little hairy, then what is it. I am starving for any knowledge about any Commercial airliner I can get, whether it is good or bad.

Hey, thanks
The main problem many pilots have with the airbus is its level of automation. When the Airbuses first premiered on the scene the interaction between the pilots and the automation was lacking. Pilots would often find themselves in computer modes they didn't know how they got into and, more importantly, how to get out.

The jury is still out on whether this has been resolved though. I would say that, for the most part, it has. The interaction is smoother between pilots and the computer.
First of all I have never been pilot of an airbus, so anything I say is hearsay.

It was pretty well accepted that the Airbus was the first "fly-by-wire" aircraft in general use by airlines. They pioneered that area of expertise, and like any engineering project, there were a lot of bugs along the way.

The joke goes like this:

New Airbus Pilot: "What's it doing?"

Old Airbus Pilot: "Look, it's doing it again!"

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I don't think its a joke about the airplane as much as it is about the pilots of that day and their difficulty in grasping the automation level.

I see it out there today. I'll be in an RJ and wonder why the FO is taking so long to program the FMS. Being a computer nerd (gee really?) FMS is a breeze for me and I can usually not only program it but come up with several alternative programs.

It's something some people have and some people don't even care about. Reminds me of that "Computer Guy" sketch that SNL does.

Funny thing, though, there have been several times when an RJ or 737 has started doing something I didn't expect, and I've had to "CTRL-ALT-DEL" and start over, so I have said before:

"What's it doing?"

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It's something some people have and some people don't even care about. Reminds me of that "Computer Guy" sketch that SNL does.

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