Another comment on French Airplanes
As I mentioned a few moments ago, I travelled a fair bit last weekend. For the first leg of our return trip, we hopped a flight from Milwaukee to Minneapolis on an Airbus 320. This is the same aircraft type that had the little nosewheel mishap (made a good point, though).
Computers are neat things, but when they err... the nosewheel problem was the result of the computer doing as it was told. I guess it worked out OK, then.
But moving on... I'm PLANE (not Plame) crazy, so when I get on aircraft, I try to look around and intelligently catalogue what the airplane does. Keeps me busy anyway.
Well the little one and I sit down in the waaaaay-back (cool, we get to watch the wing (s)). I look out and notice that the right aileron is deflected fully downward. Well, I thought, the pilot must have been in a hurry (they were running late) and not centered the control wheel (actually, a joystick on the airbus). Then I contorted and craaaanned my neck to check the other wing (good there are two) (their French, but...) and the left wing aileron was also deflected fully downward.
A few moments after engine start, as hydraulic pressure increased and the cpu's reset everything, my unease was relieved. The control surfaces centered.
I am pretty happy that Airbus is fly by wire after seeing that. Had their been a true hydraulic connection or cable-actuation, those suckers would have been hooked up with one side backwards. Imagine the news report...
Wade, his daughter, and many other expendible crewmembers and passengers were killed today when the French plane they were travelling aboard was unable to control it's roll axis. Despite pretty flapping motions of the aptly French named "Ailerons" (thanks to Louis Bleriot; copycat extroardinaire) the aircraft was lost from radar seconds after takeoff. Fortunately, in the US, the class distinctions between suburb and city are the reverse of those in Europe (Paris especially) and the plane did little damage to anyone of import. It did, however, come within 4 miles of the new Islamic center of Milwaukee; Muslims are outraged.
With the cockpit voice recorder tape analyzed, the initial release has the pilot's last words as,
"You're Toulouse, Cougar!"