Boeing 777 accident; FADEC friend or foe?

Boeing LogoLast Thursday, a Boeing 777 crashed while on final approach at London’s Heathrow Airport. The initial report from the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), indicates the plane did not respond after the pilots pushed the throttles forward for more power. The aircraft landed about 1000 feet short of Runway 27L. 152 people were on board and 13 people were injured.

How is it that a US$200 million airplane does not respond when the throttles are pushed forward? This plane, and many others like it, — including some newer GA piston powered aircraft — utilize computer software to control all aspects of engine operation. This system is called Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). Read more about FADEC after the jump…

Continue reading

Commercial flying mistakes to motivate

This week I flew commercial to San Jose for a trip to Cisco Headquarters for business and I had the opportunity to listen in to the flight deck on my flights out. Some airlines patch the ATC radio traffic into one of the audio channels at the seats which I think is awesome except for when the flight attendants cut into the feed for their announcements.

Discover what mistakes I observed on this commercial flight after the jump.

Continue reading