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Computer-Related Incidents with Commercial Aircraft

Overview of the Issues

I wrote a short Overview entitled Summary of Safety-Critical Computers in Transport Aircraft for RISKS-16.16 on 15 June 1994 . This is a good place to start if you're not already expert in the area. It describes the difference between the A320/330/340-series aircraft, which have `fly-by-wire' primary flight controls, and the older Airbus A300 and A310 aircraft, which have autopilots and flight management systems which include computer control, but whose primary flight controls are `conventional'. Many people have been confused over the difference. A similar distinction holds between the Boeing B777 and the B757/767 aircraft.