Sullenberger Finds Fault With Langewiesche Book

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US Airways Capt. Chesley Sullenberger said the new book Fly By Wire, by William Langewiesche, "greatly overstates how much it mattered" that the Airbus A320 he ditched in the Hudson had some automated systems, according to The New York Times. Sullenberger told the Times, "There are some situations where the automation will protect a pilot, but at the same time a highly automated airplane makes possible other types of errors, so it's a mixed blessing. And greater knowledge is required to fly a highly automated aircraft." He added, "Others in the industry knowledgeable about these technical issues know there are misstatements of fact in 'Fly by Wire.' " Langewiesche said he was mystified by Sullenberger's reaction, according to the Times. "There have been some characterizations of the book that are wrong," he said. He added that he didn't think the role of fly-by-wire was "critical" to the outcome, "but it was functioning, it's part of the story."

Dan Sicchio, a US Airways pilot who represented the pilots union in the NTSB investigation, told the Times the safety board's final report may show that in regard to the fly-by-wire system, "there were things that helped Sully and things that hurt him." He added: "There are things that I hope will come out that will show problems with the control system in this airplane." Click here for AVweb's story about Langewiesche's book and click here for the blog post written by Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli after he read it.