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777 Jackpot?

Last week we all heard the news of a plane crash at Heathrow in London. The Boeing 777 passenger jet seemingly lost power to both of its engines and only thanks to the skill of the pilot, managed to crash land just inside the airport fences. Anyone who knows me, will know that I haven’t flown in almost 3.5 years now and nor do I have any intention of leaving the ground by somebody else’s choosing, anytime soon. The theories are out on why this 777 lost power to both engines almost at the same time and the finger is being pointed at computer error; linked with examples from other 777 aircraft doing “odd” things in recent times. As a software engineer I know that no system is infallible and if I were to put my life into the hand of a surgeon or a computer to perform an operation I know that the surgeon with win without a second thought. So why do people trust computers to fly them around in craft that simply cannot stay in the air without uninterrupted power and perfect balance? source: The Register

4 thoughts on “777 Jackpot?”

  1. Your Z3 has computer chips in it and runs advanced software. A malfunction of the ESP and that slippery corner you normally cruise around becomes a death trap. Same with the adaptive anti-roll technology which should keep you merely mangled and not dead. And if you just switched to a Volvo, it has loads of software based safety systems.

    Ever been on a train? Ferry? How about a lift in a shopping mall? Automatic garage doors have been known to kill…

    Gas pipelines are controlled via software. Pretty safe but, hey, you never know with software.

    And of course you aren’t safe from that malfunctioning 777. It could crash into your house with you firmly on the ground, right underneath it.


    (But I do agree the 777 needs some looking at. This isn’t some hacker’s Ruby on Rails Digg clone, it needs at least 5 Kehoe’s on it.)

  2. Hmm, I see my wife has gotten to you. 🙂

    Probably wouldn’t surprise you to learn that I always turn off traction control when possible in a car as the feel is far better for the driver, especially if you try to correct the skid yourself rather than letting ESP/ASC do the job for you.

    I wear my anti-flying badge with pride, someday perhaps it will change but just like my views on the iPhone, I see design flaws where seemingly nobody else does. 😉

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