Air France Flight 447

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pages: 401 words: 119,488

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Air France Flight 447, Asperger Syndrome, Atul Gawande, Black Swan, cognitive dissonance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, digital map, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, hiring and firing, index card, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Lean Startup, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, statistical model, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Toyota Production System, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

CHAPTER THREE: FOCUS bound for Paris For my understanding of the details of Air France Flight 447, I am indebted to numerous experts, including William Langewiesche, Steve Casner, Christopher Wickens, and Mica Endsley. I also drew heavily on a number of publications: William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014; Nicola Clark, “Report Cites Cockpit Confusion in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, July 6, 2012; Nicola Clark, “Experts Say Pilots Need More Air Crisis Training,” The New York Times, November 21, 2011; Kim Willsher, “Transcripts Detail the Final Moments of Flight from Rio,” Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2011; Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn It, We’re Going to Crash,’ ” The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2012; “Air France Flight 447: When All Else Fails, You Still Have to Fly the Airplane,” Aviation Safety, March 1, 2011; “Concerns over Recovering AF447 Recorders,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2009; Flight Crew Operating Manual, Airbus 330—Systems—Maintenance System; Tim Vasquez, “Air France Flight 447: A Detailed Meteorological Analysis,” Weather Graphics, June 3, 2009,; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, “Air France Flight #447: Did Weather Play a Role in the Accident?”

I also drew heavily on a number of publications: William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014; Nicola Clark, “Report Cites Cockpit Confusion in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, July 6, 2012; Nicola Clark, “Experts Say Pilots Need More Air Crisis Training,” The New York Times, November 21, 2011; Kim Willsher, “Transcripts Detail the Final Moments of Flight from Rio,” Los Angeles Times, October 16, 2011; Nick Ross and Neil Tweedie, “Air France Flight 447: ‘Damn It, We’re Going to Crash,’ ” The Daily Telegraph, May 1, 2012; “Air France Flight 447: When All Else Fails, You Still Have to Fly the Airplane,” Aviation Safety, March 1, 2011; “Concerns over Recovering AF447 Recorders,” Aviation Week, June 3, 2009; Flight Crew Operating Manual, Airbus 330—Systems—Maintenance System; Tim Vasquez, “Air France Flight 447: A Detailed Meteorological Analysis,” Weather Graphics, June 3, 2009,; Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies, “Air France Flight #447: Did Weather Play a Role in the Accident?” CIMSS Satellite Blog, June 1, 2009,; Richard Woods and Matthew Campbell, “Air France 447: The Computer Crash,” The Times, June 7, 2009; “AF 447 May Have Come Apart Before Crash,” Associated Press, June 3, 2009; Wil S. Hylton, “What Happened to Air France Flight 447?” The New York Times Magazine, May 4, 2011; “Accident Description F-GZC,” Flight Safety Foundation, Web; “List of Passengers Aboard Lost Air France Flight,” Associated Press, June 4, 2009; “Air France Jet ‘Did Not Break Up in Mid-Air,’ Air France Crash: First Official Airbus A330 Report Due by Air Investigations and Analysis Office,” Sky News, July 2, 2009; Matthew Wald, “Clues Point to Speed Issues in Air France Crash,” The New York Times, June 7, 2009; Air France, “AF 447 RIO-PARIS-CDG, Pitot Probes,” October 22, 2011,; Edward Cody, “Airbus Recommends Airlines Replace Speed Sensors,” The Washington Post, July 31, 2009; Jeff Wise, “What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447,” Popular Mechanics, December 6, 2011; David Kaminski-Morrow, “AF447 Stalled but Crew Maintained Nose-Up Attitude,” Flight International, May 27, 2011; David Talbot, “Flight 447’s Fatal Attitude Problem,” Technology Review, May 27, 2011; Glenn Pew, “Air France 447—How Did This Happen?”

Classification: LCC BF431 .D8185 2016 | DDC 158—dc23 LC record available at eBook ISBN 9780679645429 Illustrations by Anton Ioukhnovets Book design by Liz Cosgrove, adapted for eBook Cover design and illustration: Anton Ioukhnovets v4.1 a CONTENTS Cover Title Page Copyright INTRODUCTION 1. MOTIVATION Reimagining Boot Camp, Nursing Home Rebellions, and the Locus of Control 2. TEAMS Psychological Safety at Google and Saturday Night Live 3. FOCUS Cognitive Tunneling, Air France Flight 447, and the Power of Mental Models 4. GOAL SETTING Smart Goals, Stretch Goals, and the Yom Kippur War 5. MANAGING OTHERS Solving a Kidnapping with Lean and Agile Thinking and a Culture of Trust 6. DECISION MAKING Forecasting the Future (and Winning at Poker) with Bayesian Psychology 7. INNOVATION How Idea Brokers and Creative Desperation Saved Disney’s Frozen 8. ABSORBING DATA Turning Information into Knowledge in Cincinnati’s Public Schools APPENDIX: A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas Dedication Acknowledgments A Note on Sources Notes By Charles Duhigg About the Author INTRODUCTION My introduction to the science of productivity began in the summer of 2011, when I asked a friend of a friend for a favor.

pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford


affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, assortative mating, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, industrial cluster, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay, William Langewiesche

“The Volkswagen Scandal: A Mucky Business,” The Economist, September 26, 2015,; Brad Plumer, “Volkswagen’s Appalling Clean Diesel Scandal Explained,” Vox, September 23, 2015,; “Clean Air Act Diesel Engine Cases,” US Department of Justice, May 14, 2015,; Jeff Plungis and Dana Hull, “VW’s Emissions Cheating Found by Curious Clean-Air Group,” Bloomberg, September 20, 2015, 7. AUTOMATION 1. Jeff Wise, “What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447,” Popular Mechanics, December 6, 2011,; William Langewiesche, “The Human Factor,” Vanity Fair, October 2014,; “Air France Flight 447 and the Safety Paradox of Automated Cockpits,” Slate, June 25, 2015; “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), June 23, 2015, 2. William Langewiesche, speaking on “Children of the Magenta,” 99% Invisible (podcast), 3.

1 Copilot David Robert’s answer was less calm. “We completely lost control of the airplane, and we don’t understand anything! We tried everything!” Two of those statements were wrong. The crew were in control of the airplane. One simple course of action could have ended the crisis they were facing, and they had not tried it. But David Robert was certainly right on one count: he didn’t understand what was happening. Air France Flight 447 had begun straightforwardly enough—an on-time takeoff from Rio de Janeiro at 7:29 p.m. on May 31, 2009, bound for Paris. Hindsight suggests the three pilots had their vulnerabilities. Pierre-Cédric Bonin, thirty-two, was young and inexperienced. David Robert, thirty-seven, had more experience, but he had recently become an Air France manager and no longer flew full-time. Captain Marc Dubois, fifty-eight, had experience aplenty, but he’d been touring Rio with an off-duty flight attendant.

INDEX The page numbers in this index refer to the printed version of this book. The link provided will take you to the beginning of that print page. You may need to scroll forward from that location to find the corresponding reference on your e-reader. Abrahamson, Eric, 236 Academy of Management Journal, 157 Adderley, Cannonball, 96 African Americans, 226 Aiden, Erez Lieberman, 23–26, 28, 97n Air France Flight 447, 177–86, 195, 197, 199 AirAsia Flight 8501, 183n Aldrich, Howard, 53 Algorithms, 10–12, 32, 55, 141, 167n, 254 dating, 243–51 Eno and, 15, 19–29, 48 failures of, 190–95 Allergan, 141 Alomar, Carlos, 9, 19, 20, 31–32 Alsup, William, 190 “Am I Wasting Time Organizing Email?” (Whittaker), 240 Amazon, 124–27, 136–41 Ambulance response time, 159–61, 170–71 Anderson, Laurie, 17n Andreessen, Marc, 242, 243 Anechoic chambers, 75 Annealing, simulated, 10–11 Another Green World (Eno album), 9, 16 Apgar score, 153–55, 157 Apple (company and products), 63, 69, 139 Aquinas, Thomas, 93 Architecture, 68 modernist, 61–63, 72 playground, 269–70, 273 workplace, 70–73, 80, 85 Architecture of Happiness, The (de Botton), 62 Argentina, 216 Ariely, Dan, 248, 255, 256 Armitage, Simon, 31 Artificial intelligence, 252 Asch, Solomon, 47–48, 272n16 Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), 18 Attentional filters, 17 Australia, 55, 68–69, 192, 207 Automation, 177–204, 258 disasters caused by, 177–86 human overreliance on, 192–98 unreliability of, 186–92 See also Computers Autonomy in childhood, 264 in workplace, 67–68, 80–84, 87–89 Avalanches, 165–66, 169 Aztec Empire, 34 Baar, Roland, 33 Bahns, Angela, 53–54 Bali, 190 Ball, David, 262 Banking regulations, 161–67, 169–74 Bardeen, John, 26 Barnes & Noble, 136–39 Basel Accords, 161–65, 169–70 Beagle (ship), 27 Beatles, 98 Beckmann, Johann Gottlieb, 150–53, 191, 205, 206 Belew, Adrien, 20–22, 97 Bentham, Jeremy, 170, 171 Beranek, Leo, 75–76 Berger, Warren, 71 Berkowitz, Aaron, 275n23 Berlin Wall, 8 Bevan, Gwyn, 172 Bezos, Jeff, 124–27, 129, 132, 136–41, 143–44, 146, 264 BHP Billiton, 68–69, 86 Big Sort, The (Bishop and Cushing), 217 Biodiversity, 155, 157, 206 Birmingham (England), 213–14 University of, 156 Bishop, Bill, 217 Blair, Tony, 149–50, 152, 155, 159, 170, 172, 173 Blaser, Martin, 208–9 Bletchley Park (England), 147 Blitzkrieg, 128 Blyton, Enid, 45 Bohlin, Peter, 63 Bolt, Beranek and Newman, 75–76, 78 Bombardier Inc., 51 Bonding, 36–39, 41, 57, 60 Bonin, Pierre-Cédric, 178–82, 185–86, 199 Borges, Jorge Luis, 234–39 Bose Corporation, 76, 78 Bösendorfer piano, 1–2 Boston, Route 128 technology cluster in, 214–15 Boston Attention and Learning Lab, 16 Boulder (Col.), 46–47 Bowie, David, 7–9, 16, 17n, 20, 25, 28 Boy Scouts, 42 Boyd, John, 132–35, 137, 140, 144, 264 “Boys Keep Swinging” (Bowie), 21, 22 Bradley, Sarah, 92 Brailsford, Dave, 58 Brand, Stewart, 79 Brandes, Vera, 1–3, 5 Braun, Allen, 99–100 Bridging, 38–39, 41, 57 Brin, Sergey, 81 Britain.

pages: 265 words: 74,807

Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell


Air France Flight 447, autonomous vehicles, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Chris Urmson, digital map, drone strike,, Erik Brynjolfsson, fudge factor, index card, John Markoff, Mars Rover, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telerobotics, trade route, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

Their captain, fifty-eight-year-old Marc Debois, was off duty back in the cabin. They had to waste precious attention to summon him. Even though the aircraft was flying straight and level when the computers tripped off, the pilots struggled to make sense of the bad air data. One man pulled back, the other pushed forward on his control stick. They continued straight and level for about a minute, then lost control. On June 1, 2009, Air France flight 447 spiraled into the ocean, killing more than two hundred passengers and crew. It disappeared below the waves, nearly without a trace. In the global, interconnected system of international aviation, it is unacceptable for an airliner to simply disappear. A massive, coordinated search followed. In just a few days traces of flight 447 were located on the ocean’s surface. Finding the bulk of the wreckage, however, and the black box data recorders that held the keys to the accident’s causes, required hunting across a vast seafloor, and proved frustratingly slow.

In the 1930s, Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) began to replace the terms “pilot” and “copilot” with “captain” and “first officer,” and gave them the now-familiar maritime-inspired uniforms to suggest confidence and authority based on established social roles. More recently, these terms morphed into “pilot flying” and “pilot not flying,” because the captain might not always be the person flying (or, as on Air France flight 447, the captain may not even be in the room). Now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recommended these terms be changed to “pilot flying” and “pilot monitoring” to give positive designation to their actions, showing both pilots are engaged in flying the plane regardless of which has a hand on the controls. (In these conversations “flying” often still refers to hands on the controls, even though “flying” overall encompasses many other activities.)

Abbott, Kathy, 75–76 ABE (autonomous benthic explorer), 54, 191–96 acoustic communications and, 195–96 geological mapping by, 192–93, 194 loss of, 191–92 nature of autonomy of, 194–97 original mission of, 192 acoustic communications, and AUVs, 195–96 acoustic transponder networks, for navigation, 29 Afghanistan, 139 Airbus, 86–87 A-310, 82 Flight QF32, 71–72, 77 aircraft/aviation, 69–111, 226–29 adding unmanned automation technology to, 215–18 Automated Labor In-cockpit System (ALIAS), 217–18 drones (See drones) FAA survey of technology and pilot skill, 2013, 75–76 future of, 110–11 heads-up display (HUD) and, 88–108, 225 history of, 77–84 landings and, 84–88 optionally piloted aircraft (OPAs), 213–15 pilots role in flying modern aircraft, 69–72, 75–77 synthetic vision and, 108–9, 225 technological change and increasing automation, effect of, 72–75 unmanned helicopters, 210–13 Air France Flight 447, 1–2, 1–4, 69–70, 72, 73, 81, 162, 196 Akers, Thomas, 170, 171–72 Alaska Airlines, 92 Alvin (deep-sea submersible), 26–30, 33–34, 35, 45–51, 57, 59–66, 176, 194, 197, 225 ABE’s geological mapping and, 192–93, 194 acoustic navigation system of, 29 arguments and justifications for new, 63–65 hydrogen bomb recovery effort using, 27 Jason, differences between and rivalry with, 59–62 plate tectonics evidence gathered by, 28–29 Titanic wreck and, 45–51 Amber, 126 amphoras, 23–24 AMUVS (Advanced Maneuverable Underwater Vehicle System), 43–44 ANGUS (Acoustically Navigated Geologic Underwater Survey System), 30–34 Apollo missions, 225 Apollo 11, 159–61 Apollo 13, 72 Apollo 15, 178 Apollo 17, 177, 179 field geology and, 176–79 Argo (tethered sled), 35–36, 41–43 Armstrong, Neil, 77, 78, 159–61, 221 Asiana Airlines, 106–7 Flight 214, 72, 106 Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), 219 Atlantis II (research vessel), 45 Aurora Flight Sciences, 211, 214, 217 Automated Labor In-cockpit System (ALIAS), 217–18 automatic landing systems (autoland) Apollo landings and, 159–61 in commercial aviation, 86–88, 94, 97 space shuttles and, 161–63 automation, 4–6, 10, 11 automation bias, 74 automation dependency, 74 automation surprise, 74 automobiles, driverless.

pages: 309 words: 95,495

Foolproof: Why Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe by Greg Ip


Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, air freight, airport security, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, break the buck, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double helix, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, money market fund, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift,, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, value at risk, William Langewiesche, zero-sum game

The Deepwater Horizon had one of the best safety records in BP’s fleet of drilling rigs; indeed, some of the company’s executives were on it one night in April 2010 to learn more about that record. The rig’s safety record turned out to owe more to luck than to BP’s culture; that night, its luck ran out. It was destroyed by an explosion, killing eleven and triggering one of the worst oil spills in history. In 2009, Air France flight 447, with 228 passengers and crew aboard en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, passed through a region of intense thunderstorms, then abruptly disappeared. When investigators finally recovered the black boxes two years later, they learned that the copilot had tried to climb too sharply, causing the Airbus A330 to stall and rapidly lose altitude. Exactly why remains a mystery, but one theory of investigators fingers the safeguards built into jetliners that have helped make aviation so safe.

Comparisons between commercial aviation and automobile fatalities are based on fatalities per 100 million miles traveled, three-year averages. The data are from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, U.S. Department of Transportation. 33 Fly-by-wire, as this became known: A great history of the technology is by William Langewiesche, Fly by Wire (New York: Picador, 2009). 34 Shortly after the autopilot: Details of the events leading up to the crash of Air France Flight 447 are from Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation Civile, “Final Report on the accident on 1st June 2009 to the Airbus A330-203 registered F-GZCP operated by Air France flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro–Paris,” 2012, 173. 35 pilots had never trained: Ibid., 204. 36 he may have ignored the stall warning: Ibid., 180. “He [the pilot then flying the aircraft] may therefore have embraced the common belief that the aeroplane could not stall, and in this context a stall warning was inconsistent.” 37 “Airbus said their aircraft”: Andy Pasztor, “Air France Crash Report Likely to Alter Pilot Training,” Wall Street Journal, July 28, 2011, available at 38 later told Congress: U.S.

pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr


Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

We transfer that agency into the machine’s workings, where it lies concealed until something goes awry. Computers break down. They have bugs. They get hacked. And when let loose in the world, they face situations that their programmers didn’t prepare them for. They work perfectly until they don’t. Many disasters blamed on human error actually involve chains of events that are initiated or aggravated by technological failures. Consider the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 as it flew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. While passing through a storm over the Atlantic, the plane’s airspeed sensors iced over. Without the velocity data, the autopilot couldn’t perform its calculations. It shut down, abruptly shifting control to the pilots. Taken by surprise in a stressful situation, the aviators made mistakes. The plane, with 228 passengers and crew, plunged into the ocean.

Abbas ibn Firnas, 329, 341 Abedin, Huma, 315 Abercrombie & Fitch, 244–45 accessibility, 99–100, 199–200, 268 instantaneous, 57, 232, 241, 264, 267 of music, 293 Adams, John, 325 Adderall, 304 Addiction by Design (Schüll), 218–19 Adorno, Theodor, 153–54 advertising, 15, 31, 168, 255, 258, 264 edginess in, 10–11 as pervasive, 64 search-linked, 279–80 in social media, 53–54 in virtual world, 27 see also marketing Advisory Council on the Right to Be Forgotten, 194 AdWords, 279 aesthetic emotions, 249–50 Against Intellectual Monopoly (Levine), 276 Agar, Nicholas, 339 Agarwal, Anant, 133 air disasters, 322–23 Air France Flight 447, 322 Akamai Technologies, 205 “Alastor” (Shelley), 88 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, 272 algorithms, 113, 136, 145, 167, 174, 190–94, 237, 238, 242, 257, 258 allusion, cultural nuances of, 86–89 alphabet, ideograms vs., 234 Altamont concert, 42 AltaVista, 67 amateurs, 33 creativity of, 49 internet hegemony of, 4–8 media production by, 81 Amazon, 31, 37–38, 92, 142, 256, 277, 288 ambient overload, 90–92 America Online, 279–80 “Amorality of Web 2.0, The” (Carr), xxi–xii Amtrak derailment, 323 analog resources, 148–50 Anders, Günther, 321 Anderson, Chris, 68 Andreessen, Marc, xvii Andrews, James, 134 Android phones, 156, 283 anticonsumerism, 83–85 anxiety, 186, 304 Apple, 125 Apple Corps, 71 Apple II, 76–77 archiving, cultural memory and, 325–28 Arendt, Hannah, 310–11 Aristotle, 174, 307–9 art: allusion in, 89 bundling of musical tracks as, 42–43 by-number, 71–72 digitalization of, 223 emotional response to, 249–50 “free” vs.

pages: 175 words: 54,028

Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson by William Langewiesche


Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, airline deregulation, Bernard Ziegler, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, crew resource management, New Journalism, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

On October 7, 2008, for instance, an Australian A330 that was cruising in good weather suffered a computer failure, and reacted by pitching down so violently (at nearly −1 G) that twelve occupants were seriously injured. A computer failure should not have had that effect, but it did. The captain regained control after losing 650 feet, experienced another pitch-down five minutes later, regained control again, diverted to an airport, and made a safe emergency landing. More recent is the mysterious case of Air France Flight 447, which plummeted into the Atlantic on the night of June 1, 2009, when flying from Brazil to France. It was an Airbus A330 with 288 people aboard, all of whom died. Because it crashed into deep waters and its recorders have not been found, very little is known about what happened. There was no bomb. There was no missile. Whatever went wrong, the disaster took a while to unfold, but the pilots remained silent on the radio.

pages: 269 words: 74,955

The Crash Detectives by Christine Negroni

Air France Flight 447, Airbus A320, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, computer age, crew resource management, crowdsourcing, low cost carrier, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, South China Sea, Tenerife airport disaster, Thomas Bayes, US Airways Flight 1549

Ministry of Transportation, 153 Air Botswana, 201 Airbus A35, 185–86 Airbus A300, 8, 47 Airbus A320, 222, 236, 247 Airbus A321, 99, 130 Airbus A330, 55 Airbus A380, 136, 190, 211, 239–40, 243, 246–47, 253–55 Air Canada Flight 143, 223–26, 234–35, 240–43, 249–50, 255–56 Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), 20, 41, 45–46, 55, 57 air data inertial reference unit (ADIRU), 235–36 Air France Flight 447, 53, 55–58 Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), 110, 171, 176, 216 Air New Zealand Flight 901, x, 117–31 Antarctic Experience flights, 118, 125, 128–29 Air Registration Board, United Kingdom, 150, 154 air traffic control (ATC) and accident investigation process, 82 and Air New Zealand Flight 901 crash, 120, 127 and Albertina crash, 89 and ANA Flight 692, 168 and Arrow Air crash, 108 and cockpit resource management, 220 and Comet crashes, 155 communications with hypoxic crew, 11, 13, 32–33 and complexity of air safety system, 260 and flight simulations, 252 and Helios Flight 522, 41 and human factors, 198–99, 201 and MH-370, 20–22, 62 and Northwest Flight 188, 227 and Qantas engine loss incident, 247 and radio navigation, 51 and Tenerife runway collision, 214–16 and United Flight 553, 84–85 Airline Training Center Arizona (ATCA), 198 Aizawa, Takeo, 193 Albertina (DC-6), 87, 89, 92–96 All Nippon Airways (ANA), 166–69, 181–82, 187, 192 Allen, A.

pages: 651 words: 180,162

Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable, commoditize, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, George Santayana, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, Marc Andreessen, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, money market fund, moral hazard, mouse model, Myron Scholes, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, selection bias, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law

The same can be said of the debacle of Fukushima: one can safely say that it made us aware of the problem with nuclear reactors (and small probabilities) and prevented larger catastrophes. (Note that the errors of naive stress testing and reliance on risk models were quite obvious at the time; as with the economic crisis, nobody wanted to listen.) Every plane crash brings us closer to safety, improves the system, and makes the next flight safer—those who perish contribute to the overall safety of others. Swiss flight 111, TWA flight 800, and Air France flight 447 allowed the improvement of the system. But these systems learn because they are antifragile and set up to exploit small errors; the same cannot be said of economic crashes, since the economic system is not antifragile the way it is presently built. Why? There are hundreds of thousands of plane flights every year, and a crash in one plane does not involve others, so errors remain confined and highly epistemic—whereas globalized economic systems operate as one: errors spread and compound.

pages: 719 words: 181,090

Site Reliability Engineering by Betsy Beyer, Chris Jones, Jennifer Petoff, Niall Richard Murphy

Air France Flight 447, anti-pattern, barriers to entry, business intelligence, business process, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, database schema, defense in depth, DevOps,, fault tolerance, Flash crash, George Santayana, Google Chrome, Google Earth, job automation, job satisfaction, linear programming, load shedding, loose coupling, meta analysis, meta-analysis, minimum viable product, MVC pattern, performance metric, platform as a service, revision control, risk tolerance, side project, six sigma, the scientific method, Toyota Production System, trickle-down economics, web application, zero day

However, note that our description contains some nuances that might be useful to keep in mind while reading the rest of the chapter. 2 The expertise acquired in building such automation is also valuable in itself; engineers both deeply understand the existing processes they have automated and can later automate novel processes more quickly. 3 See the following XKCD cartoon: 4 See, for example, 5 Of course, not every system that needs to be managed actually provides callable APIs for management—forcing some tooling to use, e.g., CLI invocations or automated website clicks. 6 We have compressed and simplified this history to aid understanding. 7 As in a small, unchanging number. 8 See, e.g., 9 See, e.g., [Bai83] and [Sar97]. 10 This is yet another good reason for regular practice drills; see “Disaster Role Playing”. Chapter 8. Release Engineering Written by Dinah McNutt Edited by Betsy Beyer and Tim Harvey Release engineering is a relatively new and fast-growing discipline of software engineering that can be concisely described as building and delivering software [McN14a].