Re: Uncle Sam Wants YOU!

From: Richard B. Johnson (
Date: Fri Jul 06 2001 - 14:34:54 EST

On Fri, 6 Jul 2001, Tracy R Reed wrote:

> On Sun, Jul 01, 2001 at 04:53:25PM -0700, Ben Ford wrote:
> > I seem to recall that MS products cannot be used in aircraft control
> > rooms for this reason.
> Your statement above is not necessarily true. By control rooms do you mean
> control towers or in the aircraft themselves? Inside the aircraft itself
> is obviously the more critical situation and NT is being used there so I
> don't see why it wouldn't be used in the air traffic control system as
> well whether it be in control towers, air route traffic control centers,
> or wherever.
> MS products are used in life-critical situations. First, there was the
> USS Yorktown. But that was just a test situation.
> Here is an NT system used in a real non-test and FAA certified situation.
> It operates the primary flight instruments of a high-performance aircraft.
> There are several certified aircraft using this unit. I can't remember the
> others I've read about but this is the Lancair Columbia 400.
> From :

[SNIPPED most of the rest]

It's Windows/CE. It takes a few seconds to boot from NVRAM. It's used
in Honeywell Flight Directors (for the FP display). It's not like
it was life-critical, you still have (required) steam gages for
backup. It is probably more reliable than the mechanical backups
because, except for the bugs, it has no moving parts.
> Wouldn't want to pull a Kennedy!

Don't bet on it. I'm not a Kennedy supporter, but the "rich kid"
went to the best and most expensive flight school in America. He
had already passed the Instrument written exam. He had more flight
instruction than many ATPs and the instruction was modern which means
he seldom looked out the window (a pet peeve of mine), doing about
everything by reference to instruments.

FYI. The horizontal stabilizer was not with the airplane when
it was recovered; The damage was impact damage from hitting water
dead-nuts vertical; The loss of control occurred while leveling
off during a routine descent.

Regardless of what the politicians at the NTSB say, this looks
to me like the AC shed its tail, resulting in an unrecoverable
loss of control. Of course, what do I know. I'm only a commercial
pilot/Inst with a little over 3,000 hours over the past 30 years.

Dick Johnson

Penguin : Linux version 2.4.1 on an i686 machine (799.53 BogoMips).

    I was going to compile a list of innovations that could be
    attributed to Microsoft. Once I realized that Ctrl-Alt-Del
    was handled in the BIOS, I found that there aren't any.

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sat Jul 07 2001 - 21:00:19 EST