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This Air Force Tech Could’ve Averted the Germanwings Crash

The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System is designed to prevent flights from hitting terrain by executing an automatic recovery maneuver when terrain impact is imminent. The system continuously compares trajectory prediction, terrain profile, and elevation data. ( More...

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The headline is a little sensationalist - it makes it seems as though the military has been holding on to Auto-GCAS for years, when it has only been operational for a few months. Regardless, it is interesting.
The Wired article also mentions that GCAS can be overriden by the pilot, which would of course be a requirement in the real world. The idea of having two pilots agree to override it sounds like a decent idea...unless one pilot is incapacitated.

The unfortunate bottom line is that it's extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to create technological solutions to counteract a person of trust betraying that trust. I'm not sure that it's possible to give a pilot full control of an aircraft, yet somehow prevent him from crashing said aircraft if he puts his mind two it. Those goals are pretty much 100% at odds with one another.
30west 7
I agree. If a pilot wants to crash the jet he will, regardless of outside or software intervention. If this system was operational in the GermanWings crash aircraft, the FO could have made it useless when it began the terrain avoidance maneuver..........Fuel Control Levers....Cut Off. Software can't make the jet climb without either thrust or excess airspeed (which he had, but that would have only delayed the impact).
allan howell 1
Agree on the sensationalist aspect of this article. Like Egypt Air incident decades roughly 50 minutes out of JFK, when someone wants to do something they will.
frank1711 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Germanwings Crash 'Could Have Been Averted With Military Autopilot System'

Technology that would have prevented the Germanwings plane crash tragedy is already in use by the US Air Force (USAF) and should be used by all commercial aircraft, experts have said.

Newsweek spoke to flight engineers who declined to be named but confirmed that the transfer of military technology to civilian aircraft would have prevented the deaths of 150 victims.


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