Episode 08: Fly-by-wire Failure, Part 2

November 20, 2017, 12:35 PM

While flying an Airbus A330 at FL370 over the Indian Ocean from Singapore to Perth in 2008, pilot Kevin Sullivan found himself dealing with malfunctioning primary flight control computers. The aircraft began to pitch down over the water, which injured some of the 303 passengers on board. Fortunately, Sullivan’s past experience as a Navy pilot helped him navigate to safety.

In this second part of this AIN's The Human Factor episode, Sullivan continues his tale of Qantas Flight 72 and how he was able to land the aircraft at the military field at Learmonth Airport. He also speaks about how the experience affects him today.

Australian Transport Safety Bureau Report

In this episode we will hear from:

  • Kevin Sullivan, pilot-in-command of the Airbus A330
  • Gary Rower, A330 pilot, flight instructor and airshow performer
  • Bill Palmer, author of Understanding Air France 447 and A330 pilot

Topics in this episode will cover:

  • Emergency landing
  • Primary flight control computer 
  • Fly-by-wire system operation
  • Equipment malfunction

Read More: "When Automation Fails, Qantas Pilot Employs Military Training"