Episode 19: Flight Deck Automation after Indonesia and Ethiopia | AIN's Tales from the Flight Deck Podcast

March 26, 2019, 10:00 AM

After the Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia, the question is whether cockpit automation is working for pilots or pilots are working for the automation. We talk with the pilot of Qantas Flight 72, An Airbus A330 that pitched down without control input and without warning a decade ago. The pilot of that aircraft says of the Max 8 accidents, “The road is different, but the destination is the same.” Our roundtable of pilots and aviation journalists looks at the growing complexity of flight deck automation, our increasing dependence on it and the lack of training available to pilots for cases in which the automation fails.


  • Capt. Kevin Sullivan, Qantas Flight 72, October 8, 2008
  • Capt. Gary Rower, Airbus A330 international captain and cockpit resource management trainer
  • Capt. Bill Palmer, Airbus A330 international captain and author
  • Capt. Bert Botta, former international captain and flight crew trainer, now flying business aircraft
  • Mark Phelps, executive editor, AIN Publications
  • Matt Thurber, editor-in-chief, AIN Publications
  • Rob Finfrock, aviation writer
Factors Leading to the Degradation of Manual Flying Skills Amongst Airline Flight Crew (2.3MB)