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Home > Flying on the Boeing 777 > Is the Airbus A300 as safe as the Boeing 777?
Is the Airbus A300 as safe as the Boeing 777?
Flying - Flying on the Boeing 777
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 07:21

Hello Capt Lim,

My name is Andrew. Thank you for this wonderful site you have that helps me out with my fears.

My first question is on the Airbus 300. I have been nervous about this airplane ever since it crashed a few years back. I refuse to take it for the simple fact that the vertical stabilizer fell off during flight. I have been told that Airbus makes lower quality airplanes than Boeing and I know the A300 gives a lot of mechanical problems from airport employees.

Is the Airbus A300 as safe as the Boeing 777? I know the A300 is one of Airbus' first airplanes. Have there been any cockpit upgrades since then? I would become extremely nervous if the A 300 encounters air turbulence. I prefer the B 757 or B 767. I have not flown the Boeing 777 yet.

My second question is about the A320s. Do you think the B 737s are better airplanes? The Airbus 320s have had a few quick crashes when upon its introduction to the industry. Do you think the crashes were due to pilots* unfamiliarity with the technology or glitches in the design?

Andrew Henry.

Hi Andrew,


Airbus and Boeing are the two leading aircraft manufacturers in the world today. Both built equally good planes notwithstanding the latest problem afflicting the Airbus A380 - the nosedive sale, cancellations and delayed delivery to customers worldwide.

I have flown the Airbus A300 and am currently flying the Airbus A320. I also flew the Boeing 737-(200 to 500 series) and the Boeing 777-200ER; each airplane has its good features at the time when they were manufactured. Yes, you can't really compare an older plane with a newer one that has all the latest upgrades and avionics. It would be unfair!

Although maintenance is very stringent on all planes, whether old or new, one cannot guarantee absolute quality control. So, for the benefit of doubt, most would prefer to fly on newer planes. In this respect, the Boeing 777 is a better plane than the Airbus A300. Further, it would be uneconomical to upgrade the Airbus A300 with modern avionics and airlines would rather phase out these older planes when it becomes too expensive to keep them airworthy.

Whether the Boeing 737s are better than the A320s?

You can read part of my answer on a previous FAQ.
Yes, the A320s had a few quick crashes when they were first introduced and amongst others, one of the causes of the crash was due to pilots* unfamiliarity with the technology. Having flown this airplane for a while now, my opinion is that the Airbus A320 is a better plane when compared to the Boeing 737 of the same vintage. The only minus feature I can say about the Airbus A320 is that it is not as comfortable when it gets caught in turbulence.

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administration , Low-rated comment [Show]
I feel much more safer on a boeing than an Airbus!
I am a frequent International flier.

I fell nervous getting on an airbus plane:
I am the most worried about that composite tail breaking off in the event of an unpredicted / (unforeseen at the time of design) the amount of stress put on it.Air France A330 and the American A300 that crashed

Notably on a some large airbus planes I been on I tend to notice significant / undesirable crackling and loosening noise when the plane is either landing or taking off.

Positives
Airbus=quieter, less bumpier.
Boeing=Faster, more marktet share, more safety incidents / reports > more solutions incorporated.

Intr_flyer , 06 Aug, 2009
Joysticks are gay , Low-rated comment [Show]
A330 Capt
In regards to Administraion's, and the other above comments.
1) the sidestick controllers are not "gay". Perhaps an F-16, F-18, etc. are also gay? The joystick type control input is a natural control input, also available in everything from gliders to the space shuttle. The placement of the sidesticks also allows a retractable table in front of each pilot. This is a wonderful addition and perfect for placement of everything from crew meals to approach plates and a note pad.
2) The fly-by-wire computers provide envelope protection and also allow the pilot to achiecve maximum performace up to but not beyond the limitations of the airframe. Pull all the way back and hold it for a 2.5 g max pullup maneuver without the chance of stalling, or having to find the max point somewhere in stickshaker. Full sideways deflection for a 60° bank. (why would you ever want to flip it over??)However, if the aircraft is upset beyond these limits (by external forces) then the flight control laws give the pilot full control.
Unfortunately " well-trained and conscientious pilots" have crashed more than a few perfectly good airplanes. There has not been an accident caused the the pilot's inability to exceed these normal limits, due to built in flight control laws
The statement " if the computer or its associated systems fail, the flight is doomed. " is untrue. First, there is not "the" computer (there are 7). If they all fail, the airplane can still be flown using rudder and stab trim (no computers involved). Failure of all flight control computers has not happened in flight.A more realistic scenario is a triple hydraulic failure - which actually has occurred (and a successful landing made in an Airbus - see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2...n_incident )
RE:"For example, one ran off the runway because when landing after a heavy thunderstorm, the wheels hydroplaned on the water giving conflicting sensor messages to the computer that wasn't able to react. "
That is a misrepresentation of the AF358 accident in Toronto. The anti-skid system was not cited as a causal factor. Several crew errors were. The flight touched down 4000 feet down a 9000 foot runway in heavy rain with a tailwind - you take it from there.
3) RE: Air France A330 crash. When you fly into a level 5 thunderstorm, all bets are off no matter what you are flying. Did you avoid Boeing 737's due to the number of unexplained rudder hard-overs that resulted in crashes? [United Airlines Flight 585 in Colorado Springs when it suddenly flipped into a dive and crashed in March 1991, killing 25 people. A USAir flight on approach to Pittsburgh when it crashed nose-first into a ravine in September 1994, killing 132.]
Bill , 16 Sep, 2009
B747-400 Instructor/ DC-8 CAP/ MOONEY M20-E LOVER! , Low-rated comment [Show]
Give it Time
Both planes are great and are highly competitive in what they do. Boeing have fewer crashes caused by the plane itself as of late. They have been around longer and have worked with materials in test for many years. In time we shall see what will happen but I do beleive boeing is just abetter plane period. Experience is always king. Always...
KBeck , 14 Apr, 2010
I think
Actually Boeing have more crashes caused by plane, those 737 rudder crashes that caused by design fault.

Air France A330 crash was pitot tube failure, but Queens crash was pilot error that caused rudder to break.
Asreards , 18 Jun, 2010
Rudder Error
false. Queens crash was not pilot error, why would a plane allow so much pull on a rudder with the expectations that it would eventually break from stress?

basically it was just a failure of the composite material the tail is made out of. my personal opinion is the next generation of wide body airplanes (completely composite) including boeing 787 and airbus A350, are gonna be garbage.
Queens Crash , 28 Jul, 2010
Passanger
Why an airplane cano not be build to have more passangers protection in case of a crash? Can that be posiible done?
Thank you very much.
Luis
Luis , 29 Jul, 2010
Ms
I agree with Luis-
I want a fully padded, amphibious airtank...
...but I would prefer it to cost Ryanair prices, if that's at all possible.
Clara , 30 Jul, 2010
Airbus Joysticks , Low-rated comment [Show]
international flier
Those planes are both equally safe. Americans need to understand that what they do isn't always the best and it is as safe to fly an airbus as it is to fly a boeing. I currently live in Hamburg, Germany where part of Airbus is located and I can tell you that airbus planes are safe/safer than boieng ones. Indeed, the tecnhology used on airbus planes is way ahead of its time and there is a reason why it is gradually taking over boeing. boeing planes sell well in the USA, but airbuses sell around the world.
So don't be so scared to fly an airbus and just try to understand that there is a reason why both companies are in such fierce competition. Airbus planes are safer than what you give them credit for. And as a matter of fact, Boeing planes crashed more in aviation history, and most of crashes were due to tecnhical, structural failures whereas airbus crashes were due to weather and pilots failures.
Ash , 19 Nov, 2011
airbus vs boeing
To some extent, it is a politics things. Americans cling on to Boeing. Also, People fear anything new, like the FBW even though FBW is as safe as hydraulics. Some pilots always like to complain... Pilots made a fuss when the autopilot came out, when hydraulic controls came out, when glass cockpits came out etc etc. Now they are fussing about FBW and composites. The fuss will eventually die down. FBW is extremely safe and Boeing has used it on the 747-8, 777 and the new 787. I like both Boeing and Airbus equally well.
ycfpvvxhll , 21 Nov, 2011
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
I can not believe what i am reading here. People are so missinformed. Week end flyers with star wars theories.My airport friends???? Joy sticks are gay WOW!!! You must dislike your own air forces.It became clear that there was a right wing bias, all the Boeing pilots where better looking and generally better treated. Please be kind to yourself and get out from your mothers basement.
You a 777 shot gun driver??? Come on man you think we believe that? Get a job at Mc Donald's.
charles , 24 Nov, 2011
767
I'm flying a 767 as of next year after being made redundant four months ago. Maybe it's a bit silly saying sidesticks are gay. Just not something I like.
Mick Hardcastle , 27 Dec, 2011
787 A350 Garbage?
"false. Queens crash was not pilot error, why would a plane allow so much pull on a rudder with the expectations that it would eventually break from stress?

basically it was just a failure of the composite material the tail is made out of. my personal opinion is the next generation of wide body airplanes (completely composite) including boeing 787 and airbus A350, are gonna be garbage."

I just wish I could recite those words to you in 10 years time.
JC , 28 Dec, 2011
"Queens crash was not pilot error?"
The pilot thought that the appropriate way to counteract turbulence was to use full (and alternating) deflections of the rudder. This wasn't sorted out at any point in his training / check history even though it clearly raised some eyebrows.

How could alternating full left and right deflection of the rudder help in the even of a wake turbulence encounter? If you think that might help, why not alternate full and opposite aileron?

I have seen false ideas about flying at all levels. Most recently was a very embarrassing story in the AirAsia magazine by their pet Captain telling all the passengers who should read it that an aircraft climbs through excess lift???
Whatsthat? , 30 Dec, 2011
a 320
I hate to fly.I am flying out to orlando and i never have flown on a A320. Is this a small plane or a big one? How safe is it? I take adavan when i fly thats how scared i am to fly I have flown 2 times only
diane , 06 Mar, 2012
Retired
If it ain'Boeing I ain't going!
FMF DOC , 14 Aug, 2013
AIRBUS IS BETTER
DEAR BOEING FANS:
HOW COULD AIRBUS COPY BOEING WHEN BOEING OS NOT EVEN CLOSS TO HAVING THE SAME TECH AS THE AIRBUS. NUMBER 2 YOU GUESS CANT ACCEPT THE FACT THAT BOEING IS CRAP AND THAT AIRBUS IS BETTER.
ZAK , 16 Jun, 2014

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