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Slide Presentation from the AHRQ 2007 Annual Conference

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  • an A300 crashed in Nagoya, Japan, after the pilots inadvertently engaged the autopilot's go-around mode. The pilots countered the unexpected pitch-up by making manual inputs, which turned out to be ineffective. Essentially, the pilot attempted to continue the approach by manually deflecting the control column, which in all other aircraft—and in this aircraft in all modes except the approach mode—would normally disconnect the autopilot. However, in this particular aircraft and in this particular mode, the autopilot had to be manually deselected and could not be overridden by control column inputs. Consequently, a power struggle developed between the pilot and the autopilot, with the pilot attempting to push the nose down through elevator control and the autopilot attempting to lift the nose up through trim control. This caused the aircraft to become so far out of trim that it could no longer be controlled.

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