Comments:Schiphol airliner crash blamed on altimeter failure, pilot error

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Altimeters and autopilotsEdit

I find this article highly dubious.

  • "the faulty altimeter indicated that the airliner's height was at minus eight feet. Because the autopilot and autothrottle were running from this flawed data the plane automatically reduced engine power as it would in the final seconds before landing."

-so you're telling me that an autopilot recieving data that the plane is underground is not going to disengage and alarm, but instead it will simply try to land the plane? Nonsense.

PerryWhite (talk) 19:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Here what ABC News wrote: "At 1,950 feet above the ground, the altimeter showed the plane to be at negative-8 feet instead, according to safety board chairman Pieter van Vollenhoven."
I don't know aviation terminology, but perhaps Vollenhoven is indicating that there is an 8 feet discrepancy. --SVTCobra 19:51, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The altimeter indicated eight feet underground. I agree that in such circumstances the autopilot should disengage, but it seems no-one at Boeing thought of that as the report doesn't indicate the fact that it didn't as anything unusual. The plane has no concept of 'underground'. It only knows that below a certain height it should be about to land. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:03, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
I am quite sure this is something Boeing 'would have thought about' when designing the autopilot. If it hadn't, then that is what would be the news story, not this dubious rubbish. PerryWhite (talk) 19:17, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Care to read the report? The safety board's website is at and the page on the crash is here. Both the press release and the report dated March 4 state -8 feet. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:09, 9 March 2009 (UTC)