It does not use the term "mechanical". I did- because there was more to this incident than just human error.
It cites in that very first paragraph in 3.2 that the pitot tubes icing over is a failure. If you conclude that because it never says "mechanical" (my term as things that go wrong with the aircraft or its systems are referred to in this way) that there was not a aspect of systems being inop in the outcome, then you are using semantics to make your case.
You made the claim that the "pilots were the cause of the crash". I dispute that simplification of events as inaccurate and misleading. The mishap report concludes that in addition to pilot error, poor training, weather and the "total loss of airspeed information" caused by a (mechanical, sytems, or whatever term you prefer) failure of the Pitot tubes were components of this disaster. Pitot tubes were replaced wherever they were in use, including the aircraft that I am type rated in and have over 8000 hours experience in, as part of Airworthiness Directive that existed prior to this accident. Wonder why...
Take the Turkish Airlines that crashed in Amsterdam.
This incident has some similarities to the Asiana crash in SFO. In both cases, pilots failed to recognize FMA's (flight mode annunciation). In Schipol, the autothrust had changed to retard mode (used during the flare) which allows the airplane to slow below ref speed and land. In SFO, they may have disarmed the autothrust instead of disconnected it, the difference being that they bypassed the low speed wakeup function of the autothrust which prevents low energy conditions.
In both cases, pilots lacked understanding of the automation. However, in the first case the automation malfunctioned.
Autopilots often make things more difficult for a pilot because, in some circumstances, the autopilot simply adds a new workload layer that can sometimes interfere with operations.
That is exactly how we are trained with regard to the use of automation: If its increasing your workload, turn it off. We are encouraged to occasionally fly not only without the autopilot, but also without flight directors and autothrust off. The idea being to maintain proficiency.
The cause of the AF442 mishap is detailed here. And it says that the pilots flew into an area of weather that they knew about, lost air data, and entered a stall from which the did not recover. You're overemphasizing the pilots role, under emphasizing the mechanical failure and exaggerating the capability of automation.
If you know any pilots put this to them and watch the response
WTF does that mean? Am I supposed to react with giddy agreement that my profession is pointless? Using your logic, humans need never do anything that can be automated- surgery, programming, procreation...
No artificial intelligence can replace the versatility of the human mind. Pilots are there for the ability to make decisions under widely varying conditions. The automation is there to lessen the work load.
The vast majority of heavy aircraft losses are due to pilots.
Yeah, and when your idea of the pilot-less cockpit is attained it will be "The vast majority of heavy aircraft losses are due to lack of pilots."
Still working since the day it was acquired in fall of 1985. This despite having been immersed in water (covered the circuit board but left the floppy drives dry) after a basement flooding a year ago. Its a bit reluctant to boot sometimes but after a power cycle or two, loads up to DOS 3.1 or basic.
As far as the commercial pilots saying this will fail, 1 You have a professional bias, get over it 2 FAA is under pressure to ensure that GA doesn't fail 3 If this is demonstrably "non-commercial" it should succeed
As for statement number 1, don't confuse industrial expertise for "professional bias". After 20 years in the field I'd say it will draw unwanted attention from the FAA. I'd also say it's not economically feasible with Avgas at $6 a gallon.