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Transportation

Computer Error Caused Qantas Jet Mishap 389

highways sends word that preliminary investigations into a Qantas Airbus A330 mishap where 51 passengers were injured has concluded that it was due to the Air Data Inertial Reference System feeding incorrect information into the flight control system — not interference from passenger electronics, as Qantas had initially claimed. Quoting from the ABC report: "Authorities have blamed a faulty onboard computer system for last week's mid-flight incident on a Qantas flight to Perth. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said incorrect information from the faulty computer triggered a series of alarms and then prompted the Airbus A330's flight control computers to put the jet into a 197-meter nosedive ... The plane was cruising at 37,000 feet when a fault in the air data inertial reference system caused the autopilot to disconnect. But even with the autopilot off, the plane's flight control computers still command key controls in order to protect the jet from dangerous conditions, such as stalling, the ATSB said."

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