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Old 26th Mar 2015, 21:08
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Canada
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Experts applaud Transport Canada’s decision on new cockpit rules
Ian Campbell Mar 26, 2015 02:32:39 PM


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Industry experts say they’re all for a move from Transport Canada to force Canadian airlines to have two people in the cockpit at all times.

It comes following initial reports from investigators that the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 deliberately crashed his plane in the French Alps.

“I’m stunned, absolutely stunned that a pilot in anyway, shape or form could cause grief to an airplane,” said one spokesperson. “I just can’t understand that, and this has happened before, look at the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared in the Indian Ocean.”

Ruth-Ann Rayner is a former flight attendant with Pan-American Airlines and she said in her day, they had four in the cockpit.

“We had four in our cockpits because we had 707s and DC-8s, there were always to be at least two in the cockpit, this was in the days prior to locked doors,” she said. “If there were two of the four out of cockpit, for whatever reason, quite often they would tap one of us flight attendants to come up and be an extra voice or pair of years in the cockpit.”

“It’s not unusual anymore because there are two in the cockpit and when they are entering or exiting and the door is open, the flight attendants stand in the galley, so no passengers can get up to the washroom and into the cockpit.”

Wings Magazine Editor Matt Nicholls believes the move today could be the start of an industry-wide change.

“Airlines across the world try to meet a very high standard of aviation safety, throughout the board, not only in the cockpit but on the engineering side and I know every airline strives to meet an extremely high level. So it’s very disappointing for them and a tragedy for the community when something happens,” he said.

“It sounds like a given, having two people in the cockpit makes sense if anything happens in terms of mechanical failure but also in the event of a horrible tragedy, like this, where someone’s mental state is in question or there is unforeseen circumstances on the flight deck, it makes sense to have both bodies in there.”

“This is just one more element that I’m sure will be adopted across the board,” Nicholls said.

Air Canada was first out of the gate today with its statement:

“Regarding flight deck protocols and access, as these involve security measures we cannot discuss them. Air Canada is compliant with CARs and ICAO recommended practices. However following initial reports on the Germanwings accident we are implementing without delay a policy change to ensure that all flights have two people in the cockpit at all times.”

WestJet issued the following Transport Canada’s decision:

“WestJet will implement a change in policy to ensure the presence of two members of the flight crew in the flight deck at all times. For reasons of safety and security, we will not comment further on flight deck protocols.”
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