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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:44
  #2061 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by mcdunav
All FAs need to be taught how to use the cockpit lock switch operation?
Not to be rude, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess you are not a pilot on these types of airplanes?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:45
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NigelOnDraft: Understood, but are you really suggesting that an airliner pilot must refer to a cabin crew to approve every decision?

I ask again - to those who want a second crew member in the Flight Deck what is their role?
To open the cockpit door?

On 9-11 I was flying as a captain for a major U.S. carrier. After going through some interim procedures to prevent breech of the cockpit door (serving carts blocking the aisle with flight attendants standing behind them, F/C pax volunteering to tackle anyone trying to get over the cart, etc.) we finally got the reinforced doors. We then went to having an F/A stand just inside the door anytime one of the pilots needed to use the lav. Their sole functions were (and are) to raise the alarm in case the sole pilot at the controls collapses, and to physically open the door for the returning pilot in case the electric lock mechanisms malfunction.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:46
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So they are panicking saying we need to have stricter screening, pilots with emotional problems banned for life and license taken away...

This is going to do more harm than good, as the genuine pilots who want to seek help and get better will now bottle it up and not disclose for fear of losing their careers!

It's one incident! Very sad but no need for drastic action to be taken...

Aviation is still safest
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:51
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Unfortunately we've reached the stage where the only solutions looked at are the imposition of new rules, which inevitably lead to the Law of Unintended Consequences biting us all in the ass. This applies to society as a whole, not just aviation. Kids scrape their knees? Don't let them play, then wonder why they're getting fat. Drug might have nasty side effect? Ban it and let the people who need it die. The list is endless.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:53
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From the BBC website:

'In a statement (in German), prosecutors said they had seized medical documents from Mr Lubitz's two residences - his Duesseldorf flat and his parents' home north of Frankfurt - which indicated an "existing illness and appropriate medical treatment".
The "fact that, among the documents found, there were sick notes - torn-up, current and for the day of the crash - leads to the provisional assessment that the deceased was hiding his illness from his employer", the report states.
Germanwings confirmed it had not been given a sick note for the day of the crash.
Duesseldorf's University Hospital issued a statement (in German) saying Mr Lubitz had attended the hospital on 10 March and last month.
Adding that it had handed his medical records over to prosecutors, it said reports the co-pilot had been treated there for depression were incorrect.
Germany's Rheinischer Post newspaper, which spoke to the hospital, quoted its own unnamed sources as saying Mr Lubitz had been suffering from a physical, rather than a mental, illness.'

I had wondered if he was ill, I mean physically ill, yesterday thus my post asking about the dates of his medicals (I think he had one due in June).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:54
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Originally Posted by Pace
[quote} please stop and think before posting rubbish.
My answer to you is yours above! Firstly the probable cause of this was the fact that the FO was secure and alone with whatever dreadful thoughts he had.
Had the Captain burst through that door that peace would have been shattered and the FO would probably have collapsed into a snivelling nervous breakdown to be carried off by the medics on landing you presume he would be aggressive and fighting the Captain to death?

Secondly with the door open not only the Captain but also members of the Cabin crew would assist in overpowering him It has happened with violent PAX and cabin crew.

lastly even on your own if you know someone is trying to kill you and 150 people you will be surprised at the strength you will find [stick your fingers in his eyes he will soon stop)[/QUOTE]

Please use your loaf. If the pilot wanted to prang the plane all he has to do is stamp on a rudder at the wrong time or start lever to cutoff at 500 feet or rotate, pitch up, pitch down roll. It's all over red rover.

The door will not help you against crew. Geddit?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:54
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I do not cease to be amazed by the mono dimensional comments of people posting (hopefully not airline pilots or engineers!), stating that simply the FO was guilty and that no external factors or bodies or people bear any responsibility in these cases.

The world is not as simple as that. the entire environment of this young man will need to ask themselves questions and learn what they could have done better.

We are all the complement of our DNA, our environment and our experiences.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:54
  #2068 (permalink)  
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I agree completely with the need to support any pilot who develops mental health issues during their career. But I think that is quite different from hiring a pilot who had the serious problems during training that Andreas Lubitz displayed. If the precautionary principle had been applied, Lubitz's ambitions would have been frustrated, but 150 people would still be alive.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:56
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Just wanted to clear up some misunderstandings regarding confidentiality within a doctor-patient relationship. Breaching confidentiality isn't something we do lightly, but there are numerous situations where NOT doing so would be illegal; for example, doctors have a legal obligation to inform vehicle licensing authorities if someone develops a medical condition rendering them unsafe to drive - epilepsy, for example. In the case of pilots, the list of such conditions is much longer, and rightly so. Any doctor who suspected a pilot of being unsafe to fly and who failed to breach confidentiality and inform his employers as well as the relevant licensing and safety organisations would leave themselves open for criminal negligence proceedings.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:56
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
Hi Dieseal8I am giving, I admit, a rather extreme example. But it does get to the basis of the issue.

So if my example is invalid, maybe you can give the most extreme scenario where the CC could be trained in when and how to intervene and countermand the actions of the (acting) aircraft Commander?
Again, the FA is not there to over ride the remaining pilots actions. The second person is there in case of sudden incapacitation of the remaining pilot. That person is also there for access security.

Had there been a second person in the Flight Deck that morning, that person could have opened the door for the Captain. This crash more than likely would not have occurred had that been the case. You agree?

Many carriers around the world operate on this principle, a few more have now announced they will change their procedures to always have two people on the flight deck. Why that wasn't the case before is beyond me considering the lock mechanism now employed.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:56
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Challenge for regulators

The challenge is how to prevent these lunatics from entering the flight deck.
With due respect to doctor-patient confidentiality, there should be a regulation for reporting (to employers) if the doctor recognizes a red flag.

Operators cannot just wash their hands by saying 'he hid his illness'.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:57
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There is no solution to this problem.

For every situation that you attempt to prevent, there is a different situation that can arise as a result of that solution.
For example, if the emergency code opened the door, and the PF was unable to prevent that, then in the case of the captain who went "nuts", the FO could not prevent him from entering the FD.
If we used a CC to stand inside the door and wait until the PNF returned, then verified them through the peep hole, we have the possibility that the PNF has been incapacitated by a hijacker and is standing there with a gun to his back.
If you have a completely isolated FD (moving the locked door back), then what do you do if the crew become incapacitated (bad fish dinner).

Whatever "solution" you come up with, there will always be another situation that is not covered by that solution.

This is not something that can be solved by putting in more or different technology. It is a symptom of our society, and we need to address the problems in society.

But that's a far greater challenge.

(all of the above is based on accepting the - to my mind extremely premature - conclusions of the investigations so far) OR if you don't accept those conclusions, then at least considering the possibility of a pilot who "loses it" and decides to either lash out against the other pilot, or prove to his "ex" that they will miss him, or thinks that it will ensure something or other in the life hereafter. We have to remember that the person who wants to destroy the pilot, could be on either side of the door.

So we can only have a partial solution, one that solves a percentage of the problems, and then we have to hope that we've chosen the right portion.

And, as some have attempted to say that this policy is worse than the opposite, because "more have died" from this policy than it has saved, then we should recognise that there is absolutely no way to count the number that have been saved.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 16:58
  #2073 (permalink)  
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@Murexway: It obviously detects when the aircraft is in landing config although EGPWS is still active.
Would have made a mess of Scully's ditching in the Hudson with the gear up
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:00
  #2074 (permalink)  
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@Diesel8: I am not but what point are you trying to make? Are FAs trained to operate the door switch? In case the FA was present in the cockpit how would have things be different if the FO was looking for an opportunity to crash the plane?

@darkroomsource: I agree with you on the fact that their is no exact solution to this problem. Pilots are humans too and are susceptible to health issues just like any one else. But what do we tell the general public who put their faith in the crew when they enter the aircraft?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:01
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Can anyone hazard a guess if insurance will be valid in a case like this? 150 payouts in millions of dollars is going to hurt someone. This is not to denigrate the awful grief families must be suffering.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:04
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Duesseldorf University Hospital: Not treated the 27-year-old pilot for depression.

By The Associated Press
March 27, 2015 - 11:17 am EDT
A Duesseldorf hospital says the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 had been a patient there over the past two months.
Duesseldorf University Hospital said in a statement Friday that Andreas Lubitz last came to the hospital for "diagnostic evaluation" on March 10. It declined to provide details about his condition but denied German media reports that it had treated the 27-year-old pilot for depression.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:04
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Lubitz was able to fly in this case on the condition, that he get periodic psychiatric evaluation. The problem with this is, apparently the results of this evaluation are self reported. In order to be able to fly, there should have been a mechanism to waive doctor/patient confidentiality, where the doctor could be required to inform the airline immediately, that Libitetz was unfit to fly.
I am of the opinion, 20/20 hindsight of course, that he shouldn't have been permitted to fly at all, but it's pretty ridiculous that an illness that can affect public safety, and can remain concealed, be only self reported. Require people to sign a waiver, if they are flying on such conditions.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:06
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Of note:

A mental-health professional was quoted this morning on one of the U.S. news channels as saying "My obligations and responsibilities regarding patient confidentiality just came to an end on a French mountainside."

Expect the laws to change regarding PC - especially for professions that hold such a great responsibility for the lives of others.

Regarding the presence of CC or a relief pilot in the cockpit to cover the temporary absence of one pilot:

By law (at least in many jurisdictions) seated pilots are required to be strapped into their seats during flight. And may be required to have their O2 masks on when alone at the controls (in case of a rapid decompression event).

Exactly how is a pilot so restrained, and in the cramped confines of the cockpit, going to attack or disable the second person in the cockpit so rapidly that (s)he cannot call for help, or unlock the cockpit door for assistance to enter?

The mere presence of another human, with eyes and a brain and a moral conscience (as opposed to a passive video system) changes the psychological dynamics in the cabin, compared to being alone. There are some things it is simply much harder to do - psychologically - when someone else is present and observing you.

Think not? Why did this co-pilot wait until he was alone to take this action? Egypt Air shows that he could have - with some probability - brought the aircraft down even with the PIC trying to stop him in a full fist-fight.

But doing it alone - in "secret" and hidden from the eyes and judgements of others - made it easier.

@NigelOnDraft - the "Commander" of an aircraft is the person with 4 stripes on his/her shoulders. Regardless of whether that pilot is PF or PM, in the left seat, or in the loo, or taking a kip in the crew rest area.

If the rules say a second person shall take his position (certainly not his place as a pilot) when absent, it is implicit that that person is also "deputized" - to monitor the remaining pilot, not for flight actions as such, but for possible physical or mental impairment. As well as simply being a pair of hands to open the d**n door when needed.

On the continuing allusions to the FO possibly having suffered hypoxia - how did this happen to him alone? The pilot was functional enough to knock and bang on the door.

On the "premature" release of evidence and some conclusions from the investigation:

Once you have reasonable suspicion of a criminal act ("probable cause"), time is of the essence. You have to start looking for additional clues RIGHT NOW, before they get destroyed. The FO's discarded down-check notice was in the trash - and might well have been lost except for prompt action by authorities.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:07
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mcdunav:@Murexway: It obviously detects when the aircraft is in landing config although EGPWS is still active.
So? Drop the gear and flaps in the dive....and it still crashes.

About the FA being present in cockpit rule, if the FA hears someone banging from outside how will they prevent who-ever is in cockpit to stop denying entry?
If you don't know the answer to that one, then you don't have the need to know...
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:07
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There are an awful lot of armchair pilots chucking in theories and a fair amount of nonsense here.

So as a professional pilot, let me tell you my experience of a mental health issue.

I had been flying around 12 years and suffered reactionary depression from a serious life event. I sought help from my GP and was signed off work and prescribed anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. In accordance with the established regulations I reported the matter to my employer and the UK CAA and received a temporary unfit letter. It took time to recover and I used every tool available, counselling, medication and so on. I was off medication and about to return to work for what I hoped would be a managed return when I was disciplined by my airline for absence. I was given a final warning despite my, and Balpa's best efforts. I struggled with the concept of returning to work in what would be a difficult set of circumstances and eventually relapsed into depression again. I had hoped I would have been treated with respect and dignity, I was not.

I was never given a golden ticket into a shiny cockpit. I worked my way their, the old way, PPL, CPL, FI, FO and so on and became a captain at my company and happily flew for them for 9 years without any incident or problem, I can't even remember being off with a cold.

I did recover, regained my class 1 medical and hunted for work. It's been 2 years now. I have never flown anything since. I have drifted from job to job and dream of flying almost every day but now accept it is unlikely ever to happen again. I miss it dreadfully and wish almost every day I had not told anyone, but I did and now I'm paying for it big time.

The whole industry needs a serious shake up in terms of viewing of mental health. Performance management by sending pilots to simulators and bashing the hell out of someone who has suffered from depression is not the way forward. If airlines keep treating crew like something on the bottom of their shoe things will never improve.

None of this of course condones what has happened, if indeed the final investigation proves this to be the case and at no point did I ever fancy killing anyone, although my feeling towards the HR manager weren't very nice at the time.....

Anyway, just my experience, from a former ATPL holder.....

Brave and poignant post, wishicouldland. This is a very important aspect of mental health in aviation. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Until the stigma and repercussions of mental health issues are dealt with, those who honestly look at themselves in the mirror and seek help will suffer, while those who tear up sick notes will still go to work, risking the lives of those around them.
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