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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:08
  #2081 (permalink)  
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It would be a tough sell to the operators, but a requirement for a lav inside the secure area of the flight deck would work.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:08
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The more people are tested the more dishonest they will become, and the less treatment they will request. Perhaps we are already seeing the result of this.

Many bad things are happening all over the planet, and people want to keep putting plasters on this or that, or blaming this or that person.

But the overall picture of mass shootings and violent acts just grows.

Most "solutions" are just further denial of the state of our society.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:09
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Flight Deck Door

Since 9/11 the FD Doors are now reinforced.

(this is in the public domain)

There are 3 means to open the door.
1. From inside –turn the handle
2. From inside – activate the switch. Door must be pushed.
3. From outside – use the emergency code – takes about 30s for the door to open.

The FD crew or persons in the flight deck can override all the opening methods.

As a backup the Door can be mechanically locked from the inside. The Door can now only be opened from the inside. There is now no magic key or secret code that will open the door. It is dead bolted.

The terrorist or killer as in this case, is free to do whatever he likes.
The only way to open the door would be to use the catering cart as a battering ram, may take about 10 mins to bust the door open. Hopefully if it was a terrorist attack then the pax may have something to say and intervene.

The emergency opening code should be printed on the outside of the door. This will allow anyone to open the door. It can be overridden from the inside. In the Helios incident the purser forgot the code and by the time he entered the cockpit after some 2 hours, the plane ran out of fuel. There is NO security risk. All on board died.

One solution would be to remove the mechanical locks and have a real secret code that will bypass any attempt by persons inside the cockpit to keep the door locked.

Question then is who will have the code. Can the code be compromised?
Solution would be to have this code programmed on every flight. We would now have 3 codes.
1. Door entry code – buzzer inside the cockpit, flt crew open door.
2. Emergency code – door opens in approx. 30 secs – can be overridden.
3. Secret code - disables ALL electronic locks. Door opens. Programmed by Capt on every flight.

It is all very well having a CC member sit in the flt deck but would not take much persuasion for them to leave to get something or other.

Another solution is to remove ALL reinforced doors and have them as they were. They only keep the good guys out anyway.

Basically at the end of the day you have to trust the Driver.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:10
  #2084 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LASJayhawk
It would be a tough sell to the operators, but a requirement for a lav inside the secure area of the flight deck would work.
You want to block cabin access to the flight deck completely?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:13
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The sick note was not because of depressive illness but physical illness.

I think this changes things. We are still in the realms of speculation of course but if someone is physically unwell, due a medical in a few months and fearful of losing their license on the basis of this, as well as being in a mentally vulnerable condition then you may have the holes in the cheese beginning to align.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:19
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There's nothing more to see here.

It was a rare tragedy; there is not much we can do to prevent happening again. Nothing about doors, psych checks, 2 person minimum, etc can stop a determined rogue flyer doing this again.

This type of illness is easy to hide. Then it could only take one unexpected punch to knock out the colleague. It could happen.


Let's just pray it remains unrepeated.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:19
  #2087 (permalink)  
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His fault and his alone
Had he not locked the door and augered it in it would not have happened
Everything else is an excuse
The reason is moot but obvious: he felt slighted and wanted revenge

Not mommies or daddies
Not his doctor
Not the industry
Not the security measures
Not hiring practice
Not pay/benefits/work environment
Not the company
Not the girl/boy friend
Not the captain
Not those who teased him

His, and his alone
I will not take one iota of responsibity for the death and suffering those innocent souls endured
He did it alone with malice, premeditation and precise controlled action
All the while listening to people begging for their lives and those of their children
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:20
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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.'
Well, not quite. The hospital's statement (to which the RP article doesn't add anything) says that he went to the hospital twice for "diagnostic clarification" and that "reports that he was under treatment for depression at the hospital are false". It doesn't say anything about physical illness at all. It could be read that way, but it could also mean that he was treated somewhere else for depression and that he only went to the hospital for some special diagnostic procedure (e.g, MRT). Basically, the statement is a lengthy "no comment", and tells the media to get any further details from the prosecutor.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:21
  #2089 (permalink)  
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No diesel, think folks are saying that if you had a toilet inside the cockpit you would not need to open the door to/from the cabin as often. Some aircraft have it already, but a tough retrofit for many airframes.

Of course you would still have the (secured) door.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:22
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there are tens off thousands of pilots - it isn't surprising that occasionaly one is going to go off the rails - note I'm not talking about mental ILLNESS here but when you are so bent out of shape you can carry out something truly dreadful

It's a price we have to face - it WILL happen again but it will almost certainly be many years away..............
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:27
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It is a good job Pprune did not exist on 9th Feb 1982 when a Japan airlines DC8 Captain suffering from mental illness deliberately selected reverse thrust on approach on engines number 2 and 3 despite the flight engineer and co-pilot physically trying to stop him. The DC8 crashed into Tokyo bay and 24 people died. The Captain was found not guilty of murder due insanity.

Japan Airlines Flight 350 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pprune readers of the day would doubtless have come up with suggestions of a minimum of 4 people in the flight deck and automatics that would stop the Captain having control of the aircraft. Also a flight attendant on the flight deck for every landing briefed to restrain errant pilots etc.

In practice the rest of the industry carried on normally, reluctant to change worldwide established procedures due to a very rare incident knowing the world would quickly forget. Unfortunately in these days of mass media communication there is much hysteria and calls for kneejerk reactions. No system of door locking is perfect for keeping the bad guys out and the good guys in. All safety is a compromise.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:28
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Originally Posted by Ingenieur
His fault and his alone
Had he not locked the door and augered it in it would not have happened
Everything else is an excuse
The reason is moot but obvious: he felt slighted and wanted revenge

Not mommies or daddies
Not his doctor
Not the industry
Not the security measures
Not hiring practice
Not pay/benefits/work environment
Not the company
Not the girl/boy friend
Not the captain
Not those who teased him

His, and his alone
I will not take one iota of responsibity for the death and suffering those innocent souls endured
He did it alone with malice, premeditation and precise controlled action
All the while listening to people begging for their lives and those of their children
Now this hits home and about sums it up.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:28
  #2093 (permalink)  
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I am a lawyer and do know a thing or two about examining the available evidence.
It doesn't show.

So far in this thread, I haven't seen any condemnation of this pilots actions
I regard that as commendable.
I find it quite extraordinary that you - as a lawyer - should criticise non-lawyers for waiting for the evidence to emerge and, in particular, for refraining from condemning.

Aren't you all forgetting what this First Officer did to all those innocent victims?
I doubt that anyone is forgetting the tragic deaths.
I find it extraordinary that you, as a lawyer, should try to introduce emotion into the discussion.
Objective analysis of evidence, uninfluenced by and unhindered by emotion, is instinctive to any experienced and competent lawyer.
Perhaps you are an exception.

Moreover, his mental health difficulties can never justify his actions.
Mental disorder may not justify actions but, where it exists, it may help to understand the otherwise inexplicable.
It’s very easy to see somebody as either a perpetrator or a victim. It’s much more difficult to understand that somebody might be both, although I would expect a lawyer to be able to do so.

Flying Counsel?
I'm puzzled by your username.
On your own admission you are not a pilot and, in your profile, you say you are a solicitor.

Barrister (Counsel) for 33 years.

Last edited by Flying Lawyer; 27th Mar 2015 at 17:57.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:29
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Diesel8: Maybe you don't want the other guy in?
Exactly. There was an A-320 incident in 2012 at JetBlue. Enroute from JFK to LAS the F/O became alarmed when the Captain began talking incoherently about "not going to their destination", etc. When the guy suddenly got up and went to the lav, the F/O got a deadheading pilot up front, locked the duty Captain out, made a P/A to have the F/A's and pax restrain the Captain, declared an emergency and diverted into AMA. The duty Capt was charged with interfering with a flight crew and eventually found not guilty by reason of insanity. Great job on the part of the F/O and the F/A's.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:29
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If the captain did it it would be on the cvr
No breathing heard
And the door would not have been locked out
And no control inputs would have been made by a dead man
The alt was reset AFTER the cpt left the fd
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:30
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Ex-investigator and sufferer of reactive depression (caused in part by chronic pain).

Has a reason been given for the sick note? A lot of people are jumping to conclusions that it was due to his mental state.
EDIT: earlier post clarifies it was for a physical illness.
This may change the context of what is below, or give more depth to it - physical and mental illness go hand in hand.

I know many people who have suffered and have recovered from depression. Some are the most well-balanced and thoughtful people I know, and thanks to treatment, many can now identify when the Black Dog is coming for a visit, and seek support. Very few have good things to say about anti-ds. When they are handed out like Smarties, it is rarely explained that that they are addictive and can necessitate a very long, fractious weaning-off period.

Anti-depressants can also interact with other drugs, and make certain conditions, such as tremors, worse. (I don't take them for these two reasons, as I also have a familial tremor, and after years of pain managment, I really don't like taking pills.) Anti-ds take a while to 'kick in' too, around 6-8 weeks. So, even if you start taking them, and you don't have any undesirable side-effects, you still have to get through those 6-8 weeks.

(Sidenote: Although my tremor is not disabling, I am conscious of it, and people notice it. Would it be a reason for failing a medical?)

In addition, anti-ds are not recommended for cases of mild to moderate depression, because there is insufficient evidence that they work.

Placebo treatment in mild to moderate depression

Regarding assessment and support: every time I have attended the GP or counselling treatment, I am handed a form to complete to assess my mental state, and the presence of suicidal feelings/plans. One day, I was in so much pain, I ticked the wrong box, handed the form in, then went home. Half an hour later, my phones started ringing incessantly, from withheld numbers. I missed the first few calls (I have trouble getting around), eventually picking up a call on my mobile. Apparently, they were on the verge of sending the police around, and weren't particularly mollified when I explained it was just a genuine error.

I have never felt suicidal (although at one time I could have happily given up my life should it have saved someone else's), and never felt murderous (apart from echoing wishicouldland's views of a certain HR manager).

IF the reason for the f/o's sick note was his mental state, IME, to visit the GP in the first place and/or admit to feeling mentally unwell takes a lot of guts. A lot. To place your well-being in the hands of others? You need to rely on them to spot if you really are a danger to yourself (and others), because you can be unable to see it yourself.

IF the reason was serious physical illness, a GP should expect and be looking for a recurrence of mental problems. This is well recognised.

It appears that is the point when the f/o (and the other deceased) was let down, and this chain of events was started. I wonder what kind of assessment took place?

Also, as coastalpilot stated, 'There are many medical reasons for depression, which, when addressed, completely cure the disease and the symptom, depression.' Was his earlier depression properly investigated?
(In group counselling sessions I recently attended for those suffering life-limiting illnesses, 9 out of 10 of us were incorrectly diagnosed. Would we have become depressed if it wasn't for our physical problems?)

As others have pointed out, many depressives think by killing themselves, that their family and friends would be better off. QDMQDMQDM's post about possible psychosis is enlightening on the psychosis aspect.

Link to QDMQDMQDM's post

...If the copilot did indeed deliberately fly the aircraft into the Alps, as seems very likely, then that is at first sight completely baffling. If you just want to commit suicide, why on Earth would you want to take 150 innocent people with you? It's just not rational. And that's the thing -- this act was not rational, so therefore we have to look at what could plausibly make someone act in such an irrational manner.

In this case, it is actually very easy to see what could have made him act in such an irrational manner. We know he had a history of significant mental illness -- 18 months of what seems to have been fairly severe depression -- although we don't know the details. There has also been talk that he may have been in a situational crisis recently, precipitated by breaking up with his girlfriend. Against this background, it is entirely possible he could have developed either a psychotic depression or a brief reactive psychosis. Not all psychoses are accompanied by florid delusions and odd, thought-disordered behaviour. Some can be quite encapsulated and the person can appear normal in most respects:

Delusional disorder as a partial psychosis. - PubMed - NCBI

So if he had an encapsulated psychosis for whatever cause, it would be easy to see how he could believe, say as an example, (and I'm plucking contemporary iconography out of thin air to create a random, ludicrous proposition, which is how the delusions of people with psychosis are constructed) that in order to avoid a war between Russia and the West he had to crash his aircraft and kill himself and everyone on it because he and they were all agents of Vladimir Putin.

It's crazy and very unlikely, but this whole event is crazy and very unlikely and mad people can sometimes have crazy and very unlikely delusions (though obviously the vast majority of them are not any danger to the rest of the population) and we do know he had a history of mental illness.

I can't help remembering the engineer I saw in psychiatry as a medical student. He held down a responsible job, but he had an unshakeable, encapsulated delusion that his bosses had implanted a chip in his nose through which they kept an eye on him. In all other respects, he appeared totally plausible and functioned very well. It was quite an eye-opener and I've been thinking of him a lot in the past few days.

This was not a rational act and you really don't have to stretch that far to imagine a scenario whereby it could have occurred. The more difficult question is how you might prevent such a thing again and there is no clear answer to that, especially as we are now learning these things are not quite so unlikely as we once thought. Having two in the cockpit at all times is no panacea. A sharp push on the control column at 100 feet could have the same effect as a descent from 30,000 feet.

To pick up every pilot who might fly his aircraft into the ground, you would have to have a screening test so sensitive that it would be totally non-specific, which means that you would end up screening out tens of thousands of pilots, maybe even hundreds of thousands. And that's if you can even decide what the risk factors actually are. By the very nature of the action, the perpetrators are not around to be interviewed afterwards and it's quite possible, indeed likely, that each case has a set of unique, unpredictable precipitants and characteristics.
If you want further examples of temporary psychosis:
The two sisters were apparently 'totally normal' shortly afterwards, and have remained so.

Investigator hat on: very glad to see this bit of news

BFMTV en Direct: regarder la chaine info en live - BFMTV reporting that X has been indicted regarding the leaking of information to the press, X potentially being the senior French military officer, listed as the original source of NYT


Last edited by papershuffler; 27th Mar 2015 at 18:05.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:31
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Where was all the outrage , the calls for change , the news coverage , the aviation "analysts and experts" ?? This was less than 18 months ago .No knee jerk reactions and the headline was identical except for the " airline" .

Pilot 'deliberately' crashed Mozambique plane - Al Jazeera English
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:35
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Anti-depressants: side-effects of SSRIs

I posted the following earlier in this thread following the announcement of "significant finds" at the pilot's home:

There would seem to be a limited number of items that would qualify as a significant find at the FO's home(s). It's too soon for an analysis of the computer content and no suicide note was found.
My guess is that they've found anti-depressants. One of the main questions that doctors ask patients who are commencing a course of SSRIs (Prozac etc) is whether they are experiencing any suicidal feelings.
One of the reported side-effects of SSRIs is suicidal impulses (obviously only in a limited - but statistically significant - number of cases).
That would fit the evidence so far released.

Whether or not I'm right about what they've found, I think it's worth emphasising a couple of things about this. There have been a lot of cases where the suicidal impulses seem to have been have been triggered by the use of this class of drugs (selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) even in patients where there hasn't necessarily been any occurrence of suicidal ideation previously - or even a diagnosis of severe depression.

The sheer simplicity of prescribing a one-size-fits-all medication (20mg p.d. usually) for a wide range of symptoms diagnosed as "depression" has resulted in an explosion of prescriptions for these drugs - not to mention profits for the pharmaceutical industry. What's not widely known is that the clinical trials submitted for FDA approval of SSRIs (I believe 4 statistically positive sets of results are required) were cherry-picked from the totality of these trials. Taken overall the entire range of clinical trials resulted in an effectiveness barely greater than that of the placebos: a USA doctor has published a book in which he reveals an analysis of ALL the clinical trials concerned, not just those which were submitted to the FDA. Furthermore the side-effects of SSRIs mean that anyone in the trial taking the drug, rather than the placebo, is bound to know it isn't a placebo. Which distorts the results significantly.

Given the hugely widespread prescription of Prozac, Seroxat etc, I'd be very surprised if there aren't numerous pilots out there using, and concealing the use of, SSRIs.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:35
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You bring up the JAL 350 incident as evidence that having another person in the cockpit won't stop tragedies like this. But this same incident also supports the opposite position, since IF NOT FOR THE INTERVENTION of the F/O and F/E in this instance, all 166 passengers and 8 crew would have lost their lives. As it is, the captain was overpowered and the remaining crew managed to regain enough control to bring the A/C just short of the runway, with 24 fatalities.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:38
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Was a pax in a Boeing 737-800 two weeks ago for a 2 1/2 hr. flight on an airline which does not have a curtain separating the front galley/washroom from the cabin. Mid-flight, the captain emerges from the flight deck and stands by the galley chatting and laughing with the FAs for a good 30 minutes. Just heard on the radio that the same airline has announced that a two-person flight deck will now be the status quo.

Even so, I suspect that airline's CEO will now buggar these lengthy chit-chats between the flight and cabin crew - at least those in full view of the passengers because it may be perceived as a flagrant disregard of safety and responsibility. (Those milk runs just got more tedious). It is unfortunate that the tragic action of one will now sully the job experience for thousands of apt pilots.
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