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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:39
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Patient Confidentiality?

I'm afraid there is no excuse for "patient confidentiality". You're either Fit or Unfit to fly, doesn't matter what the inherent condition is. If a Dr suspected a Pilot of having a terminal illness, the pilot is immediately grounded. That Dr has a duty to report to the employer/authorities that the pilot is Unfit to fly, the issue remaining confidential. Because if the pilot doesn't declare himself unfit they continue flying...
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:40
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Lost in Saigon: Having an FA in the jump seat while one pilot is out of the flight deck might be the perfect time for a "Bad Guy" to start banging on the door and say "Let me in".
Fortunately for us all, it ain't that easy. Just because someone says let me in - that doesn't cut it
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:43
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There have been cases of door malfunction before.
Well... the door didn't reset the FMS altitude a moment before !
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:44
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Originally Posted by V2-OMG!
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.
I know it's different days but I used to take a lot of comfort in seeing the flight deck door open and the crew not hidden away.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:45
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The destroyed notes were for mental illness and removed him from duty
The hospital visit was for something else
Years ago he was removed from training for mental illness

This changes nothing
The actions were the same
He murdered 149 people
Whether he was diagnosed or not is moot
He locked the door
And actively crashed the plane
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:48
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JamesT73J: I know it's different days......
Boy, is it EVER!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:48
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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
That is absolutely correct.....BUT......fixing the issues it highlighted will involve a lot more than pointing the finger at him for what he did. The responsibility was his but there are a trail of reasons it happened that need to be addressed and that needs to be the focus, not least the arrangements for toilet breaks. On a related note, this doesn't do much for the idea of single pilot cockpits, something that Airbus, Embraer and others have been working on for a long time.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:48
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@Murexway: I assume from your post that FAs know how to operate the door switch. Apologies as I am not a pilot on these types of aircraft, yet.

@Heathrow Harry: I completely agree with you as pilots are also humans susceptible to health issues. But when we know that incidents like this happen and will happen again, the industry needs to think of a solution reduces the chances of it occurring again.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:50
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Now is the time for Pilots to go the extra mile with their interaction with the paying public, certainly in the short term. Try meet and greet or say goodbye where possible, be as informative as possible, give reassurance.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:51
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@V2-OMG "Even so, I suspect airline management 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 actions of one rogue will now sully the job experience for thousands of apt pilots."

True - but the consequences of the actions of this one pilot are so dire, and so totally abhorrent, and so sad with so many people's lives brought to utter misery, that it will likely be taken very seriously by all airlines whose management will feel a strong need to increase the perceived safety for all passengers thinking of buying a ticket - without re-assurance to the flying public if confidence in the very act of taking a flight is reduced it would have significant financial implications for the running of airlines. So a response to shore up confidence seems very likely. The flying public used to admire and look up to the competence and reliability of commercial pilots - that confidence may have been severely shaken by the extensive news about this incident. How many percent reduction in ticket sales will bring an airline down financially? How many percent reduction in ticket sales will bring in a need for airlines to reduce the earnings of pilots?

In running a business of any kind the management has to take seriously the low probability but extremely high impact events that might only happen very occasionally.

Also it does sound like a more enlightened attitude amongst airline managers towards pilots coming clean about their health issues would be very helpful and more likely that pilots might admit to issues if the consequences were not a significant chance of loss of career!

Last edited by mcloaked; 27th Mar 2015 at 18:04.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:52
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I'm afraid there is no excuse for "patient confidentiality". You're either Fit or Unfit to fly, doesn't matter what the inherent condition is. If a Dr suspected a Pilot of having a terminal illness, the pilot is immediately grounded. That Dr has a duty to report to the employer/authorities that the pilot is Unfit to fly, the issue remaining confidential. Because if the pilot doesn't declare himself unfit they continue flying...
That is true with the AME, although he can only report unfit to fly to the authority. And yes, i had the displeasure to endure that myself and came back to flying (not mental illness though, just a garden variety thing). Any GP cannot do that and in fact is barred from doing that by law. Laws can change, but i do not see it happen, instead i wouldn't be surprised if pilots have to endure a psych evaluation additionally to the normal medical. And of course part MED might change as well, i guess any kind of anxiety disorder or mental illness will lead to a permanent loss of medical in the future which is good for all those guys without a job.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 17:55
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@Flying Lawyer excellent post.

Re MH issues:
So it may have happened to a pilot, but you would have as many chances of being in a situation where some desk jockey suddenly goes berserk and decides to start shooting moving targets at your office? Now what?

It's only human nature, some of us may or may not be affected by brain glitches, and a very tiny percentage of those who have them, flip out, and even so, a tiny percentage of those end up in disaster. But nevertheless it can happen.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:03
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@ Ingenieur

Being German I can asssure you that the notes said nothing about an illness. They never do, they are papers to be handed to the employer and this data is private in Germany. The employer is being informed that the person is ill but not with WHICH ILLNESS
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:05
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@Susier

Moreover let me assure you that no doctor would write out a so called "Krankenschein" for depression for 1 day.....
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:06
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I don't think we can look for 'guarantees' here when it comes to security, but we can imagine ways to improve on it, and to my mind having an extra person in the cockpit is better than none if a rogue pilot wants to bring down the plane.

Many have brought up EgyptAir 990 as an instance to prove the following sentiment: "well, if a pilot wants to bring down the plane, nothing and no one can stop him, even if another pilot is strapped in next to him." However, this leaves out the important detail in this case that the captain was not next to the f/o when the latter made decisive inputs for a CFIT. In fact, the capt was in the lav at the time. He returned disoriented/confused by the sudden descent and never seemed to realize that the other pilot was deliberately trying to bring down the plane (asking the f/o to pull with him (FDR suggests he wasn't, but the capt was seemingly unaware...I'm also aware that the Egyptian aviation authority disagrees with NTSB on the cause). Had he known of the f/o's intent, or had someone else in the FD seen him act suspiciously to initiate descent, he and others might have overpowered him and saved lives (as they did in the case of JAL 350).

Onboard battles don't guarantee a perfect outcome, but it seems to me physical force has a better chance of saving lives than nothing at all when it comes to a rogue pilot.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:08
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Originally Posted by mcloaked

In running a business of any kind the management has to take seriously the low probability but extremely high impact events that might only happen very occasionally.
The central fallacy to your argument is that a "solution" to those extremely rare but very bad events can be implemented without affecting any other part of the operation.

I would argue that this is almost never the case. The two crew rule that was implemented in a totally knee jerk panic by Airline execs and Regulators is a perfect example. What is to stop the flight attendant brought in from waiting for the door to close, clubbing the defenseless pilot strapped to his or her seat, activating the door over ride and crashing the airplane.

Considering that flight attendants are not required to have a valid aviation medical and get a fraction of the mental health oversight of pilots, I would argue this rule actually increases the risk of a "low probability but high consequence event" occurring.

Similarly the back end is there fundamentally for flight safety reasons, not to serve cookies. Eliminating any personal in flight interaction between FA's and flight crew will over time cut the bond between crew which in extremeis must work as a team. How can that help flight safety in the long run ?

Risk can be managed but never eliminated.

It has been suggested by mental health professionals that 10 % of the population has a diagnoseable mental health issue. Absolutely airlines will evaluate their mental health protocols but it is a practical impossibility to eliminate anyone who might pose a mental health risk.

bottom line is this:

The chance for a similar accident happening on any flight is so vanishingly small that there is no requirement to do anything but let the professionals study the issue in a dispassionate and scientific manner and then make recommendations that consider all of the possible consequences of their implementation.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:13
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Sick notes

To clarify this: The doctor does not necessarily know his profession unless he told him. He knows which health Insurance he has which is all that matters these days. Privately insured? Great! Get sick notes every week if you need them.

An to repeat what I said before: Hearing a door open and close is no proof for someone having left the room.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:14
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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.
All very valid points! lurch into the mind of an narcissist or sociopath and you will find they are wimps, pretenders and cardsharpers (and sometimes pilots). Social control is what keeps them from doing what they wish to do in their mind. For me it looks all very considered with the information available.
Destroyed sick leave note and then a cool and normal flight until the door closes - from the outside.

What is he doing to his family? his friends? his colleagues ?

Looking at the facts already available, the deeply pathological narcissistic actions of this chap are so utterly embarrassing. He did not only kill 149 people, he destroyed the live of many others, but these people are not dead, they have to get on in live. What damage and a name in history because he was obviously not getting in his live were he wanted to get to.

I really don't think the real issue is "depression", it seems more like a well hidden serious personality disorder.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:17
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@Eaglebaby,

You wrote: "Hearing a door open and close is no proof for someone having left the room."

My understanding is you can hear on the CVR the capt imploring the f/o to let him back in (along with knocking, pounding, etc.). Also, with area mics being what they are, I'm sure not only that they (and the CVR analysts) can determine the identity of the voice on the other side of the door, but also whether one or two human beings are breathing in the cockpit.

I really don't think the theory that the capt and f/o were together throughout / that the capt is responsible instead of the f/o holds much weight at this point.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 18:19
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Originally Posted by Coagie
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.
What source?
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