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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:30
  #2141 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 256
Seems to me that all visits to the GP should be reported to the medical branch of the licensing authority. That way the disconnect between GP services and operational requirements can be eliminated.
In Canada at least, there are reportable conditions that a GP must report to Transport Canada. I am also obliged to self-declare GP visits on my medical when I visit my AME.

The problem is that not many GPs know this (not even my wife, who is also a GP, until I told her). A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, and I had to walk my GP (not my wife!) through the reporting procedure (it has to be the doctor, not the pilot, who reports, if it's picked up between medicals). He was completely unaware.

Fortunately we did it all by the book and since I'm not insulin dependent and otherwise very fit (4500 km of cycling a year) I still have my medical though I was grounded for 3 months while sorting out the medication and undergoing a battery of extra tests to satisfy Transport Canada. And this is for a PPL (class 3 medical), not an ATPL (class 1) like most of you guys.
BeechNut is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:33
  #2142 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Unlike the fueler, the door had a direct role in the event since it prevented the captain from getting access to the flight deck in a pretty dire situation where his presence could resulted in a different outcome (for the better or worse).

I have the opinion that the presence of the captain could have acted as a "limiter" to the actions that took place so yes, that door had its impact on the event.

It is not a cause, obviously but it is totally clear to me that the outcome would have changed in one way or another *if* the captain had been able to open the door. It would be either for the worse (the F/O disconnecting the A/P and initiating a steeper descent) or better (the ability to take the control back and level off, thus preventing the crash).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:33
  #2143 (permalink)  
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I have to applaud LH and Germanwings for their very sensitive handling of the relatives. I read only positive reports about their approach to all of this. Compare this to Malaysia's handling or AF they are doing a really good job. Same is true for the locals in France, who are standing up to the difficult task brought upon them.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:41
  #2144 (permalink)  
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Possibly the actual motive was revenge and anger towards his employer. Need to sieve through all interactions between employer/line managers/work colleagues. Many airlines have become truly dreadful employers with employees in debt (flying training) and fear of losing job (health, including mental health). The prosecutor should gather all such evidence before it goes missing or is altered.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:41
  #2145 (permalink)  
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Thanks DR - you kicked me into finding the EASA recommendation.

In fact reading it, it is a bit wider than "2 crew of Flt Deck at all times":
The Agency recommends operators to re-assess the safety and security risks associated with flight crew members leaving the flight crew compartment due to operational or physiological needs during non-critical phases of flight.
Based on this assessment, operators are recommended to implement procedures requiring at least two persons authorised in accordance with CAT.GEN.MPA.135 to be in the flight crew compartment at all times, or other equivalent mitigating measures to address risks identified by the operatorís revised assessment.
Any additional risks stemming from the introduction of such procedures or measures should be assessed and mitigated.
The last sentence is a bit of a nightmare for airlines and regulators to assess... as some have pointed out, there are clear added risks to be evaluated by implementing the policy.

Which is "safer" comes down to someone paid more than me to assess thankfully
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:46
  #2146 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2009
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About the door ...

Just consider what would have happened to that JetBlue flight if their co-pilot hadn't been able to lock the captain out of the cockpit.

The door system is what it is. In some cases it (may have) prevented loss of life, in others it (may have) facilitated it.

Two sides of the same coin.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:46
  #2147 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Would you willingly board an aircraft if you knew the pilot was suffering from depression?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:47
  #2148 (permalink)  
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No. SSRIs do not cause suicidal ideation except in one notorious drug which is no longer available. Seroxat was quite dangerous and many had severe effects from it. Not possible that this pilot was on Seroxat.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:52
  #2149 (permalink)  
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Flying Palm Tree,

Relating to the EASA recommendation as quoted by NoD that:

Any additional risks stemming from the introduction of such procedures or measures should be assessed and mitigated.
Would you willingly board an aircraft if you knew the cabin crew member who is now mandated to sit next to the pilot when he is on is own (between him and the fire axe) was suffering from depression?

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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:57
  #2150 (permalink)  
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There seems to be an assumption that the potential distraction or stress caused by significant life events like divorce or loss of a loved one is in the same boat as clinical mental illness.

In my view they are fundamentally different human conditions that can lead to fundamentally different events. In the first case, distraction and distress can lead to mistakes and, of course, a mistake could lead to a Terrible event.

In the case of clinical mental illness the events can be deliberately instigated by the afflicted person which could be the case in this event (I don't want to condemn the man until all the evidence possible has come to light).

On the balance of probabilities, just about every one of us will suffer at some time from the first case. This case HAS to be managed routinely by Operators by normal human resources principles. Grounding, time off to come to terms, assessment to ensure the required datums have returned and a short period of supervised flight operation. This surely is not beyond the wit of man to realise these events have nothing whatsoever to do with a clinical mental condition that could lead to unreasonable and unfavourable behaviours and ultimately tragic and horrific loss of life.

I cannot help but conclude that once a licence holder is diagnosed with a clinical mental condition his/her ability to ever exercise the privileges of that licence should be permanently removed.

The alternative is quite simply incomprehensible to the fare paying public. Imagine "welcome on board Flight 123 to X, the Captain has just returned from sick leave due to a bout of depression but seems OK now so strap in....."

It's a very harsh view I know but we work in a unique and challenging environment where it seems at present, we pay huge regard to the physical health of the flying machine, provide multiple safeguards for the Computers that make our life safer and easier, yet pay scant regard for the mental stability of the crew.

I am sure there are many who would disagree with me but I have never ever been convinced that anybody truly recovers to 100% once diagnosed with a clinical mental disorder.

I think we need to clearly separate and manage normal life stressors that could lead to errors from clinical mental disorders that could lead to deliberate acts of murder or self destruction.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 19:59
  #2151 (permalink)  
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Media Lynching?

How long did it take the BEA to fully investigate AF447? Granted the BBs were harder to find under the Atlantic. The BBC even aired a special which turned out to be mostly incorrect once the true nature of the FO and SOs actions were revealed.

Why is a Prosecutor determining an investigation that has barely started? Why did he announce "intent" just when grieving families were arriving on the scene to mourn?

It appears the authorities barely had enough time to seperate the FOs parents from the rest of the mourners...... The air their family home on TV.......

Do we not recall the Uberlingen collision and the subsequent killing of Peter Nielsen ATC operative two years later?

Constant rate breathing is not proof of prozac, or consciousness.

Improper / mistaken door unlocking has occurred before with severe aircraft Upset:

Accident: ANA B737 near Hamamatsu on Sep 6th 2011, violent left roll while opening cockpit door injures 2 cabin crew

We are talking about a 630h MPL with limited gliding background, time as a steward and only employed as an airline pilot since Sept 2013. That's a long break from flight training in 2008.

Whilst Germanwings pays better than most LoCos, the starting salary according to ppjn in 2013 was around 4200 euros and exclusive of repaying 70,000 Euro debts. Better than Flexicrew or Ryan Air FOs but still a burden. Then a wait of 12 years for command and severe changes ahead to Lufhansa group Ts&Cs.

For me the media reports are too simplistic. Absolutely no excuses for any deliberate action by the FO. But where is the FDR and ACAS to confirm speculative FlightRadar reports (ADSB is not encrypted and can be manipulated).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:01
  #2152 (permalink)  
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Batman 737 spot on!

Nothing but nothing excuses this act of mass murder in our profession.

But bullying and intimidation cannot pass for pilot welfare in this day and age.

I wonder how many of us are rolling our eyes at the 'two in policy' being revived when it was taken away years ago-against our sense of airmanship-by those concerned with maximising in flight sales.

I could prattle on about blasting around the skies with guys/gals 100K in debt as the least of their problems.

As an industry you just have to ask..how did the regulators let it get to this?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:03
  #2153 (permalink)  
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Colleague recommended a card access system for pilots only. Would ideally over ride all internal locks and could be snapped in two in the case of hijacking where either flight crew has left the FD.

People do go 'postal' for reasons we may never truly understand. This guy chose an Airbus as his weapon instead of an automatic.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:04
  #2154 (permalink)  
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So any pilot who is off work for stress or any other mental illness should be permanently excluded from his/her chosen career? Or Doctors who treat people for mental illness knowing that they are still working as Aircrew should be legally forced to report them (against confidentiality 'codes')?
All this is going to do is to stop pilots self reporting any mentally related troubles.
Not an easy problem to solve. Needs some inventive Management. That's not good because how do you cost all this? - money being the only motive - sorry SAFETY (sic).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:06
  #2155 (permalink)  
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With reference to this post QDMQDMQDM

I dont really want to defend the FO, but having had a girl friend may years ago who hat psychosis, the similarities to this guys behaviour are shocking.
When the french prosecutor described what he heard on the tape, it was like he was describing the girlfriend during an acute psychosis, just with better words than i ever could.
The sudden mood change, the short answers, the becoming quiet and turning inward, just what I could see many years ago.

It is hard to imagine with how much effort those people try to live an ordinary life. They appear totally normal, talk with you, joke with you and then announce that they are now going upstairs to tell the CIA to stop to listening.

When the psychosis became acute and the symptoms above set in, hallucinations were quite common. Imagine the floor gone and you can see numerous floors down. Or imagine seeing snakes instead of people or devil heads with flames coming out of the mouth instead of normal people heads.

Now imagine that the big snake next to you has just left the cockpit, your brain is telling you the plane is full of aliens and you are going to save the world by your actions.

not to defend him, just to give you an idea what an acute psychosis could be like.

In the hospital he could have been to get a ct and/or mri, thats standard procedure from psychologists before they describe medicine to make sure that there are no tumors or the like causing this.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:07
  #2156 (permalink)  
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Narcissists aren't known for suicidal acts. He may have been some form of sociopath but I doubt it was NPD.
His actions seem very narcistic. He did not care about others at all. He choose the best opportunity to take as much people with him as he possibly ever could.

And yes, narcissists do kill themselves from time to time: if they loose the mirror to look into, the mirror feeding their insecure ego. It looks like he was going to loose this mirror in due course: his medical and then the ATPL licensense, all he wanted to become: an airline pilot. Statement by the private flying club were he became a gliderpilot.

I used to believe he had some psychotic episode but of course, what do I know. But there are facts which give a picture IMHO. What is frightening that he apparently was breathing calmly, right to the end, sitting in his seat with 149 innocent and absolutely helpless people behind him. Sorry if I am harsh and a bit direct.

I never heard anything bad from Lufthansa Pilots when talking about their company, just every pilot in Germany wants to work for LH as they have the best employee schemes. Though not as good for young pilots these days as it use to be.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:07
  #2157 (permalink)  

Champagne anyone...?
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The German Prosecutor must be devastated now that the hospital has revealed the FO wasn't being treated for mental illness. That doesn't fit his seemingly predetermined narrative at all.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:09
  #2158 (permalink)  
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The Germanwings tragedy: inside the mind of a pilot | Michael Bloomfield | Comment is free | The Guardian
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:09
  #2159 (permalink)  
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Arthur Dent I agree with all you say. I do not have any real solutions for the mentally ill or how we, as a total community, isolate such cases but I like the suggestions on this forum that crews should operate in known teams so there may at least be a chance of colleagues recognising the signs. However I stand by my view that once removed and clearly diagnosed there surely must be no route back to flying.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:12
  #2160 (permalink)  
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The last sentence is a bit of a nightmare for airlines and regulators to assess... as some have pointed out, there are clear added risks to be evaluated by implementing the policy.

Which is "safer" comes down to someone paid more than me to assess thankfully
Indeed, i'm happy as well that i don't have to make that assessment. As it stands now a "suicide watch" (yes, they call it that in my company) has to stand guard in my flightdeck while my colleague has to go to the loo. The person in question in all likelihood will be some zero hour contract flight attendant with minimal screening and training that will be gone in six months anyway, no identification with the job, with the company or aviation as a concept, paid peanuts and working to the full extent of the law (7 continuous days of 12 hour shifts with minimum rest). And after the GWI case once i dial in a descent (after a clearance of course) i could very likely end up with a crash axe in my head as they suspect i gonna kill them all...

Thank god we don't have any zero hour contract pilots, but for cabin crew those are common and normal contract FAs are declining in numbers every year and at some point they will be nearly completely gone. Easiest way to hijack any aircraft is to show up for FA training and then wait for one of those times...
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