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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:04
  #2161 (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
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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
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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
  #2164 (permalink)  

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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
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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
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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
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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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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:15
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Careful Consideration

Two pennies worth from a non pilot whose sister was Senior CC with a major British carrier for three years until recently.

I actually registered for the forum a month or so ago after my GermanWings return flight was cancelled due to the Cockpit Pilot Strike in Feb. I flew back with a "wet lease"?? Carrier in Herts and was interested to know a bit more about them.

Having read every page and post of this thread I think serious consideration has to be made with regard to the mental health of all flight and cabin crew on board. I speak only of secondhand information but the things I have been told it is little wonder this has happened and I'm surprised it hasn't been more frequent.

Another family member still flies with the carrier and is also involved with recruitment of P2F candidates and has backed up what I thought was often incorrect or my sister exaggerations.

I am usually unwilling to support the plight of those I feel are potentially overpaid and with great privilege. Particularly as cabin crew often are on such poor contracts, however, I can only see things improving when those flying and working on our ac are given better working conditions.

I work as a H&S Manager in the nuclear sector and tbh the health, wellbeing and occ health of employees is as important as anything else as it's those staff who generally hold the key to success or failure.

Apologies now if the post is unwelcomed.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:15
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Robert Brown

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jXCPLA7Lmh8

robert Brown, BA Captain, his 911 call to report a domestic situation... his words for have hours previously bludgened his wife to death in front of their children and buried her in a grave he dug 2 years previous at the outset of their divorce proceedings.
Note how calm , nice polite he is, the dispatcher asking the wrong questions, him answering perfectly... she needed to ask is anyone dead? He said no one needed medical attention.
He was due to fly and intended to crash the plan that day to "prove a point to her legal team" because of a prenuptial agreement he didn't agree with. Not crash a plane to kill himself... to prove a point! He claimed mental illness as a defence yet he was a fully functional pilot at the time, fine to fly but a murderer? MAD? BAD? SAD? Psychopath?

Interesing..
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:15
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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.
Lufthansa had a prepared 800 pages document for this with precise instructions how to handle the issue and when with completed wordings. This included the greying of the logos and banners, the absence of LH logos during press conferences and dressing, etc. This document has been partially published today by German newspaper Bild and others.

They do a good job. Because they were professionally prepared to stage a perfect media handling.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:25
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I find it disturbing and scary how everybody jumps/jumped at the mental illness narrative regarding the FO, only to find out now that the Düsseldorf hospital stated that he was not there for mental illness on March 10th, when he got the last sick note apparently.

You know what: This observation tells more about us, and perhaps aviation industry, than about the suspect. Get some self-reflection in there, lads.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:29
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As an ex pilot who has unfortunately suffered depression and anxiety, I have first hand experience of how the system works. A few years ago, I offloaded myself from a flight and after consultation with my company, I saw my AME, then my GP. I was very quickly diagnosed with depression and Anxiety. I thought my career was over, that's it, I will never fly again. Nothing was further from the truth. I had exceptional support from my company, the CAA, my AME and GP. Never once was anything said about never flying again. unfortunatly, I could not recover from my anxiety and I took the very hard decision to leave flying. I do get upset with fellow professionals saying that pilots should NOT be allowed to return to flying following an episode of mental illness. It's thinking like this that scares and subsequently stops pilots from coming forward in the first place. The fear of loosing their Medicals for good is a horrible one. The CAA actually prefer that you come forward, get the help, get recertified and continue your career. I do believe that the First Officer should NOT have been flying, but it was the fear of loosing his job that probably stopped him coming forward. mental illness is here to stay, and the stigma surrounding it NEEDS to stop. Pilots have a very stressful, important, and highly responsible job, but at the end of the day, we are only human.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:30
  #2173 (permalink)  
 
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For all that suggest having a CC member on the Flt Deck is nonsense or otherwise unnecessary - would you have thought the same had you been the Captain on this flight? Does that matter?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:32
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num1 and engineer

Well said num1
Engineer you are still mono dimensional

A psychosis is, if that is what it is, not something he could have done anything with at that time, the only thing he could have done was hours, days, or even months before: stop flying, that would be his guilt.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:35
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However I stand by my view that once removed and clearly diagnosed there surely must be no route back to flying.
With due respect, this attitude has been proven to be counter productive. Less pilots will be treated, perhaps successfully, or will be removed.

However how do you draw a line in between light and medium reactive depression. Or psychiatric injuries like PTSD which have a very wide spectrum.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:39
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Keepitflying! Thank you for your very honest post and I am sad for you on how your situation turned out. However, your own admission rather proves the fundamental point that these conditions rarely depart the afflicted completely.

In your case your rational reasoned processes led you to make an important very sensible life decision. Imagine though if instead of depression and anxiety the condition is tinged with suicidal or manically destructive thoughts. When will they ever go away. How can such an individual ever return to safe flight duty.

I applaud your post and wish you well for the future whatever that may bring.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:47
  #2177 (permalink)  
 
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Ratanplane. I cannot draw any lines in the spectrum of mental illness as I am not qualified to do so BUT I have tried to draw a distinct line between normal life stressors, that we will all face, especially death of a parent, from the cases of mental illness. Ihave no answers but Irather suspect there are none other than remove clinically diagnosed mental illness from the cockpit and cabin.

The Aviation Medical community need to consider a better system of identifying such cases. In the UK a remarkably simple start would be to automatically grant AME access to pilots GP medical records!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:48
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Originally Posted by mercurydancer
SSRIs do not cause suicidal ideation except in one notorious drug which is no longer available.
With respect, the most cursory of Googles (for "SSRIs suicidal ideation") contradicts this assertion.

Here's link one of many, which manages to namecheck three such drugs in the first sentence:

Antidepressants & Suicide

It might concern you to know that there are so many people in the UK on these drugs (the other two people currently in the family living room in which I'm typing this are both on one of those named) that there was actually a national shortage at one point last year.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:48
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Hello. I am not in aviation business so this will be my only post unless I get a legitimate reason to reply.
I have dealt with depression for most of my life. Psychiatrists, antidepressants in the past, etc. I have learnt to live with it and I just accepted it that I might have some down times. I have never been suicidal, neither I ever had a wish to harm another. I believe depression is sometimes misunderstood and it doesn't automatically make you unreasonable. However when a major event happened I needed some time off, to regroup it was overwhelming. At that time I would definitely be of no help to my company.
I work in restaurant business, I am a chef. My work is nowhere as hazardous as being a pilot and I have no intention to compare it. I only want to make a reference to human nature.
We do get hectic times when work demand goes over your head and you have to know how to keep your calm. When that happens I am usually a top performer and hardly ever loose my nerve. At the same time I observe my "sane" coworkers loosing it completely. Many times I wondered why. It might only be that I am more aware becouse of all the terapies and other people act unconciously and are emotionaly unprepared for the situations. I don't know.. I believe we all have our boiling point wich a certain amount of stressors can trigger.
I have absolutelly no idea how a pilot training works, but maybe having a mandatory psychological class and mental training and observation by specialist until you reach a certain amount of experience could be a solution. By that time you should have enough experience to act confidently in the pilot seat, understand yourself and ofcourse being screened, for hazardeus behavior. Scool should mybe be free of charge for those who do not pass.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 20:49
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As an ex pilot who has unfortunately suffered depression and anxiety, I have first hand experience of how the system works. A few years ago, I offloaded myself from a flight and after consultation with my company, I saw my AME, then my GP. I was very quickly diagnosed with depression and Anxiety. I thought my career was over, that's it, I will never fly again. Nothing was further from the truth. I had exceptional support from my company, the CAA, my AME and GP. Never once was anything said about never flying again. unfortunatly, I could not recover from my anxiety and I took the very hard decision to leave flying. I do get upset with fellow professionals saying that pilots should NOT be allowed to return to flying following an episode of mental illness. It's thinking like this that scares and subsequently stops pilots from coming forward in the first place. The fear of loosing their Medicals for good is a horrible one. The CAA actually prefer that you come forward, get the help, get recertified and continue your career. I do believe that the First Officer should NOT have been flying, but it was the fear of loosing his job that probably stopped him coming forward. mental illness is here to stay, and the stigma surrounding it NEEDS to stop. Pilots have a very stressful, important, and highly responsible job, but at the end of the day, we are only human.
That is a really encouraging to hear.

Much as I would like to know, I'll resist asking which company it was. The sad reality of this kind of enlightened approach is that it is hard to convince a fearful public that this is the way to prevent problems rather than cause them.
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