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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 21:53
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'Some of the postings here are quite sickening! why not discuss the mental state of the father and husband of that wife and child he murdered?'

Pace, for me the point is not to try to empathise with this man but to try and understand why a human being might act this way, so that people can then try to ensure it does not happen so easily again.

Having your medical and mental status probed by millions is not a privilege. None of the victims asked to be put in the limelight to be examined by strangers and I doubt they would want to.

I take your point however that he is getting a lot of attention, but that is inevitable, and almost all of it is negative.

We MUST try to understand in order to prevent this happening again.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 21:55
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Over many years I have treated in the ER, patients from (obviously) many walks of life. It's been my privilege to have treated a not-insignificant number of ill and injured airline pilots coming through a metropolitan ER in that time. Professional pilots, especially those over 35, have always impressed me as people who understand their limitations and in the vast majority - 99.99+% - of cases will not operate if they don't feel they can do their job properly.

Rather like younger doctors, it's more often the younger pilots (and I appreciate this is completely a generalization; but sometimes the plural of anecdote is indeed data…) tend to want to push the envelope and operate even when by the appropriately strict FAA medical guidelines, they should not. It's been my direct professional experience that for a lot of reasons which seem convincing to them, they think their specific situation is different. Again, something we see in many of our younger medical colleagues. Something which I well remember doing myself when I was in my 20s.

It is in this context that the very prolonged medical apprenticeship which follows after being trained during medical school, which lasts into your early 30s before you become a consultant, while extremely frustrating at the time does stop many younger doctors again including myself, from doing things we simply shouldn't have because we didn't think the consequences through and we lacked the experience that comes with situational seniority. And so as someone who is absolutely nowhere near being a professional pilot (only a hang-glider pilot and low-time PPL), I wonder why someone with such low hours relatively speaking, can be left in sole charge of an aircraft with so many souls on board?

I think there are two other differences in the medical profession from the pilot profession which bear keeping in mind. Although this is not universally applicable, i.e. depends on the medical jurisdiction by country, doctors are obliged to both self-report and report colleagues who are putting patients in hazard, because of the doctor's own medical problems (medical obviously including psychiatric problems). Secondly, unless you are Harold Shipman, doctors can't kill a couple of hundred patients at a time even when we go rogue. Even Harold Shipman could only kill one patient at a time… Every profession has their bad eggs. (Actually, bad eggs is insufficient. Evil people is more appropriate).

So I do wonder why there is so much resistance to cockpit video recording and real-time GPS monitoring. Video recording will not stop an event like this, but will very quickly allow everybody to know exactly what happened. Also, I'm sufficiently prehistoric that I well remember when it was first proposed that there would be real time event monitoring with paper printouts during operations so the anaesthetist's actions and reactions could be judged minute by minute; similarly, for the surgeons, over the shoulder video monitoring of particular procedures. At the time a lot of people (waaaay older people, in other words, older than I was then… and probably the age I am now…) said ‘no way no how’ / 'over my dead body' and so forth. Guess what. These days it is common. The patients expect it, our professional organisations expect it, our insurers expect it, our employers expect it and we comply. It's a condition of the privilege to practice medicine. Similarly, being video-monitored during flight operations may become a condition of the privilege to be an passenger airline pilot.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 21:56
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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.
My knowledge of mental disorders is limited to that required for part of my work but, as far as I'm aware, narcissistic personality disorder does not include the sort of behaviour you describe.
I am, of course, open to correction by a psychiatrist or psychologist

People with NPD swing between seeing themselves as special and fearing they are worthless. Outwardly, they may act as though they have an inflated sense of their own importance but behind that image lies fragile self-esteem that is vulnerable to the slightest criticism or rejection. They may act as if they don't care what people think of them but they actually need people to look up to them to maintain their inflated self-view. Symptoms include exaggerating their own achievements and abilities, thinking they are entitled to be treated better than other people, exploiting other people for personal gain, lacking empathy for other people's weaknesses, looking down on people they feel are 'beneath' them while feeling deeply envious of people they see as being 'above' them.
Someone suffering from NPD may have another mental disorder or disorders which may lead them to behave in such a manner as you describe but, as far as I'm aware, NPD alone would not.

Some of the postings here are quite sickening!
Only to those who have no knowledge of, nor interest in learning about, mental disorders.

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.

why not discuss the mental state of the father and husband of that wife and child he murdered
Probably because this is an aviation forum and people are discussing factors that may have led directly and/or indirectly to this tragedy and, if so, what can be learnt to minimise the risk of a repetition.
Are you suggesting that they don't feel sorry for those who were killed or are unsympathetic to their families?

I have no idea whether the FO's mental health, whatever it was, has any relevance to the tragedy. I'm merely responding to some specific points.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:10
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You misunderstood my posting. I was responding to and quoted part of another post which stated that He choose the best opportunity to take as much people with him as he possibly ever could'. He didn't. He flew into a sparsely populated area, and although Mary Meagher also seems to have misunderstood my post, her explanation for the decision to fly on towards the Alps is more likely.

I can't see how these observations amount to an expression of sympathy for the FO.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:13
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There was mention, some days back, about some "event" on the Southbound flight (assumedly, I thought, from something on the CVR from the previous flight ) any further on that ?

Once the initial shock/horror has died down, I hope the BEA are actually able to do their job without unfair bias. If this was a Murder trial, it has been nullified already by dint of the amount & nature of the information leaked (if we are to believe the rumours , initially by the French military ) into the public domain.

It appears the Public Prosecutor in Marseille wanted another moment of "glory" & there we went. (or to be charitable, he was trying to prevent ever more outlandish speculation )

Massive breach of trust in the "system" here, which IFALPA have tried to publicise, but, not surprisingly seen their pleas for "correctness" smothered by the baying popular press.

Whilst agreeing that the "worst" looks the most likely, this has assuredly been a shameful episode which has tarnished what has hitherto usually (except where Airbus's or Concordes were involved ) been a procedure that has attempted to be both professional & dispassionate in their investigation of any accident that has happened.

I believe most "professionals" harbour at least some small amount of doubt in a hastily derived conclusion which (to the benefit of all parties except the poor F0 & perhaps the Medics/Luftie up to a point ) seems to get all the "Big Fish" conveniently off the hook.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:15
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Cockpit monitoring of flight crew......

Every called a company and heard "this call may be monitored for training purposes, so we can improve our customer service".

Why should the professionals whom we trust the most with our lives be exempt such 'monitoring'.

CCTV and audio recordings from the cockpit should be routinely evaluated by an organisation outside the airline.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:27
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In many professions and situations, we have to deal with facts which are never solid. So you'll forgive/excuse those of us who (need to) operate in ambiguity.

I can certainly find out what is wrong with a patient if I subject them to an autopsy with the detailed histological and toxicological and other examinations which are usually reserved post-mortem... but my patients would like intervention before they reach room temperature (excuse the flippancy, black humour).

So I think it's perfectly reasonable for we travelling Self Loading Freight customers to want to know what happened even when everybody is not 100% certain of all available information. And as we would I think all acknowledge, 100% certain available information is hardly ever released in sufficient or conclusive detail even when the air accident investigation is concluded. For example : SilkAir / Egypt Air.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:27
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Hi Odysseus
Framer - that strawman you just put together, is not going to stand up to analysis.
You say that, but I can see where (s)he is coming from.

The root cause of this accident, assuming the facts are as stated, an ill pilot on the Flight Deck. End Of. The authorities therefore need to assess "how" that came about, and "what" they can do to prevent further occurrences. Bearing in mind pilots have extensive medical and employment checks.

Cabin Crew have far less stringent employment checks, and zero recurrent medical checks. It therefore seems illogical to add them to the Flight Deck equation, and guarantee them an "option" they previously did not have? Secondly, there is now a large security breach, in that it is "known" CC must regularly attend the Flight Deck with an opportunity - previously even for those airlines who did have this policy, it was not such public knowledge.

If the authorities decide they cannot prevent the ill pilot scenario, they have a big problem. And an even bigger one when they apply that to the CC chaperone aspect... as I posted days ago, do passengers and the airlines really want to bear the cost and disruption of frequent and invasive psychological checks? A good proportion of us will probably fail
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:33
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Many years ago we were guided to suspect about the luggage...decades later we were taught to suspect about the passengers...nowadays we are doomed to suspect about the pilots...who was won after all?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:43
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xollob: you are in my opinion absolutely on the nail in the respect that I would not be releasing information about a particular patient's death where there was not a wider public interest. That said, if I had an Ebola or anthrax patient... who could have contaminated many people who needed to know they needed to get tested and treated prophylactically to save their lives... the public interest would trump the patient's right to confidentiality. It would have to trump the patient's right to confidentiality. So as not to incur more collateral patient damage.

I should still not be releasing additional/extraneous information that was not necessary to inform the public of why they were at risk. And for what it's worth, I think more information has been released in this particular context, than needed to have been released. But some information did need to be released.

Again, we may politely agree to disagree.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:48
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Silverstrata: Im completely with you when you say that secondary culpability needs to rooted out, and that dangerous madmen should be locked up. What Im not sure about is whether you are also saying that the mentally ill are just as culpable as the sane. Id have a little more trouble with that. Of course what I think is neither here or there, but as a passenger I would feel a whole lot safer if I knew that support was being provided to those who felt they needed it. My worry is that the stigma and/or treatment of people with depression or mental illness will prevent them from self-reporting.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:49
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Demeanor during his leg as PF

I would like to know how he behaved when he was the PF. Did he start to show maybe some subtle signs of stress before his leg, and maybe a little more during "climb out"? Based on reported news of the preflight on the return leg, the FO may not have expected to be PF at TOC. We may never learn what was the final straw. I will say that I still love being on an airplane, and have great respect for those who have been able to receive their pilot's license. In too many organizations, pilots are being treated like people with far less responsibilities. These people are required to always be on the ball. Like any other line of work, appreciation usually incentivizes greater dedication and sharpness. We the public need these ladies and gent to continue to enjoy the career that they have chosen. If we did an analysis on how different sectors, organizations, or industries affect our lives, I venture we would find that pilots affect us beneficially, far better than most others. Finally, like the rest of us, pilots are also human, but often shouldering a greater burden to bring everyone from point a to point b safely.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:56
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So far, everything on here is pure speculation. The only things we can take as reliable information is from the people involved officially in the investigation. They have so far provided us details of what they believe happened with the evidence they have so far. This is their expertise so we can be confident that they have analysed this evidenence very carefully to be able to be confident enough to release it to the public.

There is clearly more investigation to be done and I'm sure this information will become public when they are confident to give it.

At the moment all we know is the F/O manually changed the altitude selection to something lower than 38000Ft (unofficially it seems 100ft) and allowed the aircraft to descend on autopilot. Also that he was unresponsive to the Captain trying to gain access to the cockpit and also unresponsive to ATC. It is not yet been confirmed whether the F/O moved the toggle switch for the door to lock or whether the Captain failed to enter the code.

We know the F/O had previously suffered depression in his career and we now also know that he was receiving treatment for something undisclosed at the moment.

I like to see things by facts and not speculate. I'm sure that it won't be long before we find out exactly what happened and hopefully the investigation may produce findings to stop something like this happening again.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 22:58
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever
The two crew rule that was implemented in a totally knee jerk panic by Airline execs and Regulators ... 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 ?
The proposed Two-in-the-cockpit rule doesn't eliminate interaction at all. After all, when captain leaves the flight deck, the F/O can have a good chat to the Cabin Crew member that comes on the flight deck whilst the captain is away. All the while the captain has a good chat in the back to other Cabin Crew members whilst the F/O is up front, accompanied.

It may even bond better as some people are more of a one-on-one conversation type, as would take place between the F/O and the CC member on the flight deck...

Captain can stay away as long as he likes! Until he feels duty calls. (back to the flight deck that is, not the "other" office. )

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Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:14
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I just wish the vast majority of non-professional posters (both in this thread and in the Fight Deck area as a whole) would take their philosophical, medical, detective-related, sociology-related, conspiracy theory-related and any other posts not related to the nature of the rumors section of PPRuNe elsewhere.
Fully agree; I have been out of posting on this crazy thread now for a couple days, it just seems to be a revolving door of nonsense theories similar to the way MH 370, AF 447 all went.
I find it incredible the number of new posters or older members posting under another name that come out of the woodwork posting basically crap.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:39
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The other victims

RANTANPLANE - There is another group who may also need some support.

That is the group who will, as the result of this incident, find themselves out of a job.
When the new line is drawn in the sand there will be some on the wrong side of it.

Lubitz is surely not the only one who will have been accepted for flight duties despite having known mental health issues.
Presumably, all of the others have so far been able to manage their treatment effectively.

They are now sitting somewhere knowing that their dream career is about to evaporate.
What is the compassionate plan for them?

And I'm not just talking about Lufthansa.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:48
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Originally Posted by Fujitsu10
I have been following this forum for a long time now, and I'm finding that I have to keep reminding myself that the forum is on aviation matters. If you read the last number of pages it would be easy to think that it was a medical or trade union forum.

Having said that I've read with interest all the suggestions for allowing emergency access to the FD. What if for example the roles were reversed and the driver intent on crashing had been removed from the FD. How then would you reverse all the procedures for getting access to the FD?
I'm not sure it will be possible to ensure that the crew member intent on causing harm is ALWAYS on the correct side of the locked door.
The whole concept of having a barrier within an aeroplane is incorrect. It was a typical kneejerk reaction without really thinking of the future consequences. The filter must be at the airport. Passengers, cc, pilots all through x ray scanners (if you're offended then get a taxi). IF a rogue element/poorly pilot still manages to get on board and IF he has managed to bring some weapon with him better to have a plane full to stop the situation rather than a door he can get behind.

This locking mechanism has caused critical flight dials to be incorrectly pressed (narrowly missing a fatal disaster), it has locked captains out while malfunctioning, and has aided suicides that very probably would have been prevented. Is it really possible to get 2,3 or 4 terrorists onto a plane theses days? Security has changed massively since 9/11.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:52
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FA on flight deck

Sorry, but I can't quite rationalise objections to having FA in the cockpit.
How do such objections treat FA delivering meals?
What's the difference; in terms of a threat to pilot security?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:54
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Outbound flight DUS-BCN

The 150 pax on the first sector DUS-BCN were extremely lucky indeed: probably Captain did not leave cockpit to go to the loo and this saved their life.
It would also be interesting to see what pills the FO swallowed very early in the morning before starting his duty: all anti-depressants and anti anxiety medications have very strong side-effects including suicidal thoughts, amongst many other pretty scary and dangerous symptoms.
It would be even more interesting to find out how many pilots do regularly use anti depressants before flying, possibly too many, ...is this the direct result of a very stressful life where we are all mistreated as profit making numbers by Lean Six Sigma & Pareto Charts' inspired management?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 00:08
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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.
Maybe that possible scenario will be used in the lawsuit filed today against JetBlue:
Pilot Sues JetBlue for Allegedly Letting Him Fly While Mentally Unfit

Clayton Osbon, whose behavior diverted a flight three years ago, says the airline had evidence of his condition

By Jack Nicas

March 27, 2015 7:11 p.m. ET

A JetBlue Airways Corp. pilot whose erratic behavior diverted a U.S. flight three years ago sued the airline on Friday for permitting him to fly despite what he claims was evidence of his mental-health problems.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, relates to a New York-to-Las Vegas JetBlue flight on March 27, 2012, in which the pilot, Clayton Osbon, told his co-pilot that we need to take a leap of faith and that were not going to Vegas, among other bizarre actions, according to federal investigators. The co-pilot locked Mr. Osbon out of the cockpit and diverted the flight to Texas, where federal authorities charged Mr. Osbon with interfering with the flight crew.

A federal judge in Texas later found Mr. Osbon, 52 years old, not guilty by reason of insanity.

The suit comes as European authorities investigate the mental health history of a Germanwings co-pilot who they allege deliberately crashed a jet into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board. The Germanwings co-pilot was being treated for depression, which he concealed from his employer, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing a person familiar with the investigation.

Mr. Osbons suit claims breach of contract and negligence by JetBlue for allowing him to fly on the day of the incident despite evidence that he was suffering from mental-health issues. He is seeking more than $14 million from JetBlue.
Pilot Sues JetBlue for Allegedly Letting Him Fly While Mentally Unfit - WSJ
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