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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 28th Mar 2015, 05:11
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An axe in the cabin? Unless an A320 driver confirms, I'm assuming that BS given the level of security given to passengers, and flight and cabin crew.

Two crew at all times is now flavour of the day. Plenty on here have indicated it has limited value. Agree. It is purely a reaction by airlines to show they are doing something in light of this incident. It is PR. Don't fool yourselves it will solve much of anything. The real problem lies in the secure flight deck door although not for this particular tragedy I hasten to add..see below.

Do away with the secure door. An over reaction to 911 before which I could happily board an aircraft with a pocket knife so long as the blade wasn't longer than 6 inches. Once aviation security was stepped up in my country after 911 it was revealed that passengers were carrying grenades, explosives, ammunition, chefs knives, and all manner of flammable liquids,gases etc. No one can do that now.

Given the preflight passenger screening (a woman was humiliatingly placed in a locked glass cage in view of other passengers until she missed her flight, for attempting to carry her expressed breast milk ...see it on You Tube) we should be reasonably confident no baddies will get aboard with anything that could be used as a weapon.

The biggest threat to air safety now is putting the pilots in an impenetrable cell upfront. Too many incidents of aircrew being locked out either temporarily or permanently for all sorts of reasons.

Passenger intolerance of misbehavior on flights is at an all time high. Unruly passengers (and in one case an unruly Captain) have been and will continue to be challenged and physically wrestled and overpowered by SLF. For all the professional pilots on this forum, I'm sure I speak for all SLF when I say you have hundreds of 'Personal Protection Officers' down back. We don't want you hurt, harmed or unable to fulfill your contract with us to get us safely to our destination. Since 911 we treat everybody who doesn't conduct themselves normally on a flight as a potential hazard to our lives. But we can't do anything to help you or us if your cell up front is impenetrable and you or a bad guy are locked in or you are locked out for any of multiple reasons. Get rid of that secure door.

Having said all that, the only part the secure door played in this particular Germanwings tragedy was in the relatively casual manner the FO could carry out his deed. It gave him time to do the whole thing relatively peacefully. As pilots have stated in this thread many times, if we put two people or even 10 people on the flight deck, or put in special bulkheads for crew only toilets, it will not stop the guy up front who is hell bent on killing himself and everyone else. Using the element of surprise, he will pick his moment for a massive control input at low altitude immediately after takeoff or on short finals when the opportunity for overpowering and flight recovery will be non-existent.

Thankfully, I am sure such events will continue to be a rare risk we all take. But for all other circumstances, the passengers and CC are not your threat. Our self interest and instinct for survival in these post 911 aviation times means we are the solution. Don't lock us out. It's has proved to be unsafe and unwise.

Edit: I don't mean never lock the door. I mean don't make the door absolutely impassable. Make it breachable if the passengers and CC allow you enough time to do so. If you are the Captain trying to get back in, they will help you. If you are a threat to the flight, they will subdue you. If you a person who by virtue of your status as a crew member takes unauthorized control of the aircraft, the door will be breached and you will be overpowered.

Last edited by Lord Farringdon; 28th Mar 2015 at 08:52.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 05:23
  #2242 (permalink)  
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An axe in the cabin....there sure is.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 05:31
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Lord Farringdon,

Actually, 2 on FD is not flavor of the day. Depending on your region, 2 on FD at all times was procedure before Germanwings. Other regions are now adopting it, and, I think, for good reason.

You are absolutely correct that high inputs at takeoff or landing would make correction almost impossible, but at cruise? I don't know. JAL 350 is a good example of a successful attempt by the f/o and f/e to overpower the capt and regain enough control to save lives. Also, and I know it's not quite the same, but the almighty battle aboard FedEx 705 is instructive.

My feeling is that an extra crew member on FD is better than no one at all in a rogue situation. In the first instance, you have a chance (albeit minimal) to incapacitate the rogue and regain control; in the second, you have zero.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 05:44
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Originally Posted by DOUBLE BOGEY
......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....."


....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.
Originally Posted by Arfur Dent
...So any pilot who is off work for stress or any other mental illness should be permanently excluded from his/her chosen career? ...
Originally Posted by keepitflying
As an ex pilot who has unfortunately suffered depression and anxiety, I have first hand experience of how the system works. ... 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. .......
In the US, once you have a bout with depression or other treatable mental illness, or admit to having a substance abuse problem, your career is over. While you might be able to get your 1st Class Medical restored, no airline will hire you. Covered by myself about 30 pages back here.

Can other EU/UK pilots speak to how this works in your part of the big blue marble? Thank you Keepitflying for honestly sharing your story, sir!
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 05:46
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You're
Thanks Wetcoat.

The only axe is in the cockpit. And from the CVR area mic (located in the cockpit) would anyone believe it verifiable as fact that an axe was being used outside the door? Seriously?

The world has got another case of MH370 madness.

The media, bloggers, and some experts have decreased safety for the public by discussing security procedures. The net effect will be more than anything has already occurred on Germanwings or any future corrections that result.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:05
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Then the REAL problem here is the HEALTH of pilots.
Exactly. The most vulnerable part of the plane now is the mind and the mindset and the ideology of the pilot.
Now, just a supposition.
Unmanned ideology is even worse.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:13
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Exactly. The most vulnerable part of the plane now is the mind and the mindset and the ideology of the pilot.
Nothing statistically supports that claim as being true.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:16
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We heard so much on this thread that two crews on the flightdeck at any time was the standard in the USA and certain other carriers. However, it seems that was not completely right as United announced yesterday that they only now move to this policy on certain types (777/787). And even on Ryanair flights the reason is not to have two crews on the flightdeck, the airline is simply too cheap to install a video system.

I work for one of those carriers that had no two crew policy. However, in case of a video system malfunction or an electrical lock malfunction of course we had to use a two crew policy to keep at least one pilot in his seat at all times. Standard backup procedure. We move now to a full time two crew policy and i really feel much safer with that 19 year old non-background checked, zero hour contract part time FA behind me...

@Smokie: no, it isn't. That report bases on some right wing extremist blog in germany.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:17
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Thanks Doc.

So should there not be more emphases placed on pilot's medicals, maybe yearly psychological tests with their licence renewals?

Seeing that a A380 pilot now has the lives of more than 500 people in his hands?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:17
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Doctor patient confidentiality laws

Client confidentiality laws usually have a let out clause if the doctor has reason to believe the patient might be a danger to themselves and/or others.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:22
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Why are some posters insistent on telling the world how the CDLS works? If you are in this game proffesionaly, you keep it to yourself.
That information is in the public domain anyway. You can download the full FCOM on smartcockpit or watch the airbus training videos on youtube.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:33
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I work for one of those carriers that had no two crew policy. However, in case of a video system malfunction or an electrical lock malfunction of course we had to use a two crew policy to keep at least one pilot in his seat at all times. Standard backup procedure. We move now to a full time two crew policy and i really feel much safer with that 19 year old non-background checked, zero hour contract part time FA behind me...
The real fallacy comes from the idea that 2 pilots on the flight deck can even prevent a determined nutcase at the controls from crashing the plane. There are many instances during any flight when the reaction of the sane pilot wouldnt come even close to being quick enough to save the plane.

We read stories about passengers going berserk on a monthly basis and trying to storm the cockpit. United had one last week.

Luftansa has one of the most extensive mental evaluations screening in the world, if not THE most extensive.

These are extremely rare and isolated occurences. Until we come up with a mind reading device, they will continue to be unpredictable and unpreventable.

Flying is safe. Pilots do a remarkable job. The mental weakness is mainly a societal collective one which is fear based and illogically reactive.

Here is the real issue:

Anxieties.com | How safe is commercial flight?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:43
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Denti: I'm not sure what you mean by 'background checked'. Was Lubitz 'background checked' and, if so, did it all impinge on his admittance to the cockpit? Obviously not. I'm a firm believer in the psycho-social factor of eyes...as in, you're less likely to act like a deviant if there are others watching you. Not foolproof, but there you go. In security, there's really no such thing as perfect. You just look for improvements. In my opinion 2 on FD is better than 1 on FD, even with imperfections.
Although that might be true, it now becomes extremely easy to reenact 9/11. Simply apply for a part time FA position, and you will be invited into the flightdeck with just one pilot there and a sharp axe right beside your jumpseat. Time will tell which is more likely, both are extremely remote possibilites.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 06:46
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Would it be possible for the other pilot to prevent a crash, keeping in mind that the suicidal pilot will fight the other pilot and try and prevent him from recovering the plane?
In the flight regime you discussed (as well as others) the answer is absolutely no.

Automation which can handle the dynamics of airline flight safer than pilots are a few decades out despite the diatribe sometimes asserted. Right now the automation as a tool to the pilot interface is the best we have and the best we will have for a long time to come. If folks realized the extent and frequency to which automation performs inadequately and has to be switched off, they would change their tune on the subject quickly.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:00
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I don't understand how you can claim that the health of the pilots is the 'real' problem, and at the same time claim that discussion of 2 on FD is a waste of time.


I have never said it is a waste of time. It is a reasonable measure as it will instil some public confidence and may have a small deterrent value.

I doubt it will thwart someone who is determined to crash the plane and who has a premeditated plan.

But it may prevent the sudden impulsive act. However I think impulsive act is incredibly rare, and all pilot "suicides" to date are premeditated.

The fact a struggle in the cockpit (subduing or removing the FA) will be captured on the CVR may be a deterrent - but only if trying to make it look accidental is important.

Last edited by slats11; 28th Mar 2015 at 07:19.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:01
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CokeZero: There are many, many possible scenarios of suicidal or psychopathic individuals breathing calmly while engaging in an act most would consider only possible in a 'heightened state'. His regular breathing is not at all inconsistent with his actions. Also, I don't think the hypoxia thesis holds much weight now. Set to FL 100 and no comm while capt banging on cockpit door...pretty damning. But yes, in the interests of objectivity, we should wait for full report.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:03
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I don't think full automation (removing both pilots) is going to work. There would be various instances where human intervention will still be required. i.e diversions. If this is done remotely (from ground), imagine the risks we will expose ourselves to! Technologically and security wise. Imagine some radical group hacks all the airplanes in the sky as we speak! Scary!


Not to mention a myriad of other circumstances it simply can't handle and... hate to break it to everyone...but it's very unreliable in a relative sense. It needs constant monitoring much the same way as humans hand flying do and in many ways more.

It's a great tool in many situations. But thats all it is. That thing people say about "those things fly themselves" is pure malarkey.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:10
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Increasingly, it appears that the only salient detail of this mass murder is the mental state of one man, apparently hidden from his employer. And how he was able to execute this dreadful act, so easily, after biding his time, and waiting for his opportunity, which he knew would one day come.
Little thought seems to have been given on this thread to the friends and relations of 150 or so murdered innocents, who will have to live with the consequences of this dreadful act, for ever.
Wrong place, wrong time for them? Or is there a deep issue within aviation that allowed this to happen?
I'd gladly pay more for my air ticket, if it gave me demonstrable reassurance that the FD team were better scrutinised, and absolutely on top of their game, on the day that I take my seat.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:27
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@slats11: How are we calling AirAsia crash poor decision making? The complete facts are not even out yet.

Someone people have suggested that the cockpit door can remain open as long as the pilot is in the lav and a cart placed in the way of the aisle and the cockpit with a flight attendant guarding it. Wouldn't this be better than the 2 person rule?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 07:27
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I /imagine/ that one flight crew member having some kind of brain fart has been a problem in commercial cockpits for as long as there have _been_ commercial cockpits. The post war years into the 1960s when perhaps the majority of commercial aircrew in Europe were potential PTSD victims vulnerable to flashbacks from their last combat mission would seem to be a time when if this was ever going to be a problem, it would have been particularly acute... and yet we don't read about Constellations and DC6's being deliberately flown into mountains very often back in the day so what is different now?

Could it be the breach in the rule of three bought in by two person cockpits? As with flight management systems, two is plenty when both are working properly but you need three so that when one breaks down the other two find it easier to spot that there is a problem and can override the malfunctioning unit. Never mind the practical problem of only having one person on the flight deck when the other pilot goes to the toilet, if the guy was not firing on all cylinders prior to the point where he was left alone to do his worst, two people in the cockpit not in the midst of a mental breakdown might have been better placed to spot it than one on his own and instigate precautions that 99999 times out of 100000 would be completely unnecessary paranoia but once in a blue moon would prevent a tragedy...
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