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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 28th Mar 2015, 09:58
  #2281 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Unlike in love 3 makes a crew, not a crowd!

I liked flying with three in the crew. It made things easier during emergencies and non-normals. Someone to fly, someone to read the procedure and someone to perform the procedure. Even in a two pilot aircraft using an augmented crew with an IRO in the seat during critical phases of flight. Still the sensible division of duties. We are concerned with safety, right?
I second the above posting.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 09:59
  #2282 (permalink)  
 
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The Wall Street Journal's round up

Focusing on the actual issue of the tragedy, the WsJ writes (Updated March 27, 2015 6:55 p.m. ET):

The person familiar with the investigation said Mr. Lubitz was undergoing treatment for depression elsewhere in the Rhineland area of western Germany.

Under German privacy laws, a doctor isn’t required to inform the patient’s employer about any illness, nor should the note excusing him or her from work include any information about the patient’s condition.

However, Hans-Peter Hartung, the head of University Hospital’s department of neurology, said doctors in Germany could choose to inform the police or a patient’s employer if the condition seemed like it could pose risks for others. “We are entitled under the balance of risks, and if there are looming problems, to breach medical confidentiality,” he said.

But Jochen Lamp, spokesman for the German association of psychiatrists, said only very unusual circumstances would prompt a psychiatrist to breach a patient’s confidentiality, as the legal consequences of such a move can be severe.

U.S. pilots are required to tell the Federal Aviation Administration about all prescription medications, substance abuse, drunken-driving arrests, mental disorders and suicide attempts. As part of an effort to prod pilots to deal more forthrightly with mental health issues, the FAA a few years ago reversed course and allowed airline pilots to take certain antidepressant drugs while staying on the job.

At the time, the FAA chief said “we have to acknowledge that depression is not uncommon and pilots need to be allowed to get help without the fear of losing their pilot’s certificate.”

Europe also relies on pilots to self-report psychological problems not caught by the airline.

James Fraser, the FAA’s top medical officer, spelled out the industry’s dilemma at a pilot-safety conference in Washington in August 2014.

In cases of “psychotic events in the cockpit or [when] a pilot or first officer has been walked out of a cockpit,” he told the audience, questions inevitably follow about why the FAA didn’t prevent it. Some critics even call for a thorough psychiatric evaluation or every pilot at each periodic medical exam, he said, but “that’s not a solution.”

In the end, Dr. Fraser said, “the solution lies in self-assessment, not in any kind of regular psychiatric assessment.”

He emphasized that the FAA depends on pilots “to be honest and forthright” answering questions about issues such as “prior hospitalizations and mental disorders and things of that nature,” while recognizing that psychiatric problems sometimes can emerge suddenly.

Mr. Lubitz’s medical certificate was last renewed in July 2014. The certificate, which is required for a pilot license, is updated annually. Germany’s Federal Aviation Office said Friday that his certificate showed he had an unspecified medical condition requiring regular checks. A spokesman for the agency said whether the record related to mental or physical health was confidential information.

Another person familiar with the matter said Mr. Lubitz didn’t have a terminal illness.
Germanwings Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Concealed Depression From Airline - WSJ

Last edited by ettore; 28th Mar 2015 at 10:02. Reason: Publication date corrected
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:05
  #2283 (permalink)  
 
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In essence in order to protect the integrity of the flight deck a double door system would seem the only secure way of ensuring two qualified pilots have permanent access to the flight deck. Built in logic would only allow the outer door to be locked when using the toilet, the outer door only being closed prior to the inner door being opened.
Highly impracticable to retrofit but certainly possible the design stage.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:12
  #2284 (permalink)  
 
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What is needed in pilots responsible for the lives of several hundred trusting people is EXPERIENCE, and MATURITY. Any pilot should never forget that priority.

In a perfect world I would agree Mary. The problem is, now more than ever, that experienced pilots don't hatch out of an egg. Also, when you look at accident rates in the US (I'm not qualified to comment about the rest of the world) for regional airlines, their younger, less experienced pilots fair extremely well on safety. Many are in their early 20's and fly jets as sophisticated as anything else and which are no easier to fly than some heavy jets. All while they are becoming the pilots you ultimately prefer.

So how to get from point A to B....
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:14
  #2285 (permalink)  
 
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I was shocked to read he only had 630 hours in all those years! that flagged up problems
No, gliding hours are usually discounted in reports abut commercial pilots. He had 630 hours on A320 since he started his typerating in summer 2013. That is not unusual, but on the low side. There are others that fly even less. For the last 8 years or so i average only around 300 hours a year flying full time in airline operations.

He started gliding at age 14 or 15 and has glided ever since, last year he did apparently only 20 hours of gliding, but for someone working in the airlines that is not unusual as most gliding clubs only have flight operation during the weekend which is not always easy if you work most weekends.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:17
  #2286 (permalink)  
 
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Currently, are F/A's prohibited from entering the flight deck when one pilot is out? Not at my airline & I haven't seen evidence of it at other airlines either. So all this concern about a F/A in the flight deck with just one pilot seems a little misplaced, as there has been nothing preventing it for some time now.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:42
  #2287 (permalink)  
 
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Currently, are F/A's prohibited from entering the flight deck when one pilot is out? Not at my airline & I haven't seen evidence of it at other airlines either. So all this concern about a F/A in the flight deck with just one pilot seems a little misplaced, as there has been nothing preventing it for some time now.

It's a valid point by itself, but there is no disputing you are adding another human to the mix. A human which is as at least as likely to become the perpetrator as the pilot. The point being that with the statistics involved, no matter how minute the odds, it doesn't support a safer enviornment unless you assume the perpetrator is on the outside. (Which is what SHOULD be happening)

If you assume the perp will be a crew member, you just increased the odds of having have happen exactly what the misplaced fears are about. So this "fix" as applied is inappropriate to the recent occurrence which spawned it.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:43
  #2288 (permalink)  
 
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Any news about the FDR?

Trying to look past the current media frenzy, is there any news about the FDR? The CVR was found damaged but the container holding the memory modules was intact, it just had a couple of scratches. Given the proximity of CVR and FDR in the plane one would expect something similar for the FDR. There was at some point news about a recovered FDR but the 'memory modules were missing'. Then, investigators were 'optimistic' and it seems that they had 'spotted something'. I have not heard any more news along that line.

Is it known what was exactly recovered and what is still missing? Did the crash proof container separate or was the crash proof container found and was its integrity breached so badly that the memory modules themselves are missing or damaged?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:53
  #2289 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding breathing audio: My airline requires mandatory donning of crew oxygen mask when alone in the flight deck. If Germanwings required it too, you would have an excellent breath pattern recording.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:59
  #2290 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding breathing audio: My airline requires mandatory donning of crew oxygen mask when alone in the flight deck. If Germanwings required it too, you would have an excellent breath pattern recording.
Logical fallacy with this: why should a suicidal mass murderer in the moment of his evil deed feel the need to comply with company regulations regarding wearing oxygen masks as a precautionary measure?

But the recorded breathing is explainable, if he was wearing his headset. Which I also don't know why psychologically it would make sense to wear it at this point, but who knows.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:00
  #2291 (permalink)  
 
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If its true that his girlfriend reported that he had planned something

The impression the articles give is that she did *not* report it (at least to anyone who could have taken action)

I know for sure if I were frightened enough to leave a partner based on their behaviour, who was employed as a pilot and uttered that statement to me, I would be very, very concerned.


But perhaps being employed in the same industry would have some influence on that.


People say after an event like this (9/11, school shooting, etc) "It came out of nowhere" but almost all of the time when probed will say something like "I had a weird feeling about this person" "something didn't seem right" "it didn't add up"

It seems this lady ignored her intuition, very unfortunately. Of course, just reporting that exchange in itself may not have prevented this event, if he did in fact plan to crash a flight all along, but it may have been enough to ground him pending investigation and get the help needed....


I feel for the poor girl, she must be feeling horrible right about now. Probably for the best the media haven't name her...
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:03
  #2292 (permalink)  
 
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Ref the previous post about if CVR is able to pick up the normal sound of a person breathing

I have spend close to 10.000 hrs as a captain on an A320, and I have never been able to hear my colleagues breathing. Not even through Intercom, when he/her wore a headset.

The CVR microphone would also not be able to pick up normal breathing. You will know if you have spend time in an A320. And there was even more noise on this MMO/VMO descent from aerodynamic noise.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:07
  #2293 (permalink)  
 
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Lunatics know no law

The facts are simple , you can't legislate for those with unbalanced mental health, only mitigate for it.

The two persons in the flight deck is a sensible move from the industry and about the only thing you can do.

The security industry is already the tail wagging the aviation dog and the last thing we need is the so called security experts using this happening as way to make a fast buck.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:09
  #2294 (permalink)  
 
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People say after an event like this (9/11, school shooting, etc) "It came out of nowhere" but almost all of the time when probed will say something like "I had a weird feeling about this person" "something didn't seem right" "it didn't add up"

Yes and that's often true when the person turns out to be innocent. If they are guilty then its brilliant. If they turn out to be innocent it never gets in the news and people just shrug and walk away. "I knew there was something weird about that guy! Oh he's innocent....oh"

About as credible as the media is on reporting aviation facts.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:09
  #2295 (permalink)  
 
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But the recorded breathing is explainable, if he was wearing his headset. Which I also don't know why psychologically it would make sense to wear it at this point, but who knows
Because in many Operators, at least most I know, you wear them from prior start until after shutdown?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:19
  #2296 (permalink)  
 
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Because you have to put it on before the other crew member leaves and the headset is often not worn except for take off and landing. I fly the A320 by the way!
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:20
  #2297 (permalink)  
 
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I'm referring more to the fact that certain things may jump out at someone, but they are unsure why (no context) and are pushing down the intuitive danger signal they are getting... I know I'd rather get someone checked out and be wrong then say nothing and watch them go on to harm someone else/many someones...


I guess my point is, that family/friends of people working in safety critical jobs should not be afraid that by expressing concern for whatever reason that it will become an automatic reason for them to lose their job/license/whatever... in that sense, the industry does need to change to enable those who need help to get it. Lubitz's ex GF may well not have said anything for fear she might be wrong and get him fired, when the main concern should be the fitness to fly of the pilot while giving them other options if indeed they have a problem. Not every pilot who has a mental health issue has a major one posing a threat to life (their or otherwise)

I think the specifics of that have been pretty well covered by other posters here.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:21
  #2298 (permalink)  
 
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We are trying to avoid the nearly unavoidable . What about cockpit policy in cargo planes? They can also fly into a building.
I m not sure if by letting people into the cockpit who have had no training for it, we are going to avoid this or make the cockpit a safer place.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:25
  #2299 (permalink)  
 
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Everybody pilot will agree with me that a 'minimum 2 persons on the flightdeck' rule only serves the prevention of one falling asleep.
I also think we are planting lettuce upside down if a CA has to supervise the lonely pilot.

Pure 'Window dressing'.

But I see an opportunity for loco's to engage pay to fly, non typed MPL holders to act as 'pilot observers'.
They can invent a whole stack of SOP's for them too.

All in the name of safety.
Hopefully the public will buy it, and the crew puts up with it.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 11:29
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For many years in the Air Force my doctor was a "company" man who had a duty to report any psychological issues up the chain of command, due to the "special" ordnance we carried.
I now work for a company where all the pilots are under the care of company doctors. This situation does have grey areas , doctor patient confidentiality issues versus the "greater good".
Simply put, had either of Lubick's doctors contacted GWs about his mental state this crash could have been avoided.
The debatable point about one's right to privacy over the right of innocents being murdered by a fruit loop needs to be settled IMHO.
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