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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 28th Mar 2015, 18:45
  #2381 (permalink)  
 
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IMHO this is flawed and far better to assume that one flight crew might become mentally altered at any time i.e. mid-flight ..... Allowing only one person up front is clearly a single point of failure in an environment engineered for redundancy.
But this misses the fact that even with 2 (or 5) people up front, your mentally altered person can still kill everybody.

As earlier stated, 500' on Approach, full down elevator, full power, maybe flaps up. On the Airbus, you even have the luxury of a red button to lock the other pilot's sidestick out.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 18:52
  #2382 (permalink)  
 
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In Re: "Benefit of Doubt"

Surely, if a person holds in their mind even a basic concept of the usual and customary (not even necessarily the "precise and technical") process for a proper Annex 13 investigation, there are very real concerns over the way this post-incident inquiry has been conducted. That being said, if a poster (such as the one referenced above) wishes to cast doubts upon whether the aircraft manufacturer might wish to get to a speedy conclusion, despite running roughshod over normal processes, then another question becomes a question that is fair to ask: does the configuration of the A320 Airbus type, as operated by the carrier in question, make it easier for a twisted aviator to conduct such a fatal flight profile? If there is nothing about the aircraft itself which either facilitated the fatal flight profile, or even attracted the twisted aviator into conducting it, then, what interest could the manufacturer really stand to have here, other than the insured risks which, to be blunt, are nominal. I know not even a paltry fraction enough about avionics and flight controls and the so-called magenta line to be able to answer this, but unless you can state a valid reason why the aircraft manufacturer might be called to account, again for either attracting a twisted aviator or facilitating him, in the way the flight controls and automation are arranged, there is no link between the seemingly highly irregular process conducted by the investigating authorities on the one hand, and the manufacturer on the other.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 18:58
  #2383 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by fireflybob

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Quote:
Quote:
ASN News List of aircraft accidents and incidents intentionally caused by pilots

40 years: 591 dead in 11 world jet suicide events. Matched in the USA every 1 day (hospital errors) & every 6 days (gun deaths). Get a grip.
Right. But 422 of them were in the past 3 years, suggesting this is something the airlines are right to be concerned about.

And your entire premise is wrong. Imagine if the industry had adopted your "acceptable loss" / "grip-getting" attitude? Presumably an occasional mid-air collision or door falling off would simply have required some corporate manning-up rather than spending millions to develop collision warning systems and redesigning doors...?
McRotor96, not sure that logic is correct - rather than the number of deaths would not number of fatal accidents be a better comparison? 40 years ago there were no aircraft capable of carrying 300/400 passengers given that most of the accidents involving suicidal pilots caused the deaths of all on board.
He mentioned both the number of deaths and events. You might also want to brush up on your history of airliners with regard to seating capacity and service entry dates.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:07
  #2384 (permalink)  
 
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Investigation

Here is my guess why it is "unusual":
  1. BEA receive CVR 0945 day after accident
  2. BEA Press Conference ~1630 same day by which time they are just realising what seem to have happened. Director keeps very guarded.
  3. BEA listen to CVR, under standard conditions a few more times, and cannot alter likely conclusion
  4. BEA, iaw ICAO (? French Law?) realise this is likely to be a "criminal act" and are forced to consult, even hand over to Police / prosecuters.
  5. This is where it goes "wrong". The Police/prosecution chain is not as practiced or secure, and by that evening, it has leaked to the US News Chaneels which we all wake to next morning
  6. 2 plane loads of relatives arrive in MRS, Prosecuter has to brief them on findings.
  7. Prosecuter holds news conference ~1000 to confirm earlier News Reports
We have heard, I believe, nothing from the BEA since that first Press Conference? So I suspect the whole thing is partially (or wholly?) out of their hands for now?

Anybody who knows more about police / air accident investigation protocols please chip in. 9/11 similar where FBI did most, NTSB pretty quiet.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:09
  #2385 (permalink)  
 
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The latest story making the rounds is that he was being treated for eyesight problems.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/wo...-say.html?_r=0

I wonder if this might be a key part of the puzzle.

1) Wants nothing more than to fly for a living.
2) History of depression, which he hides from employer.
3) Eyesight problems, which he can't hide from employer and which may result in loss of pilot's license.
4) Above triggers a depressive episode.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:16
  #2386 (permalink)  
 
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The latest story making the rounds is that he was being treated for eyesight problems.
RTD1, I posted this twice, hours ago. I certainly think it's significant.

Clearly, also, someone on this investigation is leaking like a sieve.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:22
  #2387 (permalink)  
 
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Unusual - but that's part of the problem

Sir Nigel (on-D), yes, your recitation of the events reads as quite accurate, and the inferences you draw also appear eminently reasonable and measured. Yet....can the "officialdom" apparatus of CAA and CAA-related investigatory bodies, and where involved, law enforcement & investigatory authorities, REALLY be caught this far behind the lickety-split timing of the social media era? Point is, some of this lack of proper sequencing seems largely if not almost entirely traceable back to a kind of fat, gray-suited, out-of-touch bureaucratic mentality which is essentially oblivious to the massively, I say massively shrunken time lag between event and media (including internet) deluge. I know in higher ed, and trucking - both industries in which I have done substantial legal work (hey, 18-wheelers, 18-year-old coeds, it's all the same deal, baby) - getting up to pace with the INSTANT-aneous world these days took a lot of effort. Perhaps BEA and the other authorities are being unfairly and/or accurately criticized in this post....I'll reclaim my two Indian-head pennies, if so.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:23
  #2388 (permalink)  
 
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The evidence so far may well suggest a more likely particular cause for this accident.

However, it is possible that there are other explanations. For example, suppose the engines came back to idle for no apparent reason and the aircraft went into Open Descent (a known software issue on the A300 for example, although I haven't seen it happen on the A320 yet).

Suppose the very inexperienced First Officer couldn't understand such a rare malfunction with no ECAM to guide him and this induced panic/anxiety that brought on a heart attack or stroke that left him "breathing normally" on the CVR but he could have been unable to move or speak (this is not uncommon with stroke or heart attack victims).

Meanwhile the cockpit door could have been incorrectly programmed with the emergency code and so the one the crew tried to use to enter didn't work (this has also happened). When did you last check the emergency code worked on your A320, that's if you even remember it?

Let's not forget that it's heavily in the airline's and manufacturer's interests for an accident to be blamed on incorrect or inappropriate pilot action. Yes these "holes in the cheese" are very unlikely to have lined up, but it's nevertheless possible.

It's interesting that with the commotion in the cabin, terrain warnings and then the GPWS going off and with the ground rushing towards him that he managed to breath normally whilst supposedly fully conscious despite supposedly having mental health issues.

I'm also interested in what the transponder Mode S reported to ATC - did ATC see a radar return whereby the altitude was wound down below MSA for example as the aircraft began its descent? Were ATC to be heard questioning him on the CVR as to why he was descending to such a low altitude? Or was no such lower altitude selected? Maybe he used V/S ... ?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:26
  #2389 (permalink)  
 
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RTD1, I posted this twice, hours ago. I certainly think it's significant.

Clearly, also, someone on this investigation is leaking like a sieve.
It's definitely significant. You can hide crazy but you can't hide blind. It's also a far more likely triggering event than the breakup with his girlfriend which as far as we know might have happened last year.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:27
  #2390 (permalink)  
 
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Clearly, also, someone on this investigation is leaking like a sieve.
IMHO this is the most unusual situation... If this accident would have taken place somewhere in the 3rd world countries.. I wouldn't have difficulty to accept this leakage ...
This investigation has not being conducted according to ICAO 13 and we should ask the last 2 questions:
Who is serving this information to the media and what is the purpose of it?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:28
  #2391 (permalink)  
 
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@Rushed approach: "It's interesting that with the commotion in the cabin, terrain warnings and then the GPWS going off and with the ground rushing towards him that he managed to breath normally whilst supposedly fully conscious despite supposedly having mental health issues."

It is possible that the copilot might have worn his headset to try to reduce ambient noise, and sit in the seat with his eyes closed blanking out external noise as much as possible and staying oblivious to sight and sounds during the descent - as part of his executed plan.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:32
  #2392 (permalink)  
 
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BEA, iaw ICAO (? French Law?) realise this is likely to be a "criminal act" and are forced to consult, even hand over to Police / prosecuters.
I think as per French Law if an accident claiming lives takes place a criminal investigation has to be opened. The same happened e.g. when Condorde went down in Paris.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:39
  #2393 (permalink)  
 
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He mentioned both the number of deaths and events. You might also want to brush up on your history of airliners with regard to seating capacity and service entry dates.
noalign, yes he did mention that. To make a valid argument you would of course have to conduct a proper statistical analysis. I am not meaning to say the numbers of deaths is immaterial but I am saying that in this case the number of accidents is probably more valid.

It was my maths than caused me to infer that there were no 300/400 seater airliners 40 years ago (I was thinking 1965) but even then I think the point is valid in the sense that generally speaking airliners carry more passengers per aircraft (as aircraft performance and design has improved) now compared to a few decades ago bearing in mind most aircraft are virtually full on every flight now which was not the case years ago before the advent of budget airlines.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:43
  #2394 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft View Post
We have heard, I believe, nothing from the BEA since that first Press Conference? So I suspect the whole thing is partially (or wholly?) out of their hands for now?

Anybody who knows more about police / air accident investigation protocols please chip in.
ICAO Annex 13 does not impose any obligation on the investigating AIB to release any information prior to the Preliminary Report, which becomes due 30 days after the accident.

And, if and when it is established that the deaths and injuries sustained in an occurrence are "self-inflicted or inflicted by other persons", then it ceases to be an Annex 13 investigation.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 19:57
  #2395 (permalink)  
 
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It is possible that the copilot might have worn his headset to try to reduce ambient noise, and sit in the seat with his eyes closed blanking out external noise as much as possible and staying oblivious to sight and sounds during the descent - as part of his executed plan.
True, but he would still had heard the door entry requests and the EGPWS alerts (which obviously are designed not to be masked by even ANR headsets). I guess there are no stats, but how likely is it that someone committing suicide and committing mass murder can manage to breath normally whilst slamming into a mountain at c. 400 kts?
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 20:16
  #2396 (permalink)  
 
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Informing aviation security authorities
5.11 If, in the course of an investigation it becomes known, or it is suspected, that an act of unlawful interference was involved, the investigator-in-charge shall immediately initiate action to ensure that the aviation security authorities of the State(s) concerned are so informed.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 20:21
  #2397 (permalink)  
 
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What an appalling loss of life!

Lubitz's hiding of relevant, potentially disqualifying personal information from his employer is a violation of the trust expected of a person in a critical occupation, but is also a very human reaction to threats to their livelihood and self-image.

The implementation of two persons in the cockpit rules is a logical first step, although it is not a perfect solution, to the cockpit access problem created by the 9-11 cockpit doors.


What is needed , long term, is implementation by regulators of a Human Reliability Program regulation. These programs already exist for people who do other critical actions such as with nuclear reactors. You can get a taste of what this type of program would entail here: https://fmt.kcp.com/OSTfederalagent/Docs/HRP.pdf

The bad news is that there will be a personal cost and loss of freedom as well as program operational costs in $$. If the unions play their hands right, they should be able to at least generate some compensating pay for their members in the process of agreeing to go along.

Last edited by Machinbird; 28th Mar 2015 at 20:23. Reason: format issue
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 20:44
  #2398 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by WingNut60 View Post
So we don't have the bandwidth for real-time recording, because that would need way too many satellites and be too expensive but we will have enough to operate the aircraft from ground stations.


That should save a dollar or two!!
There is more than enough bandwidth now to stream DFDR and probably CVR. There is intent to provide streaming video to WiFi in the aircraft to replace some IFE. Similarly, there is enough bandwidth available to provide 'optionally manned' aircraft control links. There are multiple ways of providing these high bandwidth links not all will be via SATCOM. More importantly within a decade even the high bandwidth comms in use today will look as old fashioned as telegraph using Morse code.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 20:44
  #2399 (permalink)  
 
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Are you suggesting a sanity cross check pre-flight?
Paramedics establish if a patient is mentally altered at a scene by confirming they are 4x4. Meaning you ask 4 basic questions and verify 4 correct answers e.g. name, todays date, who is the President, do you know where you are. Any hesitation or spurious answer helps assess the individuals state of mind.
If I may, let me share some of my personal experience from the entirely different point of view - namely, from the point of view of someone who's been dealing with major depression; what's more important though, four of my close friends have attempted suicide, one of them succeeding (erm). Socially vulnerable people tend to stick together, sort of.

First of all, I am not a medical professional, nowhere close, so this is entirely anecdotal evidence; yet, in all those four suicide attempts, nobody has noticed anything unusual in the person's behavior just before it happened, and I seriously doubt that any "sanity test" in the form of questionnaire, long or short, conducted by a professional, layman or paramedic, would discover the immediate trouble. In my opinion, when people are saying like "oh, his or her replies were shorter and more tense than usual, we should have known etc etc" - it's all hindsight.

Yet, at the same time, none of these unfortunate events were entirely unexpected, and I'm fairly sure that a proper psychological screening - let me emphasize "proper", that's not the 10-question self-assessment form - would reliably detect significant majority of those who're in danger of attempting suicide, sooner or later. That doesn't make them unfit to fly; nevertheless, it probably necessitates certain precautions and more frequent and thorough testing, that, it an ideal imaginary world, could be combined with a help and support program (well, a proper support program, not the one which ends with a SSRI prescription). It's never going to happen, of course - rather, the society in whole is usually more than happy to hand the gun and bullets to those who're contemplating the idea of shooting oneself, instead of offering any kind of help.

Yet again, a point I should make is that in all those cases of suicide that I happen to know, it happened when the person in question was alone. Just saying; and I don't know the exact proportion of cases when the person wasn't alone. But, judging from what I've seen, it feels to me that a 2-person rule - how inconvenient, "knee-jerk" and what else it might seem - may actually prove to be quite efficient, and it's quite possible that this measure could have prevented at least the latest tragic event that is being discussed on this thread.
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 20:48
  #2400 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mcloaked View Post

It is possible that the copilot might have worn his headset to try to reduce ambient noise, and sit in the seat with his eyes closed blanking out external noise as much as possible and staying oblivious to sight and sounds during the descent - as part of his executed plan.
In a word, yes. Anything is possible. He might have . . .
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