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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 29th Mar 2015, 07:54
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Exascot .. Totally agree.

I was hired because the pilots Union - BALPA - had negotiated an agreement that there would always be a THIRD pilot on every flight deck, to sit behind the Captain and "watch" - and usually keep ones' mouth shut, unless of course one noticed something out of order, I once prevented a possible wheels-up landing, long story for another time! One was also used to tune beacons, communicate with Company, sort maps and charts etc. leaving the Captain to fly,and the co-pilot to monitor, undistracted by mundane tasks.

The management decided that the third pilot / Second Officer, had little to do in the long Atlantic cruise sector after top of climb, and the navigator had little influence in the take-off and landing phase, so why not combine the two tasks ?

It was decided that rather than train ex-W.W.II navigators to fly, most were approaching retirement anyway, it was more cost effective to employ young pilots as Second Officers ( a grateful taxpayer had taught us to fly via the RAF National Service scheme ) and teach us to navigate, then make the navigators redundant ! (Bean counters at work of course )

Still, the system worked, I and my colleagues spent some time as navigators and virtually trainee pilots, watching and learning, and although I had a commercial licence and type rating I wasn't allowed in the right hand seat for the first 3 years of my flight deck experience, and by then had over 1,000 hours "flight experience" in my logbook. ( I was occasionally allowed to sit in the left hand seat when the Captain went for a toilet break and no Astro navigation duties were required - on the strict understanding that I didn't touch anything !)

We kept our type rating qualifications valid with a 6 monthly check in the simulator, like everyone else, a little difficult when we never actually handled the beast on the line, but we were given a fleet of Chipmunks at Croydon airport to play with on demand, to keep our pilot licences and handling skills current. Eventually we became "proper" co-pilots and were suitably experienced as a result - not a 630 hour junior pilot left on our own, and of course the flight deck door was never locked.

Has the Industry improved on that system ? I doubt it, but the Bean Counters are happy.

Removing the Flt. Eng. from the flight deck was the biggest mistake. I believe that the early 757/767's were built with a F/eng position, but the launch airlines had them re-rigged as a 2 crew machine? Others will doubtless correct me.

Last edited by ExSp33db1rd; 29th Mar 2015 at 08:09.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 07:58
  #2482 (permalink)  
 
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I’m sorry if this has been said before, close to 130 pages of posts is simply too much to go through.

I’ve been thinking about some of the statements that there’s a security problem with the low price carriers. At first I just waved it off but maybe there’s something to it after all.

I haven’t worked for a large carrier but when I drove business jets for a charter company we were a small group of pilots, say about 20, who worked there.
Anyway, the company was downsizing so about half of us got laid off. During the few months that the soon to be-unemployed pilots flew with us who stayed the atmosphere on flight deck got a little frosty. And I think that that would have meant that it would have been harder to detect if a colleague was loosing it.
In the case of large carriers, how would a situation with constant pressure from management, a mix of pilots with different employment situations (some full time, some part time, some contract) affect the climate on flight deck?
And what are the chances that a pilot, who doesn’t feel balanced, actually turning to the company if he knows he’s nothing more than a number on a sheet of paper with an eager line of other numbers just waiting in another pile of paper for a chance of replacing him?
And I’m NOT saying that anything of this applies to GW, I know nothing about the company, but merely in general.

On a side note. During intial training the word was that the larger company, the higher security. The longer you could avoid flying with the same crew member(s) the better as it would reduce the risk of the crew establishing non-SOP routines. Maybe it’s time to rethink this – the risk of going non-standard can be thwarted by proper training but training can’t help you to know and support your colleague.

Another side note. When I flew in Russia we had to be cleared by a medic before flight. It was just a 30-second look over but it involved checking the pulse and a question or two. If something was amiss, there would be a more thorough check.
The purpose of the check was mainly to stop intoxicated pilots from flying but I heard from others that they sometimes found out other illnesses (such as heart problems).
In the GW-case I find it hard to believe that a pilot who’s mentally ill enough to do what he did wouldn’t show any physical symptoms.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 07:59
  #2483 (permalink)  
 
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re: why the change in heading
Originally Posted by ana1936
Scenario 2)
There is some planning ahead and Lubitz knows that he will be left alone at about that time, or he brings it about, and he had made calculations. He changes the heading and sets the desired flight level with the aim of ending up somewhere in particular. Maybe his calculations are wrong but maybe he was aiming for that valley and the perpendicular wall at the end. Apparently he knew the area from some visits.
here's the flight plan, originally posted by @HeathrowAirport

(FPL-GWI18G-IS
-A320/M-SDE2E3FIRWXYZ/H
-LEBL0835
-N0426F300 DALIN UN870 DIBER/N0434F340 UN870 SOSUR/N0441F360 UN870 MAXIR UN853 BLONA/N0448F380 UN853 DIK/N0408F270 UN853 ARCKY UT853 IBESA T853 NOR T857 BIKMU BIKMU1G
-EDDL0140 EDDG
-EET/LECB0011 LFFF0100 LIMM0045 LSAS0056 EBUR0126 EDUU0125 EDVV0129 EDGG0132 REG/DAIPX PBN/B3B4C4D4O4 SEL/HLJK OPR/GWI DAT/VM DOF/150324 RVR/075 RMK/ACFT CERTIFIED NOISE STAGE 4 TCAS)

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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:00
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As far as I understand the News from Germany, there is no doubt at all for the German authorities and Lufthansa what happened and that the cause of this DELIBERATE crash is solely linked to the FO. The evidence so far is shocking obvious. The question is WHY and there is already one answer: we will never really know. But one could find answers to other questions, like has there been any chance for the FO to come out of his desperate state of mind? Have any warning signs been missed by others?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:02
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I'm taking the comments made by his allegedly 'ex' girlfriend with a very large pinch of salt. Methinks she is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame a tad too much.

@rantanplane. No, I disagree with the use of the word 'deliberate'. That implies intent. We do not know (nor does anyone else, for that matter, at this moment in time) whether he did this with intent and full knowledge of his actions OR if he did it while affected by (a) drug side-effects (b) some physical illness, mini-stroke whatever etc.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:08
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And if we ever went to single crew with more automation but an ability to over ride which there would have to be SCARY
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:08
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habeas corpus doesn't exist in French law

So the French prosecutor is saying without proof that Lubitz started the descent acting on the FMS. Was Lubitz asleeped and confused by medics or toxic fumes already happening by Germanwings ?
How is it possible that Lubitz loged only 200 hours since 2013 in German wings ? Was he really integrated in that low cost airline ?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:11
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In the GW-case I find it hard to believe that a pilot who’s mentally ill enough to do what he did wouldn’t show any physical symptoms.
History has proven that exactly the mentally ill who shows signs of mental illness don't go for the big masterpiece to end it all like Lubitz has done it. Thus , it's more about distorted personalities than mental illness.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:23
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IFALPA Statement on Premature Release of partial CVR Data

MONTREAL-- The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) deplores and condemns yesterday's leaking of certain elements of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the Germanwings flight 4U9525.

Not only do these leaks contravene the internationally agreed principles of accident investigation confidentiality set out in ICAO Annex 13, they are also a breach of trust to all those involved in the investigation and to the families of the victims. Furthermore, leaks of this nature greatly harm flight safety since they invite ill-informed speculation from the media and the general public and discourage co-operation with investigators in future accidents.

IFALPA once again stresses that the sole purpose of a CVR is to aid investigators in determining the factors leading to an accident and not to apportion blame or be used outside of its safety context. CVR details should only be publicly released following a thorough and complete investigation of the events that occurred, and not prematurely during the course of the field portion of the accident investigation, underway for less than 48 hours.

Leaking premature, unanalyzed, and partial CVR recordings, which lack the context of the entire body of factual investigative data, severely interferes with the investigative process, and can only lead to early conclusions on what exactly occurred during the time leading up to the accident. Any other use of CVR data is not only invalid, but is an unacceptable invasion of privacy best described as a search for sensationalism and voyeurism of the worst kind.

It is vital for the investigating body to ensure all information under their control is properly handled until the completion of the investigation.

In this early stage of the investigation, many critical questions remain to be answered, and IFALPA stresses the need for an objective accident investigation process through the collection of all the facts needed to draw an accurate analysis of events. Once again, IFALPA’s resources are at the disposal of the Accident Investigation Agencies to achieve these aims.

Note: The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations represents in excess of 100,000 pilots in more than 100 countries world-wide. IFALPA’s mission is to be the global voice of airline pilots, promoting the highest level of aviation safety and security world-wide and providing services, support and representation to all of its Member Associations.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:24
  #2490 (permalink)  
 
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So the French prosecutor is saying without proof that Lubitz started the descent acting on the FMS.
As far as I can see, public prosecutor is doing what he is supposed to do: prepare a court case against suspected criminals. Whether he has sufficient proof or not is then decided in a trial.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:25
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Fullwings: I stated in a prior post (there have been several on this issue) that the two-crew procedure for US carriers was there to mitigate a lack of both video cameras and magnetic locks on the cockpit door. I agree with you that an FA posted in the cockpit might not be a fully effective deterrent for a rogue single pilot. As others and history suggested, in some cases, neither has a fellow pilot in the next seat.

I feel the procedure is now being implemented by EU and UK airlines for two reasons (aside from new regulatory guidance) 1. no airline wants to be considered less safe than another (ticket sales) and 2. the airlines need to show some form of threat mitigation was in place in order to limit liability in case of a similar incident occurring down the road.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:34
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londonman

I'm taking the comments made by his allegedly 'ex' girlfriend with a very large pinch of salt. Methinks she is enjoying her 15 minutes of fame a tad too much.

@rantanplane. No, I disagree with the use of the word 'deliberate'. That implies intent. We do not know (nor does anyone else, for that matter, at this moment in time) whether he did this with intent and full knowledge of his actions OR if he did it while affected by (a) drug side-effects (b) some physical illness, mini-stroke whatever etc.
Do you actually know the girl in question and so have something to lend support to what you say you "methinks", or are you just assigning her an inflated penchant for attention-seeking based on your own prejudices and therefore not something you think, but merely feel? You seem completely comfortable implying what her intent is (attention-seeking and media vanity that would lead her to embellish and perhaps lie), and then in practically the same breath take to task someone about the relationship between "deliberate" and "intent" with regards to the pilot.

You can be assured that both the criminal and accident investigators are NOT going to take her statements "with a grain of salt" as you do, and will interview and pin down anyone else as well who had any interaction with this guy that might lend insight into his mindset and later actions. If there is evidence that points to this possibly being a premeditated, criminal act, it's their job to take relevant statements and facts seriously, and the are very good at separating the relevant from the attention-seekers. But they don't just blow them off based on a feeling.

Last edited by PukinDog; 29th Mar 2015 at 08:47.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:46
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Amudarya

You have to remember that this is not a normal accident! AAIB is Air Accident investigation not AIR Murder investigation
Most accidents are pilot error or incorrectly handled malfunctions which lead to an accident! Yes it would have been better if this had been handled in the correct way and due process but because this accident has been so emotive and the public and media have demanded answers today rather than in months to come certain parts of the investigation have been leaked which have lead to the media becoming judge jury executioner And has lead to the airlines putting in safety changes reflecting that verdict
The investigation will carry on and further detail will probably come out but don't hold your breath that there will be any announcement that Lubitz far from being a mass murderer was in fact the hero of the day trying to save a stricken aircraft single handed !! It won't happen
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 08:49
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vapilot,
I feel the procedure is now being implemented by EU and UK airlines for two reasons (aside from new regulatory guidance) 1. no airline wants to be considered less safe than another (ticket sales) and 2. the airlines need to show some form of threat mitigation was in place in order to limit liability in case of a similar incident occurring down the road.
Agreed but ticket sales largely come down to price, otherwise no-one would ever fly with some carriers, given their safety records. To limit liability you’d have to show that what you did wasn’t just a PR attempt, which might prove difficult in the cold light of day.

Looking at the end result, there is no real difference between crashing into a mountainside because a pilot has decided to end it all and crashing into a mountainside because the pilots have made a mistake or a series of mistakes. People are dead and the aeroplane is in pieces. The first scenario could be avoided by looking after aircrew’s mental health better and the second by improved training, SOPs, equipment, fatigue management, etc.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:07
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@pukindog and blondie2005

You make fair points in that, no, I do not know her personally. However, I do have 35 years as a clinical psychologist plus I speak fluent German and so watching her interviews I do come to this opinion. I admit it is no more than that and were I to spend more time with her away from the media spotlight then I freely admit I might change my mind.

Perhaps my judgement is coloured by the incessant media babble that want to latch onto any comment - often taken out of context - with which to further hang the co-pilot out to dry when we simply don't know. It is fast becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or a witch-hunt, if you like.

And so posts like ciderman's disappear as they are based on reading the tabloids.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:27
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From le Figaro, French newspaper.

Quelle était la cause de la dépression d'Andreas Lubitz, le copilote allemand de l'A320 de l'avion de Germanwings qui s'est crashé dans les Alpes, fortement soupçonné d'avoir fait plonger volontairement l'avion ? Selon des informations du dossier judicaire allemand, transmises aux enquêteurs français, Andreas Lubitz souffrait d'une déficience visuelle très forte, suceptible de s'aggraver. Une dégradation de la vue qui risquait fort d'obérer son avenir professionnel
Obviously he had an other big health issue to deal with, most likely terminating his career.

Lubitz was obsessed with beeing a pilot, there was nothing else in his live one can read out of the many statements made from people who knew him.

He had many choices to turn things. But he went to work, he locked the door,
he changed the settings, did not opened the door despite his captains efforts and desperate 148 other passengers behind him. He choose to die on a place he loved most, the French Alpes. He learned to fly gliders there. Now he stopped flying at this most scenic place.

From a medical point of view he might not be 'guilty', but also from a medical point he knew bloody well what he was doing. And he somehow must have been a good pretender.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:29
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I'd WILLINGLY pay extra to travel with a 3 man crew up front, every time, no question.
I fear you're asking for something money can't buy. There is no need for a flight engineer and in any case the no3 would have to be a type-rated/trained pilot (albeit arguably no need to be current or valid medical). How are you going to find enough suitable people who are prepared to get up early, go to bed late and sit twiddling their thumbs every day? And where would they sit? The jump seat? Why not give them a rifle and make them wear a Stetson as well?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:30
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Newsflash.

Cabin crew can enter the flight deck any time they like, currently ( with permission) one pilot ,two or more on the deck.

Your scare mongering about cabin crew hijackers is ridiculous .
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:46
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athonite, No offence intended. Just that, those of us who've done a CRM course would cover that sort of thing, if not quite in the terms you present.

Our CRM course included FO and FE reports upon captains and vice versa. I DID, later, fly for a Far East airline which wouldn't have dreamed of permitting such lèse-majesté. I felt a little sorry for those whose self assessment was so far removed from their peer assessment to be almost laughable.
Before you ask, mine suggested a tendency towards the 'prima donna'; having had a daughter inform me that 'pilots are arrogant ****s' I considered I'd got off lightly
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 09:47
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Originally Posted by Communicator
Not just interesting, but CRUCIAL...

Even non-psychotropic drugs - e.g. prescription pain killers, cough syrup, etc. - can have significant psychiatric effects.

Again - sorry to hammer the point - we need to know the name of EACH AND EVERY DRUG OWNED OR USED BY the dead Germanwings FO.
With respect, "WE" need to know nothing of the sort. The investigators will know all of this and more, and will consider it in their investigation of the crash. What are you going to propose next, that passengers get a list of all medications taken by the flight crew over the previous x years so the can decide if the pilot is fit to fly?

Some posts here are worse than most, and this is one of the worst.
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