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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:27
  #2581 (permalink)  
 
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Wonder how long it will be before an airline issues a directive that the pilots can only go on a "comfort" break if it doesn't disrupt the cabin service.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:28
  #2582 (permalink)  
 
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Well it's a ridiculous system then as in effect the French prosecutor is passing a subjective judgment as to whether a crime has been committed not even a week after the crash, and whether a crime has or not been committed cannot be determined until the full "proper" aircraft investigation has been completed. So his subjective "gut feeling" will either be right or wrong and so many hares may have been set running unnecessarily. How can such a daft system be justified when in many cases the prosecutor will be wrong?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:29
  #2583 (permalink)  

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... deliberate actions required by the F/O to keep the FD door locked out after the 5 mins are up ...
I was looking whether this is an established fact or just media derivative of whad had actually been released. No luck so far, can anyone help?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:41
  #2584 (permalink)  
 
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'Being remembered and changing the industry'
I don't see how this incident would satisfy these words of a supposedly narcissistic mass-murderer.

After the 3 other recent crashes he is not really going to be remembered much. Even today after the Air Canada plane crash landed last night, the news has already moved on, as it has from the gigantic search in the Indian Ocean. And we moved on from that to Ukraine. Newspapers are fickle.

I think the general public are a little saturated with air disasters and other disasters these days.

And changing the industry ? Did he want to be 'remembered' by a new key code on the door mechanism ?!!!

Seems unlikely.

This was a guy that ran half-marathons and seemed all around successful. He is not going to kill himself because he had an argument with his gf. And if his eyes really were going then LH would have found him something. At least he can still run, he was good at several things.

I can imagine the newspapers have been able to dig up far less dirt on him then they would have on many other staff. Most of his acquaintances had only good things to say about him. Ask yourselves what your acquaintances would say about you.

I see no motive.

Last edited by rideforever; 29th Mar 2015 at 21:50. Reason: missing bit
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:42
  #2585 (permalink)  
 
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I was looking whether this is an established fact or just media derivative of whad had actually been released. No luck so far, can anyone help?
I believe this was a conclusion arrived at as the 'only plausible' explanation. The authorities mentioned it, but I'm not sure if they confirmed having heard the switch selection on the CVR.

To explain it any other way would require a series of largely implausible scenarios, ie:

1. Neither the captain, nor anybody else, tries to enter the code (implausible)

2. Everybody on that aircraft who is supposed to know the code has forgotten it (implausible)

3. Given 1 and 2 above, the keypad must have been overridden from inside the flight deck, using a guarded switch in a position unlikely to have been activated accidentally (only plausible explanation)

4. Override functions for 5 mins (with LH, confimed by LH CEO), then entry can be attempted again. Continued denial requires further deliberate action from the FD (not possible if incapacitated).

5. Door failure - certainly possible, but doesn't address at all the primary issue of the aircraft being commanded into a descent. Or why the FO didn't respond to multiple attempts to get his attention, from both inside & outside the ac.

The only plausible explanation for what transpired is the deliberate action of the FO - when viewed in the context of the other deliberate action taken (commanding descent).

Personally, I don't believe any rash or premature conclusions have been reached - no matter how much we would naturally wish to defend 'one of our own'.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 21:45
  #2586 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:

How, precisely, has hypoxia been ruled out?

Noises of shouting, banging on the door, screaming from pax, clearly audible captain's voice from outside the FD - multiple sources show, IMHO, that Hypoxia can be ruled out BRD.

Doesn't mean the aircraft wasn't depressurised or slowly depressurising or filling with smoke - those banging on the door could have had either toilet masks or portable oxygen masks on between shouts and they could have been wearing PBE.

Quote:

How, precisely, has incapacitation been ruled out?

Deliberate selection of an ALT below MSA and deliberate actions required by the F/O to keep the FD door locked out after the 5 mins are up - rules out his incapacitation BRD.

So an Airbus has never done something that isn't in the manual? Yeah right. So it's completely impossible that an FMA glitch changed the altitude? Or that the remaining pilot wound it down for some other reason?

Incidentally who that flies the A320 knows the time periods that your airline has programmed into the door system. What's the time delay after you enter the emergency code? I bet most of you have no idea. If you enter it again before the time delay has completed, does the time start again ... ? How familiar was the Captain/crew with the way the door system works?

It's perfectly possible that the aircraft had a different code programmed to the one the crew were trying. How often is this tested in your airline?
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:13
  #2587 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rushed Approach View Post
Deliberate selection of an ALT below MSA and deliberate actions required by the F/O to keep the FD door locked out after the 5 mins are up - rules out his incapacitation BRD.
Do we know that anyone *tried* to unlock the door after the initial 5 minutes?

If things were getting as hectic as we've heard, I can imagine them stopping trying that and just trying to beat the door down. It *could be* that the door would have unlocked if only they'd tried the code towards the end.

We'll only know for sure when the investigation is complete. Claiming "facts" now is almost certainly premature.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:15
  #2588 (permalink)  
 
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Doesn't mean the aircraft wasn't depressurised or slowly depressurising or filling with smoke - those banging on the door could have had either toilet masks or portable oxygen masks on between shouts and they could have been wearing PBE.
If FD gets depressurised the door gets unlocked automatically.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 22:25
  #2589 (permalink)  
 
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Rushed

I am sure we would all like this to be a mistake as murder of 150 innocent people by a mad pilot is the worst possible scenario for all of us
I like most started this protecting the pilots from those who said murder and insisted it was a pressurisation problem!
You say either the prosecutor is right or wrong implying it's a 50/50 thing it's more likely to be 98 % he is right 2 % he is wrong (( all the revealed evidence points overwhelmingly that way (( and I am sure non of us want that
Don't put to much on the AAiB reports about being definitive as that is not always the case
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 23:23
  #2590 (permalink)  
 
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What worries me most about this whole sorry affair is the knee-jerk reaction that seems to be arising, both from the airline industry itself, and some of the folks on this thread. I speak only as one of your lowly revenue-creating customers, so of course my opinion counts for nowt, I guess. But, I'll press on ...

I know that there are probably thousands things more likely to go wrong with a flight than having a suicidal pilot finding the perfect opportunity to drive into the ground; but us pax kinda rely on the fact that aviation is highly regulated and has a risk management regime that is probably second to none as far as transport safety and security is concerned.

So knee-jerk reactions are not what is to be expected; measured and appropriate responses are. Suddenly requiring two people on the flight deck at all times as a response to an incident that hasn't even had its proper investigation completed - what sort of signal does this send out to the general public? I'll tell you: it says that the industry considers this to be a problem that is potentially so serious that it needs to be urgently addressed. And then we have people here on the forum saying that Flight Attendants should not be allowed on the flight deck. Are we to believe that FA's are not subject to the same screening and security measures as those in control of the flight? Are we saying that potentially all crew are not to be trusted with our collective safety?

Perspective is needed here: despite all of the screening and safeguards, this guy got through the net, although it remains to be seen as to what exactly happened; nevertheless this was an extremely rare incident and from a risk perspective I'd have more of an issue with there only being two motors keeping me aloft instead of a comfortable four.

I would much rather see the airline industry say: we don't need to mess about with the way that the flights are operated, it's fine as it is. And let's face it, it probably is. Probably being the operative word.

Over and out.
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Old 29th Mar 2015, 23:39
  #2591 (permalink)  
 
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The changes which come out of this crash must go well beyond recommendations such as always having 2 people in the cockpit. The industry as a whole MUST look at ways in which crews health/mental health can be better monitored.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 00:08
  #2592 (permalink)  
 
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If FD gets depressurised the door gets unlocked automatically.
This happens when there is a pressure differential between FD and cabin. We (or at least I) don't know what that differential is; we don't know how tight the air seal is between the two spaces. If airflow between the two spaces is not completely constricted, a slow leak in either space to the outside would not open the FD door on a pressure differential. Below about 10,000 feet, there probably wouldn't be enough of a differential to unlock the door either.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 00:18
  #2593 (permalink)  
 
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Facts, Lessons, Damages, Punishment - Questions

One of the lessons of this and previous accident investigations has been, that it is not clear to the international public how BEA and French public "Procureur" investigations are operating side by side during aerospace accident investigations. Where goals and work run in parallel, where they overlap, how independence is assured - while working with a substantial set of common evidence.

This understanding has at least two sides. First, part of the public not taking the time to do (at least some of) the required homework. Second, the way in which French authorities make clear to especially the international audience, how they operate side by side.

It appears that both public and authorities have to improve their act. So we should appreciate the work of some PPRuNe members to help us with our homework. And I hope more is forthcoming.

The officials on the French side appear to be doing their job, but not with respect to improving understanding about what they do in general and how that works out in this specific case. Not an easy case because the focus changed from an accident to, as it seems, an act with intent.

As a consequence there is a lot of confusion with the general public, and in for instance some PPRuNe posts we can see posters judging the procureur investigation by accident investigation standards.

A partially separate and partially overlapping issue is leaking information. In this case there have been a number of 'serious' leaks. The strict control of CVR and FDR information, including legal and regulatory back up of this, suggests that the probability of leaks originating from the accident investigation side was low. The fact that a high French military (in some countries part of the police is military - I wonder which side it was) person or even official is said to be the source, is in line with that probability. This means that information control on the procureurs side can clearly conflict with the accident investigation side. And also conflicts with the legal requirements on the accident investigation side.

One question that I have had for many many years now is how 'serious' serious is. We do not have the transcripts or other prove available, but in spite of that there are judgements all around, and a lot of damage to the feelings of friends and relatives of the victims may have already been done. Lack of information from the official side and confusion appear to be extremely painful. I wonder if preliminary information that may have to be changed later would reduce or increase the suffering of victims and relatives, and also on the "improvement of safety" efforts on the aerospace professionals side.

So how sure are we, that the present framework is better than one with more and earlier official transparancy and openness. More transparancy by earlier and more complete official presentation and publication of information that includes how that information should be judged at the time of publication. Transparancy that reduces the pressure on all parties - investigators, procureurs, prosecutor, victims and relatives, authorities, relatives, professionals, and the general audience.

Heads of state, government ministers, high ranking police and military - we only need to look over the last two years - have made statements that were out of order, factually and technically incorrect, etc. I have great admiration for the way in which investigators have responded to this. But it should not be necessary for them to do this.

The context today is much different than it was years ago. Modern public requirements and technology are quickly eroding the foundation on which the present framework is built.

This post basically contains questions. In this case the lead is French. But the questions are of course the same or similar for other recent cases in other countries. However, we learn by accident investigations, so lets keep the scope confined to this case of GermanWings9525. I hope some people can help me with improving my 'homework' by sharing their insights and views.

Last edited by A0283; 30th Mar 2015 at 17:46. Reason: Insert "Procureur" instead of 'public prosecutor', because too much is lost in translation.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 00:39
  #2594 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Propduffer View Post
This happens when there is a pressure differential between FD and cabin. We (or at least I) don't know what that differential is; we don't know how tight the air seal is between the two spaces. If airflow between the two spaces is not completely constricted, a slow leak in either space to the outside would not open the FD door on a pressure differential. Below about 10,000 feet, there probably wouldn't be enough of a differential to unlock the door either.
The manual specifically states :-

Unlocking the door, in case of cockpit decompression (the door then opens towards the cockpit under differential pressure).

http://nicmosis.as.arizona.edu:8000/...329_DSC_25.pdf
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 00:43
  #2595 (permalink)  
 
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Playing catch-up

A0283 - quite a post, and many thanks for it - would my understanding of your overall message (or a part of it, at least) be correct, if I summarize it as asserting the view that the international investigatory apparatus has been "overtaken by events"? With the contemporary state of saturation of media - electronic only, as well as more traditional tv and print journos now propagating electronically - the time for officialdom to find the black boxes, do the analysis, issue the report....that time has not only shrunk, it has essentially evaporated.
As to your larger theme about the state of affairs in the French system.....and while I am not reaching for my Public International Air Law textbook less than 2 feet away ..... I think it is accurate to say that neither the Chicago Convention itself, nor any of its various machinery such as Annexes and SARPs, trump or override or hold supremacy over, national law. And so I think, were the question to be framed within an ICAO lens, how does a State criminal investigation need to be coordinated with the inquiry conducted by that State's CAA - I think that is a matter for the State to decide, on its own. I tend to agree, the understanding of how France sees the two tracks, the CAA and the criminal, moving sensibly forward, is not immediately obvious, or perhaps entirely discernible at all.
Where this incident (what a horrible word to use, but avoiding "accident" seems wise, since that word denotes a lack of intent, but an intentional act on present "information" seems likely) will get very, very complicated legally is when questions such as the choice of applicable civil law arise, and even, the appropriate place to file suit. These types of questions - known to aviation (and aerospace - or if it is preferred, air and space) attorneys as "choice of law" and "forum non conveniens", respectively, are among the most convoluted in the entire body of law applicable here. And, with the twisted facts of this incident....once again, the old favorite of a law professor is the best summation: hard cases make bad law.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 00:48
  #2596 (permalink)  
 
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Do we know that anyone *tried* to unlock the door after the initial 5 minutes?

If things were getting as hectic as we've heard, I can imagine them stopping trying that and just trying to beat the door down. It *could be* that the door would have unlocked if only they'd tried the code towards the end.

We'll only know for sure when the investigation is complete. Claiming "facts" now is almost certainly premature.
I'm curious about what all this CODE talk is? All doors I'm familiar with have a deadbolt in addition to the electronic lock controlled by the key pad. The mechanical dead bolt on an airliner door works just like the one in your house or flat. Just is about 100 times stronger than the deadbolt on your front door and 10 times stronger than the electronic logon the cockpit door. Once the deadbolt is engaged the door will never be opened in flight with any available tool. You can play with that keypad to the end of time with no effect because the door is locked by a mechanical means. The only way you can open it is with a key and the key is never, never carried on the aircraft.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 01:31
  #2597 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by A0283 View Post
One of the lessons of this and previous accident investigations has been, that it is not clear to the international public how BEA and French public prosecutors investigations are operating side by side during aerospace accident investigations. Where goals and work run in parallel, where they overlap, how independence is assured - while working with a substantial set of common evidence.
Thank you for explaining this.

Different countries do things differently. The French system isn't intrinsically wrong - it is just different to the British / USA system. You make a good point that this could perhaps be better explained.

One thing it may be work considering is that the flow of information from the criminal investigation process will be taking some pressure off the accident investigation process, and allowing this to proceed out of the media spotlight and public speculation. Criminal investigative bodies are used to intense media pressure, accident investigation bodies somewhat less so.

I have lost zero confidence in pilots as a result of this crash. The odds speak for themselves.

I have lost a bit of confidence however as a result of some of the attitudes displayed here:
1. Clutching at straws postulating increasingly more implausible explanations. I know you wouldn't do this when faced with an inflight emergency, so why do it here?
2. The insistence that no information come out until all the facts are "properly" assembled. With all due respect, there are other stakeholders involved. Politicians are answerable to citizens (voters). And aviation is answerable to its customers (passengers). Aviation does not live in some sort of bubble somehow divorced from the rest of society.

Please also remember that following recent tragic events in Paris, French public sentiment will be heightened towards any form of terrorist action. The French government and authorities have to deal with this reality.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 01:58
  #2598 (permalink)  
 
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eezeegeebee

As soon as the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to satisfy himself that a crime was committed and it was NOT an accident, ICAO Annex 13 ceases to apply.

I rather think the same would be the case in the US where the FBI are always involved treating crash sites as crime scenes. They would not sit on their hands waiting for a year or so for NTSB to publish a report if it became apparent that it had been a crime; they would take over and treat the incident as a crime that they need to investigate and if that required publicity that is what it would get.

It is obvious from the quotes you gave and a lot of responses like yours on here that you do not want this to be shown to be a murder suicide. However, there is an extremely high probability that it was. As that is the case it is the duty of everyone involved in the various criminal and Annex 13 investigations to pass the known information to aircraft operators and regulators - for them to take appropriate action within their areas of responsibility to mitigate any similar risk. They can't pass on that type of information without stating what they think happened based on the CVR and other information. They have not released a full transcript just enough to justify their position that the incident has an extremely high probability of being a crime. How else can they warn operators of the risk they need to mitigate??
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 02:08
  #2599 (permalink)  
 
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eezeegeebee
Your advocated approach is no doubt right when the actual situation is unclear but when one has sufficient information on which to form a conclusion then it is also legitimate to shall we say 'short circuit' the process and move more rapidly. One also has to note the agenda of the professional associations. Whilst conforming with the letter of the regulations they are in fact trying to protect the reputation of the profession rather than find the answers to the tragedy. This unfortunately is a trait of all professional associations and not just the pilots organisations.
We must also be careful when relying on probability - just because an event has low probability does not mean it won't happen. Too often this corollary is made and I see signs of this in your comments. Taleb is particularly good here. When the professionals who have more information than we do have come to this conclusion we can be pretty sure that they have got it right. This is (as you have noted) a very big thing. For official bodies to stick their necks out to this extent is significant and betokens a level of certainty about the events.
The causes of this disaster are already known even though they may not have been officially announced as such. As more evidence emerges it reinforces the mass murderer explanation and disproves other explanations. The questions asked from now on really need to focus on what can be done to avoid future repeats and if, in fact, anything can be done.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 02:28
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It's perfectly possible that the aircraft had a different code programmed to the one the crew were trying. How often is this tested in your airline?
Before every flight.

What's the time delay after you enter the emergency code?
Mind your own business.

I'm curious about what all this CODE talk is? All doors I'm familiar with have a deadbolt in addition to the electronic lock controlled by the key pad. The mechanical dead bolt on an airliner door works just like the one in your house or flat. Just is about 100 times stronger than the deadbolt on your front door and 10 times stronger than the electronic logon the cockpit door. Once the deadbolt is engaged the door will never be opened in flight with any available tool. You can play with that keypad to the end of time with no effect because the door is locked by a mechanical means.
You are describing the older system. The current system incorporates elements of old and new.

The new door is designed to be bullet proof and (within reason) bomb proof. I wouldn't pin my hopes on an air marshal being able to open the door with a firearm.
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