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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 30th Mar 2015, 11:53
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Flying Palm Tree

Seems to me that all the FD crew need is a means to override the door locking system whatever the setting on the FD. That's to say a system that makes it impossible for FD crew to be prevented from reentry.
That solution could result in a forced entry by a determined terrorist that know someone has the code. The US will never accept any such solution.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 12:06
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Perhaps not as relevant as it may seem at first glance but on a local news group someone posted a link to this patent...

https://www.google.co.uk/patents/US8...ed=0CCEQ6AEwAA

"Locking and unlocking system for the cockpit door of an aircraft and door with such a system US 8505850 B2"

In the claims...

an accelerometer configured to detect a maintained constant acceleration exceeding a preselected acceleration threshold value that indicates that the aircraft is in a dangerous descent,
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 12:27
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Consensus?

So after 130+ pages of this thread, there would appear to be consensus that no procedural modification would have prevented this tragedy, bar the presence of a third crew member. The only obvious solution would be to enlarge the FD to include a toilet. But even that cannot offer total protection against someone bent on carnage, for reasons already noted.

Conclusion: the statistical risk of a recurrence remains minuscule. Regulating authorities and companies must swallow hard, and not allow paranoia and the frenzy of the moment to force it into inadequately considered responses.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 12:31
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Question Black Box

As a layman I was surprised to read in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the local Newspaper in Munich, that when a plane goes down on land the Flight Recorder does not send out a signal and they say that that's why it is taking so long to find it. Is this true, and if so what is the reason for this? When a plane goes down in Mountains it seems illogical for the Flight Recorder not to signal it's location in hard to reach terrain.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Tom Bangla
Conclusion: the statistical risk of a recurrence remains minuscule. Regulating authorities and companies must swallow hard, and not allow paranoia and the frenzy of the moment to force it into inadequately considered responses.
Indeed. A lot of people are proposing sledgehammers to crack nuts. In statistical terms, death by suicidal pilot is extremely rare and the industry could spend vast sums of money just to slightly lessen the likelihood of an already highly improbable event.

Of all the ideas I’ve heard, putting a member of the Cabin Crew in the cockpit for a few minutes seems the most sensible. Obviously not fool-proof, but their very presence in the cockpit may act as a deterrent, and it would mean two people rather than one are in a position to open the cockpit door if required. No hugely expensive redesigns, no need to employ additional pilots or flight engineers.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:11
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What the authorities are doing is simply asking _all_ airlines to implement a procedure that has already been in widespread use, as long as the locked door, in a large number of airlines all round the world - just not _your_ airline...

Of all the ideas I’ve heard, putting a member of the Cabin Crew in the cockpit for a few minutes seems the most sensible
I think there is now much greater awareness of the rule, and its benefits and risks. However, what is clear is that by "adding" the rule, the purpose of that second person has changed - and not insignificantly

Do we assume the root cause of this accident was a pilot with a mental illness, with/without prescribed drugs being taken, and that if the medical authorities had all been in possession of the full facts, that pilot would not have flying that day?

If we do assume the above, I suggest you read your OM A with respect to the medical standards for pilots and cabin crew, and specifically with regard to this illness and medication, and self-diagnosis.

If your OM A is like ours (which I will not disclose), you might agree that compulsorily adding a CC to the Flt Deck whenever 1 pilot remains, "as a protection against mental illness", might not appear the wisest mitigation

I agree, on the surface what's changed since last week? Awareness I would add, and clear statements as to what and how that added person could do, and the tools they have to achieve it.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:19
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From today's 'Independent':

The 'Rule of Two' (leading article, 28 March) used by some airlines to reduce the chances of an incident such as the Germanwings crash is not without its own dangers. A flight attendant in the flight deck with sinister motives could incapacitate the remaining pilot and take control of the door lock and then the aircraft.

It would be considerably easier for a terrorist organisation to infiltrate an airline crew with a flight attendant rather than with a pilot because pilots' histories are usually known in greater detail to their employers.


Overall, the 'lone pilot' option might be safer than 'pilot + non-pilot'.

Last edited by Discorde; 30th Mar 2015 at 13:31.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:40
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As a layman I was surprised to read in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the local Newspaper in Munich, that when a plane goes down on land the Flight Recorder does not send out a signal and they say that that's why it is taking so long to find it. Is this true, and if so what is the reason for this? When a plane goes down in Mountains it seems illogical for the Flight Recorder not to signal it's location in hard to reach terrain.
Yes, that is true. However, the ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) automatically activates if a certain g load threshold is passed and can be used to locate the wreck. Doesn't help much in this case as the wreck was found very fast, and i suspect it never activated in the first place as it was probably destroyed.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:42
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Overall, the 'lone pilot' option might be safer than 'pilot + non-pilot'.
That is what quite a few on here and elsewhere have said from the beginning.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:54
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Suicidal tendences were known

The German state prosecutor has said the FO was treated some years ago for suicidal tendencies. That was before he obtained his pilots licence (don't know which one)
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 13:57
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That is what quite a few on here and elsewhere have said from the beginning.
Which beginning? Last week with the crash or the decade plus its been happening in other countries?

Your lot seemingly will go kicking and screaming into two person cockpit protocol, just remember it's the norm elsewhere. Stop with the drama already.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:03
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Your lot seemingly will go kicking and screaming into two person cockpit protocol, just remember it's the norm elsewhere. Stop with the drama already.
First of all, no, not kicking and screaming, but we do point out the dangers with that solution. And the norm elsewhere? It certainly wasn't in the USA.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:09
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Originally Posted by Denti
First of all, no, not kicking and screaming, but we do point out the dangers with that solution. And the norm elsewhere? It certainly wasn't in the USA.
I was surprised about this as you, certainly is SOP on all the carriers I have flown on in the US, including UAL, although haven't been on their 787.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:12
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Originally Posted by tmac21
Quote:
3. And, last but not least, no one ever once mentions the 30 second ear piercing alarm triggered by the Captain after entering the emergency code on the door.. I believe it was said at the beginning that nobody had attempted to enter the emergency code?
Originally Posted by webvan
And if the switch has been moved to the "Lock" position then the keypad gets deactivated and therefore the 30 second buzzer that gets triggered when the emergency code is entered would not kick in. The fact that no buzzer was heard likely indicates that the FO toggled to "Lock" as part of his "plan".
Tmac, does that post answer your concern?
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:18
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I've read a few times on this thread that the chance of deliberate pilot crash is 'minuscule' or 'x is a thousand times more likley'.

I don't think that's correct. I count 72 fatal crashes in the past 20 years (let's just use this as an approximate number as my counting was done quickly).

How many deliberate episodes of a pilot or first officer steering an aircraft into terrain have occurred over this time period?

This one, Egyptair 990, silk air, air Maroc and probably a few more (many would add MH370 in here - possible, but I'll reserve my judgement until we have the CVR). I think 7 or 8 is the quoted number of commercial jet flights ending in this manner, even if we accept that a couple may be debatable it's still somewhere in the order of 5% plus of fatal crashes being caused by this aetiology.

Therefore, this is not a black swan event. It's a manifest risk that needs to be considered and ameliorated if we're trying to make air travel safer.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:20
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First of all, no, not kicking and screaming, but we do point out the dangers with that solution. And the norm elsewhere? It certainly wasn't in the USA.
It is in the USA. Mandated post 9/11. Don't let your argument hinge on a press report.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:31
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Originally Posted by Discorde
From today's 'Independent':

The 'Rule of Two' (leading article, 28 March) used by some airlines to reduce the chances of an incident such as the Germanwings crash is not without its own dangers. A flight attendant in the flight deck with sinister motives could incapacitate the remaining pilot and take control of the door lock and then the aircraft.

It would be considerably easier for a terrorist organisation to infiltrate an airline crew with a flight attendant rather than with a pilot because pilots' histories are usually known in greater detail to their employers.


Overall, the 'lone pilot' option might be safer than 'pilot + non-pilot'.
Yeah, sure.
No coffee ever, then.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:49
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Corrective action is not about 100% prevention, it's about mitigation or minimization of effects. For instance, I'll accept flight disruptions, irregularities, but not catastrophic loss of all aboard

I have trouble following arguments that don't include weighing of managed risks.

For starters I would like at least to revisit today's assessment of terrorist risk that was thought to be minimized by a locked door vs requiring a second person (FA) during breaks vs a single man cockpit, etc. etc.

I don't have an answer (opinion) at this point but I sure don't accept most other answers I've read at face value on these pages without more data.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 14:57
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you might agree that compulsorily adding a CC to the Flt Deck whenever 1 pilot remains, "as a protection against mental illness", might not appear the wisest mitigation
The reason for adding the CC is to be able to open the door if for some reason that is necessary. Or to put it another way, so that no single person will ever control the door lock. CC is is not there to evaluate the actions or mental status of the remaining pilot, clearly they are totally unqualified to do that.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 15:09
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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?
It is the prosecutor's job to launch an accusation if he thinks there is some data making this possible ! It is a lawyer's job to argue that this data isn't convincing.
A trial will decide. Saying such a process is ridiculous seems to me... rather strange (I wouldn't like to say ridiculous, because I suppose things are working differently in other countries ; please do not fall in this US tendency saying that "if you don't do things like we do, it means you haven't still found the right way").
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