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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 30th Mar 2015, 21:59
  #2721 (permalink)  
 
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The problem is that the very opening of "proceedings" means that "guilt" of a person or persons is a possibility. In this case all the witnesses to the crash itself are unfortunately no longer with us, and so cannot defend themselves, and meanwhile the tabloid press look to dig up every morsel that might back up the sensational potential outcome, whilst no doubt ignoring any mitigating evidence that might get in the way of a good story. If the co-pilot had survived the accident (let's imagine he's in a coma, one of several survivors) then what chance would he now have of a fair trial? None.

Let's not forget that a single "rogue" pilot is actually about the best outcome for the aircraft manufacturer and the airline in terms of the money each will have to spend to be seen to "correct" the situation. I'm not saying that there is any kind of cover-up here - I have great respect for Lufthansa and the French authorities and in many ways they are doing outstanding work. However, once you start such a cannon ball of a conclusion rolling it is almost impossible to stop it, even if significant doubts later arise.

This is the danger of the early "obvious" conclusion. Presumably the French prosecutor is aware of the implications on future flight safety and the unions' concerns, yet it has chosen to ignore them in favour of getting the "truth" out there after only a few days. Let's hope future lives will not be lost because of the lack of trust and thus lack of honesty engendered in what might be perceived as a "flawed" investigation system that could result in a pilot being a suspect in deliberately causing the injury of his/her passengers because of mental health issues years ago.

The "gains" in eliminating such incredibly rare events may well be swamped by the loss of life resulting from the loss of confidence of pilots in the integrity of the system that thay will be given a fair trial and hence their subsequent lack of co-operation with any investigation ...
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:07
  #2722 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by wings folded View Post
"I suspect the Germanwings aircraft did not have a physical "deadbolt" fitted, so that's another red herring.

Pure supposition on your behalf.
WF, i know about 1997 and 2000 bulit MSNs, that had no deadbolt installed. The security door (with all the other bells and whistles) on those was, I think, retrofitted but a standard Airbus kit. OTOH, the 2005+ machines with with line-fit indeed came with the deadbolt.


The prosecutor in his brief stated that the airframe did not have the override emergency code feature (which I find hard to believe) and was 24 yrs old. Germanwings D-AIPX (Airbus A320 - MSN 147) | Airfleets aviation
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:09
  #2723 (permalink)  
 
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@papershuffler


What is the procedure for issuing them? Are they issued by request of the patient, or is it down to the doctor to suggest?

That depends. Usually a physicians decide wether one is
able to work or not. He judges according the diagnosis he made
and what a patients tells him during his visit.


I.e., if one has a severe flu with fever he will write a sick note without
asking him for that.


But if one shows up just with a cold a patient may ask for this because
one explains him, he/she would need some days off from working because
of having problems at work.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:14
  #2724 (permalink)  
 
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Ollie Onion posts on the Australian Forum, on 28 March, at 20:27 and points out that MOST INSURANCE POLICIES for loss of license and income protection specifically exclude mental illness. He says it asks a lot of a pilot to put his whole livelihood at risk by self reporting.

If this exclusion was removed - say, by regulators, there would not be such a severe penalty for a pilot to recuse his rating voluntarily.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:15
  #2725 (permalink)  
 
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Unlike your "I suspect the Germanwings aircraft did not have a physical "deadbolt" fitted, so that's another red herring.

Pure supposition on your behalf.
No, not pure supposition - based on 20+ years' experience of flying Airbuses around Europe - how about you? It's clear that nobody on here is going to reveal whether the aircraft had this security feature (fair enough - I wouldn't if I knew the answer) but that's the point - we don't even know what security features were fitted and what emergency options were used/available, yet somehow within a few days of the crash it's done and dusted by some on here. There are a lot of options, with multiple airline selectable options, and I'll bet if you asked all of that crew what they were you'd get 6 different answers, as pretty much any European A320 Captain would if you ask that in the security brief when you next go flying. Try it ...
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:19
  #2726 (permalink)  
 
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The problem is that the very opening of "proceedings" means that "guilt" of a person or persons is a possibility. In this case all the witnesses to the crash itself are unfortunately no longer with us, and so cannot defend themselves, and meanwhile the tabloid press look to dig up every morsel that might back up the sensational potential outcome, whilst no doubt ignoring any mitigating evidence that might get in the way of a good story. If the co-pilot had survived the accident (let's imagine he's in a coma, one of several survivors) then what chance would he now have of a fair trial? None.

Let's not forget that a single "rogue" pilot is actually about the best outcome for the aircraft manufacturer and the airline in terms of the money each will have to spend to be seen to "correct" the situation. I'm not saying that there is any kind of cover-up here - I have great respect for Lufthansa and the French authorities and in many ways they are doing outstanding work. However, once you start such a cannon ball of a conclusion rolling it is almost impossible to stop it, even if significant doubts later arise.

This is the danger of the early "obvious" conclusion. Presumably the French prosecutor is aware of the implications on future flight safety and the unions' concerns, yet it has chosen to ignore them in favour of getting the "truth" out there after only a few days. Let's hope future lives will not be lost because of the lack of trust and thus lack of honesty engendered in what might be perceived as a "flawed" investigation system that could result in a pilot being a suspect in deliberately causing the injury of his/her passengers because of mental health issues years ago.

The "gains" in eliminating such incredibly rare events may well be swamped by the loss of life resulting from the loss of confidence of pilots in the integrity of the system that thay will be given a fair trial and hence their subsequent lack of co-operation with any investigation ...
With the greatest of respect, I think you are clutching at straws now.

NO mention of 'mental history' was made when the original story was 'leaked', to my recollection - that followed later. I believe you have that bit @rse-about-face.

The ONLY reason for info to be released so early on is that there is such overwhelming evidence of deliberate action that there is no other plausible explanation - and that evidence has come almost immediately from multiple independent sources.

As soon as this becomes apparent, it ceases to become an 'accident' investigation and becomes a criminal one. Ergo, none of the protections you describe apply, therefore I believe your argument is invalid.

And unlike you, I have absolutely NO faith in the French authorities, nor Airbus - however, I see no conspiracy here, or 'premature' conclusions. The first thing that went through my mind was 'not ANOTHER 'fantastic' Airbus P.O.S flying itself into the ground!' - however, my own prejudices were very quickly put aside as soon as I saw the FR24 data which was completely unlike any of the other incidents. Nor did I buy into the 'hypoxia' theory.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:31
  #2727 (permalink)  
 
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Cows..."I'm a little bemused by the regular references to US cockpits and the strength of their 1500hr rule. That rule isn't exactly something that has been kicking around for too long and, if the jungle [B][I]drums are to be believed, was implemented as a (knee jerk) reaction to the Colgan crash."

1500-hour Pilot Rule Presents Challenges And Opportunities

"The FAA has issued a final rule that raises to 1,500 the minimum flight hours required by first officers for U.S. air carriers flying under Part 121 regulations, up from the current 250 hours. The new rules stem from a Congressional mandate following the 2009 crash of Colgan Air 3407, a Bombardier Q400, in Buffalo, NY. {More at source*}

"Quality of Time Logged"*

"The new regulations, however, do not address the quality of the logged time. Both pilots in the Colgan crash had logged more time than the new minimum; the captain had flown 3,379 hours and the first officer 2,244 hours at the time of the accident. "


*Source:
1,500-hour Pilot Rule Presents Challenges And Opportunities | Business Aviation: Aviation International News

More on Colgan Crash Probe:
NTSB scrutinizes pilots in Colgan Q400 crash probe | Business Aviation: Aviation International News

More on 1500hrs...Brad Tate's unintended...
The Unintended Consequences of the "1500 Hour Rule"
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:48
  #2728 (permalink)  
 
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As soon as this becomes apparent, it ceases to become an 'accident' investigation and becomes a criminal one
Apparent to who? The point you are missing is that it can't be "apparent" until the investigation is complete. If the result is prejudged as "apparent" after only a few days then the whole investigation is potentially flawed as the evidence can be selected to fit the "crime" and evidence that doesn't fit is ignored or given little credibility.

To say that as soon as any crime is suspected means that any accident investigation then goes out of the window is to completely miss the point of protecting pilots from consequences if they "fess up". If you ever get the chance to visit the AAIB down in Farnborough please take it up - perhaps then you will understand the point I'm making.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 22:49
  #2729 (permalink)  
 
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The assumption is that if a crew member (pilot) wishes to suicide and take passengers lives as well, that placing a cabin crew member with the remaining pilot will solve the problem.

What seems to have been overlooked is that the cabin crew member is even more probable to have the same suicidal/homicidal intent. They have been subject to less screening and observation in all respects. You are now placing them behind the remaining pilot and within reach of controls in a locked room.
The problem has merely been moved sideways.

Furthermore, with cabin crew outnumbering pilots by up to 10 to 1 on some aircraft, the probability of a terrorist 'plant' within the cabin crew possibly increases the overall odds that the alone pilot is a safer option.

Last edited by RifRaf3; 30th Mar 2015 at 23:09.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 23:08
  #2730 (permalink)  
 
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Apparent to who?
Apparent to the investigators - hence why they informed the authorities and the information was released. The investigators are far more expert than you or I in this respect. I am inclined to trust them.

The point you are missing is that it can't be "apparent" until the investigation is complete. If the result is prejudged as "apparent" after only a few days then the whole investigation is potentially flawed as the evidence can be selected to fit the "crime" and evidence that doesn't fit is ignored or given little credibility.
What makes you think evidence has been 'selected'? The investigation pretty much IS complete - the CVR, combined with the Mode S ES data, combined with the ADS-B out data, is unfortunately pretty conclusive. What more do you believe a drawn-out and protracted investigation will reveal, or achieve? The very fact that conclusions have been drawn, and released, this early strongly suggests that this 'incident' is very much unlike most others.

There ARE people selecting (or rather ignoring) evidence to fit a preconceived idea - but it doesn't appear to be the BEA or French Authorities....

Imagine, if you will, that this investigation proceeded exactly as you suggest, and somewhere later down the line these same conclusions are reached - the public outcry, and the subsequent damage to our profession, would be catastrophic. 'We', as a community, would be accused of 'sitting on' information that could have immediate, serious safety consequences - at least in the public's mind.

You are also assuming that the investigation can't possibly be complete after only 'a few days' - I disagree. It would appear that in this case they have enough evidence to present a reasonable conclusion, else they would not have done so. Most accidents CANNOT be concluded upon in just 'a few days' - but this is not 'most accidents'.

To say that as soon as any crime is suspected means that any accident investigation then goes out of the window is to completely miss the point of protecting pilots from consequences if they "fess up". If you ever get the chance to visit the AAIB down in Farnborough please take it up - perhaps then you will understand the point I'm making.
What pilot is ever going to 'fess up' to deliberately endangering their aircraft? I see no 'damage' being done to the investigation of genuine accidents here.

We also need to bear in mind the investigators' responsibilities under Annex 13 5.11:

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. (my bold)
...which is EXACTLY what the investigators have done.

I have already visited the AAIB, quite some time ago now - very sobering walking around those hangars - not for the faint hearted.

I guess we won't see eye-to-eye on this, Rushed Approach, but I imagine time will tell.
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Old 30th Mar 2015, 23:15
  #2731 (permalink)  
 
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Lacking basic information on configuration and...

Does anyone have any insight in the actual specific configuration of this plane (not the original "as built" configuration, but the "as is"?).

Acars?
Engines - remote 'monitoring'?
Perhaps even Other air/ground information channels?

The answer to those questions would have a significant impact on a lot of what has been discussed and said till now. Even when installed you would still have to find out if it was working at the time.

From an accident investigation point of view it would be rather damaging if the procureur (I use the word procureur and not the word prosecuter) had based his statements on a rough and initial reading of the CVR only. If the same damage is perceived from a judicial point of view I don't know.

So would like to ask two questions:
A. Can anyone say something about the plane's configuration?
B. Is it acceptable under French judiciairy practice to make statements of what are in aerospace terms still 'not yet synchronized, non-confirmed, rough 'facts'', and if so, why and for what purpose are these statements generally made?



Note1: some papers and posters appear to state that the procureur was pressed by the NYT disclosure... Or later BildamS...
Note2: some papers and posters appear to state that the early publication was required in order to preserve evidence.
I don't understand why and how that would work ... It would help if the answers to A. and B. could also shed some light on these two Notes.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 01:03
  #2732 (permalink)  
 
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RE FDR not recovered, no point of impact, depression, recurrence?

Previous posts note that it is the FDR memory, not the FDR chassis, which remains missing.Just saying.

“No point of impact” is assumed because one has not been published and there is no apparent hole in the ground. Previous posts have described the geography as loose rock that can and does regularly shift down slopes which are all steep; impact would loosen much material and bury debris. Angle of a jangled repose is operant.

Depression, if relevant, is a contributor, not realistically as solitary reason for copilot's assumed actions. Many other significant contributors to irrational actions have so far been listed and it is that list, not individual factors, that matters.

There have been many posts claiming that recurrence of this type of event is miniscule. “With today's unequalled airline safety, 65,000 flights per day...” In one sense it is. But the actual equation is more like the chances of “picking” a winning Lotto or MegaMillions ticket, which is 1 in 259 million where I live. Hit the Lotto jackpot, you get filthy rich, and it only ruins your life. Fly once a year, in a year where there is only one unexplained airliner crash killing all aboard, and your chances of 'success” are 65000 x 365 or 1 in 23,725,000. Twenty three million is a big figure, but millions of Americans (half in fact!) annually spend billions combined to play/pay Lotto in the belief they have a better chance at hitting it big than dying in an airliner crash, even though it is ten times more probable that one will die flying on today's “safest ever” airlines than hitting the jackpot. While not wishing to be macabre, the outcomes are some what different, one requiring new financial management, the other with the airline passenger 'winner' being crushed, mashed, jellied, burned alive, fragmented, drowned, poisoned, or otherwise sliced and diced in new and different ways. Along I might add, with entire families which causes proportionally larger the social ripples of grief, anger and confidence questioning. My point is that the current event is fraught with potential not yet fully argued about. One should never forget the mercurial nature of public opinion.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 01:19
  #2733 (permalink)  
 
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While the FAA rule about 1500 hours is pretty new, the practical aspects of getting hired at a MAJOR US AIRLINE is much more than that.
A college degree, no FAR infractions, ATPMEL, And quite frankly 4000 or 5000 hours is not out of line. Much of that time will be in regional airliners.
German Wings IS a "Regional Airline".
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 01:22
  #2734 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rushed Approach View Post
The point that you seem to be having extreme difficulty in grasping, is that what is "deliberate" cannot be determined until a proper investigation has concluded. Therefore if you want the best flight safety system, the quid pro quo is that you must assume those involved are innocent until proven guilty.

Otherwise you compromise the whole reporting system.
The alt select changed all by itself then?

The captain was banging on the _inside_ of the door asking to be let in?

The French Procureur felt that there was a case to answer. Many of the people on here will agree with him. You obviously don't want their to be a case or criminal investigation until 18 months have passed and all evidence for a criminal investigation has been lost. Think about what you are proposing.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 01:29
  #2735 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rushed Approach View Post
The problem is that the very opening of "proceedings" means that "guilt" of a person or persons is a possibility.
No it doesn't. It is standard procedure with an incident with loss of life. Similar rules pertain in the USA where the FBI will attend a crash site making it a criminal investigation. There is no presumption at the start that any crime has occurred. The probability of a crime only gets raised when evidence exists to support that assumption.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 01:33
  #2736 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Denti View Post
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.
Denti, In the US, has been airline SOP, following FAA guidelines since Phase I post 9/11 cockpit door improvements, that there be two crew on the flight deck at all times. United Airlines, for reasons only known to them, waived that policy for "certain aircraft" according to that news story you linked from the WSJ.

Originally Posted by Diesel8 View Post
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.


EDIT: I should add the guidelines and policies regarding two-crew cockpits were in place to assist in identifying the person on the other side of the door as "authorized", the opening of the door itself (this Phase I SOP was in place before automated magnetic locks and video cameras were fitted), and in cases of pilot incapacitation. The idea of a single pilot suicide was not part of the thinking at the time.

Another admittance of mine: I know here in the States, security and hyperbolic reaction is commonplace and much of what is done here is often after the fact and over the top. In this case, I believe the regulators and airline operation authors were well-founded in their recommended procedures.

While I am on this tack... The US also has some of the strictest regulation and policies in place (far from the most humane and practical to be sure) regarding mental illness and substance abuse among pilots holding ATPLs - that, however, would be another conversation - perhaps the one we should be having.

Last edited by vapilot2004; 31st Mar 2015 at 02:07.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 02:10
  #2737 (permalink)  
 
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This is important to know, because whole investigation is based on scenario with captain locked out of FD.
Because this is what happened. There is recorded conversation between pilots discussing that captain is about to leave the cockpit, captain admitting he should have gone to the bathroom before the flight, FO eager to take over flying duties, there is even a sound of clicks when captain's chair is sliding, click of the door being open/shut, etc. You are way behind the news.

Last edited by olasek; 31st Mar 2015 at 02:23.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 02:35
  #2738 (permalink)  
 
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Mandatory reporting

My understanding in most mass killing events or attempts there has invariably been a trail that is later unearthed where every body joins the dots and says we all knew he (never a she) was going to do it.

This man is no different in my view, there is plenty in his history that should have rung alarm bells. With each day more of that history is coming to light this should have been disseminated

The so called sick notes in his apartment are just a small part of it, but addressed to to the wrong person.

Mandatory reporting is not uncommon, for example in Australia it is mandatory for selected classes of people involved with children to report signs of abuse. In previous posts the Swedish model has been well outlined in relation to aviation

I appreciate that this is not a popular suggestion but it has to be faced.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 02:55
  #2739 (permalink)  
 
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Therefore if you want the best flight safety system, the quid pro quo is that you must assume those involved are innocent until proven guilty.
This attitude, while pretty common in today's ultra liberal, ultra PC world, is simply wrong and shows a lack of understand of what justice is.

Yes, when a defendant enters a court of law, the "LAW" must treat him with a presumption of innocence and, generally speaking, it is the state which must prove him guilty to some degree of certainty. The defendant need not prove his innocence since it is assumed.

But that's about where the presumption of innocence ends, at the courthouse door.

For example, before the sheriff comes to arrest me, I want him to be darn sure that I'm guilty. Not only the Sheriff, but also the D.A., and everyone else who has looked at the situation. I sure don't want to be cuffed and led away because some sheriff thinks I'm innocent.

And, on a forum such as this one, anyone can decide that the person in question is innocent or, if they wish, they may look at the facts, rumors, news stories, and assorted BS and decide that the guy is guilty as sin.

Furthermore, in a place which is supposed to support a free exchange of ideas, you may argue the other side but there is no righteousness in prohibiting a determination of guilt before any trial takes place. In that respect, a forum poster is no different from the D.A. and Sheriff.

Feel free to disagree but you have no right to say someone "must assume those involved are innocent until proven guilty". Doing so exhibits an ignorance of what is just and what is reasonable in a civilized society.

Last edited by Mozella; 31st Mar 2015 at 09:34.
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Old 31st Mar 2015, 03:04
  #2740 (permalink)  
 
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My understanding in most mass killing events or attempts there has invariably been a trail that is later unearthed where every body joins the dots and says we all knew he (never a she) was going to do it.

For every person that has left a trail like this guy did, there are a million who have left a more troubling trail and never hurt a flea.

People always say they had a feeling or blah blah blah after the fact. He was weird. He was a nice guy but there was something about him.
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