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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 1st Apr 2015, 08:33
  #2821 (permalink)  
 
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BOEING, your post on medical claims, echoing vapilot and old oberon, puts it succinctly. Medical claims being handled by an outside company...with profit motive. Private insurance for losing your license EXCLUDES mental problems! So no pilot is going to admit having mental problems because it will invalidate his cover.

The insurance companies share the blame. They will not be willing to cover pilots with these problems, until they are REQUIRED to do so by government regulation.

And passengers who want to fly with trustworthy pilots may avoid airlines that do not operate in properly regulated environments. Medical examiners MUST be required to share serious doubt on the fitness of airline pilots. And pilots who are straightforward and truthful about their health must not be punished by insurance companies.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 08:40
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Hi CH
I am surprised how many people appear to think an anonymous "Big Brother" regulation authority would be more suited to judge the flight fitness of a pilot then the people working daily in the vicinity. Is this another try to push all personal responsibility for each and every neighbor away?
I am not saying "Big Brother" regulation is better, just that it is the current way things are done.

I tend to lean towards pushing the fit to fly judgement to a personal accountability of airlines medical departments, as they are much closer to the person as every regulator ever will be
Specifically - what are these "airline medical departments"? I fly for a large airline, and whilst we do have a medical department, it is tiny compared to when I joined, and there is no need for a pilot to go anywhere near them? I suspect most airlines do not have one at all?

Who knows whether this tragedy could have been avoided when medical fit to fly judgement would not have been transferred from airline medical centers to the regulator by EU laws?
I might agree, but as I said, I am not sure if all airlines ever had, and most certainly now do not, an "airline medical centre"?
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 08:45
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Zippert Zappt

Regarding knee-jerk reactions, I read this yesterday in the German newspaper Welt Kompakt.

The German version can be found here.

And here's my translation:

The investigation into the plane crash constantly bring new details to light. The co-pilot was apparently seriously mentally disturbed. His stealth was so great that it must have been obvious. Talk show hosts wonder how many dangerous Pilots are still flying and how they can be recognized. An incomprehensible announcement during the flight is, however, no clue.

Almost all airlines have now introduced the two-person rule. There must always be two people in the cockpit, and one of them should know how to fly the airplane. Also, two stewardesses should be quite able, according to experts, to land the airplane. Whoever can maneuver a crowded trolley safely through narrow isles, probably can also control an aircraft.

The only question is whether two people are really enough. A psychiatrist, a pastor and a doctor should definitely be present in the cockpit, at best, a medical practitioner, a Feng Shui master and a journalist. Add to that a mediator so there are no arguments.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 08:51
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To me, all that is relevant here, is the safety of the travelling public, who are obliged to place their trust in whatever FD crew are flying the plane on that particular day. And assume that the airlines, regulators, or whoever, are doing whatever it takes to ensure that this trust is well placed. That the crew are healthy in every particular, and on top of their game for whatever hazard they might have to face.
If a pilot loses his license for any medical, conduct, mental problem, then so be it. It is a risk they accept when signing up, as is the case in many other professions.
And I doubt that any of the friends and relations of the dead 150 or so would say different.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 09:22
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Whereas the aim is laudable, the issue is how best to achieve it, surely. Creating an environment where people can lose their careers overnight because of the onset of an unexpected condition that may not be dangerous is at best questionable. Obvious problems include:

1) Deterring good, healthy candidates from embarking on the profession in the first place, because they judge the risk of abruptly losing their careers at some future point too high and they can take their talents elsewhere. That has the potential to depress the overall competence of the pilot pool and so increase flight safety risk.

2) Deterring existing pilots who develop mental conditions from reporting them. No-one has to attend a doctor to seek treatment for anything, and a mental condition is frequently very easy to conceal from casual discovery. You don't come out in a rash or acquire a pronounced limp...

Yes, take action by all means, if it is judged necessary after considered, informed, expert attention. Not in response to alarmist headlines whose sole purpose is to sell newspapers, not to improve flight safety.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 09:28
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DespairingTraveller, mostly agreed.
Pilots would need to be completely honest, and airlines would need to offer viable alternative employment in such an event, perhaps.
But my main thrust stands.
The travelling public has a right, (not to mention, pays for), the opinion I expressed.
How the airline, regulator, etc. etc. provides this is for them. And it would appear, they failed badly in this instance.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 09:36
  #2827 (permalink)  
 
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ChissayLuke

Agree with your comments, entirely. But, there is much more to all this than meets the eye of the passenger & general public.
What needs to be done needs to be determined soberly & exhaustively - not as a knee jerk reaction which causes more harm than good.
There are so many parameters to examine before something effective can be done. What has been done, up to now, does qualify as a knee jerk reaction & threatens to be largely ineffective, or even counter-productive.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 09:40
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How the airline, regulator, etc. etc. provides this is for them. And it would appear, they failed badly in this instance.
I have seen nothing to say they did fail badly here? Not saying they did not, but no hard evidence to date.

Pilots would need to be completely honest
There are indications this was the aspect that failed.

There are accounts that the pilot had in the past, "suicidal thoughts/tendencies(?)". I will leave experts to decide if this form is suicide is always a risk, or a particular form? And whether anybody with such thoughts should be permanently barred from flying. Obvious problems with that discussed above.

However, I would add pilots (and Cabin Crew) do commit suicide - no idea of % compared to the rest of the population? However, if any previous history of suicidal thoughts were a bar to a Class 1, then surely every pilot suicide - even well away from work - would merit a high level inquiry as to why they were holding a Class 1?

There's a very big can of worms out there, and I'd rather leave it to the experts to interpret and recommend.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 09:48
  #2829 (permalink)  
 
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Phone video might auto upload

If a phone survived the crash, then it is possible that it uploaded a video file to the cloud. I know lots of people whose partners know their passwords and would be able to retrieve a file.

There probably was no signal on the mountain, however if the searchers did not put any phones in metal boxes, it is possible that they uploaded as soon as they got to civilisation.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 10:06
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Kcockayne - agreed

Nigelondraft- phrases like leaving it to the experts lack relevance to my post; sorry. I expressd a view of what the travelling public might feel entitled to expect. And, I believe, it is hard to argue against this.
Also that 'experts', imho, have a long way to go before they get it right.
Greater scrutiny and openness of both crew and 'expert' is needed.
And genuine accountability. To the travelling public. Who pay.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 10:39
  #2831 (permalink)  
 
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To me, all that is relevant here, is the safety of the travelling public, who are obliged to place their trust in whatever FD crew are flying the plane on that particular day. And assume that the airlines, regulators, or whoever, are doing whatever it takes to ensure that this trust is well placed. That the crew are healthy in every particular, and on top of their game for whatever hazard they might have to face.
If a pilot loses his license for any medical, conduct, mental problem, then so be it. It is a risk they accept when signing up, as is the case in many other professions.
And I doubt that any of the friends and relations of the dead 150 or so would say different.m
Uhm, no.
The travelling public is not obliged to place their trust in anyone.
The travelling public WILLINGLY CHOSE to place their trust in that particular flight. They chose it because it made economic sense to them. I seriously doubt somebody forced the passengers to get on that plane. They could have gone there by another flight, car, train, etc.
And if - as a pilot - I accept the risks of flying as my profession, so should the travelling public. Flying is inherently dangerous, and not every tragedy can be prevented.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 10:57
  #2832 (permalink)  

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Hmm. In the FAA world, if one pilot exits the cockpit while the aircraft is at or above FL250, the remaining pilot must wear the 02 mask. Ref: 14 CFR 121.333(c)(3)

However, I don't think there is a similar regulation in Europe that mandates wearing the O2 mask while cruising at FL380. Maybe someone more familiar with Germanwings ops can comment?
Not sure why you think someone who is about to throw an aircraft into the side of a mountain is going to be concerned with compliance, so kinda irrelevant.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 11:02
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however given MH 370 having this scenario as a possibility it has highlighted it far more than previous incidences and therefore it seems the industry is making all the correct moves to pacify the SLF.
Trouble with introducing MH370 is we do not know what happened?

I think there is a high probability it was human driven i.e. not a technical problem. But was it the Capt? FO? Cabin Crew? Passenger? How did the door assist (or hinder?) the plan?

There is of course the rather unfortunate possibility that the wash-up of Germanwings makes certain conclusions about Mental Health and the Door policy - and a week later the MH370 CVY/FDR are found and completely contradict the conclusions
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 11:31
  #2834 (permalink)  

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The medical regs will be reviewed, with far greater scrutiny of the medical history. Just like epilepsy at any time is a bar, so now will certain mental health issues fall into that category.

Two on the FD at all times will mandatory. A measure of mitigation. The majority were doing this anyway.

Company policies will change so that confidential reporting of colleagues will become far more frequent. Self reporting of significant changes in your private life will be required? Risk assessment by the trick cyclists everytime.

Let the witch hunt begin.........
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 12:00
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Dirtyprop, thanks for your reply.
You epitomise the problem. Especially if you really are a commercial pilot.
Minimilisation of risk, should be the pursuit of all. You seem pretty laissez-faire.

The pax on this flight had no reason to anticipate their death on this particular flight. That you appear to consider such risk acceptable beggars belief.

Last edited by ChissayLuke; 1st Apr 2015 at 12:11.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 12:14
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Isotope, you didn't mention the crowbar he fetched from the back of the aircraft.

Daily Telegraph (UK) today. Video apparently from the back of the aircraft and people not identified.

Last edited by Wader2; 1st Apr 2015 at 12:40.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 12:22
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Yes sick ghouls for whom this tragic event is a form of grim entertainment. Much like the fake CVR recordings. If true I hope that they never make it online. I think those murdered deserve one last bit of dignity. Many of us pilots are against video cameras in the flight deck to avoid our last moments being filmed. In this instance innocent passengers, the ones we are charged with protecting have had their final moments recorded and I for one hope their privacy is protected in the same manner many of us pilots want protected. Nothing can be gained from publishing the video.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 13:24
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Chissayluke

Dirtyprop, thanks for your reply.
You epitomise the problem. Especially if you really are a commercial pilot.
Minimilisation of risk, should be the pursuit of all. You seem pretty laissez-faire.

The pax on this flight had no reason to anticipate their death on this particular flight. That you appear to consider such risk acceptable beggars belief.
A little too hard a response on Dirtyprop

I also support his meaning, maybe not in the same words.

I also agree that Minimilisation of risk should be the pursuit of all.

In my opinion, most passengers don't give a thought to how much risk they live in everyday and do put their trust in others to minimize risk.

This investigation is still in its earliest stages (in spite of the conclusions on this board) and as yet I can not see all the balances of competing risks at play for example medical privacy vs reaction, single pilot vs a locked door etc.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 13:45
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Isotope Toast asked:

"Do we know he flipped the switch from CVR data? "

There's no data on the CVR, just separate audio recordings from each pilot's headset microphone and from a general microphone in the instrument panel.

The operation of that guarded cockpit-door switch might not produce much sound at all, it may be unlikely to be audible at the co-pilot's headset microphone or at the instrument-panel microphone.

I've not read of the CVR recording including the sound of the door-open request or override audio-alerts. Either the investigators felt this was not sufficiently important to include in their briefing or perhaps the sound was inhibited by prior movement of the switch to the "lock" position.

The FDR records data including (I believe) some switch activation relating to flight controls. But, so far as I know from what I have read, it does not include the operation of the cockpit door lock/unlock switch. The FDR memory unit has not yet been found anyway.

It does look like the article you refer to (and quite a few others) is very poor quality as you say.
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Old 1st Apr 2015, 13:49
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Dirtyprop, thanks for your reply.
You epitomise the problem. Especially if you really are a commercial pilot.
Minimilisation of risk, should be the pursuit of all. You seem pretty laissez-faire.

The pax on this flight had no reason to anticipate their death on this particular flight. That you appear to consider such risk acceptable beggars belief.
The risks have already been minimized.
Proof of that is the outstanding safety record of this industry. Also, the pursuit of all airlines is profit. No profit, no airline.
Which is the same pursuit of passengers (saving) when they freely choose how to travel.
No one can anticipate their own death. But like it or not, death is part of life. It can happen to anyone in any possible way. If you really think you can completely eliminate any risk from your life or when you travel (by plane or other means), you're mistaken.
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