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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 2nd Apr 2015, 06:46
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
Hi Dieseal8I am giving, I admit, a rather extreme example. But it does get to the basis of the issue.

So if my example is invalid, maybe you can give the most extreme scenario where the CC could be trained in when and how to intervene and countermand the actions of the (acting) aircraft Commander?
Reading the backlog so not sure if this is already answered. My answer is that CC is not there for that purpose so needs no training whatsoever. Simply there to open the door for returning crew.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 06:48
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Reading the backlog so not sure if this is already answered. My answer is that CC is not there for that purpose so needs no training whatsoever. Simply there to open the door for returning crew.
We didn't need them for that the last 13 years. So they have to be there for another reason.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 06:52
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK
The argument isn't that it won't prevent a repeat, but that the two-person rule may have other potential, unintended consequences.

There's nothing "simple" about it.
"Sole control" and "Not sole control" is indeed very simple. It is binary.

What are the unintended consequences of simply requiring a temporary FA/CC substitute for an absent captain (or FO)? Of course there is potential for intrusion every time the cockpit door is opened but that was going to happen anyway, so no change.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 07:04
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Originally Posted by cactusbusdrvr
VAPilot, you are on the right track. What is needed in This industry is what we had at America West - a long term disability program that allowed pilots with a medical issue to have the time off to get themselves taken care of without losing their place on the seniority list or suffering a total loss of income.

We had pilots with a wide variety of issues from substance abuse to heart conditions able to go out on medical leave at 60% of their income. Long term disability kicked in 3 months after the initial short term period. There was no sick leave used in the process, if you had a condition that kept you out longer than 3 months you were placed in the program. Some guys never did get their medical back, they were able to stay on disability until social security retirement age. It was an industry leading benefit, one we fought hard to retain. I know for a fact that guys that may have hid an issue were proactive in getting help becaiuse of this program. I worked on the Aeromedical committee for ALPA when we had that union on the property.

Unfortunately we have lost that benefit in the merger with American. I personally think that this is short sighted on the part of the present union, APA, and the company. Guys that don't have sick bank, which is about 40 percent of the combined pilot group, will not have the money coming in if they have a significant issue. That is disincentive to getting help. We should encourage proactive health fitness, not hinder it.

We self certify our fitness to fly every leg, it's an ACARS entry we make before each flight. The burden is on the pilot to be honest and truthful. The system cannot operate any other way, it is too burdensome to check every pilot every leg. And it would be stupid to do so. This is not a common problem. 99.9 % of us just do our jobs safely and quietly every day. We have a bigger threat from weather and fatigue than we do from mental instability.
All very interesting Cactus and I agree with your thinking. What a great outfit America West must have been. You and your group were incredibly wise to fight for pilot benefit packages and policies that were humane and sane - particularly in light of what's happened here. This is exactly the kind of progressive thinking that is needed today and I see it as the only sensible way forward.

If we're lucky, at the next board meetings of the US majors, there will be news from the boys in accounting of a cost-benefit study favoring such a plan. It may take some regulatory prodding to fully get there, but once they factor in the costs of what the Germanwings FO had (allegedly) incurred upon the parent, Lufthansa, there should be plenty of black ink to convince the board of the *cough* 'right way' forward.

It would be ironic if AMR Corp, now American Airlines Group, led the way domestically. I believe we all know which airline should be out in front in Europe on this.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 08:12
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ow significant is the risk (likelihood of occurrence times how bad it is when it occurs)
How effective is any given mitigation strategy at reducing the risk?
How much does the mitigation strategy cost? Not only in raw dollars, but also in terms of other risks it introduces?
There are basically two types of risk

Demonstrated Risk / This is where accidents or incidences are occurring and that safety hole needs to be plugged

Perceived Risk / where there is as yet or insignificant demonstrated risk but where the authorities feel there could be a threat.

Perceived risk was shown in the Volcanic ash eruption.No aircraft had ever been brought down by ash in the history of aviation although a few were close but huge chunks of airspace were closed with inaccurate ash flow charts

Bird strikes had demonstrated risk but large chunks of airspace were not closed in the migration season.

in this case there is an element of both demonstrated on the fact that this tragic crash has happened but also perceived as the general public in the same way they did in the ash drama need reassurance! In this case that a mad pilot isn't in the front of their aircraft alone free to do his worst

for me the biggest issue in this dreadful crash was the door that door system has now been shown to be a demonstrated risk but in the opposite way that it was intended and the the reason it was originally fitted that way! as with all demonstrated risk that risk needs to be reduced so no ability to lock a flight crew member out of the flight deck! how you do that ??

No one has mentioned how that poor Captain must have felt realising that he had been duped, what was going on and the fact that he could do nothing about it because a locked door stood between him and saving the aircraft and its passengers

Last edited by Pace; 2nd Apr 2015 at 10:45.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 08:18
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I do not understand the confusion about the door discussion.

Rationally, the situation is very simple: there is a high degree of (anti)symmetry between 911 and this case. It also does not make sense to look at death counts:in a Bayesian sense the posterior probabilities for this case are at least the same and probably worse. This guy could have flown into a sky scraper if he would have chosen to do so, just as many non-911 hijackers chose not to. One can even argue that a professional pilot will be far more effective at killing given that the person up front, pilot or hijacker, chooses to. The 911 event was peculiar in a sense that the hijackers actually were (partially trained) pilots with some (quite a bit actually) effectiveness in crashing the plane. Surely one of them at that time could, in principle, have made it into the cockpit professionally but with with evil intent.

Given this symmetry, the question then becomes one of anterior probability: what is the likelyhood of a hijacking vs the likelyhood of pilot mass murder, given that the latter may have an even worse outcome. This is measured purely on a 'number of events' basis. I think that the easy way out that many propose, stating that one is negligible with respect to the other, has no basis in reality. Therefore 'door mechanics' is an important part of this problem and the system does need modification.

The 'CC on FD' can help in certain cases but it also opens a whole new set of issues that should be properly evaluated before a good system can be designed.

The solution to this issue should be one of carefully weighing 'knowns' without introducing adverse 'unknowns'. A rush to judgement will turn out to be counterproductive.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 08:49
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Right wing?

Hi Ana, where did the right wing impact rumour originate please? Has a heart attack or seizure been ruled out as possible explanation for the disaster? Seizures often include involuntary movements and extreme confusion.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 08:52
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Isn't there an argument that in this case, The FO commited suicide he didn't actually murder the PAX. His actions may have led to the death of 150 people but he would have disassociated himself from that.

After all he waited until the captain was out of the FD. He didn't grab the AXE and kill him personally.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 09:16
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sn't there an argument that in this case, The FO commited suicide he didn't actually murder the PAX. His actions may have led to the death of 150 people but he would have disassociated himself from that.

After all he waited until the captain was out of the FD. He didn't grab the AXE and kill him personally.
If the voice recordings are accurate and the girlfriend statements too this would appear to be a pre meditated murder, thought out and coldly planned awaiting the right time which would mean also thought out over the loss of life his actions would cause.
very different to an on the spur of the moment action by an individual flipping and not considering the outcome on others in his care
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 09:44
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GXER

The decision to impose a "2 in the cockpit at all times" policy is, though understandable, a thoroughly "knee jerk" reaction by authorities etc. who "have to be seen doing something" - no matter that it only complicates the situation & does not, necessarily , do anything to increase cockpit security.
It is, for the reason that it does not guarantee anything effective to avoid or overcome the problem, & for the fact that it was hastily (& unthinkingly) set up," Kneejerk".
It is unthinking because 1) it introduces another person to the cockpit (who might, in fact, be the perpetrator of this kind of action), 2)that person may be physically unable to overcome the remaining pilot, 3) that person is totally unqualified to recognise a problem caused by the remaining pilot's actions 4) &, unable to take corrective action, 5) make matters worse, 6) far from your simple explanation of being able to open the door for the returning pilot- be totally incapable of doing even that.
Indeed, I should imagine that such a person's presence & influence would be limited to a very slight deterrent to a pilot with such intent.
What do you really expect a lady stewardess, or a weakly built steward, or a lady pilot to physically be able to do to stop a more powerful (& technically capable) pilot from doing what he is suicidally bent on doing !?
The only way a third person in the cockpit would be reliably capable of stopping such actions would be if HE was a type rated, physically superior, pilot ( & then preferably if there were 2 of them - one to overcome the "suicidal pilot" & the other to correct his actions & fly the a/c).
Otherwise, forget it !
These sort of problems need calm, careful, reflective & exhaustive examination & problem solving to overcome. The whole history of the reaction to this terrible disaster & the piecemeal release of information by the investigators have complicated the very investigation that is taking place. It may even have jeopardised an eventual objective outcome ! (By releasing facts & info. ehich should not be in the public domain.
Certainly, I prefer the DLH Chief Executive's more measured approach & reaction - even if he may have appeared a little insensitive at times !
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 10:08
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the ONLY reason (repeat ONLY) for the presence of a 'replacement' person during any brief absence by one of the two pilots would be to over-ride the authority of the pilot-in-command at the time regarding door operation.

Is that what all these folk intend? Making a member of cabin crew 'Captain' seems a strange, illogical solution.
Not least because it requires that CC member to make a quick, accurate, on-the-fly diagnosis of the difference between a calm co-pilot intent on crashing the aircraft while the captain hammers on the door overcome by desperation (GermanWings, apparently) and a calm co-pilot intent on saving the aircraft while the captain hammers on the door overcome by delusion (JetBlue, as I understand).

How? Why would someone with those skills be CC, not printing money in Harley Street?
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 10:36
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What if there had been a cabin crew in with Lubitz and he told her the captain was being weird and not to let him back in....
Interesting point! He then tells her/him that he's going to divert and commences a descent. By the time she/he realises what is really happening it's too late!
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 10:43
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@BOING

We can question that logic but to the designers of the system it probably seemed eminently sensible.
Of course the assumption on which that logic was totally based, now shown to be incorrect, is that "hijackers" always start out outside the door. Obvious in retrospect (and not impossible to imagine prospectively) is that mental illness, post-hypnotic suggestion, the deception of a sleeper, and other such non-physical (mental) methods of incursion are impervious to a physical lockout.

That realization is also why the 2-person rule is at best a half-measure of address -- once a mental danger enters the cockpit by any means, all bets are off.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:14
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More idiotic responses

Unless we all get together, pilots, crew, unions, and passengers, our rights will be only a faint twinkle of the freedom they once held.

Now the German Interior Minister wants to require passports of all passengers flying in the Schengen Zone. Of course. Because this has absolutely nothing to do with the Germanwings flight. I'm sure if we put small cages over the seats and only allow people to move about when connected to a random stranger, the skies will be safe once again.

*Facepalm*



Nach Germanwings-Unglück - De Maizière erwägt Ausweispflicht bei Schengen-Flügen - Politik - Süddeutsche.de
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:29
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Having read most of the posts on here over the last few days, I cant remember seeing anywhere an idea which, although another knee-jerk reaction, just may be useful in the future.

At the moment, in the UK for example, I can go to my GP and be deemed quite unwell and be signed off from work. Now, if I don't tell my employer, and have a valid, recent Class 1 medical, then I can continue to fly as long as I am able to do so (valid class 1 medical) until either I die, or i'm caught out somehow.
Now I may be able to pass the Class 1 medical because they arent necessarily looking for things which may not flag up on the Class 1. So, as professioanl pilots, why cant we have something akin to taxing a car in the UK. To tax your car you need to have valid insurance and a valid MOT (roadworthy condition report). Without them you cant get the road tax.
So, why not have a stipulation added. Say at a cost of approximately £20 per letter, whereby a professional pilot has to go to his GP and request a letter stating that for the previous 12 months he has had no visits to the doctors for what could be a set of issues ie mental/serious physical. This letter can be emailed by the gp, using the pilot ref number, to the CAA medical branch and entered onto the file of the pilot in question.
Then when going to have the Class 1 medical, (nowadays the AME has access to the CAA information) they can issue that Class 1 medical after checking the letter is all satisfactory and there have been no issues which may preclude you from being deemed fit enough to fly.
If it transpires that there may be something which needs further clarification, then the Class 1 could be witheld for say 14 days until the facts are found or if it warrants further investigation.


I know it isnt a fix for the issue if someone really wants to take out an airliner, but as a professional pilot, i'd quite happily sign up to this, I have nothing to hide, and it just adds another layer of assurance to the system at minimal cost.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:37
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Another poster saw no difference between this flight crew member and a terrorist
in many ways he is correct, both through their actions one a badly disturbed mind the other radical religious beliefs have carried out evil deeds with similar consequences.
The door designed and placed there to protect the flight crew from intrusion by a terrorist has worked in the opposite direction by allowing a flight crew (terrorist) to refuse entry to the Captain who could have saved this situation had it not been for the door.
There was probably little perceived threat that the terrorist would be within and the door systems were designed around the fact that the terrorist would be outside the flight deck in the cabin.
This act has highlighted a demonstrated threat and as with all demonstrated threat the authorities have to minimise that risk.
that demonstrated threat has shown that terrorism can and has worked both ways so the system has to be redesigned to take into account a threat from both directions and this is probably the biggest lesson to learn from this awful crash not so much the nature of the terrorist whether radical religious or disturbed flight crew. We are talking about the same thing! A terrorist on an aircraft.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:40
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Another Hypothesis

I was just remembering that the Captain of AirAsia 8501 had deactivated the flight computer before crashing, possible as a response to AF 447 where the interaction of pilot and computer made the aircraft difficult to comprehend.

Perhaps Lubitz is responding to MH 370 (theory of high altitude decompression), by putting the oxygen mask on after something happened up there. And then it all went wrong.

Is there confirmation that Lubitz is actively locking the door with the switch every time there is an entry code? Or is there no such confirmation?

With all the high visibility reporting and hypothesising of these events, perhaps pilots are trying to learn and respond differently.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:43
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So, why not have a stipulation added. Say at a cost of approximately £20 per letter, whereby a professional pilot has to go to his GP and request a letter stating that for the previous 12 months he has had no visits to the doctors for what could be a set of issues ie mental/serious physical. This letter can be emailed by the gp, using the pilot ref number, to the CAA medical branch and entered onto the file of the pilot in question.
But the pilot will just go private (as used to happen in, say, the military) for "concerns" he wishes to keep off the radar?
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 11:43
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I have been watching the hamster wheel for the last few pages, only Pace seems to have alluded to the one thing that really matters and that is 'Perception' by the SLF that pay the airline's operating costs including front and rear crew wages.

Whether the aviation industry likes it or not ( and "not" seems to be the flavor here) the traveling public is starting to mistrust the industry. It is unfair but TSA and security worldwide is lumped into 'the industry' too. Now they have seen that one of the skygods has feet of clay and has apparently killed a planeful of people around the 1st anniversary of MH370 which seems to be a similar event. They are scared by all this whether you think that is unreasonable or not and you can quote statistics and Bayesian priors at them as much as you like they will just become more scared.

Something else that is with that feeling of unease is a creeping loss of trust in the flight crew. Repeated arguments against video recording or streaming recording data (regardless of the merits of the arguments as this is perception) add to the loss of trust. This is the same illogical loss of trust that some people here are exhibiting against flight attendants in the cockpit who also make your coffee and bring you water which you happily drink.

The problem with trust is you cannot 'take someone's trust' they have to give trust to you. Once the industry loses the trust of the public it will be extremely difficult to get it back. So some of the positions taken here such as only 6 aircraft have crashed killing pax in the last few years because of pilot action this is a minute number compared to the number of flights - are unassailable logically but do not regain trust because the passengers are thinking about sitting in a seat knowing they are going to die in the next few seconds and being unable to do anything about it. They put this in the group of hazards that may be very low risk but which are totally unacceptable. As alluded to further up-thread, the GW event also means that had he wanted to he could have flown on and chosen a town to crash into - so the locked door actually allows another 9/11.

The point of this post is that glib - its the SLF/management/politicians/regulators not understanding or making knee jerk reactions and it's not a problem ... miss the point entirely. I think that this crash is going to have a big effect on the industry. So, it is essential that sensible decisions are made but the professionals will not be there to help that decision making process if they abstain from it because they don't realize how far reaching it could be and that they cannot stop that decision process happening that will affect everyone in aviation especially front and rear crew.

I think that Lubitz was right when he said his actions will change aviation. Think about perception and trust and be there to make sure the changes are sensible from that viewpoint too.
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Old 2nd Apr 2015, 12:00
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one thing that really matters and that is 'Perception
It's not just an air travel thing, the internet has changed everything. Society goes from scandal to scandal. And there are many alternative views of events; for instance a cargo of highly flammable Lithium Batteries on MH 370.

Recently even mainstream media have been gently probing the flight computers of Airbus. It is important for Airbus to wrap up any crash investigations quickly before the media's interest snowballs.
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