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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 3rd Apr 2015, 13:42
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kcockayne

What the industry has traditionally done is to analyse events and figure out the best way to deal with them - and I am sure this will be no exception as I am sure the travelling public will be looking at who implements the best solution.

Short term I believe that there will need to be another person in the flight deck when a break is required. The build of the individuals concerned is just part of the discussion. In this case the FO was hardly a hulk and whereas CC tend to be more on the lithe side than the Amazonian, I wouldn't discount the abilities of anyone, however slight, to get the door open again if the alternative was certain death.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 13:47
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So we have initial FDR reports stating that there were deliberately entered speed changes (seems he wanted to ensure no survivors).

That should be that, no more he could have been unconscious, frozen with fear etc etc. It was deliberate.

Ah but I read, it could have been system inputs because they have not told us which method he used to make these speed changes, aand do they actually know themselves.

I fully believe if they did not have conclusive proof these were pilot driven changes they would not have siad so.

Time to accept the inevitable If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, IT'S A DUCK!

Cabin crew on FD:-

RE CC on FD, since 9/11 how many attempted incidents have there been on aircraft using CC on FD utilise the CC, to my knowledge ZERO, how many incidents on those not using it which may have been prevented, one maybe two (MH370), and yes I accept there was incident with both pilots on the FD.

Most terrorist organisations are not stupid they know which airlines use CC on FD, but do not appear to have used it as an aid to terrorism, on the other hand neither has there been a big terrorist incident on those airlines not using CC on FD. Conclusion is something else is deterring this avenue for terrorist groups.

Is this why they tried shoe bombers, underpants bombers, mix your own inflight bombers, and various bomb plots on freighters, clearly the total "ground side" is much much better, yes we have to win everytime they only have to win once in a while.

Hence the CC on flight deck to allow entry is an extra (but not ultimate) protection against crew lock out.

Last edited by oldoberon; 3rd Apr 2015 at 14:06.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 13:58
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The article I read stated he was adjusting speed to prevent overspeed alarms from sounding. I suppose that means he was dialing down airspeed, progressively, to keep the AP from pitching up automatically during overspeed?
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:03
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PS I assume you do know the rules (or lack of) re CC operating with depression / mental illness / associated drugs, their medical checks (nil) etc.?
Nigel I am a corporate jet pilot so I know the rules re flight crew but not CC
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:13
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Remove that door....

Remove that door and we are back with safety,and we have the original emergancy exit door, into the flightdeck from the cabin vv. and let the airports take care of security, The door today is a security gadget, and it dos not belong on the aircraft, and it is killing our pax and it will keep on doing this until it is removed.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:21
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MD80 Fanatic

The article I read stated he was adjusting speed to prevent overspeed alarms from sounding.
Incorrect. the BEA site states that "à plusieurs reprises au cours de la descente, le pilote a modifié le réglage du pilote automatique pour augmenter la vitesse..." in English "several times during the descent the pilot adjusted the automatic pilot to increase the speed..." (emphasis added).

Last edited by marie paire; 3rd Apr 2015 at 14:36. Reason: Emphasis
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:45
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Quote:
Lufthansa states that only around 2% of those that pass the whole selection process fail during flight training and have to be let go. Those figures seem to be consistent for the last 30 or 40 years. There is something about that statistic I really do not like. It might tell us how good the selection filter is, but it might also be telling us how doggedly they hold to their initial, possibly incorrect, assessments. That nothing has changed over the last 30-40 years I also find quite troubling.


Troubling indeed. 2% fallout compared to what? LFT MPL training has a fallout rate of more then 50%.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:50
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
Please confirm that you would "empower" the CC in this scenario to override the specific verbal instructions of the Captain?

It almost certainly would have, but then it would not have been planned in this way. You cannot look at one accident in isolation - you need to design a "system" to provide the minimum overall risk.

"Mentally ill pilot crashes aircraft and kills all on board". How best to address? Prevent the situation in the 1st place, or accept it as fact, and devise solutions that not only allow the mentally ill pilot to still achieve their aims, but opens up a whole range of new hazards.

PS I assume you do know the rules (or lack of) re CC operating with depression / mental illness / associated drugs, their medical checks (nil) etc.?
No, I don't know the medical rules re CC, nor would "I" empower CC to do anything. I am "just" a passenger. Frequently, but still, "just a passenger".

However, I do feel qualified to comment on such basic things, because my life (and yours) depends on getting it right. Clearly, the system that was in play at LH prior to this event did not prevent the incident, and therefore, LH had not got it right.

Alternatively, if it is ultimately deemed that LH did have it right on the basis that other approaches were "more wrong", then we must all live with the fact that we are now in an era when "suicide bombers" can be among the pilot cadre in European flag carriers.

As I am sure you're aware, in the US there are arrangements with FAs entering the FD when one pilot needs to pee/whatever (assuming no relief pilot). Whatever the protocol is that they use, might be a good starting point. It seems to work. But then so did single-pilot in LH until recently.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 14:56
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What I find remarkable about the whole event is that it was such a rough and surprising awakening for the aviation community in the Western spheres. There had been numerous pilot suicides/homicides using aircraft in other parts of the world before:

ASN News » List of aircraft accidents caused by pilot suicide

The industry, including the regulators, had completely ignored this risk and put their blinds on.

While at the present level of technology nothing will stop a fully determined flight crew member at the controls from inducing a catastrophic event, all measures must be taken to prevent anyone who has or over time develops such a state of mind of ever being there.

That people with actual mental problems have been there, and do get there, points to a huge cultural and systematic failure of the industry.

There are no easy solutions, and the good ones will cost money; but companies have to assume full responsibility for who they hire and place at the controls of their aircraft, for every flight.

The financial consequences for a company's failure to KNOW beyond doubt who they can trust with responsibility on any flight must be so crippling that companies are forced to either develop deep cultures of care, or disappear; respectively never be allowed to operate.

Such cultures must care for the development and wellbeing of their flight crews, including providing the means to help where necessary and safety nets in case problems cannot be rectified.

It goes without saying that cultures built on financial exploitation of pilots such as P2F or zero hours contracts, competing in a race to the bottom, must not have a future.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 15:36
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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Pace

In addition to your comment, Lubitz did some research online about the cockpit door mechanism. He intentionally planned his action and as you said, he was just waiting for the right moment.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 15:54
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At least in the US, all the airlines will do is add a box for each crewmember to tick on the flight release form confirming that they are fit to fly.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 16:09
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Sand

Kerosene (just a few posts above this one) relates how the industry, seen as a worldwide entity or unit, has just now, with this tragic crash, pulled its head, ostrich-like, out of the sand. Indeed, the worldwide industry ostensibly lives under the banner of "Uniting Aviation" (literally, these hang inside ICAO world headquarters) - but why then does the industry appear to accept that so many States are only 60 percent compliant with safety standards, and many others not even that proficient?

1. What if access to the FD is restricted to a senior-level FA, someone trained and steeped in the safety culture of aviation? (Yeah, I get it, that such a senior-level person is not always present in CC, but that's like observing the world's .600 batting average on safety.) And give the FA the civil aviation equivalent to ROEs - Rules of Engagement. The experts can write them, but the general idea is to authorize what the FA can do relative to opening the door, and what not do. No crystal ball is 1000 percent transparent, but that is no reason not to try to address what is known and what can be anticipated.

2. Some cabin attendants already have the training and capacity - on some carriers at the least - to subdue unruly pax. This means the air carriers and regulators have found them - those who have such training and actually apply the plastic restraints in an incident - capable of abiding by the standards of aviation security and safety.

Under no circumstances, allow a recently-hired, relatively untrained, FA into the FD, given the availability of significantly more experienced, more trained, and hence more trusty and reliable, flight attendants.

3. Accelerate the Sky Marshall program and proliferate it widely. If you don't like FAs on the flight deck, and you are willing to have a Sky Marshall at all, then replace the FA with a trained aviation security and safety professional. (Plus ROEs, sure.)

4. Over time, and it will be a pretty long time surely, move certification standards so that having a lav inside the cockpit door becomes standard. And work in a 3rd crewmember - isn't it true that being seated on the FD was thought to be a great training exercise for ATCOs back in the days of the "fam" flight (familiarization)? - so, for the junior-cadre FOs who didn't learn to fly in the military or otherwise in a fully professional environment, would not such flights yield valuable training inputs?


Finally, unless and until the industry undergoes a financial, operational, and most of all, managerial-attitudes renaissance, humane and more pragmatic approaches to aviators with psychological concerns in their individual lives is about as likely as, well, as a return to those mythic days of Capt. Vern DeMerest aboard The Golden Argosy to Rome (apologies to Arthur Hailey, author of Airport).
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 16:21
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Clud B ; Good points. My interest is in Selection & Training and at risk of being flamed for not reading the multitude of posts, may I ask if the Lufthansa Acadamy is the same as was set up in the 60's ? Highly selected young men & women were selected and trained and PAID FOR in order to join the sponsoring Airline, or, has the Acadamy developed into the commercial world where so called "Cadets", in fact, pay for their own training & not, therefore, subjected to the rigorous criteria of the past ?

Please don't tell me that cadets, having secured money loans enjoy the future of having the loans extinguished by the sponsor after succeful training is remotely comparable with the Cadet schemes of the 60's like BOAC/BEA (Hamble), BUA (Perth), BKS/Cambrian (Oxford & Perth) etc.

Claims that this troubled mass murderer was subjected to a selection procedure with only 1% passing (Germanwings) and as a ,so called, "Lufthansa Cadet" was party to only 2% failing the course is leaving me unimpressed.

I repeat, for the glory days of the '60's where airlines selected and paid for the training of cadets, this guy would not have succeeded in phase one of, at least, a six phase selection procedure.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 17:13
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Let's just clear things up. If you pull 'open descent' above crossover, the aircraft will maintain the Mach number say 0.77. At around crossover or when the Mach/button is pressed, it will change to CAS at the current selected Mach/CAS. As you descend, the overspeed protection and indication will move from MMO to VMO...and gradually move up the CAS scale towards its stated VMO.

Assuming that an individual wants to expedite descent, or 'kinetic energy', in open descent it would require the selected speed to wound up towards VMO. I.e. A speed change
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 17:33
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I have no incontestable solution to this difficulty but I do not believe that having CC or 'Sky Marshall' on the flight deck when one pilot leaves is enhancing safety.
You are replacing one potential problem with another.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 17:49
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@Kerosene

That people with actual mental problems have been there, and do get there, points to a huge cultural and systematic failure of the industry.

There are no easy solutions, and the good ones will cost money; but companies have to assume full responsibility for who they hire and place at the controls of their aircraft, for every flight.

Such cultures must care for the development and wellbeing of their flight crews, including providing the means to help where necessary and safety nets in case problems cannot be rectified.

It goes without saying that cultures built on financial exploitation of pilots such as P2F or zero hours contracts, competing in a race to the bottom, must not have a future.
Spot on. There will have to be a much greater focus on regular checking of mental health. This will come at a financial cost to pax and a cost of greater intrusiveness into the 'private lives' of crew, but it needs to be done.

We also need to 'normalise' poor mental health in our culture. Depression is a default human reaction to trauma (e.g. bereavement, relationship breakdown, suffering a life-threatening event) and millions of us will suffer it, although the overwhelming majority of us recover. It's very common and not a reflection on the individual. Employers need to put in place care and reassurance programs to deal with it. An employee ringing in with a sick note with a diagnosis of depression shouldn't feel more scared or ashamed than one ringing in with a sick note for flu.

(I would just add that IMHO this pilot was psychotic, not depressed.)
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 17:52
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"""Think everyone forgets the aircraft hijacked on 9/11 operated with locked cockpit doors. """

I think you forget that the procedure back then was to allow a hijacker access to the cockpit if demanded. The doors and locks were a joke back then also. A simple shoulder shove and the door was open.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 17:56
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WillowRun 6-3's idea:
Accelerate the Sky Marshall program and proliferate it widely. If you don't like FAs on the flight deck, and you are willing to have a Sky Marshall at all, then replace the FA with a trained aviation security and safety professional.
perfectly demonstrates the problem that some appear to have difficulty grasping: that there is NO ideal solution to dealing with the problem the world finds itself suddenly having to react to, namely a rogue pilot.

Just one of these knee-jerk reactions with massive potential unintended consequences is to promote the Sky Marshall to the role of Sky God, as they are "...a trained aviation security and safety professional".

But wasn't the pilot exactly that, until last week? (S)he was highly trained, both in aviation and was good at security too, as (s)he'd demonstrated good use of the impenetrable FD door to keep only the rogues out .... until last week.

So who exactly is this Sky Marshall, this trained aviation security and safety professional armed with a lethal weapon, so cool and un-flappable that they could almost be mistaken for a pilot......? Did you know that:

- he had previously flunked flight school but forgot to let this be known?

- he held a serious grudge against the industry, pilots in particular?

- he learned last week that his house was about to be repossessed?

- just yesterday he found out that his wife was having an affair with the neighbour who happened to be a pilot?

Ever the true professional, this Sky God is determined to go to work as normal. He knows he risks losing his job if he admits to his employer that he's feeling depressed about the sack of ***** life was throwing at him recently. But he just can't see any way out.

Are you sure it still seems reasonable to appoint this armed "trained aviation security and safety professional" to act as as judge and jury over the very pilots he despises, with a loaded weapon to execute his decisions on who is acting reasonably and rationally, and who is not?

There are no simple, all encompassing solutions. All else is just window dressing - deckchairs on the Titanic if you like.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:11
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From the last few posts, perhaps with the exception of Pace, the response to the concerned SLF who pay your wages was: "there is no way of preventing this problem, all methods make things slightly worse - so nothing to see here - move along".

Unfortunately, there is something to see here. This incident and the recent ones linked to here ASN News » List of aircraft accidents caused by pilot suicide and probably MH370, all seem to have been instigated by pilots left alone in the cockpit. This worries your SLF paymasters. The response to their worry? Well if a pilot wanted to kill themselves and all the pax they could do it simply by [several other ways] - this is meant to calm their concerns?

There really needs to be some hard thought given to this. By far the best is the suggestion that pilots suffering from mental health issues will be supported and _not_ lose income if they then fail medicals, in the same way as other medical issues. This would not be perfect, but at least it would remove the dicincentive to report mental health problems. It would also show something positive was being done. Up until then a CC 'door monitor' seems to be a good suggestion.

This incident will slowly drop out of the headlines over the next weeks, it will then reappear with a lot more noise and considered media documentaries when the BEA produce their reports. The industry had better be speaking with one voice on something positive and productive by then as that positive note can be put into those documentaries. However, what I expect is the equivalent of patting the SLF on the head and saying "don't worry your empty little heads about things you don't understand". That would be completely the incorrect approach for the industry to take and it would probably find itself facing poorly thought out mandates as 'they are doing nothing'.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 19:05
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From memory, it may be correct only 99%:

Lufthansa recruitment test consists of 2 parts: the basic examination test controls mathematical, physical and technical understanding, spatial awareness and concentration.

The other part, called company qualification, checks the character of the applicant. This investigation faces a failure rate of 95% because most people do not fit into the mindset and behavior patterns LH requests for FD stuff. It is said that a healthy self-confidence (some call it "a kind of arrogance") is even helpful. At least one must be sure of himself and of belonging to an elite in an elite company, but also be a team player.

The remaining 5% receive admittance to LH pilot training and hence a takeover guarantee after the end of training. And now, only 2% of all accepted apprentices fail pilots education.

So the LH recruitment checks only general suitability and whether someone fits into the desired "LH behavior". It says nothing about the mental health of an applicant.

Last edited by Flyer94; 3rd Apr 2015 at 19:22.
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