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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 3rd Apr 2015, 21:08
  #3021 (permalink)  
 
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I am becoming despairing of the myopia in this thread.

The unavoidable and necessary truth that exists at the heart of the vast majority of commercial aviation transport is that responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight rests on the shoulders of the captain and FO. The balance between those two is what it is, and not the subject of this post.

The simple and worthwhile objective of the "two person on FD at all times" rule is that it materially reduces the ability of either to usurp the responsibility and authority of the other, so helps to ensure that the conversation between the two can continue on whatever basis applied before one or the other left the cockpit.

That's it. Period. It doesn't alter (give or take fractions) any risk that doesn't already exist.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 21:19
  #3022 (permalink)  
 
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SKYnews german prosecutors have searched the premises of 5 doctors known to have treated Lubitz
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 21:32
  #3023 (permalink)  
 
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Was it reported over what period of time the five doctors were consulted?
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 21:34
  #3024 (permalink)  

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Does the possibility of a 3rd event, similar to the Air Botswana Embraer 190 and the GermanWings A320 exist?

And if so, what can prevent it?
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 22:19
  #3025 (permalink)  
 
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if the FDR data module has been found, the contents read and leaked,which part of it was found last week,and where were their relative positions?
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 22:38
  #3026 (permalink)  
 
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Second black box contents were not 'leaked'. They were reported. As fact.
FD crew should be ready for greater scrutiny.
Mentally fit for flight?
No 'pilot error', regardless of what they face?
SLF, who pay for them to do what they do, and place Full Trust in them to get it right; each and every time, have a right to expect this.
Or perhaps, a genuine airline pilot, might wish to tell me that I am wrong.
Get real, guys, and smell the flowers. Accountability is coming. Or at least, I fervently hope it is.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 22:38
  #3027 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by RoyHudd View Post
Does the possibility of a 3rd event, similar to the Air Botswana Embraer 190 and the GermanWings A320 exist?
And if so, what can prevent it?
I think every serious airline company need to have internal examination system to prevent from flying people with mental problems.

1. Before they hire someone should send him (or her) to own* clinic for medical set of tests.
2. Should be a clear list of a diseases which disqualify from being hired as a pilot (and IMO clinical depression should be on that list)
3. Verdict should be simply 'yes' or 'not'.
4. +Periodic inspections (once a year)

* - (i mean the doctors know for what kind of company examination is proceeded)
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 22:43
  #3028 (permalink)  
 
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In 39. Years as a flight engineer before ,CRM numerous times found myself being the third man out that provided necessary insight to defuse a hostel situation between Capt & Fo

This is the solution. A third deadheading pilot should be mandated. I'm sure he could be usefully engaged.
3rd crew isn't a panacea.

JAL Flight 350 plunged into Tokyo Bay when at 200' AGL on short final into Haneda, the Captain decided to commit suicide by pushing the yoke forward and activating the thrust-reversers.

The crash could not be prevented despite the FO desperately pulling back on the yoke while the Flight Engineer was physically restraining the Captain.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 22:57
  #3029 (permalink)  
 
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klintE,

The approach of excluding anyone who has clinical depression is a slippery slope! Do you exclude everyone who had clinical depression in the past and has recovered according to all the available evidence?

You say pilots should be checked every year, what do you think will happen if you start checking pilots every year with the threat of dismissal if they are found to be depressed? I suspect you will end up driving this condition further underground or triggering MORE of these episodes.

The problem with some mental illnesses is that they can be very hard to pick up and diagnose especially if the individual concerned wants to hide the fact. The only way to tackle this is to have a very open and honest culture around mental problems. Airlines need to be very clear that it is a disease like any other and that time and resources will be put into you rehabilitation just like any other and only when all avenues of recovery are exhausted you may lose you medical certificate but be eligible for normal loss of licence provisions.

The problem we have at the moment is alot of airlines especially low cost ones don't provide ANY loss of licence or income insurance. Also most loss of licence policies will NOT pay out on mental disorders so the whole think encourages pilots to just keep quiet.

I have worked for an airline that provided flight crew with sick leave of 5 days per year, actively docked your pay if you had any more than this, required a doctors certificate at your own expense for EVERY single sick day and had NO loss of licence insurance available to the crew as it was our problem to sort out. Net result of those policies was that I was flying regularly with crew who were in no way or shape fit to fly. Airlines have to take ownership of this problem aswell, cheap no cost solutions like the CC in the flight deck may look good for public perception buy the crews physical and mental health which can cause these events needs actual time and resources to be committed.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:14
  #3030 (permalink)  
 
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Klint

largely I agree with you, but with some reservations.

Reactive depression is very common and it is likely to affect many people. Reactive depression is a very frequent result of normal life events, such as a parent or partner (or even worse, a child) dying. A good occupational health service of any employer should have the mechanisms to deal with this. If they do not, then they should.

A diagnosis of clinical depression should not need to condemn the person to a life without significant responsibility. I mean not just pilots but surgeons and many others with life and death responsibilities.

It is good to monitor the recovery of a person from depression, but the person must be able to recover from it. If they can do so then everyone is satisfied. It may even result in better team structures. (I have had depression, I see some signs in you, are you all right? would be as good as a starting phrase and would in many cases be welcome)
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:18
  #3031 (permalink)  
 
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...The only way to tackle this is to have a very open and honest culture around mental problems. Airlines need to be very clear that it is a disease like any other and that time and resources will be put into you rehabilitation just like any other and only when all avenues of recovery are exhausted you may lose you medical certificate but be eligible for normal loss of licence provisions...
Bravo to your whole post!

I fear the reality will be a different one, more along the lines of more regular and rigorous checking, colleague reporting, blaming and terminating, thus creating an even larger culture of fear and suppression, with predictable consequences.

Unfortunately the industry has suffered from a good amount of neglect and lack of oversight on behalf of the regulators and authorities. Practices as you mention flourish in a deregulated environment where profit is all that matters and safety an afterthought. Difficult to reverse this trend and broadly establish positive, open and trust based cultures now.

Ideally, airlines would do all in their power to get the best and most promising candidates (and not the ones with the biggest wallets), and hiring them would make them assume a large responsibility for the supervision and development of each flight crew member. As with management positions in good companies, flight crews should be eligible to good working conditions, and in case things aren't working out to the satisfaction of the employer (for whatever reason except willful neglect and criminal conduct), generous serverance packages/loss of license deals should be the norm.

But perhaps I'm dreaming.

Last edited by Kerosene; 4th Apr 2015 at 00:33.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:23
  #3032 (permalink)  
 
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It would seem that this is now on the verge of turning into a medical malpractice issue. I wonder if the 5 doctors together have enough insurance to get LH group out of their 300m+ problem.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:36
  #3033 (permalink)  
 
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Diagnosis?

How many of you have been through a mental evaluation?

You can't "measure" some magical indicator, right? An opinion is made based on a series of questions basically. If someone wanted to hide their true feelings, be they depression, mania, psychosis... whatever, they easily can.

Only people who "want" to be helped will answer truthfully. When your job is on the line that isn't likely to happen is it?

I fear all this claptrap talk of "testing" has imaginary outcomes that reveals the "truth". Sadly that's not how it works. Sorry, but that's reality.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:42
  #3034 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ollie Onion View Post
Do you exclude everyone who had clinical depression in the past and has recovered according to all the available evidence?
If someone is fully recovered than should pass the examination with any problems, right?
You say pilots should be checked every year, what do you think will happen if you start checking pilots every year with the threat of dismissal if they are found to be depressed? I suspect you will end up driving this condition further underground or triggering MORE of these episodes.
Fear of test can't lead to depression. If so, than it's an evidence that person is unsuitable with stressful environment like flying an airliner.
Also most loss of licence policies will NOT pay out on mental disorders so the whole think encourages pilots to just keep quiet.
Yes they may not want to admit it.
So the company needs to check it forcedly.


Originally Posted by mercurydancer
Reactive depression is very common and it is likely to affect many people. Reactive depression is a very frequent result of normal life events, such as a parent or partner (or even worse, a child) dying. A good occupational health service of any employer should have the mechanisms to deal with this. If they do not, then they should.
Ok, I should expand my list with temporary ban on flying
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 23:49
  #3035 (permalink)  
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An opinion is made based on a series of questions basically.
When I was seriously, deeply, clinically depressed, I was told by the examining Psychiatrist that I was "as sane as he was".

I still don't know whether that was a compliment.

And yes, at some stage I was about to commit suicide - but that is no longer a possibility.

And for those who doubt my intentions, I had written notes, rigged the rope, and was standing on the branch of the tree . . .

There were reasons for my contemplation, the depression was part of the result of those reasons - but not the whole cause.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 00:52
  #3036 (permalink)  
 
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In the last 30 years the term "Depression" has come to mean anything from the down feeling you have, when your football team loses, to Paranoid Schizophrenia in the mental health field. It is probably not productive to paint everyone with Depression with the same brush when screening pilots and other professions where public safety is involved.

Rather than changing everything, the Airline Industry and it's regulators should start by finding out exactly what was wrong with Lubitz and why he "slipped through the cracks" and got a commercial pilots license. Then, they should decide what specific changes should be made to stop the specific type of instance of another Lubitz obtaining a license. This way, you minimize the chances of The Law of Unintended Consequences and a bureaucratic boondoggle rearing their ugly heads.

Last edited by Buzz Coil; 4th Apr 2015 at 05:52. Reason: Added punctuation
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 01:09
  #3037 (permalink)  
 
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I'm wondering why there are so many deniers here on this site, many of whom seem to be professional pilots? There must be some collective motive or reason.


Now that the data recorder information is beginning to be officially released, most reasonable doubts must become somewhat dispelled.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 02:21
  #3038 (permalink)  
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I've wondered about posting this story for a long time. Perhaps now is that time. Fourty-five years ago my fleet manager practically jumped out of his seat and shouted at me. Stop! You can't talk about a captain like that! If you want to say things like that you'll have to appoint a QC and do it in high court.

I had pleaded with him to ground a captain that had joined us some months before. It was my job, I was a 'training FO', one that flew with new captains until they'd done 500 hours. Mostly it was fun, and indeed appreciated, but this supposedly retired captain had seemed odd right from the beginning. The flight leading up to that 'interview' was beyond bizarre. It was my last flight with that airline. Probably the best job I ever had. But I'd had weeks with this bullish creature and enough was enough. I had two months leave stacked up and I told them that was my notice. I had already talked to the PALPA rep, the chief training captain, and almost anyone that would listen. Nobody did anything - at least that I know of.

Imagine advising the skipper as he climbed into his seat that the checks were not done (due to no APU and no ground power.) Why not, he bellowed as he lit the first engine. The checks were not done and the brakes were not on. We had no start clearance and our lass charged into the flight deck and said people were still coming up the ventral air-stairs. It was a 1-11 with engines just feet from their heads. In a few years I could have shut the HP cocks and de-planed the pax, but things were different then. But I wish to God I had.

As we were taxiing out, I noticed a hint of fuel in the centre tank. Nothing unusual for a while, but on takeoff it seemed to be showing about 200kgs. The aircraft was going nowhere on that 32c Rome day. I was not authorized to abandon a takeoff, but advised him and firewalled the taps. He said nothing. He very often said nothing. As we staggered past the Coliseum, I was numbed to see a tonne of fuel in the centre tank. By the time were were established in a climb it registered full. We were three tonnes over-weight on a 39 tonne aircraft. He said nothing when finally he did the paperwork.

When we arrived in the UK, I shouted down for no one to touch the fuel panel. To my everlasting relief, and with an engineer to witness the opening, I saw the centre tank selected to zero. I thought I knew the electrics on that aircraft to the last resistor, but it seems refueling on battery can fool the system. To this day I have never had that confirmed.

All this followed weeks of being with someone that was obviously an alcoholic and too strange to be put into any category. A very senior captain, and I thought, a friend, said to me, "You know, Robbie, I let the fact he was an ex XXX captain sway me when I passed him." Even he did nothing.

This was perhaps the worst of dozens of things I had to cope with in that period, but many were just as bewildering. "What's that?" he said, pointing to the DME. "it's our DME distance from XXXX" "What's DME? We had Decca in XXX." Every departure from base was a series of DME turns.

Now comes the part that this is all about. Years later, a different life it seemed, and I was in a garden party in my Essex home town. My host's wife said she wanted me to meet her old boss. He'd been fleet manager of the 1-11 fleet. He seemed a really nice chap, very sharp etc. When I mentioned my Nemesis' name, he was surprised. "How do you know him?" When I told him I stormed out of a good job because of his bizarre behavior, he looked stunned, and said, "Don't tell me that man flew again!"

I learned a little of why he was 'retired'. Shame he wasn't grounded. Alcoholic and probably much worse. They tried to help him, but he was a lost cause. Shame. My life would have been very, very different if he'd just stayed retired.


But now, here's a thing. He was deranged, of that there is no doubt, but it was my senior colleges that leave me numbed to this day. The behaviour of my fleet manager was so unexplainable that it is difficult to know how these things happened, even in that era. Once, a well known training skipper relinquished his seat to a very quiet chap that was the fleet manager's 'secretary.' The skipper went down the back and was chatting to the girls. He did that a lot. We were descending past 4,000' when I got a clear view of the fields north of Munich. He had decided to pull against the autopilot until it snapped out. He then pushed. I was managing the usual bad air system and looking up. We pulled about 1.5 g. Maybe more. No one said a word. He had no type rating and I learned later, no time on twins. Probably 300 pages would describe that year, but lets fast forward to c 1999.

I announced to a crew that I was going for a job interview. I was invited to sit on the jump-seat. Top of climb, young skipper goes down the back to chat to the girls. Nothing changed then. I was invited to sit in his seat. He reached across and clicked the autopilot out. "You fly it. If my five year old can fly it, anyone can."

I had not flown a glass flight-deck, but it seemed fairly straightforward. It was kind of surreal, I looked down as saw the Red Arrows three miles or so below. I reached for the trim wheel. Mmmm . . . there wasn't one. For the whole cruise I didn't dare fiddle with the trim button . . . just in case. The FO finally communicated with me. He held up on finger. Ah, that rings a distant bell. Take box one. Okay, it's been many years, but I think I can do that. I later learned the FO didn't really speak English. Not really speak it.

This is just the things that might be relevant now. I can't forget wrenching the controls out of the hands of a chap that had turned the wrong way in the Innsbruck valley. The turn, by necessity was past 60 degrees. I was just a kid then, and my only thought was. "I hope to God I'm right."

I think the whole point of this is that the sick person in the seat on one horrific day is just one part of the spectrum. In my experience, management has been consistent, in it failure to ensure safety, and worse still, it's failure to act honorably. It has been a long and painful learning experience learning about people, but there it is. The truth is so often hard to, not accept, but to admit.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 03:01
  #3039 (permalink)  
 
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And yes, at some stage I was about to commit suicide - and for those who doubt my intentions, I had written notes, rigged the rope, and was standing on the branch of the tree . . .
You could also have contemplated driving a car into a bus shelter with people to ensure your suicide was reported on the news if you were an egocentric sociopath that Lubitz obviously was. The fact that you had no thoughts of murder-suicide implies you would never contemplate deliberately crashing an airplane and taking the lives of passengers. I agree with others that pilots with depression shouldn't be banned from flying if they still care about their own safety and the safety of their passengers. However, no pilots should be allowed to be entrusted with the safety of passengers if they have no empathy for other humans which can be uncovered in testing for sociopathy traits.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 06:57
  #3040 (permalink)  
 
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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 ?
It is not the 60s anymore, but the academy is basically still the same although conditions have slightly changed. The selection process is still very strict and the training is paid for by Lufthansa, however, the cadet does have to pay back some of the training cost once he has got a job with a Lufthansa company, but there is no loan to take out at all. Currently the selection is a selection done in three steps (BU or basic tests, FQ or company qualification and company medical), however it is possible to fail at several points during those steps.
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