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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:21
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Some of the 'solutions' here presume that a history "mental illness" is a necessary cause of suicides.

However, there can be many motives to pilot suicides:

- The SilkAir 185 pilot allegedly had over $1.2 million in stock-trading losses and had taken out a new life insurance coverage going into effect the day of the crash.

- The EgyptAir 990 relief co-pilot reportedly crashed the plane after an altercation with the Chief Pilot (who was onboard the flight) over a sexual harassment claim.

- The Royal Air Maroc pilot supposedly crashed his plane after a failed love affair.

None of these pilots had a clinical history of mental illness.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:30
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None of them had a documented history of mental illness.

Nobody without a mental illness crashes an airliner deliberately, religious fantatics (debatably) excepted.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:34
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Sophistry vs reason

Originally Posted by Basil
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.
This reminds me of my mother, who refused to wear a seatbelt while driving, pointing out that in some circumstances (she cited going off a bridge into a river, as I recall) the seatbelt could trap her in the car. As some might put it, wearing a seatbelt is "replacing one potential problem with another."

I always wear my seatbelt, for the same reason I want the "two in the cockpit" rule. It's the safer alternative.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:38
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@peekay4

Which simply shows that practical measures that will make it harder for a rogue pilot (depressed, psychotic, disturbed, whatever) are exactly what should be done and the sooner the better. Two person cockpit rule is simple and adds a significant obstacle that any FD crew bent on self-destruction would have to overcome. It's not a complete answer but it is an obvious first step.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:49
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Originally Posted by Blantoon
Nobody without a mental illness crashes an airliner deliberately, religious fantatics (debatably) excepted.
Sir, that is not quite correct. It is not necessarily a sign of mental illness to get destructive/negative thoughts and emotions that lead to suicidal ideation.
We had extensive (and eye watering) education on the difference between a personality disorder and mental illness, and life changing events whenever a service member would off himself (which was far too common, thanks) over the two decades that I was a serving officer.

Unless you define mental illness as "not normal, like me" then using such a broad term to classify what leads to such ideation being put into action does more harm than good. There are a host of emotional issues that arise in a given suicide decision ... I'll PM you on a few points that don't merit public discussion.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 18:53
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Originally Posted by xollob
That's my point Glueball, they established it was a criminal act without all the relevant information. Which is what really annoys me, but i suppose like police they have the right to arrest someone on the suspicion of something and then release them when they find they didn't do it.
You've pretty much answered your own point. They didn't "establish it was a criminal act without all the relevant information", they established from the initially available information that there was a need for a criminal *investigation*.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 19:04
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Another of those "God give me strength" rules from EASA

There is a difference. Your Mother's objection to a wearing a seatbelt was based on poor interpretation of factual data. Having an additional crew member enter when another leaves does have valid, historical data as to why it should not be done. The data I've seen shows that in last ten years or so, six or so accidents have been attributed to suicides. In that time, tens of millions of flights have taken place without incident. However, during a short period some time ago, our little airline has suffered missed R/T calls, snagged controls and C/Bs and water ingress on avionics. The starting point of bigger problems. Furthermore, just exactly what are cabin crew expected to do to stop someone intent on topping themselves. Our company have very few cabin crew I could over-power, with or without a fire axe. This unsafe, stupid rule is the invention of a mindless bureaucratic trying to appeal to the half-witted public, the baying media and their political masters.

The problem is that not enough time and effort (in fact, no effort) has been invested in making sure that pilots like me start off and remain sane throughout their careers; even when they have to personal problems to deal with. Even less will have been spent on bus and train divers, medics, police officers, service personnel etc. All of whom could ruin your day should they be having a bad one.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 19:25
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and btw... lufthansa should rethink if it is the way to go to judge the people only by the results of tests done on a computer instead of common sense with a classic interview face to face.
Well, in the second phase there is quite a bit of face to face interaction. The first one is mostly computer stuff though. And there is a reason why there is a specially trained captain in that second phase as well as the psychologists and HR personnel.

However, as with all those tests the focus is on finding out if someone does fit the company profile and the profile they want to see on their flight decks. Mental health never was a focus point, but i guess that is about to change.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 19:49
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man

The problem is that not enough time and effort (in fact, no effort) has been invested in making sure that pilots like me start off and remain sane throughout their careers; even when they have to personal problems to deal with. Even less will have been spent on bus and train divers, medics, police officers, service personnel etc. All of whom could ruin your day should they be having a bad one.
So, is there a solution? Of the people cited only a pilot can kill upwards of 500 people in one go though a train driver can come close. A car driver or truck driver can wreak havoc too.

Should we be pragmatic and accept that a minute number of our 6 billion companions will chose some inventive way of murdering a minute number of us?

The cost of minimizing a minute threat to a small number is to inconvenience a huge number. What we need is balance.
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Old 3rd Apr 2015, 20:08
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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, 20:19
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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, 20:32
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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, 20:34
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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, 21:19
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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, 21:38
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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, 21:38
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Originally Posted by RoyHudd
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, 21:43
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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, 21:57
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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, 22:14
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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, 22:18
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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; 3rd Apr 2015 at 23:33.
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