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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 4th Apr 2015, 08:10
  #3041 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Workplace Homicide

Since this is a website oriented towards Professional Pilots, is it time yet to begin discussing how we should be able to go to work with the expectation that we will not become victims of workplace homicide? You know, the same expectation assumed by all of the other posters to this thread in whatever workplace they go to.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 08:25
  #3042 (permalink)  
 
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Time for Video recording cockpits

Noalign, your post prompted me to write.

In this thread there have been a few posts suggesting video recording in cockpits and this has been widely and strongly resisted by posters - many of whom I assume to be pilots.

We have also had numerous stories about dysfunctional cockpit relationships and bad behaviour, often accompanied by statements to the effect that the individuals concerned had been or are powerless to change this. They were either not believed or not taken seriously.

My contention is that video recording should be standard and should be routinely kept for weeks or months so they can be made available to support later review of cockpit behaviour. They could be used to support allegations of 'bullying' by the captain or other, less easily defined undesirable behaviour that may be indicative of another problem when viewed over a longer period (e.g. I find it somewhat unlikely that Lubitz never displayed any unusual behaviour before this incident).

I am purely SLF but have an abiding interest in all things aviation and do a lot of flights each year so have a vested interest in the safety of civil aviation generally!

We have heard how surgeons in some areas are required to work with video recording active. I once worked for a company that mines and sells diamonds and, although the office buildings I was in presented minimal threat to the safety of people in them we were continually being video recorded and monitored (except for a few places like the bathrooms!)

Video recordings do not serve a punitive purpose only - they tell the story of what happened only and can be used to defend good or positive behaviour as well, for example when wrongly accused of bullying by the FO.

So, why the resistance to the cameras by professional pilots? Video recordings, and a suitable reporting and oversight environment around it, could save lives.

Last edited by RGN01; 4th Apr 2015 at 08:33. Reason: Amended to add the point about videos having defensive value
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 08:34
  #3043 (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.
Pilots are always held accountable.
By definition the PIC has the ultimate responsibility for every flight.
If you don't trust the pilots you are completely free to choose other transportation methods.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 08:58
  #3044 (permalink)  
 
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xollob, indeed. Pilots are no more accountable than bus drivers, train drivers and ship's captains. Let's just drop this precious and illogical argument against video cameras. It is time to wake up and accept that we are just another cog in the big gear of like.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 08:59
  #3045 (permalink)  
 
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The spy in the cab (FD) is seen as a way to 'hang the guilty b*****d'

The spy can also exonerate. In a road traffic accident it proved the obvious suspect was wholly innocent. In the cockpit it can prove all the correct actions were taken. In a tight situation the pilot's hands never left the yoke (joke warning )

Then think on of the dozens of aircraft where the cockpit door doesn't even exist.

Helicopter operations to oil rigs, sight seeing tours, light aircraft etc all have the ability to be crashed. The only difference is their kinetic effect compared with a large airliner. The door is clearly an irrelevance as regards pilot suicide and passenger safety.

What is different is the kinetic effect rather than the number of passengers. Those therefore calling the locked door as irrelevant and a CC in the FD increasing the danger from the kinetic risk are logically correct.

Pilot screening might mitigate the threat from suicide but would the cure be worse than the bite? More medical s, better compensation etc would drive up costs, reduce passenger numbers which would drive up costs which would . . .

Or would the majority accept the risk?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 09:11
  #3046 (permalink)  
 
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Buzzcoil

Not in the mental health field, by the public perhaps.

Depression is not feeling low because you've had a bad day or because your team loses. No one with any level of competence is going to give you a diagnosis because of that. Reactive depression is sustained low mood that impacts on your ability to function following a significant life event, when the expected amount of time to recover has long since passed but one cannot return to normal functioning. Clinical depression is sustained low mood that impacts on your ability to function but with no particular cause-it just happens and it is very difficult to shift without treatment theraputic or medicinal.

Paranoid schizophrenia is a whole other kettle of fish and should inhibit a career in flying, the former shouldn't. Again no mental health professional worth their salt is going to think they are the same. Even if you gave a layperson the diagnostic criteria, the checklist is vastly different.

I can get why the public is confused, primarily due to irresponsible reporting by the media.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 09:18
  #3047 (permalink)  
 
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"I think every serious airline company need to have internal
examination system to prevent from flying people with mental problems".


Good idea, but it's not enough.
The authorities & airline managements must have full access to a pilots,
* financial situation, (mortgage, debts, gambling history)
* marital situation, (married, divorced, separated, dependants)
* personal health history and that of all family members
* lifestyle choices, (gay, cross dresser, transgender, hellfire club membership)
* traffic violations
It's our employers right to know everything about their workers to determine their fitness to fly.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 09:24
  #3048 (permalink)  
 
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Good idea, but it's not enough.
The authorities & airline managements must have full access to a pilots,
* financial situation, (mortgage, debts, gambling history)
* marital situation, (married, divorced, separated, dependants)
* personal health history and that of all family members
* lifestyle choices, (gay, cross dresser, transgender, hellfire club membership)
* traffic violations
It's our employers right to know everything about their workers to determine their fitness to fly.
Good point.
As a pilot then, it is my right to know everything about the management and their decisions, to make sure that the company that I work for doesn't end up bankrupt or else and I lose my job.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 09:36
  #3049 (permalink)  

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Yes, by regular intense scrutiny it may be possible to pick up another Lubitz before he does it.

At the price of driving all the sane pilots nuts or away.

Mac

[Just like with Shipman]

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Old 4th Apr 2015, 10:04
  #3050 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting article by those professionals whose job it probably will be to assess us in the future.

Especially the following paragraphs point at the core problem, the inability to really test for later mental issues.

"EFPA and EAAP underline that psychological assessment and human factors training are among the elements that make aviation the safest form of transport around the world. Together with technical and operational measures they ensure that catastrophic events, like the crash of flight 4U 9525, are highly exceptional. Also, the selection of pilots in Germany, as conducted by DLR, meets the highest professional standards.

Psychological assessment before entry to flight training and before admission to active service by an airline can help to select pilots who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the work and who can handle stressors effectively.

However, it cannot forecast the life events and mental health problems occurring in the life of each individual pilot and the unique way he or she will cope with these."
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 10:12
  #3051 (permalink)  
 
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"I think every serious airline company need to have internal
examination system to prevent from flying people with mental problems".


Good idea, but it's not enough.
The authorities & airline managements must have full access to a pilots,
* financial situation, (mortgage, debts, gambling history)
* marital situation, (married, divorced, separated, dependants)
* personal health history and that of all family members
* lifestyle choices, (gay, cross dresser, transgender, hellfire club membership)
* traffic violations
It's our employers right to know everything about their workers to determine their fitness to fly.
Actually, i could live with that. However, all that information, from everyone who has the right to ever enter a flight deck, has to be available to those that control entry to the flightdeck anyway, the pilots. Dunno about other companies, in my outfit everyone on the operational side of the airline will at some point or another enter the flightdeck. So every pilot, flight attendant, maintenance engineer, everyone from documentation, crew planning, control, revision (they do jumpseat flights), operations office, flight planning, network operation center, the whole management, auditors from the authority, partner airlines, IATA, every crew member of any airline worldwide (as those are allowed to jumpseat) and so on.

Sadly, that will make it impossible, so we have to rely on our judgement, as usual.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 10:52
  #3052 (permalink)  
 
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The AME should be allowed full access to pilots' complete medical records at initial and annual medical examinations.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 11:11
  #3053 (permalink)  
 
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Sick pilot symptom of a sick industry

I think it is pointless to discuss the technicalities of all of this in too much detail. We need a broader perspective and yes, a social context. How can you see this terrible event in isolation of the race to the bottom of the last few years? The article below describes it aptly as a "sick pilot being a symptom of a sick industry".

Germanwings crash in the Alps: sick pilot a symptom of a sick industry

Of course, in a PR attempt to be seen to be “doing something”, most airlines, worried about their profit margins and perceptions of the flying public, are now introducing a policy of always having two crew members on the flight deck (already common in the USA). This cheap and immediate measure seems a sensible policy at first sight, but clearly the law of unintended consequences applies here as well. What if the cabin crew member is the rogue member of staff, locks the door, restrains the remaining seated pilot and takes control of the aircraft to nose-dive it into the ground? Somebody with minimal screening on a zero hour contract? (the reality in low-cost airlines, where there is a high turn-over of cabin crew because of the poor working conditions).


Currently, when a pilot is suffering from one of a multitude of situations which is impairing them mentally, from fatigue (very common) to a specific mental condition, there is no adequate support system in place. The perception is that we will be out the door and back on the dole with no hope of returning to work. This is not conducive to the best possible mental state for those sitting at the controls to do their job correctly.


The truth is, a cancer has been eating away for quite some time at the aviation industry as a whole. Low cost airlines have initiated a race to the bottom and through sheer market forces legacy carriers have been forced to follow suit. In order to understand how it came to this we have to go back a few decades.

It is unclear how much Lubitz was aware or involved in all of this. What is clear is that he lived in this social context and became socially alienated to a pathological level. Was it a feeling of lack of control over his own life and future? A hopelessness about nobody caring for him that he could no longer bear? We will probably never know.

We believe it is more useful to provide a general framework of the current state of the aviation industry than what is being spouted in the mass media about this tragedy. It has never been much in the public eye, but pressure has been building up for quite a while now. Morale is at rock bottom in most airlines. Unions are either non-existent or powerless to stem the tide, never mind offer an alternative that can inspire their members (we would suggest taking a good look at London tube drivers). What was once one of the best careers to aspire to is now quickly becoming a laughing stock. Why would anyone bother going through all this drama when the public perception is of a pilot just pushing a few buttons “as these things fly themselves anyway” (nothing could be further from the truth) in some cases to earn less than a train driver?

The point is not to empathise with Lubitz or justify his actions, despicable as they are, but to try and understand why a human being might act this way, so that people can then try to ensure it does not happen so easily again. Within aviation in the last few decades, this has been the goal of aircraft accident investigations: not to apportion blame to any particular individual, but to try to uncover a chain of events in order to draw the lessons. Rather than just throwing our arms in the air and declaring Lubitz was a “madman” or a “rotten apple” living in a social vacuum, our aim should be a lot higher. As such, we cannot see this event in isolation but have to see it within the context of the degeneration of the aviation industry in particular and the prevailing malaise in society in general.

Last edited by vlieger; 4th Apr 2015 at 11:29.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 11:33
  #3054 (permalink)  
 
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vlieger: that link you posted - never did I think I'd read something from a journal titled "Marxist" and applaud it, but the first half I agreed with... will read the rest later.

Originally Posted by caneworm View Post
"I think every serious airline company need to have internal
examination system to prevent from flying people with mental problems".

It's our employers right to know everything about their workers to determine their fitness to fly.
There are a few flaws in what you say. Firstly you start with "every serious airline company" and end with "our employers right to know everything ". LH is unusual in that it is a large airline with resources, and as such has been seen as accountable for the pilots' mental health assessment. caneworm's link gives what I think is more accurate:
Naturally, airlines select candidates who can deal with those stresses and pressures. For that matter, Lubitz was a product of Lufthansa Flight Training, a prestigious institution that uses the infamous DLR test. This Flight Aptitude and Skills Test is one of the hardest selection procedures in the industry and has a very low pass rate. However, as all current selection procedures, they do not check for mental illness. Sure, psychological profiles are checked, but those simply determine if someone fits into the job and company, not if he or she has a mental illness (as if this would be possible anyway).
Even if LH did have the resources and legal right to know everything, make the assessment, a small startup airline with 1 or 2 737s would not... but can still end up as GW.

Health, including mental health, should be a level playing field, and a Class 1 Medical Certificate is, and should be IMO, the sole criteria for "fitness to fly". Reword your post to:
"I think every Aircrew Medical authority need to have an examination system to prevent from flying people with mental problems".

It's the Authorities right to know everything about the Pilots to certify and determine their fitness to fly
I might agree, albeit how on earth they would achieve it I do not know?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:11
  #3055 (permalink)  
 
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In my past life we had a positive investigation with a regular review every 5 years. You had to make full disclosure, you were interviewed, your family was interviewed, your friends and bosses were interviewed. The process took about 3 months and was very expensive. And it didn't work.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:25
  #3056 (permalink)  
 
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Interesting article by those professionals whose job it probably will be to assess us in the future.

Especially the following paragraphs point at the core problem, the inability to really test for later mental issues.

"EFPA and EAAP underline that psychological assessment and human factors training are among the elements that make aviation the safest form of transport around the world. Together with technical and operational measures they ensure that catastrophic events, like the crash of flight 4U 9525, are highly exceptional. Also, the selection of pilots in Germany, as conducted by DLR, meets the highest professional standards.

Psychological assessment before entry to flight training and before admission to active service by an airline can help to select pilots who are mentally and emotionally prepared for the work and who can handle stressors effectively.

However, it cannot forecast the life events and mental health problems occurring in the life of each individual pilot and the unique way he or she will cope with these."
But of course.
Looks like we are forgetting that pilots are human.
No human will ever be predictable 100% of the time. Never happened, never will be. If you want total and complete predictability all the time, every time, get a computer.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:31
  #3057 (permalink)  
 
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Arranging for a CC to guard the cockpit door when one pilot is unavoidably absent is such a mitigation, which has the added benefits of being immediately available at zero cost. Arguing that it is pointless because it may not guarantee a repeat is a kindergarten reaction.
Really, this is elementary logic.
If adding the CC was "zero risk", I might agree.

As the excellent article above states:
Of course, in a PR attempt to be seen to be “doing something”, most airlines, worried about their profit margins and perceptions of the flying public, are now introducing a policy of always having two crew members on the flight deck (already common in the USA). This cheap and immediate measure seems a sensible policy at first sight, but clearly the law of unintended consequences applies here as well. What if the cabin crew member is the rogue member of staff, locks the door, restrains the remaining seated pilot and takes control of the aircraft to nose-dive it into the ground? Somebody with minimal screening on a zero hour contract? (the reality in low-cost airlines, where there is a high turn-over of cabin crew because of the poor working conditions).
It requires a "risk assessment" of the variables, and a conclusion.

If it was such "elementary logic" why did EASA/CAA require the airlines not only to review their risk assessment, but if they added the "2 in cockpit rule" the added risks of that must be assessed and mitigated?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:40
  #3058 (permalink)  
 
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It might be interesting to remember that Lübitz worked as a flight attendant (as do many other lufthansa students while they wait their three to five years on a flight deck seat). The new policy would have guaranteed him the alone time to do his job much earlier, and he had already glass cockpit flight experience through his flight training as the lufthansa advanced trainer is a Cessna CJ1. Would have been easy to use that crashe axe and then do what he did now, admittedly easier now, but possible without much of a nuisance back then.

And he was properly vetted, had even undergone the procedure of losing his medical, getting it back due to his psych eval that cleared him again after his depression. Now, cabin crews do not get vetted, have only very rudimentary medical check and a very high percentage of muslims compared to the flight deck crew, not that that has anything to do with the current case. But it might have somewhere else.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:44
  #3059 (permalink)  
 
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Curiously, as it happens, today's paper relates how a rail company has had its licence to operate suspended after two incidents last month when the ran red lights. They had a driver and fireman on the foot plate.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 12:49
  #3060 (permalink)  
 
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Quote: Originally Posted by NoD

If it was such "elementary logic" why did EASA/CAA require the airlines not only to review their risk assessment, but if they added the "2 in cockpit rule" the added risks of that must be assessed and mitigated?


I think you're clutching at straws in a desperate attempt to hold on to unsustainable logic and a failed argument
I would contend I am not "clutching at straws", but quoting the EASA recommendation.

I might suggest you are clutching at straws describing something as "elementary logic" when it explicitly contradicts the EASA recommendation
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