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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 4th Apr 2015, 18:35
  #3081 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 2,045
ALL that counts is the suitability of the flight deck crew for the job they are required to do. Fly the aircraft from A to B.
Are they mentally fit for purpose?
Judging from the medical experts above, in that there is no "test" for this, the best you can hope for is "maybe"?

Are they physically fit for purpose?
Once per year they are assessed, and certified as "fit for purpose". In between times it is "self assessed". As detailed elsewhere, given the implications of calling in sick in some airlines' HR policies, it would appear quite often "not". And as also detailed elsewhere, frequently fatigued to the same extent as having imbibed in one or 2 alcoholic drinks

Are they trained, and current, to meet any scenario that faces them on any particular flight?
No - no pilot has ever been trained to meet "any scenario". Twice per year in the Sim, and once per year or 2 via Route Check they are assessed in a program set by the regulator.

To the point where there is zero risk of 'pilot error', whatever?

Only then will the travelling, paying public be reassured into placing their trust, lives and faith into their hands.
Best they get a train timetable then

It would appear that hose who control and enforce such matters are still falling short of their responsibilities.
I personally think the regulators do a pretty good job, but not perfect. But you seem to have some expectation of their responsibilities that far exceeds realism
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 18:42
  #3082 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Medical model

@Sailvi767 yes. Because it is based on the medical model which determines the causes of a person´s problems are located in their body. Whenever the true cause is outside, for example, in regulations or relationships between people, prescribing drugs can only eliminate the present symptoms and trigger new ones.

"A 2010-survey by the Norwegian public service broadcaster, NRK, revealed that half of the pilots have fallen asleep or dozed off while on duty, with almost 4 out of 5 pilots stating they have felt too tired to be in the cockpit."
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 19:23
  #3083 (permalink)  
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Well, it's up to the lawyers, now! Very likely both Germanwings and Lufthansa will be in serious financial trouble. Lufthansa admits it knew Lubitz was unstable; Germanwings spokesperson disclaimed any prior knowlege at all!

For an airline to escape liability it must prove it was entirely free from blame.
1. Still all up to investigations and filing the facts. For the next months.
2. Germanwings belongs entirely to LH.
3. Lufthansa flight school knew about a phase of depression during his time becoming a professional pilot. Apparently the actual flight management did not know he was still "unstable" these days.
4. And he wasn't unstable according his colleagues but rather a good pilot.
5. Germany is not the UK, not such a blame society there. Innocent until proven guilty as far as I am aware.

People who do up simplified and ignorant comments like this should better watch out the next Lubitz could be from one of their friends or family.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 19:33
  #3084 (permalink)  
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The question seems to be, how do you effectively assess a persons ability to fly a passenger aircraft reliably and safely?

People develop their character and become 'professional' through training and experience.

When they become truly professional they understand that once in the driving seat (so to speak) any personal or outside influences are a big no-no and are not a factor in the performance of their work.

Training in any industry should not simply be focused on teaching a skill but also in building character. That means a tough (not to say ruthless) training schedule designed to weed out those who don't have what it takes at an early stage.

Does the present day airline industry have such a training schedule?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 20:09
  #3085 (permalink)  
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Another 25 testing areas

The many mentions of possible investigative intrusions into every aspect of a pilots life represent more ways a pilot may be incorrectly deemed unfit to fly. Those intrusions are all valid because we can think of cases where they have been valid. But each new one also represents another possible step up in pilot apprehension about how he is being viewed by his employers, each new one representing an additional level of distrust. One distinction that has repeatedly cropped up in posts is that suicide and murder usually do not have the same personality profiles, but there are at least some cases where they do.

The trait of empathy has come up a few times and needs to be emphasized more because empathy enables social responsibility, and lack of it weakens social responsibility. I would guess (but don't know) that the probability of lack of empathy was higher in people where suicide was combined with murder. Unlike some other traits, I think empathy or weakness can be revealed in mental assessments. Those with more knowledge I should speak up about this.

However it appears clear that there was more involved than simple murder here. This was an act of anger and retribution made in isolation against something about which we so far have virtually no information on.

It's amazing how easy it is to find exceptions to all of the suggestions for improvements. An evaluation including empathy also has flaws as possibly/probably the case of Egyptair 990, where a last minute blowup having powerful repercussions on the pilot probably precipitated an action he would not otherwise have taken. Without that bit of information about 990's pilot, the question of possible motivation was quite a mystery. With that bit the scenario of a sudden decision to throw away a lifetime's work and an imminent and comfortable retirement becomes at least somewhat plausible and less mysterious. The same kind of thing may have occurred in the GW case that made him pick this flight, or any flight at all. Just because there is intention, planning, and motivation doesn't mean final action always results. If that was true there would be a lot more instances of violence of every kind than there are. We can hope that there might be some additional suggestions of this possibility in the CVR portions not yet released, or that other figures in the GW pilot's social circle may yet come up with more information. It is a little odd that quotes by people who knew this person have been so very few. So far he doesn't seem to have had a social life outside of flying glider, which we need to recall is a group activity. However it is unfortunately also easy to come up with last minute pilot pressures that do not involve last minute relational blowups. Every new slice of preventive cheese being suggested has its own set of holes.

Last edited by Leightman 957; 7th Apr 2015 at 17:30. Reason: clarified meaning
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 20:15
  #3086 (permalink)  
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Tat quotes by people who knew this person have been so very few. So far he doesn't seem to have had a social life outside of flying glider, which we need to recall is a group activity. However it is unfortunately also easy to come up with last minute pilot pressures that do not involve last minute relational blowups. Every new slice of preventive cheese being suggested has its own set of holes.
Is it possible that some people show discretion and reserve their evidence for the official enquiry?

Maxred, we only know what was leaked.

Last edited by Wader2; 4th Apr 2015 at 20:34.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 20:26
  #3087 (permalink)  
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Is it possible that some people show discretion and reserve their evidence for the official enquiry?
Oh if only that could be the case. Discretion, reservation, tact, humility, sorry not in this case. If one reads most of the 150 pages on here, and then watch the news, and look at the newspapers, it is apparently all a done deal. This despite, very limited, actual evidence. But where did the truth count in life?
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 20:43
  #3088 (permalink)  
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FACT (through knowing someone is affected)

Not all those with mental illnesses are suicidal

Not all those who are suicidal have mental illnesses

Those that have mental illness, or not, may think about suicide but never go through with it.
Or may suddenly decide at very short notice to go through with it.

A difficult position for those that have some idea about the issues, impossible position to those that have no idea, react to media comments or think they are reacting to public views!!
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 21:07
  #3089 (permalink)  
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BEA status till April 5th

Accident to the Airbus A320-211 registered D-AIPX, flight GWI18G, on 24 March 2015


The aeroplane's Flight Data Recorder (FDR) was brought to the BEA's premises yesterday evening. The BEA team started opening operations as soon as it arrived.

The initial readout shows that the pilot present in the cockpit used the autopilot to put the aeroplane into a descent towards an altitude of 100 ft then, on several occasions during the descent, the pilot modified the autopilot setting to increase the speed of the aeroplane in descent.

Work is continuing to establish the precise history of the flight.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 21:10
  #3090 (permalink)  
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Pax here. Puzzled by all the discussion about the subtleties of suicidal tendencies. This guy was a mass murderer and a suicide. Suicidal isn't the whole picture.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 21:18
  #3091 (permalink)  
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I still trust the pilot

I'm a passenger, so can't contribute to the technical aspects of this discussion, but I did want to add my personal view.

When I take a taxi, I trust the driver to not swerve into oncoming traffic. When I take a bus, I trust the driver. When I take a train, I trust the driver.

And when I fly, I trust the pilot. I also trust the maintenance engineers, the air traffic controllers, the manufacturers and their assembly technicians, and their subcontractors, inspectors, etc, etc. I trust all these people to have put together a package and service that will get me from A to B, safely.

This trust existed before this crash, and it exists today. I would fly Germanwings tomorrow if I had to, because I'm trust it's staffed by good people and good pilots who do a professional job.

Given enough samples and enough time, travel by any means (even walking) will encounter a fatal event. Sometimes with a technical root-cause and sometime with a human one. Internally triggered or externally. It's a statistical certainty, but you can't live your life afraid.

Flying remains incredibly safe. Things happen, rarely, and when they do we must all take a moment for those that were affected, and ask the questions that must be asked. Sometimes there are things that can make a material difference in future outcomes, but sometimes it comes down to just bad luck and statistics.

I'd love to get a flight deck tour mid-flight, but... you know... regular people are crazy, and I feel over the years people are getting even more so. Maybe people have always been crazy and it's just camera phones and youtube that now we're seeing more examples. Although it's a shame, I prefer the pilots behind a locked door.

TL;DR: I trust pilots.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 21:25
  #3092 (permalink)  
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Nigelondraft, your response to my post typifies the mediocrity that currently exists.
And you offer some, predictable, crashing glimpses of the obvious.
It can be better than this. And 150 or so now dead people, their relations and friends have a right to expect it to be so.
Visit not your simplistic, mediocratic views on me, please. This is Aviation. And it can, and should be Better.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 21:32
  #3093 (permalink)  
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Germanwings passenger reveals pilot on Berlin to Paris flight gave pre-takeoff speech | Daily Mail Online

Nice work
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 22:41
  #3094 (permalink)  
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"Training in any industry should not simply be focused on teaching a skill but also in building character."

The General Medical Council in the UK think that this is something to be introduced to doctors training in the light that their investigations have resulted in at least 28 suicides while under investigation by them.

Push hard and you will break committed individuals, You might well break more than you had already.
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Old 4th Apr 2015, 23:25
  #3095 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2012
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Psychological Fitness

How are pilot candidates tested today?

Around 40 years ago I applied to BOAC to become a pilot, along with 1,000s of other applicants. I passed two selection stages down at Eastleigh.

Besides the math & English tests, I will always recall the day we had 1000 yes/no questions to do in - IIRC - a couple of hours. Simple yes/no questions on the face of it, one I especially recall "Do you like tall women?"

On the face of it this test seemed simple until you realised that batches of questions were being repeated, in slightly different order, or with new questions interlaced. And, one couldn't recall with any certainty what had been answered 10 paged back, or even if I would agree with my previous answer in the light of new questions! The time limit precluded any possibility of looking back through the questions/answers.

I can only assume this was a mixture of 'Psych' test and a stress test.

Do pilot applicants today go through anything like those rigorous tests we did?

As it turned out, the fuel crisis of the 1970s' and being just pre all the war-time pilots retiring, BOAC had 'very limited' need for pilots and took less than 100 that year and I wan not amongst them.
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 00:27
  #3096 (permalink)  
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Here is an article written by a psychiatrist on the subject:

Andreas Lubitz, Psychiatry, and the Germanwings Disaster - The New Yorker
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 03:40
  #3097 (permalink)  
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Germanwings plane forced to land in Venice after fears over cabin crew member's health | Daily Mail Online

Here is a prime example of inaccurate and completely unresponsible reporting.

The headlines reads that two emergency landings were performed.

One was a precautionary engine shutdown and the other was a standard medical diversion. (Almost certainly caused by the mass illogical fear and panic the media propagates). There was no emergency landing.

In both cases, as usual, the pilots performed splendidly.

I'm for freedom of the press, but when will we somehow cease to allow hacks like this from praying on public fears to sell advertising spots?

One of these so-called emergency landings was almost certainly created by the media. Instead they should be covering heart disease and car crashes in the same proportion as to which they are killing the public.
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 04:45
  #3098 (permalink)  
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re post #3144 "People develop their character and become 'professional' through training and experience. " Exactly.

"Training in any industry should not simply be focused on teaching a skill but also in building character." Right on.

"Does the present day airline industry have such a training schedule?"

Maybe. Sometimes. Maybe not. It depends on the specific airline and it's plans.

Lufthansa has trained their pilots Ab-Initio since 1955, so they got their schedule figured out pretty much to their liking.
Then, Lufthansa switched to the Multi Crew Pilot License program in 2008, as noted.
The MPL training schedule at LFT is the following: (212.5 sim, 99 hrs aircraft, course length 23 months)
- Ground school 813 hrs, like ATPL ground school
- Core phase 87 hrs aircraft with 20 hrs solo flight time and 3.5 hrs upset recovery training included. FNPT II 28.5 hrs
- Basic phase 12 hrs aircraft CJ1+. FNPT II CJ1+/MCC 100 hrs
- Intermediate phase FFS A320/B737 20 hrs
- Advanced phase FFS 64 A320/B737/EMB 64 hrs
- LT 12 TO/LDG
- IOE 40-60 sectors

Out of 1326 MPL students 528 MPL graduates produced as of May 2014.

As an alternative and new system of training, the MPL program has not yet come under careful scrutiny and evaluation. Most people have not even heard of it, have not met any MPL holders, and those that have cannot relate, or don't even give a second thought. Although, the MPL program may prove to have merits, it will also carry hindrances. To put it bluntly, it's a corporate experiment, and the participants are corporate guinea pigs.
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 07:00
  #3099 (permalink)  
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Interesting that in today's news, the head of Lufthansa appears to be making a strong apology for the 'accident'. And separately, the German aviation authority has been criticised for its under-scrutiny of aircrews.
The latter should, imho, have been in the public domain before now. I wonder if any other authorities are similarly underperforming.
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Old 5th Apr 2015, 07:41
  #3100 (permalink)  
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Nigelondraft, your response to my post typifies the mediocrity that currently exists..
Yes, 149 innocent people have been murdered by the hands of a 'pilot'.
We are all searching for answers to this unbelievable crime, but...

Unrealistic, out-of-touch suggestions such as yours deserve clear, simple (not simplistic) explanations as to why simplistic knee-jerk solutions are unlikely to improve the safety of the public.

Safer air transport is a work-in-progress. We are always improving our understanding of what causes crashes. The large effort that has gone into improving safety the last 50 years or so is one we should be immensely proud of. No mediocrity there.

PS Your suggestion that pilots should be trained 'to meet every scenario' helps me to understand the depth of knowledge you may or may not have about the subject.
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