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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 9th Apr 2015, 09:38
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I guess the point is that that whilst the FO might well have no doubt (in their mind) about not letting the captain back in....what is running through the mind of the (possibly very new and junior) FA with his/her hand on the door handle?

Does he/she obey the FO's instructions not to open the door because the F/O is the "officer on deck" and "has the helm".... or does the FA open the door because regardless of what the "your only the co-pilot" says it's the captain outside and he/she is screaming to be let in?

As has been said before there's more to this than just chucking an FA onto the flight deck and saying "oh look, problem solved, we've introduced a two on the flight deck at all times rule".......

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Old 9th Apr 2015, 10:28
  #3162 (permalink)  
 
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Here's a description of the JetBlue incident from the LA Times:

Osbon [the captain] began speaking incoherently and became increasingly agitated as the flight went on.

After yelling at air traffic controllers, he turned off the radios in the Airbus 320, which had more than 130 people on board, and "sternly admonished the FO for trying to talk on the radio."

"The FO became really worried when Osbon said, 'We need to take a leap of faith,' " investigators said.

Initial reports after the jet made an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas, said the co-pilot had tricked Osbon into leaving the cockpit by suggesting he use the bathroom. The complaint says Osbon bolted out of the cockpit on his own and headed for the bathroom, alarming crew members. This was about 3 1/2 hours into the five-hour flight.

In the ensuing melee, Osbon reportedly "aggressively grabbed" a flight attendant's hands; banged on the bathroom door and yelled at a woman inside to get out; yelled at passengers; and pounded so hard on the locked cockpit door that the first officer feared Osbon was breaking through the bulletproof barrier.
I don't think anybody on either side of the door was ever in any doubt about which pilot was the sane one.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 10:43
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In the Jetblue case, if it is exactly as described, I'd agree, but the danger is when behaviour is not that clear cut.

What happens if an outwardly calm captain demands access back onto the flight deck after talking a "break" and an outwardly calm F/O tells the flight attendant " don't let him in, he's been acting oddly...."??

Good luck in sorting out a protocol for that one.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 11:25
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Good luck in sorting out a protocol for that one.
Trouble is, you cannot easily have a protocol for over-riding the chain of command.

As in the JetBlue case, and other instances of an FO "intervening" in what, retrospectively, turns out to be a good decision, all seems good. In flying terms verbal intervention is advised first - but ultimately (for Flight Safety) it is vague when the FO can say "I have control" (even though required).

Extending that protocol to require a CC member to override the Capt's command, when in either case (i.e. the CC obeys or overrides) the result may be a hull and all pax loss - or far worse

It is easy to think of / cater for the typical personalities and situations - but we need to address the exceptional.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 11:47
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
Extending that protocol to require a CC member to override the Capt's command, when in either case (i.e. the CC obeys or overrides) the result may be a hull and all pax loss - or far worse

It is easy to think of / cater for the typical personalities and situations - but we need to address the exceptional.
Absolutely true.
However, the way that the exceptional may be addressed is the way starting to be proposed in the NYT. All of a sudden the aircraft responds that it does not trust any of you and all the cockpit controls (including CBs) cease to work. You are now passengers in an 'optionally manned' aircraft.

There are avionics manufacturers and beancounters salivating at that thought.

So it would really be good if a productive way forward could be identified rather than the continual howling down of alternate ideas. The status quo is only there because nobody has yet changed it - not because it is ideal.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 11:55
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it would really be good if a productive way forward could be identified rather than the continual howling down of alternate ideas
Agreed...so come up with a logical, workable, "safe" (define?) credible idea and the "continual howling down" will stop. Until then the critical comments will continue.

There are avionics manufacturers and beancounters salivating at that thought.
Of course they are....but perhaps not for reasons of safety.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 11:56
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I don't see the point, that many still debate about this accident...it's very rare, and may happen in the futur, there is no solution. It is all about human being.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 12:48
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@Greenlights

'I don't see the point, that many still debate about this accident...it's very rare, and may happen in the futur, there is no solution. It is all about human being'.

You say it was an accident. I'd say it was deliberate so not an accident.
It is true you will never find a complete solution; but no harm at all in debating and thinking through.
When something new and terribly shocking (not unique though) happens people are bound to debate.
I think that is healthy.

Last edited by gcal; 9th Apr 2015 at 12:49. Reason: Terrible typing.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 13:26
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Tony Tyler: Germanwings Probe ?Shouldn?t Set A Precedent? | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 15:15
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Originally Posted by Greenlights
I don't see the point, that many still debate about this accident...it's very rare, and may happen in the futur, there is no solution. It is all about human being.
In hazard and risk analysis there are often some hazards that although extremely rare/very very low probability - are totally unacceptable. I believe that this is one of those events. These events must be prevented rather than saying as you imply (or as can be inferred from what you say) millions of people fly every year this was only 149 that's an infinitesimally small risk, therefore, we can just shrug our shoulders and say we still meet the target level of safety. That does not wash with an unacceptable hazard, especially one that may have relatively simple mitigation.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 15:24
  #3171 (permalink)  

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Ian W

I take your point about some risks being unacceptable but in my view it is just not possible mitigate this particular risk.

You say it is relatively easy to mitigate - how so? How would you prevent any pilot on short finals just stuffing the pole forward and so diving into the ground before the other pilot had any chance to react?
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 16:45
  #3172 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by John Farley
Ian W
I take your point about some risks being unacceptable but in my view it is just not possible mitigate this particular risk.
I think it is impossible to totally mitigate the risk a flight crew member might decide to crash an aircraft. However, there does seem to be a track record of c. 5 'pilots' deciding, when temporarily alone, to crash their aircraft.

It doesn't seem unreasonable to believe that people on their own can come to the conclusion to kill themselves (and act on it) more readily than when in the company of someone else. In a 'always 2 people' environment, to achieve this, the 'pilot' needs to instruct the cabin crew to lock the other pilot out. It seems very unlikely the CC is going to go along with this if 2 minutes earlier they had a friendly wave and chat while the pilot went off to the toilet and then remaining flight deck crew pushes the nose towards the ground while insisting that the other pilot not be let in.

I can see some argument that allowing cabin crew in could allow them to kill the flight deck pilot and then lock out the remaining pilot; However, I think this scenario is vanishingly unlikely as a result of mental health/suicide, etc. However, if you have a terrorist operative in your crew (flight deck or cabin) I am sure you all can think of a number of ways they could bring an aircraft down. This risk doesn't seem to be material increased by a 2 in cockpit rule.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 17:27
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It seems very unlikely the CC is going to go along with this if 2 minutes earlier they had a friendly wave and chat while the pilot went off to the toilet and then remaining flight deck crew pushes the nose towards the ground while insisting that the other pilot not be let in.
"pushing the noise towards the ground" might be nothing more sinister than the required swift'ish response to a TCAS RA.....how good is the average CC members knowledge of the FCOM 1 and QRH?

Now if the suggestion is that there always has to be two rated pilots on the flight deck we might be heading towards common ground.

Last edited by wiggy; 9th Apr 2015 at 17:42.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 17:37
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However, there does seem to be a track record of c. 5 'pilots' deciding, when temporarily alone, to crash their aircraft.
I am intrigued by the "5"? LAM, GW. EgyptAir started solo, but carried on when Capt returned. SilkAir had 2 up front. FedEx the non-pilot employee (at the time) attacked the Flt Crew. PSA the non-pilot employee shot the pilots. MH370 might be any of the above, or none.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 19:52
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In hazard and risk analysis there are often some hazards that although extremely rare/very very low probability - are totally unacceptable. I believe that this is one of those events. These events must be prevented rather………..

OK, how ? And can we have another example where risk has been totally removed altogether that involves human beings.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 20:01
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SilkAir had 2 up front.
I don't believe that's been established for certain, as there was a period of from 5 to 10 minutes from the time the CVR stopped recording before the aircraft went into a death dive. Authorities have speculated that during that time (after Capt. Tsu returned to the cockpit and pulled the breaker), FO Ward may have left the flight deck for whatever reason.

I seem to recall the crash of Air France 422 (actually operated by TAME) in 1998 was for a time suspected as suicide as the normal takeoff procedures from Bogota appeared to have been disregarded before it flew into a mountain. It occurred not long after SilkAir, which may have fueled some of the suspicions. In any case, the probable cause was eventually listed as loss of situational awareness in crap weather.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 20:06
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John Farley:

I take your point about some risks being unacceptable but in my view it is just not possible mitigate this particular risk.

You say it is relatively easy to mitigate - how so? How would you prevent any pilot on short finals just stuffing the pole forward and so diving into the ground before the other pilot had any chance to react?
Just because you cannot eliminate all of the risk doesn't mean you shouldn't try to mitigate for some of the risk. It should be perfectly acceptable to implement measures to try to prevent an incident like this.

No - I do not portend to have all of the answers - or all of the solutions. We (the collective) quickly instituted a measure ("impenetrable" doors) in response to 9/11. It created opportunity that we (perhaps) did not foresee. Refining what we did in response to try to prevent what now appears to be more than a "one off" seems appropriate.

Put yourself on board. What would you have done in the Capt's position? Would you have wished for CC on the Flt Deck? Have you really thought about that?
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 22:15
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mm flynn and WillFlyForCheese

My post was to give my views to Ian W about his post.

Of course I am not against anybody who wants to reduce the ways a suicidal pilot can crash an aircraft and comes up with solutions that eliminate specific methods. However there will always be one way that cannot be mitigated or protected against (the short finals case). That is the point I was trying to make to Ian W.
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Old 9th Apr 2015, 23:22
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In hazard and risk analysis there are often some hazards that although extremely rare/very very low probability - are totally unacceptable. I believe that this is one of those events. These events must be prevented rather than saying as you imply (or as can be inferred from what you say) millions of people fly every year this was only 149 that's an infinitesimally small risk, therefore, we can just shrug our shoulders and say we still meet the target level of safety. That does not wash with an unacceptable hazard, especially one that may have relatively simple mitigation.
Ian

of course its totally unacceptable as was 9/11 but 9/11 and the reactions to 9/11 have cost $billions in the way it changed the face of airports, inconvenience to the flying public and lost time to Industry. It has made flying a tedious, stressful form of travel with massive delays at airports and a loss of human liberty

Some of the very protections against another 9/11 have facilitated this equally awful act.( the security door) Because it was that system designed to keep terrorists out which Lubitz studied days before with a fundamental flaw in its system to make his awful plans a possibility

Most things are possible but they also come with a huge cost as the reactions to 9/11 showed.

This is not a time for emotional reactions a time for political intervention a time for knee jerk or ill thought out legislation or even a time for the Multi Billion $ security industry to see an opportunity for making more money but a time for calm and practical look at how another Lubitz can be deterred from ever doing this again.

i stress the word Deterred rather than stopped because there has to be a balance.

High in that contemplation must be the fact thats its unlikely that another Lubitz will ever do this again, A one off awful action by a very damaged and disturbed mind who somehow escaped notice not only by the medical world but also his colleagues who he worked and trained with.

Any action has to be balanced by the cost not just in money terms but by further restrictions making aviation less attractive to the paying public as happened with 9/11 but also to the would be pilots of the future who will not see flying as a desirable career to follow.

i have been flying for 30 years and i do so because I enjoy what I do! The day I don't enjoy what I do because it all becomes a mass of hassle is the day to hang up your hat and do something else and probably most pilots are the same.

Anything you do will carry a cost and also a price and as in this case may also open up a risk to another equally unforeseen but unlikely tragic event. Will the PERCEIVED benefits out way the negatives of any such action ?

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Old 10th Apr 2015, 00:54
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"pushing the noise towards the ground" might be nothing more sinister than the required swift'ish response to a TCAS RA.....how good is the average CC members knowledge of the FCOM 1 and QRH?
This is irrelevant, she or he has simply to decide whether opening the door to the captain or FO is reasonable. Independent of what the Pilot Flying is doing is there a sensible reason to exclude the other pilot Y/N? People skills, is supposed to be what CC are trained for isn't it?
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