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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 7th May 2015, 11:31
  #3261 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by RobertS975 View Post
As far as the Captain leaving the cockpit, I can certainly tell you that in the US, unless there was a significant ground hold delay after leaving the gate, it would be a small minority of flights of that length where a member of the crew would leave the cockpit. The fact that the Captain left the cockpit so soon after departure would be most unusual in the USA.
It may be pure coincidence and I only fly four times a week on short 1 - 1.5 hour flights, but I have noticed that the crews seem to be taking toilet breaks as the pax self load. I had not noticed this before.
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Old 7th May 2015, 12:53
  #3262 (permalink)  
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Ian W: I concur.

I'm only a (reasonably-frequent) SLF but, on a recent Oz-NZ-Oz trip, I noticed that both flight deck crew members visited the forward lav while pax were boarding.

Not something I'd observed previously...

Perhaps this procedure is a new before-take-off check item?
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Old 7th May 2015, 13:22
  #3263 (permalink)  
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@Rifraf3 and RobertS975,

keep in mind that central Europe is a very congested airspace, chances are that you have to descend from cruising altitude long before your desired TOD. Regarding this it makes sense to leave the flight deck as early as possible to do whatever you have to do back in the cabin.
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Old 7th May 2015, 15:21
  #3264 (permalink)  
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@ Ian W and deanm

I think the majority of us have always used the turn around as an opportunity to use the loo. The exception is if there are technical issues on the turn around and you run out of time. In that case rather than delay the flight I'd wait until the cruise regardless of the length of the flight.

I suspect you just happen to notice it happening because you're more alert to it.
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Old 7th May 2015, 18:30
  #3265 (permalink)  
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Is it also possible that this captain had a habit of leaving the cockpit?

Prelim also says that Captain reported problem with front toilet not flushing and he was advised from base to reset a breaker at the rear of the plane. Maybe attending to this issue was the reason for him to leave the cockpit.
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Old 7th May 2015, 18:45
  #3266 (permalink)  
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I am wondering how many of you have actually bothered to read the preliminary report. So many are claiming that the Captain left the cockpit during the climb!

The report clearly states the Captain left the cockpit after reaching cruising level FL 380!

Page 28 of the report, in Initial Findings.
The Captain left the cockpit at the beginning of the cruise at FL380! (just shows how many arm-chair experts there are here, when you don't even bother to READ the FACTS!

So after TOC! And before TOD!
How hard is it to read and understand this?

This is perfectly normal, special due to LCC ops often only allow 25 minutes on the ground for the turn-around, and we can't always plan the exact moment we need to make our comfort break!
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Old 10th May 2015, 02:56
  #3267 (permalink)  
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According to the official report, the same crew landed in Barcelona at 7 h 57. The takeoff from Barcelona took place at 9 h 00. Barely 1 hour for ground operation. Pretty tight.
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Old 10th May 2015, 07:40
  #3268 (permalink)  
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I can't believe what I'm reading here.
Some argue about the toilet leaving of the captain. Wake up guys, he is human being, reason or not, leaving for toilet is a personnal problem. What do you want ? that pilots have to be chained on their seat ?
Maybe some of you are uneducated and only get an atpl, but come on. It is nonsense to argue about it. Don't cut off the branch you're sitting on !
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Old 10th May 2015, 08:18
  #3269 (permalink)  
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A one hour turn around would be considered generous in Europe for an A320.
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Old 10th May 2015, 10:02
  #3270 (permalink)  
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One hour for turn around in China is usually ok but pretty tight for such a full loaded A320 at rush hour time in a major airport, I mean.
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Old 10th May 2015, 11:35
  #3271 (permalink)  
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According to the prelim and its' description of the GWI access system, the door could have been opened by the Captain using a 3-digit (+#) "emergency" code. It would seem that it would not be possible to attempt to do so after the initial 1-digit "access request" had been refused
"Any interaction with the keypad is then disabled for 5 minutes".
as this would make the keypad inoperative until approx 9:39.31 (approx 90 seconds before impact).

In the BEA sequence of events, at no time is this "emergency unlock" procedure imlemented, only "buzzing" of the 1-digit access request, use of the cabin intercomm and shouting/knocking on the door (plus some banging that could have been attempts at physical acccess).

Whilst they don't address it specifically, the suggestion of the report is that (in the case of the system in use on GWI) such an attempt could have been blocked by the co-pilot anyway
"If the flight crew toggles the switch during those 15 seconds, the acoustic signal stops and the system reacts according to the command (UNLOCK/LOCK)."
but there is no mention of any such attempt being made - perhaps not surprisingly, given the circumstances and the events of the intervening 5 minutes.

Clearly there are good reasons for the systems that are in place, but, as they highlight, such procedures inevitably introduce an element of compromise and risk.
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Old 10th May 2015, 13:12
  #3272 (permalink)  
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I think it pretty safe to assume that numerous attempts at Emergency Access were made, or not bothered with due indications in the cabin.

Clearly there are good reasons for the systems that are in place, but, as they highlight, such procedures inevitably introduce an element of compromise and risk.
Agree, when you run through the scenario toe door was designed for - a well equipped determined team in the cabin seeking access to the Flt Deck. The Flt Crew are having to deal with the situation, divert, ATC / Security agencies are going bananas launching fighters - they need a simple drill to at least ensure Flt Deck access will not be achieved.

I am not as confident as some the scenario is now "dead in the water", and the Pax will solve the issue and "take out the terrorists". A low pax load and a well rehearsed team - and the baddies want the aircraft as a weapon, and are not worried about the pax numbers they take with them.

The BEA and authorities various will have to balance the security and political risks and decide if there will be changes. My personal guess is they will not - nobody will want to be the ones that allow the next 9/11 - but I could well be wrong. They took no notice of the suicide risk prior GW, despite it being clear... there will just be a supposed tightening up of medicals and hope it does not happen again
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Old 10th May 2015, 15:18
  #3273 (permalink)  
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Anyone object to us having the door to the loo on f/d? CC will have to use the ones at the back.

Then we only need to leave the f/d to look at the engines and reset the breaker for the toilets! which will reduce the burden on CC time to sit in the jump seat.
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Old 11th May 2015, 00:37
  #3274 (permalink)  
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An observation from the BEA preliminary report pages 22-23

From the previous DUS-BCN flight, aircraft level at 37000ft, captain leaves cockpit, seconds later ATC cleared them firstly to 35000ft and then circa 40 seconds later to 21000ft.

Lots of manipulation of target altitude to to 100ft etc during the time the captain wasn't in the cockpit, but when the captain returned to the cockpit four minutes later the target altitude selected was 25000ft and not 21000ft

ATC expecting 21000ft within an unstated time frame, but in the absence of terrain clearance issues would there be any reason not to set the desired altitude at anything other than 21000?

No indication of if this setting issue was resolved by subsequent communications and actions by the flight crew and if it raised any queries.
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Old 11th May 2015, 22:20
  #3275 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
(...) Nobody will want to be the ones that allow the next 9/11. (...) They took no notice of the suicide risk prior GW, despite it being clear... there will just be a supposed tightening up of medicals and hope it does not happen again.
Requiring a flight attendant to wait on the flight deck while one of the pilots is out seems like a reasonable, unrevolutionary precaution.
Nobody wants to be the ones who allow the next GW either.
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Old 11th May 2015, 22:35
  #3276 (permalink)  
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Of course, nothing will ever be able to stop a determined, skilled individual that is trusted with the operation of an aircraft from crashing it, no matter who is in the cockpit at the time.

EgyptAir 990 proved that.
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Old 12th May 2015, 04:52
  #3277 (permalink)  
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In this case even if a CC person were on the flight deck what are the chances of them realizing what was happening in time to prevent this. I understand that she/he could have possibly let the captain back on to the flight deck but based on what has been reported it would seem that the alarm was raised only after the captain could not regain entry.
As has already been pointed out its all pretty moot anyway considering that if either of the two people at the front decide to end it there is not a lot that the other pilot, CC or SLF can do. Like anybody in control of people carrying transport the public places trust in the individual/s at the pointy end.
It's the trust in the system (and fellow workers) that allowed this individual to be in his position that I suggest should be questioned.
And no I don't have the answers for that.
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Old 13th May 2015, 19:41
  #3278 (permalink)  
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1 hour turnaround! What a joy! Give me that every time...
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Old 19th May 2015, 19:12
  #3279 (permalink)  
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The remains of all 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps will be turned over to their families for burial now that investigators have completed the process of identifying them.Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin said Tuesday that death certificates for everyone aboard the doomed Airbus A320 jet have been signed and turned over to officials at German airline Lufthansa, parent company of the low-cost airline.
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Old 17th Jul 2015, 11:39
  #3280 (permalink)  
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EASA releases Task Force report

European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - European Aviation: Commission releases Task Force's report on Germanwings incident

The Task Force recommendations are:
- The principle of 'two persons in the cockpit at all time' should be maintained.
- Pilots should undergo a psychological evaluation before entering airline service.
- Airlines should run a random drugs and alcohol programme.
- Robust programme for oversight of aeromedical examiners should be established.
- A European aeromedical data repository should be created.
- Pilot support systems should be implemented within airlines.

Next steps:
The Commission will review the recommendations, taking into account advice received from other sources such as the independent accident investigation led by the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority (Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA)). Where legislative action is to be taken, EASA will be requested to develop concrete proposals, which will then be included in EU aviation safety regulations. EASA will also be asked to produce non-legislative deliverables such as guidance material and practical tools for information sharing, and to monitor actions taken by Member States and industry.
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