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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 12th Feb 2016, 19:23
  #3361 (permalink)  


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Red face 2-person cockpit and safety (in general)

Back in the days when the 737 was first introduced, designed for 2-pilot operation, BALPA resisted this strongly on the grounds that "3 pairs of eyes is better than 2" during critical phases of flight (I was around that time working on BA's flight sim maintenance, having worked previously at Link-Miles building sims). The result was a "redesign" of the Trident, which was originally planned to be a 2-pilot aircraft, and the solution for BA was to introduce "P3" and move much of Trident's (previous Flight Engineer's) fuel and systems instrumentation (IIRC) back to the rear right side of the flight deck.

The problem of "pilot suicide" was not an issue then and neither was the much more recent terrorist issues that resulted in the self-destruct intention of a pilot enabling him to isolate the flight deck in order to carry out his suicide, and the resulting deaths of entire aircraft.

Reinstating the "P3" concept is unfortunately not a viable solution as we no longer have trained Flight Engineers, and moving back to 3-crew, even with one jump-seating, could not be practical in the short- or medium-term as "P3"s could not be brought into the industry fast enough.

Although hindsight is, as always "20/20", it seems that we are "hoist by our own petard" having phased out the 3rd cockpit member who, as I recall, was originally a trained engineer who could often fix a snag when away from base by his own skills. Maybe that's no longer feasible with modern aircraft, but it would probably have prevented several events in recent years when one of a pair of pilots have decided to self-destruct and take an entire aircraft's crew and PAX with him.

I'm not convinced that medicos could quickly enough respond to a pilot who, for example, found himself in a emotionally and financially disastrous divorce situation, or a financial catastrophe, and kept it to himself, to avoid this sort of scenario occurring again.

My thoughts (FWIW) - maybe an "Air Marshal" on the jump seat? Or would that be another weak point if it was the Air Marshal that became temporarily unbalanced

Just my 2 cents,

Last edited by ExSimGuy; 12th Feb 2016 at 19:32. Reason: edited to tidy up and remove typos)
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 19:44
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Typical knee jerk legislation. Introduce a new rule without thinking it through and afterwards wonder if it was a good idea.
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 19:58
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@ExSimGuy

Read about Japan Airlines Flight 350, from back in 1982. Suicidal DC-8 Captain decided to crash the plane. Both the First Officer and the Flight Engineer tried to restrain the Captain without success.

Plane plunged into Tokyo Bay. 24 dead. Captain survived and later acquitted: "not guilty by reason of insanity".
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 20:07
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Exclamation Japan Airlines Flight 350

I'm guessing that was initiated from a low altitude - on take-off or late approach. Not enough time for the other 2 crew members to prevent it.

For a "nice" high-energy crash it has to be higher and faster. Hence the survivors on this one.
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 20:28
  #3365 (permalink)  
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Passing legislation for a one off case is always a bad idea.

I followed the aftermath of this case for other reasons, and frankly unless you wear a tatoo saying " I am an airline pilot" to warn the Psychiatrists of the MD who you really are, and then you will need to force Medical doctors to warn your employer that you are unfit to fly, it will not work ,there is little you can do to prevent this in our open societies.
Lubitz went to see over 20 different doctors , was reported unfit to work by nearly all of them, but only a few declared they knew he was a pilot, and those one who knew just gave him a paper to stay at home.

EASA legislation will not change this.

Only in Russia (and some other CIS states ) I believe Airline Pilots are still given a medical check before every flight, by a company doctor. Was at least still like this a few years ago. Good lefts over from the Soviet times.

Last being 2 or 3 or even 4 in a cockpit , will probably not prevent a highly intelligent psychopath to hide , and do what he wants to do. That is at least what all the psychiatrist say.
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Old 12th Feb 2016, 20:38
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Don't (just) give your opinion here. Fill out the survey (as well).
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Old 16th Feb 2016, 20:40
  #3367 (permalink)  
 
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Read the European Cockpit Association's point of view on this issue:
https://www.eurocockpit.be/stories/2...position-paper
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 09:31
  #3368 (permalink)  
 
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The paper does a good job of identifying the main issues. However, without any proper risk analysis evident on those issues, it does seem to arrive at its conclusion...

The "minimum occupancy" concept is NOT an effective security tool. Quite to the contrary, such a measure has the potential of introducing a risk higher than the one it is trying to prevent, and for which effective mitigating measures are not readily available.
..like a rabbit from a hat.
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 14:04
  #3369 (permalink)  
 
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ExSImGuy history error

With all due respect, ExSimGuy, a lot of the history in your first few paragraphs is completely adrift.

The Trident was already in service when the 737 was first envisioned in 1964. It always had a Flight Engineer station, in the same location as all other 3 crew aircraft. It was never designed as a 2 crew aircraft and the idea that it was "redesigned" following pressure from BALPA is absurd. (It was originally designed to be a significantly bigger aircraft and was redesigned in 1958 to be smaller following pressure from BEA for commercial reasons, which proved to be spectacularly ill-advised, but that's another story.)

As BEA did not have any Flight Engineers on its payroll and didn't plan to get any, the then Air Registration Board allowed them to re-designate the 3rd crew member position to be a Systems Panel Operator (SPO) who carried out Flight Engineer functions in flight, but was not permitted to exercise any other privileges of a Flight Engineers' Licence. All Trident F/Os were licensed as both pilot and SPO and generally flew alternate legs in each seat. I joined BEA on this basis in 1965, and as far as I'm aware there was never any discussion of 3 crew versus 2.

The minimum crew controversy arose much later, in 1977-78, in particular with the DC9, B757/767 and A310, resulting in the 1981 report of The President's Task Force on Aircraft Crew Complement. This (1) reviewed the August 1980 decision by the Federal Aviation Administration to certify the McDonnell Douglas DC-9-80 aircraft for operation by a minimum of two persons; and (2) made recommendations concerning the use of two-member crews in the proposed Boeing 757 and 767 and other 'new generation' commercial jet aircraft. I was involved in giving evidence to that Task Force.

The only point at which I am aware of any movement of components in the way you suggest emerged at a discussion in Seattle between Boeing and the BA/BALPA joint flight ops project team for the B757, for which BA was launch customer along with Eastern. Boeing's statement that they had never at any time contemplated having a 3rd crew member in the 757 was undermined by our finding on a table in the D-cab briefing room a set of drawings of just such an arrangement where a number of overhead panels were relocated to a side panel.
Apologies for thread drift.
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 22:13
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made recommendations concerning the use of two-member crews in the proposed Boeing 757 and 767 and other 'new generation' commercial jet aircraft.
Unless you were Ansett
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Old 18th Feb 2016, 23:19
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Red face

(2) made recommendations concerning the use of two-member crews in the proposed Boeing 757 and 767 and other 'new generation' commercial jet aircraft. I was involved in giving evidence to that Task Force.
The 767 was initially designed for a 3 man crew and it was AFTER the first two flyable were starting fab that the cab was changed to a 2 man crew. One of the resultant issues involvede the ' skull cap ' ( the area between front cockpit windows and the overhead panels). The re routing of hydraulic systems resulted in certain valves/switches being located there. But the chicken gun tests ( x pound bird fired at that area at 200? mph ) resulted in enough damage to that area [ which would take out major hydraulic system controls ] - that the structure had to be redesigned from aluminum structural members to titanium, etc.

I forget all the reasons for the change from three to two- but foggy memory recalls a united airlines Pi*** contest re flight enginerers, crew costs and similar.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 02:43
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I think that had there been a third crew engineer/systems, airfrance and airaisia system failure>stall would probably have been averted
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 03:43
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Originally Posted by phylosocopter
I think that had there been a third crew engineer/systems, airfrance and airaisia system failure>stall would probably have been averted
AF447 had three crew in the cockpit for a good part of their stalled descent, and it didn't help them much. Adding more confused/dosoriented people in the cockpit isn't necessarily going to improve the outcome.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 04:57
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Although it has been done to death, a stick in the belly of the PNF would have helped...
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 05:15
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Although it has been done to death, a stick in the belly of the PNF would have helped...
Yep...just like it helped in the Asiana accident at SFO, and Turkish at Amsterdam, where tactile feedback through the yoke and throttles averted disas...oh wait.

My thoughts (FWIW) - maybe an "Air Marshal" on the jump seat? Or would that be another weak point if it was the Air Marshal that became temporarily unbalanced
Are you joking?
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 05:35
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Turkish and Asiana also had three pilots on the flight deck, and they both missed the low speed/low energy states.
How about more mandated hands on flying?
How about twice a year airline pilots do one hours flying in a Cessna? No autopilot, no IFR just good old look out the window and throw the plane around the sky?
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 05:48
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Flying a Cessna VFR has precious little to do with operating an airliner (although I suppose every little helps). It would be far more useful for all airlines to have a sensible automation policy that encourages raw data, manual flying on the line when appropriate.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 08:10
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there might be a significant difference between three pilots in the cockpit and two pilots and a systems engineer. what air france and air aisia (and Aeroperú Flight 603) hi-light is that computerisation did not do away with the need for an engineer just that that roll changed. If someone in either of those cockpits understood the systems and had a deep understanding of how various faults manifest those disasters arguably would have been averted. The problem was that the pilots could not figure out what information was valid and what to ignore. a dedicated systems engineer could have told them.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 08:42
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Publication final report Sunday, March 13, 2016

FYI. Found this yesterday on the Bea website.
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Old 19th Feb 2016, 10:23
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Direct link to the BEA website for this crash.

https://www.bea.aero/les-enquetes/le...vec-le-relief/
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