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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:04
  #921 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe the days of 2-man flight crew will be challenged if this is in fact a horrible situation caused by a 2-man crew! Some may scream for the days of a 3 person crew ‘Captain, F/O and a 2nd officer (or there about) Very sad whatever the cause.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:05
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Try as you might, you can't yet take the person out of the equation, tech-friend. Not yet, anyway.

This is simply solved. MUCH more stringent screening of crew for warning signs of mental disturbance/political ideology which is, eh, shall we say "worrying"? I mean, no one likes Grosse Bruder, but the FBI (in the US, and I suspect the analogous agencies in other Western countries) investigates people who work in nuke plants before they're hired. Up to and including visiting their high school teachers and acquaintances to see what sort of things didn't come out in the hour long interview. There are JANITORS who were strapped to a polygraph at some point or another, but if you've an ATP and a willingness to work for poverty wages, congrats, you're an airline pilot!
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:17
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I make the following comment with the rider that I dont want my old job back and I realise that technology has moved on.

When the Flight Engineer was done away with we said at the time that no one had analysed all the things that we did in that role. All they did was look at what we operated and computerised it.One of the unacknowleged parts of our job was crew "stabilty". That duty didnt often come into play but in my 30+ years on the flightdeck it came out a few times.

We had problem captains who in a couple of cases became big problems not long after my experiences and more that a few problem F/Os. In time they were sorted, sometimes with subtle input from the FEs to management. In other cases their subtle problems became too obvious to ignore. But what we did provide was a qualified crew member in addition to the 2 pilots and that meant there was never a time when there was one person alone in the cockpit.That is reflectedin the fact that the type of problem being suggested here as a possibility didn't exist then.I even seem to remember a hijacker being taken out in Fiji by a well aimed bottle of scotch but that is another story and from memory the FE never got his bottle back either.

Recently I flew to Bali on holidays at the front of the cabin having scored some cheap business class seats. I was very surprised to see how long single pilot ops went on.

It seems along with automated flightdecks we have also introduced a less humanised cockpit into the mix and that is proving to be dangerous. If that applies to this sad case is still to be proven but there is enough evidence from the past to say my opinion is worth considering. How to get that level of human interaction back into the flightdeck is another subject.

Last edited by Wunwing; 26th Mar 2015 at 04:51.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:17
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A member of the intelligence services will certainly be present at the extraction of CVR data.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:24
  #925 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs up

When the Flight Engineer was done away with we said at the time that no one had analysed all the things that we did in that role. All they did was look at what we operated and computerised it.One of the unacknowleged parts of our job was crew "stabilty". That duty didnt often come into play but in my 30+ years on the flightdeck it came out a few times.
Indeed. Even setting aside the notion that one pilot or the other might be a secret maniac, the social dynamics of three people making decisions together are extraordinarily different from the dynamics of two people doing the same. IMHO, there ought to be three people on the pointy end, full stop. Of course, I'd also like to see pigs fly, but that's a different discussion...
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:25
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“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation was continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

The above is a quote from the NYT article. It seems pretty definitive, so has anyone from the BEA or other official source denied the claim made by what was quoted as a "senior investigator"
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:28
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Originally Posted by cockpitvisit

The door itself is the cause of the problem - because it introduces a single point of failure in the pointy end of the plane. One rogue crew member is all it takes to commandeer a plane.

Even on 9/11, there was a chance to correct the situation - passengers could have fought the hijackers, and on UA93, they at least prevented deaths on the ground. In fact the only reason why it happened was that obeying hijackers was the standard practice back then.

With the new cockpit door, you have no such chance.
Exactly right. Our passengers are not the enemy, they are our allies. It only took 40 minutes on that Sept 11 morning for the pax on UA93 to learn the hijackers have changed tactics.
This cockpit door we have now is a security risk, not a security asset. No one person should have sole control of the aircraft.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:32
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No official news on Voice Recorder content

Til we hear if from an official form France's Bureau of Investigation of the content on the Voice recorder I would recommend treating all other findings as absolute lies.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:40
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The NYT article is too verbatim description of the LAM accident to sound credible. It was carefully timed to be released after nightfall in EU, ensuring maximum period of 'float' before official denial. It has achieved this, all news outlets are picking it up parrot fashion as fact.

I expect there will be a statement of sorts from BEA sometime in the morning, a couple of hours from now. Until then, I would give zero credibility to the story.

(Of note, I wholeheartedly agree with all the comments above that the reinforced cockpit doors are a safety risk, no matter whether it becomes a factor in this accident or not.)
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:41
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Originally Posted by jack11111
A member of the intelligence services will certainly be present at the extraction of CVR data.
I'd be surprised if that's the case. You'd likely have a judicial presence at the handover to ensure the evidence is handled correctly, but there's no real reason to have military, intelligence or similar people present at playback.

Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever
...what was quoted as a "senior investigator"
Nope - the precise term used by the NYT was "A senior military official involved in the investigation", which could mean pretty much anything.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:49
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The initial reports that the airplane was in cruise in good weather and took 8 minutes to descend and crash greatly reduced the odds of mechanical or system failure in my mind.

More likely, something abnormal had to be going on in the cockpit.

The scenario from the NYT report is at least highly possible.

It's a major pain but there should never be only one person in the cockpit now that we have reinforced doors.

I don't want to go into too much detail but if there's only one person in the cockpit and they're not incapacitated they can most certainly prevent anyone else from entering the cockpit of an A-320 indefinitely. I assume the same applies for other aircraft types.

(I can't think of any way to physically break down the door with what is typically available in the cabin. Those doors are ROBUST!)
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:52
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AFAIK the accuracy of this [NYT] report has not been called into question by anybody
Look at the clock! It is just coming up to 6am in Europe...

Being one of the few who followed the thread from start, among the thousand posts so far there is ONE by Capt Kremin which deserves attention and closer scrutiny:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post8916098

If the analysis presented is correct (and I'm not qualified to judge) it strongly implies that the A/C was under pilot control during the descent.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 04:58
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As a retired captain for a major European carrier, and having flown A320 family as captain for 4+ years (just to establish some credibility).

Having previously favoured the decompression / start drills through descent first loop, that left me a little troubled in that if they had completed the memory drills to start the descent and therefore had donned the oxygen masks, I would not expect both of them to subsequently lose consciousness before completing the drills. The spinning of the altitude selector to below MSA I could live with, and the subsequent vertical and horizontal paths, and indeed the rates of descent, although as commented elsewhere, I would have expected a decleration to 250 kts at FL100.

What I would like to observe is that, whilst CNN/NYT are potentially being speculative, that the scenario they outline does at least fit the known facts of the flight path and lack of comms.

One thing that we can rely on is that background checks on the pilots will be have been high on the to-do list from the very start. Whether or not they show anything remains to be seen and just may be the reason the names of the 6 member crew have not been released. Time will tell.

Should this unpalatable theory come to be proven, then for sure there will be swiftly implemented changes. Let's hope they are better thought out than after 9/11.

Having said I had flown the A320 family, I finished my career on the B747-400 which had it's own dedicated toilet, which would be the gold standard.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:00
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I expect there will be a statement of sorts from BEA sometime in the morning
I don't expect any comment from them unless the NYT story is totally false.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:15
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Thumbs up

Being one of the few who followed the thread from start, among the thousand posts so far there is ONE by Capt Kremin which deserves attention and closer scrutiny:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post8916098
Full points to Kremin. An impressive and if I may say so, incisive post. Must have missed it, somehow.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:15
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Per info from the Gendarmarie, the flight data recorder was spotted yesterday and an attempt to recover it will be made today.

Both NYT and AFP are reporting the cockpit door storyline.

Last edited by Castlehard; 26th Mar 2015 at 05:35. Reason: Additional info
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:25
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Good Morning/Bonjour.

It's not that long ago (yesterday PM in fact) that according to some here the NYT was claiming the FDR had been found (some posted links here), although the authorities on the spot were making clear it had not been found...and it hadn't. Quite why is anyone is giving the NYT any credibility at the moment on any other issue surrounding the accident is a mystery to me...

Across the Atlantic the (UK's) Guardian reporter's p. poor knowledge of French seems to have led to various incorrect claims about the contents of FDR circulating in the UK media even after the BEA news conference ( to paraphrase - the BEA head's comments that the CVR would allow them to hear/analyse "noises, voices, alarms" was translated as: "we have heard noises, voices, alarms")

Til we hear if from an official form France's Bureau of Investigation of the content on the Voice recorder I would recommend treating all other findings as absolute lies.
Pretty much agree.

Last edited by wiggy; 26th Mar 2015 at 07:44.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:29
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A320 cockpit locking system

Looks like the flight crew can override the emergency keypad opening mechanism. Nothing wrong with that except when you have a terrorist or piloting nut job behind that bullet-proof door.
This cockpit security concept essentially introduced a single point of failure vulnerability in the plane.


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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:29
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Get out of our Cockpit

I normally sit and watch but this is getting seriously bad. Everyone wants to be the 'Man'.
I have 48 years driving aircraft including A340 and B747-400 and 24000+ hours.

For me if you post an opinion, mislead or copy comments and put them into the media you must be held accountable. And no, not good enough to say "not me sir I was reporting from a source". You must be prepared to put your credibility, proffessional career and personal assets to the test. That is whats required of most International Pilots. So put up or shut up.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 05:35
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Originally Posted by andrasz

Being one of the few who followed the thread from start, among the thousand posts so far there is ONE by Capt Kremin which deserves attention and closer scrutiny:

http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/5...ml#post8916098

If the analysis presented is correct (and I'm not qualified to judge) it strongly implies that the A/C was under pilot control during the descent.
Yes, a very good analysis by Capt Kremin .. thoroughly concur with that suggestion!
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