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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:20
  #1121 (permalink)  
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Reasons for committing suicide:
  1. Loss of dearest loved one
  2. De-debilitating disease
  3. Extreme physical pain
  4. Ideological reasons
  5. Financial hardship (huge loans, low pay in comparison, no way seen out of the mess).

Which one would you most associated with an otherwise talented young German First Officer?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:21
  #1122 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by CUTiger78
"Mode S transponder data should provide information about the selected altitude - assuming the descent was initiated by one of the pilots."

ADS-B OUT data will have the same and more, along with a higher frequency of updates.
No, it won't. Selected Altitude is a Mode S EHS download parameter (DAP), nothing to do with ADS-B-Out
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:22
  #1123 (permalink)  
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In my company the pilot is never left alone in the flight deck. If one of us wants to go to the loo, then we have a CC member sit with the other guy in the FD until the one that has gone out returns. So you would never have a lone person in the FD. One wonders why this was not a policy in Germanwings, or other airlines that have had similar incidents - could this have prevented this disaster?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:23
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They just say in the news that the Co-Pilot did the descent on purpose and left the captain out of the door on purpose...
Does "on purpose" means that there was "Thou shall not pass" on the VCR?

What they could hear on the voice recorder was the breathing noises of the co-pilot, so he was alive until the end.
Alive do not equals to conscious as far as I can understand english...
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:24
  #1125 (permalink)  
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A previous post by gbpeck or something similar has been deleted, as I'm sure
mine will, but he or she made a valid point. If contemplating suicide, would
someone rely on the other pilot going on a comfort break on a short
flight? It seems unlikely.
Your post suggests a premeditated suicide, which a lot are not. A lot of the suicides that happen at train stations around the UK - the people haven't just upped and ran to the nearest station to jump under a train - they are in their business suits with all of their items ready for their business day and have gone to the station for their commute. Something happens at that exact moment and they jump.

Although it can be premeditated, most are not, as pre-planning means some logical thought process and most suicides are illogical thought processes.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:24
  #1126 (permalink)  
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I'm sure we will get recomendations and these must be acted on universally by the industry to ensure that nobody can be left alone in a locked flight deck door.

2 sensible ways :

Key or RFID type Fob in the cockpit that goes with any crew memeber when the leave the flight deck, that will allow access no matter what security setting the door has been placed on.

Upgraded door system to allow a per flight specific random door code to be generated that would override any security settings.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:25
  #1127 (permalink)  
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The unanswerable question is how many atrocities have been prevented by the raft of security measures since 911 (and others such as baggage screening following bombs in earlier years). Airlines (especially flag carriers) are highly lucrative targets for terrorists as they strike fear into the populace and are seen as a national totemic symbol of the nation you are trying to attack/alter the governments courses of action. So it is a matter of balance - in my view cockpit doors have probably saved more lives that they have ended. Nothing in the above statement detracts from the absolute tragedy here.

I also suspect that whatever the motivations of this individual, he would have found another way of disabling his captain with or without a cockpit door mechanism.

On a different tack, there is an irony between the number of posters resisting the placement of in cockpit cameras for privacy reasons and the number calling for the early release of the pilot's names........
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:26
  #1128 (permalink)  
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I hope for the aviation industry his reasoning was not around the current financial woes of young pilots who have invested the value of a house to get a job which in many cases now only pays a mediocre salary.

I red the other day germanwings was meant to be scrapped/ rebranded in the autumn.
New pilots can expect to earn a 40% less.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:27
  #1129 (permalink)  
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I'll repeat myself

In the freighter I fly, we manage to make our own coffee, heat our own meals and use the toilet without the help of an air hostess, all the whilst complying with our SOP. If a galley and toilet were located behind the cockpit door and my colleague were to become suicidal, at least I would have a chance to disable him without being locked out of the office, as long as he doesnt have over 100ml of toothpaste or deoderant on him.

What I am suggesting is that in airliners that carry pax, the flight deck crew have their own toilet and galley behind the cockpit door. This would result in a few less rows of seats, and will therefore never happen.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:29
  #1130 (permalink)  
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Having lost a friend to mental illness last year, it has opened my eyes to mental health. My friend left work early one day, his colleagues felt he was just having an off day. Within 15 minutes the guy was dead, just 2 text messages and one letter left.

No one knew of his illness and none of us suspected that he may take his own life.

This could have happened on any sector that day, the only saving grace is that the skipper left the FD at TOC and not just before TOD. There could have been far worse consequences had the aircraft crashed into an urban area.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:29
  #1131 (permalink)  
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How common is it for captains to leave their seats and flight decks on such a short sector? If it is relatively uncommon, then the FO (if it is proven to be by his hand) must have either been considering this action for a number of flights, or just took his opportunity on the spur of the moment.

Is it too simplistic to say there would/might have been signs that all was not well with this young pilot?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:29
  #1132 (permalink)  
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If you accidentally disconnect the AP in an Airbus nothing much happens. It just sits there.

There is no default mode on an Airbus that will send it on a descent at VMO.

This was deliberate.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:30
  #1133 (permalink)  
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The next generation of Captains

We really must make these jobs worth their candle - even at the cost of the ticket price. Professional pilots terms and conditions, rostering, rest periods, FTLs, have been eroded for the past decade if not longer. The job MUST be made tolerable, or we will generate more of these tragedies...
This does not necessarily mean more pay - just better overall conditions and a culture of valuing professional pilots.
With more low time cadets being taken into the teams, we must value them. They are the Captains of the next generation.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:30
  #1134 (permalink)  
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If every LCC cadet was subject to recurrent psychological assessment, such carriers would find themselves in a pickle with regard to crewing requirements. While I have never suffered from mental illness I can empathise with cadets who, after putting in almost 2 years of hard work and financial commitment can find themselves sitting in that right hand seat and being paid nothing or little more than minimum wage at certain airlines. Demands from loaning banks, parents, finding a roof over one's house, eating healthily, having any kind of life, working long hours for days on end can take it's toll, especially if this low 'pay' is continuously wearing on the FO's mind.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:30
  #1135 (permalink)  
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First post here.

The only solution that I can think of to limit the chances of this happening again is to move the cockpit door back so that the toilet becomes part of the cockpit safe area and is only used by crew.

This way, none of the pilots will need to leave the cockpit area unless, they are on a wide body, long-haul flight where there is a relief pilot. Even then, the relieved pilot does not leave until such time the relief pilot is in his seat, which is normal procedure anyways. (I would think!)

On smaller planes, this is slightly more problematic because of the loss of the forward toilet, but this can be resolved by adding another toilet which will inevitably mean less rows and more squeezed PAX as the airlines will not like the idea of less sardines.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:30
  #1136 (permalink)  
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I'm sure we will get recomendations and these must be acted on universally by the industry to ensure that nobody can be left alone in a locked flight deck door...
Trouble is you are now designing a system to cater for a suicidal pilot... which rather admits there could be such individuals out there.

The regulation and industry relies on pilots to be the solution, not the problem. Once you swap that, there are plenty of other problems unearthed.

Remember, we have single pilot Ops up to a certain size, and serious studies being made into single pilot airliner Ops, especially in cruise / Long Haul.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:31
  #1137 (permalink)  
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kungfu panda - disconnection of the autopilot in nearly all commercial aircraft is annunciated by an aural warning, no such aural alert was contained in the CVR data (as it was not mentioned in this morning's press conference) so the autopilot was not disconnected.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:32
  #1138 (permalink)  
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The obvious solution which will be peanuts in the whole cost of the operation is an extra cabin crew member trained in a different way to monitor safety issues and PAX as well. It would be his/her duty to monitor the entry and exit of crew members and to remain in the cockpit so there is no one pilot alone at any time.
What will that cost an extra 20,000 euro PA?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:32
  #1139 (permalink)  
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As a low hours pilot was he also low paid? Was he under financial pressure?
Germanwings FOs are on the Lufthansa mainline pay, only exception is that the overtime threshold is higher. The entry level pay is around 68k /year according to lufthansa management, they enjoy the full benefits of lufthansa. Yes, they have to pay back part of their flight training (60k) which is deducted from their pay in several different ways between which they can choose. Max level pay for an FO at Germanwings is around 130k/year.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 12:35
  #1140 (permalink)  
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Firstly this is a tragedy. Even more the terrible if it were caused by a deliberate act. I do think posters are seriously missing the point here. Sadly the closed cockpit door and secure flight deck philosophy is absolutely essential!!

The point is being missed!! What is also essential in my view is that there should never be less than TWO people on the flight deck during flight. SIMPLE.

I am a 737 Captain for a major operator and we don't have any expensive security equipment such as cameras to look in the cabin or double doors etc.

When a pilot needs to leave for the toilet we follow a very sensible procedure to identify who is at the door through use of a communication protocol and visual verification (peephole). The Cabin is secured and the pilot then leaves the flight deck (whilst the other pilot remains ALWAYS at the controls) a member of the cabin crew then passes into the flight deck and the door is re secured. When the pilot is ready to come back the same procedure is followed. The Pilot Flying when ready asks the cabin crew member to visually identify through the peep hole and then simply opens the door at which point they swap over again. Both pilots are now back on the flight deck. It is my understanding that this procedure is predominantly to substitute the use of cameras etc as one pilot must ALWAYS remain at the controls during flight. This procedure however also ensures that TWO people are ALWAYS on the flight deck. Should anything go wrong with the pilot flying such as falling unconscious or God forbid some sort of extremely erratic behaviour (like wanting to kill everyone) then the cabin crew member simply turns the door handle from inside the flight deck at any time and this mechanically opens the door outwards to the cabin enabling others to gain access.

I cannot speak for other airlines but my understanding is that if they have cameras etc then there isn't necessarily a requirement for a procedure to keep TWO people on the flight deck. Crews from other airlines will be able to confirm whether this is the case.

If it is the case then it is the rules applied by the regulators and the procedures designed by the airlines which need potential review not the fact that we need to get rid of the cockpit doors which are essential to secure the flight deck.

People are just focused on keeping the looneys out. What if they are already inside??

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