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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:49
  #1241 (permalink)  
 
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sp3ctre

I just don't see how you can "fix" the problem of a pilot wanting to down a plane. Sure, you could bring in measures to make this particular situation less likely, but what is to stop a pilot in control of the aircraft stuffing it into a row of houses (or the airport terminal) on descent.
Automation.. I know this isn't the most popular answer here, but A/C can (and I am sure they will) get systems that will prevent any single human factor on the flight deck to pose an immediate threat to the plane, either intentional or not. Where the FCS will simply not allow to be flown into terrain or outside of normal FE.

As such a system could have unwanted side-effects in case of emergencies, there should be an override option. But it's easy to come up with an system/procedure that can be operated quickly and intuitive but physically requires two people - or maybe even disables automatically upon a mechanical or environmental emergency.

The two-man rule is a well-known security measure and such a system will at least require two people conspiring to crash the plane or make a conscious decision to override the FCS protection for some good reason.

IMHO, door locking procedures should be revised as well. There should always be a way to get back in, possibly requiring ground clearance using a comms system from the cabin that cannot be overridden from the FD. From the ground, the decision to authorise opening the door in this case would have been easy: unauthorized descent, no contact with the flight deck and a captain standing outside wanting to get in.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:52
  #1242 (permalink)  
 
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Worth noting that LH have thorough psycho testing before employment. I actually know someone who failed the test!
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:52
  #1243 (permalink)  
 
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back into an era of 3 pilots in the cockpit?

Just a PPL here...

Wasn't it the case that Qantas used to have a policy that a low-hour junior would sit as the third pilot observing (even domestic flights) the two seniors and learning? If we had this, we would: 1) third set of eyes during take off/landings to raise awareness of any anomalies 2) great way to learn for the junior 3) decreased chance of any kind of situation like we are presumably looking at here. ... I am expecting that everyone is gonna say: 'Utopia!, Money!'...Well, what would stand against making the junior spend some time in the jump seat as part of the required airline training (ok - pay him the cabin crew rate, but I am pretty sure, he/she will still be keen on learning..)...or am I missing something /
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:53
  #1244 (permalink)  
 
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Shocked by the statement that the co-pilot is to blame.

On the CVR he has apparently normal breathing to the end, I don't see that means anything at all.

It shifts the spotlight from the reinforced locked door policy, and for there not being 2 people in the cockpit at all times. And wraps up the case very quickly in light of numerous recent unexplained incidents.

I see no motive or evidence here for the co-pilot taking the blame.

Maybe he had a stroke, heart attack, took some drugs that knocked him out, or a part of the ceiling panel dropped on his head.

How can his breathing be normal if he is committing suicide and crashing a plane ?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:54
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Originally Posted by Kerosen
It is truly remarkable that we have such elaborate schemes for maintenance and the verification of our technical skills, but no system such as supervision to help us with the psychological challenges of our work and lives.
I recall reading in 'Fulcrum' Alexander Zuyev made much of the borderline obsessive medical monitoring of pilots in Soviet times, that the flight surgeon like any good doctor had their finger on the pulse of what was going on with their people. The point of the writing was to demonstrate what Zuyev felt was an unfair myth about physical health of Russian crews, in particular alcohol abuse, but the prominence of friendly medical personnel in pilot's lives was notable.

There was also a documentary about Aeroflot on telly in the 90s that showed similar. It seemed as rigourous as Western standards, just very frequent.

Whatever comes next, I hope it's not more knee jerking.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:55
  #1246 (permalink)  
 
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Before this thread gets morphed into one about wages or lack of - who is right?


We have Denti - a long term Pruner and purveyor of common sense saying the guy was on €68kpa and would not be expected to take a pay cut


or 2 guys who have 20 posts between them blaming this tragic incident on a pay cut.


If there are public sources available could someone provide a link then we can discuss cause and effect.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:55
  #1247 (permalink)  
 
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Worth noting that LH have thorough psycho testing before employment. I actually know someone who failed the test!
Actually most that attend fail the test, only about 1 to 5% of all applicants pass it. However, they do not test for mental illness, they test if the applicants fit into the job and company profile.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:56
  #1248 (permalink)  
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There's a huge difference between psychometric testing and mental health assessments.

In various recurrent training sessions, I've heard all about stress and fatigue management. IMO, this is just lip service.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:58
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Mental illness

While I can only comment on my limited experience in three flag carriers.

My first paid three months full salary on sick leave then after a reduced income sacked you after a further three months.
Loss of license insurance paid only 10% of sum insured for mental problems.
These were the days when being labeled a "nutter" was one's fate.

I lost my license on mental health grounds in 1996. My company paid my salary for nearly two years before taking my medical away from me whereby I was transferred to an invalidity pension which was paid out of the (separate) pension fund.
It was in the companies financial interest to permanently remove my class 1 medical and the examining doctor was the company doctor.
In Hindsight it was possibly aerotoxic syndrome as we had a spate of pilots with similar mental health problems. If our illnesses had been classed as work related then the company would have been financially responsible.

Fortunately I only suffered severely from the Black Dog for seven years.....

Hopefully we will discover that it had nothing to do with mental illness as such but perhaps a seizure ...which has happened in flight to colleagues.

IMHO the security measures will have a sensible re hash but it's too late to redeem the flight engineer.

In the UK, hospital mental committal is only available to a male if he has seriously attempted suicide on three occasions. It is time to come out of the stone age.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 13:59
  #1250 (permalink)  
 
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I see no motive or evidence here for the co-pilot taking the blame.

He would have had to proactively denied the Captain's access. If he was incapacitated, this thread would not exist.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:00
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Denti

You are quite right. But up to 10 years ago LH was one of the few that did this.
Psychometric testing is now very commonplace in pilot selection.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:08
  #1252 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingchanges
He would have had to proactively denied the Captain's access. If he was incapacitated, this thread would not exist.
Yes, if he was incapacitated he would not have selected a lower attitude and he would not gone to the trouble of locking out the emergency entry code.

Whether it was a suicide or terrorist act, (or both) it surely was an intentional act.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:08
  #1253 (permalink)  
 
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LH ceo just now at press conference answering question from journalist about policy of LH not having policy of cabin crew taking seat in flight deck when one goes on toilet break, explained that other partner airlines have no such policy as is LH policy, not sure how this is true as my previous airline this was mandatory (uk airline) not sure about other European airlines?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:11
  #1254 (permalink)  
 
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The breathing being audible on a hot mic seems impossible in a very noisy cockpit, unless of course it is insulated by the oxygen mask.
I believe the CVR records a number of different channels. One is an open mike on the flight deck (overhead panel?) and the mike inputs to all crew positions whether or not the intercom is in use and/or that crew position is transmitting.

Early CVRs only had an open mike on the flight deck and I believe it was the British who pioneered the hot mike system.

So in conclusion it's quite possible to hear breathing from an individual crew position.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:13
  #1255 (permalink)  
 
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If you really have a pilot that is focused on a suicide/mass murder plot, a two person flight deck rule doesn't seem like much of a hurdle. If you are planning to kill everyone anyway, why not just start off by bludgeoning/strangling/stabbing/slip a ruffie/etc. the pilot next to you and then the two person rule is bypassed. If the pilot looks to be too hard to handle, maybe the replacement FA would be easier.
I don't think you understand the possible thought processes of people in these tragic situations. If it was suicide, but wasn't terrorism related or to make a point, he may have simply done it on a whim. The opportunity presented itself and he just went along with it to see what would happen. Just having another person sitting there could easily have been enough to prevent the tragedy, even if he thought he could over-power them in a fight.

It's too early to say, though. The point is, you're applying a rational thought processes to a situation isn't rational.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:14
  #1256 (permalink)  
 
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Response to macdo (previous page)
Sorry - not true .... I did psychometric tests nearly 50 years ago before initial training and I have done at least 4 other series of tests since then.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:15
  #1257 (permalink)  
 
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No, I think there was somebody else on the flight deck who knew nothing about aeroplanes and flying and who thinks that to descend quickly you just push the stick forward.
Think about what you have just said, if someone other than crew entered the cockpit do you think the other crew member would be so quite on the CVR tape !!!! and if this person knew nothing about aeroplanes and flying but knew enough about how to lock the door !!!

Last edited by fastjet45; 26th Mar 2015 at 14:28.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:17
  #1258 (permalink)  
 
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So in conclusion it's quite possible to hear breathing from an individual crew position.
Airbus uses "live" mike anyway?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:17
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Yes, if he was incapacitated he would not have selected a lower attitude and he would not gone to the trouble of locking out the emergency entry code.

Whether it was a suicide or terrorist act, (or both) it surely was an intentional act.
The Lufthansa CEO also said that the flying of 149 other persons to their death is not what he would term a suicide.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:18
  #1260 (permalink)  
 
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LH CEO just confirmed that the F/O has a break for a couple of month during his formation due to unspecified medical reasons.
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