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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:18
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Profoundly sad.

That someone in such a position could cold bloodedly crash an aircraft in such circumstances beggars belief. He must have been seriously disturbed, although what anyone can do to stop such things is difficult to say, visiting the FD security is a must.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:18
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Originally byJamesT73J
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.

The supervision I was talking about would not at all resemble the system they had employed in the Soviet Union, and later in Russia.

It's true they always checked crews for medical fitness prior to flights, but in general this system was not confidential but authoritarian.

To this day, in Russia when you as PIC decide to return to gate to examine a technical glitch on ground rather than taking it to the air, you'll be exposed to hours of interrogation, documents checking and so on. Obviously such procedures will not encourage crews to exercise their good judgement - I imagine it would come to the same with physical/mental health issues in an authoritarian system.

An effective supervision system in aviation would have to be non-punitive and confidential. Data and trends would need to presented to management in de-personalized form (e.g. trend of pilots experiencing financial stresses affecting their ability to perform their duties, or others).
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:20
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Why all the talk of live video feeds, etc. What would have changed? You would have gotten your tabloid news fix a bit quicker. That is all.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:22
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Talking about mental illness, if I recall a captain of a far eastern airline tried to crash his aircraft into the sea during take off into the sea at Kai tak many years ago, turned out that he had a series of mental problems
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:23
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Mr Lubitz's (the FO) training had been interrupted briefly six years ago but was resumed after "the suitability of the candidate was re-established"

I guess some information will remain in the private domain.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:25
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@Acklington

It can and it is depending on the airline.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:25
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Mr Lubitz's (the FO) training had been interrupted briefly six years ago but was resumed after "the suitability of the candidate was re-established"

I guess some information will remain in the private domain.
The CEO did mention that he had passed every test - including many psychological tests.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:26
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Sadly, the simple truth is: There is no test for sanity.

And even if there were, there is no telling at what point apparently perfectly sane people might suddenly 'snap'. We are humans and subject to the vagaries of life: relationship pressures and breakdowns, financial troubles, petty issues that can get magnified out of all proportion: the list is literally endless.

Perhaps, though, there is more room for an increased focus on what used to be termed in military and space quarters as 'the right stuff'.

Either way, the pressures for a short term 'fix' will be immense. It would not surprise me to see 1,500-hr minimums for First Officers, cockpit video cameras and further mandated changes to access procedures all coming in on the back of this.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:28
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Natstrackalpha what if this was his only real way to go, couldn't do it any other way (slim chance I know) but if so maybe he thought briefly about the 143 people behind him and didn't want their final moments to be a full on dive.

I apologise if that adds nothing constructive or logical.

The one thing I do know about suicide (attempts) is that you generally don't think about the people you're going to affect by what you're doing. You have one goal and one goal only.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:29
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Years ago when I started commercial flying a large number of Captains and First Officers were ex-military.

I never had any reason to consider these individuals as anything other than stable, competent and well-trained - often in combat.

These days pilots are hired who's background and mental state are largely unknown irrespective of the degree and quality of training they have received.

There have been mutterings about the rationale of putting 200 hour cadets into the right hand seat, now it seems there are mutterings about their mental state.

How this can be reconciled is an issue of considerable importance - not least because the travelling public are becoming concerned (I know this because I've been told this by friends and colleagues who are 'the travelling public').

Experience and competence are tangibles that, as far as the average passenger is concerned, are of little consequence as it is assumed a pilot wouldn't be flying unless s/he was judged to be competent by the airline and the authorities.

Mental state is an intangible which no matter how good the training and testing, experience or qualifications are can never be totally assessed.

This issue is far more likely to undermine the confidence of the public in these troubled times than the fact a pilot may have limited experience.

Last edited by FlyingOfficerKite; 26th Mar 2015 at 15:11.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:29
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From reports from his flying club where he had been known for years he was described as happy jovial and chatty guy dedicated to flying having started in gliding !
The conversation up to the point of the Captain leaving the cockpit was relaxed and normal hardly a nervous reserved personality about to remove himself and 150 others from the Face of the planet
How could anyone be alerted to a personality like that ? Or are things still not as they appear to be ?
There is NO evidence that the door was locked from the inside only that the Captain could not gain access which doesn't mean the same thing
Something is still not adding up right
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:31
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Isn't the suicide suggestion conjecture? Was it not possible that the F/O was starting to have some massive medical event just before the captain left the flight deck and which subsequently developed into him becoming unconscious. iF any post mortem examination is possible, could that be determined?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:32
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From the Guardian's live blog: "Unlike in the US, European regulations do not provide for two people to be in the cockpit at all times, Spohr said. Lufthansa does not voluntarily implement such a protocol, and Spohr said that he is not aware of any of the company’s competitors that have such a procedure."


http://www.theguardian.com/world/liv...updates-4u9525
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:34
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Just FYI, regarding the discussion about having 2 persons in the cockpit at all time, Norwegian Air shuttle just announced that from now on all flights will be obligated to have 2 persons in the cockpit at all time.
This meaning the Cabin crew need to step in if any of the pilots leave the cockpit.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:35
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Also from the Guardian:

"Spohr said that it appears the captain punched in the emergency number into the cockpit door to gain entry, but the co-pilot deployed the five-minute over-ride."

All of which must have been determined from the CVR.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:36
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The changing paradigm of hijacking / terrorism

Unfortunately people quickly adapt to mitigate new security measures.

Hijacking / terrorism used to be about getting a gun (or bomb) onto a plane. So we Increased airport security and made that increasingly difficult.

9/11 was about getting a few people with some flying skills onto the plane. So we fitted toughened doors prevent unauthorised access.

The threat now is the mindset and ideology of the pilot sitting forward of these toughened doors. After MH370 and this latest incident, that threat is going to require some thought.

Last edited by slats11; 26th Mar 2015 at 15:23.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:38
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Changing cockpit security procedures immediately looks bad. Other airlines will change soon but the airline in question may wait as to not appear they had a faulty SOP.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:39
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As SLF can I ask the question, why can't the data from the FDR and CVR be transmitted continuosly to a ground base, providing immediate access to vital information?.
Simple answer: Cost.

You want your tickets as cheap as possible making flying (per mile) one of the cheapest forms of transport on the planet. You have to accept that cost is the primary driver.

You want more? Pay more for the ticket.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:39
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..I am somewhat surprised & dismayed at the press failing to mention the new Germanwings T&Cs under 'negotiation' and recent strikes. Plenty of other speculation but as several other here have quite rightly mentioned, it's not impossible that a potential 40% pay cut, together with the huge financial demands of getting a licence, pay2fly contracts and their associated changes in work patterns etc MAY....have been a contributing factor. I don't know if this applies to the FO in question, so I am just suggesting its worth looking at and advising the public if it is relevant.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 14:41
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Already incident w co-pilot on outbond flight?

In the press conference with Lufthansa/Germanwing there was a journalist from the Tagesschau (most important daily news show at primetime on German public-service TV). The journalist told Spohr (Lufthansa CEO), that they have informations, that there was already an incident with the co-pilot on the outboud flight. Spohr said that he has no informations about this.

And there was an interruption for many months in the training of the co-pilot. Spohr gave no detailed explanation because of medical confidentiality. Which means there are already some medical (and probably psychological) problems on record for the co-pilot.
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