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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:27
  #1541 (permalink)  
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We have to address the fact that pilots are vulnerable to mental illness. The stigma associated with that encourages covering up and the fact that LOL and disability insurance fails to pay creates a system which incentivizes covering up and avoiding treatment.

I can only speak to the situation in the USA, but just about all of the medications that treat depression or anxiety cause one to lose their medical and thus their license.

My handle here is a tribute to a friend, by consent, who's a gifted pilot who fell into the unfortunate situation of severe anxiety including agoraphobia and panic disorder. Despite the meds and the issues he has, there is nobody I would trust more to handle an emergency. It's a paradox but given an emergency, he'd get through it.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:28
  #1542 (permalink)  
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It was a cold calculated case of murder.
Any diagnosis has to fit the facts. There have been cases of door malfunction before. Is there a motive or suspicion with this man - not so far. Seems A1. That's a big problem.

You are saying an ordinary person is going to kill himself and 150 people whilst on £68k and achieving his lifetime dream of flying, all while "breathing normally".

That does not fit.

We seem to be living in a period of unprecedented unexplained plane crashes. Is there a reason for this ?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:30
  #1543 (permalink)  
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Just a couple of questions

I know all of the professionals here do not like the idea of a crew member taking an action like this.

initial statements from authorities appear to be pointing us in that direction. However, I my memory bank, I seem to recall that suicides involving the taking of other lives are more rare than individual acts.

I have no Bus experience, so hopefully some of the A-320 guys can comment on my questions.

Could this airplane have had a more than 5 minute delay in the cockpit door unlocking sequence?

If the FO had a medical condition/attack, which caused him to push his side stick forward, would that disengage the A/P, and/or start the airplane down?

If that could be the case, the speed control would continually try to maintain the set speed by retarding the power levers?

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:31
  #1544 (permalink)  
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From what i can remember, turning the ALT knob on the bus doesn't sound at all. And they say that's heard on the CVR?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:32
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We seem to be living in a period of unprecedented unexplained plane crashes. Is there a reason for this ?

Commercial Aviation is at it's safest ever. I think we're just seeing unforeseen consequences of ___________.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:32
  #1546 (permalink)  
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Those of you jumping down my throat might like to take note that I was replying to the previous poster who was incredulous that someone with 600 hours was the copilot of a passenger jet, nowhere did I say that the crash was caused solely by the pay to fly culture.

If I wanted to off myself I can think of far easier ways to do it and I would not deliberately take 150 people with me. If I Did want to crash the aircraft I would disconnect the autopilot and dive into the ground, not do a cruise descent into the Alps. If he did do it deliberately then the selection needs to be looked at very hard. On that note, being able to buy your way in May not be the best strategy but it will never change unless the public stop using budget airlines, which they won't.

As for depression, we have all felt pretty low at times but don't commit mass murder which really raises the question what really went on? Again, we may never know, there are too many vested interests in aviation for anything to fundamentally change.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:32
  #1547 (permalink)  
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Has it been confirmed that the keypad entry was attempted? Was there the alarm sounds heard on the CVR?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:36
  #1548 (permalink)  
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Selected altitude shown to ATC?

Originally Posted by marie paire View Post
This is not so. The ATC tag will show the altitude the aircraft is cleared to (controller manual input processed by the ATC FDPS) and the actual FL and attitude of the aircraft (climbing, descending, level) derived from mode C.
No, the OP is correct, at least for those Mode S radars that interrogate for downloadable parameters (DAPs).

The controller gets to see the SELECTED altitude. The whole point is that, by comparing that to the CLEARED altitude, the controller gets an early warning of a potential level bust where the two values aren't the same.
Unfortunately, there are many different forms of implementation. In most cases nothing is displayed though the information can be used for Short term conflict alert. But I concede that in some systems it may be displayed. Do not know if it is the case in Marseille ACC.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:38
  #1549 (permalink)  
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You are saying an ordinary person is going to kill himself and 150 people whilst on £68k and achieving his lifetime dream of flying, all while "breathing normally".
One could argue that Robin Williams had everything in life, you can't just switch off mental illness because you're perceived to be successful.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:41
  #1550 (permalink)  
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Possible stroke or fit?

I recall working with a guy who was very animated when we had lunch together, and then almost monosyllabic, but functioning not long after, making me wonder if I'd upset him in some way as he didn't respond when I spoke to him, just stared out of the window. Half an hour later, He then collapsed, fitted and was hospitalised, woke up 2 days later but sadly diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Could it possibly be that something similar happened to the co pilot , explaining the change in his conversation ( to laconic) and he 'mis functioned'?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:41
  #1551 (permalink)  
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No one hasvan expectation of privacy on the job
We have cameras, phone calls are logged, as are emails
Bathrooms and such are the exception

If you don't like the conditions of employment seek other

The benefits outweigh the percieved 'right'
Give info to assault team or air marshall
Evidence in case of unruley pax
Reconstruct events like this
Possibly assist from ground with emergencies
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:44
  #1552 (permalink)  
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Good post mesyfang. Indeed it is possible to be exceptional at your job and suffer a MH problem. Many people with lives in their hands do, doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, pilots.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:46
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If I wanted to off myself I can think of far easier ways to do it and I would not deliberately take 150 people with me.
zeddb, you're thinking like rational and mentally healthy person.

Why are there cases - as happened in a country town in NSW, AU last year - where a depressed man shoots his wife and kids before shooting himself? And nobody knew until then there were any problems. Why not just shoot himself?

Why do some sad, twisted people commit "suicide by cop"?

My own cousin died by suicide. She had struggled with depression for a long time, but had recently started a new treatment that everyone thought was working because she was happier than ever. As it turned out, she was happy because she'd made a plan to end her life. She didn't think at all about the effect her death would have on her family and indeed she did it in a location where it was inevitable that it would be family that would find her body. She was convinced her action was the right thing to do and that everyone would be better off without her (she left a note), even though of course it absolutely devastated everyone. And of course, everyone in the family swore they would have done something if only they'd known, but to everyone from the outside she looked healthier than she had in years. (She herself was a MH professional.)

You just can't always know.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:47
  #1554 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by threemiles
Mode-S in Central Europe interrogates MCP/FMS set altitude and QNH setting (FMS for Airbus, which is usually the origin or the destination)

The required equipment is mandatory for the Central Europe airspace.

However the resolution of the data transmitted is 100 feet.

So 13,008 or 96 feet is fake.
No, it isn't.

If, say, 13000 feet is the selected altitude at the time that parameter is interrogated, it can't be sent as that exact value because it's encoded as a 12-bit value where the LSB is 16 feet (MSB is 32768 feet, range is 0 to 65520 feet).

So 13,000 feet gets sent as the closest multiple of 16 feet, which is 13,008 (16 x 813) and 100 feet is sent as 96 (16 x 6).

It may well be that the controller's display rounds the value to multiples of 100 feet, but that's not what we're talking about here.

I see absolutely no reason to doubt those reported DAP Selected Altitude values, which are what you would expect to see as the FCU altitude knob is rotated over a period of some seconds.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:54
  #1555 (permalink)  
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Rideforever - the altitude selection is with a knob, not a keypad. The entire altitude selection occurred over 3 seconds and the 13008 hit was most likely just an interim sample of data as he turned the knob to 100'.

Old Boeing Driver - the entry keypad sounds an alert in the cockpit for approximately 30 seconds before the door will unlock. This gives the cockpit crew time to assess who is trying to get into the cockpit and, if necessary, to activate the lock to prevent the door locks from releasing. The keypad does not take five minutes or more to activate. The length of the lockout is variable by airline. No, I won't divulge how long it locks the door on our planes.

The real crux of the situation is that we pilots are forced to avoid mental health treatment, even basic counseling, because it becomes a required reporting item on our next FAA physical exam. On top of that, most insurance doesn't adequately cover mental health care and our Loss of License insurance limits our coverage if it is for mental health reasons. The pilot with issues is forced to deal with them himself or risk losing his job. (Alcohol, anyone?) The entire system pretends pilots don't have mental struggles at some point in their lives, and those that admit to it are marked for the rest of their careers.

Among the ranks of every pilot group, there are wingnuts. We all know who they are, but there is no process to help these pilots find better attitudes or mental health skills so long as they stay off the FAA's radar. We avoid flying with them when we can. We shake our heads when their names come up again and again in conversation about odd ducks among us. In fact, there are two pilots I have vowed I would never fly with again, even if it meant quitting my job, because of their bad behavior and unstable personalities. (Both were expats flying in Berlin back in the early 1990's.)

The kneejerk reaction is coming, folks. Get ready to have every SLF make a dumb joke about locking the captain out of the cockpit or questioning if you feel okay today. The cry for cockpit video is already starting. The media is laughing at pilots on the air for arguing against them. For those of you who still like to do your PA greetings/comedy routines from the forward galley - please stop. You look and sound weird when you do, and you're jokes aren't that funny. That's the last impression we need to leave passengers with - goofy pilot who thinks it's open mic night at the Improv.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:56
  #1556 (permalink)  
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Flying is safer than ever, and cheaper than ever. The is zero correlation between safety and the cost base of the airline in the Western World.
I have read a lot of crap on this thread, but this would have to be the biggest load of rubbish so far! Are you really that naïve?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:57
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SD...your observation about robin williams is brilliant...kudos
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 20:57
  #1558 (permalink)  
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just small thougt apart from switches, doors, computers and airline business...

It looks now that this event is a crime, no longer an aviation accident. So will the aircraft accident investigators still be involved? Will we ever see a final report? Or will it become a criminal investigation by now?
Is there an international law which still allows the officials from all countries to be involved (for aircraft accident it is)? Who is responsible now, France (it happened on french ground)? Germany (it happened on board of a german vessel)? Will it still be a public investigation? There never has been a public 9/11 accident report, for none of the 4 aircraft.

And another thought: People committing suicide in public want to make a statement, otherwise they kill themself silently at home or somewhere in the woods. People commiting suicide at their place of work want give a statement to their employer (there are frequently people killing themself in their office after they have been fired).
So if that guy wanted to make a statement, did he leave final last words on the CVR? If he should have planned the whole plot before, he surely would have thought about this detail. Which could be the reason why the prosecutor is so confident about what happened, while of course not talking about this detail in public now.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 21:00
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any psychologists here, why is it that we now have several pilot suicides with many pax killed yet I have never heard of a bus driver doing a suicide and killing the passengers along the way?
You don't need psychology to answer this - merely physics.

Kinetic energy increases as the square of the velocity. There is every chance that a bus crash at 50 mph is survivable. An aircraft, at ~500 mph, has 100 times the kinetic energy, and if flown deliberately and directly at a mountainside, has no chance of being survivable.

Hence, there is a guarantee that you cannot be held responsible for your actions post-facto. A bus crash may only leave you badly injured - and still having to face the music.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 21:00
  #1560 (permalink)  
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The guy had some kind of problem as he booked off his training for a period. Not a good sign and I am surprised the heads didn't red flag him and tell him to take a year off and come back when he is ready.
He sounds like a 'loner' living at home which is OK but can cut two ways introspectively imo. His FB site has some inferences .
I bet Germanwings is going to keep the two front seats warm at all times now.
There is no way they can test for substance abuse either I suppose.
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