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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:00
  #1601 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ivanbogus
CNN: "Transponder data shows that the autopilot on Germanwings Flight 9525 was reprogrammed by someone in the cockpit to change the plane's altitude from 38,000 feet to 100 feet, according to Flightradar24, a website that tracks aviation data." What? There is no way anyone can see what's been programmed on the FD................
Or you could just read the numerous previous posts explaining that there is ...
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:01
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With one pilot, you'd halve the probability of an event like this happening.
I don't even want to think about the logistics of bathroom breaks.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:02
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how about Selected Altitude?

CNN: "Transponder data shows that the autopilot on Germanwings Flight 9525 was reprogrammed by someone in the cockpit to change the plane's altitude from 38,000 feet to 100 feet, according to Flightradar24, a website that tracks aviation data." What? There is no way anyone can see what's been programmed on the FD................
The Mode S transponder can relay a lot of data not shown on FR24...
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:02
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In response to some comments about pilots and mental health I might try to share my own experiences from the mental health perspective both a a pilot and as someone who worked in metal health care in the UK National Health Service.

The first thing we need to understand - all of us in society, not just in the aviation industry - is that mental illness is something that can affect anyone at any time and for any reason. Society attaches a stigma to mental illness that is unhelpful and this is bourne out of ignorance.

There are (very generally) two branches of the disease to consider. One is the long-term illness that affects the sufferer on a permanent or semi permanent basis. This may be as a result of brain injury, structural changes in the brain or electrochemical disturbances requiring long-term medication. These conditions are clearly incompatible with aviation and such people are considered unfit to hold a medical certification. An example would be schizophrenia.

The other branch is the shorter-term acute condition that affects the suffer for a limited time. The individual may suffer one episode or more in his lifetime. There are a variety of disorders but we generally talk about 'depression'. The problem with depression is that it is quite difficult to screen for. The rate of depression amongst flight crew is about the same as the national average. This is because depression can arise as a result of many external factors including stress, chronic fatigue and other illness. It is very difficult to pre-profile someone for a propensity to develop depression. Some individual can develop recurring episodes but provided you fall into type 2 and you are properly treated there is absolutely no reason why you might get a subsequent incidence. Furthermore, new treatments for depression make the suffer better able to deal with a range of challenges so we have started to see great improvements. The latest thinking even goes so far as to suggest a person successfully treated for common depression is actually less likely to develop a subsequent episode than a previous non-suffer, although the findings are complicated and I personally don't fully understand them.

You might think that we should start be screening out all those pilots ho have been diagnosed with depressive illness in the past. That would probably mean many pilots being pulled aside, most of whom have made full recoveries and returned to normal life and learnt a lot about themselves in the process. Also, these people tend to demonstrate great responsibility and have shown that they can deal with the illness through to recovery. Are we really sure we want to do this?

What we can't do very well at all predict who might get depressed in the future. In fact we are terrible at it. We can though identify factors that place people at risk and try to mitigate those factors. You, yes you, are just as likely to suffer from depression as me, and as the next person, as far as the statistics show. So better screening seems to achieve nothing other than highlight personality biases.

What is needed is a better approach to the reporting and treatment of mental illness and a way of educating people that they can seek help, get it and get fixed. The chap who posted the question 'you can get flagged up for marriage counselling now can't you' or words to that effect proves my point - no you won't get flagged up! You will show the ame that you can bring up, discuss and are prepared to resolve your issues. You will prove that you are responsible. Would this person conceal chest pain?

As pilots we need to be responsible not just when it comes to our professionalism on the flight deck but particularly when it comes to our own mental health. We all can suffer stress, worry, anxiety. We need a system that means we can go to for help if we need to. I bet there are many pilots who need help but don't seek it for fear of losing their medicals or losing their jobs. This needs to change.

Last edited by StatorVane; 26th Mar 2015 at 22:47.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:02
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Originally Posted by LASJayhawk
Was that stated in a press conference or a presumption? The pilot may have been to busy trying to break the door down to check his watch and try the code again.

Normal breathing and no talk could be the result of being incapacitated.

It was stated earlier today by a number of posters including some from germany who were watching the statement.

As for those saying perhaps the captain used the wrong code CEO of LH has confirmed all cabin staff know it.

Clues add up to co-pilot locking him out.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:03
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Maybe he didn't want it to look like a suicide. Maybe he was trying to create a credible decompression/hypoxia accident scenario, starting the descent but then passing out, and hoping that any evidence to the contrary would be destroyed in the high-speed collision with the mountainside.
If any of that was really true then surely he would have just acted like the pilot of Silkair 185 or MH370 by pulling the CVR and FDR circuit breakers to stop both data recorders before he initiated any form of suicidal action or anyone was beating on the cockpit door with all of that being logged for crash investigators.

Also surely if he wanted to die but was still hoping to trigger a big life insurance payout for his dependents his best bet would have been to turn off the CVR and FDR and then de-pressurise the airplane and let it fly on its original autopilot track till it ran out of fuel and ran in to a hill or mountain on its own, just as the ill fated Helios jet did. Although as this wasn't a 737 he couldn't have used the pressurisation switch in Manual mode dodge and would have had to de-pressurise the cabin deliberately.

Still hard to figure though why someone wants to kill another 149 people deliberately and yet not tell the world at large their motives for doing so.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:04
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Few cents
- he wanstn P2F
- GW are LCC just by market niche but not really LCC as organisation. Dont mix low price of the tickets with low cost of operation
- up to my best understanding all GW pilots are on the same payroll and seniority as LH who are they best paid pilots in Europe and still people here trying to suggest his action has something to do with working conditions
- the only solution to this problem is not 2 persons at any time, nor second door, nor lavatory in cockpit, nor different access system. All of above will not prevent this to happen again. The only solution which solves the problem at root is pilotless aircraft and I am sure we will get there. It will not be quick so I reasoanbly expect the current generation of pilots will be able to retire before we will be at 100% pilotless
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:04
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Quote:
@the hawk

but door lock was activated at least twice in the 8 minute descent period
Was that stated in a press conference or a presumption? The pilot may have been to busy trying to break the door down to check his watch and try the code again.

Normal breathing and no talk could be the result of being incapacitated.

I think the airline said the door lock was set at 5 minutes therefore must have been activated twice within the decent time
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:11
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Guys.

It is an assumption that the lock-mechanism was activated twice during the time of descend. It is a logic interpretation. But an assumption. I have only read one poster saying the the LH CEO stated that the lock-mechanism was used. But not that it had been used twice. Please be careful here.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:12
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@LASJayhawk, tmac21:

I think the airline said the door lock was set at 5 minutes therefore must have been activated twice within the decent time
exactly, LH CEO Spohr said this

of course there is a possibilty that an agitated captain misses his small time window to re-enter after the 5 minutes have expired
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:14
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1. Needless reveal by Prosecutor (not an aviation professional or regulator) of screams heard on CVR within 48 hours even as relatives are still in deep shock.
2. How could the Prosecutor possibly know of intent or voluntary action at this early stage?
3. What investigative purpose or public purpose is served by revealing information from the CVR before a careful audio analysis, properly synced to flight data is complete? This is not an overnight process.
4. Conversely, strong statements by a person in a position of supervision over an investigation may 'set' minds and hinder the careful unearthing of alternative explanations and chain of events.
5. In any case, I understand that air accident investigations in France have only recently been assigned to regional prosecutors a few months ago as a result of administrative and legal changes.
Hi from a French newbie (not pilot either) having listend to the radio all day long.

1. I think exactly the opposite. The circumstances (captain trying to enter during several minutes) make people think passengers were aware of a serious problem ; the prosecutor said they shouted in the last moments (duration not mentionned). I understand this as a (rather desperate but) generous attempt to bring some peace to relatives.

2. The prosecutor did not mention a voluntary action. What he said was much more precise and technical : he said that setting the FMS cannot be anything but voluntary. Since he might even have ignored himself what is a FMS, it's quite obvious he got this info from professionnals involved in the inquiry.

3. Well, the "audio events" reported seem to prove they have listened to the CVR, but I'd be open to hear your definition of "carefully".

4. (with a link to 2.) Which strong statements please ? I want to emphasize, for example, that he did not say the word suicide at any moment.
He did say "terrorism", not to exclude it, but just to say that there is, at the moment, no evidence that this person might have had such an intention.

5. Regional prosecutor might suggest that this guy could have personal methods, etc ; that's quite wrong, he is just a member of the national justice department.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:21
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Flight deck Video

Voice is recorded, countless flight details recorded, why not video as well? Not saying the pax should beable to watch the show live. But with tech so cheap truckies & care homes are installing CCTV it seems wrong to not have it in the flight deck. It would provide clarrity to this crash.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:24
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I am hoping there is a criminal element to leaking information from an investigation, which can be prosecuted.

There cannot have been too many senior French military staff attached to the investigation who were close enough to know the details leaked to the NYT, so let's hope he gets found.

It would have been much better for all concerned if we had continued assuming hypoxia for a few days till more was known.

Now the prosecutor had to rush to calm everything by coming out with the facts as he knew them. I listened to his entire monologue and he did quite a reasonable job, inclusive refusing to call it a suicide and emphasizing time and time these are preliminary findings. Nevertheless it left many more questions than the answers he was able to give.

We can only hope the FDR is rapidly found and the data are cross checked against the VCR. Simultaneously no doubt the next few days will reveal more details about the FO.

I was thinking of his parents, their grief is obviously equal to all the other parents but on top of that their beloved son killed another 149 people, and that must be an additional inhuman burden. Jeez, how many of us have children!?

We are sometimes short fused here, we shouldn't, every one is entitled to their opinions even if they are not a pilot or had the weakness of not reading the entire thread and asking a question already answered. At least we are alive.

I'll crawl back in my hole now.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:27
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Originally Posted by threemiles
However the resolution of the data transmitted is 100 feet.
So 13,008 or 96 feet is fake.
You are wrong. Mode S/ADS-B SELECTED ALTITUDE parameter is stored and transmitted in a 12-bit register with 16 ft resolution.

When FCU is set to 100 ft (minimum setting on A320 FCU), SELECTED ALTITUDE parameter would be stored/transmitted as 96 ft (rounded to 16ft resolution).

Last edited by janeczku; 26th Mar 2015 at 22:40.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:27
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During the Lufthansa press conference earlier today a (seemingly informed) media member asked the panel for further information on some 'abnormalities' in, what I understood to be, the crew's actions on the downward leg, DUS - BCN.
I believe it was stated by the panel that this would be followed up. Yet, I don't see any further reference to this in media reports nor in any other posts here.
Was this dispelled?
Just wondering if something had 'gone off' between the two crew on this leg it could have been a trigger for what occurred on the return.
Would the CVR have retained some of the cockpit voices from the end of the downward leg? Or would taxiing time have resulted in that being overwritten?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:29
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There are numerous cases in the USA where a disgruntled worker shoots his workmates, knowing that he is likely to be killed by police if he doesnt drop his weapon.

Perhaps this accident fits into the far more common disgruntled worker categorey than suicide with mass murder?


He had told passengers "he was going to die with them by driving the bus into Kazinga,"
The above is a quote from a disgrunted bus driver who had been sacked for being drunk. Fortunately his attempt to crash a hijacked bus into a crocodile infested river was thwarted.


This occured in Feb 2015 and is the only incident I can find of a brief trawl of the net of a bus driver wanting to commit suicide and take passengers with him.
There are numerous reports of bus drivers who suicide but few if any have apparently inflicted harm on their passengers whilst doing so, apart from this recent disgruntled worker.


If the A320 and other flying incidents were not disgruntled worker syndrome, I wonder why pilot suicides seem to be in a categery all of their own where their suicide kills others?


Has this rare phenomena of killing passengers been researched by aviation industry to explore both its cause and prevention?

If not why not?


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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:32
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I am hoping there is a criminal element to leaking information from an investigation, which can be prosecuted.
There may not have been any wrongdoing in this. I understand that, in many jurisdictions, once it has been determined that an aircraft accident was the result of a deliberate act, the Annex 13 investigation stops, all material is handed over to law enforcement authorities and it becomes a criminal investigation - to which differing standards ref release of info apply.

Standing by to be corrected if somebody knows better?
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:32
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Originally Posted by RexBanner
Not sure if there is sarcasm intended there but just in case not,
Attempt at wry humor on the one hand, and on the other hand ... sometimes a "final indignity" is what it takes to trigger someone with a smoldering case of temper or anger. (True confession here: I have had some odd displays of temper over the years when such a trigger showed up in everyday life via some chicken**** that has tripped my wire when I was upset about something else).

I agree with your follow on point.
subjecting flight crew to the same security measures as passengers in the light of what has just happened - and the very notable fact that there is an axe on the flight deck - exposes such practice as the sham that it is and ought to be repealed immediately.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:33
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I am currently supervising four teenage lads who want to become pilots. They are learning to fly gliders, just as young Andreas Lubitz began his training, ten years ago. So many young men - not so many young women - are drawn to the idea of flying. But not all will be suitable candidates.

Before encouraging any person to fly, he should visit the medic. A lot of conditions will rule out the career right at the start, and some of these are mental instability. Others are as incidental as colour blindness. And one unusual condition turned out to be absolutely lethal to his single passenger, a condition called ankylosing spondylitis, meaning he could not turn his head well enough to look out and so killed his single passenger in a midair collision.

There are many many youngsters, and some not so young, who would like to be commercial pilots. The supply of eager candidates is tremendous, many even being willing to pay for their training. And if they achieve this ambition, they are at the bottom of the stack, locked into the seniority system. Pay far from glamorous. Even the uniforms are tacky these days. Often far from home and family, relationships suffer. If you tell the truth to your AME, you can loose your job, so often problems will be hidden.

Clearly young Andreas had problems. Perhaps a domineering father. He doesn't look very happy in San Francisco. He may have resented being under the orders of his captains. He may have wanted to stage his resentment in so spectacular a fashion that his departure from the planet accompanied by 150 innocent victims will be long remembered.

The number one responsibility of any pilot carrying passengers is to keep them safe. The possibility of mental instability or even being unable to turn your head to look out properly, should be your transfer to a job where you will not put people's lives at risk. The reason pay for a pilot has become so very low is that too many people are eager to be pilots. Simple.

Meanwhile, yes, require more hours experience of the new first officers.
And nevermore only one person alone in the cockpit, please!

Last edited by mary meagher; 27th Mar 2015 at 08:15.
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Old 26th Mar 2015, 22:35
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"Is it technically possible that the Captain may have hit the button (intentionally or unintentionally) when leaving the cockpit with the door open or not open yet. Hence activating the lock mechanism (red light outside) without anybody noticing in that moment?"

No, it's not. The switch in question requires one to lift it up with a certain amount of force before it can be moved. It cannot be shifted into another position 'by accident'.
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