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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 01:43
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Andreas seemed like a very "sensitive" young man, dividing his time between living with his parents and his male room mate. Posing in front of the Golden Gate bridge in SFO. He doesn't seem to fit the image of the typical macho aviator. I wonder what kind of affect this could have on one's career at Lufthansa, or the stress that would cause?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 01:46
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Indeed, this is why people understand and sympathise with striking pilots.
Speak for yourself. I live in US and I am a pilot (not commercial) but I never detect any sympathy on this side of the Atlantic when pilots strike. Everybody knows that except of some rookies working for regionals they are well compensated compared with other professions. Oh yeah, we know their compensations went down considerably in the last 10 years but they still are well compensated. Talk to pilots like Les Abend from American Airlines (you can see him often on CNN these days when there is another crash) - he complains about the recent pay-cuts but grudgingly admits he is still well compensated.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 01:51
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Sir, you seem to forget that you are flying customers. We would like to be safe. If you are telling us that we need to pay you more to not kill us, that is blackmail, pure and simple.
How about we start by paying pilots enough that they can afford to have their own house to go home to.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 01:56
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I am a commercial pilot and there is a bond between myself, my crew and my passengers. That is that we as a profession transport our charges safely from A to B, any professional aviator that doesn't understand the gravitas of this statement is in the wrong job. I really don't know whether to cry today or vow to continue to do my job to the best of my ability, probably both to be honest. This act is so far from anything I could have expected that it has completely thrown me, and I DO truly mean knocked me for six.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:05
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Highly unlikely...

...that the scrambled Mirage was in the vicinity of the aircraft when it went down. Don't know the time line of the ATC request for the aircraft to squawk 7700, but since the Cold War I don't believe we've had a/c at immediate launch ready. So by the time the Mirage launched, the a/c was almost certainly down. I believe I read something on this string about locals reporting Mirages flying around, but after the crash.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:16
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A Little Perspective

As we watch all of these post flying back and forth on how we should now screen every commercial pilot in the world to a level beyond how we screen the captain of a nuclear submarine, can we at least look a some perspective? The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) released a report last year showing that there would be more than 37.4 million commercial flights in 2014, which equates to over 100,000 per day. Given those numbers, even if we had one incident per year such as this tragic event, the failure rate would be around 2.7027e -8.

I realize the horrible consequences for the families and friends of those lost on this flight. But I still am going to fly two or more times per month for work, and will not feel any less safe than I did before. Airline transport is BY FAR the safest method of travel. Stay calm and fly.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:19
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Both pilots in a RPT jet should be full ATP licensed pilots--the U.S. requires it along with disqualifying medical standards including any signs of depression. If nothing else requiring 1,500 hours and the ATP weeds out the under-motivated, the depressive.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:24
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Originally Posted by patrickal
As we watch all of these post flying back and forth on how we should now screen every commercial pilot in the world to a level beyond how we screen the captain of a nuclear submarine, can we at least look a some perspective? The Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) released a report last year showing that there would be more than 37.4 million commercial flights in 2014, which equates to over 100,000 per day. Given those numbers, even if we had one incident per year such as this tragic event, the failure rate would be around 2.7027e -8.

I realize the horrible consequences for the families and friends of those lost on this flight. But I still am going to fly two or more times per month for work, and will not feel any less safe than I did before. Airline transport is BY FAR the safest method of travel. Stay calm and fly.
By far the most sensible post yet
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:27
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Agree.... But let's not forget the biggest death toll in history was a arrogant training captain who ignored his 'junior staff'. KLM in Tennerife
That was 38 years ago today, btw. It was a chain of events that all started from a single bomb threat. Just proves that even if the plane is flying empty and ATC would be fully automated you cannot exclude the human factor. Apart from making a bomb threat, somebody even codes the software.

I am not a pilot and this is my first post here. Just wanted to tell you guys that as i have followed this discussion from the start this whole discussion has now started to repeat itself and is full of pointless speculation of how to make the aviation safety more complicated so that nobody would have to take a responsibility of themselves and everything would be controlled and supervised by locks and buttons and live camera feeds, cloud computing and whatnot.

If the outcome from Flight 9525 will be that all the commercial flight companies start to follow the 2-in-cockpit policy as it has been under the FAA then i think that's just fine.

I remember being a little boy and being asked to come to see the cockpit with my father. I was so little that all i can remember is those two friendly men laughing and saying something funny in front of all those impressive amount of gauges and buttons and whole bunch of other interesting stuff. It's not possible nowadays to go there anymore and i can't help but wonder how has the work of pilots changed over the years when there is little to none interaction left with the passengers. How much do they realize there is people at the back and how much they just wait the work day to be over.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:35
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One question; three comments

1. How many "suicide/homicide by pilot" attempts have been initiated while there was another person (CC or FC) actually in the cockpit?

2. As mentioned, in the case of the JetBlue pilot with a mental aberration, the locked cockpit door facilitated protecting the flight - the opposite (perhaps) of the current tragedy.

3. In the EgyptAir crash, the CVR recorded a physical fight between the pilots for control of the aircraft, right up to the moment of disintegration. That case occured before post-9/11 security measures. Which cuts both ways - the attempt to overpower the errant pilot was unsuccessful, but at least someone was able to try.

4. As to the possible addition of the American FBI to the investigation - they happen to be one of the best criminal investigation units in the world, and especially adept at "psychological profiling" of mass or serial killers.

They may be able to spot something (or a pattern of somethings) in the history of the FO that would be missed by someone less expert (even someone sitting elbow-to-elbow with this pilot on the flight deck). They may be able to provide the "why" - if this does turn out to be an intentional act. Which may help the families cope in some way. And provide pointers or warnings that prevent a recurrence with a different pilot.

Just food for thought....
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:36
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[Both pilots in a RPT jet should be full ATP licensed pilots--the U.S. requires it along with disqualifying medical standards including any signs of depression. If nothing else requiring 1,500 hours and the ATP weeds out the under-motivated, the depressive.]

Exactly,, right on the money
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:36
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IF this is indeed what reports are saying it is...a deliberate downing...

Beyond the horrific tragedy, it boggles the mind to wonder why this method of suicide, if one is so down that ending it all is the goal?

A bottle of pills after a good whisky and a lie down would accomplish the same personal goal. Quietly and privately.

Why take all these souls with you? That's the part I just don't understand about a scenario like this.

Spur of the moment thing after some long-term suffering? Someone on board toward whom he has the attitude of "if I can't have you nobody will?"

Why this way?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:41
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Originally Posted by slats11
The event itself and the consequences of the event are the key elements of the more recent definitions of terrorism.
Sorry guys, but I think a little perspective is called for here.

The Online OED in both UK/World and US English editions still defines "terrorism" as :
Originally Posted by OED (emphasis mine)
The unofficial or unauthorized use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims
Now - whatever one may think about how the term "terrorism" was used and abused by politicians/arms manufacturers/security corporations in order to feather their own nests, it makes no sense to widen the definition further.

If a person succeeds in an attempt to take their own life, then that's suicide - not a crime, but nevertheless a tragic and painful experience for those that knew the person. However if a person in doing so takes the lives of others along with theirs, then that's murder - and it is a criminal act.

But the whole point of terror tactics is that in doing so, there is an organised group with a distinct aim in mind, and the group is implicitly threatening further acts if those aims aren't met. Unless there's an organised group of depressed and suicidal pilots out there with a coherent set of goals which, when satisfied, will prevent them taking their own lives and those of others, then this alleged type of incident, while criminal, is categorically *not* a terrorist act.

I do think it's fair to say that the FAA flight deck door locking/strengthening regs later adopted by others (and IMO in common with a lot of political/industry reaction to the 11th September attacks) were rushed in definition and implementation, and as such, not properly thought through.

I've said many, many times (particularly in the many Tech Log AF447 threads) that as an engineer, one must always be cognizant of the bigger picture - specifically that when developing a technical solution to a problem scenario, it is invariably a bad idea to concentrate exclusively on that single scenario without taking into consideration the knock-on effect it will have on other scenarios. The post-9/11 flight deck door modifications and procedures fell right into this particular trap because they were tailored to fit a single scenario only - namely an attempt to endanger an aircraft from an individual outside the flight deck. The consequence of that narrow vision was that the solution and procedures not only failed to take into account a scenario where an individual attempting to endanger the aircraft is already in there, but that aspects such as the impossible to override timelock switch within the flight deck could work in favour of the individual wishing to cause harm if that were the case. The requirement for the flight crew needing a working fail-safe aspect on both sides of the door seems to have been overlooked in the haste to reassure the travelling public that "something was being done".

Finally, I feel compelled to note that some of the knee-jerk responses on here regarding mental illness (and draconian measures against those who have suffered from it) are presumptuous and cruel. At this point, the only reference to the FO's mental health refer to an incident of "depression and burnout" which occurred during his training process six years ago. Until more is known on the subject, I reckon the powder should be kept dry.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:42
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Andreas seemed like a very "sensitive" young man, dividing his time between living with his parents and his male room mate. Posing in front of the Golden Gate bridge in SFO. He doesn't seem to fit the image of the typical macho aviator. I wonder what kind of affect this could have on one's career at Lufthansa, or the stress that would cause?
Well, now we know the answer, don't we. It just might eventually be decided that the stress of breaking up with his boyfriend got the best of him and he decided to end it all in the French Alps along with 149 other people. I guess he showed the world that hurting the feelings of a "sensitive young man", as you put it, has its consiquences.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:50
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Reported on the news here in Australia that the co-pilot's initial training was suspended for six months due to "mental illness", (that may be a bit strong, don't know the full story) and was signed back as fit to fly by a psychiatrist.


I emphasise that this is verbatim from a news report, treat with caution.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:54
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Most professional pilots know to 'never admit any physical failing at all to the Feds"
A very famous pilot(now deceased) admitted on a medical that he had had a dizzy spell. That was it, he never flew again.
The feds missed that he had had a heavy night before the dizzy bit, and or don't we all go a bit dizzy if one stands up too quickly.
NZ CAA is far worse than the Brits CAA, I know this from my own experience.

For my money I have yet to meet a trick cyclist who can positively identify and fix any ailment.
They all administer dope that makes one a zombie until one ceases the medication.
I do not know the pilot population of the jet /jet-prop airlines but one case is too many but most of us are OK most of the time
Haha Haha Haha.

Last edited by gulfairs; 27th Mar 2015 at 02:56. Reason: correction
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:57
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Pilots fall asleep often, sometimes into deep sleep. Sometimes in a careless manner knocking things about in so doing. Someone in deep sleep can be very hard to awaken. Why jump up and overcomplicate this crash? It may have happened as a result of an everyday case of fatigue.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 02:57
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Originally Posted by RiSq
So - If this was an outright suicide, why not just nose dive and plough it into the ground. Why the 8 minutes of pretty much controlled descent? See, that bit is the bit which doesn't make sense. There was no deviation to the left or right, simply straight down.
Airbus is a less than ideal suicide vehicle.

The flight control laws basically don't allow the pilot to do anything other than a "controlled" descent. A kamikaze style nose down descend is not really feasible with this aircraft unless you can make it switch to direct law - for which there is no button :-)
CVR and ADS-B data indicate that the FO configured the plane to descend as fast as possible, yet as controlled as possible so that the various flight control protections (attitude, high speed) would not kick in and interfere with his CFIT maneuver. We also know that he idled the engines when descending, thus taking away engine thrust as a means for the computer to intervene.
From the looks of it, the FO knew what he was doing exactly.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 03:01
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Originally Posted by RiSq
So - If this was an outright suicide, why not just nose dive and plough it into the ground. Why the 8 minutes of pretty much controlled descent? See, that bit is the bit which doesn't make sense. There was no deviation to the left or right, simply straight down.
Don't forget he was only a 600 hour pilot with 100 hours on the bus. He probably needed the autopilot on for everything (automation dependency).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 03:05
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Vilters.... creepy. I came across a guy that had the crazy eyes a LONG time ago... it's bizarre how your spidey senses can recognize someone that is clearly in another state of mind. My encounter had same result, but circumstances different of course.
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