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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:16
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Re pilots not feeling comfortable with opening up about personal issues for fear of losing their job, for many years BALPA had nominated members who you could call to talk things through and get advice. Am not sure whether this still exists but I always thought it was a good idea.

Maybe a sort of Samaritan service for crew would be a way forward to help pilots resolve these sorts of issues. The worst thing in the world is grappling with an issue and feeling that you can't talk to anyone about it.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:19
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Latest reports on Sky News that... EasyJet, Monarch, Virgin, all Canadian Airlines, and all German airlines (LH.) to insist on minimum of two on the FD.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:19
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Flying Council

You also have to realise that a flying career is fairly Unique unlike your Career as a lawyer where you are paid a vast amount of money and can continue that profession into your 70s if you so desire!
How would you feel ? How secure would you feel if you had to trundle along on regular occasions for a medical where someone would look at you and say " sorry mate your law career is over "
Pilots are unique often away for periods of time in Hotels here there and everywhere! Have you ever woken up in the night with no clue which hotel or even country you are in ?
Aviation medicine has changed to accommodate more and more conditions
Mental illness is one and as others have posted most people pilots as well have issues at one time or the other very few would harm a mouse never mind another human being and take their responsibilities to others very seriously!
The last thing we want through this is that pilots are pushed further away to alternative medicine or other quango treatments for fear of revealing medical conditions and loosing their livelihood
So yes it's natural we will look for mechanical problems for a crash or for the usual pilot error or mismanagement as they are the overwhelming cause of accidents
This is something else which had horrified everyone pilots and non pilots
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:22
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How secure would you feel if you had to trundle along on regular occasions for a medical where someone would look at you and say " sorry mate your law career is over "
They do have insurance for that, however. I used to know a Virgin pilot who had a standard 250k cover against losing his Class 1.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:22
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As before. People have been in the back and let it happen. Pilots in the USA are now armed. Not that being armed would have helped in this case.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:23
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The "significant find"

There would seem to be a limited number of items that would qualify as a significant find at the FO's home(s). It's too soon for an analysis of the computer content and no suicide note was found.

My guess is that they've found anti-depressants. One of the main questions that doctors ask patients who are commencing a course of SSRIs (Prozac etc) is whether they are experiencing any suicidal feelings.

One of the reported side-effects of SSRIs is suicidal impulses (obviously only in a limited - but statistically significant - number of cases).

That would fit the evidence so far released.

Last edited by skridlov; 27th Mar 2015 at 10:07.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:23
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Some posters wonder what use to have cabin crew as the second person in the cockpit while the Captain visits the WC. What could she do, not knowing how to fly the plane? As Judd pointed out on post 1764, an attractive 19 year old girl may certainly be a distraction and a witness, and a friendly ear. I would hope that most cabin crew also know the right button to press to use the radio and send a mayday, which could be useful if it is a physical rather than a mental problem incapacitating the flight crew.

As for the difference in the assessment of people and their stability, 1500 hours in small aircraft, in a flying club of any sort will certainly make people aware of strange behavior, or unreliable types.

Other posters suggest airliners should be piloted like drones, by pilots sitting safely on the ground in control centres! NO THANKS! I remember the very first passenger, who persuaded a US Mail pilot to let him sit on the mailbags, back in 1920, or whenever Lindberg started flying the mail.
The US Mail pilot said to the chap, who needed urgently to get to LA whatever the cost or danger....."Well, if my butt gets there, I guess yours will too..."

Last edited by mary meagher; 27th Mar 2015 at 13:47.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:25
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Flying Counsel, the tendency on this forum of denial of the possibility of pilot suicide is nothing new. When MH370 went down, early posts suggesting suicide as a potential motive were rapidly deleted. I don't blame the mods for this - the mods are pilots too and it is a natural human tendency to wish to protect the status of one's occupation.

The statistics from the WHO are that 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide. 5-12% of men will suffer from clinical depression at least once in their lives. A much smaller number will experience suicidal ideation. Pilots are people too and will not be immune.

Unfortunately copycat suicide - where one famous suicide influences a cluster of similar suicides - suggests that the world may suffer an increased rate of these events, so on this basis the 'two persons in the cockpit' rule is welcomed (even though it leads to its own problems).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:25
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You give a pilot a key and you've just ensured that whoever wants to hijack the plane will kill him/her or any crewmember who has it in order to get in... you're basically saying go back to the pre-9/11 door system...
We live in an era of instability and distrust. The economy is moving East, the ME has been at war for 20 years if not more, school killings are a regular event. Many want a confrontation with Russia now.

Doctors and Dentists btw are the profession with the highest number of suicides, and they are in charge of our health let alone flying planes.

Even in friendly Canada the security services want their laws relaxed so they can conduct "false flag" operations (Snowden leaks).

And everyone everywhere is under money pressure.

We are moving a long way from stability and sanity and trust. What kind of door mechanism we have is a little irrelevant.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:28
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I hesitate to post but given the discussion over passengers' awareness of an issue apparently until close to the end;


Is it likely that due to the angle of descent, it would perhaps to a casual observer only seem that the cockpit door had malfunctioned and not that someone had sought to take control of the plane with intent to harm?


Even seeing crew trying to break the door might not automatically lead to the supposition of deliberate locking out, especially if the plane was still descending in a roughly horizontal manner. There have been prior door malfunction events quite recently.


It may only have been when the proximity to terrain became evident through the windows that people realised their lives were in danger.


Hope this is not unwelcome speculation, it just seems to make sense to me given the facts we know.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:30
  #1831 (permalink)  
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The cockpit door is for keeping baddies out. And it successfully does that.

If a pilot wants to kill everyone on board all he has to do is jump on a rudder at 200' (or at .78 at FL380) or close the start levers below critical height or hack his colleague to bits with the fire ax or or or or or. You don't have to lock your colleague out to prang the plane. So the two people in a cockpit rule is also worthless.

The door isn't the issue.

We're missing a vital part of the picture here and that's the FDR. Incapacitation is still distinctly possible in this case. Decompression still hasn't been disproved along with associated hypoxia. When that little light on the door finally went green for the few seconds it does, did the Captain catch it? Possibly wearing portable O2 mask?

I can't believe someone purposefully flew into a mountain breathing normally.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:33
  #1832 (permalink)  
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susier how would 38,000 to 6000 ft in 8 minutes feel ?
not a steep descent but certainly more steep than the usual descent ???
The pilot may of started to get vocal as he could see where this was heading ?
As someone else mentioned i wonder if any footage might survive on SD cards and aid the investigation....
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:37
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A question I have is where the speedbrakes used during descent? (Not familiar with A320 descent rates).

As simple and silly as this may seem, whether they were used or not would certainly add to the equation of possible intent.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:37
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@Eaglebaby

Why would you expect breathing to be different? Have you experienced first hand people who are intent on killing themselves or others? It has already been stated by some people on this thread, with some knowledge of suicide, that a state of calm can descend. Detachment is common with some mental health conditions, where the individual is completely numb and unable to feel emotion; so normal breathing would not be impossible or even implausible.


Furthermore, whilst I understand the sheer incredulity that this act is met with amongst some posters leading to a questioning of the veracity of preliminary findings, which most likely will prove to be upheld when the rest of the evidence is collected and final reports written, I find some of the excuses being made and the using of it as an opportunity by some to highlight personal gripes about pay and conditions, in very bad taste (it has been pointed out more than once that the FO in question was paid well and works for a very well respected company).


I am not a pilot, but have a keen interest in aviation and have read every post from the outset. As Blake777 pointed out in #1846 and I quote, "Before refusing to believe anything or putting on rose tinted glasses, I suggest everyone review one of the very few truly enlightening and sensible posts on here, which was from Capt Kremin, who basically called this very early on logical grounds as per known facts."


I leave you with this thought, if your wife, child, brother, sister, parent was one of the poor souls on board, would you be so quick to dismiss the findings the evidence so far is pointing to?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:42
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Quick question. Did this lock do exactly what it was meant to do? It appears that despite there being the provision to enter the cockpit from the cabin this provision was in actual fact not available under certain circumstances? How many 320 pilots have passed this potential issue to the next level?

My thought is that post 9/11 the filter for bad should be on the outside of the aircraft and not on the inside. A kneejerk reaction created a double negative.

Surely what has happened in the last 24 hours is further kneejerk reactions that will potentially lead to further (but different) serious issues?

Looking forward to the FDR.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:44
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Are LH and GW Pay2Fly companies ?
No, they are not, instead they sponsor partly the flight training of their cadets.

But i guess if you have to ask a question like that that Air France by now is a P2F airline, could you point me to their pay to fly captains program please?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:47
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The aircraft was travelling at excessive speed; in excess of VMO. That is acceptable if you are on fire and heading for Nice or somewhere like that. This aircraft remained on track.

Travelling in excess of VMO in a A320 disconnects the AP and triggers the high speed protections which pitch the aircraft up. This aircraft did not pitch up. Which probably means it was being over-ridden by whomever was flying it.

That raises the possibility that the aircraft was hand flown all the way down.
Are you certain the aircraft was flown above VMO?

The only analysis I have seen was someone did a quick calc, and showed the aircraft at, or slightly above VMO. Their data (they said) did not include allowing for wind, and the wind that day (they said) was southerly.

If that is true, it raises the prospect the aircraft was flown at/close to VMO using normal AP modes?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:49
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A question I have is where the speedbrakes used during descent? (Not familiar with A320 descent rates).

As simple and silly as this may seem, whether they were used or not would certainly add to the equation of possible intent.
the answer to your question will be found when the FDR is located and analysed.

Everything else is pure speculation based on a non-accident investigators review of a CVR and uncorroborated and sloppy journalism.

Last edited by MrMacphisto; 27th Mar 2015 at 09:50. Reason: forgot the quote
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:51
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BFMTV en Direct: regarder la chaine info en live - BFMTV reporting that X has been indicted regarding the leaking of information to the press, X potentially being the senior French military officer, listed as the original source of NYT
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 09:53
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Presumptuous

"Flying Counsel" - as a fellow member of the bar (not a pilot, but earning a second (Master's) degree in law, specifically an LL.M. in Air and Space Law) - I'm going to object to your post. First, even if all you have said is valid - which it most clearly is NOT - but even were it all valid, this is a pilots' forum, and if the pilots for whom it was created want to articulate disbelief while the facts are assembled and the cause-and-effect analysis is made, it is no skin off of any competent attorney's briefcase. Yes, yes air crash disasters are incredibly high-profile, politically charged events - but one of the ethics of the legal profession is to apply professional judgment, not emotion. Second, the hypoxia and/or other incapacitation possibility appears to be a valid one - in other words, although you can say that the flight did not arrive at its destination, you cannot rule out the hypoxia/incapacitation causal chain. So treat your hosts here with some respect, Counselor. ("Sustained.")
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