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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:31
  #1861 (permalink)  
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You cant win.....

People moan on here that on most crashes we hear very little feedback ( think all crashes in 2013 etc ) and claim conspiracy !!

On this one we are told the most probable reason for the crash within 48 hours ( admittedly prompted by a leak from France to USA ) and people moan and claim conspiracy !!

More details will come out as they had to rush out statements yesterday to confirm the reports going round the world

I am 99.9% sure we know the reason for this crash

Will it also make us take another look at previous crashes such as MH370?...
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:34
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If there's no chime you have to ask why the descent?
If there's no chime you have to ask why is there no chime.
We do not know all the information clearly.
Can we hear anyone actually denying entry ?
Banging on the door is not the correct procedure for gaining entry.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:35
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10540's post 1864 (or thereabouts)
I used to know a Virgin pilot who had a standard Ł250k cover against losing his Class 1.
raises an interesting anomaly.

Most pilots used to have Loss of Licence insurance – maybe some still do. This meant you would receive a payout if you lost your licence because of a medical problem etc.

However, completely unlike every other profession, it is impossible to obtain third party insurance as a pilot. In all other professions – doctor, vet, architect, lawyer – you cannot practice until you have this insurance.

Many years ago I tried to obtain it, even contacting Lloyds, but not only were there no offers, there was not the hint of interest in providing such cover – and this disaster clearly shows why.

The obvious solution in the profession of being a pilot was simply to always fly within the airline company's rules, and – just in case – belong to a good pilot's union who would be able to provide legal assistance if necessary.

I'm very glad to say that in my 40 years of flying (but 12 of them were in the Royal Navy which definitely doesn't have unions!), I never had the need to require any assistance from my union for any misdemeanour.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:36
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Can we discount Hypoxia yet? No we can't (95% Yes We can
Can we discount Pilot Suicide yet? No we can't (95% No we cannot)
Can we discount onboard equipment failure? No we can't (95% yes we can)
Can we discount aircraft structural failure? Yes we can
Can we discount a bomb on board? Yes we can

its not a simple yes or no
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:38
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Yes you and others have pointed out this very compelling argument.

It certainly indicates that someone in the right hand seat did it deliberately. The captain believed the FO was occupying that seat and alone on the FD. For an investigator the evidence will be regarded as overwhelming, but not yet totally conclusive for the purposes of an inquiry. Are we certain he was alone on the flight deck - probably - what we have heard so far certainly suggests he was - but I haven't heard the tape myself and therefore it is all third-hand at present.

I assume that even without the FDR there is plenty of evidence from the tape both published and not yet in the public domain which is consistent with that theory.

I also assume that they may have evidence from studying the guy's background and searching his house.

The way to finally get to the bottom of this is not just to establish what happened but why.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:38
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Originally Posted by john_smith
Jesus wept. Nothing close to it. Five degrees nose down would be considered a bit extreme.
Just spun the numbers, 5 deg spot on.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:39
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Germanwings FOs are on the Lufthansa mainline pay, only exception is that the overtime threshold is higher. The entry level pay is around 68k €/year according to lufthansa management.

Sorry, I don't buy this €68k p.a. entry-level pay rate for Germanwings. That is more than I get as a captain with 20 years experience - on a Boeing.

This is what it is like for f/os in the US. The $20 an hour mentioned in this 2013 report, equates to $20 k p.a., in dollars.
The U.S. Airline Pilots Who Barely Make Minimum Wage ? Skift

And in 2013 ALPA gave entry level f/o salaries as:

Great Lakes $14,616
Silver Airways $18,693
SkyWest Airlines $20,064
Mesa Airlines $20,183
GoJet Airlines $20,504
ExpressJet Airlines $20,745
PSA Airlines $21,600

Anyone got the European pay scales? Is this €68k way off-base for the average in Europe?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:40
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Not looking good for Lufthansa Andreas Lubitz: Germanwings co-pilot 'deemed unsuitable for flight duties' during training - Europe - World - The Independent
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:43
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Originally Posted by silverstrata
Sorry, I don't buy this €68k p.a. entry-level pay rate for Germanwings. That is more than I get as a captain with 20 years experience - on a Boeing.

This is what it is like for f/os in the US. The $20 an hour mentioned in this 2013 report, equates to $20 k p.a., in dollars.
The U.S. Airline Pilots Who Barely Make Minimum Wage ? Skift

And in 2013 ALPA gave entry level f/o salaries as:

Great Lakes $14,616
Silver Airways $18,693
SkyWest Airlines $20,064
Mesa Airlines $20,183
GoJet Airlines $20,504
ExpressJet Airlines $20,745
PSA Airlines $21,600

Anyone got the European pay scales? Is this €68k way off-base for the average in Europe?
You're in the wrong job/country.

Lufthansa German Airlines pilot jobs news for airline pilots and aviation schools
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:45
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Anyone got the European pay scales? Is this €68k way off-base for the average in Europe?
It is on the high end, but not unusual for a legacy carrier. But to be precise, i said in my initial post that this is the figure that Lufthansa management uses in the ongoing labor dispute. It does include contributions for pension fund, transitional pay and probably average overtime. The guaranteed minimum pay is around 59k.

Why legacy? Germanwings pilots (flying the A320 series) are on the payscale and seniority list of Lufthansa.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:48
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Entry salary for FOs at Germanwings is 60k€ p.a. incl. benefits. See FlightCrew Academy: FAQ - Flugschule für Lufthansa CityLine und Germanwings/ATPL Ausbildung (Ab Initio) (German only)
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:48
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Indeed the selected altitude was changed at 09:30:55 from 38000ft to 96ft. This is picked up by the ADSB/ModeS rader system which covers all of France. The noise of this switch change would have been picked up by the voice recorder and they would then have been able to directly correlate the SelAlt change wth the switch noise. This is why they are [almost completely] certain it was a delieberate act.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:48
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@ Dozywannabe

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.
I respect your right to disagree Dozy. But legislators didn't just wake up one morning and decide they were going to change the definition of terrorism. There were good reasons why they did this. The goals and nature of terrorism have changed (and will likely continue to change), and this requires a broader definition.

It is not just semantics. If you want to charge someone with terrorism, the crime must satisfy the definition of terrorism. As the crime has become less specific, so must the legal definition.

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.
This used to be true Dozy. An event or a campaign focussed on a defined outcome. So hijack a plane and demand the release of specific prisoners. Or bomb London with the aim of an independent Ireland.

Its not like that anymore. Terrorism today is less well defined and more nebulous than before.

There is often no specific objective. Sometimes it is nothing more specific than violence and terror for the sake of violence and terror. Sometimes it is "against the west" rather than for anything more specific.

Attacks don't necessarily come from clearly defined groups. Terrorist groups today tend to be multinational decentralised groups that are continually merging and splintering in unpredictable ways. The line between "good" and "bad" is very blurred - your enemies enemy can be your enemy also.

There is no suggestion this was linked to ISIS or any other group. But ISIS has called for spontaneous acts of random violence carried out be lone wolves and in the absence of any clear goal. Ottawa, Sydney, and Paris appear to be examples of this.

At this stage we shouldn't rule anything in or out.

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.
But I completely agree with you on this. We are now seeing unintended consequences of measures that were implemented in good faith to negate previous threats.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 10:52
  #1874 (permalink)  
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The FA in deck policy (when a pilot leaves) means that in addition to pilot and FO now any flight crew member can lock the cockpit if he is fit enough to knock out the seated pilot. That might cause more harm than it's trying to prevent.

To my (lack) of knowledge flight crew recruitment does not take the degree of scrutiny that pilot selection takes.

It's not easy to prevent a crash when the pilot wants to crash. Hence i tend to concur with Lufthansa CEO. As sad as it might sound.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:02
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in my opinion it would be interessting, if the co-pilot took any medical drugs like antidepressants. Sadly most spree killers was on antidepressants. I think it is very likely that he took those drugs.
This would be an possible explanation (for me) because i cannot understand or believe, that a well educated and intelligent person would do such a thing.
He was a young guy, smart, had a good job... it make absolutly no sense...he must be on drugs or something in my opinion.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:03
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I know that this won't be a popular message in the midst of the current knee-jerk hysteria, especially on this thread, but as SLF, I am extremely disturbed by the idea that regulators and airlines seem to be falling over themselves to ensure crew are never left alone in the cockpit.

What that amounts to is an unequivocal statement that the aviation industry views every one of its FD crew as an unacceptably high safety risk if left alone.

Since they are there to protect me, and since I am absolutely positive that one of the FD crew, suitably motivated, could crash any aircraft they wished, whether or not they were alone, that is very, very worrying indeed.

Personally, I think it's yet another case of being seen to do something easy for no good reason except to appease the baying masses, but, if the concern is justified, I'd rather not be flying in that world.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:04
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German DLR Pilot Selection Psychological Battery -B.S.!

How effective do you think it was?

The Germans took the old-fashioned military Flight Aptitude and Skills Test and made a REAL science of it and, what does it really and truly prove?

Considering how many men and women have taken to the air, since the Wright Bros. became airborne, December 14, 1903 . . . and safely flew from A to B, long before the DLR Psych Eval was even a notion, it makes one wonder about the true validity of the DLR.

When the former Jade Cargo assessment included the DLR, it was reported to have a whopping 44% failure rate! Without a doubt, everyone of those whom failed went on to fly elsewhere and achieved their own measure of success.

DLR - Institute of Aerospace Medicine - Personnel Selection

The DLR fails to recognise pilots are human beings. A cup of coffee and a good dump, before going to the assessment could easily account for a candidate doing well . . . or someone who is a bundle of nerves, failing to get a good night's sleep or deadheading to an interview last minute, rushing to get there, due to other work commitments being amongst that 44% whom failed the DLR.

Does anyone reading suppose Captain Al Haynes or Chesley Sullenberger sat for the DLR? Or, how about Erik Hartmann, who became the leader of the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) and the leading "ace" during World War 2, shooting down 352 enemy aeroplanes. Do you think he took the DLR test? Or, how about Medal of Honour winner and top scoring US Army Air Force Ace, Dick Bong, think he sat the DLR?

If any of you are not aware of this fact, during World War II, there were Kamikaze pilots whom refused to take the one-way flight? Suppose any of them sat for the German DLR.

It is a well known fact that the DLR Psych Eval can be practiced and trained for.

I dare suggest the DLR Pilot Selection Psychological Battery is a bunch of crap. It costs airlines a lot of money. It has likely cost some damned good pilots a job, unnecessarily. And, highly likely there were some pilots whom passed whom one would not trust to fly a kite.

Now, there is a lot of hand-wringing about what we're going to do or how we are going to prevent a similar scenario.

Two pilots to remain in the cockpit at all times, while one steps out to use the toilet.

Flight Attendant to enter the cockpit, while one pilot steps out to use the toilet.

Anyone remember FedEx Flight 705?

A super secret decoder ring to allow a crewmember to override or unlock the door.

When a pilot meets another crewmember for the first time, either in dispatch or on the flight deck, after the small talk, to check each other out, how would any of us know the real state of mind of the other crewmember?

There was a case in Shanghai of a Chinese First Officer who drove his uncle's taxi to work, ran a red (stop) light, killing a bride and groom and a motorcyclist, then went to go fly. Imagine flying with that guy! Do you suppose he told his Captain that he doesn't have a driver licence and just mowed down three people on his way to work?

Not sure there is an answer, but no doubt this event will ramp-up the the rules and regulations, another layer of employment screening, another layer of complete bull$h!t before we can get off the ground en route to our destination.

The world and aviation sure the hell has changed from the time I started flying, in 1978. No more fun. And, hardly worth the money.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:06
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I'm a GP and now work in emergency medicine. I have been qualified as a doctor for 24 years. I have worked in most specialties over the years, including psychiatry. I have also been a PPL since 1983.

If the copilot did indeed deliberately fly the aircraft into the Alps, as seems very likely, then that is at first sight completely baffling. If you just want to commit suicide, why on Earth would you want to take 150 innocent people with you? It's just not rational. And that's the thing -- this act was not rational, so therefore we have to look at what could plausibly make someone act in such an irrational manner.

In this case, it is actually very easy to see what could have made him act in such an irrational manner. We know he had a history of significant mental illness -- 18 months of what seems to have been fairly severe depression -- although we don't know the details. There has also been talk that he may have been in a situational crisis recently, precipitated by breaking up with his girlfriend. Against this background, it is entirely possible he could have developed either a psychotic depression or a brief reactive psychosis. Not all psychoses are accompanied by florid delusions and odd, thought-disordered behaviour. Some can be quite encapsulated and the person can appear normal in most respects:

Delusional disorder as a partial psychosis. - PubMed - NCBI

So if he had an encapsulated psychosis for whatever cause, it would be easy to see how he could believe, say as an example, (and I'm plucking contemporary iconography out of thin air to create a random, ludicrous proposition, which is how the delusions of people with psychosis are constructed) that in order to avoid a war between Russia and the West he had to crash his aircraft and kill himself and everyone on it because he and they were all agents of Vladimir Putin.

It's crazy and very unlikely, but this whole event is crazy and very unlikely and mad people can sometimes have crazy and very unlikely delusions (though obviously the vast majority of them are not any danger to the rest of the population) and we do know he had a history of mental illness.

I can't help remembering the engineer I saw in psychiatry as a medical student. He held down a responsible job, but he had an unshakeable, encapsulated delusion that his bosses had implanted a chip in his nose through which they kept an eye on him. In all other respects, he appeared totally plausible and functioned very well. It was quite an eye-opener and I've been thinking of him a lot in the past few days.

This was not a rational act and you really don't have to stretch that far to imagine a scenario whereby it could have occurred. The more difficult question is how you might prevent such a thing again and there is no clear answer to that, especially as we are now learning these things are not quite so unlikely as we once thought. Having two in the cockpit at all times is no panacea. A sharp push on the control column at 100 feet could have the same effect as a descent from 30,000 feet.

To pick up every pilot who might fly his aircraft into the ground, you would have to have a screening test so sensitive that it would be totally non-specific, which means that you would end up screening out tens of thousands of pilots, maybe even hundreds of thousands. And that's if you can even decide what the risk factors actually are. By the very nature of the action, the perpetrators are not around to be interviewed afterwards and it's quite possible, indeed likely, that each case has a set of unique, unpredictable precipitants and characteristics.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:08
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This looks like a lynch mob.

Until we know more, please give the FO the benefit of a doubt.

Based on facts from Mr BEA and a prosecutor we know that

- FO changed his demeanor towards Capt during landing brief.

- Capt left the cockpit for some reason after that.

- Cockpit door was locked from inside.

- Breathing sounds are heard in the cockpit but no attempt to comms with ATC and no reactions/improper reactions to the immediate surroundings.

This could all be indicative of so called subtle incapacitation. It may have started with the change in attitude during the briefing. If Capt didn't notice this and went to the loo instead, it could have gotten worse until FO was unconcious or incapable of coherent thoughts - a hypoxia like state of mind.

Such things has happened before. Hypoxic pilots knows to descend if they recognise hypoxia. If there are other problems not related to hypoxia this won't help. Brain aneurysm? Heart infection (TWAR)? Blood clot/deep vein thrombosis?

Subtle incapacitation was one of the reasonings behind the Staines crash.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 11:12
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With the cabin crew knowing the code, the only thing that gives the "incapacitated" theory still merit is:

there is a possibilty that an agitated captain misses his small time window to re-enter after the 5 minutes have expired
However I cannot see how this would work. Why would the captain not be able to enter the cockpit after 5 minutes? The 5 minutes would just expire and there would be no 'small' time window, but an infinite time window to re-enter the cockpit. Until the ground was there obviously.

When did the 5 minute lockout start. That can be worked out from the CVR easily.
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