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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:32
  #1921 (permalink)  
 
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Latest news just about wraps it all up.

Now all that remains to be seen is the nature of the knee jerk reactions, and how quickly EASA will shut the gate now that the horse has bolted!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:32
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How this will affect pilots in general (and their mental health) if public opinion turns from admiration to suspicion within a generation? Status is extremely important to many people, hopefully this won't result in any repeats.
As a passenger, my suggestion would be that you hold yourself in check and think about how many thousands of flights happen each day without a hitch. Just because 1 FO apparently has decided to deceive and destroy should not mean we now look at all pilots with suspicion. I booked my next flight yesterday and had not a second thought about doing so and will not have a single doubt in my mind when I board the plane that the pilot is anything but competent and professional.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:37
  #1923 (permalink)  
 
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QDMQDMQDM, thanks for you post. I had to work with a psychotic chap for some years. Exactly what you say and for me it looks like it may be very relevant here. Depression itself is not really the issue here, it is the psychotic side of human nature.

What I remember from Germany: there is a bit lack of understanding of mental illness, or psychiatric injuries, or psychotic behavior. Its all put in just one big bowl by the psychiatrists and they probably just prescribe drugs: fatal if you get the wrong stuff! Makes some mentally ill people really crazy and a lot worse - they change from depressive to psychotic because of the wrong drug. Then the psychologists only see the family background and childhood and they have no idea of endocrine disorders. Even worse, in Germany all needs to be absolutely perfect. The cars , the houses, the streets and of course your profession and career. That must be big pressure on people with understandable little problems. With that pressure the problems get bigger. Some people just have a psychotic predisposition, it depends on the stress and pressure from the outside if this time bomb is triggered at some stage in their life - usually between the age of 15 and 35. Often this predisposition never comes out and never will be discovered. This week it looks like the hole World became aware of one persons very tragic mental rush hour.

Let's hope all friends and relatives of the victims, including the co-pilot family, all witnesses and rescue staff on site, get the help they need in the next days, months and years to come.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:40
  #1924 (permalink)  
 
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Mental Illness

Depression is a mental illness. This should have put a big question mark over his suitability to fly a commercial or any other type of aeroplane. It would seem to me that Lufthansa/German Wings are culpable. They knew he had been ill and yet allowed him to take charge of a Commercial Aircraft and the lives of 150 people.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:41
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Andy,
perhaps it is now time for compulsory reporting of these medical issues where people are unfit for work
In the UK it is.
Licence holder not to act a member of flight crew when unfit
32B(1) A person is not entitled to act as a member of the flight crew of an aircraft registered
in the United Kingdom if he knows or suspects that his physical or mental condition
renders him temporarily or permanently unfit to perform such functions or to act in
such capacity.
(2) Every holder of a medical certificate issued under article 32 who-
(a) suffers any personal injury involving incapacity to undertake his functions as a
member of the flight crew;
(b) suffers any illness involving incapacity to undertake those functions throughout
a period of 21 days or more; or
(c) in the case of a woman, has reason to believe that she is pregnant,
must inform the CAA in writing of such injury, illness or pregnancy, as soon as
possible in the case of injury or pregnancy, and as soon as the period of 21 days has
expired in the case of illness.
Andy later clarified:
I meant compulsory for the medical staff certifying a person unfit for work to report it to the relevant authorities for certain critical professions.

Last edited by Basil; 27th Mar 2015 at 13:29.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:42
  #1926 (permalink)  
 
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Hopefully a full medical analysis will occur to see if he may have been using anti-depressive drugs of any kind. There are many research reports currently on problems with violent acts embarked upon after ceasing usage of some of the popular brands.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:43
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If, when all is finalised, it turns out that the accident was caused by a seriously mentally ill man hiding his condition from his employers because he feared for his career our industry will need to enable doctors to directly report serious concerns.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:45
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@ FWRWATPLX2...

I couldn't agree more!

If I had taken these tests I probably would not have become an airline pilot because I would have most likely flunked them.

Been flying commercially now for 37 years some of it flying a Dash 7 and a Dash 8 for commuter airlines prior to flying the FK28, 3 years of that based in France (LFPO) for a French carrier so I know how it works in France and how complicated it was then to become an airline pilot in that country.

Since then I went back to a very good corporate gig and I'm glad I left the airline world and I certainly don't have any regrets either.

Some of my friends stayed with the airlines but with all the ups and downs in that industry (pay cuts, mergers and companies closing down) and 9/11 some of them are completely fed up with their work environment are so looking forward to retirement.

It is just not that fun for them anymore and these guys are pilots that loved to fly, they had the passion in their blood and becoming an airline pilot was their dream and now they couldn’t care less about going to work.

Unfortunately for us and upcoming pilots, the industry changed so much in the last 25 years and I don't think it is going to get any better in the future.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:47
  #1929 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, and if the industry expect pilots to declare their fitness truthfully, the employers are gonna have to put measures in place to ensure that those declaring themselves unfit are financially protected.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:48
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We have this kind of system in my profession of Medicine. On a state wide basis such formal networks exist, staffed by such Samaritans that you mentioned. They are peers who volunteer for this on a part time basis. Anonymity and discretion are guaranteed. Unfortunately such networks cost money to administer and I am doubtful that any entity in Aviation (FAA, airlines, unions) would be eager to pay for it.
I mentioned earlier on in this thread that a 'Supervision' model as is practiced for example in the medical field is long overdue in aviation. We have had plenty of very hard lessons and learned from many of them, but not all. While technology and maintenance have vastly improved, we still believe that the humans at the controls should perform flawlessy day in and out without giving them much attention beyond checking their technical skills at regular intervals. This is not enough. We must also create good working environments, work patterns and a system that addresses the psychological needs of people.

Regarding the added costs, an old aviation adage springs to mind:"If you think safety is expensive, try an accident"
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:49
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TWT

I am not sure that there is no direct evidence, but I am sure that it has not been made public if it exists. There is no doubt that the facts strongly indicate that this was a murder suicide by the F/O, but further facts are required to confirm this theory.

Clearly, the new revelations regarding the mental problems that the F/O was suffering go along way towards explaining his actions and a possible motive.

It would be interesting to know what drugs he was prescribed or were found at his home. It may be that he ODed on his meds.... this would explain his "laconic" interaction to the landing briefing...

I would not like to jump to the conclusion that he deliberately killed the passengers and crew; certainly the family and friends of the victims will not find it any easier to bear knowing that it was a callous brutal act of murder.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:49
  #1932 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DespairingTraveller
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.
Exactly, but let me qualify that.

There are many jobs where the risk to a lone worker is deemed so high that two people must be present. Now the risk from any event concerning a lone flight deck worker should have required a second person to be present regardless of this week's tragedy.

You could argue also that long haul 3-pilot operations should have a very experienced number 2, a bit like a ship's officers.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:49
  #1933 (permalink)  
 
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Does anyone know, if German Wings, offer sick pay? or was this a zero hour contract with no sick benefits. It has gone on long enough this, young guys saddled with debt, are being forced to fly as they will not get paid. Be it a head cold or more serious issues.

It has to stop

I hope this incident, becomes the 'colgan' of europe, and with the press assistance and coverage, help from unions etc, some of the rot can end. It is just a shame that the bean counters always win until blood is spilled, then it takes the media to raise awareness.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:51
  #1934 (permalink)  
 
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Basil, apologies, I did not make myself clear. I meant compulsory for the medical staff certifying a person unfit for work to report it to the relevant authorities for certain critical professions.

Andy,
In the UK it is.
This would, as others have pointed out, require reasonable sickness absence benefits to be in place for all concerned.....
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:55
  #1935 (permalink)  
 
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I flew to Brussels and back yesterday and it occurred to me that I was now viewing the pilots as a possible threat for the first time.
Blindside, next time you have this thought remind yourself that worldwide there are about 65,000 commercial airline flights per day
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:59
  #1936 (permalink)  
 
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What is unfolding is that it is appearing more and more likely that the two crew members in the cockpit at all times rule may have been beneficial and perhaps avoided this incident.

However, it still remains true that it is near impossible to stop a determined pilot from intentionally crashing. But what of of a less determined and disoriented pilot? Perhaps in these circumstances it could have been prevented?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 12:59
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If you keep Doctor A for your problems and Doctor B for your colds and flu and if Doctor A's records never makes it to your employers medical file then the medical certificate approval is flawed.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:00
  #1938 (permalink)  
 
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"There are many jobs where the risk to a lone worker is deemed so high that two people must be present."

Lone worker / dual control / segregation of duties are done for lots of reasons, but it's hard to think of many examples where the plan is that if A goes out of control, B stops them by force. Dual-key systems for nuclear release control are deliberately designed so that if one person refuses the other cannot physically perform the launch, but that comes at the end of a system of checks and screening that simply wouldn't scale out to "everyone with a pilot's license". And the two launch controllers are armed, which makes the "B stops A" part rather easier.

In finance, it's common to have two people present when there's a lot of cash around, but that's about witnesses and audit, and is gladly accepted by the staff as it protects them as much as protecting the institution. Segregation of duties takes that a step further and prevents one person from raising purchase orders and paying the resulting invoice (the most common form of fraud in business). Lone worker systems for security guards, prison staff and so on are about protecting the safety of the worker.

Systems which start from the assumption that staff might commit immediately dangerous acts and need to be stopped by other staff are probably impossible to design in civilian environments. Aside from anything else, because it involves authorising the staff to (in the limit) use deadly force against their colleagues. Taken at face value, this case raises very difficult questions, and the old adage that for every complex problem there is a solution which is simple and wrong leaps to mind.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:00
  #1939 (permalink)  
 
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Regarding the illness the FO is said to have "hidden", how many times have you read questions on here along the lines of "I have suffered depression in the past so should I avoid telling my AME?" The answer is NO every time. Tell them everything.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:01
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One can only think that the passengers on the outbound flight were extremely lucky that the captain didn't (or presumably didn't) leave the flightdeck!
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