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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:41
  #1961 (permalink)  
 
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I do not believe there is definite method to monitor psychological illness. A machine can be repaired. An organic disease or physiological condition may be curable but psychology deals with human behaviour. That makes it impossible to have straight jacket norms for mental health. Aggression, sadness, short temper, attention deficit, excessively passive, extremely fearful, phobias all these things can be classified as illnesses. Every human being has these emotions and unless chronic disfunctionality is evident you will have to let them continue. There are subjective criteria for mental sickness and is very difficult to apply. The treatments also have their own credibility issues. The word cure is rarely used in psychiatry. It is only to control within acceptable behaviour norms.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:42
  #1962 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andyhargreaves
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.
I don't know about the EASA medical, but for the Australian Class 1 medical, you are specifically asked whether you suffer from depression. I've never answered in the affirmative for this so I don't what happens if you do, but I can imagine the reissue of your class 1 medical will be withheld pending further evaluation.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:43
  #1963 (permalink)  
 
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sadest thing ever

I know this is mostly speculation, but:

So there's this young man who loves to fly - like so many of us
He lives his dream, getting his ATPL with Lufthansa - probably the most prestigeous way in Germany.
During his training, he is suspended for six months, supposedly due to depression.
He recovers, regains his medical, continues his education and lands a right seat job.
Then the black dog returns and he fears for his future, keeping the diagnosis a secret, probably thinking he'll be able to deal with it.
Obviously, it only needed a minor thing for him to push him over the edge.

the more I hear about this incident, the more it saddens me.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:43
  #1964 (permalink)  
 
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As Lufthansa are in the same rules as the rest of the EU, they could fall under the cover of Corporate Manslaughter caused by not being on top of the problems this 2nd pilot seems to have been involved with, there is more to come out about this young man and I don't think it will be good for the main company............ did he have a Girl....or boy..friend,... apparently he was also going through a recent breakup..!! source BBC news Friday the 27th

"Allegedly"
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:46
  #1965 (permalink)  
 
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I just erased what I was going to write in an attempt to play 'devils advocate' but, frankly, I can find no way to to actually be a 'devils advocate' in this instance.
OK - he might have suddenly become unconscious as a result of whatever medication his doctor prescribed but he locked the cockpit door to make it impossible for the Captain to re-enter and then he altered the altitude setting to set up the rapid descent that resulted in ground impact.
Both these actions were deliberate - there's no getting away from that.
The industry can argue over differing methods of securing the flight deck - 2 in there at all times, more complex and draconian security policies and SOP's etc. but it is all quite pointless if you have someone who has made the decision to end it all and (more importantly) doesn't care that their actions will result in the mass murder of 149 innocent men, women and children who's safety and safe delivery to destination is his responsibility.
This man, in what he has done, is no different to a person with a bomb strapped to them intent on taking out themselves and as many bystanders as possible or the likes of Andreas Brievik who cold-bloodily targeted his victims one by one and until someone comes up with a rational explanation as to why the cockpit door was locked and the altitude setting altered then I have to accept that these were, indeed, his deliberate actions.
To my mind the fault here lies with the doctor who, knowing that the man was a pilot and the extent of his illness, gave him a sick note but failed to inform the airline the man worked for (unless he did, in which case we are into a whole new scenario or he was not the FO's regular doctor and simply didn't know what the man did for a living).
The lesser responsibility lies with the airline. Was this man really fit to fly? His 'breakdown' during training notwithstanding, 600 plus hours on type is not an insignificant number of flights and if he's shown no signs of mental disorder during any one of those flights or during regular airmeds, who was to know that he was a time-bomb just waiting to go off.
I'm sorry if I've gone on a bit but I am writing this in an effort to marshal my own thoughts and to understand just how this could happen.
And sadly, I'm no further forward.

Last edited by Xeque; 27th Mar 2015 at 14:00.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:47
  #1966 (permalink)  
 
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antidepression drugs can be a danger themselves

There are lots of evidence, that certain people with a severe depression can paradoxically become aggressive against themselves a n d o t h e r s after starting to take certain antidepressiva.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:47
  #1967 (permalink)  
 
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It will be a costly, but probably far more effective and cheaper, in the long run to have more permissive sick leave allowances and more open reporting of mental health issues with an accepting culture.
......hmmm..
I'd think it would be more appropriate having shown during initial training that you have mental illness you should not be eligible for a carrier as a professional pilot. If it were only somebody being depressed for week, maybe even a fortnight fine. Anybody can end up there but here we're talking several months!!
Lufthansa has some explaining to do, it would seem.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:54
  #1968 (permalink)  
 
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GearDownandLocked

Most precient post thus far, thank you.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:57
  #1969 (permalink)  
 
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I find it troubling that so many self-professed "professionals" on here are tiptoeing around the F/O's documented history of mental illness and a system that allows such a person with that history person to hold a medical certificate of a class sufficient for a commercial pilot certificate to remain valid. Sorry (not) if that sounds "discriminatory" but in aviation, particularly for those involved in commercial/common carriage of passengers with no say who occupies the front seats, our whole careers are discriminatory in terms of performance and health standards that must be met.
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
The reason people "tip-toe" round it is we (those of us who are pilots) know very little about it.

The question of whether he was fit to fly or not is purely in the hands of the regulatory medical authorities: EASA / LBA. It is not to do with the airline, unless in that airline there is some overlap between employer and medicals.

For most airlines, as I said earlier, you either hold a medical certificate or not. You tell the employer the expiry date - they might even want to check the certificate. End of.

At the large airline I work for, I can choose to use their medical department or not for my medicals. There are "Chinese walls" between them as medical examiners and the employer... but not really relevant anyway, since I, and likely the majority, do medicals with independent AMEs.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:58
  #1970 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NigelOnDraft
The whole point of the expensive cameras and door lock system is to avoid and mitigate the system you highlight. If these systems fail we go back to your system. This would be at the heart of why going back to your system for all is not likely acceptable - it makes clear that we up front cannot be trusted, and that undermines much of our industry's safety foundation.

Not saying of course it will not happen as a kneejerk response.
The entire Target Level of Safety for aviation is set to be as close to 10^-9 (ten to the minus 9) probability of something causing death as you can get.

It has now been shown in several cases that the current locked door policy as implemented by some airlines allowing one pilot to lock themselves into the flight deck - does not meet the Target Level of Safety for aviation. You might think it is excellent but the flaws mean that it needs to be changed. It can be changed by a simple procedure of using a flight crew member to be a second person in the cockpit.

This procedure is likely to be mandatory within the next few weeks. After all he might have decided to fly into something more than just a mountain. And thus your procedures would have actually permitted a 9/11 scenario that the doors were put there to prevent.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 13:58
  #1971 (permalink)  
 
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It seems I might have been on the money when I asked about pilots seeing doctors secretly a few hundred posts ago http://www.pprune.org/8919671-post1537.html This practice is almost impossible to stop. Mandatory reporting won't prevent a pilot from seeing a doctor privately, perhaps in another country, and pretending to be a bus driver. Perhaps this tragedy will lead to calls for frequent blood testing to detect prescription drugs?

Given the pressure that pilots are under I would be amazed if there are not a great many who systematically deceive their employer about their health. It sounds like the job is becoming impossibly demanding, with the rewards disappearing through the floor. You guys and gals have my sympathy.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:02
  #1972 (permalink)  
 
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The industry seriously needs to start thinking about cockpit design for the future. If safety is of greater importance than cramming in 6 extra bums on seats then why can't staff members have their own toilet in a plane that has a variant able to carry 220 passengers? By making a flight deck just 45 inches longer and including a toilet in some kind of intermediate section so the pilots never have to "leave" the flight deck, will ensure there is no repeat of this kind of incident and will also prevent a would be terrorist from making a charge for any cockpit door when he sees a pilot come out.

If you think this is ridiculous ask yourself how you would feel as a professional office worker having to share bathroom facilities with over 100 passengers 4-5 times per day. It's a working environment for god sake, time to make it look and feel like one!
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:02
  #1973 (permalink)  
 
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Investigators into Alps crash find killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had 'hidden illness' from airline bosses

He had suffered from depression and 'burnout' and was once deemed 'unfliable' but was later passed as fit to fly

Head of Lufthansa admitted the 28-year-old had slipped through the 'safety net' - with devastating consequences

Friends said he was teased and called 'Tomato Andy' because he worked as a flight steward before qualifying

Police said they have found evidence of mental illness, but no suicide note at flat he is said to share with girlfriend

Germanwings pilot Andreas Lubitz tore up sick note for day he crashed jet | Daily Mail Online
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:04
  #1974 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies in advance

Could the "illness" Lubitz suffered from possibly be physical in nature?
Was he pre-empting an inevitable prognosis?
Nothing is more depressing than an incurable disease.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:05
  #1975 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pax britanica
. In fact about that time-mid 70s there was another horrific accident at Moorgate on the London underground where a driver didn't stop and the station is a deep level terminus with a concrete wall 50 feet into the tunnel. Lots of discussion about the drivers mental state at the time
I think it's not clear what happened. The driver doesn't appear to have had any history of mental illness or reasons to be suicidal.

-never happened again thank god .
No, but safety measures were considerably improved as a result of it, making a recurrence less likely. (Sensible measures, not kneejerk reactions of doubtful utility).
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:08
  #1976 (permalink)  
 
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CVR tape

Whether it is a valid recording or not, the publishing of a CVR recording on the internet highlights the despicable and sick nature of our modern media hungry society.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:09
  #1977 (permalink)  
 
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A possible solution?

I am a corporate Jet Captain and we do not have doors between the cockpit and cabin but may have a solution which could work?
I am not familiar with the A320 doors so guidance please?

A master key hung around the neck of the exiting crew member which would override any blocking attempt by the remaining crew member in the cockpit would work with a proviso.
That key would only work with the addition of a memory code known by the two crew members so useless to a terrorist grabbing it off the neck of that crew member without the code.
A bit like a credit Card only giving you cash with a pin number.

I do not think allowing a cabin crew member into the cockpit has really been thought out and is a knee jerk reaction.

It is fairly easy with a clean record to get a job as cabin staff and with a short period of training.
Is this latest action not just opening up another avenue for terrorists to get access to the cockpit but with only one soul up front?
A terrorist with radical views but a clean record could get a job as Cabin crew and now have access to the one remaining pilot who will probably be looking at the panel often. That potential Cabin crew terrorist also has least resistance and an ability to lock the other pilot out as things stand.

Also consider positioning flights with no PAX or Cabin crew but only flight crew what happens then? the aircraft is still potentially a lethal weapon

Has this really been thought out?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:09
  #1978 (permalink)  
 
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Hi Ian W
It has now been shown in several cases that the current locked door policy as implemented by some airlines allowing one pilot to lock themselves into the flight deck - does not meet the Target Level of Safety for aviation. You might think it is excellent but the flaws mean that it needs to be changed. It can be changed by a simple procedure of using a flight crew member to be a second person in the cockpit.
We have a number of instances of the "door" locking out pilots. Some technical hitches, one FO locked out a Capt legitimately, 2 FOs the opposite (this one, Ethiopian), 1 Capt the opposite (LAM) - I am sure others.

Prior new doors, there seems a history of suicide accidents as well?

So I do not think the system excellent, but nor can I see the benefit of adding the additional crew member as a "cure all".

Just to be clear, can you state what you see as the legal (OM) role and specified duties of that additional (cabin) crew member in the Flight Deck:
  1. To override the (acting) Commander of the Aircraft if they judge their actions inappropriate?
  2. Do they override the commander (or deputy) in matters of Flight Safety?
  3. Does the Commander need to consult said (cabin) crew member if they wish to alter the Flight path iaw ATC?
  4. If the buzzer goes, and the Capt deems the requested entry inappropriate, can the CC member override (phsyically? by authority?) the order of the Commander?
  5. Will said CC member by trained, and authorised, in the use of the door system controls?
I do not see it as Black & White, I see arguments for both approaches. But I suspect it is being done, not for Flight Safety or Security, but as a PR stunt.
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:11
  #1979 (permalink)  
 
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What I don't understand is what somebody else pointed out on here. If this guy was planning on crashing the plane then how could he have been so "fortunate" as to have found the time that the pilot needed the loo to do it. In a short flight then surely there's a chance that the pilot would have remained in his seat the entire time.

If this guy was suicidally depressed then what was he doing? Waiting for the perfect storm of being overcome with a wave of depression, being in charge of a plane and having the pilot need a wee all at the same time It seems like a lot of planning for someone who was obviously thinking irrationally - do you think the pilot gave him a bollocking for something just before he downed the plane?
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Old 27th Mar 2015, 14:19
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Originally Posted by Superpilot
l
If you think this is ridiculous ask yourself how you would feel as a professional office worker having to share bathroom facilities with over 100 passengers 4-5 times per day. It's a working environment for god sake, time to make it look and feel like one!
Good point, and consider the H&S aspects. There is no passenger health screening. Poor hygiene could lead to norovirus. Imagine also if the toilet was occupied?

I suppose in the latter case, call the FA, get them to keep it clear and get FA
to call when free.
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