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Germanwings crash: Have cockpit doors changed?

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Germanwings crash: Have cockpit doors changed?

Old 31st Mar 2016, 12:39
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Wiggy
If the EASA recommendation is causing so much grief where you work then is it worth trying to get your management in your own company to read again what EASA actually wrote, perform their own risk assessment and then implement " other equivalent mitigating measures"....or would that cost them too much?
It wouldn't cost too much when the decision is made. However, should there be another incident where a second person in the cockpit might have prevented it and the decision was not to always have a second person in the cockpit. Imagine the legal arguments being made against the airline. Imagine the bad PR. Imagine the costs of fighting all that --- so why should the person in the airline making the decision go for the one that the aircrew seem to support and take the risk for her/his career? Easier and less of a career risk to follow EASA recommendations.

EASA of course made it a recommendation only so that any airlines that complain of the costs and problems are told with a smile "but it is only a recommendation...". Knowing that safety recommendations are never turned down by the risk averse company men in the aircraft operating companies.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 13:03
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If the EASA recommendation is causing so much grief where you work then is it worth trying to get your management in your own company to read again what EASA actually wrote, perform their own risk assessment and then implement " other equivalent mitigating measures"....or would that cost them too much?
We get told that one Big Airline never introduced that measure, no idea if its true. But over here in germany it was impossible not to implement it, damn the risk assessment which turned out to be not in favor of that measure at all. Simply a bow to public pressure and be done with it.

Due to the very public nature of how that recommendation came to be, it was discussed at length in every newspaper, it is now very easy to get into a flight deck. Especially in a company like mine where several hundred, if not a thousand or more, temporary workers are "bought" from an agency every summer, fast track trained in four weeks and then legally enter the flight deck with just a very superficial "background" check and no psychological evaluation at all.

No need to train a sleeper through flight school, pass rigorous assessment tests and then, after years of training finally be on the flightdeck, every terrorist who wants can be there in just four weeks.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 13:19
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Doors locked or no doors locked, 2 staff or only one, throne room accessible from cockpit only? Why not opt for the really cheap option - nappies (of a suitable size and construction) and special disposal bags? I say this partly in jest but it could be a cheap solution.
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 19:55
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An entirely knee-jerk reaction to a freak one off event. What next, am I not allowed to drive my car alone in case I fall asleep at the wheel?
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Old 31st Mar 2016, 20:39
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I've said it before and I'll say it again. At 500 feet on approach, the PF out of nowhere dumps the flaps, flicks the master switches off and plants the stick full forward, all before you've had any time whatsoever to react. How are you going to recover that, exactly? There's two people in the cockpit and that didn't stop anything. Bring back a flight engineer sitting behind if you like, it would inevitably happen too fast for him to react either. Just how many bodies are we going to suggest cramming into the flightdeck before we realise that it is all pointless window dressing and that, if we have humans anywhere in the chain whatsoever, there is the small chance one will be a nut job with nefarious intentions, with the capacity for great harm.

Last edited by RexBanner; 31st Mar 2016 at 22:06.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 08:25
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flicks the master switches off
Not a pilot, but what are these master switches? I have been working with a Gripen simulator a couple of years ago, and I was surprised at the degree which controls were "locked out" in flight. Master power switch is latched, so you can never disable power in flight for example. Is this not the case on transports?
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 08:38
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I guess he refers to the engine master switches, and those are not locked out at all. Have to be able to switch them off if the donks are burning.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 16:54
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An entirely knee-jerk reaction to a freak one off event. What next, am I not allowed to drive my car alone in case I fall asleep at the wheel?
Complete straw man analogy, as I would hope you know. Air travel is subject to rather stricter regulation that car travel, amongst other reasons because if planes crashed as often as cars, no-one would ever get on a plane, and then you wouldn't have a job. You also don't have direct responsibilty for up to 600 people's lives in your car.

This has really upset some pilot's egos hasn't it? Most crashes are 'freak one off events', do you suggest we should just carry on then, no investigations, no ADs, no attempts to improve safety? In any case, it is not a freak one off event, in recent years pilot suicide crashes are probably a statistically significant proportion of crashes. And the preference has been to do so when alone in the cockpit. There are perfectly good reasons - psychological and practical - that a person is less likely to follow through on their intentions if they are not alone. Therefore an extra person in the cockpit serves two useful purposes - reducing the likelihood the individual will act, and providing someone to open the door.

Finally, would you care to tell me how many crashes have been caused by deliberate action by cabin crew, and how many by pilots. As far as I'm aware the pilots are inifitely more responsible. I've never felt comfortable with just having one person on the cockpit, for many other perfectly innocent reasons, or with inpenetrable doors. On the balance of probability, this is likely to reduce risk, and that is all the regulators are concnerned about.
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Old 1st Apr 2016, 18:19
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This has really upset some pilot's egos hasn't it?
Nah, i believe that is not the real issue. It is just that pilots (and surprisingly cabin crew as well) believe that this "solution" doesn't solve the problem at all. In fact it does actually introduce new risks and much easier attack vectors. After all now everybody knows that you just need to apply to a temporary worker agency and four weeks later you are guaranteed a seat on the flight deck with just a very superficial background check. Easy enough for anyone, just train on MS Flightsim how to program an FMCG and it won't surprise me when some aircraft on approach to frankfurt just pitches down and slightly to the right and boom, the ECB is gone (not that that would be any loss).

Not to mention that pilots refuse to drink because cabin crew often do not have time when it is needed, effectively dehydrating themselves which leads to severely reduced performance. And of course, if toilet breaks are finally done, the door will be open much longer, more often and the airplane monitoring between the dance to the loo and at least one ass on a pilot seat (more isn't needed, after all george takes care of business, right?) isn't really all that great either.

There was no need for that beforehand, after all we do not need cabin crew to identify anyone who wants into the flightdeck, the video picture is right there on the displays. Yes, the new system might prevent another germanwings, or it might not, everyone knows that there will be someone, and how to disable them if needed. Either electrocute them (we do need powersupplies for our EFBs after all), use the crashaxe or any number of other means available.

Basically, it (slightly) plugs one hole, and opens up quite a number of other ones.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 09:54
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As a long time pilot of the emerald green aircraft, who has operated the 2 person in cockpit rule since shortly after 9-11, I am amazed at the negative tone of this discussion.
I filled out the recent EASA survey and am very much in favour of having a second person in the cockpit at all times,if only to make sure I can get back into the cockpit at all times. This policy has never caused any safety issues, and I personally cannot see what the issue is.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 13:57
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Likewise, although a different operator.

I started airline 2003 and so had the policy been eversince.

The reasons given then
- visual check for cockpit entry request (mandatory all the time)
- operate the door that were not reachable from cockpit seat

Both suprising and educative to see otherwise very reasonable and knowledgeable memebers here post vigorously against the policy.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 18:04
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otherwise very reasonable
I haven't seen anyone being unreasonable, it's just that some disagree that 2 on the flight deck at all times with all operators is a panacea.

Depending on where you work and what you are operating it's quite conceivable and reasonable that you might see the blind enforcement of a rule requiring 2 on the flight deck at all times as possibly introducing extra risks, unless extra checks, procedures and specific training are introduced.

I think you'll find the BEA report on the Germanwing's accident said much the same - the BEA spokesperson at the press conference on the day of release of the report certainly said so.

Last edited by wiggy; 2nd Apr 2016 at 18:48.
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Old 2nd Apr 2016, 20:49
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It is the nature of the issue that there is no perfect solution; either someone is left alone and can act without intervention, or a 3rd party has to be allowed into the cockpit. Procedure has to be decided on balance of probability, and statistically a pilot alone is higher risk.

It is reasonable that some point out the new risks introduced, but this is not sufficient to render the policy ineffective, if the risks it mitigates are greater. Cabin crew already come into the cockpit in any case, so if they are a threat then that is present regardless. Reasonable concern is fair enough, the problem is I have read some pilots who are merely indignant at the idea their mighty self should possibly be supervised by lowly cabin crew, and do not see the bigger picture. That is not constructive. You are not being judged, in how many industries would someone in charge of such a potenially destructive missile be allowed to lock themselves away? I venture none.
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 08:07
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neila.

Reasonable concern is fair enough, the problem is I have read some pilots who are merely indignant at the idea their mighty self should possibly be supervised by lowly cabin crew,
I don't see many or any saying the cabin crew are "lowly". The problem some have (me included) is the old issue of "who watches the watcher," especially in a very large organisation, possibly with a high level of churn...


You are not being judged, in how many industries would someone in charge of such a potenially destructive missile be allowed to lock themselves away? I venture none.
Industries - possibly none, but FWIW other organisations world wide do allow that to happen on a regular basis - but not controlled by someone employed 5 minutes ago or even 5 weeks ago.

Last edited by wiggy; 3rd Apr 2016 at 08:17.
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 08:53
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I think your attitude to this depends on where you come from and where you are flying. If you are working for an established European carrier whose cabin crew predominantly all come from the same country and which has a low staff turnover you probably wouldn't see the problem. You are on the same cultural wavelength as the people on the other side of the (locked) door and they can all be (and probably are) properly security checked. I used to work for an airline like that and if I was still there I would probably be wondering what all the fuss was about.

However, there are airlines implementing this policy who hire hundreds of temporary cabin crew every year who get minimal training and minimal security vetting. There are other airlines that have such a high turnover of crew that they hire thousands of 21 year olds every year from all over the world including countries with known links to terrorism. It is not physically possible to security clear that number of people from that many countries properly. In the past, of course, these people still had access to the flight deck but it was fairly rare for them to be there with only one pilot. Now is is a certainty. That is why we need to ask, who watches the watcher?

Also, it used to be policy in my company that the flight deck door was opened as seldom as possible. With the new two person rule it needs to be opened twice as often as it was before and it wouldn't take a genius sitting in the first fewrows to spot the pattern. This becomes a bigger problem if, as on many types, there is a passenger toilet right next to the flight deck.

This is a badly thought out policy introduced as a "must be seen to be doing something" reaction to an extremely rare occurrence which leaves us all exposed to much greater risks much more often.
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 08:57
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^^^^

+1 to what BigGeordie said

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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 09:27
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Why not opt for the really cheap option - nappies (of a suitable size and construction) and special disposal bags? I say this partly in jest but it could be a cheap solution.
And oxygen masks on 100% as soon as the gear is up...
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 10:16
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JW411,

In the interests of accuracy, Sean Maffett was a Transport Command navigator on Andover and Belfast aircraft.
From the above quote it's difficult to ascertain your position but with respect to Mr Maffett and everything he may have achieved in the RAF, he has no place commenting on commercial airline issues in the media. Unfortunately, the media in general are so thick they can't grasp the difference and think one flying discipline is the same as another. In this arena he simply hasn't the experience or knowledge to make him anything more than an 'interested observer' but in commentating the way he does, he influences the debate in the wrong way.

BigGeordie & Piltdown Man are far more on the money imho.
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 10:34
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Originally Posted by DuctOvht
Unfortunately, the media in general are so thick they can't grasp the difference and think one flying discipline is the same as another.
Hence their widespread use of the meaningless term "aviation expert".
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Old 3rd Apr 2016, 14:56
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... flight deck door was opened as seldom as possible. With the new two person rule it needs to be opened twice as often as it was before ...
Does not compute, sorry. I wish you guys well who feel upset about and endagered by this (for you) new rule. I wish you did not need to do it, but the presented arguments are not tangible.

Apart from that, anybody beating a dead horse yet?

2 quick check questions:
- post 9-11, with intrusion proof door and before cameras installed, what means were used to comply with visual check requirement with a pilot returning from loo?
- in UK airspace, are you allowed jumpseaters on flightdeck?
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