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Lufthansa Cockpit doors open for flight!

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Lufthansa Cockpit doors open for flight!

Old 1st Oct 2002, 22:32
  #21 (permalink)  
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I really think some of you guys should wind your necks in and stop blasting Mooney !

I was very anti our company ploicy of locking the flight deck door, but this is not for customer confidence but also my personal and flight safety !!!

Being blase and moaing about how these pictures could be doctored is missing the point of the topic...a year on crews are definitely becoming lax and how long will it be before we are back to the good old days ??

These procedures are designed keep us SAFE and SECURE !
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Old 1st Oct 2002, 23:16
  #22 (permalink)  
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Thanks, Captain104, for the commonsense posting.

"Sort of family" must touch a nerve in anyone, flightcrew or passenger, who flies or has flown regional and recognises the same old farts and nutcases, flightcrew or passenger, at the other end of the aircraft.

Someday soon, someone will come up with statistics comparing the chances of being involved in an incident/accident with those of being involved in a .... what to call it? .... "passenger aggression incident".

I don't really think Sept 11 changed the relative probabilities much at all. Just our perception of them. And frankly, I don't see much terrorist profit in targeting a Lufthansa - or any other - regional to make a mark on the world.

So I am NOT going to stop flying ABC "partner" airline's regionals just because the cockpit door was left open. I might, however, as an almos subconscious consequence of Sept 11, keep a more attentive eye open for my fellow passengers. Then again, having given them the once-over in the waiting lounge and as we boarded, I might not.

I disagree with your initial reaction, Mooney, but I also disagree with the quick-draw reactions of those who torched you.

Has value judgement succumbed entirely to SOPs? Put yourself back in the position of a regional crew who can say Hi to most of the faces they see coming on board.
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Old 1st Oct 2002, 23:17
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These procedures are not designed to keep us safe and secure, they are designed to make the public think they are. If you want safe and secure then put in a second door blocking access to the flight deck door and operate them both on an airlock principle, just like El Al do. Theres little real benefit in installing a single reinforced door if it still has to open to the cabin and its just a farce to make it bullet proof when the rest of the bulkhead isn't. Money is still the prime driver here. We have to appear to make things safe to keep the pax happy, but we won't actually make things hijack proof because that costs seats, wardrobes and lavs.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 00:28
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Hand Solo has it absolutely correct.

Under the current rules, access to the flight deck is permitted, as is the egress of pilots for physiological reasons. On many types, there is a key outside the flight deck, under the control of the No. 1 cabin crew, by which they gain access.

So now we have a key in the cabin. How secure is the flight deck? IT ISN'T SECURE AT ALL! It is all just window dressing. None of the rules currently in place will have any effect whatsoever on a determined terrorist, who will have quickly observed how the door locking procedure works.

Having the door locked might make some pax happy, but to the majority it is a non-issue as even the most boorish business traveller knows that any determined terrorist will have his way, one way or the other. As Hand Solo says, the El Al solution is the only effective one.

And for those of you who think I was a little hard on Mooney- I wasn't- his post was hardly the sort of post you expect from a "fellow pro". If you want to be treated as a "pro", act like one.

And for you Mooney- locking the door isn't your decision, that responsibility rests with your captain.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 00:29
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Cool W.r.t. 'These procedures are designed keep us SAFE and SECURE !' - REALLY ?!

Hand Solo - might I say, "Well said !" .......... in as much that locking our 'single' flightdeck door will NOT stop determined hijackers from gaining access to the flighdeck ( coz we keep opening the door ) - and so as to whether one should bother to lock it is very debatable - i.e. these apparently oh so carefully designed safety and security procedures, w.r.t. the flightdeck door, will not, and do not work.

Of course what's really needed ( i.e. something that really will keep us 'safe and secure' ) is a 'double' flightdeck door system - like wot ElAl have on their aircraft - but as has been noted fitting something like this will prove expensive and so is very unlikely to happen ( and in the meantime we'll all partake in the 'Emperors New Clothes' ) - so what price safety huh ?!
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 02:32
  #26 (permalink)  
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Hand Solo

Your fair assessement:
These procedures are not designed to keep us safe and secure, they are designed to make the public think they are. If you want safe and secure then put in a second door blocking access to the flight deck door and operate them both on an airlock principle, just like El Al do.
Maybe ORAC can figure out cost efficiencies here.
How many crafts and at what cost (all) airlines can install double doors vs having paid this security "trained staff" (stuff at times), air marshals included to have them eliminate tweezers and nailclippers.

May not be such a bad idea Hand Solo.

In the US one of those hot shots security dudes get anywhere from $23K to 35K per year and the marshals about $55K a year. I wonder what the installation of the second door between the cabin (in the galley) and the flight deck would be?

Last edited by jet_noseover; 2nd Oct 2002 at 03:51.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 08:02
  #27 (permalink)  
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I'm the guy who took that photo.

Since I find this discussion to be rather immature at points and I have been personally flamed, let me clarify a few issues:

- The photo is real. I have more than 2,700 photos at airliners.net and not a single one is a fake. The blue circle is a sunscreen.

- I didn't think myself that this was such a big deal to have the door open. MHG airport had very thorough checks (more than in FRA), and this is a small plane with 20 pax on this flight.

- My intention was neither to flame LH, Cirrus Airlines, or the pilots on this flight. If you read my trip report http://airliners.net/discussions/tri...ead.main/25602 you will notice how impressed I was by this flight.

Oh, and maybe someone could point what exactly the "door policy" is for regional domestic flights in Germany. I just don't think the pilots deliberately broke a rule, they wouldn't be that stupid. And that's why I displayed the photo, to show that the "good old times" can still be found.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 08:28
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Never mind Mooney, always remember CRM. In spite of what MOR says you do have a say. But knowing you, you will be your usual charming self to your Captain.

Sadly, MOR appears to demonstrate arrogance, which is hardly the sign of a professional.

But then no-one is perfect.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 09:02
  #29 (permalink)  
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Go here for a differentiated view:

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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 09:30
  #30 (permalink)  
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I don't know why there is all the flame directed towards Mooney. Sure this photo was a split moment in time and it can be misread. Mooney is certainly premature in his statements since we have no knowledge about what happened (to the door) in the 100th of a second prior or post the picture (although in that time frame I suggest little...).

However such bombastic replies are really not in the spirit of the problem - surely?

I agree with most above that the cockpit door policies extant are just Disneyland for the punters. That we shall ever get a proper answer is another issue again.

However, passengers will take pictures like this when they get a chance and I do believe we should at least get a curtain/screen to allow a certain amount of restriction on viewing the cockpit door openings. This would at least allow a reasonable amount of security to be maintained should any "watcher" want to resolve the sequences.

However this is part of a much larger problem - and I for one do not have a reasonable answer to that - short of going back to the horse / cart / canoe ....

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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 11:02
  #31 (permalink)  
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wonderbusdriver said:
Interestingly enough, the bozo who took the pic is a FRA spotter
Why bozo? Looking through his other contributions to airliners.net he seems a talented photographer, and his remark on this photo simply struck me a gentle jibe about the FAA and the whole cockpit door situation.

He certainly does not deserve the insult you've just aimed at him.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 13:25
  #32 (permalink)  
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Nicely stated
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 14:18
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Just a thought ..

.. and playing devil's advocate, but isn't it a lot easier for the bad guys to barricade themselves in the cockpit if they have the help of a nice solid lockable door? Notwithstanding that one of the CC may have a key, but I would have thought that "people power" would work much better to the benefit of all if access to the pointy bit was easier.

If someone slips in whilst the door is open for a second, all we can do from outside is bang on the locked door and ask them to come out. If it was a curtain or suchlike, we could have a bit of fun beating the crap out of, errm sorry ... assisting in a citizens arrest of the ne'erdowell.

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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 15:56
  #34 (permalink)  
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Moon, be fair......
Long before sept 11th last year you already had a bee in your bonnet about open cockpit doors.

Remember all the discussions you & I had on chat about this very subject? We were one of the few operators in Europe who always flew with the door wide open; it was SOP with us and you for some reason greatly disliked that fact.

So fair enough that you have strong feelings about this matter. We all have our hobby horses, but I don't think it is entirely fair for you to use sept 11th as an excuse for the strength of your feelings about open cockpit doors now.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 16:22
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I was on a flight operated by a large European airline a only couple of days ago, bound for Heathrow, and not only was the door open all the way, but they let a little boy in there to have a look around. He came back with a nice airline teddy bear and a huge smile on his face, quite cute really.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 18:50
  #36 (permalink)  
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The only bozo on that particular airliners.net thread is Neil Robertson. You should check out what he posted there. His username is SAS23.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 19:29
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I would advocate removing the flightdeck door.

2 reasons:

1) The First Officer terrorist

2) Passenger/Cabin Crew intervention


1 - Bin Laden spent hundreds of thousands of pounds training a dozen odd men to learn to fly. That took a couple of years to do.

It is perfectly feasible to select half a dozen young men dedicated to the cause and put them through a full ATPL and type course in that time and for similar money.

A frozen ATPL would cost around £60,000. A Boeing 737 type rating around £15,000. It could all be done inside 18 months. There are several airlines in Europe currently looking for type rated 737 First Officers. Many of those positions are for London bases.

It would be perfectly possible for an organisation with Bin Ladens resources to forge/create an impressive CV for their agent. He could be provided with plausible documents backing up a CV listing a decent degree in AeroEng plus other 'tasty' qualifications. If need be I am sure they could supply the funds for him/her to acquire some turbine hours or similar.

In essence they could create a terrorist with a B737 type rating and a good CV for around £100,000 and 2 years of effort.

He or she would then stand a good chance of being recruited into a - say - British airline looking for 737 rated FO's. Lets give a budget of a £1,000,000 and create 10 agents. Lets say half of them are successful and gain jobs flying out of Stansted, Luton and Gatwick.

They wait for a day when they are all rostered to be flying at about the same time. Hey presto, Sept 11th II.

These agents under a locked door policy will be immune from interference from the Cabin Crew after they have decapitated the Skipper with the fire hatchet. They can reasure the Cabin Crew on the interphone that all is well. Similarly ATC would not get a squawk and would hear the same familiar practiced voice...

If the door were re-inforced the terrorist agent is even safer from Cabin Crew or Pax intervention.

Were there to be NO flightdeck door then both Pax and Cabin Crew would have a chance of detecting the Skippers decapitation. Similarly they would have a chance to intervene.

2) Lets say the First Officer is not a terrorist and that instead the scenario is a stormed flightdeck.

We all know that a well briefed terrorist can effect entry to the flightdeck on most B737's by waiting for a cabin crew entry/exit or a pilot needing a pee. With an armoured door this would still work. At the moment of course he/she could simply kick down the door. Five well built fit young men would easily be able to kill
the Cabin Crew and effect entry to the flightdeck.

So an armed door just means they have to pick their timing. After entry is effected they can hide behind the armoured door.

With the current doors they can simply kick them down at any time.

Lets take the door away and put an able bodied pax on the jumpseat instead on our mythical B737. Here the terrorists would have to get through the jumpseat pax causing a rumpus that would alert the crew and pax to a hi-jack situation.

This alertness might lead to crew/pax intervention ulitmately saving the flightdeck before it is stormed. If the flightdeck IS stormed by terrorists then at least everybody can see it AND there is no armoured door stopping them for attempting to re-take the aircraft. Albeit succeeding in crashing the aircraft into the sea/open land rather than Canary Wharf.


The pax asked to sit on the jumpseat could act very much like the established principle of the Able Bodied Passenger currently tasked with sitting near emergency exits.

The crew could select someone to ask to sit on the jumpseat prior to departure. For long haul flights you might need a couple of pax but as the pax are more numerous this should be just as easy.

They could select someone who is an airport official, an airline employee, a man travelling with a young family, an off duty police officer or member of the military. Basically anyone who is able bodied, willing and quite frankly (using common sense) highly unlikely to be a terrorist themselves.

Most such pax would jump at the chance of spending the flight, or some portion, in the cockpit. As an established aviation routine I am sure most flights would have several volunteers at check in each sector.

Their only obligation would be that if a bunch of terrorists try to storm over their seat would they kindly make a lot of noise and try to repel them with this fire hatchet. You needn't cover the bit about squealing if one pilot decapitates another!

The jumpseat pax acts as a first line defence, a trip wire alerting the crew and an insurance against the flightcrew as terrorist scenario.

There are numerous other benefits including defence of the flightdeck when one pilot leaves for a pee plus

much improved crew communication during non-terrorist ops (99.999% of the time).

Its an out of the box idea. Feel free to shoot it down.


Just had another thought. Most Boeing types I have operated have had remarkably similar flight deck door keys...

Is it the case that each key is unique to each aircraft or are they standard issue items... If so the virtue of a locked flightdeck door is further degraded to pure nonsense.

I find it quite distracting at work to receive and deal with Cabin Secure messages from down the back when on the Approach. I have recently filed an ASR as this distraction occurred at a critical time when an error was occuring with a freq change from App to Twr... I urge us all to do the same.

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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 19:38
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One more reason to make 3 person cockpits a requirement! In any case, I would look to El Al as a model. I believe they have reinforced doors; I also believe they have sky marshals on every flight, and I bet the flight attendants are also trained in security.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 19:48
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Sorry KvW and DamienB if the name "bozo" as in "the clown" seems to have offended you and others.
I hope the guys from the pic arenīt offended if questioned by their superior.
Flaming someone looks different in my personal view.

Nevertheless, I take it back!

The pics look very professional, no doubt, but that was never the question.

The fact, that someone who works for an internatonal airline with many flights into FAA-territory,
a company thet has installed (and is in the process of) state of the art flt-deck doors into its aircraft,
a company that has implemented clear procedures for their own crews,
a company that has had to grapple with the problems/questions concerning their use (the problems are being discussed here and in other forums),
with crews that are doing their best to live and work with the rules imposed by the FAA/TSA,

puts a pic on the net with a very questionable title (the initiator of this thread didnīt get it correctly - what did he expect from "the public"??) and caption,
that does a disservice to just that company

does seem, at least somewhat, odd to me.

Sorry again, for offending anyone. Iīll try to stick to the facts in the future.
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Old 2nd Oct 2002, 20:16
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OK, let's forget about the bozo, but:
I have posted hundreds of LH photos at airliners.net, and I get many emails with compliments on them, so this is free advertising for my company. I even received an email saying that he chose LH First Class (SFO-FRA-JNB no less!) because of my cabin photos.
There is no doubt about my loyalty to my company. I don't think that this photo is negative in any way, and only discussions like these might lead to such an effect.

For my part, I would like to bring this discussion to an end. Itís so fruitless, accusations keep flying, but noone has the facts. I didnít post the photo with bad intentions, because I didnít think the pilots were doing anything wrong. So please keep me out of this.
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