A320 Down In France (Germanwings)


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FD Door keypad suggestion:

2 custom programmable codes known only to the individual pilots, and one company "default" code as now, known to all crew.

For example, during preflights, both pilots program their own discreet code (like a hotel safe) that cannot be "denied" by the switch in the FD . This is better than boimetrics as a code must be "willingly" divulged to a bad guy. An unconscious (or worse) finger can be used by anyone...

This is in addition to the "default" airline code that is known to all crew (fas etc), however this one can be denied (i.e. it gets into the wrong hands, etc.) This allows FAs access to FD in event of dual incapacitation (i.e. decompression and both pilots pass out, FA on O2 can enter and revive (hopefully!) the pilots.

This allows both pilots unrestricted, undeniable access to the FD.

Ah, but what of the mechanical deadbolt required for MEL purposes (I've had to use it, it's annoying). Well, how about two seperate electronic systems, a normal and an alternate (run from different buses, one off the Hot Batt Bus perhaps), and do away with the mechanical bolt altogether. Two latches in the door, one for each, with the "active system" actually locking the door, and the inactive unlocked. Both programmed during preflights. Adds about 45 seconds to each pilot's preflight.

This dual, "custom code" system allows MEL relief while maintaining access for both pilots at all times. Most of this is software, with a bit of hardware. The idea is rough, but maybe workable?

Thoughts?

This will only work if the deadbolt feature is removed from the door. Otherwise, no electronic feature will ever open the door. This is not a secret.

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Disclaimer, I am in a mood for a soap box. Probably not my best post to follow. Here's why. DH today, in uniform, seated next to a rather medicated business fellow armed with a newspaper and a snoot

I've been bubbling to say something, but figured enough of you know this already.... now I can't keep quiet. "a quiet guy with depression having a bad day" doesn't intentionally kill a plane load of

In case it hasn't been posted here yet: Captain Patrick Sondheimer Thirty four years old, married, father of a six year old daughter and a three year old son. The hero who tried to break down the fli

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The girlfriend has given an interview, and it paints an entirely different picture than the descriptions of him as a nice quiet guy. Sadly, it looks like some very alarming red flags were missed.

http://www.afr.com/news/world/crash-pilot-planned-big-gesture-so-people-would-know-his-name-20150328-1ma5ad

The major "red flag" ?

The Bild newspaper published an interview with a woman who said she had had a relationship in 2014 with Andreas Lubitz

Is the newspaper; It pays for its circulation driven content. Enough said.

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Isn't everything that's being discussed here coming from newspapers?

Disclaimer: the article may be exaggerated to sell newspapers. Also, the ex girlfriend might have lied, because ex girlfriends are known to do that. Okay?

Now, on the off chance that what is reported is true, it doesn't sound like a quiet guy with depression having a bad day. It sounds like a guy who was volatile and unstable with anger issues, who was seeing a psychiatrist and hiding it from his employer. The girlfriend said she broke up with him because she was afraid of him. I think those are red flags.

Rudder mentioned repressed anger, and I thought of that as well. It's like whatever triggered him to end his life, he wanted it to cause maximum anguish and trauma to those he left behind.

IMO.

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Well said Kit.

If the initial suggestion of mental health being a factor turn out to be true I wonder what kind of 'blip' it will have in the media, in the general population and in Boardrooms.

Remember the attention mental health got in the days, weeks and month (no s) after Robin Williams died? I doubt that there was a person living in North America that did not make mention of mental health during that period.

Now that topic of mental health will again be all the buzz, on a global scale, for a few weeks or a month.

I just hope for the aircrews who haven't had the privilege of retiring that the job does not become burdened with silly and ineffective rules and procedures.

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Mitch, you raise an excellent point, others have touched on as well.

I happen to have a close friend who makes their living in psychiatry. ( I know, a natural connection, pilots and shrinks). I asked them this very question. I am still struggling to make sense of this. Their answer was not what I expected.

What I understand of their response (caveat issued), is that the entry into the suicidal state can involve a shutdown of awareness regarding the consequences, beyond an end to one's own pain. Impact on loved ones or, in this case, innocent passengers, might not have even entered the individual's mind. Hard to believe, I know.

FWIW

Vs

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Former JetBlue pilot who had midair meltdown sues airline for letting him fly

Clayton Osbon files $14.9m suit saying JetBlue made no effort ‘to ensure that he was fit’ for work despite warning signs exactly three years ago

Friday 27 March 2015 - The Guardian

A former JetBlue Airways Corp pilot whose midair meltdown forced an emergency landing of a 2012 flight on Friday sued the carrier for $14.9m, saying it should have grounded him because it knew he was incapable of flying.

Clayton Osbon, 52, filed his lawsuit in Manhattan federal court three days after the crash of a Germanwings plane in the French Alps, which killed 150 passengers and crew. Authorities believe that plane’s co-pilot deliberately caused the crash.

Osbon sued exactly three years after his erratic behavior on a New York-to-Las Vegas flight that he was co-piloting resulted in an emergency landing in Amarillo, Texas.

That occurred after Osbon began running through the aisles, ranting about religion and terrorism and making comments such as “We’re not going to Vegas” and “You’d better start praying now”. Passengers subdued Osbon as another co-pilot landed the plane.

In his lawsuit, Osbon said his conduct on the flight stemmed from a “complex partial brain seizure” that JetBlue should have caught before he boarded, after he had missed a preflight meeting and appeared disheveled, disoriented and slow.

“Instead, JetBlue maintained a culture designed to protect the careers of crew members that were demonstrably impaired.”

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The girlfriend has given an interview, and it paints an entirely different picture than the descriptions of him as a nice quiet guy. Sadly, it looks like some very alarming red flags were missed.

http://www.afr.com/news/world/crash-pilot-planned-big-gesture-so-people-would-know-his-name-20150328-1ma5ad

The woman also told Bild: "We always talked a lot about work and then he became a different person. He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure."

The executives and bean counters can devalue the "human" factors / stressors of working at an airline only so far before something breaks. With what has transpired over the last 20 years or so it didn't take a genius to know something tragic had to happen with the continual cost cutting.

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This event seems likely to accelerate the development of ground control technology whereby a pilot in a SOC might take control of the aircraft in an emergency. The technology is the easy part. You could pretty well do it now, with the cooperation of the aircraft maker. However, the protocols for such an intervention will takes years to develop. I give it 7-10 years before the first implementation occurs.

Dagger, although this may seem an easy fix, we have 12 year olds hacking the Pentagon, and even Google finds people have gotten into areas they considered unbreakable. Every country in the world has a Cyber Spying and Hacking Corp.

Imagine the terrorists glee to discover that now they can control 7000 planes at once, and don't even have to get out of their LazyBoy to do it.

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too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure."

Something that hasn't made it yet to this side of the pond; the ultra low cost model... P2F, self employed pilots under contract with carriers with NO job security at all, no sick days, no pension plan, nada... If it proves to be true, why do you think he didn't call in sick that morning?

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Gumbi, re, "If it proves to be true, why do you think he didn't call in sick that morning?", I believe German law requires that employees be paid sick leave. But I know what you're driving at. Perhaps that "market" that mysteriously sets the worth of airline pilots may bear more than we have been told we were worth in the past.

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Technology is NOT the answer and the policy of having two people in the flight deck will not solve anything. You could have a trained police officer standing behind the 'lone' pilot with a gun to his head (while the other pilot is out peeing) and the 'one' pilot, with a flick of the wrist could kill everyone before the officer could even respond.

So having 2 electronic systems, removing deadbolts, special codes etc is a waste of time, energy and money.

The low pay, treatment factor is also an issue and one, I suspect, that the airlines will try and hide. http://pando.com/2015/03/26/the-one-wild-possibility-missing-from-most-of-the-equally-baseless-germanwings-speculation/

I fly fly with a lot of ex-Ryanair pilots and the stories I hear would make you cringe. They are mostly 'contractors' who don't get paid if they don't fly. When they try and organize the company simply closes that base or forces them to move. And the stories go on and on and on. Every other airline has to compete with this and so their conditions deteriorate. Now the new Duty Regulations in Europe, which are supposed to be better than the previous rules, allow even LONGER duties, less rest etc. European truck drivers have more restrictive rules!!

But the mantra of 'just push harder' continues. Middle East carriers now flying 95 plus hours a month, MCL cadet pilots, reduce the regs................... How are the 'legacy' carriers suppose to survive--push their troops harder! Nothing will change until the public gets scared enough to FORCE the regulators to do something and this has to be worldwide. The Americans, despite the push back from their airlines, seem to be leading this front with their new duty regs. Perhaps, with some luck they will FORCE the European and other regulatory authorities to act as well.

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Before we go too far down this road, it sounds like you're saying that if he was just paid more this wouldn't have happened. A lot of people have job stress in the world. Normal people, meaning mentally healthy, don't react to it like this.

It seems to me that moving forward, the discussion shouldn't be about safeguarding the flight deck in case one of the pilots is mentally ill, it should be about keeping them out of the flight deck in the first place, recognizing signs, symptoms, and red flags, and getting them the help they need.

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As much as low pay is a symptom of larger problems in the industry, I don't think it can really been used as a cause. The problem is low experience, barriers to pilot mobility across borders, and a drive to cut costs absolutely anywhere, which has the effect of disincentivising the so-called best and brightest. Taking a job that doesn't pay well (or at all) is a choice, not an easy one mind you but a choice nonetheless, and pilots themselves (ourselves) must share some of the blame. Also on that topic I think pilots think we are unique in the economy in having crappy entry-level prospects. Any industry with an established intern culture is just as, if not more guilty. The difference is that media interns aren't given the anchor position on the news, or a front page byline, just as financial interns aren't handed the keys to the pension fund on day 1. Hiring a 300-hr MCPL holder and putting him in an A320 will hopefully be viewed as equally as problematic. The entire concept of an MCPL itself should be under review.

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"Hiring a 300-hr MCPL holder and putting him in an A320 will hopefully be viewed as equally as problematic."

Hiring 300 hour beginners and placing them in the right seat of B-1900's is equally problematic when it comes to competence.

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I am not saying pay and conditions are solely and directly to blame. But they have a huge impact. More so the fact that in Europe (and elsewhere) it is clear that if they lose their medical or push back to hard they won't have a job!!! What is the average pilot going to do when, if working for Ryan Air (for example), as a 'contractor' he has the potential to lose his medical? Even if that lose is temporary (as most cases are) by being honest you will lose your income - no protection, no 'disability' etc etc.

Almost ALL of these 'low cost' airline jobs in Europe operate in this manner.

So it does not have to do with pay directly but it certainly has to do with conditions. From all accounts (bearing in mind it is the media) this pilot loved aviation from a young age and his dream was to be a pilot. What he did was to make a statement and, while mental illness is an obvious and potential reason, there is something in it.

Another commentator theorized that the past system, where it took a pilot years to get into an airline flight deck would/did catch more of these 'ill' pilots since several years of medicals and working brought the issue to light. Maybe some merit there.

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The main purpose of an f/a in the flight deck, whenever the other pilot wishes to use the lav, is to open the door, after checking its clear by looking out the peep hole.

He/she being there and chatting with the other pilot, in this tragic case, may also have a calming effect and removed any thoughts at that moment. Me thinks.

As to duty regs, pilots are being pushed where the regulators appear to be siding with the executives, who are making out like bandits with there bonuses. They seem to have lost their focus until the next incident where the pilots are to blame.

Ouch.

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https://werklozevlie...ique-identifier

English version

Pay-to-fly: a multi-faceted problem

Nienke Groenendijk-Feenstra

A well researched and well written article to be sure, however until people stop taking these jobs the system wont change. I don't see Ryanair aircraft falling out of the sky every week so there must be some competency in the cockpit. Just because you don't get paid well doesn't mean you are not a good pilot and vice versa. As for the "best and the brightest" not signing up for the job, I'm not sure they ever did. People sign up to fly because they love aviation not because they love big paycheques.

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