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Old 26th March 2015, 22:43   #31
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by gsurya View Post
Post 9/11 changes were made to cockpits so that CVR/FDR could NOT be tampered with by anyone & cockpit doors were strengthened tremendously so that they could not be broken down.

In fact its now being suggested that the new locking techniques that allowed pilot to totally isolate & lock the cockpit contributed to this disaster!

Ultimately, if a pilot/driver/captain WANTS to crash/sink the vehicle they are piloting, no system can always prevent it.
This is a new information for me, thanks!
Totally agree on the last line. No matter how safe the mode of transportation gets, our fate lies with the human controlling it.

At the end of the day, our lifespan is limited by our fate. I still remember what my dad's driver told me once, when I was explaining the benefit of ABS and Airbags in the car:

"Kya farak padta hai saab? Agar uparwaale ne humara maut tay kia hai, toh yeh ABS ya Airbag humko nahi bacha sakte"

(What difference does it make sir? If we're destined to die, neither ABS nor Airbag can save us!)

He couldn't have been any more off mark!
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Old 26th March 2015, 23:25   #32
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

This is troubling; I hope there's a simpler explanation. Else, humanity continues to sink to a new low.

There's been one more case of flight crew (an employee who hijacked the plane in order to crash it so his family could claim life insurance) deliberately (trying) to crash a plane.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Express_Flight_705
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Old 26th March 2015, 23:53   #33
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by Soumyajit9 View Post
I think they have manual bolts like the bathroom doors in an aircraft.
The hi-fi keypad would be probably on a Dreamliner. This was a budget aircraft.
It's a plane not a bus! This was a budget aircraft but it's a still an Airbus 320 not some small time turbo prop plane.

Budget means seating config is budget not cockpit has a toilet type latch. Cockpit is always keypad control from outside and openable from inside.

There's also some procedure to open the cockpit from outside.
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Old 27th March 2015, 07:34   #34
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

According to the latest reports in media, the crash was intentional and not due to any mechanical or electronic failure.
It seems that the Commander of plane had gone out if cockpit to attend nature's call. The copilot was at the controls at the time if incident. When Commander returned and requested for cockpit entry,he was denied and as per the Cockpit Voice Recorder, the copilot was full conscious.
God knows what do these people get by taking other's life.
If the copilot had some issues and wanted to die,he could have harmed himself and there are plenty of ways to do that . 150 0dd lives lost and for no fault of theirs.
God bless all.
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:08   #35
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The very anti terrorist mechanism for cockpit doors that can be opened only from inside is turning out to be a bane. What next? A toilet for the pilots in the cockpit?
All reports in today's newspapers are pointing towards pilot suicide and that he turned on the controlled altitude descent button.
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:10   #36
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Interestingly, what happened there is against the Standard Operating Procedures of US airlines atleast:


I think almost all carriers follow this , I have personally seen flight attendants in cockpit in many Indian carriers when one of pilot leaves , including Jet .

At no point cockpit is left with only one person as I understand from many of my informal chats with attendants - maybe in Europe or due to less number of stewards on budget airlines its different but this rule will now be implemented more vigorously all across
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:22   #37
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

I thought that the flight engineer also is stationed inside the cockpit. In any case a single man watch on the cockpit is not a good situation. Even in slow moving ships at the middle of the ocean single man watch could only happen during day time when everyone is up and around. The access to cockpit is something that needs serious brainstorming. The difference between any other cargo carrier and a passenger carrier is the number of lives that it carries, which is invaluable. Hope some major changes in the regulations come about due to this disaster.
I am scheduled to fly out tonight to US for my work.
Hope that Qatar Airways treats their pilots very well.

Last edited by jfxavier : 27th March 2015 at 08:28.
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:31   #38
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I thought that the flight engineer also is stationed inside the cockpit. In any case a single man watch on the cockpit is not a good situation. Even in slow moving ships at the middle of the ocean single man watch could only happen during day time when everyone is up and around. The access to cockpit is something that needs serious brainstorming. The difference between any other cargo carrier and a passenger carrier is the number of lives that it carries, which is invaluable. Hope some major changes in the regulations come about due to this disaster.

There are no flight engineer on this plane. In fact there are virtually no commercial jetliners around that have flight engineers anymore. even the might Jumbo Jet Boeing 747 doesnt have a flight engineer, nor does the Airbus A380.

Long haul flight usually have three pilots, but only two pilots are required to fly the plane. The third pilot is there so each pilot can get some rest too during the long flight. During landing and take off the third pilot will be in the cockpit. But during most of the cruise phase the cockpit will only have two pilots with the third pilot resting, and they subsequently rotate.

Jeroen
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:31   #39
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

An Airbus 320 is a 2 pilot jet, there are no flight engineers on board. In India whenever any pilot leaves the cockpit inflight there is a DGCA policy which ensures one attendant (generally the lead), enters and stays in the cockpit with the other pilot. The reason being, if there is an incapacitation of the pilot the lead can offer immediate assistance (he/she is trained in cpr and emergency medical help), call the others and ensure that the other pilot is let in (the cabin crew are trained in normal and emergency opening of the cockpit doors).
I am surprised to know that Lufthansa or german policies did'nt require a second person to be present in the cockpit!! Forget suspected suicide (which is not proven still), even if the first officer was suffering from a heart attack or seizure, or stroke, he had no help at all.
That's the problem with the so called first world nations, they are so myopic that their policies are established and fool proof, that they don't want to learn from the 'third world' about some better safety policies.
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:37   #40
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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
An Airbus 320 is a 2 pilot jet, there are no flight engineers on board. In India whenever any pilot leaves the cockpit inflight there is a DGCA policy which ensures one attendant (generally the lead), enters and stays in the cockpit with the other pilot. The reason being, if there is an incapacitation of the pilot the lead can offer immediate assistance (he/she is trained in cpr and emergency medical help), call the others and ensure that the other pilot is let in (the cabin crew are trained in normal and emergency opening of the cockpit doors).
I am surprised to know that Lufthansa or german policies did'nt require a second person to be present in the cockpit!! Forget suspected suicide (which is not proven still), even if the first officer was suffering from a heart attack or seizure, or stroke, he had no help at all.
That's the problem with the so called first world nations, they are so myopic that their policies are established and fool proof, that they don't want to learn from the 'third world' about some better safety policies.

The two people in the cockpit rule was introduced by the FAA for all American Registered carriers. It came in as part of the aftermath from 9/11 as these re-inforced locked door were introduced.

I do agree with your opinion that in certain aspects the USA is a third world country!

Jeroen
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:44   #41
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by apachelongbow View Post
An Airbus 320 is a 2 pilot jet, there are no flight engineers on board. In India whenever any pilot leaves the cockpit inflight there is a DGCA policy which ensures one attendant (generally the lead), enters and stays in the cockpit with the other pilot. The reason being, if there is an incapacitation of the pilot the lead can offer immediate assistance (he/she is trained in cpr and emergency medical help), call the others and ensure that the other pilot is let in (the cabin crew are trained in normal and emergency opening of the cockpit doors).
I am surprised to know that Lufthansa or german policies did'nt require a second person to be present in the cockpit!! Forget suspected suicide (which is not proven still), even if the first officer was suffering from a heart attack or seizure, or stroke, he had no help at all.
That's the problem with the so called first world nations, they are so myopic that their policies are established and fool proof, that they don't want to learn from the 'third world' about some better safety policies.
One solution that some bright ones might be thinking of will be to get a remote control option set up as an alternative to having more people. All over the world, in every industry human failures are seen as a major safety issue and efforts are being made to cut down human intervention in the smooth running processes. Who knows, this might be the "big one" needed for the lobbyists.
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Old 27th March 2015, 08:46   #42
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by jfxavier View Post
One solution that some bright ones might be thinking of will be to get a remote control option set up as an alternative to having more people. All over the world, in every industry human failures are seen as a major safety issue and efforts are being made to cut down human intervention in the smooth running processes. Who knows, this might be the "big one" needed for the lobbyists.
For all the bright ones, what if the remote control falls in the hands of terrorists? or what if the remote control system is hacked by terrorists to make the airplane a guided bomb? This cannot be possible because of the atrocious safety and hacking records of all things electronic or internet or wifi or phone enabled.
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Old 27th March 2015, 09:52   #43
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

It is too early in the day to go by theories for this fetal incident. There is very basic and limited information available to the investigators as only CVR has been recovered and FDR is still missing.
- The root cause of various sounds unless corroborated with FDR, may only provide limited information as the correlation between plane and pilot(s) is not well established.
- Why the pilot stepped out is also not clear as based on flight rules, person flying the aircraft is pre-defined and recorded as part of pre-flight protocols. FDR can provide information about the location from where various function / commands were executed, more so if this is a suicidal attempt, how come the planner (if it was co-pilot) was sure that the pilot will necessarily step out, the discussions between the 2 before the pilot left the cockpit should through light on this
- Pilot incapacitation / overwhelmed is again speculation as of now unless concrete evidence are discovered
- Based on publically available data (plane transponder) is again not continuously monitored and the information is captured intermittently / regular intervals thus was it a diving maneuver or controlled descend through human intervention is required to be established (again FDR can play a major role)
- Family & work history of pilots is required to investigated in case suicide hypothesis is the one to look at, the present statement made by French authorities is not based on deep investigation; it can not be even qualified as circumstantial evidence.
- Maintenance records of the aircraft are required to be investigated as this was more than 2 decade old plane and many of the new age features were not present on it. Considering an average of 3 take off and landing sequences per day. The shell of the airplane has witnessed close to about (3*2*365*24) = 52,000 compression / decompression which could have resulted in leakage from the fuselage or a condition of rapid decompression and therefore pilot could have been forced to lower the altitude to manage breathing conditions for the passengers. Also, it is equally possible that rapid decompression could have resulted in failure of hydraulics and pilot / co-pilot may have used autopilot to maneuver the aircraft to lower the altitude, yet since the hydraulics were not functioning, with Ground Proximity Warning, the autopilot will disengage while the pilot(s) was not in a position to control the aircraft / gain altitude with available hydraulics support.

I would say let the investigation get over.

It could be both mechanical and / or human failures.

Last edited by i74js : 27th March 2015 at 10:11.
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Old 27th March 2015, 09:56   #44
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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For all the bright ones, what if the remote control falls in the hands of terrorists? or what if the remote control system is hacked by terrorists to make the airplane a guided bomb? This cannot be possible because of the atrocious safety and hacking records of all things electronic or internet or wifi or phone enabled.
Lately serious studies are undertaken to have commercial jets flown by just one pilot. From an aviation/flying point of view technically very feasible. Lots of planes, although somewhat smaller then your average commercial jet, but not necessarily slower, are piloted by one pilot already.

This incident will certainly put focus on a whole new dimension to the one pilot commercial jet liner.

The one thing I dont understand: It seems the captain left the cockpit as his own accord and the co-pilot more or less initiated the descent soon afterwards. If the co-pilot was hell bent on suicide or whatever we want to call it at this stage, how did he know for sure the captain would at some point leave the cockpit. Or did he think of this sort of at the spur of the moment. Who knows how the mind of these (suicidal) people work.

Jeroen
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Old 27th March 2015, 10:10   #45
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Lately serious studies are undertaken to have commercial jets flown by just one pilot. From an aviation/flying point of view technically very feasible. Lots of planes, although somewhat smaller then your average commercial jet, but not necessarily slower, are piloted by one pilot already.

This incident will certainly put focus on a whole new dimension to the one pilot commercial jet liner.

The one thing I dont understand: It seems the captain left the cockpit as his own accord and the co-pilot more or less initiated the descent soon afterwards. If the co-pilot was hell bent on suicide or whatever we want to call it at this stage, how did he know for sure the captain would at some point leave the cockpit. Or did he think of this sort of at the spur of the moment. Who knows how the mind of these (suicidal) people work.

Jeroen
Captain gave his descent briefing where the copilot apparently was non committal or interested. That was the first warning flag, I would have not disregarded that. Then the captain began descent and went to the toilet (this is absolutely normal), however in India the cabin crew secures the forward galley and then comes in to the flight deck when one pilot is out. This crucial safety check is apparently not required in Germany, I am not sure. So technically the plane was descending, on autopilot and the captain was out in the galley or lav. When he wanted to return back, no response from the copilot (now here we can suspect incapacitation), but when the captain tried the emergency unlock procedure, the copilot overrode it, to ensure the door remained locked, that is the second warning flag, about potential highjack or terrorist activity. From here began the sad saga of the plane slamming into the ground with the captain and cabin crew and may be all passengers knowing the inevitable and helpless.

Single pilot operation is feasible in small non complex aircraft not large passenger or cargo jets, with multiple systems and greater complexity which on a bad day can easily overwhelm a single person. Two people are there for a reason, to make good judgement calls and back each other up. Also if a single pilot wants to take a loo break who is going to fly the aircraft or monitor systems in his absence? With flight times of between 2 to 15 hours a person needs his breaks.

Regarding theories about mechanical failure like hydraulics or flight controls, the first thing a trained pilot does after his initial recovery actions is to scream mayday into his headsets alerting controllers, it is a memory action drilled and trained several times, and people do it almost involuntarily. Regarding loss of pressurization the A320 system is so designed that if there is loss in cabin or cockpit pressure the cockpit door blows open to ease the pressure difference, which was not in this case, also if the pressure latches are faulty (possible) then the cockpit door by design is not intrusion proof, that means anyone outside can force it open.. hope this helps.

Last edited by apachelongbow : 27th March 2015 at 10:16.
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