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News Germanwings 9525 Crash in French Alps

  1. Mar 25, 2015 #1

    Astronuc

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    I saw headlines and news yesterday.

    Very strange situation indeed - the plane was in a controlled dive, on it's flight path, for about 8 minutes. Why?

    Pilot in German Airbus crash was locked out of cockpit: New York Times
    http://news.yahoo.com/pilot-german-airbus-crash-locked-cockpit-york-times-234950004--sector.html

    Minute by minute, the demise of doomed German flight
    http://news.yahoo.com/minute-minute-demise-doomed-german-flight-201006515.html [Broken]

    Yesterday -

    Plane crash kills 150 people in French Alps; black box found
    http://news.yahoo.com/french-media-report-plane-crash-alps-148-aboard-105318651--finance.html

    Tearful crash victims' relatives gather at airports
    http://news.yahoo.com/relatives-german-plane-crash-victims-gather-barcelona-airport-144936211.html

    Why Germanwings flight might have crashed over the Alps
    http://news.yahoo.com/why-germanwings-flight-might-crashed-over-alps-170804936.html [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2015 #2
    Very strange that there was not a crew person also in the cockpit when the other pilot was outside.
     
  4. Mar 25, 2015 #3

    phyzguy

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    One can imagine all kinds of scenarios:

    (1) The pilot goes to the bathroom, and the co-pilot decides to crash the plane on purpose.
    (2) The pilot goes to the bathroom, the copilot has a heart attack (or some other incapacitating emergency), and the pilot can't get back in.
    ...

    Will we know more as time goes on? If the voice recorder just tells that the pilot was locked out, but doesn't reveal the reason, and the data recorder shows that the plane dove into a mountain, we may never know what really happened.
     
  5. Mar 25, 2015 #4

    russ_watters

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    That was my first guess. Trouble is, (as you said) if that's what happened, we may never know unless the pilot groaned or said something before collapsing.

    What I want to know though is how a pilot can even get locked-out of the cockpit!? Doesn't he have a key or a code?
     
  6. Mar 25, 2015 #5

    nsaspook

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    I would think they would have a unlock over-ride system that's mechanical (door bar that has to be removed to exit or enter) and/or a timed unlock sequence that a person inside can counter-key to maintain lock on the door. In ether case the person inside has positive control of the door for at least the period of time needed to land the plane or crash into the side of a mountain.
     
  7. Mar 25, 2015 #6

    russ_watters

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    Yeah, that was kinda dumb on my part: clearly the person inside needs sole/positive control over the door when your concern is security. It's a double-edged sword, if (as Greg suggests) you don't ensure you have a second person in the cockpit at all times in case of emergency. Even if it is just to swap-out the co-pilot for a flight attendant whenever the co-pilot needs to use the restroom.
     
  8. Mar 25, 2015 #7

    phyzguy

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/report-france-jet-audio-shows-pilot-locked-out-of-cockpit/2015/03/25/08fea12a-d355-11e4-8b1e-274d670aa9c9_story.html [Broken] says,

    "Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, airlines in the U.S. don’t leave one pilot alone in the cockpit. The standard operating procedure is that if one of the pilots leaves — for example to use the bathroom — a flight attendant takes their spot in the cockpit. It was not immediately clear if European airlines have adopted the same practice."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  9. Mar 26, 2015 #8

    Doug Huffman

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    I found informed speculation at the Professional Pilots Rumor Network.
    http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/558654-airbus-a320-crashed-southern-france.html
    Now at 59 pages and 1200 comments.

    US and EU flight directives are quite different. Two on deck policies vary among companies. There are a number of cockpit door designs and capabilities.

    The Helios 522 crash was telling for the capability of the FA that did communicate at the last instant.
     
  10. Mar 26, 2015 #9
    Airbus Crew can open in a case of emergency:
     
  11. Mar 26, 2015 #10

    Doug Huffman

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    Then an informed unauthorized person/passenger can also. As I said, there are a number of door designs of varying capabilities. There is speculation that the locked out pilot failed the opening protocol.
     
  12. Mar 26, 2015 #11

    nsaspook

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    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32063587
    Now that it's just about confirmed this was a murder suicide, that one person locking super-door has enabled the killing of a large number of people on planes since 9/11.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  13. Mar 26, 2015 #12
    Should never have been alone in the cockpit. This development is so very disturbing.
     
  14. Mar 26, 2015 #13

    Astronuc

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  15. Mar 26, 2015 #14

    Doug Huffman

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  16. Mar 26, 2015 #15

    nsaspook

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    IMO there is no technical solution to the murderous pilot unless we remove their absolute authority to fly the plane. Human minders and watchers can all be eliminated. (passively and easily by a impenetrable cabin door in this case)

    Personally I just accept the 'mad' pilot probability as being very very low and worry about the thousand other things that can go wrong while flying.
     
  17. Mar 26, 2015 #16

    Borg

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    Same here. I will never understand the evil that drives someone to destroy the lives of others. :frown:
     
  18. Mar 26, 2015 #17
    I think about one weird Malaysian airline crash...

    I don't want to say that pilots recently go postal.

    I want to say that nowadays planes tend to be really safe. Pilots are trained properly and examined. There are proper maintenance procedures implemented so machines in civilized world are in good shape.

    In consequence by eliminating such normal reasons for crash, the remaining crashes would be caused by weird stuff, that no one seriously thought how to prevent.

    Plus with good black box there is a good way to learn what happened and otherwise no one would believe such explanation.
     
  19. Mar 26, 2015 #18

    Borg

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  20. Mar 26, 2015 #19

    davenn

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    heard on TV news this morning an aviation professional being interviewed
    There have been 9 confirmed pilot suicide cases like this in the last 40 yrs. 7 of them have been in the last 20 yrs

    Dave
     
  21. Mar 26, 2015 #20

    nsaspook

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