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Aircraft security procedures will have to change

Discussion in 'Gravel Trap' started by Brogan, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Based on the latest news relating to the Germanwings crash, it appears one of the pilots was locked out of the cockpit.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32062278

    Whether it was deliberate by the pilot who remained in the cockpit, or that pilot suffered some sort of problem which prevented them opening the door again to let the other pilot back in, it's clear that procedures will have to change.

    Currently when a pilot leaves the cockpit, the remaining pilot locks the door.
    When the pilot returns, the pilot inside unlocks the door.

    There is no way the pilot locked out can gain access otherwise.

    In this case the pilot who was locked out was unable to break in after almost eight minutes of trying.

    This was a disaster always waiting to happen since the rules were changed after the terrorist attacks in the US.
     
    F1ang-o likes this.
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  3. Porceliamone

    Porceliamone This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal. Contributor

    In an article on R4 this morning they also added that even if the door is locked from the inside there is a method where the person outside can still unlock it using a special procedure. It is very specific and not much talked about apparently.

    Some reports leaked from the inital listening of the cockpit recordings indicate that the returning pilot not only tried to get back into the cockpit, he was positively trying to smash the door in to gain entry.

    It's all very strange and points to a number of errors in process or perhaps something a little more sinister.
     
  4. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    Here's the cockpit door procedure for an A320.
    http://www.airlive.net/2015/03/vide...tml?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Strikes me either the pilot became incapacitated and the rest of the crew didn't know the code or the door lock failed, or the pilot had the door lock switch set to 'locked' which overrides the keypad entry.
     
  5. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    Thing is if it was a terrorist attack, surely the pilot would've put the plane into a steeper descent or tried to aim for a populated area? The linear descent looks more like the pilot was incapacitated somehow.
     
  6. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    Presumably the ability to lock out the keypad is to prevent unauthorised persons gaining entry by forcing the code out of a crew member.

    However, it also enables anyone in the cockpit to prevent anyone else gaining entry, in the case of an emergency such as this one.

    That forced lock out will have to be removed now, which of course makes it less secure.

    I don't think it was terrorism - it could have just been a suicide?
    That or just incapacitation is my guess.
     
  7. Porceliamone

    Porceliamone This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal. Contributor

    The report I listened to this morning also stated that the aircraft appeared to decend in a manner which had required manual input. I.e. there was no gentle decent as if it had simply been throttled down - more that the spoiler surfaces on the aircraft had been activated to induce the decent. This has to require some sort of manual input which lends itself more to the suicide scenario than incapacitiation.
     
  8. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    All those poor bastards on board - eight minutes of rapid descent with the pilot desperately trying to break the door down.

    They all must have known it was only going to end one way.
     
  9. Porceliamone

    Porceliamone This cost me a tenner, but so L'Oreal. Contributor

    I can't even imagine how terrifying that must have been.
     
  10. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    The descent angle was not far different from a normal landing descent. It could well be that the descent was initiated deliberately by the pilot though. Seems strange that he or she didn't just dive the plane straight in to really ensure maximum damage if it was suicide or terrorism. Maybe the pilot thought that a fairly linear descent wouldn't alarm the passengers too much? It's all very odd.

    I also find it incredible how poor the data logging is. Apparently satellite companies have offered flight data logging in real time for virtually no cost whatsoever. Real time voice logging is a little more difficult as the amount of data is greater but still not impossible.
    Also do they not monitor for pilot vital health signs, e.g heartbeat? Do they not have an alert system which warns when a plane is doing something unexpected? I'm sure in future they could be able to take remote control of a plane (though obviously a terrorist's wet dream so has to be done carefully).
     
  11. canis

    canis Race Winner Valued Member

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    It is possible with incapacitation that a steady decline can occur with this type of aircraft. I is something with Airbus planes that it only takes a small amount of pressure to alter the air plane altitude or attitude and it only needs to happen for a few seconds to cause disaster. A slight nudge on one of the joysticks will cause the steady descent that was witnessed in this case so turning to the suicide idea is a little premature. The only way to show suicide would be if the flight recorder was showing continual manual input into the controls during the descent.

    There is also the fact that this is potentially a system failure. At that time the plane would have more than likely been on auto-pilot for cruising altitude. As it is possible in these planes to land the whole thing by auto-pilot is it just a catastrophic failure of systems that created a perfect storm?

    If you want to know how easy it is to cause major issues with this type of flying you just need to look at the plane that went down a few years ago of the coast of south america. This was caused by icing of the speed detection system which caused a misreading of the airspeed of the plane. The (admittedly inexperienced) co-pilot was flying at the time and responded by increasing power to maintain what he thought was the correct airspeed. Unfortunately at the same time he was tensing up in the face of an unknown and potentially fatal issue, this tensing caused him to pull back slightly on the joystick on his side of the plane (and by slightly I mean he altered the attitude by a few degrees or less, almost imperceptible to anyone on the plane). This caused the plane to increase height until it exceeded the operating ceiling, stalled out and that was that. So just sitting in his seat and getting tense caused a total loss of the plane.

    It is more than possible that if the pilot on the flight deck was incapacitated his hand came to rest on the joystick causing the steady descent that was witnessed because that would be all that was needed :(

    It does appear though that there was a complete failure of process on board. When a single pilot in in the cockpit and the other is outside there should never be any reason to over-ride the door without an emergency taking place. The pilot outside the flight deck and the senior flight crew should always be able to get in as long as they can remember the code and process. If the pilot could not enter the flight deck then either the other pilot was responding to a situation on the plane and had locked the door to not allow anyone entrance, or it was locked against procedure.
     
  12. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    Marseille Prosecutor is saying co-pilot flying the aircraft was alive. They could hear him breathing normally. They're suggesting the pilot crashed deliberately. Screams of passengers could be heard at the last minute.
     
  13. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32063587

    Looks like a suicide/terrorist incident.
    What a selfish ****!
     
  14. siffert_fan

    siffert_fan Too old to watch the Asian races live. Contributor

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    Do flight crews have to undergo periodic psych evaluations? If not, I would think that they should.

    If this was, indeed, a suicide, it is just one more example of some ******* hating his life so much that he wants to end it, but not having the guts and descency to do it alone. Such creatures are lower than any animal.

    Should there be a mandated return to 3-person flight deck crews?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2015
  15. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    Obviously it's awful for the families and relatives of the victims but the relatives of the pilot must be feeling terrible too. I wonder if they would need police protection?
     
  16. Dash Racing

    Dash Racing Points Scorer

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    Why did they ever go away from that? If you've got three pilots, and one goes crazy, gets sick, dies, what have you, you've still got two to overpower the crazy one/get the plane home. If you've got two, you've now got one pilot trying to do two jobs. It's a no-brainer to me, you need another pilot/co-pilot - the virtual co-pilot is not a replacement for the real thing.
     
  17. Tacitus

    Tacitus Podium Finisher

    Cost. Ryanair and other airlines have been pushing for 1 man cockpits. The safety issues that come with that are too great.
     
  18. Titch

    Titch Mine is the best pink car on the track. Premium Contributor

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    It is possible that the guy was suffering from a lack of oxygen. If the windscreen had cracked, it's possible. Lack of oxygen does very strange things to the brain, he may have thought that the button that he was hitting was the one that opened the door.
    He doesn't have to be a terrorist just yet.
     
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  19. F1Yorkshire

    F1Yorkshire Avatar for sale to the highest bidder Contributor

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    Been reading up on this, in the US if a pilot has to leave the cockpit then a member of the cabin crew steps in to make sure there is always two people present at all times. This isn't mandatory for other airlines around the world although most do follow this procedure. Germanwings & Lufthansa are amongst the companies who don't use this practise.
     
  20. rufus_mcdufus

    rufus_mcdufus Race Winner

    I think it's that he put the plane into a controlled descent, which requires a certain amount of user input (i.e not just knocked a button or lever) - in addition to locking the door - that made them think it was deliberate. Seem to be plenty of reports that he suffered severe depression too.
     
  21. Brogan

    Brogan Running Man Staff Member

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    If that's true, what the hell is he doing in that job?

    I understand that depression comes in many forms and anyone is susceptible to it, but persons suffering from it shouldn't be in a position which endangers hundreds of lives.
     

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