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Cockpit Doors. Access from the outside?  
User currently offlineJfazzer From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 158 posts, RR: 8
Posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4191 times:

This might sound stupid, but instead of designing strong "lockable" cockpit doors, why don't aircraft designers simply build cockpit access from the outside of the aircraft only and just have a bulkhead inside the passenger cabin?
A little lonely for the flight crew on long sectors without those pretty FA's to chat up but surely more secure than locking the door.
I hear that the A380 cockpit is situated on the "mezzanine" deck between passenger cabins but not sure how the crew will be able to access the flight deck.

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMikedlayer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 399 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4104 times:

Good idea, but on those long long flights, how will the guys on the flight deck get their meals? And how would they get to the toilets?  Big grin

Mike


User currently offlineDl757md From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1562 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4058 times:

First, let me say that IMO the current cockpit security procedures provide a very secure environment for the pilots to do their jobs in the event of an attempt to take over their airplane. That being said, it's not inappropriate to talk about how it could be even better.

The cabin configuration could be rearranged to provide lavatory and crew rest facilities and perhaps some type of 'airlock' to pass food through. Exit doors would have to be added and or moved to meet FAA emergency exit requirements on most AC. It would not be a cheap proposition and therefore probably wouldn't happen as a modification to existing AC or even established designs. That being said I don't think it would be too difficult to incorporate into a new design. The only issue I could see (I'm sure there are many others)blocking it would be the need for the pilots to access the cabin to observe a mechanical problem. This may be able to be addressed through a comprehensive surveillance video system. It sure would be fun to figure it all out.

Dl757md



757 Most beautiful airliner in the sky!
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3647 posts, RR: 15
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4040 times:

My friend recently flew from TRI-BNA on a J-31 with CorpEx (AA) and there was no door. Only a curtain separated the cabin and cockpit. They kept that open as well. That was a suprise.

User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3676 times:

Three reasons more: Weight, weight and weight. Then structure, space, systems integration around the doors... oh yeah, and don't forget the weight.

Cheers,
Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

A little lonely for the flight crew on long sectors without those pretty FA's to chat up but surely more secure than locking the door.
A cockpit door is now not only locked but also reinforced and a CCTV system installed.
And let's not forget the issue of flightcrew evacuation in the case of an emergency.
Note cockpit door controls in the upper left corner of the overhead panel :

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © William Ronciere
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © William Ronciere



UTA



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offline707cmf From France, joined Mar 2002, 4885 posts, RR: 29
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3547 times:

Back in 1992, I flew TLV-ORY on a LY 707. One of the most noticeable things were the fact that the cockpit was physically separated from the pAX cabin. There was a fixed wall mounted just behind the front lav, and no possible access from the cabin to the flight deck.

User currently offlineMender From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 244 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 3487 times:

I too believe current cockpit security procedures provide a very secure environment.

I know there are possibly areas that could be improved and there are flaws in the idea of a completely separate cockpit. If anyone else has ideas weaknesses in the current procedures or how things can be improved please DO NOT post them on the internet. You can never tell who's reading them.

This sort of thing is what terrorist really want, people worrying about a terrorist attack when in reality they are very safe.



User currently offlineAuae From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 296 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3469 times:

Mender,

You sound a bit paranoid there. I agree we shouldn't post security loopholes or deficiencies, but I have no problem having discussions on how things could be made better.

I don't think a bulkhead approach to cockpit security is the best idea. It requires to much redundancy of systems...ie, separate toilet, addition of another emergency/boarding door.

I think a better approach would be a pilot override. There is no doubt that with gps and autonav that a plane could fly to a destination and land without pilot input. I envision a system that could override all cockpit control and reroute it a ground station. The plane could either autofly or be remotely controlled.

I think the technology is readily available today and capable of being installed on a large portion current flying fleets. The biggest hurdle would not be technology it would be certification expense.

Shawn



Air transport is just a glorified bus operation. -Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive
User currently offlinePikachu From Bhutan, joined Feb 2002, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3425 times:

"There is no doubt that with gps and autonav that a plane could fly to a destination and land without pilot input."

Who's going to load the FMC for the approach in use? Who's going to put the flaps out? Who's going to put the gear down? Who's going to land when the ILS is out and visual approaches are in use? Who's going to divert when a passenger has a heart attack? More than a few problems with your statement.


User currently offlineAuae From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 296 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

Pikachu,

Geez, such a typical response, your a pilot no doubt.

If you read above I am talking about a pilot override. Which implies that the plane still uses a pilot on a normal basis.

In the event of a hijacking or hijacking attempt, either the pilot or remote location could initiate an override to all cockpit commands.

So.....

"Who's going to load the FMC for the approach in use?"

The computer would pick the closest emergency airport and derive the route, or the remote location would pick the route.

"Who's going to put the flaps out?"

In an advanced system, either the FMC would deploy the flaps or the remote location would. The FMC can control all other flight surfaces, so why is it unreasonable to believe it could control the flaps too?

"Who's going to put the gear down?"

See above. If the FMC can give audible warnings about ground proximity, it could certainly send a signal to deploy the gear at a certain altitude and airspeed.

"Who's going to land when the ILS is out and visual approaches are in use?"

Worst case scenario, the remote location has to pilot it in. I think the ILS you are talking about uses a combination of radio based communications from the airport to land. Airports are testing (or were talking about testing) a newer version based on GPS, where by the info to the plane comes from high tolerance gps positioners at the airport. Even if this system went down, planes themselves could use higher tolerance gps positioner and rely on. If the military can hit a 3 foot box with missile then technology is available to locate an airplane within 3 feet of the runway with the same technology.

"Who's going to divert when a passenger has a heart attack?"

This isn't even relevant to the conversation I was trying initiate. I am speaking of a pilot override in the event of a terrorist action.

"More than a few problems with your statement."

Sorry you see it that way. I still stand by my statement that there is no doubt that with gps and autonav that a plane could fly to a destination and land without pilot input. Maybe it would be clearer to say that the technology exists today for a commercial plane to do so. If you don't believe me then look at the Global Hawk accomplishments.


From:

http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=175


Once mission parameters are programmed into Global Hawk, the UAV can autonomously taxi, take off, fly, remain on station capturing imagery, return and land. Ground-based operators monitor UAV health and status, and can change navigation and sensor plans during flight as necessary.


Shawn

[Edited 2004-06-09 00:25:41] - Got that link right this time.

[Edited 2004-06-09 00:27:05]


Air transport is just a glorified bus operation. -Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive
User currently offlineFredT From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2002, 2185 posts, RR: 26
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 3313 times:

Smashing idea! That way, hijackers will only have to take over one facility to gain control over tens if not hundreds of aircraft! And they won't have to mess about with taking anything over in the air either, which is very hard compared to taking something over on the ground, no matter how you look at it. Nor will they have to kill themselves even if they decide to crash the aircraft. Amazing! Terrorists all over the world will thank you for this. Just as they had given up the thought of hijacking aircraft as it had become way too difficult, the opportunity came back.

Or perhaps you meant that the aircraft should have everything wired into the override, so that they'll automagically fly away to one of the CAT IIIc capable runways which are abundant everywhere in the world?

Now, why is it that not all aircraft are CAT IIIc capable again? Was it something to do with $/seat mile?

Oh yeah, and imagine the loads of fun that can be had when the override system malfunctions! What a great story to tell your grandchildren! "Once, in 2017, I was in a 797 flying out of Innsbrück when the aircraft decided to do a barrel roll! What a ride! Sure, it hurt a bit as the aircraft impacted the mountainside, but it was all worth it. And then there was that other time, cruising along at FL330, doing M.84, when all of a sudden the aircraft went to flaps 40 and extended the spoilers. Tore the wings clean off! We all laughed so hard afterwards."

Or perhaps not.

As for the Global Hawk, you might want to check out the attrition rate...

"Geez, such a typical response, your a pilot no doubt." I did not set the tone of this post.

/Fred



I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
User currently offlineWhiskeyflyer From Ireland, joined May 2002, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

don't forget the human factor of the current cockpit door design. Recently flown an a medium sized european airliner B737 (I will not mention the name), the door must have been open at least 1/3 the flight while crew chatted to staff while getting food etc. (I was in business class and could observe freely)

The door had all the requirements such as keppad etc, but it was a waste of money. You can quote SOPs etc but human factors is a problem.


User currently offlineWing From Turkey, joined Oct 2000, 1575 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3079 times:

I bet the technology is ready to override the pilot and fly it automatically from point A to B.But the people are not.

For the majority of the travellers anytime something scary happens they want to know a "pilot" is at the controls.

Besides that airline flying is not only flying the airplane.Its all about "decision making" at all times.Manupulating the yoke is a very little part of the airline flying.

There are unforseen events on routine flying.For example a thunderstorm developing on your route,or disturbing turbulance at your flight level.Your typical LNAV doesn't care about it nor your autopilot and flies direct in it.But your captain does care takes neccessary precautions.There may be ATC requests or simply a mulfunction on other aircraft which may cause you deviate from your path(this actually happened to me).

Every human made thing can be broken how much advanced it is.This is why pilots are trained and there for.

So as a last word you might get remote controlled military airplanes to reduce casulites in war but being a captain means never abandon your ship and passengers.You can never remove the captain from his ship.

Best Regards.WING



Widen your world
User currently offlineAuae From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 296 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 2975 times:

I really am not talking about taking the captain out of the cockpit. I am only talking about an emergency override. I think the technology is currently available to make it happen. In fact, the only way to make the system redundant would be to have a human that could remotely fly the plane if the system could not work given the conditions.

Interesting facts that we could debate about are:

How reliable are current auto-nav systems,

Under what conditions are current auto-nav systems not usable (ie thunderstorms, strong tail wind ect),

Under what conditions are current auto-land systems not usable (ie strong crosswind,

ect.

Wing,

I think you are right on about whether people would be ready to trust a machine that much. And the FAA too; I think certification would be very, very expensive.

FredT,

Sorry you took exception to my tone, but give me something to debate and I will. Give me smart@ss comments and I will give you back the same. Your assertion that terrorist could just take over the control center is quite ludicrous. If it were so easy to take over such a facility than nothing is safe in the US, including the White House, the Pentagon, and the Hangers in Area 51 that contain all the UFO's. And when was the last time a plane flying on autopilot did an uncommanded barrel roll? Come on, you are being silly.

But good points on CAT III costs and global hawk attrition rates. As for CAT III, I would think all new aircraft in production are CATIII capable with the costs fairly transparent in the final cost. As for retrofit, I am sure it is very cost prohibitive. Quote some numbers on the global hawk. I know there have been losses, but I thought some of them were also due to enemy fire??



Air transport is just a glorified bus operation. -Michael O'Leary, Ryanair's chief executive
User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2801 times:

UTA_FlyingHigh,

The camera is still not mandated, all that is mandated as of today is the basic door and controls. Don't forget also that the current requirements are to delay entry, not to deny it. There are new requirements for new type certificates, of which the A380 and 7e7 will be covered, for which a secure (bullet-proof) bulkhead is required, still however with a single door between them! Think the new FAA requirment is in 121.188 or something like that.

Rgds,
WB.


User currently offlineBuckfifty From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 1316 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2796 times:

There was a discussion about technology and autoflight a few months back, I can't be bothered to find it.

The problem with the idea that a Global Hawk can be compared to a passenger aircraft is that the current state of automation is just not reliable enough to be entrusted with a job of autonomously guiding an aircraft from the air to the ground. The Global Hawk is currently running up an accident rate of 167 per 100,000 flight hours. If you do the math, that's about one accident per 600 flight hours. Albeit, this figure is arrived at without the diffrentiation of lost in combat or lost in non-combat situations, because UAV's are generally autonomous. If they come back, great, if they don't, well, who knows.

In any case, it's quite a scary statistic. This is without going into issues such as flying an automated aircraft in controlled airspace, responding to ATC calls for traffic avoidance, etc.

Then we have to look at current aircraft and their autopilot systems. To increase their reliability you would probably have to duplex or triplex the current systems in the aircraft alone to achieve a satisfactory safety level for unsupervised autoflight. Currently, for example, Airbus aircraft have only two autopilots per aircraft. The chances of both having system failures is not extremely probable, but probable enough to have sufficient worries in this regard. After that, flying through turbulence, or thunderstorm cells which an automated craft cannot detect and differentiate on it's own, can cause it's own set of problems. In the end, money is still an object.

So how about a live uplink? I've read somewhere quite a while ago about the usage of a live uplink for commercial aircraft in the distant future, uploading/downloading telementary data for engineering and, God forbid, accident investigation purposes (like a ground based black box). Something similar to ADS being used now, for example. However, as to the validity of a system to be used for controlling aircraft from a remote site, I do not know. Some UAV's for example are controlled remotely via radio now, though only over short ranges. Satellite? Perhaps it is possible. Yet if the technology exists to do it, no one has done anything about it. So there must be drawbacks in such a scenario which someone must have an answer to.

Care to open anymore cans of worms?


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