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readytotaxi
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German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:52 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39749803

"The European Aviation Safety Agency, which was behind the original rule change, relaxed the requirements last year to allow individual airlines to evaluate their own safety needs."

Not sure what I think about this, safety first I guess.
 
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OA940
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LH Group to abolish 2-people-in-cockpit rule

Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:53 am

http://www.luchtzak.be/airlines/lufthan ... nsa-group/

The LH Group has announced that the rule that required two people inside the cockpit at all times will be abolished effective May 1st. They say that research showed that the rule, placed in 2015 after the Germanwings crash, doesn't prove effective in security. IMO that's really not a smart move. Hope it doesn't backfire on them.
 
Cory6188
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:35 am

I'm surprised - it's hardly a big imposition on the crew, workload-wise, and US carriers have been doing it as standard practice for years.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:04 am

Cory6188 wrote:
I'm surprised - it's hardly a big imposition on the crew, workload-wise, and US carriers have been doing it as standard practice for years.



It's actually a pain in the ass for the crew, and I'm happy to see it gone. I am surprised though, that LH group were brave enough to admit first this rule didn't work.. I hope other airlines follow suit quickly.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:03 pm

thepinkmachine wrote:
It's actually a pain in the ass for the crew

How?


thepinkmachine wrote:
I am surprised though, that LH group were brave enough

"Brave" sure isn't the word I had in mind.


thepinkmachine wrote:
to admit first this rule didn't work..

Again, how? As mentioned, many other major carriers have been doing this for years, at least since the MS990 suicide.
By what measure of incompetence is it found to be ineffective at LH?
 
Seat1F
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:50 pm

I'm shocked the LH group have decided to do this. How on earth can they have concluded that the rule cannot improve safety? Sure, there's no guarantee that having an FA in the cockpit will stop a suicidal pilot from killing everyone....but at least there's a chance the pilot can be subdued. A small chance has to be better than no chance.

The minor inconvenience to the crew is certainly worth the added security that the rule provides.

Surprisingly short-sighted move by the LH Group.
 
AVFCdownunder
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:07 pm

It is all about managing risk not eradicating it completely, otherwise nobody would ever go anywhere. Lufthansa are no mugs and have obviously concluded that the odds of the situation arising again are that minute that the policy is not justified.

Their enhanced psychological screening of pilots would seemed to be a more appropriate and pro-active step. I think if someone is that determined to do something, it does not matter how many people are in the cockpit, something will happen. It is more important to make sure that those that are in there are in a healthy condition in the first place.

The argument that this policy also increases movements in/out of the cockpit, which in itself carries a degree of risk, is a sound one.
 
sharles
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:09 pm

It might be something as simple as "if one wants to suicide, one will find a way anyway, no matter if there is a second person in the cockpit".
 
bradyj23
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:20 pm

thepinkmachine wrote:
Cory6188 wrote:
I'm surprised - it's hardly a big imposition on the crew, workload-wise, and US carriers have been doing it as standard practice for years.



It's actually a pain in the ass for the crew, and I'm happy to see it gone. I am surprised though, that LH group were brave enough to admit first this rule didn't work.. I hope other airlines follow suit quickly.

[code][/code]

As a crew member myself I don't think it's a pain. At all. I find it odd to only have 1 crew member up front. Something quite easy and simple that has the potential to save lives.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:32 pm

As other risks to flight continue to decrease, the risk of a rogue pilot, while not greater in absolute terms, becomes a major problem. Humor note: as we become used to one pilot in the cockpit perhaps we can carry it just a bit further.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:52 pm

Did EASA drop the rule? How can an airline decide we are not going to follow this rule.

IMHO, This rule motivates young cabin crew to become pilots.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:54 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
thepinkmachine wrote:
It's actually a pain in the ass for the crew

How?


thepinkmachine wrote:
I am surprised though, that LH group were brave enough

"Brave" sure isn't the word I had in mind.


thepinkmachine wrote:
to admit first this rule didn't work..

Again, how? As mentioned, many other major carriers have been doing this for years, at least since the MS990 suicide.
By what measure of incompetence is it found to be ineffective at LH?


I assume you work in an office. Now, imagine, every time you need to go to the loo, you have to ask your colleague to come and stay in your cubicle. Imagine also that this colleague of yours has other stuff to do. How would you feel? How would your colleague feel?

Also, what makes you think that having an 20 year old F/A with no background checks in the cockpit is safer? What if he/she picks up the fireaxe (yes, we have one upfront) and decides to assault the other pilot?

Also, there can be other unintended consequences. When my previous airline introduced the "two person" rule, we immediately had TWO cases of "lost communications" within first week. Yes, cabin crew in the flight deck IS a distraction, no matter what you write in the OPS manual... Safer? My ass...

All in all, this rule was just a knee jerk reaction to calm down the outraged public, which suddenly started regarding all pilots as suicidal maniacs. Airlines tripped on top of each other to announce in the media they introduced it to gain some free publicity - mine announced it in a press conference before advising the crews. Talk about priorities....

I still remember my flights in the days after the crash - the peeks into the cockpit during boarding, a joker on every flight asking if I plan to kill them, ha ha! Last, but not least, the iPhone cameras in the cabin, every time I went out to take a leak - ready to take a picture and sell it to the media if an F/A didn't enter the cockpit, or I lingered a minute or two in she forward gallery. How come, airliners had been flying for 70+ years with just a few cases of suicide attempts. Ant then, there is the Auburn Calloway/Fedex hijack case - imagine he was locked out in the cockpit with only one pilot....

P.S. There were sensible airlines in the mass hysteria in the aftermath of the GWI accident. AFAIK, the EASA ruling did not mandate the "2 people" rule, but rather recommended the airlines to assess the risks and consider implementing it. British Airways for instance, did assess the risk and decided not to implement it front the start. Outrageous, ain't it?
 
cesar666cu
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:29 pm

Where is the problem ?
There is only 1 pilot in each trains... Nobody ever complained about him being alone for the ride.
Now the difference between the train pilot and the airplane pilot is the kind of stress.
 
KLDC10
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:32 pm

From a PR perspective, it is unfortunate that Lufthansa Group are the first to drop this policy. It is quite reasonable to argue that the chances of a pilot suicide are slim, but the fact is that such an event happened on a Lufthansa Group-owned aircraft. The vast majority of people probably could care less about statistics and probability - they just remember that a Germanwings plane crashed because the pilot committed suicide and nobody else was in the cockpit to prevent it. From the point of view of the general public, this just makes it look like Lufthansa are taking a cavalier approach to safety, and that they either didn't learn lessons from Germanwings Flight 9525, or worse that they just enacted this policy to reassure the public in the immediate aftermath of the crash and are now getting rid of it because it is mildly inconvenient. PR is all about perception, and this doesn't look great - it isn't KLM scrapping the rule, or Air France, but Lufthansa - the only European Airline Group which actually suffered a pilot suicide/murder.

That said, the argument being put forward by the BDL is rather tenuous. Per the BBC News Article:
"The group said the changes caused "more frequent and predictable" opening of the cockpit door and expanded the number of people with access to the cockpit."

That can't be true. There is no way to predict when one member of the flight crew will need the toilet. And when they do need the toilet, the cockpit door will need to be opened anyway, so why not have one member of the cabin crew enter as a pilot exits? As for expanding the number of people with cockpit access - flight attendants have cockpit access anyway in order to deliver food and beverages to the flight crew. It really isn't that much of an imposition when compared to the reassurance that such rules afford to ordinary passengers. Now, perhaps it implies a certain element of suspicion against the pilots, which understandably might make them slightly uncomfortable, but the fact is that Germanwings Flight 9525 happened because Andreas Lubitz was the only person in the cockpit - his solo occupancy was what permitted him to take the steps he did to end his life and murder dozens of innocents. If that risk can be mitigated by enforcing a two-person cockpit rule, and many experts believe it can, then egos need to be checked at the cockpit door.
 
Topguncanada
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:43 pm

The flight attendant in the flight deck rule was a political knee jerk reaction to appease and calm the flying publics fears after a shocking tragedy.

This policy resulted in the secure flight deck door being opened almost twice as much as previously.

Why didnt anybody have any concerns about a suicidal FA before when this policy was thought out?

Unfortunately the reality is many pilots go to the bathroom less and get up and stretch their legs less than they used to. Sure they are allowed to call they FA up at ANY time however we know that they are busy and even if only on a subconscious level we don't want to "bother them" all the time.

The removal of this shortsighted policy will actually improve safety.

Are there other things that could be done in regards to avoiding another GermanWings? Yes. This however was not it.
 
asctty
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:35 pm

Debate in the UK at the moment as to whether Doctors should alert the authorities when someone should not be deemed fit for their particular line of work and assciated level of responsibility.
Very relevant to the Germanwings incident I think?
 
anstar
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:38 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Did EASA drop the rule? How can an airline decide we are not going to follow this rule.

IMHO, This rule motivates young cabin crew to become pilots.


It was never an EASA requirement.. only a recommendation I believe.

Other airlines like British Airways & KLM never brought in the rule... and Virgin Atlantic brought it in and then quietly got rid of it a few months later.
 
jownes
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:46 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
That can't be true. There is no way to predict when one member of the flight crew will need the toilet.


Thats true, but the pilot has to call a flight attendant every time he wants to go to the toilet. So if you see a flight attendent haning up the interphone and moving to the cockpit, the door will open in the next few seconds. Without the 2 person-rule there are less "predictable" openings of the cockpit door (but still when pilot orders food/drinks via interphone)
 
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:46 pm

cesar666cu wrote:
Where is the problem ?
There is only 1 pilot in each trains... Nobody ever complained about him being alone for the ride.
Now the difference between the train pilot and the airplane pilot is the kind of stress.


The other difference is if the single engineer on a train becomes incapacitated for whatever reason, the alerter will set the brakes and bring the train to a stop.
 
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longhauler
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:53 pm

Much like TSA and their safety theater, the Two People in the Cockpit rule did absolutely nothing to enhance safety .... and did a lot to make things quite a bit less safe .... all in the name of PR and making passengers that don't know any better, feel better.

There are however, quite a few things that have changed since the Germanwings occurrence that have made aviation safer. None of which happens in the actual aircraft. Starting with better psychological screening and reminding pilots (all employees actually, but we are talking about pilots here) that there are better avenues to follow, with assistance when needed up to and including taking "time off" with full pay when one feels overwhelmed.

Publicly though, the stigma of (gasp) mental illness still has to be overcome. Personally, I have never understood how mental illness can be regarded any differently than Cancer or Heart Disease.
 
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longhauler
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:56 pm

asctty wrote:
Debate in the UK at the moment as to whether Doctors should alert the authorities when someone should not be deemed fit for their particular line of work and assciated level of responsibility.
Very relevant to the Germanwings incident I think?

The law in Canada has always been that it is required for every pilot to tell a health care professional that they are a licenced pilot. And ... it is law that every health care professional that is aware of problem with a licenced pilot, must report it to Transport Canada.
 
Mir
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:03 pm

Topguncanada wrote:
This policy resulted in the secure flight deck door being opened almost twice as much as previously.

Why didnt anybody have any concerns about a suicidal FA before when this policy was thought out?

Unfortunately the reality is many pilots go to the bathroom less and get up and stretch their legs less than they used to. Sure they are allowed to call they FA up at ANY time however we know that they are busy and even if only on a subconscious level we don't want to "bother them" all the time.


How can pilots go to the bathroom less now, and yet still have the flight deck door opened twice as much? That makes no sense. The door shouldn't be opened any more than it was before the rule was implemented.

As for a suicidal FA, that's about the only justification I can see for removing the policy, but it's still not a great one. Pilots don't go to the lav on a schedule. Often they don't go at all. If you were an FA wanting to crash a plane, you're completely at the mercy of the pilots as to when you'd get your opportunity. You'd have to be ready to act at a moment's notice, and suicidal people don't normally operate that way.
 
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glen
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:05 pm

KLDC10 wrote:
That can't be true. There is no way to predict when one member of the flight crew will need the toilet.


It is very predictable. Because before going to the toilet I have to ask an F/A to enter the cockpit.
Easiest but the most unsecure way is to open the door and ask the F/A directly to come into the cockpit if the F/A is right in the area behind the cockpit. Then the F/A has to leave her current duty and come into the cockpit. During this time the door is open for quite a long time (not very secure) or I close it until the F/A is ready und then re-open the door (very predictable).
Or I choose the more secure way and give a phone call to the galley. The F/A has to leave his duty, pick up the phone and then head to the cockpit. This is easy observable and therefore it is also very predictable, when the door will open.

KLDC10 wrote:
And when they do need the toilet, the cockpit door will need to be opened anyway, so why not have one member of the cabin crew enter as a pilot exits?

The cockpit entry is a very narrow space. If I have to leave or re-enter the cockpit by myself it is a matter of a second to open and re-close the door after having checked the galley area to be clear.
Otherwise I have to open the door, let the F/A in, then I have to squeeze around the F/A and then leave the cockpit. In this case the door is open for much longer time - enough time to get from the cabin to the cockpit entrance area.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:14 pm

thepinkmachine wrote:
I assume you work in an office. Now, imagine, every time you need to go to the loo, you have to ask your colleague to come and stay in your cubicle. Imagine also that this colleague of yours has other stuff to do. How would you feel? How would your colleague feel?

Of course, the flaw in this imbecilic comparison, is that it ignores the other major airlines who've been doing it for yearrrrrrrrrs with no such issue. It speaks more to "your" airline/crews' incompetence, not a flaw in the process, if this is truly how it's handled.


thepinkmachine wrote:
Also, what makes you think that having an 20 year old F/A with no background checks in the cockpit is safer?

Perhaps what you should instead be asking, is why then are they not background checking F/As?


thepinkmachine wrote:
How come, airliners had been flying for 70+ years with just a few cases of suicide attempts.

That's a rather ridiculous question, considering that all instances involving aircraft fatalities are rare, and most fatal flaws have historically taken years/decades to manifest.


Topguncanada wrote:
Why didnt anybody have any concerns about a suicidal FA before when this policy was thought out?

A better question would be: why are you ignoring the non-European major airlines who did?
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:15 pm

Where is the problem ?
There is only 1 pilot in each trains... Nobody ever complained about him being alone for the ride.
Now the difference between the train pilot and the airplane pilot is the kind of stress.


Respectfully, there are many differences. Here in the States, train engineers must press a deadman's switch, usually once every 30 to 60 seconds to tell the onboard systems that they're wide awake and functional. If the switch does not get pressed, a variety of things can happen. A buzzer or alarm (think stick shaker here) will sound in an attempt to remind the engineer to press the switch. A signal is going to be sent to the dispatch office alerting the railroad's train controllers to a potentially sleeping or incapacitated engineer, and the train engine's own systems will eventually brake and stop the train. This is just a very brief and cursory synopsis and various railroads will have slightly different procedures congruent with federal law to suit their individual needs, but that's eventually what will occur. The aim here is safety, making sure that the engineer is wide awake and functioning properly. Modern airliners obviously don't have deadman switches like that of trains because you can't just shut down the plane at 30000 feet plus!

Now, how does this relate to the Germanwings crash? Well, what happens if the single pilot in the cockpit suffers from hypoxia, or has a heart attack, or is incapacitated for any reason? How will the pilot using the lav get back inside the cockpit? What if the pilot flying isn't incapacitated but too busy trying to handle an emergency and can't get to the door to open it? The pilot outside is still unable to enter the cockpit and help

As a passenger, I'm not in favor of this rule change. Somewhere down the line the law of averages will catch up with those using the one man in the cockpit rule. In the past year or so, we've seen pilot sadly pass in flight or have heart attacks and become incapacitated, for example. It will happen again. That's just reality. That's life. That's simple statistics. I simply hope and pray that it doesn't happen when the victim is locked behind a secured cockpit door.
 
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longhauler
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:16 pm

Mir wrote:

How can pilots go to the bathroom less now, and yet still have the flight deck door opened twice as much? That makes no sense. The door shouldn't be opened any more than it was before the rule was implemented.

As for a suicidal FA, that's about the only justification I can see for removing the policy, but it's still not a great one. Pilots don't go to the lav on a schedule. Often they don't go at all. If you were an FA wanting to crash a plane, you're completely at the mercy of the pilots as to when you'd get your opportunity. You'd have to be ready to act at a moment's notice, and suicidal people don't normally operate that way.


Depending on SOP where one flies, the door would be opened exactly twice as many times as before this rule was implemented. I won't go into details as it is not in the public domain, but if you think about it, you would see why. And you would also see why it is considerably less safe.

I am not so sure about a suicidal FA, but there are other problems with this rule ...

Since the start of jet transport flying, there have only been about a dozen occurrences of suicides by pilots using the aircraft. (I say "about" as there is some question). Of those occurrences, only two happened when the pilot was alone in the cockpit. In other words, having more than one in the cockpit did not help.

However, in the last 20 years there has been about a hundred occurrences where for whatever reason, one of the pilots had to be locked out of the cockpit as his sanity was in question. That is where the problem lies. If one remaining pilot is alone in the cockpit with an F/A, and he turns to her and says "I am concerned about X, and we should lock him out ... she now has to decide who to believe ... the one remaining pilot, or the one on the other side of the door banging to get in. And .. that is NOT within her jurisdiction. Her function is to open the door when commanded. So ... the secure cockpit is no longer secure!
 
Planetalk
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:18 pm

I can see the problems with this rule and why it has been removed, after all FAs are far less well screened before being given the job than pilots. To be honest, my issue is more with the locked cockpit door, I am not convinced it does more good than the risks it creates.
 
Planetalk
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:21 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
thepinkmachine wrote:
It's actually a pain in the ass for the crew

How?


thepinkmachine wrote:
I am surprised though, that LH group were brave enough

"Brave" sure isn't the word I had in mind.


thepinkmachine wrote:
to admit first this rule didn't work..

Again, how? As mentioned, many other major carriers have been doing this for years, at least since the MS990 suicide.
By what measure of incompetence is it found to be ineffective at LH?


To be fair, plenty of actual pilots from all parts of the world have said since the start that this did nothing to increase safety. And it does introduce new risks.
.Other perfectly respectable airlines don't do it, LH are just reverting to the norm.
 
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longhauler
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:23 pm

Planetalk wrote:
To be honest, my issue is more with the locked cockpit door, I am not convinced it does more good than the risks it creates.


This is a good point.

But remember, that even when locked, the door can be opened from the outside. So if the one remaining pilot became incapacitated, the other can return. However, when being unlocked from the outside if the inside pilot inside feels it is unsafe, he can override that opening from the outside. But, he must be consicious and aware to be able to do it.

That keeps the cockpit secure.
 
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AirKevin
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:25 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
Here in the States, train engineers must press a deadman's switch, usually once every 30 to 60 seconds to tell the onboard systems that they're wide awake and functional. If the switch does not get pressed, a variety of things can happen. A buzzer or alarm (think stick shaker here) will sound in an attempt to remind the engineer to press the switch. A signal is going to be sent to the dispatch office alerting the railroad's train controllers to a potentially sleeping or incapacitated engineer, and the train engine's own systems will eventually brake and stop the train.

I thought they did away with the deadman's switch after the Hinton train crash. If I remember from that one, the engineer had to keep his foot on the deadman's switch, and on long trips, engineers were just throwing heavy objects onto the switch, fooling it into thinking that the engineer had his foot on it. I think now, they use an alerter that sounds every so often, and if the engineer doesn't silence it, the train comes to a stop.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:27 pm

Mir wrote:
Why didnt anybody have any concerns about a suicidal FA before when this policy was thought out?


Because when they came in, there usually were TWO pilots in the cockpit. Again, think Auburn Calloway...

How can pilots go to the bathroom less now, and yet still have the flight deck door opened twice as much? That makes no sense. The door shouldn't be opened any more than it was before the rule was implemented.[/unquote]

Because the F/A has to enter the cockpit first, THEN the pilot is allowed to leave - that makes twice as much door openings, or the same number of openings for a longer period of time, to let one person in and one out.

As for a suicidal FA, that's about the only justification I can see for removing the policy, but it's still not a great one. Pilots don't go to the lav on a schedule. Often they don't go at all. If you were an FA wanting to crash a plane, you're completely at the mercy of the pilots as to when you'd get your opportunity. You'd have to be ready to act at a moment's notice, and suicidal people don't normally operate that way.


Well, I did a seven hour flight today, left the cockpit for the toilet twice, my F/O did it three times. Every time the same F/A came into the cockpit - if she had a plan, she'd have plenty of opportunities to carry it out. Not that I find it a cocncern, as most of the cabin crew are perfectly normal people, but at the end of the day, the solution poses exactly the same risks as the original problem - so why bother...

Having said that, I had an non-rev F/A ask me in the cockpit what would happen if she pulled the engine fire handles... While it was no reason to report her, she was notorious at the base as the "weird one"... I did make sure she travelled back in the cabin...

Back to my today's flight's observations - when the other guy leaves, I am left alone with the airplane to manage, radio to listen, AND the F/A on the jumpseat talking to me, sometimes at the same time as I am trying to listen/reply to an Indian or Chinese ATC controller on the radio and carry out his instructions. This has happened to me today - twice. Not that tats the F/A's fault - they are not trained in cockpit operations/communications and just don't know any better.

Of course, you can write in the ops manual that we'not supposed to talk to each other, the F/A should sit straight and the pilot should stare into the window and ignore him/her. However, people are people, it ain't happening...
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:35 pm

I thought they did away with the deadman's switch after the Hinton train crash. If I remember from that one, the engineer had to keep his foot on the deadman's switch, and on long trips, engineers were just throwing heavy objects onto the switch, fooling it into thinking that the engineer had his foot on it. I think now, they use an alerter that sounds every so often, and if the engineer doesn't silence it, the train comes to a stop.


The alerter is, essentially, the modern deadman's switch. However, even the older deadman's switch has been upgraded to make the engineer actually press it. If he doesn't, then the alerter sounds. Again, each railroad has it's own version of this subject to federal safety regs. Essentially, the way that I understand it the alerter is the deadman's switch nowadays. Some use a foot pedal, others a button needing a finger, some sound a bell, some a chime, and so on. There was talk wayyy back in the day of actually hooking up an electrode to the engineer to shock him every few minutes! That would surely keep him awake. Putting a heavy weight on it won't necessarily negate it's function like in the old days. As time has gone on, the technology has evolved to make it harder to fool the switch, or alerter, or whatever a particular railroad is using. This is all care of an old friend who worked for the ATSF for over forty years in track maintenance and engineering, from the very late steam right through the 1990s; great stories and a great source if information. They never had this problem in the old steam engine days, for obvious reasons!
 
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SamYeager2016
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 6:22 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:35 pm

In the past with Easyjet you always had a FA standing in front of the forward toilet with their arms held out at their side whenever a pilot visited the toilet whereas now the FA has to enter the cockpit instead. Either way that means a FA is not available but I suspect Easyjet pilots tried to avoid main service. I realise that LH group airlines took a more relaxed attitude in the past so maybe LH feel it's more of an inconvenience however it doesn't come across as an airline that gives a toss about passenger perceptions
 
dtw2hyd
Posts: 9100
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:14 pm

@thepinkmachine

I can tell you don't like FAs. You are one of those who think FAs are there you serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can't tell if you have a gender bias.

Can you clarify what do you mean by no background checks for FAs? Did you mean psychometric test? Why do you need FO? Get rid of them if second human distracts you in your office. Do you have a dedicated registration with your name on it to call it your office? Dozens of colleagues walk-by and walk into cubicle/office of every desk worker.

The probability of a woman flying a plane full of passengers into a mountain is very limited compared to a man.
 
Planetalk
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:12 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:23 pm

longhauler wrote:
Planetalk wrote:
To be honest, my issue is more with the locked cockpit door, I am not convinced it does more good than the risks it creates.


This is a good point.

But remember, that even when locked, the door can be opened from the outside. So if the one remaining pilot became incapacitated, the other can return. However, when being unlocked from the outside if the inside pilot inside feels it is unsafe, he can override that opening from the outside. But, he must be consicious and aware to be able to do it.

That keeps the cockpit secure.


Oh yes I know, but there have been several crashes now that wouldn't have happened with an open cockpit door, even Helios may have been salvageable if the FA had been able to get in. My heart breaks for them imagining their distress. I'm not convinced a locked door will stop a terrorist who really wants to get in, and it creates a whole host of other risks. I know some pilots agree, some don't.
 
Planetalk
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:12 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:29 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
thepinkmachine wrote:
I assume you work in an office. Now, imagine, every time you need to go to the loo, you have to ask your colleague to come and stay in your cubicle. Imagine also that this colleague of yours has other stuff to do. How would you feel? How would your colleague feel?

Of course, the flaw in this imbecilic comparison, is that it ignores the other major airlines who've been doing it for yearrrrrrrrrs with no such issue. It speaks more to "your" airline/crews' incompetence, not a flaw in the process, if this is truly how it's handled.


thepinkmachine wrote:
Also, what makes you think that having an 20 year old F/A with no background checks in the cockpit is safer?

Perhaps what you should instead be asking, is why then are they not background checking F/As?


thepinkmachine wrote:
How come, airliners had been flying for 70+ years with just a few cases of suicide attempts.

That's a rather ridiculous question, considering that all instances involving aircraft fatalities are rare, and most fatal flaws have historically taken years/decades to manifest.


Topguncanada wrote:
Why didnt anybody have any concerns about a suicidal FA before when this policy was thought out?

A better question would be: why are you ignoring the non-European major airlines who did?


Why do you always have to be like this? You seem incapable of having a reasoned debate without resorting to insults immediately and casting everything as so black and white? Can you perhaps consider, that people who know a lot more about this than you have done a full risk assessment and decided that on balance the risks outweighs the benefits? Just maybe, can you open your mind to that possibility? That maybe it is not incompetence? The majority of pilots I've seen comment on this, including American ones, think the rule was ridiculous.
 
cesar666cu
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:08 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:32 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
Where is the problem ?
There is only 1 pilot in each trains... Nobody ever complained about him being alone for the ride.
Now the difference between the train pilot and the airplane pilot is the kind of stress.


Respectfully, there are many differences. Here in the States, train engineers must press a deadman's switch, usually once every 30 to 60 seconds to tell the onboard systems that they're wide awake and functional. If the switch does not get pressed, a variety of things can happen. A buzzer or alarm (think stick shaker here) will sound in an attempt to remind the engineer to press the switch. A signal is going to be sent to the dispatch office alerting the railroad's train controllers to a potentially sleeping or incapacitated engineer, and the train engine's own systems will eventually brake and stop the train. This is just a very brief and cursory synopsis and various railroads will have slightly different procedures congruent with federal law to suit their individual needs, but that's eventually what will occur. The aim here is safety, making sure that the engineer is wide awake and functioning properly. Modern airliners obviously don't have deadman switches like that of trains because you can't just shut down the plane at 30000 feet plus!

Now, how does this relate to the Germanwings crash? Well, what happens if the single pilot in the cockpit suffers from hypoxia, or has a heart attack, or is incapacitated for any reason? How will the pilot using the lav get back inside the cockpit? What if the pilot flying isn't incapacitated but too busy trying to handle an emergency and can't get to the door to open it? The pilot outside is still unable to enter the cockpit and help

As a passenger, I'm not in favor of this rule change. Somewhere down the line the law of averages will catch up with those using the one man in the cockpit rule. In the past year or so, we've seen pilot sadly pass in flight or have heart attacks and become incapacitated, for example. It will happen again. That's just reality. That's life. That's simple statistics. I simply hope and pray that it doesn't happen when the victim is locked behind a secured cockpit door.


There is a protection for an incapacitated pilots while the other one is in the toilet.
The cockpit access door is code protected. If a code is entered an alarm ring in the cockpit and the inside pilot has 3 options.
* Accept the door opening and unlock the door
* Reject the door opening and keep it lock. Then the code cannot be entered for a period of time, and nobody can access the cockpit from outside during that time.
* If no actions accept or reject, the door will automatically open in 30sec.
In the case of Germanwings, the inside pilot rejected the access and committed his action.

The train engineer, is indeed protected against incapacitation, but i am pretty sure he can commit suicide by going too fast or by doing other crazy stuff (maybe not on the recent trains if there is some kind of protections).
Same story goes with the bus drivers, nobody ever complained being alone.
 
thepinkmachine
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:43 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:39 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
@thepinkmachine

I can tell you don't like FAs. You are one of those who think FAs are there you serve you breakfast, lunch and dinner. Can't tell if you have a gender bias.

Can you clarify what do you mean by no background checks for FAs? Did you mean psychometric test? Why do you need FO? Get rid of them if second human distracts you in your office. Do you have a dedicated registration with your name on it to call it your office? Dozens of colleagues walk-by and walk into cubicle/office of every desk worker.

The probability of a woman flying a plane full of passengers into a mountain is very limited compared to a man.


To the contrary, I like the F/A's and they like me. I do respect them and I know their duties, don't worry about that.

Having said that, they are qualified and trained to do some things (like e.g. carrying evacuation duties), and not qualified to do other things - for instance they are not trained to monitor poor quality radio chatter over Myanmar and filter transmissions directed to our airplane. As such, they prove to be a distraction to the single pilot in the cockpit, who has to manage the duties of both pilots alone - as it happened to me today. It is a FACT and has nothing to do with me liking, or not liking the Cabin Crew.

As for gender bias, you seem to have one, if you think gender is somehow relevant to the discussion...
 
User avatar
longhauler
Posts: 6488
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 12:00 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:47 pm

Planetalk wrote:
Oh yes I know, but there have been several crashes now that wouldn't have happened with an open cockpit door, even Helios may have been salvageable if the FA had been able to get in. My heart breaks for them imagining their distress. I'm not convinced a locked door will stop a terrorist who really wants to get in, and it creates a whole host of other risks.

A valid point .... but a different issue. A locked cockpit door is actually a different issue than the Two People in the Cockpit rule.

For example, the accident you mention, Helios. Remember, that right up to the point of impact there were always two pilots in the cockpit. In fact, at the very end there was a Flight Attendant in the cockpit as well, as was observed by a chase plane. So he was always able to access the cockpit.

But with regard to whether Two People in the Cockpit improves safety ... that is the salient point of this interesting discussion.
 
Varsity1
Posts: 2323
Joined: Mon May 02, 2016 4:55 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 5:55 pm

The job of the FA in the cockpit isn't to restrain the pilot from doing something dumb. It's to open the door.

Typical Euro airlines. Cutting safety to save a dollar.
 
anstar
Posts: 3387
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:04 pm

Mir wrote:

How can pilots go to the bathroom less now, and yet still have the flight deck door opened twice as much? That makes no sense. The door shouldn't be opened any more than it was before the rule was implemented.
.


Well for starters the door is opened more as before the flight crew can come out it has to be opened to let the FA in, then opened to let the flight crew out, then opened again for the flight crew to re enter and then once again for the fa to come out.

So thats 4 times the flight deck door needs to be opened for the flight crew to go to the loo versus 2 previously. So thats double.
 
santi319
Posts: 1148
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:24 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:09 pm

The amount of ignorance in this post is CONCERNING.

BTW, if theres a rapid depressurization FA in America are trained on the use of the cockpit masks, you know also in case the other pilot falls uncounscious.

Oh, and they literally have the same background checks as the pilots.

So cut the crap some of you, you just think you are better than other people. Which in 2017 is quite sad.
 
32andBelow
Posts: 5707
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:54 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:12 pm

All you that don't know what your talking about is missing one important point. In the USA when the switch between FA and Pilot is made, a galley cart or gate is positioned in front of the cockpit door. If someone ran for the cockpit they would be slowed down to the point where the door could easily be closed.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15181
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:17 pm

cesar666cu wrote:
Where is the problem ?
There is only 1 pilot in each trains... Nobody ever complained about him being alone for the ride.
Now the difference between the train pilot and the airplane pilot is the kind of stress.

Nobody ever complained? You serious?

Lots of complaints over time. Unions want two to add jobs, safety advocates want two to prevent the many fatal crashes in the USA resulting from falling asleep, texting, blacking out, zoning out, speeding, etc.

Nowadays regulators are slowly letting technology catch up but due to their sloth and the pushback from rail companies re: cost, many have died.
 
thepinkmachine
Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 4:43 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:17 pm

santi319 wrote:
The amount of ignorance in this post is CONCERNING.

BTW, if theres a rapid depressurization FA in America are trained on the use of the cockpit masks, you know also in case the other pilot falls uncounscious.

Oh, and they literally have the same background checks as the pilots.

So cut the crap some of you, you just think you are better than other people. Which in 2017 is quite sad.


Nobody says some are better than others. But we are trained in different areas and cabin crew can be a distraction in the cockpit. Just the same as a pilot would be a distraction in the galley during inflight service or safety demo - is it really such a tough concept to grasp?
 
Planetalk
Posts: 470
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2015 5:12 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:28 pm

santi319 wrote:
The amount of ignorance in this post is CONCERNING.

BTW, if theres a rapid depressurization FA in America are trained on the use of the cockpit masks, you know also in case the other pilot falls uncounscious.

Oh, and they literally have the same background checks as the pilots.

So cut the crap some of you, you just think you are better than other people. Which in 2017 is quite sad.


Please stop taking this personally, no-one has a grudge against FAs. And there are plenty of places FAs most certainly do not have the same background checks as pilots, or have to go throught the same kind of medical checks, those brought in on seasonal contracts for example. The issue is whether this actualy improves safety, not whether someone likes FAs or not. I applaud the industry if once it's doing what rational analysis says is right, rather than what looks good to the uninformed public.
 
Alfons
Posts: 321
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:17 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Is it possible that this move is not about an optimized health check process as of today, but the risk of problematic passenger cabin crew members? It's tacheless just a shift of probable root cause, and the pilots don't feel very secure about the minute long cabin member in their neck. Now I know there are a lot of passenger cabin crew professionals on a.net, and they will oppose my idea. But think about it.
 
SQ325
Posts: 1305
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2001 7:54 pm

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:24 pm

Varsity1 wrote:
The job of the FA in the cockpit isn't to restrain the pilot from doing something dumb. It's to open the door.

Typical Euro airlines. Cutting safety to save a dollar.


Didn't know we took an extra FA on board for the 4 eye rule or where do you see the saving?

US carriers are still using the 4 eye principle because they are saving a Dollar by not installing Video surveillance!

The rule was just a publicity gag to feed politicians and the unknowing majority of passengers.
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 11484
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:33 pm

It is obvious that there is now a way to access the cockpit, open the door, from outside the cockpit.

It is that simple.

Tugg
 
anstar
Posts: 3387
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Re: German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:35 pm

santi319 wrote:
The amount of ignorance in this post is CONCERNING.

BTW, if theres a rapid depressurization FA in America are trained on the use of the cockpit masks, you know also in case the other pilot falls uncounscious.

Oh, and they literally have the same background checks as the pilots.

So cut the crap some of you, you just think you are better than other people. Which in 2017 is quite sad.



Well I believe in the USA pilots can actually carry guns into the flight deck. So regardless of 2 people in there or not - what to stop a psycho pilot just shooting the 2nd crew member?

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