|Quoting vnangia (Reply 38):|
Given the descent was 8+ minutes, unless the lockout time period has changed, would suggest that it's unlikely to have been accidental.
Two other possibilities:
1) The locked-out pilot was actually only locked out for 5 minutes, but didn't realize it. Think about it. If you're locked out and your key code is not working, how many times are you going to try it before just bashing the door in? You're not going to sit there watching the clock. You're going to try the code 5-6 times, bang on the door 5-6 times, try your key code maybe once or twice more, then you're going to head to the galley to grab a cart and some guys to push it with you into the door. Or you're going to go looking for something to cut into the door with (I'm not sure if there's an axe or something accessible to the crew from the cabin).
The point is you're not going to sit there patiently waiting for 5 minutes to elapse. And the end result may very well be that you overshoot, and are still in the process of trying to break the door down in minutes 5-8.
2) The lock broke and the pilot in the cockpit had a health event of some kind. I don't know the internal design of these specific locks but every other type of lock that I know of can be broken one way or another.
Unless you didn't want investigators to be able to come to any definitive conclusion.
Lock the door, put your plane in a firm but not unprecedented auto-pilot controlled descent and then say absolutely nothing. Who can prove that it wasn't some form of incapacitation? It would make for a much different legal landscape for those the suicidal pilot is leaving behind, not to mention how he's remembered by his loved ones.
I'm just playing devil's advocate on both sides. It is still possible that it's either an accident or suicide, although to me suicide seems more likely.
[Edited 2015-03-25 21:13:36]
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