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AIRWALK
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:37 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Reply 140):
Should be impossible in a commercial plane a pilot to be able to completely dive the nose of an airplane. With all the technology that exists today, it is incomprehensible that something like this may be even possible.

There is so much that can still be done to improve air safety.

Under NORMAL LAW the aircraft can't nose dive. There is high speed protection which prevents an exceedance of VMO/MMO by introducing a pitch up movement. The pilot CANNOT override the pitch up command. In degraded laws some of these protections are lost.
I'm sure this thread will take off soon
 
bleudefrance
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:41 am

If an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be managed to kill terrorists all across the world controlled from the United States, it should be possible to a team of persons on land to take the total control of an airplane in an emergency situation, such us loss of control by the inability of the crew (AF447), terrorists or suicide pilots.

Many of the technological advancements in the History of Mankind were first made in the military, here's another example of something that could be applied to civil aviation.
 
Mir
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:47 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Reply 151):
If an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be managed to kill terrorists all across the world controlled from the United States, it should be possible to a team of persons on land to take the total control of an airplane in an emergency situation, such us loss of control by the inability of the crew (AF447), terrorists or suicide pilots.

The flight crew would, of course, have the ability to disable such a system to prevent a malfunction from having horrific consequences, rendering it useless to stop these sorts of things.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
planemaker
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:55 am

Quoting bleudefrance (Reply 151):
Many of the technological advancements in the History of Mankind were first made in the military, here's another example of something that could be applied to civil aviation.

'
Ground Collision Avoidance System ‘Saves’ First F-16 In Syria

Here is some background to the tech development...

NASA-Pioneered Automatic Ground-Collision Avoidance System Operational
'

http://aviationweek.com/site-files/aviationweek.com/files/uploads/2015/01/ATMSPO1.jpg

NASA’s ground station includes a super dispatcher position on the right and a first officer position on the left. Credit: John Croft/AW&ST
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:05 am

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 147):
Technology isn't magic. I wish technology was as good as you describe. If we could do what you say we could (without unintended consequences) we wouldn't even need pilots. Technology breaks, your hypothetical safety feature can malfunction and cause even more problems. What happens when the pilots cannot override your little feature and it goes haywire? Airbus has some safeguards on its aircraft but those break and can be overridden

As it stands, the number of pilots intentionally nose diving is completely overshadowed by computers malfunctioning

A plane is a series of technologies and systems which interact with humans with an advantage that otherwise did not exist.

What? I'm not even saying removing pilots as they are critical parts of the system design.

How exactly does it malfunction if it breaks it isn't needed for the door to work. It cannot make the door lockdown. The existing locking system remains the same it is just an override that can be used in these situations.

The entire purpose of this system is to provide a human element (actually a bunch of human elements as situations arise) so that you can rely on the balance of probability that your entire plane crew is not all evil.

The system is fail safe as in if it fails the flight can continue and the only protection lost is of the very rare case of a suicidal pilot or other takeover. Adding it improves overall safety and if it fails then the level of safety is only reduced to what we currently have which while undesirable isn't normally catastrophic.

Technology breaks yes, and it broke in MH370 and germanwings and I'm proposing a fix. It is better than just saying have two people in the cockpit because that does very little to protect from this situation.

This isn't magic ultra-complex technology it is a basic system that uses human factors to actually think things through.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 147):
Since when was MH370's cause known? I'd go to the authorities with your information since you apparently know more than them

We know the CVR is useless and the plane flew for hours without communication. The plane also crashed in the worst possible place to find it.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/avia...nks-with-other-crashes-probed.html

The risk is very real that there are copycat events occurring. Just not every copy cat gets enough fuel to fly out into the open ocean. The pilot may have thought a direct on collision with the mountain would obliterate the CVR. Imagine if instead of the FDR data unit the CVR data unit was missing and was never found. You could only then speculate that it was suicide based on his depression but we have direct evidence now.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 147):
So had this system been in place, you think the pilot would just chill in a controlled descent and wait for the other pilot to get in and stop him? I guess it's possible but call me crazy, I don't think that would have been the case

Why not insane people don't think logically. Also I don't actually know what they would do, but we know that they did not nose dive nor can an Airbus do that in normal law. Improvements to flight protections on Airbus models would make controlled flight into terrain more difficult but that still doesn't stop people from flying the plane out into the ocean and running out of fuel or messing with the computer so it gives up. The point is to at least offer a chance the cabin crew and passengers can fight back what happens then is anyone's guess I just don't want people to be powerless in said situation and know that they are going to die soon and there is nothing they can do about it.

A 9/11 situation could also occur with the existing system and this improvement would mitigate that.

This technological improvement is an enabler for other good minded crew/passengers not a restriction and it isn't flight critical.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 147):
Yes but that doesn't mean every idea is a good one or that every problem can be solved. That doesn't mean "give up," that means think things through and don't make knee jerk decisions

Having two people in the cockpit is kneejerk. It fixes nothing about this very problem. I can and probably will happen in the future if nothing is done with that frankly poorly designed door lock system.

Your saying simultaneously that it "doesn't mean every problem can be solved" and saying that doesn't mean you "give up" and I'm finding that logically inconsistent. I'm merely suggesting a change and seeing what holes there might be I don't see how that makes it in any way knee-jerk. I always thought the door lock was poorly designed ever since I heard of the changes years ago. I just never thought up of a good improvement until recently.

Quoting bleudefrance (Reply 151):
If an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be managed to kill terrorists all across the world controlled from the United States, it should be possible to a team of persons on land to take the total control of an airplane in an emergency situation, such us loss of control by the inability of the crew (AF447), terrorists or suicide pilots.

Remote control is way too dangerous if someone attacks or hacks the remote link your screwed. Even the military has problems with GPS-jamming and RF-attacks. Drones work well when your fighting someone not technically able. But if you leave a backdoor into plane control so that you can fly a passenger jet from a remote link your asking for trouble.

The entire flight control system is supposed to be air-gapped which means not connected directly to the world network so that hacking is made very difficult.
 
bleudefrance
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:12 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 153):

Fantastic! I've never heard about it.Thank you very much.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:16 am

Quoting planemaker (Reply 153):

Very useful in delaying a plane from crashing but still doesn't fix the fact the door lock system is not designed with this scenario in mind. There is no way to prevent someone in control of the flight deck to crash the plane as they could just mess with the computer till the plane crashes.
 
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seahawk
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:03 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 85):
Very quick reaction from the German Airlines, LH Group, Air Berlin, Condor and TUIFly that they will adopt a 2 Person Cockpit all times, like the US does it.

They will get the OK from the LBA and make it legal on a very short notice. Well done.

Made me a little proud of our airline industry. When the shit hits the fan the German airlines and the LBA come together and start working on improvements very quickly. The reaction from the other airlines are also something I will not forget.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:13 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 157):
Made me a little proud of our airline industry. When the shit hits the fan the German airlines and the LBA come together and start working on improvements very quickly. The reaction from the other airlines are also something I will not forget.

The two person system doesn't actually fix the problem it is very good at helping public perception though.

Any suicidal person would not care if they have to incapacitate or murder the person with them if their objective is to crash the plane anyway. With just one person who would not expect to be attacked you are going to be back to square one really fast. The problem is with the way the door locking system works as it doesn't consider the possibility that the flight deck could be taken over.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:06 am

Quoting CWAFlyer (Reply 130):
If the system itself like any other mechanical or electrical device simply stops working, then what? All the technology and gadgets in the world can and do break or can be disabled by humans.

Yes. All automation must fail towards the safe side... That's why I proposed a system where overriding the door lock automatically raises an alarm, but disabling the comms channels or the alarm automatically unlocks the door.

Quoting tomlee (Reply 134):
A multi-crew door override makes sense and solves the problem of someone inside the cockpit using the door lock override maliciously. Whoever designed the system clearly didn't think things through completely.

If I was in this specific business, my terrorist group would just kill one passenger after the another. At one time, the F/As' bad conscience will set in and allow me access to the cockpit. The LOCK mode of the cockpit door was designed with exactly this in mind - extortion of the cabin crew!

In the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, a Charlie Hebdo employer was forced at gunpoint to swipe her access card and allow the murderers in. Was she mentally prepared to sacrifice herself? I'm not sure.

Quoting AA777 (Reply 149):
Suicidality is a tricky thing. I'm a psychologist and I'm trained to assess for these things. There are ways to test for things that would lead to increased risk for suicidal behavior, but nothing is 100% fool proof. There are people who will not appear suicidal on tests, there are people who will lie straight to your face in an interview. The numerous factors related to increased suicidal risk:

Good that somebody like you is here, and brings in your insights! The bad thing with suicide tendency is that it's really, really multifactorial. Perhaps one can, based on a statistical risk profile, give the 5% of the most riskiest pilots additional benefits (better training, better counseling, better pay, better work schedules, better recognition by the managers, faster upgrades in seniority...) to mitigate the risk.

But at what price? The other 95% of the pilots will be a bit envious...


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:29 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 159):
Yes. All automation must fail towards the safe side... That's why I proposed a system where overriding the door lock automatically raises an alarm, but disabling the comms channels or the alarm automatically unlocks the door.

So if the comms channel fails by jamming the door unlocks too, do you put anti-jam systems to detect that and so on and so forth. Your talking about introducing even more security flaws. Opening the door raising alarm doesn't stop a terrorist attack on a nearby site, instead of disabling comms channels they can just wait till they are over the ocean where no one is picking up the transponder signal anyways, you can mess up the software on the sat data link so that it is misconfigured so the door won't unlock and data won't be sent properly.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 159):
If I was in this specific business, my terrorist group would just kill one passenger after the another. At one time, the F/As' bad conscience will set in and allow me access to the cockpit. The LOCK mode of the cockpit door was designed with exactly this in mind - extortion of the cabin crew!

In the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, a Charlie Hebdo employer was forced at gunpoint to swipe her access card and allow the murderers in. Was she mentally prepared to sacrifice herself? I'm not sure.

The procedure is terrorist erase key, no questions. There is no way they can get all the crew members to not do this as everyone knows about 911. Passengers would probably rush flight attendants to force an erase just make it part of the safety briefing and say the failure means another 911.

If you applied my system to the Charlie Hebdo case you would have to get all of employees keycards and you might as well just massacre them all since they would need them all to just open the door to a building that has two people sitting in a room. (Also the door keycards didn't have an user operable erase mechanism so they couldn't even stop it if they wanted to as the terrorist could just kill them and take the key card)

The point is to spread the key out so you need a pool of keys to open the door and all it takes is one person to make the door secure. There is very little chance a terrorist could without notice get all the keys without starting a riot in the middle of the cabin. They wouldn't even know if the keys work as erasing could be done covertly.

It offers an asymmetrical benefit so it would be hard to abuse in a hijack while easy to use in a lockout event by a cooperative cabin crew and passengers..
 
Burkhard
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:36 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 5):
And that in itself won't solve anything. If someone has the intent to down the plane I am sure they will find away. Whats to stop the FO for instance attacking the FA in the cockpit with the crash axe? If they have the intent they will find a way.

It will not reduce the risk to 0, but maybe to 25% . Killing or even disabling a collegue is far more unlikely than programming an Autopilot and assume you are in a sim until all is over. Having somebody reminding you there are 2 babies back there has a chance to stop him.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:51 am

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 161):
It will not reduce the risk to 0, but maybe to 25% . Killing or even disabling a collegue is far more unlikely than programming an Autopilot and assume you are in a sim until all is over. Having somebody reminding you there are 2 babies back there has a chance to stop him.

The two people system is useless, arguably it increases the chances it could happen. The second person introduced could be the attacker or the pilot the element of surprise is from the attackers side as no one should expect their fellow co-workers to be mass murders out to kill/disable them.

A suicidal person willing to kill everyone with them would easily not care what it takes especially if they think they can hide the fact it was a suicide. Crashing right into the mountain may have been an attempt to destroy the data recorders, the FDR data unit is missing after all due to the extreme energy it probably was flung far far away. (Lucky the CVR was recovered so quickly)

A pooled key system with countermeasure against terrorists is a good method to offer some fighting chance at taking back control.
 
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seahawk
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:55 am

Imho we need to agree that the full lock-down of the cockpit door should be reserved for emergencies. Obviously it should only open for the crew in normal circumstances but it should need the input of 2 crew members to fully lock it down, so that it even can not be opened with a valid code.

For me that means putting emergency buttons in the cabin so that the FAs can request the lock down in a case of trouble in the cabin. And 2 widely separated buttons / switches in the cabin that need to be pressed at the same time which should only be possible if 2 persons do it together. So only if the the button in the cabin is activated or if both pilots pushed their "emergency button" in the cockpit, the door opening request could be turned down.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:11 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 163):

That's a good solution, and does not cause too much certification/installation troubles!


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:31 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 163):

Imho we need to agree that the full lock-down of the cockpit door should be reserved for emergencies. Obviously it should only open for the crew in normal circumstances but it should need the input of 2 crew members to fully lock it down, so that it even can not be opened with a valid code.

For me that means putting emergency buttons in the cabin so that the FAs can request the lock down in a case of trouble in the cabin. And 2 widely separated buttons / switches in the cabin that need to be pressed at the same time which should only be possible if 2 persons do it together. So only if the the button in the cabin is activated or if both pilots pushed their "emergency button" in the cockpit, the door opening request could be turned down.

It doesn't stop people from attacking in a manner which prevents the lock down from working when it should. It goes too far in making it difficult to enforce the door lock down. If lock down is in the flight deck cabin and there is only one person able to act due to the terrorist incapacitating people then the door will fail open and the terrorists get in.

It is basically making the door system too easy to unlock. Requiring simultaneous activation requiring two people to use the system at any time makes many situations where you can't but need to lock the system down.

And in the suicide case with a second crew member in with you can just incapacitate them and use them to hold the second remote button down. You could also just use a stick or are we going to ban those to prevent that.

Too much security is lost to prevent suicidal pilots.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:32 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 164):
That's a good solution, and does not cause too much certification/installation troubles!

Only problem is it doesn't work in many cases if a terrorist attack occurs which is the whole purpose of the door system in the first place.
 
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seahawk
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:39 am

Quoting tomlee (Reply 165):

It is basically making the door system too easy to unlock. Requiring simultaneous activation requiring two people to use the system at any time makes many situations where you can't but need to lock the system down.

The door is locked and would only open if you enter a valid code. Only the option to override a valid code, would be depending on the actions I described. Standard operational procedure is that the FA would never use the code and would request the door opening via the intercom. So if the code is entered and 2 persons are in the cockpit you could give them 20-30 seconds to activate the override system. The only option is that you would need 2 persons in the cockpit and they would need to work together.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:01 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 167):
The door is locked and would only open if you enter a valid code. Only the option to override a valid code, would be depending on the actions I described. Standard operational procedure is that the FA would never use the code and would request the door opening via the intercom. So if the code is entered and 2 persons are in the cockpit you could give them 20-30 seconds to activate the override system. The only option is that you would need 2 persons in the cockpit and they would need to work together.


The code is something people know and is not going to be changed frequently so could be obtained even not on the same flight. This could be done during the pilot exchange so that the flight door is already open and all they have to do is prevent two people from making it back into the flight deck alive. They could kill people to achieve this goal and unless the pilot came ready with an override stick they are screwed even if they managed to close the door in the fight.

And in a suicide scenario the person could just override the system anyway using the other person or a stick.

Basically makes the system weaker without actually solving the problem.

Also if the flight crew screw up and press the button not simultaneously in a while the door is unlock force mode then they are screwed do you allow them to retry because if you do then you allow a suicidal person many tries at using the stick. And if you allow for more time between the same time requirement then you make it even easier to bypass.

Its all not a good engineering control. Two hand controls only work well when it is the same person as you can make the timings very tight if you want a two person control you have to relax the requirements which means it can be bypassed.
 
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seahawk
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:10 am

Every system can be by-passed. You just increase the challenge to do it.

You can always construct a scenario in which any solution is a disadvantage, but I dare say in the last years we might have seen more pilot suicides that hi-jackings.
 
exfss
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:18 am

the locked door is a problem, and will request transformation and/or redesigned.
This cost money and takes time.

My idea is simple.
Why not have a ''cockpit flight attendant''?

They could even be trainies , as they dont go in the cabin side.
No changes in the planes, no changes in the software and all.

I would bet it would be cheaper to add one FA on board.
No question is stupid.Only answers can be.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:21 am

Quoting exfss (Reply 170):

Even cheaper: Invite a.net members to fly on the jumpseat. On every frigging flight! For free!


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
exfss
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:24 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 171):
Invite a.net members to fly on the jumpseat

That 's the good old time.
;¬)
No question is stupid.Only answers can be.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:32 am

Quoting seahawk (Reply 169):
Every system can be by-passed. You just increase the challenge to do it.

You can always construct a scenario in which any solution is a disadvantage, but I dare say in the last years we might have seen more pilot suicides that hi-jackings.

The suicidal person would have to go to great lengths and risk discovery to disable the cabin crew override system and get back to the cockpit undiscovered. Not to mention once they disable the override they themselves could be locked out.

The secure door helps a lot in stopping hijackings. So we shouldn't water it down too much as your proposal does.

Quoting exfss (Reply 170):
Why not have a ''cockpit flight attendant''?

They could even be trainies , as they dont go in the cabin side.
No changes in the planes, no changes in the software and all.

That is the same thing as two people the trainee could be the attacker or the pilot. It doesn't help the cabin crew get in as the door is still locked down.
 
exfss
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 10:52 am

Quoting tomlee (Reply 173):
That is the same thing as two people the trainee could be the attacker or the pilot. It doesn't help the cabin crew get in as the door is still locked down.

You are right, I assumed he could open it from inside.
No question is stupid.Only answers can be.
 
ltbewr
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:29 am

As much as we concentrate on the door security systems, the bigger issue with such cases it trying to keep those with mental health problems out of the cockpit. A variety of laws to protect medical privacy, disability rights laws and the nature of those with mental health problems to hide their problems for obvious reasons, all limit employers from keeping out from employment persons with but the most extreme and public display of such problems.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:38 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 175):
As much as we concentrate on the door security systems, the bigger issue with such cases it trying to keep those with mental health problems out of the cockpit. A variety of laws to protect medical privacy, disability rights laws and the nature of those with mental health problems to hide their problems for obvious reasons, all limit employers from keeping out from employment persons with but the most extreme and public display of such problems.

Door security systems would mitigate this even if you didn't improve mental health controls. Both combined would make the risk even smaller. But if you don't fix the bad door logic you have no actual recourse if something is missed by the mental health screening.
 
CXfirst
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:50 am

A lot of people are suggesting more rigorous and periodical psychological testing. Lets say they do this, and more pilots get diagnosed with depression. What do people here believe is a fair outcome for these pilots?

A lot of the media is focusing on this Germanwings FO leaving flight training for a while due to depression. Now, if this was known, would that still be a factor for this flight? Should his licence have been stripped from him? And how long?

A lot of people suffer from some sort of depression at some point in their life, but that doesn't necessarily mean they would be unfit to fly today. If anything, making any previous depression enough to take away a licence would just result in pilots hiding any depression, and keeping them in the air throughout the worst of the depression.

Obviously, in this case, the pilot was still suffering from depression, but I don't really think depression he had so many years ago should be a huge factor, perhaps just a medical note for some extra psychological check ups.

I personally believe there should be periodic psychological check ups, with an attitude in the industry that doesn't see one lose their job for being depressed, but rather given temporary leave with psychological help. Sadly, I believe this incident will cause too much fear, resulting in depression being seen upon as far too dangerous, eventually leading to pilots hiding their depression and not getting the help they need.

-CXfirst
 
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par13del
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:57 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 175):
A variety of laws to protect medical privacy, disability rights laws and the nature of those with mental health problems to hide their problems for obvious reasons, all limit employers from keeping out from employment persons with but the most extreme and public display of such problems.

The crux of the issue, no different than when the AID's epidemic first started, no easy answers exist but one would think that in nations where governments provide much more services that the privacy / job issue would be minimized.
It is about employment first and ensuring that persons with health issues (mental or otherwise) are not prevented from making a living, put them on medical disability under state care.
All rules about two persons in the cockpit, type of locks etc. are all after the fact, best practise is prevention which in this case would be such persons not getting into the cockpit as a crew member first.
 
tomlee
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:00 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 177):

Instead of trying to get rid of potential pilots who might be a problem off frankly a not very accurate medical field of psychology an engineering control on the clearly dumb door logic mitigates that so only when they do act you have a mitigation.

It is literally impossible to predict with certainty if someone is going to commit suicide if there was a reliable method we would be using it in countless areas of medicine, industry.

So if you can't detect mental problems perfectly just alter the door control logic so that if a single person does go off the walls a group of sane people can override their actions.

If a group of insane people (terrorists) is on the passenger cabin side all it takes is one crew member to act in a sane well trained manner to keep the sane people in the cockpit secure. This action would be covert and any crew member could do so and controlling the cabin that totally to prevent that from happening would be extremely difficult.

If anything unjustified fear and false accusations is just going to cause stress levels to go off the scales in the industry increasing a suicide or even revenge attack.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:26 pm

Quoting tomlee (Reply 176):
Door security systems

There is NO golden bullet for any problem that is caused by a *variety* of factors.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 175):
to hide their problems for obvious reasons

Everybody has to hide something. Even more so when the career is at stake. While we trust a pilot with a sprained ankle to come forward and declare himself unfit for service (it might hinder evacuation, or if it hurts, it might distract him from his duties), we cannot trust anybody to provide information about a possibly career-ending disability. Especially in countries with weak worker protection laws like the US.

I can't be an engine driver due to my bad hearing. If I suffered a hearing damage while working as a engine driver I would think hard about covering it... hearing aids can do a lot nowadays. But it might still kick me out of the job.

But now I'm in medical research and with bungled statistics and sloppy work I could cause many more unnecessary deaths than any suicidal 380 captain. 


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
Burkhard
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:26 pm

Hm, read now that he had an attest "Krankschreibung" including that day, that he decided not to present but to go to work.

Sorry this was intended for the other Topic, but it also fits here, that if somebody is declared as ill by a doctor the System should should not leave the decision to work or not with the individual, if this endangerous others.

[Edited 2015-03-27 05:28:32]
 
Ferroviarius
Posts: 257
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:31 pm

Good afternoon,

concerning the questions:

a)
Was it, indeed, suicide?

and

b)
Would the pilot be "guilty"?


a)
One can, to my mind, not rule out that the scenario was as follows:
The pilot, because of which so ever reason, suddenly became extremely tired and, while falling asleep, dreamed / simulated being close to the arrival airport and started descent procedures, before then falling asleep so soundly that he did not wake up in spite of all the noise and efforts produced by those outside the cockpit in order to make him open the door. In this case, there would have been not the slightest intention of committing suicide.

Also, I do doubt that a person, who is close to committing suicide, goes on breathing "as normal". A person committing suicide is stressed, extremely stressed, specifically in the moments before dying. Breathing, consequently, will change and reflect that stress. I would hence expect that the voice recorder would have displayed a heavy, high frequent breathing. According to what is published in the media, the pilot remained a regular breathing pattern until the very moment when recording stopped! This, to my mind, is highly contradictory.

b)
During the 2013 Annual Meeting of the International Society of Neuroscience, Nita Farahany from Duke University presented a plenary talk entitled "Neuroscience in the Court Room". If I try to summarize what I understood from this, to my mind, extraordinarily well presented summary of decades of careful research both in matters of Law and of Neuroscience, the problem of whether a person IS guilty - in the meaning of: can by any logical reasoning be held responsible for what that person ever did - is an enigma.

I do personally not think that there is anything like a "Free Will" - unless one regards G_d's will as the only Free Will.
However, man, whether or not she or he COULD by any logical thinking could be held responsible, still WILL be held responsible, and, strangely enough, this is what confers Dignity on man, unlike animal.

Best wishes,

Ferroviarius
 
tomlee
Posts: 610
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:32 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 180):
There is NO golden bullet for any problem that is caused by a *variety* of factors.

There may not be a golden (perfect) bullet but there sure are better bullets that can cover a wider variety of factors and situations than before.

A secure door override system would provide crew and passengers at least some hope of taking back control without making the door too insecure against terrorists.
 
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par13del
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:51 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 180):
Especially in countries with weak worker protection laws like the US.

Well on the plus side they do have stronger personal liability laws which means that one cannot escape liability if failing to disclose a potential personal "issue" led to harm to third parties.
Who better to police yourself than yourself?
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:10 pm

Quoting tomlee (Reply 183):
There may not be a golden (perfect) bullet but there sure are better bullets that can cover a wider variety of factors and situations than before.

Yet again: At what cost?

These cards need to be different for each plane, otherwise you could steal a set of cockpit door override cards from another plane. One must keep track of these cards. And these cards shall not be labeled in any way - the purpose of them must remain unclear.

And the Chaos Communications Congress in HAM indulges in a joyful slaughter of the newest "security" technology every year just before New Year. Two years ago they showed off a custom-made iPhone app together with a hand-made $5 antenna that registered every RFID access card, and got the hackers entry to any home. The iPhone with antenna must be in the physical vicinity of the door while somebody else opens it, though.

The cards could be quite easily cracked by a man-in-the-middle attack. A device resting in the carry-on luggage interrogates continuously the swipe card kept by the F/A by brute force. Another device deals with the card of another F/A. So you piece together the information, and load that information on a device that replicates all two, three, four or five swipe cards.

Rest assured that somebody with a B.Sc. in electronic engineering will produce a working example in some months.

One can probably harden it with cryptography.

Hell, one could even jam these signals, so that the cards won't work anyway.

If you envision cards with a magnetic stripe - a pilot could, while the F/As are busy cleaning the plane for the next flight, physically disable the card reader with something like strong glue.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:18 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 184):
Well on the plus side they do have stronger personal liability laws which means that one cannot escape liability if failing to disclose a potential personal "issue" led to harm to third parties.

Doesn't exactly help when somebody is a pathological naysayer and denies any illness towards the employer. People can not see very obvious disease signs, and still cling to their job and say they're doing a superb one (talk about alcoholism, for example). And in cases of a depression, you often see very conscientious workers who abide by all rules, try to make a good job (also working when they're sick!), try to please their bosses and colleagues and then, they suddenly break down with a clinical depression.

In case of a suicide, the usefulness of personal liability is questionable. If the liability is offloaded to an insurance, the pathological "I'm healthy!" guy who shreds his doctor's sickness statements at home is also not very impressed.


David
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
Flighty
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:24 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 177):
A lot of people are suggesting more rigorous and periodical psychological testing. Lets say they do this, and more pilots get diagnosed with depression. What do people here believe is a fair outcome for these pilots?

Let them fly (I don't know how to realistically or humanely screen people out), but do not give them so much command authority during single pilot ops. I think the temptation and power were too great for this young pilot. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Solutions? Not an expert. But let me try to hash out a basic solution. Dispatch knows basic flight parameters from flight plan. Extreme deviation from flight plan should trigger great scrutiny at dispatch. If the airplane is operating well, but deviating wildly from plan, and plane is in single pilot mode, the plane should ultimately remove authority from the pilot (and this is VERY new), declare emergency, and land at a nearby base. This may provide "deterrent" for this type of action.

I think 2 functional pilots in cockpit should still have absolute authority over the a/c. But it can be a mistake to give 1 man or woman such powers. There should be a limit (i.e., aircraft should NOT do a commanded crash into terrain). How to enforce that limit properly in this context I have no idea.
 
tomlee
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:01 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:32 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 185):
Yet again: At what cost?

These cards need to be different for each plane, otherwise you could steal a set of cockpit door override cards from another plane. One must keep track of these cards. And these cards shall not be labeled in any way - the purpose of them must remain unclear.

Replace pin pad, update software, distribute keycards. If a server farm has multi-factor physical security I don't see why you can't make a budget version for a plane which is by far more critical than say facebook posts.

No the cards are reusable they just store the secret numbers generated for each flight when they board the plane. The override code is generated on the plane only not accessible to anyone else.

You don't need to keep track of any additional cards they could serve as the crew ID cards so you should already be keeping track of them as they need to use them to get into the airport anyways.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 185):
And the Chaos Communications Congress in HAM indulges in a joyful slaughter of the newest "security" technology every year just before New Year. Two years ago they showed off a custom-made iPhone app together with a hand-made $5 antenna that registered every RFID access card, and got the hackers entry to any home. The iPhone with antenna must be in the physical vicinity of the door while somebody else opens it, though.

Yeah can an RFID hack a EMV chip without an RFID capability, no obviously. The amount of time and effort to break the system provides security through real security no security through obscurity just sound security design.

So your 5$ antenna does zilch. I'm very much into infosec.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 185):
The cards could be quite easily cracked by a man-in-the-middle attack. A device resting in the carry-on luggage interrogates continuously the swipe card kept by the F/A by brute force. Another device deals with the card of another F/A. So you piece together the information, and load that information on a device that replicates all two, three, four or five swipe cards.

How do you get to be in the middle exactly? This device is not online being stand alone, is physically secured and is a cryptographically hardened system. You really don't know what your talking about because you can't interrogate a card insert by "brute force" attack (Which by the way is why you use strong cryptography so even if you did MITM you couldn't decrypt it in any reasonable time-frame)(And brute force has nothing to do with attempting to do a side channel attack is what you should have said, and attempting to pick out the noise is pointless because the exchange is encrypted itself)

You know hacking isn't magic. Your BS isn't going to work here.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 185):
Rest assured that somebody with a B.Sc. in electronic engineering will produce a working example in some months.

One can probably harden it with cryptography.

Hell, one could even jam these signals, so that the cards won't work anyway.

If you envision cards with a magnetic stripe - a pilot could, while the F/As are busy cleaning the plane for the next flight, physically disable the card reader with something like strong glue.

Smart card not a magstrip or RFID everyone knows a magstrip sucks and RFID can be attacked at a distance.

Last time I checked if you put glue to disable a security system and when everyone tries to key in they are going to call security and say there has been a breach and the plane and crew would be switched out.

So your saying you can generate a jamming signal strong enough to overwhelm a direct contact shielded system? I think your jamming system could probably just mess up the plane without you even needing to hack the card system.

Not really sure how your going to get such powerful jamming equipment onto the plane without being detected you could smuggle all manner of more dangerous devices. Say a door breaching kit that would take even the secured door down.
 
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Francoflier
Posts: 5799
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:33 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 177):
eventually leading to pilots hiding their depression and not getting the help they need.

There is already a stigma attached with depression among the pilot body.
Many are already hiding it for fear of losing their careers. This particular pilot might have.
If anything, it will now get worse.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 177):
What do people here believe is a fair outcome for these pilots?

There is none. The sad truth is that in this cutthroat industry, the best outcome you can hope for is some sort of insurance that will keep paying the bills while you try and reassemble the pieces of your life. Hence the behavior I described above.

Pilots are subjected to constant scrutiny, either from the medical department, their bosses at operations, the necessity to perform flawlessly, or the training department. It doesn't take a big mistake or a large amount of medical bad luck to lose a pilot job, or even an entire career. That pressure translates to added stress, creating a potentially vicious circle.
What exactly do you do when you've dedicated your entire life to flying and are told you simply can't do that anymore?
I'll do my own airline. With Blackjack. And hookers. In fact, forget the airline.
 
YoungMans
Posts: 432
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RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:40 pm

The present system of reinforced and lockable flight deck doors is designed to keep potential trouble makers out.
It is an effective system that provides the pilots with the means to act decisively.
There is nothing wrong with that system, except in one specific situation.

If the potential trouble maker is one of the pilots, while the other pilot has momentarily left the flight deck or is otherwise prevented to act, the cabin crew MUST be able to gain entry. The procedures and necessary equipment for this have to be effective in practice and, as it is always pointed out, ought to cost as little as possible in $$$ terms.
Above all, though, forced entry to the flight deck must be possible for the cabin crew, within a few minutes, probably five minutes at most.

The procedures and systems that allow the cabin crew to do this should probably also incorporate a digital camera system that can be activated in an emergency; the reverse of what the pilots have now. It would provide the cabin crew with vision of the flight deck. Based on that information the cabin crew can act and, ultimately, should be able to override the pilot’s door lock controls.

It would have to be extremely unlikely that a would-be hijacker is waiting for the right moment, to act, at exactly the same time when a rouge pilot is trying to do his thing. Therefore, when dealing with a rogue pilot, the concern is not to keep potential hijackers off the flight deck but to gain quick and effective access to the rogue pilot. Probably the easiest way to get the door unlocked is with simple but specific emergency codes; I could imagine anyway.

If one were to view potential hijackers and possible rogue pilots as two distinct scenarios, which they are and which might never occur at the same time, then the solutions, i.e. the procedures to respond, may be just as different.
Instead of having to find a solution for everything and all possibilities, it may be easier to tackle each scenario on its own, as a separate problem.
And should the unthinkable happen anyway, then all is lost whatever anyone does.
 
CXfirst
Posts: 3022
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 8:13 pm

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:46 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 189):
There is none. The sad truth is that in this cutthroat industry, the best outcome you can hope for is some sort of insurance that will keep paying the bills while you try and reassemble the pieces of your life. Hence the behavior I described above.

And that is a problem in this industry, which leads to pilots hiding potential problems. I know, I'm an early stage pilot myself, and I've even been advised to use a GP other than my Aviation Medical Practitioner for any day to day problems, so that any potential problems I might face in the future is not given to any aviation authorities (to give me a chance to solve them before my licence gets stripped from me). When things get to strict, it leads to deception.

-CXfirst
 
tomlee
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:01 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:03 pm

Quoting YoungMans (Reply 190):
If the potential trouble maker is one of the pilots, while the other pilot has momentarily left the flight deck or is otherwise prevented to act, the cabin crew MUST be able to gain entry. The procedures and necessary equipment for this have to be effective in practice and, as it is always pointed out, ought to cost as little as possible in $$$ terms.
Above all, though, forced entry to the flight deck must be possible for the cabin crew, within a few minutes, probably five minutes at most.

The procedures and systems that allow the cabin crew to do this should probably also incorporate a digital camera system that can be activated in an emergency; the reverse of what the pilots have now. It would provide the cabin crew with vision of the flight deck. Based on that information the cabin crew can act and, ultimately, should be able to override the pilot’s door lock controls.

It would have to be extremely unlikely that a would-be hijacker is waiting for the right moment, to act, at exactly the same time when a rouge pilot is trying to do his thing. Therefore, when dealing with a rogue pilot, the concern is not to keep potential hijackers off the flight deck but to gain quick and effective access to the rogue pilot. Probably the easiest way to get the door unlocked is with simple but specific emergency codes; I could imagine anyway.

If one were to view potential hijackers and possible rogue pilots as two distinct scenarios, which they are and which might never occur at the same time, then the solutions, i.e. the procedures to respond, may be just as different.
Instead of having to find a solution for everything and all possibilities, it may be easier to tackle each scenario on its own, as a separate problem.
And should the unthinkable happen anyway, then all is lost whatever anyone does.

Forced entry via a cabin crew access key pool would be ideal because it carries very little weight and cost and can be integrated into their ID cards. All that needs updating is the door controller software and the pin pad unit. No extra doors, no wasted space, no extensive re-wiring, ...

By having the emergency codes embedded in the ID cards no one needs to remember anything and the door lock system can manage the keys and it can be tuned based on the plane layout and cabin crew numbers.

It would take a little time (probably at most 2 minutes) to activate the override with a cabin crew key pool system.

The problem with having a emergency code that people know is that on other flights where there is no suicide situation these codes could have been leaked or discovered by some means (it would be hard to ask people to remember constantly changing long complex codes) would allow hijackers into the cockpit.

My system operates under two different distinct modes of operation if the malicious people are on the flight deck side the non-malicious passengers and cabin crew can force the door open with their key pool. If the malicious people are on the passenger cabin side then they would attack the cabin crew first so the countermeasure is to allow the people to erase their key cards so that the key pool can be rendered useless with just a single person acting correctly which makes the probability of success in both scenarios very high.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:06 pm

Quoting francoflier (Reply 189):
There is already a stigma attached with depression among the pilot body.
Many are already hiding it for fear of losing their careers. This particular pilot might have.
If anything, it will now get worse.

  

Quoting YoungMans (Reply 190):
If the potential trouble maker is one of the pilots, while the other pilot has momentarily left the flight deck or is otherwise prevented to act, the cabin crew MUST be able to gain entry.

This is a basic and now obvious short term solution.

Quoting YoungMans (Reply 190):
It would have to be extremely unlikely that a would-be hijacker is waiting for the right moment, to act, at exactly the same time when a rouge pilot is trying to do his thing.

Right but hijackers absolutely can wait for a pilot to come out with his keycard, and then assault him/her for it or the code. That scenario is not totally unlikely. It made sense to counteract it. But now we know that entry denial also creates a sinister "lone wolf" mode for the aircraft.
 
tomlee
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:01 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:12 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 193):
Right but hijackers absolutely can wait for a pilot to come out with his keycard, and then assault him/her for it or the code. That scenario is not totally unlikely. It made sense to counteract it. But now we know that entry denial also creates a sinister "lone wolf" mode for the aircraft.

This is why you make it so they have to assault many crew members magically simultaneously without them erasing their key device. Having a key pool with the cabin crew allows an override to be used securely without allowing a hijacker easy access. It is a safer way to deny entry while still affording the cabin crew a method of forced entry.
 
art
Posts: 4092
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2005 11:46 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:52 pm

Quoting Aither (Reply 138):
Only women with children should be allowed to pilot. They never suicide.

I think the data would support the view overwhelmingly that women are far less likely to kill others along with themselves. Sadly, contrary to what you say, they do occasionally kill their children before committing suicide.
 
PPVRA
Posts: 8602
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:23 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 193):
Right but hijackers absolutely can wait for a pilot to come out with his keycard, and then assault him/her for it or the code. That scenario is not totally unlikely. It made sense to counteract it. But now we know that entry denial also creates a sinister "lone wolf" mode for the aircraft.
Quoting tomlee (Reply 194):
This is why you make it so they have to assault many crew members magically simultaneously without them erasing their key device. Having a key pool with the cabin crew allows an override to be used securely without allowing a hijacker easy access. It is a safer way to deny entry while still affording the cabin crew a method of forced entry.

There is no way a highjacker can know in advance whether one of his pilots will need to use the restroom in flight. With this in mind, pilots can also be a little more careful about restroom breaks, especially on short flights - "go" when on the ground, don't wait until leveling off at cruise altitude. I'm sure some of them will be doing this already given what just happened.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Ferroviarius
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:28 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:45 pm

Quoting Aither (Reply 138):
Only women with children should be allowed to pilot. They never suicide.

Unfortunately, Aither, it has happened that pregnant women and women having small children did commit suicide, even killing the children together with themselves, during war time and, as far as I know, even otherwise.

This is very, very sad, indeed.

Ferroviarius
 
planemaker
Posts: 5411
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 12:53 pm

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:00 pm

Quoting tomlee (Reply 154):
Remote control is way too dangerous if someone attacks or hacks the remote link your screwed.

Remote control is not dangerous... let alone "way too dangerous". We are not talking about Facebook or Apple iCloud.
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
tomlee
Posts: 610
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:01 am

RE: What To Do About Pilot Suicide

Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:24 pm

Quoting planemaker (Reply 198):
Remote control is not dangerous... let alone "way too dangerous". We are not talking about Facebook or Apple iCloud.

Ironically I would probably say Facebook infrastructure and apple iCloud systems would have more security than a remote control system for planes since the value of the systems being constantly attacked is actually pretty low while the value of a remote control system for all planes is extremely high. The main problem is the human factor in the remote control system you open a whole swath of non-technical hacks that would seriously compromise the safety of a remote control system.

GPS spoofing, jamming (onboard or even from the ground) DoS, Hijacking on the ground, Remote Hacking, DDoS...

Are just some of the few critical flaws with a remote control system. You would add tons of moving parts and support systems to carry the required data stream to allow for remote piloting. And if the remote pilot system fails then your back to relying on the pilot at best, and at worst you have a 9/11 situation without even needing to be on the plane.

You also break the air-gap to the flight control system so if someone does figure out a vulnerability they could hack the control systems themselves. You would have to implement a constant patch cycle with over the air updates to the flight control system (even when a plane is in flight) and you risk causing computer failures due to patch failures. You would need constant security analysis of every last bit of the source code and have bounties in the millions to buy zero-days before they get out.

Also you would have to replace many complex safety critical systems to support external access. Coupled with that the plane would need a firewall, intrusion detection system, VPN gateway, dedicated communications hardware, ...

And if you just want to use a direct radio link instead of a switched IP system then your coverage requires upgrading all the ground stations and planes to support your dedicated encrypted remote control network (your talking about a massive costs, time, ...)

And then you don't have ocean coverage without using satlinks. Add on the latency in sat comms which would make control laggy.

It would be far cheaper and simpler to just upgrade the pin pad that controls the door lock so that it can accept a key pool from the cabin crew to override the door. And if a terrorist attack the individual erase mechanism allows crew to easily disable the override so that it can't be abused without extreme effort.

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