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Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:01 PM

One Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France

Source: NYTimes

BREAKING NEWS Wednesday, March 25, 2015 7:34 PM EDT
One Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France
As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.
A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.
“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”
He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”
READ MORE »
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/europe/germanwings-airbus-crash.html?emc=edit_na_20150325

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/world/europe/germanwings-airbus-crash.html?emc=edit_na_20150325

128 replies, 12206 views

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Arrow 128 replies Author Time Post
Reply One Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France (Original post)
Mira Mar 2015 OP
johnfunk Mar 2015 #1
Mira Mar 2015 #3
herding cats Mar 2015 #6
dbackjon Mar 2015 #8
herding cats Mar 2015 #11
Xithras Mar 2015 #15
herding cats Mar 2015 #19
goldent Mar 2015 #32
Angleae Mar 2015 #56
Cha Mar 2015 #101
groundloop Mar 2015 #16
herding cats Mar 2015 #23
azmom Mar 2015 #21
MADem Mar 2015 #77
Mosby Mar 2015 #13
billhicks76 Mar 2015 #40
hollysmom Mar 2015 #42
billhicks76 Mar 2015 #123
William Seger Mar 2015 #125
billhicks76 Apr 2015 #128
Mira Mar 2015 #48
zappaman Mar 2015 #67
Mira Mar 2015 #74
zappaman Mar 2015 #85
jeff47 Mar 2015 #60
billhicks76 Mar 2015 #124
jeff47 Mar 2015 #127
Angleae Mar 2015 #62
MADem Mar 2015 #78
cosmicone Mar 2015 #84
Mira Mar 2015 #14
herding cats Mar 2015 #17
Hassin Bin Sober Mar 2015 #66
magical thyme Mar 2015 #114
herding cats Mar 2015 #117
mainer Mar 2015 #30
Xithras Mar 2015 #2
hollysmom Mar 2015 #44
TexasProgresive Mar 2015 #49
hollysmom Mar 2015 #61
Angleae Mar 2015 #95
jberryhill Mar 2015 #79
EX500rider Mar 2015 #86
grasswire Mar 2015 #90
hollysmom Mar 2015 #99
jeff47 Mar 2015 #58
MyNameGoesHere Mar 2015 #64
jberryhill Mar 2015 #88
MyNameGoesHere Mar 2015 #106
jberryhill Mar 2015 #111
MyNameGoesHere Mar 2015 #113
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #47
jeff47 Mar 2015 #57
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #65
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #63
quadrature Mar 2015 #4
RandySF Mar 2015 #5
Xithras Mar 2015 #7
dbackjon Mar 2015 #10
billhicks76 Mar 2015 #41
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #52
MADem Mar 2015 #80
bklyncowgirl Mar 2015 #103
jtuck004 Mar 2015 #9
Hassin Bin Sober Mar 2015 #12
TheCowsCameHome Mar 2015 #18
Mira Mar 2015 #20
Warpy Mar 2015 #27
Hassin Bin Sober Mar 2015 #75
Warpy Mar 2015 #81
Dalai_1 Mar 2015 #22
Gin Mar 2015 #24
Xithras Mar 2015 #33
bigworld Mar 2015 #54
DemoTex Mar 2015 #25
Warpy Mar 2015 #82
secondwind Mar 2015 #26
jmowreader Mar 2015 #28
Roland99 Mar 2015 #29
C Moon Mar 2015 #34
mainer Mar 2015 #31
Still In Wisconsin Mar 2015 #36
Xithras Mar 2015 #38
napi21 Mar 2015 #39
Angleae Mar 2015 #96
TheCowsCameHome Mar 2015 #46
FiveGoodMen Mar 2015 #73
still_one Mar 2015 #59
jberryhill Mar 2015 #112
cbdo2007 Mar 2015 #121
Android3.14 Mar 2015 #35
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #53
uppityperson Mar 2015 #37
davidn3600 Mar 2015 #43
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #55
Downwinder Mar 2015 #45
silverweb Mar 2015 #50
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #69
silverweb Mar 2015 #91
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #110
silverweb Mar 2015 #122
Purveyor Mar 2015 #51
Yo_Mama Mar 2015 #70
calimary Mar 2015 #68
TwilightGardener Mar 2015 #71
brooklynite Mar 2015 #72
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #76
Ready4Change Mar 2015 #87
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #89
KeepItReal Mar 2015 #92
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #94
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2015 #115
Spider Jerusalem Mar 2015 #116
darkangel218 Mar 2015 #83
Algernon Moncrieff Mar 2015 #93
darkangel218 Mar 2015 #97
davidn3600 Mar 2015 #98
bklyncowgirl Mar 2015 #109
Cha Mar 2015 #100
riversedge Mar 2015 #102
riversedge Mar 2015 #107
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2015 #104
bklyncowgirl Mar 2015 #105
Quantess Mar 2015 #108
Baclava Mar 2015 #118
Beacool Mar 2015 #120
KamaAina Mar 2015 #119
ellenrr Mar 2015 #126

Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:10 PM

1. Human error, possibly involving an incapacitated or dead pilot?

n/t

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Response to johnfunk (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:12 PM

3. Only time will tell. It's very strange though, isn't it? nt

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Response to johnfunk (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:14 PM

6. Sounds like a possibility.

In the future it might be a good idea for the pilots to have a way to open the door from the outside. I'm surprised that they don't already. How could no one have ever hypothesized just such a scenario?

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Response to herding cats (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:17 PM

8. They don't because of hijackings - 9/11

 

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:21 PM

11. I know that's why the doors are locked.

But there should be some way for the pilot to open the door still, a key, a protocol of not leaving the cockpit unless there's two people in there. Even a flight attendant having to step in while the pilot goes to the lavatory would work.

It's a disaster waiting to happen, or maybe one that just did.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:25 PM

15. There are ways to deal with it, but no requirement that the airlines do so.

For example, the planes could have a keypad on the outside of the door. When the correct code is entered, a warning activates on the inside of the door and the flight crew has 30 seconds to hit a button to override it to keep the door locked.

That way, if a pilot is incapacitated, the people locked out of the cockpit only have to wait 30 seconds for the door to unlock itself. But if a terrorist is outside of the door and has obtained the password from one of the flight crew, the crew in the cockpit can still keep the door locked.

It would be trivial to put something like this together, but the airlines won't do so unless they're mandated to.

If it turns out that the pilot died or was incapacitated, and the aircraft crashed while the rest of the crew tried in vain to get in and save the aircraft, we just might see something like this.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:32 PM

19. Yes, something like that would be perfect.

The added weight to the plane would be minimal, all they'd have to deal with is the trivial expense of installing the new devices.

You're right though, they won't until they're mandated to.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #19)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:50 PM

32. Mandated or permitted

I think the airline would have to seek permission from the FAA to do this.

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Response to goldent (Reply #32)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:06 PM

56. I don't think so. This is the default system on all Southwest aircraft.

I believe all Alaska airlines planes are also equipped as such.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:55 AM

101. Mahalo for your post, Xithras.. I hope they're able to tell from what's left exactly what happened

that regard.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:26 PM

16. But the next disaster will involve a bad guy who forces a crew member to unlock the door

And we'll all be saying how stupid it was that they made it possible to unlock that door from the outside.

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Response to groundloop (Reply #16)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:37 PM

23. The reality is this is a bad protocol.

It's dangerous to create a situation where only one pilot is left in the cockpit and the other cannot reenter if something were to happen to him while he goes to the lavatory.

Even if that's not what took place in this instance, it's still a dangerous situation which is fully avoidable.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:33 PM

21. According to the experts on CNN that protocol

Is in place. They are not sure why it wasn't followed.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #11)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:50 PM

77. That's an accepted protocol on some air platforms--a FA stepping in if a pilot steps out. nt

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Response to dbackjon (Reply #8)


Response to dbackjon (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:18 PM

40. Didn't Computer Codes Show Cockpit Doors Were Never Breached During 911???

 

And all the audio recording between the pilots and air traffic control were destroyed by one of the air traffickers. He said he cut the tapes up into little pieces and deposited them in various trash cans throughout the airport to spare the families. That is the official story and it smells horrible. My guess s that the tapes showed not muslims in the cockpit but, rather, pilots unable to control the plane because the control systems were taken over. I received by B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and even in 1998 Boeing was outfitting jetliners with drone like automated systems to fly and crash the planes for various crash tests. Sounds crazy to some but so does the official 911 report. People are just too timid to challenge their belief systems but hey we live in a country where George Zimmerman and Ted Cruz can claim God represents their actions.

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:25 PM

42. I never heard that ever

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #42)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 12:58 AM

123. It Was A CNN Report

 

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #123)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 01:10 AM

125. No, that was "Pilots for 9/11 Truth" horseshit

The FDR (black box) never showed the cockpit door being opened at all -- not on that flight or any previous flight -- because it didn't have a sensor connected to the FDR. Robert Balsamo is a B-list 9/11 conspiracy huckster who sells videos to gullible "truthers."

> And all the audio recording between the pilots and air traffic control were destroyed by one of the air traffickers.

Nope! The tapes that were destroyed were just interviews by a manager with his air traffic controllers.

The report found that an FAA manager tape-recorded an hour-long interview with the controllers just hours after the hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. His intention was to provide the information quickly to the FBI. But months after the recording, the tape was never turned over to the FBI and another FAA manager decided on his own to destroy the tape, crushing it with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into several trash cans, the report said.

The existence of the tape and its destruction were revealed in a report that initially was to find whether the FAA had fully cooperated with an independent panel investigating the terrorist attacks after the panel complained last fall that it needed more information from the agency. Inspector General Kenneth M. Mead found that the FAA never intentionally withheld information, but he condemned the managers' actions and said they were required to keep such evidence for five years.

The report said investigators were told that the tape was never listened to, copied or transcribed.

"The destruction of evidence in the Government's possession, in this case an audiotape -- particularly during times of national crisis -- has the effect of fostering an appearance that information is being withheld from the public," the report says. "We do not ascribe motivations to the managers in this case of attempting to cover-up, and we have no indication there was anything on the tape that would lead anyone to conclude that they had something to hide or that the controllers did not properly carry out their duties on September 11. The actions of these managers . . . nonetheless, do little to dispel such appearances."

The FAA yesterday said it had taken disciplinary action against the employee who destroyed the tape. That manager, identified by a source familiar with the investigation as Kevin Delaney, was last week given a 20-day suspension without pay. Delaney appealed that decision, the source said, confirming a report last night by Newsday. The employee who recorded the tape, Mike McCormick, was not subject to a disciplinary procedure and is in Iraq for the FAA, helping to set up an air traffic control system, the source added.

http://www.911myths.com/index.php/FAA_destroyed_tapes

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:46 PM

48. Scary, ain't it?

Similar speculations got me labeled here today

http://www.democraticunderground.com/113510039#post10

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Response to Mira (Reply #48)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:28 PM

67. Well, to be fair....you were wrong.

I don't see where anybody labelled you either.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #67)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:45 PM

74. Well

When bullshit is mentioned three times in a very short note with not much else in it I think it may be personal

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Response to Mira (Reply #74)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:36 PM

85. No.

Bullshit is just bullshit.
I don't see any malice in your post or in any of the responses.
You just haven't dug deep enough beyond the usual Gage/Jones bullshit.

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:13 PM

60. :facepalm:

Didn't Computer Codes Show Cockpit Doors Were Never Breached During 911???

Doors weren't instrumented.

And all the audio recording between the pilots and air traffic control were destroyed by one of the air traffickers.

Voice recorders were recovered from the planes.

I received by B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering and even in 1998 Boeing was outfitting jetliners with drone like automated systems to fly and crash the planes for various crash tests.

Automated systems were put into planes for crash tests back in the 1950s. They only put them in the planes that they were crashing.

Also, such automated systems have very short range - a chase plane had to control the plane to be crashed.

but hey we live in a country where George Zimmerman and Ted Cruz can claim God represents their actions.

There have always been crazy people.

If you want to claim some sort of conspiracy, then at least make it plausible. Such as Team W knew it was coming but thought it would be like the airplane that crashed into the Empire State Building shortly after WWII - bad for the plane, not too bad for the building.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #60)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 01:03 AM

124. C-Span

 

I watched a C-Span recording of a pilots association conference where this was claimed regarding the cockpit doors. And CNN did a lengthy report on the destruction of the communications with the tower. I'm not sure if those tapes were the recordings on the towers end or the voice recorders.

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #124)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 10:05 AM

127. Just because it was on C-Span doesn't make it true. (nt)

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:14 PM

62. Um, no.

There are no recorders on that plane that record anything for the cockpit door. Pre-9/11 there weren't even any wires attached to that door. As far as remote-control systems go, Boeing has done as you said and will continue to do so, but only to their own planes for testing purposes.

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:52 PM

78. That sounds like absolute woo to me. Sounds like you've been shopped a real bill of goods. nt

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Response to billhicks76 (Reply #40)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:33 PM

84. Yeah ... and the phone calls from crew and passengers

 

made just before the planes crashed, detailing the hijackings and terrorists controlling the plane were just recorded in a sound studio in Burbank right?

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Response to herding cats (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:22 PM

14. They made them lockable after hijackings happened

didn't they?
They did not have doors in the past, before that. At least that's what I remember

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Response to Mira (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:26 PM

17. Yes, this was after 9/11 that it was required the doors bolted after the cabin doors were closed.

This may be one of those things they have to rethink in the future.

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Response to Mira (Reply #14)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:27 PM

66. They were always lockable. The doors were reinforced and a strict lock policy was set.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:01 AM

114. there is keypad entry from the outside that any crew member can use

 

but it can be overridden from the cockpit by manually holding a toggle switch on to lock.

As today's news shows, the co-pilot was breathing normally to the end and apparently holding the toggle switch on 'lock.'

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #114)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 11:21 AM

117. It's so very sad.

Suicide is tragic enough, but taking a whole plane of people with you when you do...that's just horrific. I cannot imagine the debth of grief of the loved ones of all those killed. Especially the co-pilot's family.

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Response to johnfunk (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:47 PM

30. If the pilot was merely incapacitated, why did he program the plane for descent?

Assuming it was something medical (stroke, etc), wouldn't the plane have kept flying at altitude instead of being sent on a slow and steady descent?

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:12 PM

2. Well, that pretty dramatically narrows the possibilities.

If the voice recorder didn't record any kind of cockpit emergency, and no sound of a struggle to indicate hijacking, that pretty much just leaves two options:

1. A medical emergency with the pilot who remained in the cockpit left him unable to fly the plane or open the door.

2. Suicide along the same lines as EgyptAir 990 (e.g. pilot decided to off himself and take his passengers with him)

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Response to Xithras (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:33 PM

44. or three - an accident - like a blown out window maybe a bird crash. a very big bird like ostrich

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #44)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:49 PM

49. Maybe a goose or comarant

Ostrich and emus are flightless.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #49)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:14 PM

61. I was kind of kidding, I thought perhaps a flaw in the plane could cause an air leak.

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #61)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 02:00 AM

95. If there was such an air leak, the other pilot banging on the door would be unconscious.

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Response to TexasProgresive (Reply #49)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:53 PM

79. Swallows carrying a coconut

 

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #79)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:37 PM

86. European or African?

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Response to EX500rider (Reply #86)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:20 AM

90. laden or unladen? nt

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #79)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:04 AM

99. ah coconuts migrating - ah yes, I remember so well.

I think I saw spamalot more than just about anyone here, friends kept giving me free tickets because I said I liked the show, heh. Wish I could get other tickets so easily,

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Response to hollysmom (Reply #44)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:07 PM

58. Not at 28,000 feet. Birds don't fly that high.

And a blown out window would make a hell of a lot of noise on the voice recorder.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #58)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:20 PM

64. Right for the noise maybe wrong for the bird strike at 28000

1986 A6-E intruder hit a turkey buzzard at 30,000 feet. Also
The altitude record is held by a Rüppell's griffon Gyps rueppelli, a vulture with a 10-foot wingspan. On November 29, 1975 one was sucked into a jet engine 37,900 feet above the Ivory Coast in West Africa.

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #64)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:59 PM

88. Question

 

is that something you have just walked around knowing until this magic moment, or did you look it up.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #88)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:20 AM

106. When I was in the Navy we had a Intruder get hit

at 30000 so i had first hand knowledge of that. So I was skeptical of the statement birds can't fly that high. Why you mad bro?

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Response to MyNameGoesHere (Reply #106)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 09:13 AM

111. Mad?

 

No. Just amazed.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #111)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 09:31 AM

113. Well it wan't a "magic moment"

it was something I had knowledge of. So are you mad?

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Response to Xithras (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:41 PM

47. Or a hijack - person waits for pilot to leave, knocks for entry, they let hijacker in thinking

he is pilot.

I don't think a suicide would have been conducted in quite this way - it appears that the plane was guided in the descent. But a botched hijacking might explain it.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #47)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:06 PM

57. Pilot probably would have said something

And there would have been some noise of a struggle.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #57)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:23 PM

65. Yes, you're right about that.

If a suicide, it is not the first. There have been already quite a few incidents, some fatal, some not, of deranged pilots.

It's just - there have been enough already. It seems quite unlikely that there would have been another! Because it goes without saying that this is a suicde-mass murder, if that's what happened.

Do we have to have the air marshals in the cockpit now???

God help those left behind to cope with this.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #2)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:18 PM

63. Not a medical emergency.

The person outside has the override code to get in with a half minute of delay, during which the flight crew can manually lock the door (in case of someone being overcome by hijackers and forced to provide the code).

Even the deliberate lock out is supposed to have a 20 minute delay, I have read, but that was more than enough time. Pilot suicide is not unprecedented, sadly, and may be the most likely.

You would think that the voice recorder would have captured something from any attempt to hijack.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:13 PM

4. pilot suicide ...nt

 

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Response to quadrature (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:14 PM

5. And a potential act of terror.

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Response to quadrature (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:15 PM

7. Or a pilot stroke. Or heart attack. Or aneurysm. Or seizure.

Suicide is one possibility, but there are other explanations that don't require us to assume that the guy deliberately murdered a planeful of people.

But...you can be sure that the investigators will be looking closely at the pilots recent background, to see if there's any signs of depression or even less savory intent.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:18 PM

10. And with the pilot's body likely in a million pieces, determining that will be very, very difficult

 

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:20 PM

41. Door Locked

 

Too coincidental to not be intentional given the lack of verbal response.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:53 PM

52. The doors have emergency override codes. The door must have been deliberately locked from the inside

if the captain could not get back in. This did not happen by accident.

Hijack gone wrong or suicide.

I don't think you can discount hijack at all.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:54 PM

80. Exactly--they'll do a brutally intrusive forensic examination of their lives, just to

rule anything out...or in.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 07:29 AM

103. Or sadly, given the times we live in, recent religious conversion.

I don't want to think that someone, especially an airline pilot, deliberately crashed a plane full of human beings into a mountain but it has happened before and terrorism has been the motive.

According to the experts I'm hearing a flight attendant was supposed to go into the cockpit when the one pilot left. Either this protocol wasn't followed in which case the 'heart attack' scenario is possible or it was and the pilot disabled the flight attendant or perhaps the flight attendant disabled the pilot.

It's all speculation at this point.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:18 PM

9. "Hey, you did lock the door behind you when you first left, right?" n/t

 

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:21 PM

12. Whoa!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:30 PM

18. I don't like the sound of this one bit.

Call me skeptical, but whoa...

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Response to TheCowsCameHome (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:32 PM

20. Makes me very nervous

but it's time to hold the horses.....

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Response to TheCowsCameHome (Reply #18)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:46 PM

27. The pilot or copilot had to take a leak

and the remaining person in the cockpit had an MI or stroke and was incapacitated and unable to unlock the door.

That could be a very reasonable explanation.

They might never know. This is just tragic.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #27)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:46 PM

75. That doesn't explain the 2000 feet per minute controlled descent.

Someone set that in to the autopilot.

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #75)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:02 PM

81. Yeah, that's really weird

I have no idea how that could be programmed by someone losing consciousness.

Just playing devil's advocate here, trying to come up with a non suicide/mass murder alternative.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:37 PM

22. K&R n/t

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:40 PM

24. Wonder if any passengers made calls once they heard the pilot banging on the

Cockpit door.

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Response to Gin (Reply #24)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:53 PM

33. Probably not.

While cellphones can work on planes at altitudes under 10,000 feet, you're still going to need to be within about 10 miles of a cell tower to get a signal. Flying over a mountain range, that's going to be tough to achieve. The Alps are one of the few places in Europe where cellphone coverage isn't ubiquitous.

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Response to Gin (Reply #24)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:59 PM

54. It's a pretty remote area. I doubt there is coverage there.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:42 PM

25. Shades of EgyptAir 990

October 31, 1999

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Response to DemoTex (Reply #25)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:03 PM

82. I thought about that, too

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:44 PM

26. sounds like a suicide to me n/t :-(

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:47 PM

28. It doesn't necessarily indicate evil intent

If you're currently trying to keep an airplane from falling out of the sky, you're probably not in a position to answer the door.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:47 PM

29. I've been flying every week for the last 15 months...

I am glad to say that after this weekend, all of that travel comes to an end as I start a new job back home!

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Response to Roland99 (Reply #29)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:57 PM

34. Congrats!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:49 PM

31. It sounds like suicide, not medical incapacitation

Someone in the cockpit sent the plane into a steady descent. If the pilot keeled over from a stroke while the plane was at cruising altitude, the plane should have continued at that altitude for a while despite his incapacitation.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:58 PM

36. Exactly right. Sounds like suicide.

 

From all accounts this was a fairly rapid yet controlled, steady (read:intentional) descent. It's not like someone flying a Cessna who has a MI and falls forward onto the yoke. Besides, in an Airbus it's a stick to your left or right depending on the seat you're in.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:01 PM

38. There's no way to know.

When my grandfather had his first stroke, he didn't just keel over. He stood up and started yelling for my grandmother, complaining about the mess in the living room and wanting to know why she hadn't cleaned it up yet. My grandfather and grandmother had been divorced and living apart for nearly 30 years at that point. And his living room was spotless.

Some medical emergencies don't simply knock you out, but alter your perception of reality. In that state, there's no telling what might have been going through his head. There's also a possibility that the pilot was unable to leave his seat but was able comprehend that there was going to be a problem, and decided to change the planes course in a way that would give the rest of the flight crew more time to gain access to the cockpit. He may have simply been unable to complete his planned course alteration.

It's all just speculation right now, but nothing has been released yet to indicate that it was anything more than an accident.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:02 PM

39. Maybe, but one of the "experts" on tv who was a pilot of an Airbus said that plane

also has a lot of auto systems that sense mountains and other obstacles in the flight path. I do not know how that system would respond to that kind of a sensor, but some kind of avoidance sounds logical to me.

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Response to napi21 (Reply #39)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 02:10 AM

96. Except that in avoiding a mountain the last thing you want to do is descend.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:41 PM

46. with 150 other poor souls along for the ride?

That's more than suicide.

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Response to TheCowsCameHome (Reply #46)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:44 PM

73. Agreed

If it was deliberate, it was probably an assassination.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:12 PM

59. That is unfortunately my thought. They will be investigating the background of the pilots

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 09:18 AM

112. Was he planning on the other pilot leaving?

 


It was a relatively short flight.

If the other pilot went to the lavatory, that's something of a random opportunity.

Unless there was some other reason for the locked-out pilot to have left, which the remaining pilot arranged.

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Response to mainer (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:39 PM

121. Sounds more like murder. It isn't suicide when you intentionally kill 150 people.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:58 PM

35. Was it a controlled descent?

 

That's the million dollar question.

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Response to Android3.14 (Reply #35)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:58 PM

53. Yes, apparently it was. Some have speculated that it was on autopilot, but

it seems not quite right to that according to some of the pilots I've been reading.

But a hijacker might want to drop altitude quite quickly too, and then something went wrong at the end???

Whatever the answer, and it may not ever be known, this appears to have been a malign act.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:58 PM

37. Weird. It will be interesting to see what they figure out.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:31 PM

43. This happened to a Delta flight a few months ago when the door became jammed

 

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #43)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:04 PM

55. Yes, but there is always someone in the cockpit, so someone would have been flying the plane.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:37 PM

45. Another one where a third person in the cockpit

might have saved it.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:52 PM

50. Egyptian airline a few years ago...

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]I seem to remember a similar scenario. Does anyone else remember that one?

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Response to silverweb (Reply #50)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:31 PM

69. Here's a list of the stated

http://news.aviation-safety.net/2013/12/22/list-of-aircraft-accidents-caused-by-pilot-suicide/

But then I wonder about shit like this too:
http://www.newser.com/story/154610/imposter-pilot-nabbed-after-europe-flight.html
Italian cops have arrested a man who's been posing as a pilot for months or longer. The unnamed man sure seemed like a pilot—down to fake flight crew buddies in his Facebook photos—and he managed to ride in the cockpit at least once this year as a "third pilot" during a flight from Turin to Munich.


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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #69)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 01:00 AM

91. DemoTex mentioned it early on.

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]I missed it. EgyptAir 990, 10/31/1999.

To me, that was "a few years ago." I'm getting old.

On edit: The 2nd part of your post is downright scary!

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Response to silverweb (Reply #91)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:50 AM

110. Well we know now that it was the copilot and it was deliberate

In many ways that raises more questions than it answers, and one's heart wrings for the survivors.

I am sure this will produce some changes, but mental illness is hard to detect.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #110)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 05:34 PM

122. Agreed.

[font color="navy" face="Verdana"]Absolutely horrific.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:52 PM

51. Has the name of the pilot that remained in the cockpit been released yet.?

 

As of this morning, they weren't disclosing either pilots name.

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Response to Purveyor (Reply #51)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:32 PM

70. They don't seem to have said which one it was.

Maybe they don't know.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:29 PM

68. Oh man... how awful is that?!

Those poor people onboard.

Oh man...

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:33 PM

71. Starting to look bad.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:41 PM

72. Le Monde is running the same story

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 10:49 PM

76. This is very odd. In the US, there is a rule

that if a pilot leaves the flight deck for any reason (bathroom, etc.), a flight attendant or other qualified crew member has to come inside until that pilot comes back. That's to ensure that a pilot is never alone in the flight deck because of the possibility of incapacitation (or something more nefarious). The door is supposed to be locked from the inside, so if someone were in the flight deck all alone and fell over dead nobody could get in right away. The FAs know the door code, and if they want to come in they first call the flight deck. If nobody answers they can enter the code and the door will unlock, but only after a period of time has elapsed with no response (there is also a way of preventing the door from unlocking if a hijacking is suspected). But, since this was not a US airline, maybe they don't have the same rule about requiring two people to occupy the flight deck at all times.

So maybe one pilot goes to the bathroom and in the meantime the other one becomes incapacitated. If that's what happened, why wasn't the FA or the other pilot able to get the door open? Why did the airplane go into a controlled descent? If I'm a crazy pilot who wants to commit suicide I'm going to auger that thing into the ground right now before anybody can get the door open, instead of cruising relatively slowly into a mountain - unless maybe he didn't want anyone to know it was suicide? Or maybe he fell over dead from a heart attack and somehow disconnected the autopilot, but that seems unlikely too because the A320 has a sidestick rather than a conventional yoke - unless he collapsed sideways instead of forward. If that happened, maybe he was leaning on the sidestick and causing the airplane to descend. But if he was leaning sideways on it, the airplane would probably turn as well. And why wasn't anybody able to get into the flight deck? The news report says there were sounds of someone trying to break it open.

Curiouser and curiouser.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #76)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:56 PM

87. Pilot remaining in cockpit goes on oxygen during the time other pilot is away, too?

I recall that the pilot who remains in the cockpit is also required to don the mask or other oxygen delivery device during the time the other pilot is away?

Could there have been a problem with that device? Perhaps putting the PIC into a confused state where he thought a decent was called for?

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Response to Ready4Change (Reply #87)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:09 AM

89. That's true also.

But when the mask is put on as a precaution it supplies cabin air mixed with 02 (depending on cabin air pressure) unless the pilot selects the emergency setting, and only then does it supply 100% 02 under pressure. So I don't think that's it.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #76)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 01:14 AM

92. I've never seen a FA go into the cockpit on a plane like an A320

If a pilot goes to the bathroom, the flight attendant blocks the aisle to the galley area and bathroom behind it with a rolling meal cart.

The attendant stands behind the cart while the pilot goes to the bathroom.

Never seen a flight attendant go into the cockpit on a single-aisle type aircraft and stay there in place of an indisposed pilot.

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Response to KeepItReal (Reply #92)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 01:26 AM

94. I have, many times.

The airline I worked for has a FA enter the flight deck if one of the pilots has to leave. This is the normal procedure for US carriers, as this article, discussing the A320 accident, explains:

Doors are opened during restroom and meal breaks, and some carriers may have less stringent policies than others on visits from outsiders.

Here is scenario based on this statement. One of the two pilots left the cockpit on a restroom break, but did not invite a flight attendant to take his place in the cockpit. In the United States of America and on a US flag carrier this would have been standard procedure.

Once this pilot left the cockpit, only the other remaining pilot in the cockpit would have been able to open the door. According to an expert eTN talked to, this door has to be opened from the inside. Was there a situation, a loss in cabin pressure, or unexpected medical condition preventing the remaining pilot to open the cockpit door? Was the other pilot simply asleep when the first pilot tried to come back into the cockpit?

It is standard for US flag carriers to always have two people in the cockpit. So yes, when a pilot uses the bathroom, a flight attendant will go in. This is to be able to open the cockpit door if the remaining co-pilot becomes incapacitated.


http://www.eturbonews.com/56941/germanwings-pilot-was-trying-smash-cockpit-door-down

Also this: http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-german-jet-crash-door-20150325-story.html

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Response to KeepItReal (Reply #92)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:28 AM

115. Per this morning's news, Lufthansa didn't have a policy

of having a FA enter the cockpit when a pilot leaves, unlike US airlines. But I bet they will now.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #76)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 10:55 AM

116. There isn't such a rule in Europe

and the pilot attempted to use the keypad to re-enter the cockpit but the override was engaged from the other side.

Unlike in the US, European regulations do not provide for two people to be in the cockpit at all times, Spohr said. Lufthansa does not voluntarily implement such a protocol, and Spohr said that he is not aware of any of the company’s competitors that have such a procedure.
Spohr said that it appears the captain punched in the emergency number into the cockpit door to gain entry, but the co-pilot deployed the five-minute over-ride. He said that, irrespective of all the sophisticated safety devices, “you can never exclude such an individual event”, adding “no system in the world could manage to do that”.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/26/germanwings-plane-crash-investigation-press-conference-live-updates-4u9525

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:30 PM

83. So much for "mechanical failure". nt

 

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 01:23 AM

93. It's not out of the question that the co-pilot fell asleep

A pilot leaves to use the rest room; the other pilot has headphones on; nods off; and doesn't hear the knocking. Medical episode, suicide, and terror are also possibilities. Failure for the plane to properly pressurize can't be ruled out. If the co-pilot went on oxygen while the co-pilot left the cockpit, the possibility exists that the tank was filled with something other than O2 (NO2, CO2, etc.), whic could have been a horrible accident or an intentional act of sabotage.

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Response to Algernon Moncrieff (Reply #93)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 02:15 AM

97. It looks more and more like a terror attack.

 

An expert on CNN just explained that it takes "a positive action" from inside of the cockpit to prevent someone (who has punched in the correct code) from getting in.
Basically, the pilot who remained in the cockpit had to literally FLIP a switch in order to deny access.

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #97)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 02:49 AM

98. Or suicide

 

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #98)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:26 AM

109. Psychological problems=Suicide Recent religious conversion or extremist political beliefs=Terrorism

At any rate it was horrific and frighteningly deliberate. The gradual descent now makes sense. The alarm bells didn't start going off in the crew's mind until the last few minutes.

The poor crew and passengers knew they were going to die and could do nothing about it.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:52 AM

100. Mahalo for this, Mira.. so very sad for the victims and their loved ones.



Interesting first comment..
gf
Novato, CA 15 hours ago
I know hundreds of other folks will ask the same question, but I'll put it out here anyway: Just how many aircraft disasters is it going to take before the airline industry joins the digital age and transmits all flight data electronically and stores it in a safe, secure location, instead of a little black box that goes down with the aircraft?

Really strange that one of the pilots left the cockpit and couldn't get back in.. those poor poor people

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 05:07 AM

102. No mention of passengers or flight attendents voices in this partial

release of information. I would think by the time the pilot was banging --others would notice and begin asking What is the matter? or such questions and would be heard on the recording. Maybe.?? Maybe just not picked up (remember that the recorder is INside the cockpit. But it Did up the 'knocking lightly' Actually--in re-reading the OP--there is no mention of actual voices--just the crescendo of knocking noices

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Response to riversedge (Reply #102)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:20 AM

107. WHOW--just heard that Screams were heard and crash was deliberate......

I had talked myself out of my scenario and questions--but screams WERE heard.


Oh how horrible--the passengers knew they were going to crash. This makes it so much worse!

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 07:33 AM

104. Airbus seems to use the keypad and 30 second override system described above

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 07:40 AM

105. It struck me how quick the authorities were to downplay the possibility of terrorism or criminality

This seemed rather strange under the circumstances. It was also strange how the media also sort of backed off the criminal angle from the get go. Usually they are all over any possibility of terrorism. I wonder if the German authorities were in the process of gathering evidence on the flight crew and their associates before this story leaked and had asked for a news embargo.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:24 AM

108. Suicide and mass murder.

That's my bet.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 12:58 PM

118. Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot 'wanted to destroy plane'

The co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, named as Andreas Lubitz, appeared to want to "destroy the plane", officials said.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, citing information from the "black box" voice recorder, said the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit.

He intentionally started a descent while the pilot was locked out.

Mr Robin said there was "absolute silence in the cockpit" as the pilot fought to re-enter it.

He said air traffic controllers made repeated attempts to contact the aircraft, but to no avail. Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, he added

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32063587

-------------------

click


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Response to Baclava (Reply #118)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 03:14 PM

120. The last sentence made me shiver.

Those poor people.

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 01:30 PM

119. This is a direct result of the War On Terra.

 

Cockpit doors didn't have those kind of locks before Nineleven(TM).

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Response to Mira (Original post)

Mon Mar 30, 2015, 04:48 AM

126. What if the Pilot had gone to the bathroom in Barcelona?

and never left the cockpit?
Was the co-pilot waiting for a flight in which the pilot leaves?
Does the pilot always leave?

If the pilot does not always leave the cockpit,
then this was a spontaneous decision to crash the plane.

a combination of circumstances?

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