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Author Topic: Another plane missing  (Read 22166 times)
Samwise
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Reply #70 on: March 25, 2015, 08:25:51 PM

What happens if one pilot leaves the cockpit and then a terrorist kills him with a nail clipper to get his keys?  Better to not have keys.

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Reply #71 on: March 25, 2015, 08:47:18 PM

That's pretty fucked up. Imagine being a passenger seeing one of the pilots trying to break down the cockpit door for multiple minutes while your plane is rapidly descending for 8 minutes.

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Reply #72 on: March 25, 2015, 08:58:11 PM

Article for those curious about him getting locked out.

Sounds like he was expecting to be let back in by the copilot.
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Reply #73 on: March 25, 2015, 09:51:26 PM

So the copilot either somehow has an attack or stroke in that exact 10 minute window, or decides this is the suicide moment he's been waiting his career for.

Jesus. I assume if they can hear the knocking on the door by the pilot then they would have heard chatter prior to the pilot leaving, right?
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Reply #74 on: March 26, 2015, 03:13:25 AM

What i read about modern cockpit doors is that they have a keypad with an emergency code. After entering the code there is a chime signal and the pilot(s) have X seconds to press an override or the door opens.

The idea behind this system is to allow entry in situations everyone in the cockpit is incapacitated while also preventing a possible hijacker access by forcing a flight attendant to reveal the code.

If this setup is universal across all airlines or if LH planes are equipped differently I can't say.

Edut: Found an official video containing the details (and some bad acting):

 Airbus Reinforced Cockpit Door Description and Procedure - YouTube 5:33
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 06:07:53 AM by calapine »

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Reply #75 on: March 26, 2015, 08:09:41 AM

This is like the worst version ever of leaving your keys on the kitchen table as the door closes behind you.

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Reply #76 on: March 26, 2015, 09:13:34 AM

News reports out now indicate they apparently have evidence from the flight recorder that the copilot locked the pilot out (inside the cockpit you can apparently jam whatever emergency access that someone outside might have via a keypad) and then began a deliberate descent with the intent to crash the plane. http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/26/germanwings-plane-crash-investigation-press-conference-live-updates-4u9525
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Reply #77 on: March 26, 2015, 10:29:36 AM

News reports out now indicate they apparently have evidence from the flight recorder that the copilot locked the pilot out (inside the cockpit you can apparently jam whatever emergency access that someone outside might have via a keypad) and then began a deliberate descent with the intent to crash the plane. http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/mar/26/germanwings-plane-crash-investigation-press-conference-live-updates-4u9525

IB4 the Muslim/Islam angle.  why so serious?

Yeah, I fully think the next step will be to pursue any story that makes this guy out to have a connection to some radical Islamic group - true or not. Anything to promote security and safety against terrorism!

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Reply #78 on: March 26, 2015, 10:40:57 AM

Afraid not. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/03/26/395501662/details-emerge-about-germanwings-co-pilot-andreas-lubitz

28-year old German living in Montabaur, Germany, where he grew up. Had wanted to be a pilot ever since he was a boy. Had passed a psychological screening, passed rigorous training, had a solid flight record and at this point no evidence of any disorder, though his training had a mysterious interruption that the company so far has no explanation for.

Edit: One speculation I'm seeing in several places is that Lubitz was hoping that it might look like an accident so that the beneficiaries of his estate could receive insurance payouts, which would explain why he didn't just nosedive to the ground but continued instead on the flight path for ten minutes. I suppose if we find out that he was in serious financial difficulties that theory will gain credence.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 10:44:11 AM by Khaldun »
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Reply #79 on: March 26, 2015, 11:02:52 AM

Fucking asshole. Just kill yourself and don't drag 150 innocent people into it.

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Reply #80 on: March 26, 2015, 11:34:03 AM

Fucking asshole. Just kill yourself and don't drag 150 innocent people into it.

So much THIS, fuck it.

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Reply #81 on: March 26, 2015, 11:49:34 AM

28-year old German living in Montabaur, Germany, where he grew up. Had wanted to be a pilot ever since he was a boy. Had passed a psychological screening, passed rigorous training, had a solid flight record and at this point no evidence of any disorder, though his training had a mysterious interruption that the company so far has no explanation for.

They have an explanation for it, ie. the company knows why and the BEA accident investigators will (probably) have access to the records. What LH can't at that point is read out his entire medical history for the public ("Two heartinfacts, treatment for impotence") on a press conference.


Edit: One speculation I'm seeing in several places is that Lubitz was hoping that it might look like an accident so that the beneficiaries of his estate could receive insurance payouts, which would explain why he didn't just nosedive to the ground but continued instead on the flight path for ten minutes. I suppose if we find out that he was in serious financial difficulties that theory will gain credence.

Obviously his thought process wasn't normal, but it's hard to image how he could think he would get away with that. The FDR records "everything": stick inputs, position of the control surfaces, changes to the autopilot, etc... So even if there is only a single command initiating a dive, followed by no further pilot action for the next 8 minutes, it's already obvious what's going on. Add to that that the voice recording from the CVR, which as this accident shows are sensitive enough to pick up breathing (and a struggle, knocking on the door,...) thus ruling out pilot incapacitation. And a trained pilot is aware of this.

So it's hard to imagine he initiated a shallow dive with the purpose of fooling accident investigators or an insurance company.

Addendum: It's possible to deactivate both FDR and CVR via their circuit breakers, but a) seems this wasn't done in this case b) would be a red-flag in itself and spoil an attempt to have it appear like a simple accident.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 11:56:15 AM by calapine »

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Reply #82 on: March 26, 2015, 11:54:49 AM

No matter what, there's going to be something wrong/pathological in his reasoning process if they're right and he did it on purpose. It's really just going to be a question of which awful kind of brokenness they're going to find clues about.

He pretty much has to have done it on purpose at any rate if his pilot was banging on the door and frantically inputting the code for entry only to be overriden each time. The only scenarios that allow him to be wholly innocent are scenarios in which he was incapacitated physically, and if that was the case, he wouldn't have been overriding the code. The fact that they don't even hear him breathing heavily means he was very likely pretty methodical about it--this wasn't an impulsive kind of derangement.
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Reply #83 on: March 26, 2015, 11:59:26 AM

Obviously his thought process wasn't normal, but it's hard to image how he could think he would get away with that. The FDR records "everything": stick inputs, position of the control surfaces, changes to the autopilot, etc... So even if there is only a single command initiating a dive, followed by no further pilot action for the next 8 minutes, it's already obvious what's going on. Add to that that the voice recording from the CVR, which as this accident shows are sensitive enough to pick up breathing (and a struggle, knocking on the door,...) thus ruling out pilot incapacitation. And a trained pilot is aware of this.

So it's hard to imagine he initiated a shallow dive with the purpose of fooling accident investigators or an insurance company.

Addendum: It's possible to deactivate both FDR and CVR via their circuit breakers, but a) seems this wasn't done in this case b) would be a red-flag in itself and spoil an attempt to have it appear like a simple accident.
The recording for the FDR is, strangely, completely missing. Not damaged, unless it was somehow pulverized to molecules, but just not there.

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Reply #84 on: March 26, 2015, 12:00:05 PM

No matter what, there's going to be something wrong/pathological in his reasoning process if they're right and he did it on purpose. It's really just going to be a question of which awful kind of brokenness they're going to find clues about.

He pretty much has to have done it on purpose at any rate if his pilot was banging on the door and frantically inputting the code for entry only to be overriden each time. The only scenarios that allow him to be wholly innocent are scenarios in which he was incapacitated physically, and if that was the case, he wouldn't have been overriding the code. The fact that they don't even hear him breathing heavily means he was very likely pretty methodical about it--this wasn't an impulsive kind of derangement.

That he did it on purpose seems to be confirmed now. I guess it's only a question if it was a spur of the moment decision or a prepared plan to kill 150 people. My comments were regarding this statement: " One speculation I'm seeing in several places is that Lubitz was hoping that it might look like an accident so that the beneficiaries of his estate could receive insurance payouts, which would explain why he didn't just nosedive to the ground"

Edit: I just watched the press conference by the investigators. The prosecutor said that the co-pilot initiated the descendent via the altitude selector of the auto pilot. He must have known that this alone would make any benign "passed out and fell on the flight stick" accident interpretation implausible. Which is why I think the insurance-scam theory is unlikely.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 12:23:09 PM by calapine »

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Reply #85 on: March 26, 2015, 01:07:08 PM

I'm betting on the fact he was a psychopath and nobody put the pieces together.

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Reply #86 on: March 26, 2015, 01:10:44 PM

Found this posted by the people running Flightradar24.com. Transponder data shows the AP was set to a flying height of 96 feet.

Code:
09:30:55Z.397 MCP/FMC ALT: 96 ft QNH: 1006.0 hPa

He set the plane to fly into the ground and then waited the next minutes.  sad

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Reply #87 on: March 26, 2015, 01:12:16 PM

I'm betting on the fact he was a psychopath and nobody put the pieces together.

Not like it even really matters. One reason or another, this kind of stuff is just going to keep happening until we eventually get around to replacing pilots with automated systems.
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Reply #88 on: March 26, 2015, 01:15:01 PM

Right now though I'd say that the "psychopath/suicidal pilot who killed his passengers" is running at least even with "skilled pilot saved passengers by making smart decisions in tough situations that even the best automated systems couldn't have handled well."
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Reply #89 on: March 26, 2015, 01:15:32 PM

I'm betting on the fact he was a psychopath and nobody put the pieces together.

Not like it even really matters. One reason or another, this kind of stuff is just going to keep happening until we eventually get around to replacing pilots with automated systems.

Was there a sudden spike in people intentionally flying planes into the ground I'm unaware of?

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Reply #90 on: March 26, 2015, 01:39:18 PM

Right now though I'd say that the "psychopath/suicidal pilot who killed his passengers" is running at least even with "skilled pilot saved passengers by making smart decisions in tough situations that even the best automated systems couldn't have handled well."

Uh, without feeling like doing lots of research to compare numbers I am still pretty sure you are wrong on that. The only big incidents in recent times that are attributed (or reasonably suspected) to be 'psychopath pilot kills passengers' were SilkAir Flight 185 and Egypt Air 990. I guess MH 370 and 4U9525 now can be added to that list, but 4 planes in >30 years is easily dwarfed by the number of situations during the same timespan that fall into the category 'went beyond what automation could do but were handled fine by human pilot'.

While I think automation will increase and contribute to safer flights by avoiding human error it's not a solution against malevolent pilots. Even when we are at a point that everything from take-off to landing is handled by the autopilot and all the pilot does is sip coffee and watch the dials, the human pilot still needs the authority to take manual control and override.

And I don't want planes that can be controlled remotely. If I have to take my chance between the possibility of a homicidal pilot in the cockpit and trusting an 'un-hackable' remote control interface I'll go with the former...
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 01:50:24 PM by calapine »

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Reply #91 on: March 26, 2015, 01:50:03 PM

Right, sorry--I meant to be politely skeptical about Goreschach saying that "robots must fly planes because humans keep crashing them in suicides". In fact it's quite clear that human pilots using their discretionary skills have saved many more lives than the miniscule number of suicide/murders by pilots have caused.
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Reply #92 on: March 26, 2015, 01:51:39 PM

Right now though I'd say that the "psychopath/suicidal pilot who killed his passengers" is running at least even with "skilled pilot saved passengers by making smart decisions in tough situations that even the best automated systems couldn't have handled well."

Uh, without feeling like doing lots of research to compare numbers I am still pretty sure you are wrong on that. The only big incidents in recent times that are attributed (or reasonably suspected) to be 'psychopath pilot kills passengers' were SilkAir Flight 185 and Egypt Air 990. I guess MH 370 and 4U9525 now can be added to that list, but 4 planes in >30 years is easily dwarfed by the number of situations during the same timespan that fall into the category 'went beyond what automation could do but were handled fine by human pilot'.

While I think automation will increase and contribute to safer flights by avoiding human error it's not a solution against malevolent pilots. Even when we are at a point that everything from take-off to landing is handled by the autopilot and all the pilot does is sip coffee and watch the dials, the human pilot still needs the authority to take manual control and override.

And I don't want planes that can be controlled remotely. If I have to take my chance between the possibility of a homicidal pilot in the cockpit and trusting an 'un-hackable' remote control interface I'll go with the former...
Are we not counting the 9/11 attacks as psychopaths?

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Reply #93 on: March 26, 2015, 01:51:49 PM

Right, sorry--I meant to be politely skeptical about Goreschach saying that "robots must fly planes because humans keep crashing them in suicides". In fact it's quite clear that human pilots using their discretionary skills have saved many more lives than the miniscule number of suicide/murders by pilots have caused.

Then I misunderstood your post. Apologies too.  Heart

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Reply #94 on: March 26, 2015, 02:00:15 PM

Right now though I'd say that the "psychopath/suicidal pilot who killed his passengers" is running at least even with "skilled pilot saved passengers by making smart decisions in tough situations that even the best automated systems couldn't have handled well."

Uh, without feeling like doing lots of research to compare numbers I am still pretty sure you are wrong on that. The only big incidents in recent times that are attributed (or reasonably suspected) to be 'psychopath pilot kills passengers' were SilkAir Flight 185 and Egypt Air 990. I guess MH 370 and 4U9525 now can be added to that list, but 4 planes in >30 years is easily dwarfed by the number of situations during the same timespan that fall into the category 'went beyond what automation could do but were handled fine by human pilot'.

While I think automation will increase and contribute to safer flights by avoiding human error it's not a solution against malevolent pilots. Even when we are at a point that everything from take-off to landing is handled by the autopilot and all the pilot does is sip coffee and watch the dials, the human pilot still needs the authority to take manual control and override.

And I don't want planes that can be controlled remotely. If I have to take my chance between the possibility of a homicidal pilot in the cockpit and trusting an 'un-hackable' remote control interface I'll go with the former...
Are we not counting the 9/11 attacks as psychopaths?

They're not relevant to the specific question here one way or the other, because they weren't committed by the actual pilots of the airplanes.

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Reply #95 on: March 26, 2015, 02:02:15 PM

Right now though I'd say that the "psychopath/suicidal pilot who killed his passengers" is running at least even with "skilled pilot saved passengers by making smart decisions in tough situations that even the best automated systems couldn't have handled well."

Uh, without feeling like doing lots of research to compare numbers I am still pretty sure you are wrong on that. The only big incidents in recent times that are attributed (or reasonably suspected) to be 'psychopath pilot kills passengers' were SilkAir Flight 185 and Egypt Air 990. I guess MH 370 and 4U9525 now can be added to that list, but 4 planes in >30 years is easily dwarfed by the number of situations during the same timespan that fall into the category 'went beyond what automation could do but were handled fine by human pilot'.

While I think automation will increase and contribute to safer flights by avoiding human error it's not a solution against malevolent pilots. Even when we are at a point that everything from take-off to landing is handled by the autopilot and all the pilot does is sip coffee and watch the dials, the human pilot still needs the authority to take manual control and override.

And I don't want planes that can be controlled remotely. If I have to take my chance between the possibility of a homicidal pilot in the cockpit and trusting an 'un-hackable' remote control interface I'll go with the former...
Are we not counting the 9/11 attacks as psychopaths?

Yes, they were psychopaths, but that was a case of outsiders taking control of a plane. How to prevent someone unauthorized from doing harm is a different problem than what to do when the person that is supposed to be in charge has bad intentions.

Edit: Posted too slow. Sjofn's husband already answered the question.  wink
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 02:07:20 PM by calapine »

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Reply #96 on: March 26, 2015, 02:24:04 PM

I'm betting on the fact he was a psychopath and nobody put the pieces together.

Not like it even really matters. One reason or another, this kind of stuff is just going to keep happening until we eventually get around to replacing pilots with automated systems.

This was kind of my kneejerk thought as well, but it's hard to imagine exactly what sort of automated system would prevent a thing like this and also not open up a bunch of other problems.  Self-driving cars are one thing because cars are comparatively limited in their ability to murder lots of people (you can easily kill a few people with a car but not, say, a skyscraper full) and if a car stops working it can just stop rather than plummeting to the ground into a massive fireball.

With a self-piloting plane, who sets the flight instructions?  Do they have to be on board the plane?  You haven't solved the suicidal pilot/hijack problem then.  Can someone remotely override the pilot?  Better hope your security is more airtight than anything ever invented (all the way along the chain, including whoever holds the keys on the ground), because you're going to have a LOT of people trying to crack it and it's going to be REALLY bad if they succeed.  What happens in the event of a failure that the software can't handle (failure with the software itself, with the instruments the software depends on, etc)?  Again, just stopping dead isn't an option when you're thousands of feet up, so it comes back to "who has the authority to control this thing?"  Yargh.

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Reply #97 on: March 26, 2015, 03:14:23 PM

Plus with remote control planes it's like.

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Reply #98 on: March 26, 2015, 03:42:04 PM

It's sad and tragic but there's not much to be done about a crazy man being crazy. You do your best to make sure the crazy man doesn't get to that position to begin with, but if they can hide the crazy... or just snap without warning... it's just not something anyone can do anything about really.

and the gate is like I TOO AM CAPABLE OF SPEECH
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Reply #99 on: March 26, 2015, 03:57:21 PM

Right, sorry--I meant to be politely skeptical about Goreschach saying that "robots must fly planes because humans keep crashing them in suicides". In fact it's quite clear that human pilots using their discretionary skills have saved many more lives than the miniscule number of suicide/murders by pilots have caused.

I'm not just talking about intentional crashes. Every time we have one of these kinds of incidents, everyone immediately starts babbling about every possible mechanical and control system failure under the sun. Then a few days or weeks later it's always human error. Pilot fucked up response to weather, proper safety checks weren't done, unplanned landing on the side of a mountain, whatever. It doesn't really matter. The common factor is always the people. Somebody didn't do the right thing. Bottom line is people are just less reliable than machines. Of course, people don't want to hear that.
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Reply #100 on: March 26, 2015, 04:00:25 PM

Your solution doesn't remove the people reliability issue, it just moves it to guys on the ground and IT systems dudes instead of pilots. Good luck screening sysadmins for crazy.

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Reply #101 on: March 26, 2015, 04:32:29 PM

Your solution doesn't remove the people reliability issue, it just moves it to guys on the ground and IT systems dudes instead of pilots. Good luck screening sysadmins for crazy.

Yep now when planes crash it's because our servers went down. Whoops.

Also centrally locating things make the problem worse. A terrorist organization doesn't have to highjack planes then, they just have to hack servers and crash them remote.

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Reply #102 on: March 26, 2015, 04:41:42 PM

Just like driverless cars.

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Reply #103 on: March 26, 2015, 04:45:04 PM

Honestly, engineers will tell you that complex mechanical systems have their own intrinsic sources of failure and that no machine system is error-proof. Some very much not so.  There is also no machine system anywhere in the world that does not interact with human choices and actions. Every mechanical system we have involves human interaction somewhere.
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Reply #104 on: March 26, 2015, 07:19:57 PM

Your solution doesn't remove the people reliability issue, it just moves it to guys on the ground and IT systems dudes instead of pilots. Good luck screening sysadmins for crazy.

Yep now when planes crash it's because our servers went down. Whoops.

Also centrally locating things make the problem worse. A terrorist organization doesn't have to highjack planes then, they just have to hack servers and crash them remote.

A sane system would have the airplanes flying autonomously rather than pinging every decision back to the ground -- you'd set a flight plan and the plane would use its own instruments to execute the plan.  I'd argue that for security you wouldn't want the system to even allow for people on the ground to override the pilot's instructions, because of precisely the issue you raise -- while there is absolutely security technology to make sure you're talking to the RIGHT person on the ground, nothing is foolproof; there might be a hole in the security, somebody might physically seize control of the machine that handles the central organization, etc.  You want the pilot to be able to get the plane down safely somewhere no matter what's happening at the airport.

That still leaves the pilot as a single point of failure, of course.

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