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posted by LaminatorX on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the trust-no-one dept.

BBC reports the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed in the Alps intentionally locked the pilot out of the cabin and initiated the flight's descent into the ground:

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.

Air traffic controllers made repeated attempts to contact the aircraft, but to no avail, he said.

The story seems SN-worthy because it is an object lesson in the consequences for our lives when we put complex machines and systems into the hands of others. In this case it was a trained pilot who killed a plane full of people who were powerless to stop him. Another example could be engineers who sabotage a dam and wipe out entire communities downstream. We mostly don't think about stuff like this because there is an invisible web of trust, sometimes called a "social contract," that leads people to get on a plane, or go to work, or take their kids to school without giving it a second thought. But when that social contract unravels, all bets are off...

 
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  • (Score: 0, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:33PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:33PM (#162790)

    This turns out to be another ISxx related plot, all public/private transportation people should have background checks periodically for ties to ISxx, and banned from service if involved in any way. Enough is enough.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM (#162801)

      All public and private? So background check *millions of people* periodically. At that level of paranoia and expense and logistical nightmare you might as well just make everyone walk.

      Also, what if he's a garden variety crazy and not anything to do with the terrorist-du-jour? Should we psych check everyone?

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:37PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:37PM (#162854)

        Yes, and yes. Do you personally know who is at the controls? It only takes one to slaughter hundreds. And, what logistical nightmare? I'm sure some 3-letter agency already has that info, all they need to do is take action and deport the sick fuc*s. Only the limp wristed flower lovers and terrorists would complain about it. This isn't Kansas anymore Dorothy, get used to it or do something about it.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by wantkitteh on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:32PM

          by wantkitteh (3362) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:32PM (#162892) Homepage Journal

          Flightradar24 [flightradar24.com] is listing 10853 planes in the air right now. Deliberately crashed commercial planes in the last 30 years can be counted on one hand - 3 [businessinsider.com] to be exact. Spending any further significant amount of time beyond the screenings already in place would do nothing but waste money and inconvenience passengers when pilots get grounded by the inevitable false positives. After all, since when were TLA's any good at actually catching terrorists without causing infinitely more collateral damage than good in the process?

          "All they need to do" - that says right there that you know nothing of which you speak. Go post your bullshit with your own kind where it belongs. [dailymail.co.uk]

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:49PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:49PM (#162898)

            Duhh ahh, OK Dorothy. Ignore what's happening and who wins?

      • (Score: 1) by cmdrklarg on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:24PM

        by cmdrklarg (5048) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:24PM (#162889)

        Periodic psych evals for airline pilots seems reasonable.

        --
        Answer now is don't give in; aim for a new tomorrow.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:16PM (#162961)

          It would only seem reasonable if they worked and the benefits outweighed the costs. Since this happens extremely, extremely rarely (assuming this was even intentional), that doesn't seem likely.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:18PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:18PM (#163264)

            Perhaps there is another reason the plane failed and someone is trying to cover it up? Maybe it was really a mechanical failure and the plane manufacturers don't want to look bad? Or the air traffic control accidentally messed something up but it's so much easier to blame dead pilots than it is to blame, say, air traffic controllers or the air traffic control system? Or the airlines did something wrong causing mechanical failure?

            These days, with huge conflicting reports among differing nations (ie: one country saying a military aircraft suffered mechanical failure while another saying it was shot down, depending on what country is speaking and what kinda propaganda is being pushed) who would know the difference? It's not like mainstream journalists really dig that deep. For all we know the reason the plane crashed could be something completely different from the various reports. Those responsible for determining what gets reported to the public (ie: reporters, airliners, government officials, etc...) could say or fabricate anything, it's not beyond them to do so, and who would know the difference.

      • (Score: 2) by sigma on Friday March 27 2015, @01:10AM

        by sigma (1225) on Friday March 27 2015, @01:10AM (#163048)

        The NSA etc already do that, and consistently fail to prevent incidents like this one.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:43PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:43PM (#162804) Journal

      Fuck man, you need to get the NSA/FBI/CIA/Lockheed/or whoever to send you back to astroturfing school. That's got to be the worst attempt I've seen it months.

    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:44PM

      by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:44PM (#162807)

      All public and private? So background check a million people periodically, or some such huge number. At that level of paranoia and expense and logistical nightmare you might as well just make everyone walk.

      Also, what if he's a garden variety crazy and not anything to do with the terrorist-du-jour? Should we psych check everyone? Or are background checks only acceptable when there's headlines at stake?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:46PM (#162811)

      > If... This turns out to be another ISxx related plot

      And if it doesn't? What conclusions will you draw from that?

      Here's an interesting fact. [unc.edu] Since 9/11 there have been more than 200,000 murders in the US. Of those, 50 of them were committed by people proclaiming some sort of islamic extremism as a motive. Not the only motive, just one of the claimed motives, some of the other motives being robbery, jealousy, etc. There have been so few terrorist attacks in the US that at least one american patriot felt he needed to fake one in order to make people understand the risk. [splcenter.org]

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:08PM

        by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:08PM (#162824) Journal

        Indeed. In fact you can go further. You can tot up all the "deaths by terrorist" across the world since 2001 and you still end up with a comparatively small number - a few hundred thousand at most. It sounds like a big number but worldwide, over 14 years? It's a rounding error. You're more likely to be killed by a faulty domestic appliance than a terrorist.

        Where's the trillion dollar War on Washing Machines?

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:32PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:32PM (#162850) Journal

          It's trillion dollar war on a political agenda.

        • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:14PM

          by isostatic (365) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:14PM (#162881) Journal

          Indeed. In fact you can go further. You can tot up all the "deaths by terrorist" across the world since 2001 and you still end up with a comparatively small number - a few hundred thousand at most. It sounds like a big number but worldwide, over 14 years? It's a rounding error. You're more likely to be killed by a faulty domestic appliance than a terrorist.

          Can you? You start off needing a definition of terror. Someone hiding miles away when they blow up a bomb at a wedding party - terror? Or accident? Someone lobbing missile after missile into a prison, killing thousands? Terror, or collateral damage? Someone starving to death after an invading country causing chaos through the region - terror, or accident?

          Traditional terror definitions (i.e. deaths affecting rich people - the stuff like the American funded Irish terrorists killing kids while they were out shopping) wouldn't come close to ten thousand, since the end of WWII.

          • (Score: 2) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:10PM

            by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:10PM (#162912) Journal

            You won't hear any argument from me, but I doubt the people you need to convince (ie those who champion the war on terror) would accept your definition of terror. By making a point using their definition you are more likely to persuade them.

            • (Score: 2) by isostatic on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:22PM

              by isostatic (365) on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:22PM (#162940) Journal

              What is their definition? The point is no matter how many people you include in "terror" victims, you still don't get to the level of deaths that the richest country in the world allows to occur for the simple reason of "freedom not to have health insurance", let alone the deaths from the "freedom to smoke cigarettes" (about 160 9/11s a year)

              The people you need to convince are the people making the money - the Haliburtons, the Perinis, the Raytheons, the Carlyle Groups of the world. Convince them there's no money to be made, and their employees will stop the fighting.

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by isostatic on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:09PM

        by isostatic (365) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:09PM (#162877) Journal

        Here's an interesting fact. Since 9/11 there have been more than 200,000 murders in the US

        Here's another interesting fact. Since 9/11 600,000 [harvard.edu] people have died in the US through not having health insurance.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by turgid on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:29PM

      by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:29PM (#162942) Journal

      It's probably indirectly related to terrorism in that, since 9/11, all aeroplane flight decks have had to have a locked door isolating the flight crew from everyone else while the vehicle is flying.

      This is what happened when one "safety" measure designed to prevent a certain occurrence inadvertently leads to another one...

      If the door hadn't been locked, the co-pilot would not have been able to do this.

      But TERRRISTS!!!!

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:44PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:44PM (#163014)

      AC to AC, FUCK YOU.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:33PM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:33PM (#162793) Journal

    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,

    For anyone reading this who thinks they have a shitty job, take a moment to think about the guy whose job it is to listen to those screams over and over again as part of the crash investigation.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by ikanreed on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM (#162799) Journal

      That's not the worst one. Apparently the FBI agents who have to do evidence preparation for child porn trials have to see some absolutely horrifying shit and they have to rotate out the team after a few months and offer counseling.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:02PM (#163007)

        Like sociopaths that are attracted to power can be readily found in C-level management, I wonder what sort of people end up doing that job for the FBI. There is no other place they could do it legally and they get paid quite well as a bonus.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by dbe on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:17PM

      by dbe (1422) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:17PM (#162831)

      In the same vein, the drone pilots that have to circle and spy people at the other end of the world for weeks to months on end before a kill order comes describe the fact that after a while they "know" the people under, their family, habits and that destroying and killing everything at the switch of a finger leaves deep psychological scars.
      -dbe

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:58PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:58PM (#162867) Journal

        How sad. /sarcasm

        Those who pull the trigger are as guilty as those who give the order. I hope the drone pilots spend a lifetime of misery -- it is only a portion of the misery they have inflicted.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:53PM (#163170)

        I wasn't a drone pilot, but I have spoken to them. By and large the biggest issue they run into is compartmentalization. When you're in a combat zone flying an actual manned aircraft, fighter, bomber, whatever, you are kept separate from your life back home for months on end, allowing you to focus on the mission at hand. Then you get a period of adjustment when you return home to reintegrate with society without worrying about having to fly another mission for quite some time. Drone pilots go home to their families every day and try to live their normal lives. They can kill someone one day and then go to their kid's little league game the next. People can't change mindsets at the flip of a switch.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:51AM (#163043)

      As an "empathetically challenged" individual, I find the prospect mind-bogglingly boring over anything else. Sensitivity to physiological and psychological stimuli varies greatly among different people. Still a shitty job through.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @04:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @04:35PM (#163229)

      Did the plane have enough electronics that someone could have hacked it to lock the door, cut-off/lower oxygen in the cockpit and then adjust that knob's settings?
      I'm not really thinking it is what happened, more just wondering if it is even possible.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:37PM

    by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:37PM (#162794)

    ... we'd never get anything done. If you couldn't trust people to generally stay on their side of the road you wouldn't drive. If you couldn't trust your food wasn't poisoned you'd never eat what you couldn't farm. If you couldn't trust your building to be built reasonably well you'd be skittish inside a single-story building and fleet in terror from a skyscraper.

    Honestly, if you worried about every way everything can go wrong when interacting with people and the things they make and do, you'd either become a hermit, go nuts, or both.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM (#162802)

      Oblig: https://xkcd.com/898/ [xkcd.com]

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:46PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:46PM (#162810)

      ... we'd never get anything done.

      Tell that to HR, the people in charge of never getting anything done while skilled workers who are willing and able to work remain unemployed.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM (#162870) Journal

        Skilled people should start their own thing and block HR people from ever being involved.

    • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Sunday March 29 2015, @09:32PM

      by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 29 2015, @09:32PM (#163947) Journal

      Sorry but that's not only completely wrong but also an insane argument if you think it through; people are far more discerning than that. Context and experience matters. Society and culture matters.

      Much of what “we get done” is directly aimed at doing exactly what you think creates hermits or nuts.

      Let's take your driving example. Have you ever driven a car or truck at all? The reason you're supposed to be driving rather than distracted by all other kinds of nonsense is precisely that you cannot “trust” or assume that everyone and everything around you will avoid all kinds of potential accidents. That doesn't mean that you only drive when you're the only car on the road or that drivers must be “insane”: instead it means you learn how to drive and pay attention and that if you don't then you have no business being on the road. The people who don't do that sufficiently risks killing themselves and whoever doesn't manage to stay away from them. It's why you don't have to kill someone to lose your license.

      Even though there are plenty of people who kill other people on the road and even though most people are and ought to be aware of that we still get plenty of successful road transportation.

      For just about everything in a society similar explanations apply. Food? You don't have food labs tasked with investigating and reporting on food quality in your society? You don't have health inspectors “raiding” restaurants and/or closing them down immediately if they're unhygienic? You don't have livestock inspections? You don't have medical feedback routines for food-borne or food-triggered diseases? That's just a few of the more obvious things.

      Trust is bullshit.

      Which is why all of these things are supposed to have internal routines for review which are controlled by other official instances which in turn are under political control which you in turn vote on and fucking throw out if the job is being done poorly. And if you don't live in a democracy you either remove them forcefully or ignore them altogether replacing their functions with your own approximations (this is how one ends up with religious commandments against pork and other such half measures: those things are just ancient symptoms of a non-existing civil society i.e. barbarism).

      If you instead primarily vote based on ideology then you're actively destroying your society. There's no shortage of such people either and unfortunately it can take decades for people to get a clue even when it ought to be painfully obvious. Letting someone else take charge is the only sane option.

      Skittish in buildings? If you suspect your building (of any size) is going to collapse you god damn move out and report it, you don't assume everything is all right. If the acoustics suddenly change you bring it up to someone relevant who can give a more experienced opinion. Otherwise people are just insane fools unaware of the world they live in. Yes there is a lot of such people and no one can know everything but damned few decide on purpose to be completely at the mercy of others in every way. You don't “trust” building codes: they're empirically based and change over time as knowledge and requirements change. You don't “trust” contractors: you sue them (or worse) if they can't follow specifications. You don't “trust” the integrity of a building: you keep up with renovations and controls.

      No matter if someone is directly involved or not none of these things happen automagically.

      --
      Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
      • (Score: 2) by The Archon V2.0 on Monday March 30 2015, @03:17PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Monday March 30 2015, @03:17PM (#164293)

        > The reason you're supposed to be driving rather than distracted by all other kinds of nonsense is precisely that you cannot “trust” or assume that everyone and everything around you will avoid all kinds of potential accidents.

        So you swerve to avoid every single car in the opposing lane because they might jump into your lane at the last second? No, you trust that people by and large aren't that suicidal even though your entire experience of the person's character is seeing them for three seconds at 50-100 km/h. You trust that they can drive because they were tested. You trust that the driving instructors and testers are doing their job. You trust the courts to pull licences of bad drivers. You trust the police are stopping people who drive without licenses.

        > You don't have food labs tasked with investigating and reporting on food quality in your society? You don't have health inspectors “raiding” restaurants and/or closing them down immediately if they're unhygienic?

        How do you know they're doing their job? Do you check up on the health inspectors and food labs? No, you trust the frameworks that society has built to be reasonably good at what they do. You trust that the building inspector or architect or judge or examiner or whatever can do his job because you have no way of checking up on him and even if it did you don't know enough about his job to have an opinion about how well he's doing it.

        > And if you don't live in a democracy you either remove them forcefully or ignore them altogether replacing their functions with your own approximations

        I've yet to see a vote or revolution hang on the quality of building inspections.

        > You don't “trust” building codes: they're empirically based and change over time as knowledge and requirements change.

        The use of "empirically" almost sounds something out of a religious debate; there's a difference between "trust" and "faith".

        trust:
        to have trust or confidence in; rely or depend on.
        to believe.
        to expect confidently.
        to commit or consign with trust or confidence.
        to permit to remain or go somewhere or to do something without fear of consequences.

        You do some of this stuff. You have to. Even the most diehard cynic relies on or expects others to behave in a certain way and NOT behave in a certain way.

        • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday March 30 2015, @06:20PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 30 2015, @06:20PM (#164400) Journal

          I probably would have more or less agreed with you a year ago so I'm disagreeing with myself if you will. If I could be wrong a year ago then I can be wrong now as well ;)

          However even if what you say is right (which I don't think it is) is that trust? If something is amiss aren't you ready to react? And instantly if appropriate? There's not much trust left in that: you already know something might happen and you're more or less ready for it. There's no psycho-analysis involved in keeping track of the movement of objects. If you notice common denominators to places serving food being shut down do you seek out the remaining places that remind you of them? Or if it was a place you frequented do you go back afterwards? I don't. If some department or institution says something you think is completely bonkers do you trust them to be right? And do you trust yourself to be right or is there room for doubt and reappraisal? If one thinks the police has adopted a gang mentality for personal gain then why would one assume they're also doing what they're supposed to do? If laws are poorly written or ill conceived why would one assume the relevant politicians are competent according to the intention of their position rather than for example as criminals?

          I don't deny that many don't seem to care at all about any of that until it hurts them directly but that's not trust, that's indifference and apathy or possibly a severe lack of awareness, maybe also estrangement, hopelessness, and/or exhaustion.

          Granted there are no revolutions based only on building codes alone (but it would sort of be magnificent if there was :D) but there are plenty of revolutions on the aggregate of “missing society”, most likely most of them qualify on that account. There are also plenty (but not enough) examples of power shifts due to civic “scandals”. Maybe people would say that ‘trust was broken’ but such “trust” usually disappeared instantaneously the moment people became aware of a problem and shouldn't be considered as trust: it's far too vapid for that and that's a good thing.

          As it applies to you do you not seek to remove any flaws you come across? Not anally but according to the importance you perceive they have? Often that simply means changing ones behavior slightly but sometimes it means more. If you've experienced some sort of severe loss don't you raise a stink about it if you think it might help and would you not find your reaction entirely natural and devoid of trust?

          I'm pretty sure you check what you can as you deem fit and I wouldn't call that trust nor should it be, and that is my point: all the systems and structures and society were not built on trust at all; instead they were and are built on a distinct lack of trust and that lack of trust is what keeps them going and improves them when possible. If this is right it would seem a lack of trust is actually a good thing in the long run, maybe one ought to embrace mistrust to the extent that seems practical, at the very least this would raise awareness of issues.

          Empirical has nothing to do with either trust or faith as it means physically measurable, thus falsifiable, something which you can scrutinize and challenge. It doesn't trap you in some reiterative loop of measurements but it means that if you or others want to or deem it appropriate or are required to or are employed to then it can be checked.

          Just because one cannot or doesn't want to continuously challenge everything does not mean that one implicitly trusts something and I'm arguing that the cores of all western civilizations (and some others as well, maybe all) are built around the very fact that one has no reason to trust and every reason to be suspicious.

          This feels a little like if I was an atheist (I'm not) arguing that atheism is not a religion while others point out atheistic dogma which they associate with religion, or maybe the roles are reversed which makes no difference to me. So I apologize if all of this is or seems to be linguistic but I don't think it is; I think we genuinely see things differently and that's it's not about definitions or interpretations.

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday April 01 2015, @06:25PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday April 01 2015, @06:25PM (#165513) Homepage

            I once put it this way:
            ====
            You trust your fellow man. In fact, you trust him with your very life.
            Don't think so? You drive on two-lane roads, don't you??
            ====

            It may not be the exactly correct way to express it, but it's certainly true for all practical purposes.

            Or as the old joke goes:
            =====
            In the high school gym, all the girls in the class were lined up against one wall, and all the boys against the opposite wall. Then every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart.

            A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were asked, "When will the girls and boys meet?"

            The mathematician said: "Never."

            The physicist said: "In an infinite amount of time."

            The engineer said: "Well... in about two minutes, they'll be close enough for all practical purposes."
            =====

            Most of us are engineers in Everyday Life.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:38PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:38PM (#162797)

    > Another example could be engineers who sabotage a dam and wipe out entire communities downstream.

    Is that made up? I have a hard time believing that dam construction, which is a collaborative effort, would be subject to deliberate sabotage by the builders. It would require the coordination of a lot of people for deliberate engineering flaws to go unchecked. Cheapness and corner-cutting, absolutely. But deliberate sabotage seems like it would be essentially impossible to pull off.

    • (Score: 2) by WizardFusion on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM

      by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:42PM (#162800) Journal

      I guess that in this case it's not during construction, but in the aftercare of the pipes and infrastructure.
      Throw a spanner into one of the turbines for example (although I know that can't actually be done)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:56PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:56PM (#162819) Journal

      It has already happened:

      Val di Stava dam collapse 1985 [wikipedia.org]
      "An investigation into the disaster found that the dams were poorly maintained and the margin of safe operation was very small."

      Vajont Dam 1963 [wikipedia.org]
      "when the designers ignored the geological instability"

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM (#162833)

        Those are cases of negligence, not sabotage.

        • (Score: 2) by Nobuddy on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:28PM

          by Nobuddy (1626) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:28PM (#162919)

          I would disagree. The decisions involved were not just a mistake- it was deliberately allowing the dam to fail to increase profit. Sabotage for financial gain.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:52PM (#162924)

            By that logic every act of negligence is sabotage because negligence is always the result of caring about something else more.

            • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:28PM

              by sjames (2882) on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:28PM (#162991) Journal

              Not necessarily. Negligence can be due to laziness, stupidity, or greed. Often a mix is involved but there comes a tipping point where it would be hard to NOT know a failure was the inevitable result. Once it gets to that point, it becomes sabotage.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:39PM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:39PM (#162798) Journal

    If he had just had enough and wanted to commit suicide, that's just as bad.

    If want to take your own life, then fine, I have no issue with that. Just don't involve anyone else. Don't jump in front of a car or truck, go do it on your own, quietly without harm to others.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:52PM (#162814)

      > If want to take your own life, then fine, I have no issue with that. Just don't involve anyone else.

      If suicide was his goal, then it could easily have been the same thing that motivates people to go on shooting sprees. [wired.com]

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:02PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:02PM (#162903) Journal

        Why spree killers kill themselves [wired.com]:

        The article points out the warning signs or perhaps pre-requisites:

        It’s about self-loathing and perceived injustice. And location matters.

        The core connection is likely this:

        Criminologist Jack Gibbs’s theory of social control suggests that when an individual commits murder, he or she does so because the social system is perceived to have failed in its responsibility to control the behavior of others and thus protect that individual’s rights. Unable to rely on broader instruments of social control, the murderer tries to “correct” past injustices by employing his or her own direct control over others, which manifests itself through violence.
        Hopelessness is one of the most common reasons why people seek death.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by engblom on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:52PM

      by engblom (556) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:52PM (#162815)

      You can not call it suicide. That would not put things in right perspective. It was a mass slaughter. He is more a murder (149) than someone who did suicide (1).

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:20PM (#162836)

        no no no, people, we're on SN : it's a Schroedinger pilot. It is both a suicide and a massive slaughter.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:42PM (#162859)

        > You can not call it suicide. That would not put things in right perspective.

        I look forward to the day we start calling suicide bombers just bombers.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM (#162871) Journal

        The generally accepted term is "murder-suicide" [wikipedia.org] since he did both.

        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:26AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:26AM (#163115)

          FOX News goes with "homicide bomber" (after the Bush Administration suggested it,)

          So let's all agree to call this a "Homicide flyer".

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_attack#Homicide_bombing [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @01:12PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @01:12PM (#163176)

            > So let's all agree to call this a "Homicide flyer".

            More like a "homicide lander."

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Hartree on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:31PM

      by Hartree (195) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:31PM (#162891)

      When a murder with suicide is reported, I often make the comment "He just did it in the wrong order".

      It's a flip comment, meant to be dark humor, but it does have another side.

      We do have social duties (perhaps defined only by ourselves). I consider one of them to be to do your best to prevent yourself from doing that. The best option is to get help of some kind before getting to that point. Obviously, many situations either preclude or discourage that. Mental illness not only damages rationality, but undermines the ability to judge if you are being rational. Admitting to problems damages or destroys careers and has huge stigma. (Full disclosure: I have a private pilots license I got in 1987, but I've taken an SSRI antidepressant for many years which until recently was an automatic disqualification on your flight medical. So, I have at least some insight into the cost of admitting a mental problem, though in my case that was minimal. It just meant I could only look at the pretty airplanes rather than fly them. ;) )

      It's possible for anyone to be in that situation due to the vagaries of what depression, strokes and other medical conditions can do.

      I can only speak for myself, but if at the end of the day, the only way that I could prevent myself from committing a murder followed by suicide was to end my own life first, I hope that I would still have the presence of mind to do that rather than carry out some horrible act. Suicide is a tragedy, but combining it with murder for whatever reason is an even worse one.

      It's still early in the investigation. Though it is very suggestive, let's remember that this has not risen to the level of proof. Though it may appear to be a deliberate act, we can't know the mindset, or with the destruction of the body, the physical/medical state of the co-pilot. Strokes or other brain malfunctions can sometimes radically alter thinking without causing major physical impairment.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by frojack on Friday March 27 2015, @02:47AM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 27 2015, @02:47AM (#163076) Journal

        When a murder with suicide is reported, I often make the comment "He just did it in the wrong order".

        There is some indication from news reports that he might have done it in the "right" order, suicide first, and dooming the rest to die later.
        The Autopilot was, according to some news reports, re-programmed to maintain 100 feet instead of 38000 feet.
        That gave him plenty of time to off himself, pills, gun, what ever. There may never be enough physical evidence to even analyse, because virtually every one on that plane went out in a cloud of pink mist. Nothing left except bone fragments.

        Being in the front seat guaranteed him a couple milliseconds head start. Of course the is also the possibility that he may have wanted to prevent himself having any second thoughts, or seeing something scary.

        The order of actual deaths is not all important in a mass execution situation like this.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
        • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Sunday March 29 2015, @10:18PM

          by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 29 2015, @10:18PM (#163968) Journal

          You and everyone else probably now know as has been widely reported (at least in Europe) that the voice recorder shows the murderer was conscious and breathing normally right up until impact.

          At first my gut instinct was disbelief that a person would sit there so calmly and relaxed for the the relatively short time (minutes) it took until impact with all that was going on and knowing what the outcome would be. But after a day or so I realized I only wanted to lie to myself: such a thing is of course entirely possible and/or plausible.

          He paid no attention to the captain trying to force himself back into the cabin (ax against armored door, not a chance but it would be at least a little bit noisy) or the emergency alarms (noisy or jarring I assume) or the air traffic control trying to get a response. Simply a cold-blooded murderer.

          The good news is that lots of airline companies (in Europe) almost immediately after the general realization of what had happened changed their regulations to require two people in the cockpit at all times. So the next time some pilot needs to take a leak another crew member first has to get into the cockpit to take his/her place as a safeguard.

          It might not have helped but it could have, and at least it would force an altercation inside the cockpit. It seems very likely there will be changes to regulations concerning psychological and medical examinations as well.

          --
          Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Wednesday April 01 2015, @03:47AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 01 2015, @03:47AM (#165265) Journal

            Breathing normally is all the cockpit voice recorder indicated. He never said a word.

            You don't have to be conscious for that. The odds of breathing normally while watching the mountain fill your windscreen with the captain wielding an ax at the door seems pretty unlikely to me.

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 1) by Yog-Yogguth on Wednesday April 01 2015, @05:08PM

              by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday April 01 2015, @05:08PM (#165471) Journal

              I misunderstood you; I agree he never said a word and that he didn't need to be conscious to breathe.

              For the final part of the crash he might simply have closed his eyes but even if he didn't I'll still disagree on that part: for all we know it's exactly what he wanted. My initial reaction was the same as yours but I changed my mind when I thought about all the weird things some humans do, i.e. the odds of someone breathing normally when they've decided to do what he seems to have done wouldn't be poor and might even be highly likely. It's messed up for sure.

              Anyway: sorry if I've been nitpicking.

              --
              Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
    • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:11PM

      by tangomargarine (667) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:11PM (#162913)

      The first sentence of your post violently disagrees with the rest of it.

      --
      "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:18PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:18PM (#162963)

      We even install suicide barriers on bridges and (in Europe) make guns difficult to get. This guy used the means he had available.

      Solution: pilot lounges in airports should have suicide booths. This will eliminate the temptation to crash planes.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by number11 on Friday March 27 2015, @01:29AM

        by number11 (1170) on Friday March 27 2015, @01:29AM (#163055)

        We even install suicide barriers on bridges and (in Europe) make guns difficult to get. This guy used the means he had available.

        The guy also was a glider pilot. If he wanted to crash a plane, he had a single-seater available. (All this assuming that he did indeed deliberately crash the plane, it's not 100% clear yet.)

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:44PM

    by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:44PM (#162806) Journal

    "After 9/11, they made cockpits impregnable. It keeps the terrorists out, but in the end it also allows someone to keep their colleagues out too. Airlines have to make a call. Which is the bigger threat - terrorism or suicide?"

    There's a list of three other crashes though to be suicides since 1999.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by janrinok on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:57PM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:57PM (#162821) Journal

      At least one airline in Europe has already announced that there must be two people in the cockpit at all times in future. It is a call that must be made by individual airlines. Of course, we will now get complaints about 'poor cabin service' for the short period of time that a member of the cabin crew has to sit in the cockpit.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by subs on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:14PM

        by subs (4485) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:14PM (#162914)

        This is at best a "feel good" measure. Once inside the cockpit, there's nothing much preventing a most likely stronger male pilot from incapacitating an unsuspecting female member of the cabin crew using the fire axe [wired.com] that's aboard all airliners. Or even the fire extinguisher for that matter. Or and this is even funnier, what if it's the member of the cabin crew that does that - the pilot might be focused on flying the plane, after all. The measure might deter people who are a bit iffy about physical violence (although an argument could be said that you could have caught those just by using proper psychological evaluation and counseling), but it won't stop the determined asshole.
        I'm sorry for all the victims of this deranged nut job, but I don't think these kinds of feel good measures will help much, other than make the life of the air crew even more miserable. I'd be much happier with stricter psychological evaluation and generally a better managerial approach to treating your employees like human beings, rather than robots.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by vux984 on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:35PM

          by vux984 (5045) on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:35PM (#162995)

          Once inside the cockpit, there's nothing much preventing a most likely stronger male pilot from incapacitating an unsuspecting female member of the cabin crew using the fire axe that's aboard all airliners.

          In theory you are right. In practice you are dead wrong.

          Just because a person is perfectly willing to lock the door, ignore the radio, and fly a plane into the side of a mountain killing everyone on board does not mean they are willing to take an axe and kill the flight attendent next to them with it.

          Physically capable of it sure. But would he actually do it? Maybe. Maybe not. Often not. Surprisingly often not. People are funny that way.

          I expect it would be more effective as a deterrent than you'd ever think possible.

          • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday March 27 2015, @02:59AM

            by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday March 27 2015, @02:59AM (#163082) Journal

            Right. Suicides may not want to kill someone fact to face.

            But further, flight attendants now get hand to hand combat training in most countries. if that pilot gets out of his seat, the stewerd/ess becomes alert, and maybe unlocks the door. And besides, the steward/ess would be closer to the fire axe than the pilot.

            I'm still betting this pilot suicide is likely the root cause of MH370, and I'm not alone in this thinking [telegraph.co.uk].

            --
            No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
            • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Sunday March 29 2015, @10:37PM

              by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Sunday March 29 2015, @10:37PM (#163977) Journal

              I feel a little bit bad posting this days later (it's not like I knew this beforehand either) and it's only meant as a tiny correction: the pilot does not get up to lock the door, the door lock is a small button to the lower right on the instrument panel between the pilots (it's likely in the same general area for other models of airplanes as well). Maybe there are other ways to lock the door as well, I don't know.

              --
              Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
          • (Score: 2) by subs on Friday March 27 2015, @01:12PM

            by subs (4485) on Friday March 27 2015, @01:12PM (#163175)

            They don't necessarily need to kill. A good knock on the head with a blunt object works just as well. And they don't even need to make them unconscious. It's trivial to set the airplane up on autopilot to crash (spin the altitude selector down to zero and hit the FLCH button, done in about 2 seconds - in fact, a "flight level change" descent appears to have been the exact descent they did here, constant speed, maximum rate of descent) and then hold the weaker flight attendant down.
            At best it'll deter the most weaksauce would be psycho who acts on impulse. But the pre-meditated guy, not really.

            • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Friday March 27 2015, @06:23PM

              by vux984 (5045) on Friday March 27 2015, @06:23PM (#163267)

              They don't necessarily need to kill. A good knock on the head with a blunt object works just as well

              You are missing the forest for the trees. The type of suicide who will lock a plane door and fly into a mountain isn't necessarily willing confront another human being with any sort of violence at all. The psychology is different.

              At best it'll deter the most weaksauce would be psycho who acts on impulse. But the pre-meditated guy, not really.

              He's a depressed suicide, not a terrorist bent on taking down a plane. The psychology is completely different. You are projecting some sort of psycho act where the pilot will do anything to bring the plane down. That's simply not an accurate characterization of how most suicides would think. Simply having someone in the room would head off the event entirely in the large majority of cases. Not because he'd be unable to carry out a plan, not because he'd be unable to kill or knock out his companion, but because simply having someone there will cause him not to commit to the plan in the first place.

              Suicide attempts tend to follow a variety of patterns and the combination of a violent attack on an innocent bystander just to enable themselves to isolate themselves for the final act" isn't "a thing". If you drew a venn diagram of "pilots who would commit suicide by locking the cockpit and flying into a mountain" with "pilots who would attack the flight attendent" to find the group of pilots who would "attack the flight attendant and commit suicide by mountain" it would be a pretty small overlap. Sure it -could- happen; but simply having someone there will effectively eliminate the overwhelming majority of incidents. (And given the already low number of incidents it will be a truly freak occurrence.)

              • (Score: 2) by subs on Friday March 27 2015, @08:21PM

                by subs (4485) on Friday March 27 2015, @08:21PM (#163312)

                He's a depressed suicide, not a terrorist bent on taking down a plane.

                How do you know? Do you have access to some preliminary investigation results that us others don't? If not, then you're simply speculating. In fact, I'm not certain I'd agree that anybody with enough empathy to not wanna do personal harm would commit suicide by taking 150 people with them. He heard their screams, the shouts, the banging on the cockpit door from the back, he knew damn well ahead of time he's killing them personally. I'd wager that if you're willing to endure that, you're pretty ready to whack somebody unsuspecting over the head with a fire extinguisher first. If you just wanna die by flying, rent a freakin' Cessna single and stuff it into the ground at 170kts - death guaranteed 100%.
                Fact is, until the full report is out, we're all just speculating. The reason why this case gets under my skin is because I think it fuels a sense of paranoia and surveillance among airline employees, as has already happened between passengers since 9/11, where you get stupid cases of people being reported and planes diverted simply due to Orwellian "suspicious behavior" with no added benefit to security.

                • (Score: 2) by vux984 on Saturday March 28 2015, @08:43AM

                  by vux984 (5045) on Saturday March 28 2015, @08:43AM (#163480)

                  How do you know?

                  I don't know. It doesn't matter to the argument one way or the other. ( But FWIW if he was a terrorist organization act they'd have claimed responsibility for it.)

                  In fact, I'm not certain I'd agree that anybody with enough empathy to not wanna do personal harm would commit suicide by taking 150 people with them. He heard their screams, the shouts, the banging on the cockpit door from the back, he knew damn well ahead of time he's killing them personally.

                  Its really completely different; nearly opposite extremes even. He is merely pointing the plane setting it on a crash course. From there it is his inaction to re-orient the plane that leads to the crash; and it is under his total control. The event becomes passive as he "lets it happen". Eventually the course passes the point of no return and he couldn't save them even if he wanted to any more. At the end it becomes a passive acceptance of the inevitable.

                  That is entirely removed from an act of violence taken directly against someone; where each blow is actively dealt and the result immediate. There exists a possibility they will fight back, that they will even successfully overpower you. The event is uncontrolled. It couldn't be more different.

                  If you just wanna die by flying, rent a freakin' Cessna single and stuff it into the ground at 170kts - death guaranteed 100%.

                  Sure. But its obviously not the case that he "just wanna die by flying". Suicides are never that simplistic.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Nuke on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:25PM

          by Nuke (3162) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:25PM (#163010)

          This [two people in the cockpit always] is at best a "feel good" measure. ......... The measure might deter people who are a bit iffy about physical violence ........., but it won't stop the determined asshole.

          This guy waited until the captain was out of the cockpit, so it looks like it was some deterrent. As someone else said, it takes a lot more bottle to attack someone with an axe, splattering yourself with brains and blood, than it does to press some buttons; the latter does not bring home the reality. Similar to it being easier to kill someone with a rifle than with a knife. Even if it did not stop the "determined asshole" there would be a significant probability of stopping an event - including this one by the sound of it.

          I'd be much happier with stricter psychological evaluation and generally a better managerial approach to treating your employees like human beings, rather than robots.

          Why assume this is to do with how the company treated its employees? Maybe his problem was at home, or with his finances, or with the world in general. I felt suicidal at a point some years ago and it was nothing to do with my employment.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:44PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:44PM (#163015)

            > This guy waited until the captain was out of the cockpit, so it looks like it was some deterrent.

            You are making an illogical assumption.

            Just because the guy took the path of least resistance does not mean he wasn't prepared to push harder to achieve his goal if he had to.

            • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:50PM

              by Nuke (3162) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:50PM (#163019)

              It is not an assumption, it is a probability. Note the words "it looks like".

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:59AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:59AM (#163081)

                Oh puhlease. Pedant escape hatch for the fail.

          • (Score: 2) by engblom on Friday March 27 2015, @06:31AM

            by engblom (556) on Friday March 27 2015, @06:31AM (#163116)

            I often see this with "always two in cockpit is better". I really wonder if it is better. Are the same background tests done on cabin workers as on pilots? Would it be easy for an evil person to get employed as a cabin worker, waiting for the right opportunity to enter the cockpit? Which one is having bigger probability: A bad worker in cabin or a bad pilot?

            It might be that an "always two person in cockpit"-policy takes away the protection the door is supposed to give.

          • (Score: 2) by subs on Friday March 27 2015, @01:04PM

            by subs (4485) on Friday March 27 2015, @01:04PM (#163172)

            This guy waited until the captain was out of the cockpit, so it looks like it was some deterrent.

            That doesn't follow. A much simpler explanation was that he knew he didn't have to get his hands dirty, so he waited it out.

            Why assume this is to do with how the company treated its employees?

            Because I know the working conditions for pilots at some of these low-cost airlines and they're atrocious. Many times, the likes of Ryanair don't actually employ many of the pilots that work for them. Instead, they hire them on a per-flight basis and let them go as soon as high-season ends. Considering how expensive and intensive pilot training is, the enormous responsibility that they shoulder and the sacrifices that many pilots make in terms of not having time for a personal life, that sort of additional douchebaggery from management can really mess with you.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:20PM (#162965)

        God is my co-pilot

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Jaruzel on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:45PM

    by Jaruzel (812) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:45PM (#162808) Homepage Journal

    I blame 9/11. Back then, the bad guys took control of the planes because the doors to the cockpits were not locked. As part of the post 9/11 hysteria, among other changes, we ended up with locked cockpit doors [bbc.com] that could only be opened from inside the cockpit itself... 'For Our Safety'

    As a result, 150 people are now dead.

    Another win for the terrorists, regardless of who actually crashed that plane.

    14 years on we're still letting them control how we live our lives...

    -Jar

    --
    This is my opinion, there are many others, but this one is mine.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:24PM (#162844)

      > As a result, 150 people are now dead.

      You are assuming that that this guy couldn't have figured out another way to do it, like putting a rufie in his co-pilot's drink and then crashing the plane.

      • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:08PM

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:08PM (#162910) Journal
        I think you may be blaming the wrong crew member - it was the co-pilot (first-officer) who crashed the plane. It was the captain who was locked outside of the cockpit. Other than that, you are correct that he could have achieved the same end in different ways, but this method was the most reliable from his point of view.
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by PinkyGigglebrain on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:06PM

      by PinkyGigglebrain (4458) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:06PM (#162874)

      I would point out that as a result of unlocked doors well over two thousand people died on Sept. 11, 2001.

      In the last 14 years this is the first time I've heard someone claim the locked doors are a bad idea. In fact I've read many comments that advocated locked doors because they really prevent hijackings as opposed to confiscating nail clippers and water bottles.

      I'm interested in hearing the results of the investigation into the co-pilot that is currently underway.. Unless the co-pilot left a note somewhere we will never truly know why. But an well educated guess might be the next best thing.

      --
      "Beware those who would deny you Knowledge, For in their hearts they dream themselves your Master."
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by The Archon V2.0 on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:20PM

        by The Archon V2.0 (3887) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:20PM (#162887)

        And people don't wear seatbelts because they don't want to be tangled if the car gets submerged.

        And people don't wear steel-toed boots because if a specific thing hits it a specific way the damage will be worse.

        And people don't vaccinate their kids because of fears of autism.

        Find a safety measure and you'll find someone who will cite either a rumor, or a hypothetical, or one freak corner-case as a counterexample while ignoring all the people who *didn't* die.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by bart9h on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:19PM

        by bart9h (767) on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:19PM (#162939)

        So you think 9/11 was caused by unlocked doors. Interesting....

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:47PM

          by sjames (2882) on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:47PM (#163002) Journal

          Well, let's see. The whole plan was to enter the cockpit and fly the planes into buildings. It seems pretty clear that had they been locked out of the cockpit, they would have failed miserably, so yeah.

          That's not to say there weren't other things that could have stopped the events from happening, but securely locked doors are the cheapest and most sure countermeasure with little downside compared to the other ways.

    • (Score: 2) by sjames on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:42PM

      by sjames (2882) on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:42PM (#162998) Journal

      Why are you assuming the cockpit door being locked was the enabler. If the person flying the plane wants a crash, it will crash. If the door couldn't lock or the pilot had a key, it would have altered the copilot's plan a bit but not the outcome.

      On the balance, the lockable door still makes the most sense.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by legont on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:51PM

    by legont (4179) on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:51PM (#162813)

    you don't deserve either one. - Benjamin Franklin

    --
    "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:56PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:56PM (#162820)

      It's Obama's job to provide both freedom AND safety. -- Merica

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:21PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:21PM (#162838)

        How hard is it for you to comprehend that sometimes, you can't have both...
        Freedom and safety is a case like that.

        I think you have a saying for this kind of thing... something about cake and eating stuff...

        • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Mr. Slippery on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:02PM

          by Mr. Slippery (2812) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:02PM (#162904) Homepage

          How hard is it for you to comprehend that sometimes, you can't have both...

          That's completely wrong. Freedom and security are mutual dependent. If you don't have freedom, that means you're not secure from state violence. If you don't have security. that means you don't have the freedom to do what you want, that you're being threatened -- coerced -- into doing or not doing some things.

          "You must give up freedom to be secure" is pure authoritarian bullshit.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:59PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:59PM (#162932)

            I the idea is:

              Freedom to or Freedom from

              you cant have both, but you can have a blend.. as allways the answer is allways Grey (not black and white)

            -> You cannot be free to do 100% whatever you want, while also ensuing with at 100% certinty that your freedoms do not impact me and mine.

            Freedom to knock down pilot doors, VS freedom from having the pilots door knocked down..

              The solution is some sort of lock overide, as in 3 flight attendants can over rule 1 pilot, but not a 2 pilots or something.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:21PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:21PM (#162839)

      If you post the first half of your sentence in the subject line you don't deserve to post or write sentences.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:52PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @08:52PM (#162948)

      I think we've got a new category here, a subcategory of the karma whore. It is the person who posts some mangled version of this and attributes it to Franklin. It is almost always NOT insightful, it is almost always mis-quoted (you don't paraphrase a quotation), and it is always wrong [techcrunch.com], and you just show your ignorance and blind ability to follow the herd when you post it (yes, I guess that makes you a sheeple).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:47PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:47PM (#163169)

        Anonymous cowards can't accumulate karma.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:54PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @04:54PM (#162818)

    Because it's impossible to predict with 100% certainty what a person will do.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM (#162834)

      Yes, there are many reasons that, "it's impossible to predict with 100% certainty what a person will do."

      Before I heard the current version of the story, including overt control actions, I was wondering if the co-pilot had a stroke or other medical problem (in the interval after the Captain left the cockpit).

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:19PM (#162835) Journal

      That's why no critical system should rely on a single person. Just like missile silos are organized. The
      low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle will now require two people in cockpit at all times effective tomorrow.

      So I would say, these things happens when you didn't do your probability and failure point analyze. Shit happens but some have more failures than they actually need.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:37PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:37PM (#162855) Journal
        Link regarding the airline Norwegian Air Shuttle:
        Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle to require two people in cockpit at all times [straitstimes.com]

        (Bug report: HTML tags are now removed in "Plain old text" mode!!)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:42PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:42PM (#162860)

        And what happens if your two people in the cockpit at all times, in the course of random events, suddenly agree to a suicide pact? The same outcome, that's what. Why not put three people in there, or four, or 150? Why not insist that every passenger have a pilot's license so anyone aboard the plane can fly it to safety? You're not thinking safe enough!

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:55PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:55PM (#162900) Journal

          There is normally at least two crew members available to be in the cockpit so it won't cost much extra if any. And being two instead of one decreases the risk substantially. It's essentially the optimal risk/cost point.

  • (Score: 1) by tizan on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:39PM

    by tizan (3245) on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:39PM (#162858)

    Humans are too fallible.

    We do have the technology to fly planes from airport to airport automatically....we need human only in cases of major issues, mechanical failure and messy situation at landing site etc...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:47PM (#162863)

      But without the practice from piloting, how will the humans stay in practice, or "current", so that they are capable of dealing with emergencies that the autopilot can't handle? Simulators are OK, but everyone getting into one knows it is not real. Further, the emergency scenarios that are rehearsed in flight simulators are ones that other humans invented and can't possibly cover all the possible failures. It is a hard problem.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:47PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @05:47PM (#162864)

      Because the automated autopilot couldn't possibly be sabotaged by the human emergency copilots. Right?

      • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM

        by hemocyanin (186) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:02PM (#162872) Journal

        Or by some random person interested in the ultimate swatting, so to speak.

        • (Score: 1) by tizan on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:30PM

          by tizan (3245) on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:30PM (#162969)

          Yes ..but an automatic system won't suffer from sudden depression and try to crash the plane he is piloting because say his girlfriend dumped him or he owed the mafia money or something like that.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:18AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:18AM (#163031)

      We need more automated systems

      Like systemd, eh?
      (grin)

  • (Score: 2) by Hartree on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:00PM

    by Hartree (195) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:00PM (#162869)

    At its root, this is a human problem. For whatever reason, evil, medical, or stupid, sometimes, people will sometimes intentionally do harmful things. Technical means, like locks on an armored door aren't a complete solution. They can't possibly take into account all possible situations.

    You can try to reduce the risk, but you can't eliminate it. The US solution of requiring two people in the cockpit reduces it more, but can't stop a pilot and copilot who are cooperating in crashing the plane. At that point, I don't think anything really can without making the plane completely self flying and allowing no overrides. And obviously, that has problems as well.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Rich on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:18PM

    by Rich (945) on Thursday March 26 2015, @06:18PM (#162886) Journal

    I don't know more than others on the net about the case discussed, so I won't do any judgement here. Still, I was asking myself, whether the devaluation of the job might have to anything with increasing risks due to "malfunctioning" crew. Especially as this happened in the "discount branch" of Lufthansa.

    Back in the days, flight crew was ranked really high, socially and financially. I'd guess four stripes could be considered equivalent to chief surgeon or (successful) professor. Same for cabin crew: if you were considered, but ultimately rejected, you could still have a great career as model. Today, pilots, especially in the discount/short range sector hardly find much more appreciation than bus drivers. Maybe with the exception of passenger applause after landing on these all-economy-class flights. Pilots even have to shoulder the load of debt for their training in many cases.

    I wouldn't be surprised if a significant correlation could be found between this increasing pressure and the likelihood of cracking under it in bad ways. Of course the "but we've got do something because of the children" brigade will now call for extra psych checks. Such actions might actually work in the wrong direction. Think of the seasoned captain who now has to fear for his job because some background checker with the humor of a TSA agent might discover some silly pictures from flight school 30 years ago, with him wearing a "kamikaze" headscarf...

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by CRCulver on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:55PM

      by CRCulver (4390) on Thursday March 26 2015, @07:55PM (#162928) Homepage
      Budget airlines have been a big thing in Europe and Asia for well over a decade now, and this is the first case of pilot suicide. I don't believe that it is a major risk. I don't think cabin crews have changed much either; even budget airlines still require their female crew to meet the beauty and height standards set long ago by traditional airlines. (That holds for Europe and Asia, though. When flying in the US, however, I have been surprised how dumpy the cabin crew on short-haul flights are allowed to look.)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:45AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:45AM (#163075)

        For Europeans? OK.
        When you include Asians and Africans? Not so much. [wikipedia.org]

        -- gewg_

        • (Score: 2) by CRCulver on Friday March 27 2015, @03:01AM

          by CRCulver (4390) on Friday March 27 2015, @03:01AM (#163083) Homepage
          The cases you point to are not from budget airlines. Japan Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, EgyptAir, and Malaysia Airlines are major national airlines.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @05:19AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @05:19AM (#163109)

            True.
            ...and when that filter is applied, the results become rather counterintuitive.
            I would think that the stresses on the folks working on a shoestring would be greater, skewing the numbers against them.

            -- gewg_

      • (Score: 1) by Rich on Friday March 27 2015, @05:08AM

        by Rich (945) on Friday March 27 2015, @05:08AM (#163106) Journal

        Well, it's pretty obvious that, with a sample size of one, statistics don't really work. But then, "cracking" also doesn't magically cause the pilot to plan a suicide mission. Look how many youths "break" in school and how many of those broken go on a shooting spree. Yet I still guess those who've "made it" in the "air liner captain" class might well be more reliable in some ways than those who have to pay off their training debt in the "bus driver" class. And I also guess that there's a point where extra pressure (in whatever ways) will start to have a negative effect on the attempt to turn the human into a perfectly functioning machine.

    • (Score: 2) by hubie on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:01PM

      by hubie (1068) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:01PM (#162956) Journal

      Flying is no longer glamorous nor a unique experience. You no longer dress up to get on a plane, and you no longer get decent individual service. Pilots have become glorified bus drivers because flying on a plane is basically little different than riding a bus. Train riding had its glamorous heyday, just as airline travel did. We will get to the same point with suborbital flights one day, and then it will become more affordable to the riff-raff and it will be less exciting and more utilitarian as well.

  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:07PM (#162958)

    The story seems SN-worthy because it is an object lesson in the consequences for our lives when we put complex machines and systems into the hands of others.

    Aw, cut the bullshit. It is here because it is a popular story with salacious details and we can all gossip and speculate on it. It is no different than a bus driver or train conductor intentionally crashing their vehicles. So quit trying to justify it with BS sociology statements.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:49PM (#163018)

      LamX is pulling jon katz.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Friday March 27 2015, @10:02AM

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Friday March 27 2015, @10:02AM (#163145) Journal

      Submitter here. Is it that you find all sociology bullshit? Or is it that you find the notion of skilled, technical people and their ability to kill lots of people on a whim unworthy of discussion? Because I was trained as a sociologist and have worked in technology nearly my entire career and I thought that this incident, and what it says about, and does to, the powerful web of social trust/contract, was an interesting aspect to think about; and I thought maybe other Soylentils would, too.

      It might be evident that I was not going for salacious because I did not present it as, "OMG there are terrorists everywhere, EVERYWHERE!!! We're all gonna DIEEEE..."

      Right?

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by TLA on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:41PM

    by TLA (5128) on Thursday March 26 2015, @09:41PM (#162974) Journal

    The lesson here is that the technical solution to a non-problem (intrusion onto a flight deck, which has happened what, three times previously? Out of how many flights ever?) has actually been shown to work flawlessly, in that it has kept everybody without access to the locktrip (ie the cabin side of the flight deck hatch) out of the flight deck. EXACTLY AS DESIGNED. Only problem is, it's resulted in 150 people dying.

    conclusion: Good idea, poor execution.

    --
    Excuse me, I think I need to reboot my horse. - NCommander
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by sjames on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:19PM

      by sjames (2882) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:19PM (#163009) Journal

      If the door had no lock, the co-pilot would have simply had to commit the plane to a crash while the pilot was in the lav. There are plenty of ways the person flying the plane can do that and it doesn't take long.

    • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:47PM

      by Nuke (3162) on Thursday March 26 2015, @11:47PM (#163016)

      The lesson here is that the technical solution to a non-problem (intrusion onto a flight deck, which has happened what, three times previously? Out of how many flights ever?)

      LoL! You are way, way off-target there!

      The highjacking of aircraft was a major problem back in the 1960-90 period when it became very fashionable. Typically a young left-wing "rebel" would enter the cabin with a gun (real or fake) and divert the flight to some communist destination, often Cuba. Monty Python even did a spoof of it. There were many other scenarios too.

      Look at this lot:- List of hijackings [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @03:25AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @03:25AM (#163090)

        Typically [...] divert the flight to some communist destination, often Cuba

        Your prejudices are strong but your memory is weak.
        If you had looked at the list you linked, you would have noticed that few hijackings ended behind the Sugarcane Curtain|Iron Curtain|Bamboo Curtain.

        -- gewg_

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:18AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @06:18AM (#163114)

        However the strict door locking was only introduced after 9/11.

        • (Score: 2) by Nuke on Friday March 27 2015, @10:10AM

          by Nuke (3162) on Friday March 27 2015, @10:10AM (#163149)

          However the strict door locking was only introduced after 9/11.

          Indeed. The the list of hijackings in GP link above does not even include cockpit invasions by drunks and abusive passengers.

          As someone else pointed out here, originally (like in the 1930's and 1950's) aircraft travel was considered to be something that only cultured gentlefolk would afford. The aircraft themselves were not the cattle trucks they are today, and the pilot was regarded as a respected friend - typically admired and assumed to have been a WW2 hero flier. The flight was like a social occasion, and passengers would be invited into the cockpit to admire the view.

          People clung to this idyllic notion of aircraft flight long after the reality had gone. Some people still think of it as romantic even today. When UK trains went from spacious compartmented carriages to open saloons with the seats all facing the same way, in order to pack more people in, the marketing people declared it as "airline-style seating" because the idiotic public were supposed to think that was something desirable.

          UK trains adopted locked drivers' cab doors in (AFAIR) the 1980's because of increasing problems with drunks. It had been needed with aircraft too for a long time, even without the risk of hijacking.

  • (Score: 1) by Pax on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:46PM

    by Pax (5056) on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:46PM (#163000)

    with their MKULTRA "mind kontrol" theories. in 3.....2......1......

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2015, @10:51PM (#163004)

      It was a UFO. I saw one once. They like to probe things. I haven't been able to sit down for 35 years.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Friday March 27 2015, @04:10PM

      by Bot (3902) on Friday March 27 2015, @04:10PM (#163217) Journal

      If the following are real (I didn't follow the stuff closely):

      - the pilot went from normal speech to detached monosyllables at one point
      - the pilot did not leave any relevant message nor prepared anything for the prospected suicide
      - the only way to crash the plane was to make it slowly descend, with the potential risk of impacting at the wrong angle and survive in a wheelchair, instead of grabbing manual control and dive like any kamikaze would do
      - the pilot did not respond in any way to the environment (the heart rate is recorded?)
      - the pilot did not say anything relevant, even if such an action speaks of extreme narcissism added to depression and sociopathy
      - the pilot is not extraneous to psychiatric meds

      and bonus

      - the day of the crash is a traditional day for sacrifices (day of blood, dies sanguinis)

      then I am afraid that any mind control theory has some good points. The fact that mind control is essentially taboo for hollywood does not mean everybody else is disinterested in it. Anyway we'll be drowned in fake theories no matter what and this kind of incidents is unavoidable.

      --
      Account abandoned.
      • (Score: 2) by Yog-Yogguth on Monday March 30 2015, @12:00AM

        by Yog-Yogguth (1862) Subscriber Badge on Monday March 30 2015, @12:00AM (#163993) Journal

        I sort of agree with you but reach the opposite conclusion. Before I get into the whole “mind control” thing which has been public science for a long time (religion is ancient and stuff like Pavlov's dog could also be said to be a kind of mind control):
        - I haven't heard anything about monosyllables and wouldn't put any significance to it anyways; ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are perfectly cromulent words :P What I've read is that the murderer didn't say anything at all after locking the door from his seat.
        - Yes no messages of any kind has been found it seems, only some medical papers deeming him unfit to fly that he had torn up. On its own not indicative of anything except he wanted to continue flying. Many people often tear up paper they're going to throw away, some shred (maculator/paper shredder) everything they throw away.
        - The murderer used the autopilot, he could have taken manual control if he felt like it or wanted to. Autopilots don't seem much different to running scripts, basically all he did was to change a variable.
        - The heart rate isn't recorded but the “voice recorder” is intentionally able to record even faint breathing in the cockpit. The voice recorder in this instance has recorded normal breathing from the murderer all the way until impact.
        - If one is deliberately crashing then the last minutes is probably a bad time to get anything off one's chest unless one has some braindead slogan to chant. He might have just closed his eyes and waited. He could have changed the autopilot or taken manual control at any time and survived except for the last thirty seconds or so.

        Modern individual “mind control” requires local equipment (I'm thinking of the stuff that has been published on transmitting internal voices using split signals etc. aka “voice of god”) or implants (receivers) or “old-fashioned” psychological subjugation (helped by violence, tricks/suggestion, or chemistry). The impression I have is that with a few possible exceptions it's all a bit touch and go and can be very sloppy and slow. I have no idea why so many people continue to believe “mind control” —individual or collective— to be impossible or outlandish.

        It doesn't make any difference in this case; it holds no explanatory power and thus seems entirely irrelevant either way.

        At first I was suspicious of the reported “calm” of the murderer but after a day or so I realized i was only trying to explain away the simple truth that it's not all that unusual nor impossible for someone to not show signs of agitation or stress even though they know they'll die. The description ‘cold-blooded’ isn't a new one (and is only a negative variation of ‘collected’, ‘calm’ etc.). So at least my opinion is that there's nothing suspicious about this disaster: very unusual but not at all suspicious.

        --
        Bite harder Ouroboros, bite! tails.boum.org/ linux USB CD secure desktop IRC *crypt tor (not endorsements (XKeyScore))
  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by kbahey on Friday March 27 2015, @12:08AM

    by kbahey (1147) on Friday March 27 2015, @12:08AM (#163027) Homepage

    That early in an investigation, it is very hard to come to definitive conclusions.

    The way the French inspector presented his conclusion in absolutist terms is very disappointing.

    What if the co-pilot fainted, hit the controls and that is why the plane started its descent, and he was not responsive (though they could hear him breathing)?

    The inspector had to just present the facts (control was set to descent, door was locked, co-pilot not responding, ...etc.) without early definitive absolutist conclusions like that (co-pilot intentionally did it).

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by Aichon on Friday March 27 2015, @03:13AM

      by Aichon (5059) on Friday March 27 2015, @03:13AM (#163086)

      Were it one or two of the factors, I might agree with you, but when such a string of coincidences is tied together, what other conclusion could possibly be reached?
      1) He turned a knob to set the auto-pilot's altitude to 100ft
      2) He manipulated a separate set of controls to set the descent at 1000 ft/min
      3) He went through a process to lock the door that involves a sequence of specific pushes and pulls on a lever
      4) All of this occurred specifically and immediately after the pilot left the cockpit
      5) He was still alive, was breathing, and had his headset on
      6) There were no sounds of the co-pilot slumping, falling, or crashing against the controls

      All of which is to say, I can understand having a stroke (or fainting), falling against the controls, and being in a lucid nightmare as you watch the plane you have control over crash into the Alps, but that's not what happened here. For one, falling against the door controls can't cause them to lock. They're designed to prevent accidental changes like that. And while it may be plausible that a fall could explain how the knob that controlled the altitude got turned, that wouldn't explain how the rate of descent was set. Likewise the other way...if he fell against the descent controls, how did he then fall as well on the knob to control the altitude? Moreover, they heard everything else going on in the cockpit, but never heard any indication that he had a fall of any sort, which means that even if he did faint or have a stroke, he must have been strapped in and thus not hit the controls anyway.

      You get one, maybe two, explainable actions from a fainting, stroke, or other such unexpected act. You don't get three or more, least of all ones that cannot be done by accident, and especially not when there's absolutely none of the telltale signs of him having had any such incident.

      The only investigation to be had is into his motives.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by kbahey on Friday March 27 2015, @03:18AM

        by kbahey (1147) on Friday March 27 2015, @03:18AM (#163089) Homepage

        You are right.

        Earlier today they said on TV that there was a mechanism for the pilot to get in, but it was unclear why he could not use it.

        Later, I read the detail about the door locking with the 3 modes, and those mean a deliberate action.

        Seems the French inspector is right.

        Sigh ...

  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:21AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @12:21AM (#163032)

    And this is just a theory. It is possible to make someone do things he would not do otherwise. Maybe he was conditioned for this suicide. Maybe some agency had been working on him for month/years just for this day. It is amazing how weak some people can be.

    Looks like conditioning, or an agent/asset, or a microchip installed in his head to make him do this.

    They said there was absolute silence in the cockpit. A sick person might make some noise, or blame someone, or blame himself for his what was about to happen. A possessed person will not.

    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @02:54AM (#163079)

      You need to seriously consider the possibility that you have been conditioned to make posts like that.

  • (Score: 2) by kbahey on Friday March 27 2015, @12:48AM

    by kbahey (1147) on Friday March 27 2015, @12:48AM (#163041) Homepage

    Now after this revelation, Air Canada changed their policy to have 2 people in the cockpit at all times.

  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Friday March 27 2015, @07:06AM

    by mendax (2840) on Friday March 27 2015, @07:06AM (#163124)

    I have to hand it to this co-pilot. He's got to have some major balls to find the courage to fly a plane into the ground. Suicide is a decision made after a period of long deliberation. Once the decision is made, a plan is made to carry it out. However, the actual act of suicide is pretty quick. The decision to pull the trigger, kick the chair out from under oneself, or jump off the bridge is usually irrevocable. The rare survivors say afterward that they regretted what they did in the first place. Yet, this guy spent minutes in a cockpit after having made the decision to crash the plane. It takes real courage to maintain the will to not change one's mind over that long of a period.

    For those Trekkies here, recall a depressed, probably suicidal Commodore Decker flying a shuttlecraft into the maw of the planet killer and the reactions the actor who played him William Windom displayed as the shuttle got close. That should give one an idea of what goes through a man's mind in that situation.

    --
    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @11:37PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2015, @11:37PM (#163360)

    What needs to happen is there needs to be a camera within the cockpit showing passengers, on a screen outside the cockpit, everything that's happening. There should also be another camera facing the cockpit entrance door with another screen showing all passengers what's happening. The doors should be unlocked. This will give passengers an earlier indication of what's happening, if something is happening (ie: a struggle) so that they can respond. Or give a security guard (or two guards) outside the cockpit access, with a key (though that presents a whole new set of problems. The security guard could be a terrorist, the security guard could have his key forcefully taken from him so that a terrorist could use it to access the cockpit. I think delegating the task to passengers is the best bet). While airliners and the govt may disagree the fact of the matter is that passengers have a right to know what's going on in and around the cockpit.