Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Lufthansa Ab Initio Training Part II

By Camilo on May 19, 2015 0 Comments

In this blog post I discussed the amazingly low attrition rate of Lufthansa’s ab initio (from the beginning) pilot training program. Today, something a little different: the change that has ensued in the actual flying portion of pilot training. In 2006, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)¬†created a new qualification, the Multi-Crew Pilot License (MPL). … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Lufthansa Ab Initio Training, Part I

By Camilo on May 19, 2015 0 Comments

Here’s a presentation by Lufthansa to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on their ab initio (from the beginning) pilot training syllabus. Some thoughts on this: Slide 6 depicts the Lufthansa pilot selection process. What is striking about this graphic is the 95-98% success rate in step 3, “pilot school,” (aka flight school.) This is … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

Germanwings Successfully Down the Memory Hole?

By Camilo on April 22, 2015 0 Comments

The Germanwings mishap/murder investigation has gone very quiet lately. Major media focused on aircraft design, interviews of past girlfriends, speculation into mental illness, pilot training, and self-disclosure protocols for pilot medical qualifications. Nobody addressed the real issue: pilot trustworthiness. In what we in the U.S. call “general aviation” (GA), pilot suicides are rare, but not … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings, Pilot Trustworthiness

Sucking Up a Seat Cushion

By Camilo on April 6, 2015 0 Comments

This is gross, but pilots have a saying: “sucking up a seat cushion.” It means that things have gotten tense in the cockpit because of some emergency, enemy action or the lack of some aviation essential (runway, altitude, airspeed or fuel). You can imagine a pilot tensing up – all over – under such circumstances, … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

PBS Aviation Spot Delivers

By Camilo on April 5, 2015 0 Comments

Judy Woodruff interviews two men for this spot: Warren Silberman, MD, a former Manager of Aerospace Medical Certification for the FAA now in private practice, and William Hurt Sledge, MD, professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, who has screened pilots for the US Air Force and airlines for years. It is worth … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

Lufthansa Knew About Lubitz’ Depression

By Camilo on April 1, 2015 0 Comments

When Andreas Lubitz left training in 2009 for treatment, he disclosed to Lufthansa that it was for “previous episode of severe depression.” Lufthansa probably had no right to discontinue his training at that point, according to their hiring process, because Lubitz had by then obtained medical clearance to fly.

Aviation, Germanwings

Germanwings: What It Wasn’t

By Camilo on March 31, 2015 0 Comments

In the wake of the mass murder/suicide Andreas Lubitz committed when he crashed Germanwings flight 9525 into the Alps last week, we’ve tried to find the reason. The airplane and his training as a pilot have been ruled out. Inquiries into Lubitz’ character and motivation are ongoing. We know he was not a Muslim terrorist, … Continue Reading

Aviation, Germanwings

Was Germanwings Copilot a Ticking Timebomb?

By Camilo on March 28, 2015 0 Comments

Andreas Lubitz’ ex-girlfriend provided some retrospective warnings about his mental state. She probably dismissed his statements that he would do things “that would change the system,” and¬† that “everyone will then know my name and remember me,” as delusional. This isn’t hard to connect to his actions to crash the Airbus. Still, we should wait … Continue Reading