Airlines race to require 2 crew in cockpit after Germanwings crash

Airlines race to require 2 crew in cockpit after Germanwings crash

 The cockpit door locking system of an Airbus A320. Photo: Reuters

Airlines have rushed to change their rules to require a second crew member in the cockpit at all times, hours after French prosecutors suggested a co-pilot who barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner had crashed it on purpose.

The United States already requires 2 crew members to be in the cockpit at all times, but many other countries do not – allowing pilots to leave, for example to use the toilet, as long as one pilot is at the controls.

That is precisely what French prosecutors suspect happened on the Germanwings flight on Tuesday. They say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked the captain out and appears to have set the controls to crash into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board the Airbus A320.

It emerged yesterday that Lubitz had received a sick note from doctors showing he suffered a health condition that would have prevented him flying on the day of the crash, which he apparently hid from his employer, German prosecutors said.

Airlines including Norwegian Air Shuttle, Britain’s EasyJet, Air Canada, Air New Zealand and Air Berlin all said yesterday that they had introduced a requirement that two crew members be in the cockpit at all times.

Canada said it would immediately impose such a rule on all its airlines as those that already had one in place rushed to reassure customers.

Chinese mainland airlines have long been following the “rule of two”, mainland news site thepaper.cn reported yesterday. The civil aviation authority said that since the MH370 incident most mainland airlines had required another crew member to be in the cockpit if one of the pilots needed to leave temporarily.

Hong Kong carrier Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Dragonair said they already had the policy in place.

Meanwhile, Lufthansa, which initially said on Thursday it did not see any reason to hastily change its procedures, agreed it would implement the 2-person rule too.

“The passenger airlines of the Lufthansa Group will put this new rule into place as soon as possible in agreement with the relevant authorities,” Lufthansa said. The Lufthansa Group also includes Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Swiss Air and Eurowings.

Lufthansa also said it was creating a new role of group safety pilot, who will check and develop flight safety procedures and report directly to Chief Executive Carsten Spohr. Currently, each airline has its own safety pilot. The group safety pilot role will be held by Werner Maas, now the safety pilot for the Lufthansa brand. Australia’s Qantas and Singapore Airlines said they had systems in place to protect the cockpit.

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

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