Tags: America's Forum | Keith Cianfrani | Charles Bernat | Germanwings | Airbus | crash

Aviation Expert: 'Absurd' to Allow Only One Pilot in Flight Deck

By    |   Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 11:46 AM

As soon as he saw the rapid descent of the Germanwings airliner on Wednesday, aviation security expert Keith Cianfrani suspected foul play, he said during an appearance Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."

"Those aircrafts are very sophisticated, the Airbus," he said. "They make good aircrafts and for the aircraft to descend that quickly, there's only two reasons why you descend in that manner. One is that you have a rapid decompression and that's a rapid descent and then if you lose an engine it's a slow descent. But that type of descent, to me, initially when I saw something else had to be taking place inside the cockpit and possibly a terrorist act."

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Fellow aviation security expert and pilot Charles "Bud" Bernat said it's inexplicable that there were not two pilots in the flight deck.

"That's absurd and dangerous," he said. "What happened if that captain left the flight deck and the first pilot had a heart attack? No one is in control."

U.S. airline protocol calls for at least two pilots in the cockpit, according to Cianfrani.

"If one of the crew members in the cockpit leaves, then they have to have another one in there at all times until that individual comes back," he said. "When they exchange the code, sort of combination to get in, somebody else goes in, to try to kind of prevent something like this from happening."

Bernat agreed: "I don't think an air carrier without that policy should be allowed to fly into U.S. airspace or to be certified as a commercial carrier," he said.

All 150 people on board died when the A320 Airbus crashed into the French Alps. A French prosecutor has said it appears the German co-pilot, 28-year-old Andres Lubitz, locked the captain out of the cockpit as Lubitz took control of the airliner's control panel just before it collided into the mountain as passengers cried out in horror, according to recordings.

Lubitz, according to officials, has no known terrorist ties.

Cianfrani also noted that it's curious that the captain left the cockpit after a relatively short period of time after takeoff – approximately 30 minutes.
 
"I know the policies with a lot of airlines where they'll try to stay in there as long as possible and make the exit outside of the cockpit as minimal as possible," Cianfrani said. "So that kind of alarmed me a little bit."

The post 9/11-cockpit doors are "almost impenetrable," according to Bernat.

"The co-pilot had access to override and also put a mechanical lock in the locking mechanism so you can't access it from the cabin area and that seems to be what he did," he said. "A second person in there might've been able to prevent that from happening for sure."

He characterized the co-pilot's actions as "mindboggling … totally alien. It goes against all the principles of a professional aviator," he said.

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As soon as he saw the rapid descent of the Germanwings airliner on Wednesday, aviation security expert Keith Cianfrani suspected foul play, he said during an appearance Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum."
Keith Cianfrani, Charles Bernat, Germanwings, Airbus, crash
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2015-46-26
Thursday, 26 Mar 2015 11:46 AM
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