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Pilots raise doubts over four-eyes rule after Germanwings crash.

BERLyN (CyHAN)- Pilots around the world have expressed doubts over the so-called four-eyes rule which many airlines rushed to bring in following the Germanwings crash in which co-pilot Andreas Lubitz allegedly locked the pilot out of the cockpit and flew the plane into an Alpine mountain.

Show of Disobedience: French Pilots Stand Up Against EASA's 'Rule of Two'

The aeroplane, registered D-AIPX, operated by Germanwings, flight 4U-9525, crashed in the Alps on March 24, 2015, killing all 150 people on board.

Following examination and downloading of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), French prosecutor Brice Robin concluded that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had locked pilot Patrick Sondheimer out of the cockpit and then deliberately put the aircraft into a downwards glide path which caused the crash.

The CVR also revealed the way that Sondheimer had attempted to override to door lock, only to be over-ridden by Lubitz. The recording included Sondheimer shouting through the locked door before using an axe, unsuccessfully, to batter down the hardened door.

Australian Airlines Adopt Two-Person Cockpit Rule After Germanwings Crash

However, pilots have said the rush to enforce the four-eyes rule -- whereby a member of the cabin crew swaps places with either pilot leaving the cockpit for a break -- is not a panacea.

They cite a previous example of one pilot having to lock another pilot out of the cockpit because he had 'gone mad'. Others say the cabin-swap highlights the opening and closing of the cockpit door, which could be exploited by terrorists. Worse still, many US pilots carry handguns and would be able to shoot the cabin crew.

John Walton, writing in Airways News said: "While horrifying and shocking, pilot murder-suicide is infinitesimally rare. An impenetrable flight deck has been a feature, not a problem, in the past. Almost exactly two years before Germanwings 9525, JetBlue pilot Clayton Osbon had a significant mental health event during the flight and was locked out of the flight deck by his first officer.

Serious Doubts Raised Over Germanwings 4U-9525 Investigation

"Fortunately, an off-duty pilot was also on the aircraft, and Osbon was arrested, found not guilty of interference with a flight crew on the grounds of insanity, and treated in a federal mental health facility before being released later that year."

Germanwings Rogue Pilot -- Nothing New

Aviation sources say there have been at least four other crashes since 1994 that investigators believe may have been caused by deliberate pilot action: A Royal Air Maroc ATR 42 in 1994, a Silk Air Boeing 737 in 1997, an Egyptair Boeing 767 in 1999 and a Linhas Aereas de Mocambique (LAM) Embraer 190 in November 2013. (Cihan/Ria Novosti)

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Apr 9, 2015
Words:455
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