"t took a few thousand deaths for the airlines to get their acts together."
Sounds about right.
They're not saying all the United cockpits use the same code are you?
You get the feeling United's PR boss must be praying for death at this point, after his employer admitted to another serious cockup. After settling the case of a doctor who had his teeth knocked out for refusing to be bumped from his flight, and with the current legal action over a giant rabbit that died in transit on one of …
Not a big deal anyway. The occupants of the cockpit can still choose to block entry even if the code is known:
The Germanwings incident shows yet another example of the stupidity of airline regulations. You can't even carry on a thread cutter with a 1/4inch blade for embroidery because it has a sharp edge yet there are AXES already on board so that the crew can try break down the cockpit door. Any genuine axe murderer would have a field day.
They're not saying all the United cockpits use the same code are you?
Not only that, it is VERY EASY to watch a steward(ess) enter the digits ...
The system makes EVERYBODY feel safer, so I guess it is OK ... Note that almost anybody can break a piece of plastic off a seat to have a sharp weapon of mass destruction ... pretty sure you can pass security with a piece of sharp plastic ... I managed to board a flight with a cork screw, hehehe, told the security guyz I was French, worked!
...for the door codes to be changed? WTF?
I suppose it's like where I used to work in local government where if you needed the door keypad number to be changed you had to submit a change request to Sites & Premises and wait for Finance to approve it and wait for the caretaker who knew which cupboard the hex spanner was in to turn up. "We'll get around to it in the next few weeks" doesn't cut it when a councillor has defected to another party and the door code needs to be changed NOW so he can't get back in again.
Supposedly they change the code annually so I believe they'll just do it early this year. The pilots also have a button in the cockpit that overrides the keypad so even if someone got a hold of the correct combination, they would still have to convince the pilots into letting them in. I'm also willing to bet that the crew has a duress word to let the pilots know that a face-to-face request (so to speak) isn't legitimate.
I'm also willing to bet that the crew has a duress word to let the pilots know that a face-to-face request (so to speak) isn't legitimate.
Knowing these muppets it'll be a word they have to say only when threatened, a bit difficult with a weapon at your back. Better you pick a word you have to say each time if everything is ok. If the attacker tells you to only say what he tells you then he's not gonna know you normally mention 'Squirrel' and when the pilot doesn't hear that he knows something's up.
There've already been a few cases where one of the pilots has been locked outside the cockpit either inadvertently, due to system failure, or intentionally as happened with the Germanwings suicide crash. They don't prevent hijacking (think rogue cabin crew with access to the cockpit) and if a hijacking does occur, then the passengers are completely at the mercy of the terrorists who will lock themselves inside.
Plus, how secure is the code changing procedure? Is it really involved, or are they hiding the fact that anyone with a motive, access, and a paper clip could change it? I have a laptop lock that has the same level of security, if that is the case. Best keep that one under lock and... oh yeah. Never mind.
Plus, how secure is the code changing procedure? Is it really involved, or are they hiding the fact that anyone with a motive, access, and a paper clip could change it?
I'll hazard a guess that it requires one of the super secret, super secure universal luggage keys that the TSA agents use to rifle through your belongings.
IMHO it's just down to risk probability. A suicide pilot or a rogue cabin crew are less probable of terrorists trying to hijack the airplane.
As already mentioned, they can make hijackings more dangerous, not less, should the terrorists take control of the cockpit.
Anyway, after 9/11 hijacking became much less feasible purely through an alteration in probable human behaviour and psychology. Nowadays, very few passengers will follow the orders of terrorists while they attempt to take control of an aircraft, as used to happen in the past, since they know there's a strong likelihood that the plane will be used for a suicide mission. In any conceivable situation the passengers will vastly outnumber the terrorists, so their odds of success have now become negligible.
Sure, there were no hijacks since 2001, right? In some of them passenger reacted, but not all of them.
Also, it someone gets into the cockpit, it takes very little to put the plane in a non-recoverable dive. Made soon after take of, or before landing, it can still create big damages, although may not allow for hitting specific objectives.
Truly indicative that a biblical plague is descending on United Airlines!
"Kinda like the Iraq War, come to think about it."
Everyone knows that the US Army have some of the most poorly trained soldiers in the world. A US soldier can have as little as 6 weeks training. As a comparison, UK soldiers have a minimum of 28 weeks... What happened was that the US aimed for Saudi Arabia and missed!
"As little a 6 weeks training"
Oh, really? Training in the US Army is split into two components: basic training, which all soldiers regardless of specialty, must take and which lasts10 weeks, not 6, and advanced training, which varies by specialty and which can last 52 weeks. Might be as short as another 10. Anyone who's done just six weeks ain't out of basic yet. The USMC does 12 weeks of basic, plus varying amounts of advanced. Where _do_ you get your info?
The button in the cockpit is a time based lockout. If nobody buzzes the person in when a code is entered the person is let into the cockpit after x seconds. If someone presses the lockout button the keypad (and thus the door) is locked out for some time (I believe a minute or something) so pilots have to keep pressing the button to keep the door closed. If no-one presses the button the cockpit door can be opened. (Yes, they've put atleast SOME thought into this)
I'm sorry to say you are incorrect as far as the Germanwings crash is concerned.
The French Air Accident Investigation Bureau (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses, (BEA)) have made an English translation of their final report available for download on their website, here:
If you look at the section on the cockpit door locking system (Section 1.6.4 starting on page 19) you will see the door could be locked permanently (no timeout) by whoever was in the cockpit. Details are on page 21:
"...three-position toggle switch..."
" - If they move the switch to the LOCK position, the door is kept locked. The acoustic signal stops. The red LED lights up continuously on the keypad to indicate locking is voluntary. Any interaction with the keypad is then disabled for 5 minutes (until the extinction of the red LED) (10). At any time, the crew in the cockpit may cancel this locking by placing the switch in the UNLOCK position. The door then immediately unlocks.
- In the absence of any input on the switch, the door remains locked. No LEDs light up on the keypad. The acoustic signal stops after one second."
In other words, on that model of Airbus, in the configuration used at the time, someone in control of the cockpit could lock out other people indefinitely, without needing "to keep pressing the button".
There was a lot of discussion on PPRuNe about this at the time.
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Locking the cockpit door is only effective if every other security procedure has failed - a bad guy has to get on the plane first AND they have to be effectively armed, so preflight checks have failed AND passenger scanning has failed. What are the chances?
Realistically we're in far more danger from a bent laptop battery in the baggage compartment.
Better for the battery to be in the cabin where someone with an extinguisher can put it out and dump it in a bucket of water than in the hold where it will burn and then set light to all the suitcases and clothes and other lithium batteries where no one can do anything bar releasing the one shot extinguisher system and praying...
that the cockpit door codes can be changed rather easily by the appropriate flight maintenance crew. The issue of course is distributing the updated codes to the, lets see now:
a) flight deck crews that will be flying the plane
b) the cabin staff that will be serving the flight deck crews
c) the ground staff that maintain the equipment on the aircraft
d) the security folks at the airports that will need to be able to access the fight deck in the event of a flight deck crew emergency
e) the foreign ground staff all over the planet that need to maintain the equipment on the flight deck.
I'm rather sure that the list is somewhat longer than that.
Security theatre. KeyWord Theatre.
The cleaners have to have access to the cockpit.
You know, those
highly trained, hand-picked specialists that got their security clearance after a robust and thorough vetting process who are paid so well that trying to bribe them is futile outsourced guys on zero hours contracts who'll switch jobs in a heartbeat at the mere chance of landing a gig that pays minimum wage, working shitty jobs for shitty companies whose rate of staff turnover are so large that they'll hire anyone who stands still for long enough to stuff them into a cheap polyester coverall.
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