Co-pilot crashed commercial jet shows need for emergency remote override and crash alert

The chief Marseille prosecutor handling the investigation of the crash of a Germanwings jetliner said on Thursday that evidence from the cockpit voice recorder indicated that the co-pilot had deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the plane into its fatal descent.

How to get Emergency Remote override

In the case of the Germanwings jetliner. The sane pilot or a stewardess would activate a commercial aviation grade Crashalert. Lifealert is famous for the “I have fallen and cannot get up” commercials.

This would have ground control institute an emergency override and first put the plane into safe flight mode. Where it could no longer have a rapid descent and would have crash avoidance systems active. Video cameras would be broadcast the interior of the plane to the remote center. The situation could be investigated and when in doubt just put the plane in for a safe landing at the nearest suitable airport.

This would deal with 9-11 situations and the Germanwings situation.

Passengers, stewardesses and airmartials could register and pre-certify themselves and be given the suitable level of permissions to crashalert. Even uncertified people could call in but would not have total priority until sanity investigations are conducted. But activating cameras and checking instrumentation remotely could be done.

The systems could also feed information for general automated remote monitoring. This could put a plane into more active monitoring when unusual activity is detected.

Thousands of trained remote pilots

The Defense Department planned to spend about $5 billion on unmanned systems in fiscal 2015, the vast majority for unmanned aerial systems, or UAVs, according to a report. The Pentagon has more than 200 Predators and more than 100 Reapers, which can also be used for strike missions and are made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., based in San Diego.

There are nearly 1,000 active-duty pilots for Predators and Reapers, though more than 1,200 such pilots are needed.

The Air Force currently trains about 180 remotely piloted aircraft operators a year, but needs about 300 of them and loses about 240 due to attrition, Welsh said. Even the training units are chronically understaffed because many trainers are pulled from operational units, he said.

The service is considering following the Army in allowing non-commissioned officers fly unmanned aircraft.

Have a remote piloting center and separate oversight of remote piloting activity. Make sure no one crazy at the remote center can do something bad either.

Autoland systems have existed since the 1960s. They were designed to make landing possible in visibility too poor to permit any form of visual landing, although they can be used at any level of visibility. They are usually used when visibility is less than 600 meters RVR and/or in adverse weather conditions, although limitations do apply for most aircraft—for example, for a Boeing 747-400 the limitations are a maximum headwind of 25 kts, a maximum tailwind of 10 kts, a maximum crosswind component of 25 kts, and a maximum crosswind with one engine inoperative of five knots. They may also include automatic braking to a full stop once the aircraft is on the ground, in conjunction with the autobrake system, and sometimes auto deployment of spoilers and thrust reversers.

SOURCES – Wikipedia, New York Times, military.com

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