Germanwings plane crash: How could pilot be ‘locked out’ of the cockpit?

The question is, why would a pilot block emergency access to the cockpit?

Germanwings plane crash: How could pilot be ‘locked out’ of the cockpit?

The revelations from the Germanwings A320 voice recorder overnight has sparked speculation about access to the cockpit of a passenger jet. An investigator has reportedly said that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not get back in before the plane crashed killing all 150 people on board. The recordings did not make clear why the pilot left the cockpit or why he could not regain entry as the plane steadily descended toward a mountain range on Tuesday.

Investigators will study the voice recordings from one of the “black boxes” for answers today while the search continued for a second black box. “The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” an unnamed investigator told the New York Times. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.” “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down,” the investigator added.

It is understood that in the scenario that the pilot becomes incapacitated, there is an emergency code which can be used to access an Airbus A320 cockpit. This sounds a warning alarm in the cockpit before releasing the lock for five seconds. However, an Australian pilot, who has flown the Airbus A320, has said it is possible for a person inside the cockpit to ‘block’ emergency access. The pilot, who has not been named, told the Sydney Morning Herald a pilot could stop his colleague accessing the cockpit if he reacts quickly enough.

“If the person on the other side of the door says ‘no’, you can’t get in,” the Australian pilot said.

The question is, why would a pilot block emergency access to the cockpit?
Lufthansa said the 24-year-old jet had repairs to a landing gear hatch on Monday – but insisted that this was not a safety issue and that repairs had been done to reduce noise. The teams were looking for the flight data recorder which holds key technical information such as pressure altitude, airspeed, heading, acceleration and the time radio transmissions were made by the crew.

Source : PTI

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