While these functions are disabled, the video shows, the only way to make contact with the crew is via an intercom. The doors can then only be opened if someone inside overrides the lock command by moving and holding the toggle switch to the “unlock” position.
If someone outside the cockpit suspects the pilot is incapacitated, that person would normally first try to establish contact via the intercom or by activating a buzzer. If those efforts were unsuccessful, the video shows, a crew member outside the cockpit would need to enter an emergency code on the keypad.
The code activates a loud buzzer and flashing light on the cockpit control panel, and it sets off a timer that unlocks the door 30 seconds later. The person outside has five seconds to enter before the door locks again.
At the crash site, a senior official working on the investigation said, workers found the casing of the plane’s other so-called black box, the flight data recorder, but the memory card containing data on the plane’s altitude, speed, location and condition was not inside, apparently having been thrown loose or destroyed by the impact.
It often takes months or even years to determine the causes of plane crashes, but a little more than a year after the disappearance of a Malaysian airlines jetliner that has never been found, the loss of the Germanwings flight is shaping up to be particularly perplexing to investigators.
Huh. So we have two instances of high implausibility: one, that a pilot also turns out to have inclinations to mass murder and, two, that the memory card from the flight data recorder magically got “thrown loose” from a flight data recorder that is specifically designed to withstand 3200 g’s and not throw its components loose.
As a member of the Junior Crime Scene Investigators Brigade, I have assembled an entire toolbox of methods. One of those is this little ditty, which some in my audience are already familiar with:
One, two, three; that’s enough for me.
One, two, buckle my shoe. It ain’t three, but it’s close enough for me.
When I calculate the likelihood of a proposed sequence of events, I multiply together the likelihoods of all the individual factors upon which the proposed sequence of events depends. This proposed scenario, for example, depends upon two failures: that the pilot failed such that he decided to commit mass murder, and that the Flight Data Recorder failed in a manner in which it was specifically designed not to fail.
Let us suppose that, in the history of commercial aviation, there have been, say, ten thousand commercial pilots. (Who knows what the real number is.) And out of those ten thousand, let us say that we can prove that a total of two pilots went cuckoo and deliberately drove their aircraft into the ground. That yields a likelihood of two divided by ten thousand, or 0.0002.
And in the history of Flight Data Recorders specifically designed to withstand the most catastrophic impacts, let us estimate the likelihood of the recording media being “thrown loose” to be vanishingly small. Let’s say 0.00001.
So to calculate the likelihood that both events occurred at the same time to contribute to the same event, we multiply them. So for our thought experiment, that yields 0.0002 times 0.00001, or two to the negative ninth power, which, if I remember my high school physics, is something like 0.000000002.
Does it really seem all that plausible?
And from reading the article above, we learn that it takes weeks or months to determine the cause of a crash. What is the likelihood, then, that even a crack prosecutor could possess all the facts necessary to conclude the cause of the crash within a scant day and a half? Pretty slim? Let’s say the likelihood is 0.01. That’s one in a hundred.
So let’s add that instance of implausibility to the mix: 0.000000002 times 0.01 yields a likelihood of two to the negative eleventh power, or 0.00000000002.
And what about the cockpit door? It’s designed to open within thirty seconds of an emergency code being entered at the keypad, even if the door had been locked from the inside. Let’s say that the door fails at a rate of one in ten thousand entry attempts, or 0.0001.
Let’s add that fourth implausibility to the mix: two to the negative eleventh power times 0.0001 equals two to the negative fourteenth power, or 0.00000000000002.
That’s pretty slim.
At this point, there is a greater chance of space aliens’ having resurrected Osama bin Laden’s corpse and teleported him onto the plane to carry out his malignant malefactory.
And you now see why I officially believe that Osama bin Laden did it.
I am America’s Senior Comedian. Thank you for your kind attention in this matter.