Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, reinforced security has included the cockpit – with features that are often redundant.
New information about the Germanwings flight suggest that an unbreakable door, button code locking, and ignored procedures allowed the co-pilot to crash the airplane.
Germanwings owner Lufthansa does not require a cabin crew member to enter the cockpit if one of the pilots steps out.
Cockpit locks are designed to be controlled from the inside, electronically. An outsider can get in if they know the code, but there is an “override” button that can keep them out anyway, if the pilot holds it down.
Some critics say keypad entry could endanger cabin crew if they are pressured to reveal the code.
Below, CNN goes inside an A320 flight simulator to see how someone could be locked out of the cockpit.
According to Yahoo Singapore, the second day of the international search operation produced scant (or no) evidence of the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501, which departed for Singapore from Surabaya’s Juanda International Airport on Sunday morning and dropped off the radar after about an hour of flight.
Flight search operations were suspended by about 6:45pm Indonesia time on December 29th, while some 30 ships from Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia continued searching the Java sea in the northern and eastern parts of Belitung island past dusk.
According to the Huffington Post, the Indonesian Transport Ministry’s air transportation director Joko Muryo Atmodjo said no distress signal had been sent from the plane, adding, “Therefore we cannot assume anything yet.”
“We are coordinating with [the] rescue team and looking for its position. We believe it is somewhere between Tanjung Pandan, a town on Belitung island, and Kalimantan,” he said.
Two more Singapore naval vessels, a landing ship tank and a Singaporean submarine support and rescue vessel, have been given the green light to set sail for the area by authorities.
15 planes from various nations have been searching for the airliner.
On board the missing AirAsia plane were a total of 162 people — 138 adults, 16 children and one infant, making up 155 passengers along with seven crew members (two pilots, four flight attendants and one engineer).
The last communication from the cockpit to air traffic control was a request by one of the pilots to increase altitude from 32,000 feet (9,754 meters) to 38,000 feet (11,582 meters) because of the rough weather.
The U.K. Daily Mail states that the pilot in command, Captain Iriyanto, had a substantial total of 6,100 flying hours and the first officer, Remi Emmanual Plesel, a total of 2,275 flying hours, said AirAsia.
AirAsia has established an Emergency Call Center for family or friends of those on board the aircraft, at: +62 212 927 0811 or 031- 869 0855 or 031- 298 6790 (Surabaya).