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New ‘rule of two’ in jet cockpits

Following the tragic Airline crash earlier this week by the Germanwings aircraft in the South of France, airlines across the globe have ordered there should be two people in the cockpit at all times.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew the Airbus A320 into the ground near Seyne-les-Alpes, killing all 150 on board.

Ryanair, Jet2, FlyBe, Aer Lingus and Monarch already demand the “rule of two” all times and last night EasyJet, Air Berlin, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Virgin and Thomas Cook all said they were changing their rules.

Germanwings owner Lufthansa has so far not done so, with chief executive officer Carsten Spohr saying he thought it unnecessary. “I don’t see any need to change our procedures. It was a one-off. But we will look at it with the various experts at Lufthansa and the authorities. We shouldn’t lose ourselves in short-term measures.”

European Aviation Safety Agency rules state that pilots should remain in the cockpit at all times unless they have a “physiological” need, but do not, as yet, demand two people are on the flight deck at all times.

The Civil Aviation Authority has said it is “monitoring the situation” and has told airlines to review their procedures. It has said all pilots undergo regular health checks and that their mental health is part of this.

American airlines have had a ‘rule of two’ since the September 11 hijackings when all airlines installed tough security measures to stop unauthorised entry to the cockpit

The new changes come after examining magistrate Brice Robin told a press conference yesterday that the cockpit voice recorder revealed that Lubitz locked captain Patrick Sonderheimer out, put the plane into a descent and deliberately crashed the jet.

Mr Robin said: “He intended to destroy the plane. Death was instant. I don’t think passengers realised what was happening until the last moments because on the recording you only hear the screams in the final seconds.”

It has since been revealed that Lubitz took a long break from pilot training because of a period of depression.

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