Saturday, July 12, 2014

Air NZ's Safety Manager Helps Hijackers

You've no doubt heard of the 'curious' incident aboard Air New Zealand's Perth-Auckland flight NZ176 back in two pilots were stood down after the captain didn't open the cockpit door for the co-pilot for two minutes mid-flight!
The story goes that, during the flight, the first officer left the flight deck for a widdle and had a coffee with a crew member in the galley. Air NZ's operational integrity and safety manager, Errol Burtenshaw: "Given the altitude of the flight, the captain donned his oxygen mask, as is standard procedure when one pilot exits the flight deck in a two-person flight crew." But when the first officer wanted back in, the crew member spent two minutes trying to alert the captain that his off-sider was waiting at the cockpit door. Burtenshaw says the captain failed to respond because he was approaching a navigational waypoint and his cockpit monitor showed a crew member was ringing, rather than the first officer.
Now, here's where Burtenshaw cocks up: "The first officer became concerned that the captain did not answer the calls and used an alternative entry method to gain access."
What the hell was Air NZ thinking, confirming to the world a security flaw in 777s?!! The consequences of this PR blunder, revealing that locked cockpit doors on 777s can be readily bypassed, will surely be immense. It let out a secret that the industry's been at pains not to discuss for years! The flaw directly compromises the security of the cockpit and critical electronic systems. The secret had been remarkably well kept, and with a few words, it's now blown!
Security measures will need to be put in place urgently, around the world. Well done, Errol Burtenshaw - you just earnt yourself 72 virgins in the Hereafter!

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