## Comment: it could have been an accident (Score 3, Insightful) 727

While the new info about the cockpit door mechanism seems compelling, it may be worthwhile to take a look at the tragic catastrophe of
Germanwings in the light of a crude calculation that illustrates just
how staggering is the number of hours flown per year.

Let's assume that on average a person faints only once in a lifetime, and that on average we spend 5 minutes a day with seeking out and using the restroom. Then on average we should expect in every 70*365*24*24*60/5 = 177 million hours that a pilot faints while another is using the restroom, assuming that these two events are uniformly distributed and independent. According to IATA the total number of flight hours in 2012 was 45 million. Dividing the two numbers we see that we should expect such a joint occurrence to happen once in every four years. That it does not happen this frequently is essentially due to the retentive heroism of the pilots, that they tend to stay put even when the urge comes until they guide the plane to safety.

Let's assume that on average a person faints only once in a lifetime, and that on average we spend 5 minutes a day with seeking out and using the restroom. Then on average we should expect in every 70*365*24*24*60/5 = 177 million hours that a pilot faints while another is using the restroom, assuming that these two events are uniformly distributed and independent. According to IATA the total number of flight hours in 2012 was 45 million. Dividing the two numbers we see that we should expect such a joint occurrence to happen once in every four years. That it does not happen this frequently is essentially due to the retentive heroism of the pilots, that they tend to stay put even when the urge comes until they guide the plane to safety.