Deliberate destruction of an airliner is virtually ruled out in Russian aviation as two people are always present in the cockpit, a source in the aviation industry told Interfax.
"The flight instructions used by all Russian airlines envisage a special procedure for crew members to leave the cockpit. If a plane captain or second pilot need to leave the cockpit for some reason, as a rule, the elder flight attendant is called, who can quickly notify the ground services and call the crewmember who left back if the pilot who remains in the cockpit feels poorly or in the event of any other emergency," the source said.
The source said that there are currently no plans make any changes to the flight regulations due to the plane crash in the French Alps.
"The current regulations are very effective and can prevent most emergencies onboard. For this reason, there is no point changing anything here," he said.
The source said pilots working for Russian airlines undergo annual medical and flight expert evaluations, which, nevertheless, do not involve psychiatric evaluations. Pilots are required to provide doctors' certificates stating that they have no psychiatric diseases.
"In the meantime, people seeking to enter flight schools undergo very tough control, including control of their psychological status, and pilots undergo extra psychological evaluations when they are employed by airlines and are trained to fly different types of aircraft. If pilots develop specific psychiatric disorders in the course of work and especially if they get registered [as psychiatric patients], they are required to notify their employers about that. In that situation, they are immediately suspended from flights to prevent risks to passengers. Their future in the profession is decided by the airline, but they are not allowed to fly aircraft," the source said.
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