March 26, 2015 6:42 pm
Updated: March 26, 2015 8:49 pm

Germanwings crash “sobering” for Manitoba school trip


WINNIPEG – Owen Bugera and his classmates from Vita are leaving on a school trip to London and Paris, a trip two years in the making. But the group had some troubling news on their minds.

“Why, why did that happen is unexplainable,” said Burgera as the group prepared to board a flight at Winnipeg’s Richardson International Airport.

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Some of the excitement faded after they learned a group of German students on a class trip were killed in the Germanwings plane crash in France Tuesday – and how the disaster happened.

“It’s very sobering to see,” said Teacher Samantha Wiens, “I read about the students and teacher that died that of course I connect with because that’s what I do.”

150 passengers and crew were killed instantly when a Germanwings Airbus 320 crashed into the French Alps Tuesday. The cockpit voice recorder showed when the pilot left the cabin to use the washroom, the co-pilot locked him out, and started descending, crashing into a mountain minutes later.

“To hear the pilot got locked out I don’t know why he didn’t have a code to get back into the cabin, a little concerning,” said Dave Schumacher, catching a flight to Edmonton from Winnipeg.

There actually is a code for emergency entry to the A320’s cockpit in case someone inside is incapacitated. But the override code known to the crew does not go into effect if the person inside
the cockpit specifically denies entry.

While some travelers in Winnipeg are worried, others feel the Germanwings tragedy is a rare and isolated incident.

“I feel our pilots are very capable, well balanced and safe,” said Carlito Arceo, while dropping his wife off at the airport, “I agree it’s not something I should live afraid of travelling or flying.”

But it prompted the federal government to implement a new rule, forcing all Canadian flights to have two crew members in the cabin at all times.

“It’s effective immediately, they must comply with this order,” said Federal Transport Minister Lisa Raitt.

This even includes smaller passenger planes, some that only have one pilot.

“If you’re carrying passengers, this is going to apply to you,” said Raitt.

It’s not clear how those smaller planes will accommodate the new rule, but it comes as a relief to this group of students.

“That makes me feel safer on the flight,” said Bugera.

With files from Associated Press

© 2015 Shaw Media

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