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Thread: Germanwings airliner crashes in French Alps

  1. #1
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    Germanwings airliner crashes in French Alps

    Martin

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  3. #3
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    Doesn't look good - virtually no possibility of survivors.

    My thoughts and prayers to the victims' families.

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    RIP to those lost and condolences to those bereaved.
    Jay

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    Now confirmed on BBC TV that there were no survivors. R I P to crew, passengers and relatives.

    http://www.aol.com/article/2015/03/2...6pLid%3D632629

    Edit. First photo of crash site.
    Last edited by Newforest; 24th March 2015 at 16:33.
    http://www.flightmemory.com/ I have been round the world 11.83 times!

  6. #6
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    Plane reached cruise FL and then nose dived at ctld speed

    Click image for larger version. 

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    French Air Force launched Fighter jet in relation to the incident

    Tom Enders (Airbus CEO) near the Crash site

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    Source:
    reuters.com

    And others tiers

  7. #7
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    Terrible news, R.I.P.

    But something seems out of place, no Mayday or radio comms. Had there been an oxygen loss it would have continued on auto-pilot. Major structural failure and it would have dropped like a brick.

    What ever happened terrible for the families who have lost loved ones.

  8. #8
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    Horrifying news. I hope they figure out what happened. RIP !
    If it looks good, it will fly good !
    -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


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  9. #9
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    two sherperd were watching the last second of the flight


    "We were between 11 am and noon, at the foot of the mountain Tromas, when we saw an airliner that had just got around the mountain on the right. It was flying low, and its trajectory was curious. But we were at 1300 meters, with a large mountain that rises up to 2500 meters in front, we did not realize it was flying so low. And, its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather than Marseille.

    At the same time, we saw a fighter plane that seemed to make a move to avoid it. From so far away, it was even as they would collide. It was certainly looking for him, and must have had already spot it. We often have military planes flying around for exercice. They make a lot of noise. Moreover, they frighten our cattel. So, we did not hear the explosion when the plane crashed, but we realized afterwards that they had probably been the last to see this airplane.

    Tromas is 2 500 meters high and behind the Three Dioceses top off at 2900 meters. The the plane might have seek for a way out, a way out. But this is a dead-end. The aircraft then went crashing down the side of the neck Mariaud, probably on the cliffs of the massif of Three Dioceses. The fighter has certainly seen what happened. We realized after he had to be sent [on the scene]. "
    According to them it seemed as if the plane was in a ctrld flight, flying low in the valley and a fighter jet (other sources stated a Mirage 2K) was monitoring or searching for it.

    Notice that if the plane was diving they might have noticed this. they were surprised to see a commercial flight so low and it seems they have some experience spotting commercial flights in this place ( "its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather Marseille").

    Nice and Marseille being at a roughly 90deg apart in term of trajectory (see bellow).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice also that we shld found traces of Cellular signal if passenger were alive.



    Source:
    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/
    Reuters.com

    Translated via Google and slightly edited
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 24th March 2015 at 23:36.

  10. #10
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    And it seems it didn't change course, loosing altitude like it did so why not change course in order to find an emergency airport?

    What ever the reason the passengers and crew won't come back.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    two sherperd were watching the last second of the flight

    According to them it seemed as if the plane was in a ctrld flight, flying low in the valley and a fighter jet (other sources stated a Mirage 2K) was monitoring or searching for it.

    Notice that if the plane was diving they might have noticed this. they were surprised to see a commercial flight so low and it seems they have some experience spotting commercial flights in this place ( "its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather Marseille").

    Nice and Marseille being at a roughly 90deg apart in term of trajectory (see bellow).

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice also that we shld found traces of Cellular signal if passenger were alive.



    Source:
    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/
    Reuters.com

    Translated via Google and slightly edited
    That timing seems a bit late as the accident was 10.40 Local time.

    A french airforce C-135 (Flight Radar 24 calls it FAF4012) appears to have arrived overhead just before midday local time running a North South track over the area for several hours. This may have had a fighter trail and could have confused the onlookers.

  12. #12
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    That low?

    edit:

    But you might be right. Searching for crash field under clouds cover. The 135 take a path along the mountain ridge (hence looking as if it flew from Nice for observer on the ground) and the fighter a more direct approach following the A320 trajectory.

    The 135 might then have stayed airborne as a radio relay for the advanced frwd base for the rescue team the time proper comunication devices were brought in.

    Ok it fits now.
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 25th March 2015 at 01:10.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Merry View Post
    But something seems out of place, no Mayday or radio comms. Had there been an oxygen loss it would have continued on auto-pilot. Major structural failure and it would have dropped like a brick.
    Yes, its strange.

    Most logical for me would be the pilots were hands on (for whatever reason), then O2 loss and an uncontrolled (albeit somewhat stable from the radar trace) continuous dive into the ground.

    Anything else requires multiple modes of failure and/or very irrational behaviour in the cockpit.


    Regardless, its 150 people gone - my heart goes out to the families/friends of those involved.

  14. #14
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    Just to think about: A bird strike through the cockpit glass would give an explosive decompression. Pilots will descent to a lower altitude fast so no time for radio calls. Debris in the cockpit and possible severely wounded pilot(s). Leveling to late or even not been able to level............
    It's migration time for the birds from Africa back to (Northern) Europe. And some big ones fly high over the alps.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerard View Post
    And some big ones fly high over the alps.
    38k ft?!?!

    Birds can fly that high?!?!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amiga500 View Post
    38k ft?!?!

    Birds can fly that high?!?!
    I found this
    ;
    The highest officially-accepted altitude for a birdstrike is 37,000ft but there have been bird sightings at 54,000ft.

    High-altitude strikes are quite rare. Approximately 78% of strikes occur below 1,000ft and only about 1% above 10,000ft.

    Incidentally, birdstrike events are also believed to be under-reported by about 80%.

  17. #17
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    It's possible.

    I didn't realise any bird would be heavy enough to smash through a cockpit window, but given the aircraft's enclosing speed, I can understand now how it could happen.

  18. #18
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    Why would birds fly that high over med ? There is no jetstream.


    Also the plane began its descent right above shore line, nearby restricted zones (temporary restricted up to 37k ft due to UAS/UAV flights).

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    The pilot did acknowledge a request by the ctrler to climb from 31k ft to 31400 (route separation) less than one minute before initiating the descent and then no more was heard on the radio.

    Also, plane TO was delayed several minute at Barcelone.


    Sources:
    https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/
    http://www.flightradar24.com/
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 26th March 2015 at 07:12.

  19. #19
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    One pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash


    A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

    “The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

    He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”
    Source:
    The New York Times

  20. #20
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    One pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash
    Multiple news outlets are now reporting that story, e.g.:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...-couldnt-get-/

  21. #21
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    Sounds rather strange to me. I can't see official sources releasing any preliminary findings so soon.
    Engine Failure:.... A condition which occurs when all fuel tanks mysteriously become filled with air.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Alan~ View Post
    Sounds rather strange to me. I can't see official sources releasing any preliminary findings so soon.
    Weird also that we haven't heard so far about German experts being flown to France to join the investigation team. [EDIT: 3 arrived this morning]


    A Lufthansa spokesman said the carrier was aware of the Times story, adding: "We have no information from the authorities that confirms this report and we are seeking more information. We will not take part in speculation on the causes of the crash. "
    Also, something seemed wrong in the procedure:

    are co-pilots supposed to be left alone in the cockpit?

    "Procedurally, something was very wrong," said Glen Winn, an aviation instructor at the University of Southern California and an expert in aviation security and anti-terrorism.

    "You ask any pilot, they’ll tell you the same thing," Winn said. "They don’t leave a person alone in the cockpit. They don’t do it. Nobody does that."
    [...]
    typical procedure is for a flight attendant to use a food cart to block access to the cockpit when the pilot opens the door to leave. A flight attendant is supposed to remain in the cockpit and open the door for the pilot upon his or her return.
    When the flight crew does not respond to requests for entry, the door can also be unlocked by
    the cabin crew, by entering a two to seven-digit code (programmed by the airline) on the keypad,
    installed on the lateral side of the Forward Attendant Panel (FAP).
    The door is bulletproof and fully compliant with rapid decompression
    [...]
    In case of an electrical supply failure, the door is automatically unlocked, but remains
    closed.
    [...]

    [A] buzzer sounds in the cockpit for 1 to 9 s to indicate that a routine access request has been
    made, or sounds continuously if an emergency access procedure has been initiated.
    We shld hear that sound on the Voice Recorder unless the Lock mode was activated (read bellow).


    Some hve argued that the co-pilot might hve remain conscious since he had to deny an Emergency entry via the keypad, but there is a Lock mode available on the switch button on the central pedestal ctrl panel in the cockpit (3 position Unlock, Norm and lock) :

    LOCK position : Once the button has been moved to this position, the door is locked ; emergency access, the buzzer, and the keypad are inhibited for a preselected time (5 to 20 min).
    It is possible that this mode could hve been used by default by some crew or companies.


    Source:
    Reuters.com
    La Times
    Airbus A320 Operating Manual
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 26th March 2015 at 09:17.

  23. #23
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    We have the same scenario as in the rescent UK Voyager report.

    Bellow an illustration to depict flight stick mode

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    If you push once, you need to pull back to retrieve initial trajectory. With a conventional plane, the trajectory is an equilibrum btw speed and height (as a function of the trim level).

    In the case of the German A320, if the co-pilot once left alone in the cockpit felt unconscious (incapacitated) and pushed inadvertently the stick, the plane would have stabilized in a dive with the AP and safety systems regulating the acceleration and max allowed speed.

    from Airbus manual:
    Flight path stability instead of speed stability
    - control inputs are made to alter the flight path, not
    to hold it.

    Effectively, if there is nobody anymore to alter a wrong input... Would you like your steering wheel acting the same?

    But we hve alrdy discussed all that in the Stuntman thread and around AF447 with the ridiculous cheap spring mounted stick mechanism endorsed by Airbus.

    Source:
    A319-320-321 Flight Deck and Systems Briefing for Pilots
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 26th March 2015 at 09:23.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    In the case of the German A320, if the co-pilot once left alone in the cockpit felt unconscious (incapacitated)
    So how did the door override lock get engaged?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amiga500 View Post
    So how did the door override lock get engaged?
    I think it might be some sort of habits or procedure to keep crew member safe from being held in hostage for the password.

    Preset is only 5 min but can be extended manually. That might be why the tension took time to rise in the voice of the Pilot lock out.

    So, in that hypo, the Pilot exit, the copi lock the door and then experience something that let him incapacitated...

  26. #26
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    Agree with Amiga, we have a virtually identical system on the Embraer195/175, it would take positive action from a crew member to override an attempt by anyone trying to gain access to the flightdeck.

  27. #27
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    Lock mode available on the switch button on the central pedestal ctrl panel in the cockpit (3 position Unlock, Norm and lock) :

    In the aircraft Manual:
    LOCK position : Once the button has been moved to this position, the door is locked ; emergency access, the buzzer, and the keypad are inhibited for a preselected time (5 to 20 min).

    Last edited by TomcatViP; 26th March 2015 at 11:03.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomcatViP View Post
    I think it might be some sort of habits or procedure to keep crew member safe from being held in hostage for the password.
    Yes, thats the idea - but its not something that is engaged until required. Procedure would be strictly not to arm this system unless required - exactly because of any unforeseen medical emergency to the pilot in the cockpit.

    [i.e. when the cabin crew/would be hijacker are battering on the door looking access codes.]

  29. #29
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    Alps crash

    The Marseille prosecutor has just said during interview, that 'voluntary' actions of the co-pilot resulted in the crash.

  30. #30
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    It;s just been announced on the BBC Website that the co-pilot deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit and crashed intentionally. If correct this makes the event even more awful
    Mike

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