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Thread: Germanwings A320 on BCN-DUS flight crash near Nice, France

  1. #21
    Junior Member Kpeters's Avatar
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    I know it's too much speculation but I'm thinking of 2 things.

    -Lufthansa incident type of decent were they had to disable the autopilot but didn't realize it until it was too late.

    -Violent decompression with expedite descent and distracted pilots?
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  2. #22
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    Sounds like a sudden decompression...!
    Even in the worst case scenario of a sudden decompression, I would ask the ATC for clearance to go to 10,000 Ft. because I don't want to crash my airplane with another traffic.
    So, everything sounds like a "catastrophic sudden decompression". Midair collision? explosion at the cargo compartment?
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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by elaw View Post
    2a. Say what you know, stress repeatedly that it is preliminary/incomplete/unverified/etc. information, and still be criticized for providing a picture that is not 100% correct and complete.

    I don't by any means always agree with what politicians/officials do, but in no-win situations like this I do feel sorry for them.
    2b. Let knowledgeable people speak to media. Explain that as Ministry in Charge, you are responsible for ressources being allocated, and priorities given. Period. Tell the press :
    i. who is in charge of SAR operations (French Gendarmerie), technical investigation (French BEA and German DFS probably), criminal investigation (Procureur of Nice).
    ii. that those independant authorities (the two latter, Gendarmerie is not independant) will convene Press conference when they will have information.

    I'm fed up of policitians that jump on every occasion to capture crowd attention by playing on emotions. I sadly remember even our French President, promising very seriously that "all bodies" from Air Algerie crash would be carried back to France, without understanding that there is no "body" to recover after an airliner crashes nose down.

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    Images from the scene ...



    Daily Mail Article and images

  5. #25
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    There's a graph plot of the altitude and VS data on Pprune that seems to indicate phugoid occillations in the descent. I think this suggests that the pilots were not in command (incapacited?) and/or that the A/C might have been in OPEN DES mode. The VS seems too shallow for a controlled decompression scenario. And of course no comms...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    Images from the scene ...
    Saw that and another one on avherald. Is the large scattering of very small pieces consistent with impact? BBC reported largest piece was the size of a car.

    RIP.

  7. #27
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    Would the recorders survive that impact?

  8. #28
    Senior Member Peter Kesternich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultraflight View Post
    Would the recorders survive that impact?
    The recorders are designed to withstand a lot of force and heat. One of them has already been found at the crash site of D-AIPX.

  9. #29
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    This has to be a freak swiss-cheese scenario to make any sense. It seems like a crew incapacitation event but somebody had to input a command to descend. The descent appears to be open (idle thrust/speed on elevator) with lateral guidance. Perhaps, on the verge of hypoxia, they selected OP DES and spun down to 6,800' and left in the current airspeed, then lost consciousness. AvHerald reports that the A/C appears to have leveled off at 6,800' about a minute prior to impact.

    The trouble with this is the clear warnings (crickets, master warning, pressurization page up on the SD) when the cabin alt goes above 9550'. There's still plenty of time to don masks and deal with the issue. So what's the next slice of cheese here? A latent malfunction of the crew 02 system? Flawed procedure delaying the masks? Situational awareness?

    How could this happen to a Lufthansa crewed and maintained flight? I hope this doesn't lead to another Air France-style revelation...

  10. #30
    Junior Member AndyToop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjwk View Post
    Saw that and another one on avherald. Is the large scattering of very small pieces consistent with impact? BBC reported largest piece was the size of a car.

    RIP.
    I saw the France2 video footage of the site.

    The small pieces are scattered down the gulleys of a large cliff face.
    Looks very like what you would expect from the plane flying into the upper part of the cliff at high speed and a slight angle, which would fit with all of the reports and the maps of the area.
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  11. #31
    Member James Bond's Avatar
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    AirDisaster.com Forum Member 2004-2008

    Quote Originally Posted by orangehuggy View Post
    the most dangerous part of a flight is not the take off or landing anymore, its when a flight crew member goes to the toilet

  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kpeters View Post
    I know it's too much speculation but I'm thinking of 2 things.

    -Lufthansa incident type of decent were they had to disable the autopilot but didn't realize it until it was too late.

    -Violent decompression with expedite descent and distracted pilots?
    Are there designated escape tracks for the alps ? I thought there was a chart with instructions for various sectors. but i can't seem to find it.

    Seems odd that they did not turn onto a track taking them away from the terrain. They descended below 14000ft. Yet I make the average descent 3500ft/m with fairly constant IAS looks like it is under control.

    Very sad, the images from the site are shocking, could be a very difficult investigation.

  13. #33
    Senior Member Evan's Avatar
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    Apparently D-AIPX had some issue with the NLG doors that required servicing before this flight. I'm wondering if anyone knows if the procedure might require shutting off or removing the nearby crew supplemental O2. I ask this because it has occurred in the past that the bottle was not turned back on after maintenance. In the instance I refer to, the crew noticed the 0 psi indication and corrected the issue pre-flight. But if they hadn't... What is the pre-flight check procedure?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    Apparently D-AIPX had some issue with the NLG doors that required servicing before this flight. I'm wondering if anyone knows if the procedure might require shutting off or removing the nearby crew supplemental O2. I ask this because it has occurred in the past that the bottle was not turned back on after maintenance. In the instance I refer to, the crew noticed the 0 psi indication and corrected the issue pre-flight. But if they hadn't... What is the pre-flight check procedure?
    What an awful circumstance if that were the cause.

  15. #35
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    Here is video of the crash site via helicopter:

    http://www.francetvinfo.fr/faits-div...is_857811.html

  16. #36
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haendli View Post
    If a plane comes down nearly 30000 feet in less then 6 minutes i would doubt CFIT right? Greets Mike
    It could be CFIT.

    It was more like 8 minutes, what gives you some 3500 fpm average.
    The descent rate was quite constant, as was the heading, and the ground speed (from radar data) was slowly diminishing what is compatible with constant IAS/CAS as you go down.

    It could be an AP inadvertently left in vertical speed mode with the AT holding the speed, or in "airspeed" mode with insufficient power to hold the altitude. Of course the pilots should have noticed, but....
    This would be compatible with the lack of mayday and with some rumors that the crash site is higher than the lower it got (GPWS "woke up" the pilots that started evasive climb maneuver but could not avoid impact).

    It could also be a glide due to loss of power, but that would not explain the lack of mayday call. The plane had electrical power since the transponder kept squacking.

    Another idea... Helios scenario, loss pressure, loss of consciousness, pilot reaches the top of the climb and then who knows what the AP/FMC did...

    All pure speculation. I could mention terrorist attack, OVNIs, your choice...

    But I would not absolutely discard CFIT yet.

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  17. #37
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AVION1 View Post
    So, everything sounds like a "catastrophic sudden decompression". Midair collision? explosion at the cargo compartment?
    Constant vertical speed, constant speed and constant track doesn't sound like catastrophic anything.


    http://avherald.com/h?article=483a5651&opt=0

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  18. #38
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan View Post
    There's a graph plot of the altitude and VS data on Pprune that seems to indicate phugoid occillations in the descent. I think this suggests that the pilots were not in command (incapacited?) and/or that the A/C might have been in OPEN DES mode.
    If the phugoid is true, then I think that no AP vertical mode will make that. If "open des" is like "speed mode" of "fltch" or "speed on elevator" mode, then that doesn't make a phugoid. (unless "open des" is basically "no vertical mode").

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  19. #39
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    Open Des is speed on elevator, which is the mode used for an Emergency Descent.

    Perhaps, on the verge of hypoxia, they selected OP DES and spun down to 6,800' and left in the current airspeed, then lost consciousness.
    Entirely plausible.

    There's still plenty of time to don masks and deal with the issue.
    Cabin climbs pretty quick if there's a large hole in your aircraft. Cockpit oxygen lines can be severed in depressurisations too... there's plenty of viable, non-freak scenarios that can have this sort of result.

  20. #40
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCM View Post
    Open Des is speed on elevator, which is the mode used for an Emergency Descent.
    Thanks. So it doesn't result in a phugoid (long period longitudinal oscillation).

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