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

  1. #41
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    "Open des" or "expedite" mode, according to vertical speed values and changes, I believe more in expedite mode, after a while. The oldest 320s don't maintain the speed perfectly and it's usual to encounter such speed variations in open des or exp mode, open clb...(exp desc it's +/- VMO/MMO if I remember well)
    It's consistent in my opinion with depressurization and I believe in a question of hypoxia for the pilots (or the pilot if the other one left his seat for some reasons).

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    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

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    That debris looks awfully scattered around to be an impact with the plane still in one piece, to me it looks like it broke up pre impact but still within the same general area that the debris came down to rest all in the same area.

    Or the impact was so violent it rebounded the debris or small light weight stuff in the plane as in the case of the PSA that came down in California where the pilots were shot by a suicidal man, and he put the plane in a straight nose down dive leaving a crater but all the lightweight stuff in the plane shot back up after the impact and came to rest around the impact site.

    Which is how they found the guys note he wrote to his former boss he was killing on the same flight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KGEG View Post
    That debris looks awfully scattered around to be an impact with the plane still in one piece, to me it looks like it broke up pre impact but still within the same general area that the debris came down to rest all in the same area.
    On the contrary, I think that any reasonable pre-impact break-up process would leave a wide scatter areas, yes, but with some big chunks (Re: Lockerbie). The miniature debris that we can see there talks of some high energy and violent impact.

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    If it turns out the pilot's oxygen system was compromised rendering them incapacitated, but that of the passengers and cabin crew was working, would the locked cockpit door prevent anyone in the cabin from rendering aid to the pilots or delivering them oxygen / attempting to wake them up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KGEG View Post
    That debris looks awfully scattered around to be an impact with the plane still in one piece, to me it looks like it broke up pre impact but still within the same general area that the debris came down to rest all in the same area.

    Or the impact was so violent it rebounded the debris or small light weight stuff in the plane as in the case of the PSA that came down in California where the pilots were shot by a suicidal man, and he put the plane in a straight nose down dive leaving a crater but all the lightweight stuff in the plane shot back up after the impact and came to rest around the impact site.

    Which is how they found the guys note he wrote to his former boss he was killing on the same flight.
    You have to remember there were no trees here to absorb any impact forces. This A320 flew straight into rocky mountain side. It's very expected for it to explode into tiny pieces like this. And it looks like much of the debris fell back and settled deeper down the various mountain crevasses.

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    Thanks. So it doesn't result in a phugoid (long period longitudinal oscillation).
    Not by its nature it shouldn't.

    I guess if you had changing winds as you descended (or changed pilot speed selection) it could possibly look a bit like it?

    With the A/P engaged the aircraft will pitch to maintain a speed (either pilot selected or FMS generated), and so if you descend down a few thousand feet and see an increase in headwind, the aircraft would pitch to reduce speed, have a reduction in rate of descent, then increase again once the speed had been reached.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    On the contrary, I think that any reasonable pre-impact break-up process would leave a wide scatter areas, yes, but with some big chunks (Re: Lockerbie). The miniature debris that we can see there talks of some high energy and violent impact.
    Right, so this is more in line with the PSA I was speaking of than Lockerbie.

    But just seeing such debris speaks volumes of the impact it had, and the altitude numbers that have been published make it a case of no wonder it turned into such tiny pieces.

    But that is why it got me wondering for a second, that the debris was in different crevices but it obviously settled back down into those.

    Edit: Or it crashed farther up the mountain and the debris fell down the side of it a bit, the crevices acting like river channels directing them different ways.

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    Apparently the voice recorder is "damaged". Flight recorder not yet found.

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    Default Depressurization strategy

    http://www.smartcockpit.com/download...n_Strategy.pdf

    They were just inside the blue zone by my reckoning.

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    Whats about ACARS Data. Does anybody know if the service was booked by Germanwings?

    The German newsletter reported the voice recorder is damaged but readable. It's on the way to Paris to read out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    Thanks. So it doesn't result in a phugoid (long period longitudinal oscillation).
    Actually these are shorter-period occillations, so I guess 'phugoid' isn't the right term. I was thinking as MCM describes, a speed-on-elevator periodic fluctuation in vertical speed forming a somewhat regular pattern when plotted graphically. That is what the ADS-B seems to be showing. That is why I'm suggesting OP DES and perhaps no airspeed entered as selected guidance. That would leave the airspeed target at the current managed value and result is a far less steep rate of descent than MMO.

    I hadn't considered structural damage to the crew 02 lines. That could also fit.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapha477 View Post
    "Open des" or "expedite" mode, according to vertical speed values and changes, I believe more in expedite mode, after a while. The oldest 320s don't maintain the speed perfectly and it's usual to encounter such speed variations in open des or exp mode, open clb...(exp desc it's +/- VMO/MMO if I remember well)
    It's consistent in my opinion with depressurization and I believe in a question of hypoxia for the pilots (or the pilot if the other one left his seat for some reasons).
    AFAIK, LH pilots are trained to never use expedite mode. Es ist verboten. OP DES and MMO are the correct procedure if structural damage is not suspected.

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    According to french weekly newspaper Le Point, all Germanwings 320s are ACARS equiped. That could explain why Lufhtansa claimed early that "it's an accident, and all others scenarios are pure speculation".

    http://www.lepoint.fr

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    5000ft decent per min.
    Reliable aircraft, decent carrier
    No distress call
    Smashed straight into a mountain
    Pilot suicide? Murdercide?

  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leftseat86 View Post
    If it turns out the pilot's oxygen system was compromised rendering them incapacitated, but that of the passengers and cabin crew was working, would the locked cockpit door prevent anyone in the cabin from rendering aid to the pilots or delivering them oxygen / attempting to wake them up?
    No. Cabin crew have a code to enter the cockpit.
    Details of how the system works are not public (thankfully), but the pilots can actively block the access in response to an attempt to enter with the code.
    Incapacited pilots = no active blocking by the pilots = access with the code is granted.

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    What do I think ?

    Disregarding for now any terrorist input, which I doubt on such a flight......

    My poor, simple, non pilot brain adds up phugoid oscillation during a faster than usual but not excessively fast descent + 8 minutes to descend + no mayday call + an Airbus trying to fly itself when the human element fails + a locked cockpit door, which isn't really a factor as unconsciousness would prevail on both sides of the door....

    =

    Decompression incident. That's where my money is going.
    If it 'ain't broken........ Don't try to mend it !


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    Quote Originally Posted by brianw999 View Post
    What do I think ?

    Disregarding for now any terrorist input, which I doubt on such a flight......

    My poor, simple, non pilot brain adds up phugoid oscillation during a faster than usual but not excessively fast descent + 8 minutes to descend + no mayday call + an Airbus trying to fly itself when the human element fails + a locked cockpit door, which isn't really a factor as unconsciousness would prevail on both sides of the door....

    =

    Decompression incident. That's where my money is going.
    That's certainly a possibility. of course decompression ALONE will not make it. That's what supplemental O2 and quick-donning masks are there for.
    I don't buy the phugoid. The Airbus will not phugoid in any AP mode and even with the AP off (except in direct law), due to it's "G on stick" control law.

    Now, I saw no evidence of phugoid so far. But hypoxia scenario fits well:
    - Sudden decompression.
    - Pilots fail to don O2 mask or O2 system fails.
    - But they manage to start an emergency descent in "open des" (basically, they select open des and retard the throttles).
    - Pilots loss consciousness.
    - At the last minute, after descending well below the mid-tens, the pilots start to wake up (but perhaps they are still partially impaired).
    -This explains the level-off / pull up (rumor) in the last minute.

    Still pure speculation, but of fine quality.

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    Going with decompression - could the age and hours of the airframe be relevant?

    I was surprised that LH/GW were operating 24 year old aircraft in such an intensive and time dependent low cost operation with 20/25 minute turnrounds. I note their rivals EasyJet & Ryanair fleet average age are both kept around the 5/6 year mark or better. (i'll be flying in an EJ A320 in a couple of weeks to Spain!)

    Why the different methodolgy?

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    This explains the level-off / pull up (rumor) in the last minute.
    One of the ways pilots are taught to initiate a rapid descent is 'Turn - Pull, Turn - Pull, Pull'.

    This is - Turn (spin) the altitude selector down, and pull (for Open descent)
    Turn the heading selector (if desired) and pull (for heading)
    Pull for selected airspeed.

    This gets the descent initiated. The pilot then would check the FMA's, ensure thrust is coming to idle, extend speed brakes, and then go back to the modes and accurately set a desired altitude, heading, and decide if they wanted to descend at the current speed (i.e. potential structural damage) or accelerate to reduce descent time (e.g. dual pack failure).

    If the pilot became incapacitated after doing the first three items, but before returning to the mode panel, the aircraft would descend to whatever altitude ended up in the altitude window after the first turn (which is basically a blind spin of the knob). The pilot would not need to wake up for the aircraft to level off at the random level obtained.

    Did it climb? I guess we'll find that out, but it could be speculation based on incorrect altitude data (such as that obtained by difference between QNH and Standard altimeter). A climb would certainly need to be pilot initiated.

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