News Germanwings Flight 4U9525 (Airbus A320) crash in Southern France (24 March 2015)

Wolf

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Note that this Altitude/Speed graph is not a source for IAS.

Usually such sites display ground speed, not TAS or IAS, because the source of the velocity is the ground radar and does not incorporate wind.


Here is the tabular data of the flight in a CSV format:

http://www.flightradar24.com/GWI18G_20150324.csv

Ok thanks. Then the speed they were doing could make sense: At 13000 feet, assuming zero wind, if you fly at VMO (foir the A-320 should be 350 kts) your GS will be around 420 kts. At 10000 feet GS will be a little less but still in the range of 400 kts. The graph is showing they were doing about the same speeds descneding through those altitudes.
 

mojoey

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So, could there have been a fire that they were trying to put out by diving that fast? Although this seems improbable since they would have used the FSS first.
 

C3PO

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Ok thanks. Then the speed they were doing could make sense: At 13000 feet, assuming zero wind, if you fly at VMO (foir the A-320 should be 350 kts) your GS will be around 420 kts. At 10000 feet GS will be a little less but still in the range of 400 kts. The graph is showing they were doing about the same speeds descneding through those altitudes.

One of the "experts" (can't remember which news channel) said the plane had a 40 knot tailwind at cruising altitude.
 

fort

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At least one of the recorders has been found. Which one is not clear yet.

It seems that it is the one with the data - dfr - and not the other with the conversations -cvr.

Edit: yes and not. Someone say on the french TV at this moment that it could be the VCR...
 
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C3PO

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It seems that it is the one with the data - dfr - and not the other with the conversations -cvr.

Edit: yes and not. Someone say on the french TV at this moment that it could be the VCR...

I've heard the term "flight data recorder" but only from the same people that told us that "the plane sent out an SOS message". AFAIK airlines don't have Morse equipment installed anymore. News channels seem to be in an "un-educated guess competition", and I wouldn't trust any such details unless they came from a news conference.
 

fort

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News channels seem to be in an "un-educated guess competition", and I wouldn't trust any such details unless they came from a news conference.

I agree completely with that.
 

Urwumpe

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The who are capable of educated guesses are reacting pretty harshly:

Multiple crews of Germanwings and Lufthansa in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart are refusing to fly. They mention that the aircraft was down on monday not just for routine maintenance, but also additionally for hours because of unknown technical problems, but was still cleared to fly.

---------- Post added at 08:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:08 PM ----------

It seems that it is the one with the data - dfr - and not the other with the conversations -cvr.

The DFR has been found that seems to be confirmed now. Unknown is the status of it: Did it really survive the crash against a mountain?

The flight recorder of one of the 9/11 planes did survive the crash badly damaged, but the data was unreadable, for example (But the CVR was intact)
 

Codz

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The fact that the FlightRadar24 page says "cancelled" next to the flight is a little disturbing.
 

DeskOrbinaut

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FYI, the Airbus A320 (and many of the other Airbus aircrafts) doesn't have a yoke. It uses a "joystick":

vraicockpit.jpg

More specifically, only the Airbus A300 and A310 is equipped with control wheels in the cockpit.

The A300 was the first Airbus model (and the first twin-engine widebody airplane by the way). The A310 was a further development of the A300. Airbus changed (not only) the cockpit design when developing a completely new airplane - the A320. This change included the replacement of control wheels with side sticks since then (and a full glass cockpit). So whenever you see a Airbus cockpit with control wheels it is either a A300 or A310. Most A300 cockpits are not converted to partial glass cockpits (they are analogue including a flight engineer panel). So you also can distinguish the A300 and A310 cockpits.

The picture you posted shows a A330 cockpit by the way. Airbus changed the cockpit design again when developing the A380 (and A350). Each Airbus cockpit between the A300/A310 and the A380 (and A350) looks almost similar - the A318/319/320/321, A330 and A340. You can tell the difference by the number of thrust levers (4 on the A340 of course) and additional brightness controls for the displays located on the lower left and lower right hand side of the glare shield on the A330 (vertically arranged).

Side stick in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4uHmvFbe7A
(first sound: auto pilot disconnection, second sound: autothrottle disconnection, black control whell on the left hand side: "tiller" for nosewheel steering during taxi and take off/landing roll)

A300/310 control wheel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxByRiSoElk&feature=player_detailpage#t=43

Ok thanks. Then the speed they were doing could make sense: At 13000 feet, assuming zero wind, if you fly at VMO (foir the A-320 should be 350 kts) your GS will be around 420 kts. At 10000 feet GS will be a little less but still in the range of 400 kts. The graph is showing they were doing about the same speeds descneding through those altitudes.

Still too fast. The general speed restriction, if not declared otherwise, usually is 250 knots below flight level 100.

The descent of flight 4U9525 currently makes non sense. In case of cabin pressure drop the cockpit crew would commence a descent but usually not descent below 10,000 feet MSL. Especially not above mountainous area. In case of an emergency descent they might lower the landing gear at or below 25,000 feet but the speed must be reduced to VLO which is (again) 250 knots (indicated airspeed).

A-N-C - aviate, navigate, communicate. Communication didn't happen as far was we know right now. I assume they either didn't have (full) control of the airplane or they where unconscious. The latter would be a result of contaminated cabin/cockpit air (or rapid depressurization). The former could be a result of issues with the flight augmentation/flight control computers (stall protection). Not unlikely.

The who are capable of educated guesses are reacting pretty harshly:

Multiple crews of Germanwings and Lufthansa in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart are refusing to fly. They mention that the aircraft was down on monday not just for routine maintenance, but also additionally for hours because of unknown technical problems, but was still cleared to fly.

That's bad. There was an incident in 2010 with Germanwings on a Airbus A319 (the only incident with Germanwings until today). Due to burnt smell the first officer even couldn't accomplish his duties. The pilot was able to land the airplane. Both donned their oxygen masks. The cause was never found...
 

Linguofreak

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I've heard the term "flight data recorder" but only from the same people that told us that "the plane sent out an SOS message". AFAIK airlines don't have Morse equipment installed anymore.

As bad as the media can be in thesesituations, if it's an English language news source I wouldn't take the use of "SOS" to be a sign of idiocy. "SOS" is idiomatic in English for a distress call, whether Morse, or the letters SOS, are involved or not.
 

C3PO

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As bad as the media can be in thesesituations, if it's an English language news source I wouldn't take the use of "SOS" to be a sign of idiocy. "SOS" is idiomatic in English for a distress call, whether Morse, or the letters SOS, are involved or not.

They aren't idiots (not all of them), just ill-informed. The correct term is "declaring an emergency". 2'nd rule of journalism: Don't guess. Ask someone who knows.
 

Hlynkacg

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That's not any rule of journalism I am familiar with.
 

Fizyk

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Is it possible that the plane was deliberately crashed? That would explain the constant rate of descent straight into the mountains. Of course, at least one question would remain: why...
 

Urwumpe

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Is it possible that the plane was deliberately crashed? That would explain the constant rate of descent straight into the mountains. Of course, at least one question would remain: why...

First of all: Yes. Of course. Technically and physically, there is nothing to prevent it.

But: Why? Why into a mountain far away from any media? And why should a German pilot do that - and why should the other not prevent it?

Interesting is that one again:

http://www.airbusdriver.net/airbus_fltlaws.htm

Can it be that the airbus was pushed into a straight dive somehow, but limited by attitude and high speed protection? Which then results in a constant descent at the descent rate necessary to stay below VMO?


The CVR was found badly damaged, but the data is reported to be readable. Lets hope that a FDR is also found and is intact enough.
 

Codz

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Well, in a hypothetical deliberate crash scenario, suicide could be a potential explanation.
 

Urwumpe

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Well, in a hypothetical deliberate crash scenario, suicide could be a potential explanation.

Yes - but then, there are two pilots. Both suicidal? Mutual suicide? And then take 149 others with you?

Highly doubtful. And then, we are speaking about a 8 minute period of time. In 8 minutes, you could get into the cockpit, even if locked.

But then: If you want to commit suicide, 8 minutes is a very long period of time - if you really want to, you can accelerate the descent easily in an Airbus.

Especially if you are pilot and know how to disable the Normal law protections and switch into Direct law.
 

dman

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Is it possible that the plane was deliberately crashed? That would explain the constant rate of descent straight into the mountains. Of course, at least one question would remain: why...

Eastern Airlines 401 in December 1972 - plane was in holding pattern over Everglades west of Miami while crew was dealing with problem

Indicator light showed landing gear failed to lock - crew was trying to verify
if landing gear was down and locked for landing. The autopliot was
disengaged by accident when one of pilots bumped the control column

Plane went into slow descent into the swamp

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Air_Lines_Flight_401"]Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 

Artlav

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suicide could be a potential explanation.
It is fairly atypical for a suicidal person to take someone else with them, much less a hundred strangers.

Yes - but then, there are two pilots. Both suicidal?
Going straight into a movie script territory...
What if he waited for another pilot to get out of the seat, then pushed the stick hard?
The sudden negative Gs would slam everyone standing head-first into the ceiling, breaking their necks (or at least knocking them out).

Is that a plausible scenario?
 
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