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Old 27th March 2015, 14:01   #61
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Even if investigators are 'reasonably' sure of the co-pilot's culpability, doesn't professionalism dictate they at the very least wait to corroborate that with data from the Flight Data Recorder before making such sensational statements? What's the hurry? CNN's home-page yesterday was running a full-size banner that said 'DELIBERATE', similar reactions on most 'news' sites/channels, even before ANYONE can say with certainty what really happened.

What if it turns out they were wrong when more evidence is found? Isn't it plausible the co-pilot may have been unconscious? Don't unconscious people breathe normally/steadily?

Irrespective of what the final outcome is, this is highly irresponsible behavior on part of the invetigators. IF it turns out the co-pilot was innocent of the claims being made, I hope his family sues the pants off everyone involved.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th March 2015 at 14:03.
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Old 27th March 2015, 14:23   #62
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Even if investigators are 'reasonably' sure of the co-pilot's culpability, doesn't professionalism dictate they at the very least wait to corroborate that with data from the Flight Data Recorder before making such sensational statements? What's the hurry? CNN's home-page yesterday was running a full-size banner that said 'DELIBERATE', similar reactions on most 'news' sites/channels, even before ANYONE can say with certainty what really happened.

What if it turns out they were wrong when more evidence is found? Isn't it plausible the co-pilot may have been unconscious? Don't unconscious people breathe normally/steadily?

Irrespective of what the final outcome is, this is highly irresponsible behavior on part of the invetigators. IF it turns out the co-pilot was innocent of the claims being made, I hope his family sues the pants off everyone involved.
I guess the convincing part for the investigators to issue such a bold statement about the co-pilot's deliberate act was the fact that the knob to set the altitude was set to it's lowest possible value (100ft).

Though I'm not an expert in this, I believe that the only way to change altitude on that doomed German wings flight is by a manual, I repeat a manual intervention! I also assume that this information on the exact time that the altitude was changed is also available to the investigators. If this were to be true, I would praise the investigators for revealing the truth in a short span of time.
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Old 27th March 2015, 14:34   #63
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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I guess the convincing part for the investigators to issue such a bold statement about the co-pilot's deliberate act was the fact that the knob to set the altitude was set to it's lowest possible value (100ft).

Though I'm not an expert in this, I believe that the only way to change altitude on that doomed German wings flight is by a manual, I repeat a manual intervention! I also assume that this information on the exact time that the altitude was changed is also available to the investigators. If this were to be true, I would praise the investigators for revealing the truth in a short span of time.
I'm no expert either, but common sense (and common decency) would suggest one looks at ALL evidence before arriving at a conclusion (esp. such a scandalous one), rather than jumping to conclusions based on 'compelling' but ultimately incomplete/inconclusive evidence.

If the investigators are right, their conclusions will be corroborated by data on the FDR (if/when found) and vindicate their claim, but what if the FDR (if/when found) indicates something else? What then? Why not wait until they're completely sure and have the data to actually back it up before effectively accusing a dead man of murdering 150 people? Would you find it justified if you were accused of a horrible crime solely because it 'seems likely' that you did it, without anyone bothering to collect and examine ALL available evidence before pronouncing damning judgments? Would anyone? I know I wouldn't.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th March 2015 at 14:40.
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Old 27th March 2015, 14:44   #64
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
Would you find it justified if you were accused of a horrible crime solely because it 'seems likely' that you did it, without anyone bothering to collect and examine ALL available evidence before pronouncing damning judgments? Would anyone? I know I wouldn't.
I think the point I was trying to make is that the manual change of the altitude, which can only be, ONLY BE changed manually indicates that this is definitely a deliberate act and I understand from the news reports that there are strong evidences that support this.

Now tell me why would any not-mentally-deranged Pilot change the Plane's altitude. The Pilot knows that he is not in a simulator to play with the knobs!
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Old 27th March 2015, 14:54   #65
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

It is normal, for a pilot to step out for a few minutes, during non critical phases of the flight. Mostly, it is done for a loo break or to stretch your legs. Though it is mandatated to have 2 people in the flight deck at all times, the same may not be followed at all time. On short flights even the cabin crew are busy with their services.

Normal entry into the flight deck is to call on the interphone from the galley to the cockpit, speak to the pilot , identify yourself and then you are allowed inside. Nowadays, the pilots can see the galley area through the cameras. So, in this case the First Officer, would have been able to see who was knocking and what was happening. There is an emergency entry system also, in which case a password is punched on the panel, and a buzzer rings in the cockpit, to tell the pilots that someone is trying to gain entry into the flight deck. In case of no reaction from the pilots, after a lag of few seconds the door will be unlocked. This is mostly catered for pilot incapacitation. And the pilots have the authority to override and deny entry. It seems in this case the same was done by the co-pilot.

The aircraft was set on the descend path by some human intervention. It was a smooth rate of descend. Adequate warnings about proximate terrain must have come and the same should be there on the CVR. I think the transcripts should be out after a few months. It looks and appears like a deliberate action on the part of the First Officer.
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Old 27th March 2015, 14:54   #66
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
I think the point I was trying to make is that the manual change of the altitude, which can only be, ONLY BE changed manually indicates that this is definitely a deliberate act and I understand from the news reports that there are strong evidences that support this.

Now tell me why would any not-mentally-deranged Pilot change the Plane's altitude. The Pilot knows that he is not in a simulator to play with the knobs!
And the only point I'm trying to make is it's unfair to arrive at 'definite' conclusions based solely on 'compelling' evidence, when further sources of more definitive evidence still exist and have not yet been examined. As for 'strong evidence', all they have right now is the CVR recording and NOTHING else. There are no witnesses, no survivors and the FDR is yet to be found.

A manual control can be mishandled for a variety of reasons, not all intentional and not all necessarily criminal. Not an apples to apples comparison, but picture this: What if I pass out at the wheel while driving at high speeds and accidentally swing the steering and crash into something/someone? Should someone investigate the cause of the 'manual intervention' or just assume I did it intentionally with homicidal intent because no sane driver will swing the steering wheel at high speeds?

The FDR records thousands of flight parameters, and trained investigators can deduce from that data whether the 'manual intervention' was intentional or accidental, because other related/affected parameters will vary for the two circumstances (my knowledge source: Air Crash Investigation fan). Just because it 'seems' a manual knob was turned to cause the crash doesn't necessarily make it so when the surrounding circumstances and other variables are still unknown.

P.S. No offense to you personally, but your opinion above is exactly why I think the investigator should behave more responsibly. Even with the limited evidence available, most people are already assuming that the co-pilot was 'mentally deranged' and did something so heinous intentionally, all based on nothing more than speculation based on a voice recording and unsubstantiated/unverified information, peddled by scandal-crazy media as FACT and perpetuated by public opinion formed by such reports.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th March 2015 at 15:02. Reason: Grammar
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Old 27th March 2015, 15:19   #67
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
A manual control can be mishandled for a variety of reasons, not all intentional and not all necessarily criminal. Not an apples to apples comparison, but picture this: What if I pass out at the wheel while driving at high speeds and accidentally swing the steering and crash into something/someone? Should someone investigate the cause of the 'manual intervention' or just assume I did it intentionally with homicidal intent because no sane driver will swing the steering wheel at high speeds?

The FDR records thousands of flight parameters, and trained investigators can deduce from that data whether the 'manual intervention' was intentional or accidental, because other related/affected parameters will vary for the two circumstances (my knowledge source: Air Crash Investigation fan). Just because it 'seems' a manual knob was turned to cause the crash doesn't necessarily make it so when the surrounding circumstances and other variables are still unknown..
I agree that a manual control can be mishandled for a variety of reasons, but changing from an Altitude of 38,000ft to 100ft cannot happen without an approval from ATC? Shouldn't the pilot have requested for a different flight level before he does something with his instruments in the cockpit?

Comparing the steering wheel of a car where you cannot take both your hands off and drive against a small knob in an plane's cockpit where you place two off your fingers only when you want to do something with it seems incomparable.

Even if I assume that the co-pilot did go unconscious exactly at the moment when he had his two fingers on the knob, I would be surprised at his ability to rotate it exactly to 100 ft even after being unconscious.

Even I'm an avid follower of "Air Crash Investigations" and watched most of those investigation videos. I agree that the investigators should have taken their time to be more conclusive in their argument, but having issued a statement like this just makes me believe that this could be true.
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Old 27th March 2015, 15:25   #68
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

There are tentative reports from the CVR that after the captain had given the the control of the A320,Co pilot waited for a time gap of about 60 to 70 sec to close the door assuring that his captain would have entered the loo.

After closing the door, the beeping sound of the MasterAutopilot being switched off can be heard in the backdrop..(auto throttle and heading master switch is still on)
He then would have used the lowered his stick (Airbus have a stick instead of a conventional yoke) and entered a gradual decent.

He took care not too lower the nose at an alarming angle in order to minimize the chances of his actions being detected by the pilot as well as the passengers.

By the time anyone could notice or do anything, the aircraft would have entered the forbidden altitude of the alps and death was almost certain as soon as it struck the mountain as the auto-throttle would have been ideally set to cruise conditions ie. 700kph or roughly 400 knots.
RIP everyone on board..
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Old 27th March 2015, 15:28   #69
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Post Germanwings aircrash - some airlines introduce two pilot rule.The United States already requires two crew members to be in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not.

Quote:
Airlines rushed on Thursday to change their rules so as to require a second crew member in the cockpit at all times, hours after French prosecutors suggested a co-pilot who barricaded himself alone at the controls of a jetliner had crashed it on purpose.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/w...w/46711380.cms
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Old 27th March 2015, 15:40   #70
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post

.....Comparing the steering wheel of a car where you cannot take both your hands off and drive against a small knob in an plane's cockpit where you place two off your fingers only when you want to do something with it seems incomparable....
I did say it's not an apples to apples comparison. Just something similar I could think of that all of us can relate to.

Quote:
Even if I assume that the co-pilot did go unconscious exactly at the moment when he had his two fingers on the knob, I would be surprised at his ability to rotate it exactly to 100 ft even after being unconscious.
Improbable? Probably. Impossible? Possibly. Definitely impossible? Unknown unless someone can replicate the scene in the plane's cockpit (with data of course, not in person).

Quote:
I agree that the investigators should have taken their time to be more conclusive in their argument, but having issued a statement like this just makes me believe that this could be true.
We'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. I'm in favor of being prudent but cavalier works for some people too, to each his own.

I can't begin to imagine what the families of all survivors would be going through, imagining or even believing that some 'nutjob' needlessly murdered their near & dear ones, only to be possibly told later that it wasn't really the case. It's not just the facts that the investigators should've considered thoroughly, I hope they considered the human fallout of their sensational claims too. It's not easy to live with something like that, esp. if turns out barely a hasty misjudgment.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 27th March 2015 at 15:41.
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Old 27th March 2015, 15:59   #71
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post

Improbable? Probably. Impossible? Possibly. Definitely impossible? Unknown unless someone can replicate the scene in the plane's cockpit (with data of course, not in person).
The FDR could only give data and statistics of the flight's instrument and not replicate Pilot's physical state. With the initial investigations on the CVR already revealing the Pilot's physical state as being stable and breathing normal, it has also provided the investigators the exact time at which several of those events unfolded. As they always say, an air crash is not just that happened all of a sudden, it is a chain of events that lead to a crash. The CVR reveals just that!

I can't fathom the fact that any investigator would risk him / his country's reputation by asking for an excuse on a wrong implication.

Anyways, I will be following this news article until everything concludes with full evidence. I feel sorry for all those who perished in the crash!

Last edited by joe1980 : 27th March 2015 at 16:00.
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Old 27th March 2015, 16:36   #72
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Folks

If you compare this crash with that of Egypt Air 990, in the latter the voice of the co pilot was heard number of times "I rely on God". The captain was then heard shouting at the co pilot as to what he had done. Inspite of this proof, there was controversy as to whether it was pilot error or malfunction of aircraft.
The Germanwings crash is almost similar to that of the Egypt air 990. The only difference what i can spot is Germanwings had a gradual descent while Egypt air had a steep descent before disintegrating. The German pilot was maintaining an eerie silence despite the desperate knockings on the door from the captain. Similar story as that of Egypt Air 990.
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Old 27th March 2015, 16:37   #73
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

I have been following this particular thread very closely as I work in the same field, ie., avionics. In fact majority of the CVR and FDR on planes are from our company. The issue of 2 person cockpit rule is a hotly debated one and not everyone agrees if such a rule has to be a mandate. Coming to this case, the evidence is still circumstantial at this point and the co-pilot's guilt is still unproven till the other box has been recovered.

Nevertheless there are things like wearable tech that we are working on which can help to make air travel more safer ..this gains more prominence especially after easing of the restrictions on mobile and wifi usage on flights.

What has happened is indeed an unimaginable tragedy for the families and the aero fraternity

Last edited by mazda4life : 27th March 2015 at 16:39.
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Old 27th March 2015, 16:41   #74
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Statistics and studies are made as to suit readers or authors view. Classic examples. 1 Hudson river landing. 2 Parminder Gulati and her great technique of trying a nose wheel landing in Goa.
Enough said. Can we return to the topic at hand instead of making it a man/woman or captain/co pilot etc comparison. Sorry it's beginning to sound like Arab Gowswami rants.

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Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
Post Germanwings aircrash - some airlines introduce two pilot rule.The United States already requires two crew members to be in the cabin at all times, but many other countries do not.



http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/w...w/46711380.cms
It is mandatory to have two crew members in the flight deck at all times in India courtesy the DGCA. Like wise in India we follow a lot of seemingly finicky rules which make sense when we view this tragedy. For example the 100% mandatory Alcohol breath analyzer test before each flight. In US it is randomly conducted that too on the ramp. In India if the crew (flight deck/cabin) are found BA positive, its a mandatory 3 month suspension for the first time, then a permanent 5 year ban for the second occurrence, even forgetting BA is considered to be BA positive!!
I believe in future we must consider mandatory drug testing (may be once in 3 months), along with mandatory annual or bi annual mental health checkups.

I am saying this because there was one Ethiopian air crash caused by a very sleepy captain and a drug abusing first officer due lost situational awareness in a thunderstorm in night, the other being there are articles in NY times which claim that the Germanwings copilot was under severe depression, prone to panic attacks and anxiety 6 years back, under medication and had to stop his training for a while because of this. In India if a person is under depression he/she is grounded medically and only taken back online after the air-force medical board clears him/her after a very detailed mental health checkup.

Last edited by noopster : 27th March 2015 at 17:57. Reason: Please don't post back-to-back
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Old 27th March 2015, 18:33   #75
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

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Originally Posted by joe1980 View Post
I agree that a manual control can be mishandled for a variety of reasons, but changing from an Altitude of 38,000ft to 100ft cannot happen without an approval from ATC? Shouldn't the pilot have requested for a different flight level before he does something with his instruments in the cockpit?


Even I'm an avid follower of "Air Crash Investigations" and watched most of those investigation videos. I agree that the investigators should have taken their time to be more conclusive in their argument, but having issued a statement like this just makes me believe that this could be true.

A few further comments and thoughts to that:

ATC doesn't control any plane. It tells pilots what to do, what altitude to fly, what speed, what direction etc. Under normal circumstances a pilot would not deviate from those instructions. There might be circumstances where he needs to. For instance a rapid decompression. The pilots will immediately initiate the descent, before talking to ATC. All pilots all over the world fly by a set of very simple rules:

- rule nr 1: Fly the plane
- rule nr 2: Navigate the plane
- rule nr 3: communicate

That is the priority every pilot is taught from the moment he or she enters a cockpit. If a pilot wanted to fly at a different altitude, he would request that altitude from ATC. When receiving clearance from ATC he/she would execute and ascent and or descent to the new altitude. To your point, a pilot would not change any setting, parameter or touch any switch and or button until he/she received the appropriate clearance. That clearance is read back to ensure it is understood correctly as well.

But there is abosulety nothing that ATC can do if a pilot decides, for whatever reason, not to follow instruction and do something different. In the real world this does happen, it has happened to me, but it nearly always due to the fact you are dealing with some sort of emergency. First you need to deal with the emergency, fly the plane. Then you figure out where you are, then you tell ATC what you are doing.

A lot of members are pointing towards the fact that the flight recorder will give further details. Which is true. What is probably not well understood is how much data is already available to the authorities without the flight data recorder.

This plane was equipped with and was using ADS-B as I pointed out earlier.
This data is already in the public domain and anybody with a simple ADS-B receiver picks it up:

http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...re-dat?p=64616

One fundamental part of the ADS-B data stream that FR24 gets is whats called intent. Intent gets the positions of certain switches on the MCP (Commanded Altitude for one), the active waypoint and Next WP and Next WP + 1, and a whole bunch of other parameters. They can also see if the aircraft has one of the emergency codes set in their transponder. In this case this data shows somebody dialling , in about 3 secs, down the knob from 380 to 96 ft.

Although the flight data recorder will have more information, the above is very relevant pertaining what happened here. The flight data recorder will not be showing different data, it uses the exact same source, though it will show more data on thousands of parameters.

Whereas planes like the Airbus or any FlybyWire plane has all sort of protections incorporated so the pilot can't stall for instance, there is not a single protection that will prevent an intentional crash into terrain. There will be alarm,(ground proximity alarm) but that is all, there is no program, computer, that will prevent it.

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