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Old 24th March 2015, 18:48   #1
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Thumbs down Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Just came across this sad & terrible news:

Quote:
A German A320 Airbus with 150 people on board has crashed in the Alps in southern France.

The Germanwings flight was travelling non-stop from Barcelona in Spain to Duesseldorf in Germany. The cause of the crash is not yet known.

The Airbus came down in a remote mountainous region about 2,000m high, near the town of Digne in the Alps.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32035121

My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of those on board the ill-fated Airbus A320.

The debris has been located, and this should help in speeding up rescue efforts. While the French President has expressed doubts on the likelihood of people surviving such a crash in hostile terrain, I fervently hope rescue teams are able to find survivors, and quickly at that.

Last edited by RSR : 24th March 2015 at 19:16.
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Old 25th March 2015, 13:04   #2
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

No chance of any survivors, based on news. Rest in peace. It crashed head-on into the mountains.

Considering its sharp & quick dive from 38,000 feet, it looks like a mechanical failure of some kind. However, I would rule out any maintenance lapses as it's part of the Lufthansa group. Germanwing's safety rating is also much higher than other budget carriers.
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Old 25th March 2015, 14:45   #3
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Flight altitude of the ill-fated A320 (data from FlightAware.com)
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...nch-alps.html/

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Any idea why such info is not available for MH370? How does FlightAware get this data?
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Old 25th March 2015, 15:06   #4
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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 smartcat View Post
Any idea why such info is not available for MH370?
Maybe because the transponder on MH370 was reportedly switched off/wasn't working?
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Old 25th March 2015, 15:37   #5
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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 smartcat View Post
How does FlightAware get this data?
Probably in the same way as FR24 does. Go through this link: http://www.flightradar24.com/how-it-works

There is also this theory of pilots being temporarily incapacitated by Hypoxia being floated around, something similar to Helios Flight 522.

It seems in its final moments, either the pilots or autopilot managed to arrest the rate of descent and it does not seem like an uncontrolled descent( speed is more less constant with minor variations).
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Source:Twitter

And also this :
Quote:
CVR data has been read. It seems structural failure (windshield? not determined yet)..It was quick... sound of cracks,but crew initiated emergency descent using autopilot and then they weren't heard anymore. Autopilot was on during whole descent, but disconnected automatically shortly before impact when GPWS alerts appeared.
If the above is true, would be interesting to see if the windshield was replaced and if it was a maintenance problem.

Last edited by skanchan95 : 25th March 2015 at 15:40.
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Old 25th March 2015, 15:42   #6
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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 smartcat View Post
Flight altitude of the ill-fated A320 (data from FlightAware.com)
http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...nch-alps.html/

Attachment 1353428

Any idea why such info is not available for MH370? How does FlightAware get this data?
the data is freely available and is part of a larger initiative called ADS-B.
Lots of (commercial) planes are already equipped with this system. It continuously broadcast a planes call sign, altitude, horizontal and vertical speed, position and a few more things.

Have a look here: http://www.flightradar24.com/how-it-works

Download the app and you can track just about every flight in the world on your mobile phone in real time. That is, providing the plane is equipped with ADS-B transmitter and it is in reach of a ground receiver station. Which MH370 wasn't. Other system also collect similar data and can send it on a regular basis, e.g. ACARS. MH370 relied on satelite communication which for some reason was shut down.

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Old 25th March 2015, 15:47   #7
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

I was thinking why cant aircrafts have a separate parachute deployed when there are engine or other electrical failures;

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Interesting article this > http://www.quora.com/Why-dont-commer...in-emergencies
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Old 25th March 2015, 16:00   #8
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

Regarding the parachute idea, I think it boils down to cost. In the real world there must be data to back any spending of that scale. However bad it may look in the past year, statistically aviation is the safest mode of transport and ahead by miles compared to other modes.
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Old 25th March 2015, 19:02   #9
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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 karan561 View Post
I was thinking why cant aircrafts have a separate parachute deployed when there are engine or other electrical failures
Airplanes glide in case of all engine failure. There are atleast 5 successful cases in history I personally remember where flights have glided and landed safely.

- British Airways 9 (volcanic eruption). They were lucky enough to get power in the engines to clear the mountains and land safely in Jakarta.
- Air Canada 143 aka Gimli Glider. Lack of fuel.
- TACA 110
- Air Transat 236
- The famous United 1549 that landed in the Hudson in 2009.

There was certain amount of luck and loads of piloting skill involved in all these incidents.


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Originally Posted by skanchan95 View Post
Helios Flight 522.
windshield was replaced and if it was a maintenance problem.
Helios crashed on fuel starvation after it had been on air more than 2 hours. That seems unlikely, as this flight was in the air for just 45 min, of which last 8 min were a rapid descent from 38000 (as soon as they reached it). Again this doesn't seem to be a plunge looking at the altitude graphs, but rather a much slower descent. This rules out sabotage or terrorism as a cause.

Lack of hydraulics could be a problem, but doesn't quite explain the lack of mayday call. There is hope though, one of the blackboxes has been retrieved.

The latter event I think you are referring to the British Airways 5390 which made a successful landing, even the pilot sucked out of the window survived. Its one of my favorite Mayday episodes , again lack of Mayday call is quite puzzling.
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Old 25th March 2015, 19:24   #10
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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 Rodie09 View Post
Regarding the parachute idea, I think it boils down to cost. In the real world there must be data to back any spending of that scale. However bad it may look in the past year, statistically aviation is the safest mode of transport and ahead by miles compared to other modes.
I agree. Also I'm not sure whether it is technically feasible. If anything it would require a major redesign of the total plane and a recertification, unless you incorporate it in the design from the beginning. Apart from that I'm not sure whether it is really technically feasible.

There are planes that are equipped with a parachute. My own very favourite plane that I used to fly (and still do occasionally when in Europe or USA) has its own built in parachute. The Cirrus SR20 or SR22.

Recently one came in the news very prominently. It ran into problems during a ferry flight. The fuel system wasn't working properly and the pilot had no option then to pull the chute and ditch into the sea. All coordinated with ATC, the coast guard and a nearby cruise ship that picked him up.

Check the link and run the video and you will see the whole sequence!

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/A...by-Coast-Guard

Here is some more detailled information how it all works:

http://cirrusaircraft.com/static/img/CAPS_Guide.pdf

See how big the parachute is? This Cirrus weighs in at about max 3.6tonnes.
A fully loaded and fuelled Boeing 747-400 weighs in at well over 400 tonnes. So a hundred times more heavy. Not sure how it works with parachutes, but you can imagine it is going to need a very BIG chute!

There is also the matter of speed. Cirrus allows a max speed for a successful deployment of 140 knots. The higher speed you want the parachute to be deployed, the more complex it is going to get.

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Old 26th March 2015, 08:35   #11
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

And the plot thickens: Appears one pilot left the cockpit and couldnt re-enter the cockpit!

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/wo...rash.html?_r=1
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Old 26th March 2015, 09:14   #12
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Default Re: Germanwings Airbus A320 with 150 people onboard crashes in the French Alps

I saw on CNN/BBC (confused) that the this particular 24 year old Airbus 320 had undergone a scheduled maintenance in Germany, on Monday, 23rd March, just a day before the accident.

This made me recall a particular crash story of Aeroperú_Flight_603 which was telecast on Nat Geo in the Air Crash Investigation show. That particular aircraft had undergone a similar maintenance schedule just a day before the accident. There was some duct tape accidentally left over the static ports which feed critical flight data in the cockpit. (READ HERE)

The controlled descent in this case of Germanwings, indicate that the flight was flying incorrectly and the pilots were not sure of it, because their cockpit data might have been showing wrong numbers !
May be a maintenance issue ??

Last edited by GTO : 26th March 2015 at 12:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 26th March 2015, 09:21   #13
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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 Soumyajit9 View Post
I saw on CNN/BBC (confused) that the this particular 24 year old Airbus 320 had undergone a scheduled maintenance in Germany, on Monday, 23rd March, just a day before the accident.
May be a maintenance issue ??
Apparently, it was bug fix, and related to the undercarriage. By the looks of it data in the CVR should be safe, since the data unit appears to be undamaged. Totally inhospitable terrain, even choppers cannot land, so are winching people down and up. Nice to see the heads of Germany, France & Spain all there.
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Old 26th March 2015, 09:44   #14
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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 Rodie09 View Post
Regarding the parachute idea, I think it boils down to cost. In the real world there must be data to back any spending of that scale. However bad it may look in the past year, statistically aviation is the safest mode of transport and ahead by miles compared to other modes.
I have been a lot more concerned about this. I have always believed that aviation is the safest mode of transport and chances of fatal accidents are next to NIL. But since MH370, all this has changed. The list is frankly alarming.

2014
  • February 16 – Nepal Airlines Flight 183, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6, crashes near Khidim about 74 kilometres southwest of Pokhara, Nepal, killing all 18 people on board.
  • March 8 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board, disappears from radar over the Gulf of Thailand. Has still not been found.
  • July 17 – Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, is shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board in the deadliest civilian airliner shootdown incident.
  • July 23 – TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR-72 en route from Kaohsiung to Penghu, Taiwan, crashes during go-around, killing 48 of the 58 people on board.
  • July 24 – Air Algérie Flight 5017, a chartered Swiftair McDonnell Douglas MD-83 operating for Air Algérie en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, crashes in the northern Mali desert after disappearing from radar approximately 50 minutes after takeoff, killing all 110 passengers and 6 crew members on board.
  • August 10 – Sepahan Airlines Flight 5915, a HESA IrAn-140 (an Antonov An-140 built under license) crashes shortly after takeoff from Mehrabad International Airport, Iran, killing 39 of the 48 people on board.
  • December 28 – Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501, an Airbus A320 en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, crashes into waters off Borneo, killing all 155 passengers and 7 crew on board.

2015
  • February 4 – TransAsia Airways Flight 235, an ATR-72, crashes into the Keelung River in Taiwan. 42 of the 58 passengers and crew on board are killed.
  • March 24 - Germanwings Flight 9525, an Airbus A320, crashes in southern France en route from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany. All 144 passengers and 6 crew on board the aircraft died in the crash.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...rcial_aircraft

Last edited by raj_5004 : 26th March 2015 at 09:45.
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Old 26th March 2015, 09:50   #15
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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 raj_5004 View Post
I have been a lot more concerned about this. I have always believed that aviation is the safest mode of transport and chances of fatal accidents are next to NIL. But since MH370, all this has changed. The list is frankly alarming.
Still, 2014 was one of the safest year ever in the history of aviation. The chances of fatal accidents remain next to nil.

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/...aviation-data/

http://www.vocativ.com/usa/travel/2014-plane-crashes/

http://www.wired.com/2014/12/may-see...safe-airlines/

It's all down to statics, not just a few high profile media intense accidents

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