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Thread: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

  1. #1

    Default Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...es-french-alps

    The Airbus A320 making the flight for Lufthansa’s lowcost arm, Germanwings, crashed near the small mountain village of Barcelonette in the southern Alps. It had made a distress call at 10.47am then disappeared off the radar at around 11.20am, Le Figaro reported.
    The French TV station iTele said there had been at least 142 passengers and six crew-members on board.
    The French president, François Hollande, said it was likely there were no survivors.
    He said the crash happened in “an area that was very difficult to access” and did not know yet whether any homes had been affected on the ground. “Solidarity is our first sentiment at this moment,” he said.
    Airbus said it is aware of the reports of a crash but could not confirm.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    From ST:

    Published on Mar 26, 2015 2:34 AM
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    By Sidney Dekker







    WE CLIMBED out over the Mediterranean after take-off from Barcelona, veered off the Spanish coast and pointed the nose north-east. Soon we'd be talking to controllers in Marseille and make landfall near Toulon. From there onwards, sometimes taking a morsel of Italy, often across Switzerland, then further north, to our base in Copenhagen.
    Although a full-time professor, I was flying part-time as a co-pilot for an airline much like Germanwings. We'd typically fly Copenhagen-Barcelona back and forth, briefing the two flights in the crew room beforehand: route, times, crew members for the trip, equipment and instruments, weather, fuel, winds aloft, expected turbulence.
    In good visibility we could follow the Rhine river and see ancient towns and fields, forests, roads and mountains glide underneath us peacefully. Peering down at them from some 40,000 feet was one of the greatest aspects of my side job.
    On the home-bound leg, after leaving Barcelona, the French coastline would swim into view only reluctantly, freeing itself from the haze of a placid spring or summer Mediterranean.


    And behind it - formidably, massively - the Alps.
    The Alps always were a forbidding obstacle, or praised protective barrier, for Europeans.
    In 218BC, Hannibal, whose elephants weighed only about a tenth of our Boeing, had his own share of emergencies on his way to Rome. He lost many pack animals and supplies during a clash with barbarians in a pass near Mount du Chat. But Hannibal lived on different time constants. His response to the emergency was to march into Chambery, strip it of its horses, beasts of burden, food and supplies, and then burn the town.
    Today, the remains of Germanwings 4U9525 lie not far from where Hannibal is likely to have crossed. The crashed Airbus 320 was travelling from Barcelona, in Spain, to Duesseldorf, in Germany, with six crew members and 144 passengers on board.
    The causes of the accident are under investigation.
    But if there were an emergency on board a flight like that, the time constants and pressures would be very different. A dire emergency over the Alps would be a pressurisation problem, particularly a sudden one.
    Airplane cabins do not get fed oxygen from bottles. Rather, normal outside air is brought in and pressurised so that its density makes it breathable and liveable.
    Pressurisation systems can fail, though they seldom do. A sudden decompression is one of those rare, extremely low-probability/ high-consequence events for which it is hard to maintain meaningful proficiency. Particularly because there is much to do, so many things to coordinate, with so little margin for error and few alternative options.
    If the cabin pressure goes, you grab and don your oxygen mask, flick switches so as to establish communications through the mask, and then you have to get the aircraft down. In the back, masks will have dropped automatically to provide oxygen for passengers and cabin crew for the next minutes. The drill needs to go by heart, and quickly:

    • Oxygen masks and regulators: on, 100 per cent oxygen
    • Crew communications: establish
    • Pressurisation mode selector: manual
    • Outflow valve: close


    • Passenger signs: on
    • Passenger oxygen: on
    • Emergency descent: initiate.

    The cockpit masks inflate around the pilot's head. They are like an emergency clamp - squeezing, claustrophobic.
    Before descending, you try to point the airplane's nose off the airway, or flight corridor, so that you don't get in the way of other airplanes flying below.
    The drill continues, still by heart, and it better go like clockwork.

    • Emergency descent: announce
    • Engine start switches: continuous
    • Thrust levers: close
    • Speedbrake: flight detent
    • Descent: initiate
    • Target speed

    Letting air traffic control know what's going on comes in a very distant second place - if there is time and cognitive space to do so at all.
    Descending at some 3,000 feet per minute, it takes about 10 minutes to get down to 10,000 feet from cruise. This is not a plunge, it is a controlled descent. At 10,000 feet, everybody can breathe without masks.
    So that's the goal. Get to 10,000 feet. Take the masks off. Figure out where to go next, where to land. Indeed, talk to a controller. But in the Alps, some 500 mountains rise above 10,000 feet. You can't just go anywhere. This is where minimum altitudes come in. Minimum sector altitude (MSA), minimum en-route altitude (MEA), minimum obstacle clearance altitude (MOCA), minimum off-route altitudes (MORA), minimum crossing altitude (MCA) - numbers scattered across paper charts (or today, iPads) in the cockpit, based on assumptions about the density and temperature of the atmosphere that are probably not valid that day.
    Minimum altitude routes through mountain ranges, or Grand Massifs like the Alps, are hard to remember in detail from briefings. It's a lot to keep stable in the head for an event that you have come to believe will "never" happen.
    I look forward to the day that such routes pop up automatically on my moving map display in case of emergency. Today, they don't.
    Germanwings 4U9525 ended up at about 6,000 feet. When you're that busy, and descending at that rate, it wouldn't be hard to punch through the desired altitude for a bit.
    Something else may have happened altogether, of course. We will hopefully know soon. If the history of aviation and accident investigations have shown anything, it is that we are willing - keen even - to learn from things that go wrong. This might include finding better ways to know about the places in mountainous terrain where we can breathe, but also stay alive by not hitting anything.


    - See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/....ft64wf8w.dpuf
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    very sad news.

    prosecutor:
    co-pilot deliberately crashed germanwings plane.

    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellsch...-13506539.html

    http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/tran...ane-prosecutor
    Last edited by Poseidon88; 26th March 2015 at 10:37 PM.

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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    why pilot always get the blame?

  5. #5

    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by can100D View Post
    why pilot always get the blame?
    Because they are the entity in the whole chain that is most difficult to control or predict?
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by can100D View Post
    why pilot always get the blame?
    please read the latest news first!!

    this is the result after the blackbox (voice-recorder) evaluation!
    Last edited by Poseidon88; 26th March 2015 at 11:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by can100D View Post
    why pilot always get the blame?
    Spend some time watching Air Crash Investigations (or the many other similar titles on YouTube) and you will learn about the role of the pilots.
    The difference why some plane crash and others make it safely to the ground is the cockpit crew. Best local example: the Quantas A380 with engine blow up over Batam.

    However, the investigations here revealed clearly the shocking suspicion of a deliberate act.
    Last edited by Octarine; 27th March 2015 at 05:27 AM.
    EOS

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    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    http://www.bloombergview.com/article...-was-a-killer-

    The commentary (on this article) really bothers me...I'm just saying. What do you think..about the article itself that is?
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 29th March 2015 at 08:29 AM.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by can100D View Post
    why pilot always get the blame?
    Its always either a mechanical fault or the pilot's fault. Simple as that.

    Even if its mechanical fault or even a hijack attempt, the onus still rest on the pilot's skill and experience to stabilise the situation

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    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    In the USA nowadays federal air marshals are along for every flight armed with SIG Sauer 357SIG pistols therefore not every thing will rest on the pilot anymore. I wonder though if that would have made a difference in this case? I somehow doubt it. I also wonder about all of these locking cabin doors etc. that I am reading about? Background checks on pilots who we all know are typically very high caliber people?

    I find it disconcerting that I am not hearing all the BS that they say about Asian pilots and aircrews recently concerning this guy...it is all - oh he was mentally ill, his girlfriend broke up with him, etc. Yet another case of an extremely pretentious western media?
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 30th March 2015 at 04:04 AM.
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  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    In the USA nowadays federal air marshals are along for every flight armed with SIG Sauer 357SIG pistols therefore not every thing will rest on the pilot anymore. I wonder though if that would have made a difference in this case? I somehow doubt it. I also wonder about all of these locking cabin doors etc. that I am reading about? Background checks on pilots who we all know are typically very high caliber people?

    I find it disconcerting that I am not hearing all the BS that they say about Asian pilots and aircrews recently concerning this guy...it is all - oh he was mentally ill, his girlfriend broke up with him, etc. Yet another case of an extremely pretentious western media?
    Western media always has this conspiracy theories BS.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post

    Its always either a mechanical fault or the pilot's fault. Simple as that.

    Even if its mechanical fault or even a hijack attempt, the onus still rest on the pilot's skill and experience to stabilise the situation
    The way i see an air accident or any accident , just skimming the surface are 3 independent factors: Man, Machine and Medium.
    Man - state of being, stress level, sufficient rest. Skill level or have to make judgement based on info he perceived that time, may b in error.
    Machine - fatal or catastrophic failure or one that allows very little reaction time for corrective action
    Medium - weather phenomenon, runway condition. Or even birds....

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    Western media always has this conspiracy theories BS.
    Another sweeping statement...? Check the German mainstream media and you won't find anything that smells of conspiracy.
    EOS

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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by donut88 View Post
    Its always either a mechanical fault or the pilot's fault. Simple as that.
    Even if its mechanical fault or even a hijack attempt, the onus still rest on the pilot's skill and experience to stabilise the situation
    Wrong again.
    If you take the time to read up / watch about those incidents you will find that it is never a single mechanical fault, never a single error by a pilot. It is always a string of events and actions that lead to the disaster. Many of these incidents could have been avoided if other actions had been taken. (This is not wild speculation but the results of the investigations.)
    In other words: you might have been in some flights already where a different action had lead to a different, maybe tragic outcome. Be glad that is does not follow your simplistic view.
    EOS

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    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Another sweeping statement...? Check the German mainstream media and you won't find anything that smells of conspiracy.
    I am not so sure he is entirely wrong concerning American MSM (at least) nowadays.
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 1st April 2015 at 10:23 AM.
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    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    I am not so sure he is entirely wrong concerning American MSM (at least) nowadays.
    Possible, I can't comment about American MSM. But the sweeping comment about 'western media' in general is just wrong. There many Western media doing a reasonable and reliable job and there as black sheeps in the East as well.
    EOS

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nikonzen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    Possible, I can't comment about American MSM. But the sweeping comment about 'western media' in general is just wrong. There many Western media doing a reasonable and reliable job and there as black sheeps in the East as well.
    I think you are right sir. We have strayed from the topic at hand. Probably talking about any MSM in relationship to this unfortunate event is maybe being a little shallow on our parts (let us not forget the folks who perished) and if I led the conversation astray I apologize as I didn't intend to.
    Last edited by Nikonzen; 1st April 2015 at 02:57 PM.
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Truly tragic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikonzen View Post
    In the USA nowadays federal air marshals are along for every flight...
    Hmm. From what I've read, seems like only a small percentage of commercial passenger flights are covered. So even if this had been a US flight, there might not have been a FAM on board at all.

    "There are around 30,000 commercial flights per day over the U.S.," says Casaretti. "If you were to attempt to place a team of just two FAMs on each flight, it would require an agency of over 75,000 FAMs (accounting for training and days off). FAMs cover a very small percentage of commercial flights."

    - John Casaretti, National President of the Air Marshal Association/CWA.

    "If one accounts for vacations, sick leave, medical leave and days off, some air marshals working in operations have told me that this accounts for less than one half percent of all U.S.-flagged aircraft being covered by federal air marshals"

    - Clay Biles, a former Navy SEAL who spent five years as a federal air marshal and is the author of a book about FAMS called Unsecure Skies.

    via: Five myths about air marshals
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel...hals/13724331/

  19. #19

    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Hmm I don't know if that guy should have published that ..
    Now the terrorists know that Air Marshals are as rare as hens teeth ..

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Another air crash: Airbus 320 in the Alps

    Quote Originally Posted by petetherock View Post
    Hmm I don't know if that guy should have published that ..
    Now the terrorists know that Air Marshals are as rare as hens teeth ..
    Security by obscurity never really works. It usually gives a false sense of safety, followed by a shocking wake up call.
    EOS

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