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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:01   #181 (permalink)
 
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Curious about those phugoid oscillations. Shame we don't have a speed trace to compare.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:02   #182 (permalink)


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Bob Viking

The lower slopes of the Alps are clear of snow in many locations. It looks perfectly feasible and consistent with the topography of the area. It looks like an airliner or sorts and I can see the distinctive GWI maroon colour. I think it is fair to say it is genuine.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:04   #183 (permalink)
 
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RAT 5

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It would seem odd if it was a controlled descent to below MSA.
I suspect it may have started simply, as a controlled decent to an altitude where the air was breathable.

Instead of explosive decompression, it may have been a failure or partial failure to pressurise on the way up to FL380. If both pilots were already starting to suffer the effects of hypoxia before the TOC it may explain the 'gut reaction' to just get down rather than point the aircraft somewhere other than a fast approaching mountain range.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:05   #184 (permalink)
 
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Local paper Le Dauphine is the source of the emerging photos. They suggest the wreckage is in a dry valley below the snow line.

Haute-Provence | Un A320 s'écrase près de Barcelonnette : 150 morts
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:08   #185 (permalink)


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Decompression theory

It will be pretty quick to find out if it lost pressure due to the position of the O2 mask compartments in cabin. Most failures will still have the cabin descent with the aircraft but it can be done manually too.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:14   #186 (permalink)
 
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The regional paper 'LeDauphine' reports they already found one blackbox.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:15   #187 (permalink)
 
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decompression?

Hmm so you think they had decompression issues and tried to get down, which would answer my initial question: If they were unconscious would the plane not continue to fly straight for hours, under autopilot (like in Greece incident some years ago?)
But if they were conscious enough to start a descent, that might be an explanation.
However, if they were conscious enough to start the descent, then they were conscious enough to
contact ATC/declare Mayday/at the very least squawk 77000 which does not even require them to speak (if too weak to do so)
thy did none of that, so i am not convinced by the pressurisation idea.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:16   #188 (permalink)
 
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Approximate crash site

According to what I have seen on the picture the crash site would be at:

N 44.280 E 6.439

This is le Vallon de Galèbre

The nearest village is Le Vernet (Département 04 Alpes-de-Haute-Provence)
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:19   #189 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by AirScotia View Post
Local paper Le Dauphine is the source of the emerging photos. They suggest the wreckage is in a dry valley below the snow line.

Haute-Provence | Un A320 s'écrase près de Barcelonnette : 150 morts
Here are 3 of the photos from ledauphine.com:







This looks to be the Google Earth position in the photo above...

Last edited by Lost in Saigon; 24th Mar 2015 at 17:31.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:22   #190 (permalink)
 
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Curious about those phugoid oscillations. Shame we don't have a speed trace to compare.
if the aircraft was descending in OP DES, then engines will be idle, and pitch is used to control IAS/M. I would say those phugoids might not be unexpected due wind variations etc.

As you say, seeing the IAS values might backup, or disprove, that...
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:23   #191 (permalink)
 
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Military Excercise

Just for info - no fingerpointing meant: In the Marseille Area (LFMM) there seems to be quite a lot of military activity going on. An exercise called MALAY FREEDOM 01-2015 will be active tomorrow near the projected flightpath of the doomed flight and the LF-138 Restricted Area of Camp de Canjuers goes up to FL530. The latter is a very large military camp and a place where there is rocket firing too. And then, just about where the flight crossed the coast, there's Toulon, the main French naval base, prohibited area LF-P62 up to FL195.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:26   #192 (permalink)
 
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Decompression and hypoxia

Decompression, hypoxia: it seems most credible scenario. Too early to say, true, but 8 minutes of descending without any radio communication would confirm some degree of incapacitation. We have seen it before. If we then combine the hypoxia theory with the very busy military area just 25 miles before crash site, "friendly fire" is not an entirely an impossible theory. Damaged fuselage, decompression, hypoxia.

Last edited by ILS27LEFT; 24th Mar 2015 at 17:32. Reason: Addition
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:26   #193 (permalink)
 
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Or perhaps their crew oxygen didn't work? Decompression. Started descent, then incapacitated. No calls. No turns or level off at FL140/FL100. Hate to think about it!
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:26   #194 (permalink)
 
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No, they would not be trying to reach the Barcelonette Airfield runway as it is only 2,600 ft long.
Correct, LFMC LeLuc-LeCannet Mil/Civ would have been the better choice, but this still does neither explain no-7700 nor radio silence.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:27   #195 (permalink)
 
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In reality, it is possible that they started the initial emergency descent with a simple spin down of the Alt selector and a pull to get it into open descent. With no other inputs the rate of descent of c3000fpm would be normal, although over high ground you'd normally select the msa.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:27   #196 (permalink)


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Keithpenny

It means if there are 200+ O2 masks laying loose then it's a good chance it was a decompression. If most of the intact PSUs still have the O2 mask door close then there's a good chance cabin pressure never exceeded 14000msl. Quite simple really.

It is highly unlikely that any primary failure would cause the masks to deploy as a secondary failure and few failures that will result in a loss of cabin pressure. What I am saying is it will be very easy to rule a loss of cabin pressure in, or out.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:28   #197 (permalink)
 
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I know very little of the Airbus, just know that situations like this are sadly more frequent.
Statistically, is this true?
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:29   #198 (permalink)
 
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In a 'quick spin down' of the altitude selector, what are you likely to get? 20K? 5k?
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:31   #199 (permalink)
 
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However, if they were conscious enough to start the descent, then they were conscious enough to contact ATC/declare Mayday/at the very least squawk 77000 which does not even require them to speak (if too weak to do so)
I suggest you read something about the effects of hypoxia. It is not a question of whether they were conscious or not but what they were thinking/experiencing at the time.
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 17:33   #200 (permalink)
 
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In a 'quick spin down' of the altitude selector, what are you likely to get? 20K? 5k?
Depends if the selector is in the 100' or 1000' detent, so you could even get zero with a quick spin.

What bugs me with the hypoxia hypothesis, is that the first actions are to put your masks on and establish comms, and only then do you start the descent...
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