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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:50
  #441 (permalink)  
 
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Let's hope that it turns out to be a lack of O2 for some reason. That would be a straightforwaed explanation. Because if it turns out to be HAL over Human, then Airbus is in for a seriously rough ride.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:53
  #442 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bleve View Post
A question for the A320 drivers: When descending through the Transition Level does the altimeter sub-scale setting automatically change from QNE to QNH or do you have to manually change it?
The altitude data sent by the transponder, which is what we're talking about here, isn't affected by the subscale setting - in other words it's always Pressure Altitude (QNE), so not necessarily what the pilot sees if below the TA.

The reason I ask is that The Aviation Herald is reporting that: 'Radar data suggest the aircraft ... appeared to have leveled off at FL068 for one minute [prior to impact]'. The Grid Mora at the point the aircraft commenced descent is 6100. This suggests to me that the crew had set 7000 as a level off altitude for an emergency descent. 7000 is the Grid Mora at the descent point rounded up to the nearest 1000 and the difference between FL068/7000 could be due to the QNE/QNH difference.
See above. In addition, I haven't seen any data so far that actually supports Avherald's assertion that the aircraft levelled off at any stage during the descent.

Originally Posted by AirScotia View Post
In default of a timestamp, I should have looked at the latitude reading. Doh.
That data does in fact contain timestamps - those are the 10-digit values labelled "mtime". Those appear to be in the form of Unix timestamps (with a 1-second precision), which would make the final value of 1427189963 equivalent to 09:39:23Z yesterday. They will, of course, only be as accurate as the time set on the PC that recorded the data.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:55
  #443 (permalink)  
 
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I'ld love to mention something her about any speculation mention with regards to an autopilot commanded emergency decent.

This A320, with MSN lower than 5000 is still equipped with the EXPED button on the FCU. EXPED DES mode is available on this aircraft, while disabled on most A320 with higher MSN.

EXPED DES mode triggers a 4000-5000 fpm decent rate which would match the readout of FLR24, more or less.

For me this was commanded decent to 6800 ft and EXPED button pushed. Autopilot is on ATHR, AP1 on. There was never a deviation of its original flightplan. It follows the route constantly and very precise. Too precise for manual flight.

Unfortunatly at 6800ft impossible to surpass the mountains, reason why they hit ground at full speed.

The bis question is, was the initiation of the emergency decent the last activity of crew in cockpit?

Why no squawk 7700?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:57
  #444 (permalink)  
 
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Today crews are betting their lives and those of the pax that mx has opened the bottle if there's a depressurisation.

Helios lost that bet and we may be looking at a repeat.
No. That is not what happened in Helios. It was nothing to do with mx opening a bottle.
I won't discuss Helios anymore on this thread for fear of thread drift but you may mislead people with that statement so it needs correcting. If anyone wants to know about Helios there is plenty of info online, none of it will mention mx not turning on an oxygen bottle.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 07:59
  #445 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by andrasz View Post
4U works on the low cost model, I'd be very surprised if they would have ACARS.
Germanwings do make (sparing) use of ACARS, and the aircraft in question was certainly equipped.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:06
  #446 (permalink)  
 
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MartinM
This A320, with MSN lower than 5000 is still equipped with the EXPED button on the FCU. EXPED DES mode is available on this aircraft, while disabled on most A320 with higher MSN.
Just out of curiosity, why was it disabled? Is it possible to program an expedited descent through the MCDU or is the function removed with the button?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:07
  #447 (permalink)  
 
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Since we're discussing hypoxia so much, here are a few short clips showcasing just how deadly it is. If you're not acquainted with the condition, I'd highly suggest watching them.

The worst part is that when it hits, the sufferer is aware of nothing, even if trained. If not recognised at its earliest stages, the game is over.

And by the way hypoxia is just briefly mentioned in ATPL books...

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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:07
  #448 (permalink)  
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Is it part of the process that a cabin crew member with portable oxygen MUST check the flight deck after decompression to ensure pilots are breathing and ok? I assume if the door is automatically unlocked (is that the same on Boeing?) it will not actually come open and if the door is closed and aircraft seems to be descending rapidly not out of control would cabin crew ensure pilots are "in control" ?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:10
  #449 (permalink)  
 
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Germanwings do make (sparing) use of ACARS, and the aircraft in question was certainly equipped.
Sorry, my imprecise answer. ACARS has several modules, each coming at a different price tag. The basic Ops module only sends automated operational status messages for movement control. The health monitoring system, which is used for maintenance purposes, requires a much broader bandwidth and is costlier by magnitudes. I would assume (but may be wrong) that 4U would use the former, but not the latter, though as it was an ex LH bird it may have full capability.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:16
  #450 (permalink)  
 
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Julian

You probably don't want cabin crew moving around during an emergency descent unless they absolutely have to. "Where I work" in the event of a decompression the Cabin Crew are trained initially to grab a mask and find something to hang onto/sit down... They would only attempt to access the flight deck if there was no signs of a descent being commenced after a suitable period of time.

I can't possibly comment on Flight Deck doors for obvious reason.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:18
  #451 (permalink)  
 
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For an emergency descent you would expect the pilot to select 10000ft in the window, or MSA if higher before initiating descent. Although some airlines train spinning something lower, getting it going down and then refining it. It would be unusual to set something below 10000ft. The cabin crew would only check on the flight crew if the aircraft didn't descend after a decompression.

But obviously the first action is to always don the oxygen mask and it would be strange not to.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:21
  #452 (permalink)  
 
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Swedish media reports that flight data recorder might be partly destroyed or damaged in the impact.
Source: AP
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:21
  #453 (permalink)  
 
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Watching those 3 videos is scary stuff actually, and how you can be un-aware of anything happening to you! I was trying to work out in the last video of ATC comms was the 2nd pilot as refered the actual 2nd pilot or another flight re-laying the message?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:30
  #454 (permalink)  
 
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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

According to Airbus FCOM:
ATC XPDR 7700 CONSIDER

It is NOT mandatory
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:31
  #455 (permalink)  
 
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Ie is the pressure sensor in the line or the bottle?

Oxygen cylinders never have pressure sensors in them. All monitoring is downstream of the isolation valve that allows you to change the cylinder. There must be a bit of line between the cylinder and the on/off valve, so it is totally possible for that bit of line to be pressurised and then the cylinder turned off.

DOI PPL, not big jets, but working every day with oxygen (and other gases) supply systems.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:31
  #456 (permalink)  
 
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For me this was commanded decent to 6800 ft and EXPED button pushed
A flight deck photo of D-AIPX on airliners.net shows the EXPED pushbutton is deactivated.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:32
  #457 (permalink)  
 
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German media reports that so far only the CVR has be recovered and that it is damaged. Apparently it has been taken to Paris to try and get as much information as possible out of it.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:33
  #458 (permalink)  
 
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I am not an airline pilot but a corporate jet pilot and know with some of the older autopilot systems that they won't capture from a very high descent rate and we normally monitor the capture under normal circumstances.

One of the jets i fly is 1992 vintage while this Airbus appears to be 1990.

How reliable are the autopilots on these older aircraft? they are old Girls and the Airbus would hav flown far far more hours than the corporate jet of that vintage

Is it possible that the aircraft was programmed to level at 10K but didn't and continued down?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:36
  #459 (permalink)  
 
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In 20 years I have never seen an A320 AP fail to capture an altitude. I've seen it overshoot by 200 feet, then recover, when speedbrake was stowed during capture but never seen it just miss. So highly unlikely.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:36
  #460 (permalink)  
 
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I don't know how accurate this data is or where they got it from, but if the data is indeed correct, then wouldn't the decrease in rate of descent at the lower altitudes suggest an effort to recover from the descent?



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