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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 10:33
  #481 (permalink)  
 
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Structural failure fits the accident scenario quite well but I would be really surprised by both crew being incapacitated to this extreme.
We will see what role O2 played once the FDR is found and readable - should be today. Perhaps the holes in the cheese did line up: Structural failure and insufficient/no O2 supply.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 10:37
  #482 (permalink)  
 
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It started out decending at 2300ft/min, then it went to 3050ft/min all the way down to 4225ft/min and then back up the scale to the point of impact. Is this normal if the aircraft was on autopilot?
Yes if the descent mode (OP DES) was pitching the nose up/down to maintain a selected MN/IAS. As the head/tail winds change during the descent the pitch attitude (and vertical speed) will change to maintain the selected speed.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 10:38
  #483 (permalink)  
 
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If it is structural failure of some sort, could the noise that was assumed to come from the nose wheel door actually have been a symptom of something else, some distortion?
I was thinking the same thing, i was also thinking that maybe the decompression occurred in/near the cockpit leading to other reasons why the pilots were incapacitated
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 10:52
  #484 (permalink)  
 
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All these decompression/pressurisation ideas are all well and good.
However, they do not explain why an experienced flight crew would then go and select a FL below 10,000ft when they know they are over the Alps and make no course alteration whatsoever before then becoming incapacitated.

This makes no sense to me.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 10:56
  #485 (permalink)  
 
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O2 in the lavatories

This seems a suitable occasion to re-float a question that I tabled about one month ago (and subsequently modded out) - Garuda domestic are currently issuing instructions in their safety briefings that in-toilet O2 systems have been removed from their aircraft (738) and "in the event of cabin depressurisation, please return to your seat and use the overhead O2 mask".
These systems were removed apparently as the result of an NTSB(?) directive a couple of years ago, that directive since reversed - but not by Garuda.
I wonder how many other operators removed those systems world-wide?

As for the concept of the crew member in the toilet at the time of de-compression returning to the flight deck with the O2 bottle and mask, I doubt that would be possible even if the aircraft does still have the system installed.
Not unless he has oven gloves available.


However, back to my unanswered question. What is the likelihood that a person could actually make it back to their seat (or back to the flight deck) from a lavatory with or without O2 system installed.
We will presume that said crew member was in a fully-clothed condition when the de-pressurisation occurred.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:01
  #486 (permalink)  
 
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However, back to my unanswered question. What is the likelihood that a person could actually make it back to their seat (or back to the flight deck) from a lavatory with or without O2 system installed.
The answer is: zero likelihood - you stay there with the mask on until at a reasonable altitude...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:03
  #487 (permalink)  
 
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However, they do not explain why an experienced flight crew would then go and select a FL below 10,000ft when they know they are over the Alps and make no course alteration whatsoever before then becoming incapacitated
Maybe the Alt selector was in the 1000's range, wound it down to get the descent going but incapacitated before being able to fine tune them on the second loop
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:03
  #488 (permalink)  
 
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@Liveryman

The AB procedure is to initiate the descent first and then when established in the descent set the appropriate altitude.

If on oxygen this should work but if not.......
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:09
  #489 (permalink)  
 
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last a/c I flew was b767. before starting engines ck list we always checked emer o2 set 100 per cent and push to test while watching bottle pressure. first flight of day, don and restow.

o2 is a very important emergency system and very much respected by professional pilots.

many rules re o2.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:18
  #490 (permalink)  
 
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far 121 requires single pilot on oxygen if other pilot leaves crew position above fl250. europe similar.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:19
  #491 (permalink)  
 
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Nope, not similar in europe. There is no such rule since JAR OPS came around, up to FL410 nobody needs to sniff oxygen if the other leaves the flightdeck.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:21
  #492 (permalink)  
 
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I would not be surprised to hear that a recommendation would be made for one flight crew member to be on Oxygen at all times above 10000". Following the AirAsia and MH370 it wouldn't be just airbus a/c.
Pretty uncomfortable for LH and I guess more O2 required.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:24
  #493 (permalink)  
 
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Never understood why you wouldn't just set FL100/MEA in the window straight away instead of setting something to come back and fine tune later. A few extra clicks is adding fractions of a second and by that time you should be on oxygen having completed the most vital and time critical memory actions anyway.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:25
  #494 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BusyB View Post
I would not be surprised to hear that a recommendation would be made for one flight crew member to be on Oxygen at all times above 10000". Following the AirAsia and MH370 it wouldn't be just airbus a/c.
Pretty uncomfortable for LH and I guess more O2 required.
Unlikely, I would venture, since the everyday impact on SA and crew comms would create more issues than it would resolve.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:29
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Nope, not similar in europe. There is no such rule since JAR OPS came around, up to FL410 nobody needs to sniff oxygen if the other leaves the flightdeck.
Well that is just wrong. Unsafe and illogical.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:35
  #496 (permalink)  
 
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Never understood why you wouldn't just set FL100/MEA in the window straight away instead of setting something to come back and fine tune later. A few extra clicks is adding fractions of a second and by that time you should be on oxygen having completed the most vital and time critical memory actions anyway.
Yep - I my daily work I decided for myself to discard that piece of the procedure and always set a safe target on the first loop for exactly the reason, that there is a risk of becoming incapacitated. Usually its FL100 but before entering higher terrain I will brief my "first target" to the chap next to me...

I regard the current procedure as dangerous...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:39
  #497 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by cirr737
Yep - I my daily work I decided for myself to discard that piece of the procedure and always set a safe target on the first loop for exactly the same reason. Usually its FL100 but before entering higher terrain I will brief my "first target" to the chap next to me...
That seems the most reasonable thing to do to me. Any other way seems to invite mistakes and possibly less healthy results!
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:41
  #498 (permalink)  
 
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Can anyone with Airbus experience let us know how many "clicks" the alt knob gives you in say half a turn - a quick flip? Even on 1000ft/click, I find it strange that you'd get 30 or more, as some seem to be implying. How on earth would you be able to set an accurate altitude?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:41
  #499 (permalink)  
 
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On the "Window replacement" speculation: Windows are plug-fit - so unlikely they are lost suddenly.

Leaves NWD speculation re. structural damage... Hope facts surface soon (and specifically the FDR in readable shape).
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 11:41
  #500 (permalink)  
 
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At the high rate of descent and with the many mountains around it is likely that the GPWS alarm went off around FL100.
What would it do?
Disengage autopilot?
Pullup?
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