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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:04
  #541 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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kbrockman
A catastrophic front wind shield failure could/would likely be immediately fatal for the pilot sitting behind it, I would imagine.
Ummmm - no. As the BA BAC111 incident shows, a windscreen failure has the windscreen blowing out. In that incident the Captain's windscreen failed, positive cabin pressure blew the windscreen out and sucked the Captain half out of the aircraft. Fortunately his feet snagged on the instrument coming which prevented him being completely sucked out of the aircraft. Fantastic flying and CRM from the F/O (well before CRM was even invented) had the aircraft safely on the ground with NO loss of life. The Captain survived.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:04
  #542 (permalink)  
 
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Some German wings crew refuse to fly...

Germanwings to cancel more flights as crew members refuse to fly

Germanwings will have to cancel more flights on Wednesday as some crew members refuse to fly, a day after an Airbus A320 operated by the budget arm of Lufthansa crashed in the French Alps.

"There will be irregularities... There are crew members who do not want to fly in the current situation, which we understand," a spokeswoman for Germanwings said.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:06
  #543 (permalink)  
 
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I am not a pilot, I work in sensortronics.

Is there anyone in the know that could shed any light on if TAWS (terrain avoidance) or GCAS (ground collision avoidance system) will one day become automatic? I know NASA developed a system for the usaf but I doubt if it's commercial yet. Obviously if unconsciousness was the issue by this point of proximity to terrain it wouldn't be much help which leads me to my next question...

Could the emergency descent procedure be initiated automatically by the A/P in case of sudden de-pressurisation? This would leave the pilots' with severely reduced mental capability only one task. Oxygen. It seems emergency descent is the only option in case of extreme pressure loss, so why not make the initiation phase (flt level, heading etc) automatic, and immediate. Obviously this would have to be a highly redundant sensor system as you don't want spurious pressure readings leading you into an unwanted descent!
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:06
  #544 (permalink)  
 
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The photos of the CVR show considerable damage - but presumably the central cylindrical section contains the data store? Does anyone know whether the data is stored in sold state devices or whether the unit on this aircraft has a magnetic tape storage medium? I have seen pictures of the CVRs from manufacturers' web pages but both types look quite similar.

Is there much difference in impact survivability of the two different types of CVR regarding data integrity?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:11
  #545 (permalink)  
 
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CVR Schematics

http://www.extremetech.com/wp-conten...er-diagram.jpg
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:13
  #546 (permalink)  
 
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Non-aviator here (when I fly it's strictly as SLC) so please forgive me if this is a nave question or one that has already been answered elsewhere.

But is there a strong reason (other than tradition/precedent/The Way Things Are) why the CVR only captures audio?

Seems to me that in this day and age, it would be hugely beneficial to accident investigators to have video evidence from the cockpit as well as audio. 1080p digital video cameras (eg GoPro etc) can be had at retail for tens of [dollars/pounds/insert currency] so on an industrial scale, it doesn't seem like it would be cost-prohibitive to put a few in the cockpit of each passenger ship.

Perhaps onboard video of an accident would have too much of a ghoulish appeal for the news media, if released/leaked? Or perhaps it's a matter of crew privacy - although if the video was wiped/recorded over on each new flight, and never left the aircraft except in the event of an incident, I wouldn't expect that to be any more of a privacy problem than the CVR audio that is currently captured.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:17
  #547 (permalink)  
 
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Swedish media reports that CVR was found and damaged but BEA are in the process of salvaging it and rumours has it that there might be some data released from it as early as today (CET).

Reading through all pages this far, it would be likely that a surprising rapid decompression took place and the flight crew wasn't able to react in proper time.

Four things that bothers me.

1) That -14000 feet glitch. It just reminds me of Valuejet and the exploding tyre.

2) No comms from the cockpit whatsoever. O2 supply not working?

3) Controlled descent, most likely initiated from the cockpit.

4) Maintenance the day before. Many bad things have happened when maintenance have forgot even the smallest thing, like the turn of a knob (Helios).
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:18
  #548 (permalink)  
 
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P.S. If you need forced pressure O2, to breathe at 40,000', then the pax are in real trouble with their dainty little masks. Which just demonstrates that you are completely wrong. So please provide some evidence, or apologise.
Why should he. You are the only one here claiming that no forced pressure is needed at high altitude when wearing a mask. Other people provided much more complete and authoritative postings than your, and to these nobody objected. Go back and read them.

Last edited by lapp; 25th Mar 2015 at 13:28.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:21
  #549 (permalink)  
 
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Media

From the Daily Mail:


"The doomed Germanwings plane may have crashed because the windscreen cracked, causing a sudden drop in oxygen that rendered the pilots unconscious, it was claimed today.
Reports circulating on professional pilot forums suggest the black box on the Airbus A320 has been analysed and reveals that a 'structural failure' was responsible for the disaster.
It is thought that the windscreen gave way, incapacitating the pilots and leaving them unable to send out a distress call."


Careful what you type guys and gals...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:22
  #550 (permalink)  
 
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Crew O2 in the US

14 CFR 121.333 C (II)
"(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(2) of this section, if for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave his station at the controls of the airplane when operating at flight altitudes above flight level 250, the remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use his oxygen mask until the other pilot has returned to his duty station."

Operators can also supplement this by requiring a CC seated in a jump or crew seat per approved sop

Last edited by neilki; 25th Mar 2015 at 13:24. Reason: clarification
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:23
  #551 (permalink)  
 
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In answer to jonathanhoey:

One extra thing to certify for high altitude use, electrical wires being drawn, and so forth. Here, on firma terra we don't realise how hostile the environment is outside the airplane. Think Mount Everest and double that. You wouldn't think your gopro worked there, right? Besides that, many pilots feel it's a very palpable breech of their privacy. If you work at an office you wouldn't like your boss to know Every. Little. Detail. about what you do, right?

And for FDR/CVR streaming... I can only say bandwidth, Bandwidth, BANDWIDTH! We need about double the amount of space crap than is already up there for these streaming wishes to come true.

I do hope that all airlines realise the need for ACARS and/or engine monitoring since the MH370 disappeared though.

Last edited by MrSnuggles; 25th Mar 2015 at 13:25. Reason: who I am answering to
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:24
  #552 (permalink)  
 
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A very high percentage of Mail readers will interpret that as fact. Sad how stuff circulates so quickly without verification etc
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:24
  #553 (permalink)  
 
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Emergency Descent Mode is available and fitted on my current aircraft - I wondered if it was fitted or an option on the Airbus but judging by the comments on here, I don't think it is. On my aircraft it sets up the descent and turns off the airway - does everything apart from open the speedbrakes in fact. I saw the descent rates achieved by this aircraft and I'm assuming the rates indicated that the speedbrakes probably weren't open - can anyone who's current on the airbus confirm that? Could that indicate that a potential incapacitation happened very early on?

I hate the speculation and my only reason for writing this is a faint hope that all on board were unconscious or so hypoxic that they didn't have too much time to contemplate their fate. Recent times have been very tough in aviation and I'm off to work this afternoon thinking of all the families and friends of the people who boarded that aircraft.

Please can we all remember that they will be very likely to find these pages and read them, looking for answers.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:25
  #554 (permalink)  
 
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@trtj

Any automated system relies heavily on sensor data and any manufacturer could probably not guarantee that a cause of a de-compression would not damage the sensors needed, which is one big reason why pilots still sit in those chairs in the front. Automated systems has a tendency to work well in controlled environments, when the aircraft is out of that environment it takes a bit more free-thinking system (pilot) to get the aircraft out of it.

Lets say that you have a de-compression because of a broken cargo door, it could very well destroy the AOA sensors which are located close by. How would the autopilot be able to fly the aircraft without one of the AOA sensors, which level of integrity of the system could the manufacturer guarantee?

As for automated terrain-avoidance it has already been seen that automated systems react in ways they were not designed to. For example radio altimeters reading the aircraft as if it was at 20 ft rather than 2000 ft and there by putting the engines into idle causing the crash of the Turkish B737 in AMS. This type of false sensor data is well known to cause failures of many automated systems on many types of aircrafts.

Automated procedures are nice, but in emergencies we need to realize that engineers can not develop systems which will save the aircraft out of every thinkable scenario. At some point the pilots need to do their work and perhaps manufacturers should design a better safety environment for the pilots in order to better shield them from a sudden change in the environment onboard?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:26
  #555 (permalink)  
 
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14 CFR 121.333 C (II)
"(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c)(2) of this section, if for any reason at any time it is necessary for one pilot to leave his station at the controls of the airplane when operating at flight altitudes above flight level 250, the remaining pilot at the controls shall put on and use his oxygen mask until the other pilot has returned to his duty station."
Quotes like that do not help at all. Remember that the aircraft was not flying according to FARs and that rules regarding oxygen use are very much different in euroland. European airlines simply do not fly according to FAR 121, that is a local rule in the USA, whereas in europe a multinational approach is used under the legislative rulework of the EASA.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:29
  #556 (permalink)  
 
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Could the emergency descent procedure be initiated automatically by the A/P in case of sudden de-pressurisation?
Airbus have been working on a concept like this for a number of years, but current status unknown. It is a complex concept to address because of the multiple sensor & system inputs. Maybe this event will provide a catalyst for change?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:31
  #557 (permalink)  
 
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Automated descent

This is what I was asking a number of pages back. Airbus were certainly considering it for the A350. I was asking if it had been implemented as cannot find the definitive answer online.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:31
  #558 (permalink)  
 
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lapp:
Quote:
P.S. If you need forced pressure O2, to breathe at 40,000', then the pax are in real trouble with their dainty little masks. Which just demonstrates that you are completely wrong. So please provide some evidence, or apologise.

Why should he. You are the only one here claiming that no forced pressure is needed at high altitude when wearing a mask. The other people provided much more complete and authoritative postings than your, and nobody objected. Go back and read them.
Maybe you should go back and read them. In my post dated 25th Mar 2015, 05:10 (currently #438) I explicitly stated that no forced pressure breathing is required up to 40 000' and gave exact technical reasons why. Every related post since then (up until yours) has supported this.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:33
  #559 (permalink)  
 
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Business jets do have automatic descent for depressurization. But i don't know of any airliner that has that feature. Dunno why, but one reason might be the very different usage rate per year for airliners compared to business jets. We calculate with 3000 to 3500 hours a year for a narrowbody and around 6000 to 6500 a year for a widebody. From what i hear most business jets fly less than 1000 hours a year.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 13:34
  #560 (permalink)  
 
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Btw, have we ever heard from BEA what happened to Air Asia A320?

They were part of the investigation (though not in the lead). But how can it happen that 3 months after that accident we do not know about the cause WITH all recorders orderly retrieved.

What can we expect from BEA this afternoon and in this case?
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