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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:19
  #681 (permalink)  
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Not if the pressure failure was forward of the door, in that case the cockpit door controller unit unlocks the door, and the door opens (towards the cockpit) under differential pressure.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:20
  #682 (permalink)  
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At the briefing, the Hollande said that the “envelope of the second black box has been found, unfortunately not the black box itself”. He said the search goes on for that.

Although its difficult terrain, its not unimaginable that a square metre by square metre search will find the missing memory unit from the flight data recorder, even if it takes weeks or months.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:21
  #683 (permalink)  
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BEA spokesman has just categorically confirmed that they have NOT found the FDR.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:26
  #684 (permalink)  
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I, like most pilots have not experienced a rapid decompression but I have flown with a captain who has. The experience he shared was most enlightening. When it happens you literally feel like the back of the aircraft has exploded. Your tongue is swallowed by your throat in a second, your ears begin to hurt and teeth become a hundred times more sensitive. If you already have an ear infection or a bad filling, you're likely to pass out as a result of the instant pain. None of these can be simulated in a sim or be trained for. On top of that, the cockpit fills with a cold mist that freezes the skin. All of these aspects make it incredibly difficult to recognise and reach out for the oxygen mask and autopilot controls. Stressing or moving about rapidly to find/don the oxygen mask chews into the time of useful conciousness.

I also agree that the flight path and steady descent indicates an informed decision to initiate an emergency descent. Done correctly, the target altitude would have been set to FL100 as a minimum. However looking even 30cm ahead can be challenging and that has the potential to result in the pilot setting the wrong target altitude.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:26
  #685 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by arearadar
Was there a fire on impact of germanwings ?
I think the blackened mountainside is just the rock colour - reason being the painted parts of the wreckage that you can see in the photos don't appear to have been sooted or charred.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:27
  #686 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bleve View Post
The 2008 Qantas event is informative. When cruising at 29 000' (cabin altitude 3 700') an oxygen bottle exploded creating a 3 square metre hole in the fuselage. One second later the A/P disconnected and the aircraft pitched nose UP. Three seconds later the cabin altitude reached 10 000'. Pilots put on oxy masks and established communications with each other. At 22 seconds descent was initiated (thrust to idle/ speed brakes extended). At approx 40 seconds the uncommanded climb was reversed and and the descent established, maximum cabin of 25 900' occurred at about this time. The mean rate of descent was about 3 000 fpm and the cabin altitude was about about 3000' below the aircraft's altitude during the descent.

The key points are that at 29 000' and with a 3 sq m hole, cabin altitude reached 10 000' within 3" and 26 000' within 40". With idle thrust, speed brakes extended snd IAS at the cruise IAS, descent rate was ~ 3 000 fpm.
I was cite that as rapid. Loss of the windscreen may well have become explosive after initial slower decompression.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:29
  #687 (permalink)  
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BEA spokesman getting very jittery in response to questions about the CVR.

He has admitted that it has useful information (suggesting it has been listened to) but won't say what was heard!
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:35
  #688 (permalink)  
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BEA spokesman getting very jittery in response to questions about the CVR.
I would not say "jittery", but "prudent" and reluctant to give information that are not confirmed (he said he did not listened to that recording) and could be misinterpreted.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:36
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BEA spokesperson just said that he has no info on the availability of ACARS in this flight
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:37
  #690 (permalink)  
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I may have missed it but has anyone mentioned ACARS data transmission? If the A/C was equipped and if it was used?
Bear in mind ACARS overland is typically crude VHF unencrypted data transfer, which spotters / ham radio types can receive AFAIK? So if anything dramatic was sent, somebody might have said?

I would think the BEA will prioritise what they do have in conventional data sources (CVR, FDR, Mode S, ADS-B, ATC etc.). AF447 resorted to ACARS due to a high level of integration, and absence of other sources...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:37
  #691 (permalink)  
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There can only be three reasons why pilots would not communicate with ATC under such circumstances (an unplanned rapid descent):

a. They are incapacitated - 30 or so pages discussing hypoxia.
b. They are unable due to equipment failure - not much discussion.
c. They (plural or singular) chose not to communicate - no discussion at all.

I'm not pointing in any particular direction other than highlighting the fact that we, the Great PPRuNe Collective, seem to have decided to focus on only one of the above.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:38
  #692 (permalink)  
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Two recent quotes from Remi Jouty of the BEA (accident investigation team) at the news conference.

Jouty: Sound recorder was found on site around 17:00 local time on Tuesday and was quickly sent to BEA, arriving at 09:45 on Wednesday

Jouty: We have been able to extract a usable audio file from the sound recorder.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:40
  #693 (permalink)  
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giving indications that the ac flew till the end

no in air explosion indicated

audio file usable

has no info on whats on it

they haven't got or tried to get any info from the airline involved...yet

(the cnn feed translator is very good)
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:40
  #694 (permalink)  
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Blackened mountainside

As a geologist who's done fieldwork in this area, agree with JamesT73 that these look like classic organic-rich (i.e. intensely black) shales to me and hence is their naturally colour. The more resistant, thin, lighter coloured rocks (seemingly uncharred) are white-yellow sandstone layers. Both formed in a deep ocean, but now find themselves thrust several thousand metres into mountains. When thick, these sandstone layers will make up the base of the hill and the higher summits behind.

The damage of this impact is truly phenomenal.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:43
  #695 (permalink)  
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Agreed. Over the ocean auto descent after pressurisation failure might be useful but in busy European & US skies a plummet without some sort of ATC clearance could lead to more serious consequences. A mid-air would clearly be more hazardous than temporary hypoxia for some passengers.
In the event of an explosive and sudden loss of pressure sheer self survival says "Go down!" - I can assure you that no pilot in the world would be messing about asking for a clearance to do so.

That does not mean that, if possible, once the descent has been started and immediate actions complete you wouldn't send a MAYDAY and/or select 7700 when you can.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:44
  #696 (permalink)  
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A seemingly knowing reporter with grey hair and suit asked if there were any sounds on the CVR during the time of the descent. The BEA spokesman did not answer that and/or he said something I didn't hear properly. Does anyone know of what I am talking and if so, did you happen to hear Mr BEA's answer?

The press conference is over. It was mostly uneducated questions about how a crash investigation is conducted, if there had been terrorist threats or bombs, but this gentleman in grey hair seemed to be in the know. Maybe a reporter for an aviation journal?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:45
  #697 (permalink)  
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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Well just watched the press conference and not much news: they have the cvr but would not talk about its content, categorically refuted that anything was found about the FDR, no ACARS one way or another. I guess still very early in the investigation
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:48
  #698 (permalink)  
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Mr BEA didn't say when on the recording the sounds (at one point he did say 'voices') were heard. So he didn't say anything about noises during the descent.
And they are still searching for the FDR. So Pres Hollande's comments were BS.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:51
  #699 (permalink)  
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His general answer (in both French and English) to all questions about the CVR was that whilst there whilst an audio file had been found it was going to be some time before the data had been fully extracted/analysed and so he was not willing to speculate on it's contents.

His comments about the FDR are consistent with all other credible local reports - it (or at least the important bit) hasn't been found yet.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 16:52
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Agreed. Over the ocean auto descent after pressurisation failure might be useful but in busy European & US skies a plummet without some sort of ATC clearance could lead to more serious consequences. A mid-air would clearly be more hazardous than temporary hypoxia for some passengers.
I'll have to disagree. A study done some years ago concluded that, strictly from a statistical point of view, mid-air collisions would occur at a lower rate if pilots flew at random altitudes and directions completely uncontrolled. In other words, the sky is a big place.

Yes, a midair will ruin your day, no argument there. But if you turn off course, it's so freakishly unlikely that it's hardly worth considering. Can anyone reference a single midair resulting from an airline pilot doing what he felt was necessary during a serious emergency?

In an airliner suffering decompression, if you do everything correctly, the pilots are still in serious danger as long as they are at an altitude above which they can operate without supplemental oxygen. If it were me, I'd be on my way to a lower altitude immediately.

Waiting for ATC clearance during ANY very serious emergency was NOT in my bag of tricks back when I was flying over the North Atlantic and Europe. I suspect more people have died by turning control of their aircraft over to ATC than have died by doing what was necessary during a genuine emergency and then telling ATC about it later.
It's a judgement call, Mozella. Statistics might not be on your side if you're dropping at max rate through, say, the Washington-NY-Boston area. Your TCAS advisories will be inappropriate and you will probably trigger multiple TAs and RAs on other aircraft, which could be highly disruptive (or worse).
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