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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:15
  #781 (permalink)  
 
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Yeah, we know. But it is no longer 'normal' it is 'emergency' and it makes a hellava noise. And most crew are trained to sit down, where their view of the outside is non-existent.

In days of yore they could slip in, see that 'things were being done', and slip out - with saying a word or disturbing anyone. You remember that 'cabin secure flip-flap', that used to magically change to 'secure' all by itself? They cannea do that now, captn.
Absolutely true, silvertate.

Be careful when you "solve" one problem that you don't generate a load more.

We have kowtowed to the politicians who have to be seen to do something.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:15
  #782 (permalink)  
 
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wingswinger said

I suppose it is safe to assume that there are plenty of images that we won't see in the public domain but I'd have expected some larger pieces considering that it didn't hit a flat surface
reading other posts in this thread, the terrain is mostly slate-rock. Such an impact could easily start an ' rock slide' or avalance with multi slabs breaking at inherent fault lines in slate ( sort of like a layer cake ). Thus further grinding up and possibly burying the ' small' pieces left after such a high speed impact.

Those on the ground will be able to ( hopefully) notice the ' fresh breaks' and map out the debris field while looking for the relatively small FDR which could easily be buried under a few tons of slate .

Time will tell.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:16
  #783 (permalink)  
 
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AS HYPOXIA still seems to be the most "favoured" starting point and explosive decompression appears to be ruled out by BEA, it returns us to slow creeping hypoxia during climb

Q1) Maintenance-whatever controls the nose undercarriage doors ( elec/cable or hydraulic), the "power" input (elec or hydraulic) presumably exits/enters the pressurized zone through the roof or side walls of the nose bay. If maintenance need to access those on the inside is the O2 bottle in their way?

Q2) how long before the start of descent was the previous comm with ground and at what height was the aircraft.

BSIEKER you say the length of the fuselage acts as a crumple zone helping to protect the flight recorders.

NOT if it hits/clips a ridge at 300knts+. in fact the tail may have been the 1st part to hit the ridge.

FIRE
Initially I also thought the extended area of black could have been burning, however those familiar with the area confirm that is the natural rock colour, but in the valley bottom some of the tree clumps do show burning but not enough to destroy the whole clump, so there were small localised fires only.

Someone posted the cockpit had been seen and was relatively intact, any pics?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:17
  #784 (permalink)  
 
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One more thing nagging me - if it was an "Open Descent" as a last ditch effort, the crew must have been concious enough to also pull the speed selector - otherwise the aircraft should have slowed down to 250kts passing FL100 - and thinking of this but not adjusting heading seems a bit strange.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:21
  #785 (permalink)  
 
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Cross checking radars

If ever possible, it might be interesting to cross check FR24 annd ATC plots with primary radar detections. The crash site is within the coverage of one or two French AF control centers, Mont Agel and Mont Verdun.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:24
  #786 (permalink)  
 
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Lot's of talk about depressurisation issues, not so much about potential foul play.
Given the current world events I would say that is sadly a strong possibility..
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:26
  #787 (permalink)  
 
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I see many people mention hypoxia, but shouldn't pilots have different resistance to it so one pilot would see the other pilot getting hypoxic and take appropriate measure? It's a very low probability that two different humans get hypoxic at the very same moment. (yeah I know about Helios and that one was strange too)
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:28
  #788 (permalink)  
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some of the tree clumps do show burning but not enough to destroy the whole clump, so there were small localised fires only.
Early images of the debris field showed 'wisps' of smoke among the scattered pieces - as if there had been some smouldering, but little actual 'fire'.

How does atomised aviation fuel burn? We know that fuel tanks burn furiously, but if you rupture the tanks and spray the fuel over a couple of acres . . .
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:32
  #789 (permalink)  
 
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They ruled out (explosive) decompresion after listening to the CVR - I suppose that A320 has specific sound alarm for cabin altitude..?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:34
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Ruling out explosive decompression

The first place I saw any claim that the BEA had ruled out explosive decompression was in the Guardian. Germanwings crash investigators review cockpit recordings found on black box | World news | The Guardian

They reported that M. Jouty had "said the information investigators had put together suggested the plane had not exploded and did not suffer a “classic decompression situation”.” This is so different from all other accounts of M. Jouty's press conference that I initially thought they were reporting on a later press conference after someone listened to the relevant parts of the CVR. But this is a report of the same press conference in which nobody else reported any such statements.

Since then a couple of other sources have parroted the language of the Guardian's report. I do not speak French and have not watched any video of the press conference. But what I think has happened here is that a reporter for the Guardian has overestimated his or her ability to understand French and misquoted the head of the BEA.

As reported elsewhere, he said that the plane flew to the crash site intact and did not explode in midair. He
said they had no information about a blown windscreen (as described in some rumors), and that the BEA had just gotten a usable audiofile a few minutes before his conference. He said nothing about its content other than that voices and sounds could be heard on it. He also said nothing about anything that would give the BEA a basis to rule out explosive decompression.

So, I think explosive decompression (plus an inability of the pilots to obtain supplemental oxygen needed to retain consciousness) is still the best fit for a plane flying in a controlled descent with nobody in the cockpit responding to ATC or attempting to avoid terrain.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:35
  #791 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AreOut
I see many people mention hypoxia, but shouldn't pilots have different resistance to it so one pilot would see the other pilot getting hypoxic and take appropriate measure? It's a very low probability that two different humans get hypoxic at the very same moment. (yeah I know about Helios and that one was strange too)
As a pilot of the sort of aircraft that is often flown considerably above 10,000ft with no oxygen (or indeed engine), I agree that different pilots report being very differently affected and onset beginning at widely differing altitudes.

Most of this discussion, however, has focused on rapid decompression and therefore rapid onset of hypoxia, way above any altitude where conditioning or physiological factors might come into play, so no difference in onset rate or effects would be noticeable.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:35
  #792 (permalink)  
 
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Sky News reporting that decompression has been ruled out. Not that I trust Sky but they have reported this in news at 10. No qualification i.e. explosive or slow decompression. Suggestig it has been ruled it out as a whole.
Probably because it was the head of BEA who said it was ruled out when he gave a press conference this afternoon.

He also said that it appeared the plane was in a controlled flight until the very end to quickly add that no pilot in his right mind would fly into mountains and that the AP could also do that.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:38
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@Person from Porlock

I assume that the A320 pressurization uses bleed air, but does it take it from one engine or both?
www.smartcockpit.com/docs/A320-Pneumatic.pdf

The engines feed their respective airconditioning packs. The two packs feed into a common manifold which distributes conditioned air throughout the entire cabin (including the cockpit).
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:38
  #794 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Bralo20 View Post
Probably because it was the head of BEA who said it was ruled out when he gave a press conference this afternoon.
Where did he say that?
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:39
  #795 (permalink)  
 
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Just stumbled on this incident as a matter of interest:-

Airbus A320-232, G-MIDW

Summary:
The aircraft was established in the cruise at FL380. A warning of excessive cabin altitude was displayed on the ECAM (Electronic Centralised Aircraft Monitoring) screen. However, the display showed the pressurisation parameters, including the cabin altitude, as normal so the crew believed that the warning was spurious, although they donned oxygen masks as a precaution. Eighteen minutes later they were advised by the cabin crew that the passenger oxygen masks had deployed and they initiated an emergency descent to FL100, at which level the flight continued to its destination without further incident. A fault was later found within the System 1 Cabin Pressure Controller and the manufacturer is reviewing the system architecture to establish how misleading information was displayed to the crew.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:47
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It didn't take long for the conspiracy theorists to show up.If you can't contribute more than just dragging up an author who was probably suffering PTSD after his Spanish Civil War experience then off.

After having flown the A320 for quite a few years IMHO it is quite possible that the crew may have selected V/S instead of the altitude selector to commence a descent. In which case there is no altitude "floor" for the A/P to capture. Assuming they were incapacitated then it is inevitable that the aircraft just kept on descending.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:48
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In the video frame

On the U.S. news broadcast PBS Newshour this evening, video footage was aired showing the heads of state of France, Germany and Spain visiting the investigation scene (or the staging area, more accurately) and in a press event as well. I am wondering whether any veterans of observing events and happenings around prior airliner accidents in Europe recall any similar visitations by two or more heads of state. (Interest motivating this question is not political - is instead an interest, academically and professionally, in current safety monitoring and audit programmes of ICAO).
[Condolences to all sadly affected.]
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:52
  #798 (permalink)  
 
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As a pilot of the sort of aircraft that is often flown considerably above 10,000ft with no oxygen (or indeed engine), I agree that different pilots report being very differently affected and onset beginning at widely differing altitudes.

Most of this discussion, however, has focused on rapid decompression and therefore rapid onset of hypoxia, way above any altitude where conditioning or physiological factors might come into play, so no difference in onset rate or effects would be noticeable.
I would respectfully disagree.

I recall during chamber runs that we unmasked in small groups, and were encouraged to observe (whilst lucid and full of O2) the effects of hypoxia on others. Not only did everybody react completely differently, the rate of onset person-to-person was wildly different. Body type, body mass, fitness, smoker vs non-smoker - there appeared to be no correlation that would act as a reliable predictor. One or two people displayed hardly any symptoms at all - and reported feeling little to no different.

Your hypoxia onset rate & symptoms are personal - and that was partly the point of doing chamber runs; to recognise not just generalised symptoms in others, but your own personal symptoms - in order to aid recognition for real.

Right from the outset, I've found the 'hypoxia' hypothesis unlikely. I've even been dubious about incapacitation at all. But in the absence of any solid evidence in another direction, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

I think we've become a little fixated on "Lack of R/T call must mean incapacitation" scenario. I see it as a 'possible' rather than a 'must'.

I said it earlier, but FD capacity completely sucked up in dealing with any extended or complex emergency could also explain the lack of call.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:54
  #799 (permalink)  
 
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Just stumbled on this incident as a matter of interest:-

Airbus A320-232, G-MIDW
That is interesting indeed. If this crew had a similar event, but reacted differently (i.e. warning goes but display shows correct parameters so lets disregard the 02 masks for now and look into it …)
It may explain the creeping Hypoxia.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:55
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If an aircraft hits a hard surface at high velocity this is exactly what to expect. If it hits a soft surface there may be no trace of the aircraft. That is certainly the case for a fighter jet which "tent-pegs" at transonic speed.
UAL 93 is another example of an accident with little to no identifiable pieces of wreckage. Frankly - even ValuJet 592 exhibited a similar level of debris even though it occurred in the everglades (swampy area).
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