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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

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Airbus A320 crashed in Southern France

Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:56
  #801 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2010
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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'.
Correct... Aviate, Navigate...Comunicate...

may have sadly not made it to Communicate...Or navigate. Would you willingly descend your aircraft directly in to terrain.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:57
  #802 (permalink)  
The Analog Kid
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Originally Posted by TheInquisitor
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.
Completely agreed. (My own maximum was about 14,000ft, in the Himalaya, but I know plenty who've been considerably higher and experiences do differ hugely.)
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 22:57
  #803 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pace View Post
I do not buy the suicide theory on the basis that had the aircraft not been depressurised then the other crew member would have gained access back into the cockpit.
Wrong, at least for my airline, a pilot in the cockpit can keep anyone including other pilots from entering the cockpit.

Don't know about the cockpit doors in Germanwings.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:04
  #804 (permalink)  
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Jouty is alleged to have said today the plane apparently did not seem to have suffered a "classic decompression situation"

Whilst this could mean to some that decompression did not seem to be a factor I would think it can also mean "an out of the ordinary" decompression situation, whatever he means by that, perhaps a decompression situation compounded by some other factor? Or a decompression situation caused by a totally unexpected occurrence?

Source: Germanwings crash investigators review cockpit recordings found on black box | World news | The Guardian
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:08
  #805 (permalink)  
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See my post here

The bewilderment of the Lufthansa CEO regarding this incident is telling.

There has been no mention of any faults being revealed via ACARS. If you cut back to AF447 they were referenced very early in the piece.

The Lufthansa CEO would be apprised very early by his own people if any hint of mechanical problems was evident. But nothing so far except extreme bewilderment.

The aircraft was travelling at excessive speed; in excess of VMO. That is acceptable if you are on fire and heading for Nice or somewhere like that. This aircraft remained on track.

Travelling in excess of VMO in a A320 disconnects the AP and triggers the high speed protections which pitch the aircraft up. This aircraft did not pitch up. Which probably means it was being over-ridden by whomever was flying it.

That raises the possibility that the aircraft was hand flown all the way down.

That is ok if you are trying to get to an airport quickly but this aircraft stayed on track and headed directly for the Alps.

This aircraft did not capture any altitudes. Either the descent altitude was set below 6000 feet on the FCU; unlikely but it could have been done in error for the initial descent, or it was being hand flown.

Pulling open des on an emergency descent, provided a lower altitude is set in the FCU, in cruise engages the speed mode which would have captured the cruise mach, which then would have crossed-over to an IAS somewhere on descent. The autothrust commands IDLE and the selected speed is controlled by the elevators.
Therefore only way to achieve max speed is if someone sets it there. There is no reason to do so, and you certainly don't deliberately fly in excess of VMO. The high speed protections would be fighting against you.

Barring some sort of irrecoverable autoflight glitch, the foul play aspect will be increasingly looked at.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:09
  #806 (permalink)  
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Unconscious before 20 secs?

There have been comments of around 12 secs of useful consciousness after an explosive decompression. Ignoring all the other chaos in the cockpit for a moment ( noise, debris, panic, cold etc ) why would pilots lose consciousness so quickly when people can swim underwater for much longer than this.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:10
  #807 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by bdcer
i don't want to give away too much, but the cabin manager can definitely enter the flightdeck post depressurisation.
Not if someone in the cockpit wants to keep them out, in the airline I work for at least.
The lockout feature is in case of a crew member going rogue, turning suicidally feral, or becoming unlawfully compromised by persons outside the hardened flight deck door.

However, you can see the holes in the cheese lining up if one pilot leaves the FD and the remaining pilot turns feral and locks him/her out for whatever reason... Not suggesting this is applicable in this case, but it's worthy of discussion at another time and place.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:12
  #808 (permalink)  
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Don't know much about Airbuses (I was a Boeing man myself) and I have neither the time nor the patience to wade through 40+ pages of the usual drivel - but surely the only explanation is suicide by one of the pilots? Odd that nothing has been said about them unlike MH370. And thanks to the "aviation expert" in today's Times who's told the world what discrete transponder codes we use. Good grief!
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:12
  #809 (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.
Note that FCOM/ABN for EXCESS CABIN ALT states:

"Rely on the CAB PR EXCESS CAB ALT warning even if not confirmed on the CAB PRESS SD page. The warning can be triggered by a cabin pressure sensor different from the one used to control the pressure and display the cabin altitude on the SD".

Last edited by mcdude; 25th Mar 2015 at 23:16. Reason: Add quotation marks
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:13
  #810 (permalink)  
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Jouty Did Not Rule Out Decompression

CNN has a transcript of the press conference:

CNN.com - Transcripts

Remi Jouty - the head of the BEA - never made the statement attributed to him by the Guardian and some posting here ruling out explosive decompression. Here is what he actually said (as translated by CNN) when asked about a loss of pressure:

REPORTER (via translator): France TV (INAUDIBLE). Do you have any data on depressurization?

JOUTY: At the moment, no. Beginning of an idea. And without going into details, I can't elaborate intellectually and I wouldn't want to do it so as not to go along a path which might be wrong. A depressurization scenario, which might stand in depressurization scenario. I can't elaborate and I refuse to try. A standard depressurization scenario which might tie in with these elements.

I suspect the translation is imperfect, but what I hear is that he refused to speculate. I am hard pressed to imagine that the CNN translation could be so far off that the actual statement supported the Guardian's report that M. Jouty said that "the information investigators had put together suggested the plane had not exploded and did not suffer a “classic decompression situation”."

The Guardian, and any other media outlet saying that M. Jouty ruled out decompression, simply got the story wrong. It happens. Now they need to run a retraction.

Anyone who speaks French and listened to the press conference please let the rest of us know what you think of M. Jouty's comments.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:14
  #811 (permalink)  
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Jouty is alleged to have said today the plane apparently did not seem to have suffered a "classic decompression situation" I find it curious that Jouty decided to say that... and I wonder if what he meant to say was to thwart speculation of a bomb or inflight breakup? Because with such preliminary CVR info, why would you speculate on explosive decompression versus rapid, etc? It just seems odd to throw that out so early. And I don't buy the idea that they heard something that ruled decompression out as a rule, ie, interference with FD/crew. They would be merely saying the police were getting involved, etc. Very puzzling initial press conference.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:15
  #812 (permalink)  
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Leftexit - its to do with partial oxygen pressures.

At high altitude, if you breathe your lungs will actively pump oxygen out of the bloodstream/body.

So holding your breath is a better strategy. Good luck doing that during a decompression event.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:16
  #813 (permalink)  
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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.]
I think that the motivation for this is most likely social media, in the modern age of 24-hour news, facebook, twitter and idiots - people feel like they have been forgotten if the head of state doesn't either make a personal comment or in this case attend. If for example Angela Merkel didn't attend the crash scene or comment on the accident and kept herself aside from the incident, political commentators and the public at large would disown her. It is (politically) the safest bet for them all to get as heavily involved and lead the public reaction to an incident.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:19
  #814 (permalink)  
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Can someone please post a link to a transcript of today's BEA press conference? I'd like to see Remi Jouty's exact words regarding a de-pressurization scenario being ruled out, not some journalist's paraphrasing of his words which is all I've seen thus far. Thank you.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:26
  #815 (permalink)  
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There have been comments of around 12 secs of useful consciousness after an explosive decompression. Ignoring all the other chaos in the cockpit for a moment ( noise, debris, panic, cold etc ) why would pilots lose consciousness so quickly when people can swim underwater for much longer than this.
Because of the O2-Hb dissociation curve. Put simply, if the partial pressure of gaseous O2 in your environment is lower than that effective in your blood, Haemoglobin will release O2 in your lungs instead of absorbing it - effectively, you are breathing 'out' O2 instead of breathing it in.

At least that's how I remember it from AvMed trg...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:28
  #816 (permalink)  
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Unconscious in 20 seconds

Under water, the semipressure of Oxygen in your blood is lower than the ambient semipressure, consequently it remains in your blood until consumed. In addition, you have the air in your lungs. For depressurisation, firstly you don't have air in your lungs at a sufficient pressure to absorb oxygen and secondly if the ambient pressure drops to below the semipressure of oxy-hemoglobin then the oxygen in your blood is breathed out.

At least that is my memory of University physics...
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:31
  #817 (permalink)  
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There have been comments of around 12 secs of useful consciousness after an explosive decompression. Ignoring all the other chaos in the cockpit for a moment ( noise, debris, panic, cold etc ) why would pilots lose consciousness so quickly when people can swim underwater for much longer than this.
Because air pressure in their lungs is almost (to be exactly very slightly above) environment pressure. IOW. as decompression occurs air leaves their lungs too.

People holding their breath under water hold onto oxygenated air in their lungs. You can't (and shouldn't even try - if you'd forcibly try, your lungs would rupture and you'd be in even worse shape) to hold air while in decompression.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:32
  #818 (permalink)  
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Just stumbled on this incident as a matter of interest:-

Airbus A320-232, G-MIDW
Now that's an interesting find.

Not saying that was the cause of this event by any means, but it is certainly could have resulted in something that looked a lot like this.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:33
  #819 (permalink)  
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Some aircraft designers seem to favor the bottle pressure on the gauge, not system pressure. DA comes to mind. This can be a trap for the unwary. The main O2 valve maybe turned of during maintenance. During a system preflight check should include, the main valve checked on, EMG should be selected for at least 5 seconds to ensure you are not hearing residual O2 pressure, only. I am very wary of an aircraft straight out of maintenance.

On the subject of another possible cause of this crash. If there is a need to start checking the passenger manifest, maybe it's time to start profiling passengers before departure.
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Old 25th Mar 2015, 23:38
  #820 (permalink)  
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The Head of the investigation today said that he believes there was no "classic decompression situation"
Which would perhaps raise the question of what exactly is a "classic decompression situation"? Additionally taken literally the statement does not rule out a decompression situation, just a "classic" one, no? Just a thought.
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