A320 Down In France (Germanwings)


Recommended Posts

Here is the story

GErmanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France

By NICOLA CLARK and DAN BILEFSKY

MARCH 25, 2015

PARIS — As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

While the audio seemed to give some insight into the circumstances leading up to the Germanwings crash, it also left many questions unanswered.

"We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. "But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door."


The data from the voice recorder seems only to deepen the mystery surrounding the crash and provides no indication of the condition or activity of the pilot who remained in the cockpit. The descent from 38,000 feet over about 10 minutes was alarming but still gradual enough to indicate that the twin-engine Airbus A320 had not been damaged catastrophically . At no point during the descent was there any communication from the cockpit to air traffic controllers or any other signal of an emergency.

When the plane plowed into craggy mountains northeast of Nice, it was traveling with enough speed that it was all but pulverized, killing the 144 passengers and crew of six and leaving behind almost no apparent clues about what caused the crash.

The French aviation authorities have made public very little, officially, about the nature of the information that has been recovered from the audio recording, and it was not clear whether it was partial or complete. France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses confirmed only that human voices and other cockpit sounds had been detected and would be subjected to detailed analysis.

Asked about the new evidence revealed in the cockpit recordings, Martine del Bono, a bureau spokeswoman, declined to comment.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 229
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Disclaimer, I am in a mood for a soap box. Probably not my best post to follow. Here's why. DH today, in uniform, seated next to a rather medicated business fellow armed with a newspaper and a snoot

I've been bubbling to say something, but figured enough of you know this already.... now I can't keep quiet. "a quiet guy with depression having a bad day" doesn't intentionally kill a plane load of

Hmmmm. Does anyone else find it odd that the reports on the FO's behaviour all mention 'silent' along with regular breathing? I'm no specialist, but if someone was awake and engaged in such a massive

Posted Images

Heaven help us. I thought about the possibility for a few seconds but dismissed it.

Likewise. We still have little to no information about the flight crew. Is the new multicrew pilot licensing policy a factor?

Shades of Egypt Air.

And deepest sympathies for all the family and friends of those who died.

Needlessly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my!

Well, its time that we will go back to always having 2 people in the flight deck. Therefore, if a pilot need to leave to use the can then an F/A will be required to be in the flight deck until the pilot is ready to return.

Awaiting the official report.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my!

Well, its time that we will go back to always having 2 people in the flight deck. Therefore, if a pilot need to leave to use the can then an F/A will be required to be in the flight deck until the pilot is ready to return.

Awaiting the official report.

That works great unless the "protecting" flight attendant (who may have only entered the industry 6 weeks prior, perhaps as a short term "sleeper") decides to lock the door and take out the remaining pilot, then follow some basic instructions to cause the aircraft to crash.

I would take the risk of leaving, alone, a pilot who has been in the business for a few years and has a history of passing security checks and the purview of his peers.

Maybe a "third" un-deniable code known only to pilots would be a possible solution. That wouldn't prevent a physical blockage, but it would prevent an electronic blockage.

While a locked door, as a possible cause of this crash, is still speculative, the principles still apply... adding another body adds more risk, IMO.

Bottom line... knee jerk "solutions" as we have seen for the past 14 years are not necessarily solutions at all... they only give the appearance of a solution. Taking nail clippers away from pilots at "security" is another example of the uselessness of these type of solutions because of the political need to do something.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Breaking on CNN as I type, it was the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in control of the flight. German authority stating this was a deliberate act. Info from the Marseille public prosecutor. "Deliberate attempt to destroy aircraft." No confirmation one way or another if another crewmember was in the flight deck at the time.

Unbelievable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

CNN.

.Apparently the Captain was locked out of the cockpit. CVR picks up Captain ...light knocking on door....harder knocking....very loud as Captain attempts to crash through door. Passenger screaming during the last moments is picked up by CVR.

FO can be heard breathing until impact

Apparently many European companies do not replace the person vacating the flight deck with another crew member.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Quote from press conference:

The co-pilot of the Airbus A320 that crashed on Tuesday, killing 150 people, appears to have deliberately flown the plane into a mountain after locking the flight commander out of the cockpit.

During the last eight minutes of the flight, the co-pilot “voluntarily” carried out actions that led to the destruction of the aircraft, Brice Robin, a French public prosecutor, said at a press conference in Marseille.

Robin said the co-pilot could be heard breathing right up until the point of impact, suggesting he had not lost consciousness. However, he failed to respond to increasingly desperate calls from the commander trying to break down the cockpit door, or to air traffic controllers.

The Marseille public prosecutor is giving a press conference on the latest developments in the investigation into Tuesday’s plane crash.

Robin named the co-pilot as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz and outlined the last moments of the doomed plane in a chilling account of his actions.

“For the first 20 minutes of the flight, the pilots spoke in a normal way, you could say cheerful and courteous,” Robin said. “We heard the flight commander prepare the briefing for landing at Düsseldorf and the response of the co-pilot seemed laconic. Then we heard the commander ask the co-pilot to take the controls.

“We heard at the same time the sound of a seat being pushed back and the sound of a door closing.”

Robin said it was assumed that the flight commander needed to go to “satisfy natural needs” – in other words, use the toilet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

time to rethink the whole door issue. Maybe replace with an airmarshall on all aircraft and go back to a door that can be opened in an emergency. What we don't know is if the new doors have prevented any attempt to take over the aircraft but what we do know is that they have allowed aircrew to destroy aircraft and that the lives of hundreds of innocents. To rely on the presence of a FA in the cockpit when one pilot has left still allows the remaining pilot to incapacitate the FA (fire axe for example) and take over the aircraft. The same of course applies when / if both pilots are in the cockpit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lufthansa press conference

The Lufthansa/Germanwings press conference in Cologne has started. The company spokesman confirms what we learned from the Marseille prosecutor earlier, that the co-pilot appears to have prevented the pilot from re-entering the cockpit. “It leaves us absolutely speechless,” the spokesman says.

I can only repeat what I have said over the last few days. We are really deeply shocked and I wouldn’t not have been able to imagine that the situation would have got even worse.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As soon as this type of door was introduced in early 2002, I worried about this scenario and questioned the knee-jerk reaction of installing this type of door. I believed then and believe now what should have developed was using a door such as this but aft of the forward lavatory.

One other company believed/believes this is the answer as well as when their pilots need to relieve themselves, a secondary door blocking access to the forward lav is engaged.

Maybe now this will be considered.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Full transcript: French prosecutor Brice Robin explains Germanwings Flight 9525 black box recording

“The black box that is there is the cockpit voice recorder which recorded the spoken exchange between the pilot and co-pilot because we have the transcription of the last 30 minutes of this flight in its entirety.

During the first 20 minutes, the two pilots’ conversation was completely normal, and even in a manner that one could call playful, like normal pilots on a normal flight, so, nothing out of the ordinary.

Then we hear them preparing the briefing for their landing in Duesseldorf, and the replies of the co-pilot seemed laconic.

Then the pilot asked the co-pilot to take command of the plane, I repeat, we hear the pilot asking the co-pilot to take command of the plane, and at the same time the noise of a seat reclining and the door opening and closing.

One could legitimately infer that as is reasonable he had gone to answer a call of nature. At that moment the co-pilot was alone at the controls. It is then that the co-pilot uses the flight monitoring system button to put the plane into descend mode, I repeat, the pilot is in lone control of this Airbus 320, that the pilot is pressing the buttons of the flight monitoring system to put into action the descent mode.

The action of altitude selection could not be anything but deliberate. The action of altitude selection could not be anything but deliberate. Then we hear several calls from the captain demanding to be let into the cockpit. This is done via an intercom with a screen, you can say he showed himself, he identified himself, but there is no response from the co-pilot. He knocked to be asked to be let into the cockpit, and there is no response from the co-pilot.

We could hear human breathing inside the cabin, and this breathing noise we heard up until the moment of final impact. The means that the co-pilot was alive. We could also hear the contacts from the control tower in Marseille for several times but no response from the co-pilot.

The air traffic controllers then ask for the transponder code, the 7700, and there was no response, which means that this plane had now become a priority over all other planes for a potential emergency landing.

The control tower even asked other planes to contact this Airbus by radio and there was also no response.

The alarms were activated to alert the aircraft of its proximity to the ground. At this moment we hear strong, violent knocks, almost as if to force the door open.

I remind you this is an armoured door according to international norms to protect against potential terrorist actions. These alarms meant to alert the aircraft were activated. Just until the final impact we could hear the noise of a first impact on a slope.

I remind you that the plane glided over a slope before it crashed at 700 kilometres/hour (435 miles/hour) on the mountain. I also remind you that there was no distress or emergency message like a mayday, mayday, mayday, was received by the air traffic controllers. I repeat, that no distress or emergency message like a mayday, mayday, mayday, was received by the air traffic controllers. There was no response to several appeals from air traffic controllers.

The most plausible and probable interpretation for us is that the co-pilot, by a voluntary abstention (deliberate refusal), by voluntary abstention, refused to open the door to the cockpit to the flight captain, refused to open the door to the cockpit to the flight captain, and activated the button to start descent.

I remind you that in the last eight minutes this aircraft went from close to 10 to 12,000 metres of altitude, around 30,000 feet, to almost 2,000 metres altitude from the mountain that it crashed into, that was around 2,000 to 2,100 metres.

So he activated this button to initiate loss of altitude (descent) for a reason that we completely ignore today but that can be analysed as an intention to destroy the plane.”

Link to post
Share on other sites

Reading the FAZ (Frankfurt) website, the co-pilot was normal in almost all respects, loved flying, was a member of a gliding club, had set his dream on flying commercially. The one hint of trouble: Six years ago he had a burnout/depression episode. But he had passed all physical and psychological tests recently, and there was no reason to suspect his mental fitness.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regarding the reliance on "Psychological" tests. They are not infallible as can be proven by reviewing the number of criminals that are released on parole after passing such tests and then commit more crimes of a similar nature to the ones they were serving time for. It would appear that the only way to stop this type of action is the presence of a 3rd person at all times in the cockpit or a return to an "non armored" door.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Speechless, sad, mad at the same time.

Haven't heard any of the reports indicating a continuous tone from the cockpit voice recorder of the pilot entering the emergency code to open the door.

The last 5 incidents is pointing a finger at the weak link in our industry, pilots. We need to address this issue of treating pilots as "widgets", and return our profession back from a job to a calling.

I await further information from the investigators.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no doubt that this was a senseless tragedy and if the preliminary investigation and suppositions hold up, there will be little closure for the NOK.......... unless the FINAL REPORT can come out with "WHY?"

If we exclude the "door" issue and turn away from the horror of the event,.............................

................. you can bet, that at this time, Airbus is relieved that there does not appear to be any fault with the aircraft systems and, perhaps in the same bucket of relief, one can pour all the A320 series operators.

Link to post
Share on other sites

AC has apparently announced it will implement the US two-in-the-cockpit-at-all-times practice, effective immediately. However, I haven't seen a news release.

That's going to be fun with the new reduced crewing levels in the back, especially with 2 on the Embraer.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/air-canada-changing-cockpit-policy-after-germanwings-crash/article23633264/

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.