Germanwings airliner crashes in French Alps

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32030270

Original post

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Doesn't look good - virtually no possibility of survivors.

My thoughts and prayers to the victims' families.

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RIP to those lost and condolences to those bereaved.

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Plane reached cruise FL and then nose dived at ctld speed

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French Air Force launched Fighter jet in relation to the incident

Tom Enders (Airbus CEO) near the Crash site

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Source:
reuters.com

And others tiers

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Terrible news, R.I.P.

But something seems out of place, no Mayday or radio comms. Had there been an oxygen loss it would have continued on auto-pilot. Major structural failure and it would have dropped like a brick.

What ever happened terrible for the families who have lost loved ones.

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Horrifying news. I hope they figure out what happened. RIP !

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two sherperd were watching the last second of the flight

"We were between 11 am and noon, at the foot of the mountain Tromas, when we saw an airliner that had just got around the mountain on the right. It was flying low, and its trajectory was curious. But we were at 1300 meters, with a large mountain that rises up to 2500 meters in front, we did not realize it was flying so low. And, its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather than Marseille.

At the same time, we saw a fighter plane that seemed to make a move to avoid it. From so far away, it was even as they would collide. It was certainly looking for him, and must have had already spot it. We often have military planes flying around for exercice. They make a lot of noise. Moreover, they frighten our cattel. So, we did not hear the explosion when the plane crashed, but we realized afterwards that they had probably been the last to see this airplane.

Tromas is 2 500 meters high and behind the Three Dioceses top off at 2900 meters. The the plane might have seek for a way out, a way out. But this is a dead-end. The aircraft then went crashing down the side of the neck Mariaud, probably on the cliffs of the massif of Three Dioceses. The fighter has certainly seen what happened. We realized after he had to be sent [on the scene]. "

According to them it seemed as if the plane was in a ctrld flight, flying low in the valley and a fighter jet (other sources stated a Mirage 2K) was monitoring or searching for it.

Notice that if the plane was diving they might have noticed this. they were surprised to see a commercial flight so low and it seems they have some experience spotting commercial flights in this place ( "its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather Marseille").

Nice and Marseille being at a roughly 90deg apart in term of trajectory (see bellow).

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Notice also that we shld found traces of Cellular signal if passenger were alive.

Source:
http://www.francetvinfo.fr/
Reuters.com

Translated via Google and slightly edited

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And it seems it didn't change course, loosing altitude like it did so why not change course in order to find an emergency airport?

What ever the reason the passengers and crew won't come back.

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two sherperd were watching the last second of the flight

According to them it seemed as if the plane was in a ctrld flight, flying low in the valley and a fighter jet (other sources stated a Mirage 2K) was monitoring or searching for it.

Notice that if the plane was diving they might have noticed this. they were surprised to see a commercial flight so low and it seems they have some experience spotting commercial flights in this place ( "its trajectory, we thought he was flying from Nice rather Marseille").

Nice and Marseille being at a roughly 90deg apart in term of trajectory (see bellow).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]236247[/ATTACH]

Notice also that we shld found traces of Cellular signal if passenger were alive.

Source:
http://www.francetvinfo.fr/
Reuters.com

Translated via Google and slightly edited

That timing seems a bit late as the accident was 10.40 Local time.

A french airforce C-135 (Flight Radar 24 calls it FAF4012) appears to have arrived overhead just before midday local time running a North South track over the area for several hours. This may have had a fighter trail and could have confused the onlookers.

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That low?

edit:

But you might be right. Searching for crash field under clouds cover. The 135 take a path along the mountain ridge (hence looking as if it flew from Nice for observer on the ground) and the fighter a more direct approach following the A320 trajectory.

The 135 might then have stayed airborne as a radio relay for the advanced frwd base for the rescue team the time proper comunication devices were brought in.

Ok it fits now.

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But something seems out of place, no Mayday or radio comms. Had there been an oxygen loss it would have continued on auto-pilot. Major structural failure and it would have dropped like a brick.

Yes, its strange.

Most logical for me would be the pilots were hands on (for whatever reason), then O2 loss and an uncontrolled (albeit somewhat stable from the radar trace) continuous dive into the ground.

Anything else requires multiple modes of failure and/or very irrational behaviour in the cockpit.

Regardless, its 150 people gone - my heart goes out to the families/friends of those involved.

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Just to think about: A bird strike through the cockpit glass would give an explosive decompression. Pilots will descent to a lower altitude fast so no time for radio calls. Debris in the cockpit and possible severely wounded pilot(s). Leveling to late or even not been able to level............
It's migration time for the birds from Africa back to (Northern) Europe. And some big ones fly high over the alps.

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And some big ones fly high over the alps.

38k ft?!?!

Birds can fly that high?!?!

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38k ft?!?!

Birds can fly that high?!?!

I found this
;

The highest officially-accepted altitude for a birdstrike is 37,000ft but there have been bird sightings at 54,000ft.

High-altitude strikes are quite rare. Approximately 78% of strikes occur below 1,000ft and only about 1% above 10,000ft.

Incidentally, birdstrike events are also believed to be under-reported by about 80%.

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It's possible.

I didn't realise any bird would be heavy enough to smash through a cockpit window, but given the aircraft's enclosing speed, I can understand now how it could happen.

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Why would birds fly that high over med ? There is no jetstream.

Also the plane began its descent right above shore line, nearby restricted zones (temporary restricted up to 37k ft due to UAS/UAV flights).

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The pilot did acknowledge a request by the ctrler to climb from 31k ft to 31400 (route separation) less than one minute before initiating the descent and then no more was heard on the radio.

Also, plane TO was delayed several minute at Barcelone.

Sources:
https://www.sia.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/
http://www.flightradar24.com/

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One pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash

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.”

Source:
The New York Times

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Sounds rather strange to me. I can't see official sources releasing any preliminary findings so soon.