Friday, March 27, 2015

Attending Flight Training with Andreas Lubitz

Yes, I attended Lufthansa Flight Training school with Andreas Lubitz. Astute readers of Flying Lessons may remember that in the fall of 2010, I published here a series of posts about the week I spent as a student at the Airline Training Center of Arizona, the flight school owned and operated by Lufthansa. (I also wrote about it for The New York Times.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

You Call this an Investigation? Germanwings So Far Anything But Conclusive

The news coming from French prosecutor Brice Robin regarding Monday's crash of Germanwings Flight 9295 is shocking, but on what is it based? Surely Mr. Robin knows something he's not sharing with the rest of us, or how could he possibly come to the conclusion that "the co pilot wanted to destroy the aircraft"? And yet that is what he is saying based on facts that still suggest other possibilities. 

The evidence so far shows first officer Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the plane to a lower altitude winding up flying the plane into a mountain, the question Mr. Robin has not answered is how he knows the pilot had that end in mind.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Why Listening to Germanwings CVR is Not So Simple


CVR as recovered from Germanwings flight BEA photo
Investigators looking to discover why Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 flew into a mountain in the French Alps yesterday were handed one very good clue when the cockpit voice recorder was located and brought to the headquarters of the French Bureau d'EnquĂȘtes et d'Analyses. 

At a news conference in Paris today, Remi Jouty explained "We just succeeded in getting an audio file which contains usable sounds and voices. We have not yet fully understood and worked on it to say 'It starts at this point and ends at this point' and 'We hear this person saying that etcetera.' It is ongoing work we hope to have rough idea in a matter of days, and having a full understanding of it will take weeks and even months."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Germanwings Pilots Likely Faced a "Get Down ASAP" Event

My thoughts on Germanwings crash to Larry Fedoruk CKTB News Talk 610 can be heard here.

It is too early to say what caused Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 to crash into the mountains in the French Alps. But the actions of the crew in quickly bringing the Airbus A320 registration D-AIPX down from 38 thousand feet suggests to me that this was a "get this plane on the ground" event. 

That suggests one of a few scenarios; decompression of the aircraft, structural failure (which could also have triggered the decompression) and smoke and or fire. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

MH 17 Probe Divides At the Point of "Who Done It?"


Wreckage of 9M-MRD Dutch Safety Board photo
 The conclusion that Malaysia Flight 17 was likely downed by a missile that penetrated the cockpit as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014 has a certain, no-shit-Sherlock quality to it. After all, there was plenty of evidence within hours of the plane's breaking apart in flight and landing in pieces over an eight mile area in Eastern Ukraine that the plane was felled by a missile.