Possibilities in Crash of Germanwings Airline
Date: Wednesday, 25-Mar-2015 12:51:37
Possible scenario on Germanwing Airline crash of March 24, 2015, before the flight data and cockpit voice recorders were analyzed. These are simply possibilities:
Facts as known now at 9 am PDT, March 25, 2015
On a flight from from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, shortly after reaching 38,000 feet, the aircraft suddenly dove into the ground at 400 knots, at a steady heading, descending about 4,000 feet per minute, toward the Alps.
Absence of crew emergency calls are meaningless. Competent pilots would be handling emergencies and not diverting attention from life and death situation to make radio calls and respond to questions from the person on the ground.
Pressurization failure causing pilots to descend into the ground. The weather at the time was reported clear, and pilots would not continue flying at high speed of 400 knots, and into high terrain of the Alps when the Mediterranean was behind them.
Sudden both pilots incapacitation: The flying of the aircraft at a relatively constant 400 knots and 4,000 feet a minute on a straight course indicates someone controlling the aircraft.
Also, it would be improbable that two pilots would suddenly become medically incompetent at the same instant (unless a terrorist entered the cockpit and disabled the pilots).
Aircraft exploding in flight: improbable. Radar shows a single target; exploding in flight would leave a debris field much wider.
Total engine failure: improbable. If that was the case, pilots would be seeking to lose altitude as slowly as possible by flying at a slower speed, rather than 400 knots. Further, the aircraft would be turned around toward the Mediterranean, rather than continue into the French Alps.
Flight control failure, less probable. Flight control failure, such as what happened on an Alaskan Airline MD-80 that dove into the Pacific Ocean due to a worn elevator shaft assembly. However, engine power would have been reduced to idle thrust rather than at high thrust.
Terrorism act: Supporting this possibility, of a terrorist getting into the cockpit and disabling the pilots, and flying the aircraft into the ground. Support for that would be (a) continuing high airspeed of 400 knots down to ground impact; non-erratic flight path; with high engine thrust (as indicated by reported personnel on the ground reporting the sound of high jet engine noise), provides signs of the aircraft under control.
The destabilizing of the Middle East and the hatred generated by those efforts makes aircraft terrorism a probable threat.
Value of finding and evaluating the cockpit voice recorder:
The cockpit voice recorder would reveal if someone entered the cockpit and disabled the crew; if that did not exist, then help in determining what the pilots were confronted with.
Value of the flight data recorder:
Engine or equipment malfunction; setting of controls. No help in determining presence of terrorist.