Category Archives: evidence

How aware were the passengers on Germanwings flight 4U9525 of the impending crash?

Our reaction to the most recent press reports about the Essen lawsuit for higher pain and suffering compensation

Whether the letters from Lufthansa were a statement to the Essen district court or to the plaintiff survivors eludes our knowledge. The fact is that on 12 and 13 August 2019 there were extensive press releases by the leading media on this topic. The letter from Lufthansa suggests that the passengers were not aware of the eventual crash and thus would not have experienced any fear of dying. Instead, they claim that the passengers would have experienced the event as a normal descent.

Would Lufthansa have us believe that during the captain’s alleged absence from the cockpit he would have interpreted such a descent in same way? After all, this absence took five minutes until the first six knocking sounds recorded by the cockpit voice recorder (from 09.30 to 09.35, according to the BEA report).

It is not proven and so is only assumed that the captain had gone the toilet, and it is also not proven that it was he who knocked on the cockpit door (it might well have been a flight attendant), since there are no video recordings from in front of the cockpit door.

Or maybe?

Another scenario: The Germanwings aircraft had no visual barrier (i.e., a curtain) blocking the view of the area immediately in front of the cockpit door. Thus, passengers would have easily witnessed what was occurring at the cockpit door. Then one would suspect that at least some passengers would have made pictures or videos of the events with mobile phones or cameras. In this case, there would be documented evidence of what was happening in the aircraft and, combined with the descent, passengers would likely have guessed and feared an impending crash and their deaths.

According to the information provided by victims’ lawyers, these devices were returned to the relatives with all images deleted, thus removing possibly critical evidence …

Now, in the autumn of 2019, a hearing will be held before the district court of Essen concerning the claims for compensation of the survivors. The payment amount should be based on the suffering of the passengers in the last few minutes before the fatal crash of the Germanwings aircraft.

In order to reach a fair judgment, the judges of the district court of Essen would actually have to demand and review the cockpit voice recorder as necessary evidence, but even more vital would be the images and video recordings from the mobile devices and cameras, provided they are available from the investigating authorities.

Pain and suffering compensation – an elastic term. Does money cure pain at all?

What role does the amount play?…

L.U.

 

further posts:

With regard to the Frontal 21 television report on 18 June 2019

Why were questionable, technically impossible operating parameters of the crashed Germanwings aircraft not examined?

Simultaneously set flight modes, which exclude each other; plus a newly implemented procedure to check the emergency code function of the cockpit door

Relevant data from an aircraft are stored on the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and the flight data recorder (FDR). The cockpit voice recorder documents pilot voice communications as well as all cockpit sounds. The flight data recorder stores physical data, such as speed, altitude, etc., and  also pilot settings on the autopilot control panel FCU (Flight Control Unit).

The recorders from the crashed Germanwings aircraft were found on separate days and the stored data retrieved. Graphical representations of the parameters taken from the flight data recorder are documented in the French investigation file. Aviation experts and pilots have examined these graphs and analysed them for plausibility. There are striking anomalies regarding different parameters. For example, see the following excerpt from the French investigation file:

Objektiver_Befund_franz_Orginal_Band_03_Blatt 803-1202 (HA 00924)

The graphs show the two automatic flight modes DES (Managed Descent) and OPDES (Open Descent). It can be seen that during the descent the two automatic flight modes DES (upper graph) and OPDES (lower graph) were simultaneously active.

As several Airbus A320 pilots have independently confirmed, having both settings concurrently active is technically impossible. For the Open Decent (OPDES) the altitude adjustment knob must be pulled out. For the Managed Decent setting, the same altitude knob must be pressed in. And when it is pushed in, the other mode is automatically disabled. Thus, it is completely impossible that both setting modes could have been active at the same time.

Another example of an anomaly can be found in the recording of the modes CLB (Managed Climb) and OPCLB (Open Climbs). See the following excerpt from the French investigation file:

Objektiver_Befund_franz_Orginal_Band_03_Blatt 803-1202 (HA 00924)

According to the graph, these two were also simultaneously active in the period from approx. 09:19 to 09:24. This is, again, techinically impossible.

Open Climb means that the engines are running at maximum thrust for the climb and the piot has selected the speed. In the Managed Climb mode the aircraft follows a speed and altitude profile which was previously stored in the Flight Management System. Open Climb is instigated by pulling out the altitude knob and Managed Climb by pressing in the altitude knob.

To repeat, when the altitude knob is pressed in the other mode is automatically disabled. And again, it is technically impossible that both mode settings could have been active at the same time. It should be noted that shortly after takeoff (see graph) at approximately 09:02 only the Managed Climb function was recorded as activated, and not both modes simultaneously.

But there is also an example where Airbus and Lufthansa became active only after the Germanwings crash and its consequences: The verification of the keypad function for accessing the cockpit.

Since the Germanwings crash, the keypad of the cockpit door and the proper function of the cockpit door locking system must be checked by the pilot once daily by entering the emergency code. Shortly after the aircraft accident there were indications from Germanwings insiders that the keypad of the Germanwings crashed aircraft had already malfunctioned previously in an attempt to open the unintentionally closed cockpit door on the ground by entering the emergency code. The door would not open after entering the code and entering the cockpit was only possible with the aid of Lufthansa technicians.

Mr van Beveren already personally reported this incident to the BEA on 28.03.2015, and also  mentioned it in a telephone conversation with BEA spokeswoman Martine Del Bono. At the time he was acting as an independent aviation journalist to the BEA investigation authority. However, there followed no reaction or initiation of an investigation (see link, page 61).

https://andreas-lubitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Expert-Report-on-the-Crash-of-Germanwings-Flight-4U9525.pdf

Previously, the proper functioning of the emergency code was checked procedurally by Lufthansa technicians only every 12,000 flight hours.

From the Germanwings cockpit voice and sound recordings it is not apparent that the captain entered the emergency code. This prompts the legitimate question of, why not?

Furthermore, it has not been recorded or documented that the cockpit door was locked since the take-off in Barcelona until the collision in the mountains. See also article:

The deliberate lockout of the captain from the cockpit – The investigation file itself shows that this was not the case

Finally, the question persists as to why the questionable operating conditions of the crashed Germanwings aircraft have not been sufficiently investigated and clarified to definitively rule out that these circumstances could have contributed to the accident.

L.U.

 

further article:

The deliberate lockout of the captain from the cockpit

The deletion of potentially important evidence

Questions about the existence of photos / videos that do not fit the official crash scenario and changed crash time

According to the Germanwings investigation file, many mobile phones, of various makes, were found at the crash site. Some of them were undamaged. We all use mobile phones not only to make phone calls and send text messages, but also to take photos or create videos.

One can assume that on the salvaged mobile phones crash victims’ photos and videos of various kinds were stored. It is quite likely that passengers captured in photos or videos the last few minutes aboard the Germanwings plane. Especially in the first rows of seats, e.g. in the immediate vicinity of the cockpit door, the activities of the captain and the cabin crew would have been noticed by passengers, assuming they were conscious. Such photos and videos would provide critical proof in support of the official crash theory and would certainly have been presented in the investigation file. But these photos / videos are not available.

Personal items from the crash site which could be clearly identified immediately were soon handed over to the relatives. Included were several mobile phones. However, a representative for victims’ families from Spain, Paraguay and the United Kingdom, Narcis Motjé, publicly complained that SIM cards, possibly containing information on the course of events leading up to the crash, had been removed before the mobile phones were returned to the families.

See news article:

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/germanwings-absturzopfer-verklagen-fluggesellschaft-a-1140692.html
(first read on 30.03.2017)

Victims’ lawyers representing other families also objected in a similar way, namely that photos and videos on the returned mobile phones had been deleted. Under these circumstances one must ask oneself, why had this been done? Did the Mirage fighter play a very different role? What could images or videos of a fighter aircraft, taken by Germanwings passengers, ultimately reveal? According to the investigation file (see page HA 04758) a Mirage fighter plane was indeed on the way. See the following excerpt from the file:

After the Centre National des Operations Aerienne de Lyon (CNOA) had been activated by Aix Air Traffic Control and the operational alert was triggered, a Mirage 2000, based in Orange, launched a search and rescue mission. When it arrived in the area a police helicopter was already present.

The Mirage reached the area, but only after the plane had already crashed…  According to the official BEA Final Report, the Germanwings plane crashed at 09:41:06 (UTC) in the French Alps. (In March, Central European Time is one hour later than UTC.) The impact of the Germanwings plane was thus given as 10:41:06 local time. However, in the early media reports the crash time was reported as 10:53 am – 12 minutes later than what was recorded in the BEA Final Report. At 10:53 (!) on March 26, 2015, a minute of silence was held in North Rhine-Westphalia during which people remembered the victims of the catastrophe. At the same time, bells tolled in our town; at Cologne-Bonn Airport hundreds of Germanwings employees gathered at headquarters; and in Berlin the Federal Cabinet participated in this minute of silence. 10:53 was the moment when the radio transmission from the Germanwings’s plane was silenced by the impact.

See news article:

https://www.derwesten.de/thema/germanwings-absturz/nrw-haelt-inne-so-lief-die-schweigeminute-um-10-53-uhr-id10501602.html
(first read on 16.04.2015)

It is incomprehensible why, in retrospect, the crash time was brought forward from 10:53 to 10:41, and no one has asked why nor has anyone publically explained. Clearly, these facts raise serious questions: It is officially claimed that by 10:41 the Mirage fighter jet was unable to intercept the Germanwings plane, but it could have – 12 minutes later…

L. U.

further article:

Airworthiness Review Certificate – the ignored document