Category Archives: incomplete investigations

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 deliberate lockout of the captain from the cockpit

The investigation file itself shows that this was not the case

Various press reports have claimed that there was an intentional lockout. This has led to the assumption that immediately after the captain left the cockpit Andreas locked the door. Over and over again pictures of the cockpit door locking system switch were commented on together with pictures of the UNLOCK-NORM-LOCK cockpit panel. Media websites displayed A320 locking system animations, always with the claim that Andreas had set the switch to «LOCK».

According to the BEA final report (see page 12) on the accident of the Germanwings plane, the cockpit door was opened at 09:30:24 and closed again three seconds later. These three seconds are when the captain supposedly exited the cockpit. This agrees with the transcript of the cockpit voice recorder protocol. See this following excerpt from the investigation file:

Objective findings German translation volume_03_page HA 05221:

Approximately four minutes later, at 09:34:31, a ringtone was recorded for one second. This sound indicates that someone outside the cockpit is requesting access. This is also evident from the BEA final report on page 13 and is consistent with the cockpit voice recorder transcript recordings (see excerpt below from the investigation file).

Objective findings German translation volume_03_page HA 05222:

However, the recording of the ringtone access request proves that Andreas had not deliberately locked the cockpit door. This is because if he had deliberately set the toggle switch to the LOCK position the entire cockpit door electronics, including the keypad and audible ringtones, would automatically have been deactivated for a period of 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the airline. Thus, no ringtone would have sounded and no ringtone could have been recorded. However, the fact that the ringtone was recorded is clear from the BEA final report. This clearly refutes the claim that by deliberately locking the cockpit door Andreas prevented the captain from entering!

Finally, reference should be made to finding no. 5 in the report on the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 by Mr van Beveren:

https://andreas-lubitz.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Gutachten-zum-Germanwings-Absturz-4U9525-S-61-120.pdf

The assumption stated in the report and also by the public prosecutor, Brice Robin, on 26.03.2015 that Andreas Lubitz did »deliberately prevent the opening of the door« in order to deny access to the captain cannot be proven and is therefore purely speculative and was, in regards to the public statement, hastily stated by the prosecutor, Brice Robin.

Therefore, this assumption mentioned by Brice Robin is not based on any facts or evidence in the report.

L.U.

further article:

The deletion of potentially important evidence

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