A320 LUBITZ CRASH EXCLUSIVE: The A320’s history of unexplained descents into terrain.

a320PTThe tabloidisation of the A320 Lubitz crash should at least be questioned more closely. Either through media incompetence or other motives, Andreas Lubitz is being misrepresented…and so is the Airbus family history.

This is not The Slog suddenly going wacky: it seems to me very likely that Andreas Lubitz flew his plane into a mountain by locking the pilot out of the cockpit. From the outset, this tragedy looked odd, but these days I have learned to let the dust settle before asking pertinent questions. Perhaps now is the time, however, to question just how open and shut the case is:

1. The A320 itself is billed as ‘an exceptionally safe aeroplane’. But the family of A319/320 does in fact have 60 crashes behind it. And some of them bear similarities:

* On 3 May 2006, Armavia Flight 967, using an Airbus A320-211, crashed into the Black Sea while attempting to conduct a go-around following its first approach to Sochi Airport, Russia. All 113 passengers and crew on board lost their lives.

*On 28 July 2010, Airblue Flight 202, an Airbus A321 flying from Karachi to Islamabad, crashed in Margalla Hills in Islamabad, Pakistan. The weather was poor with low visibility. During a non-standard self-created approach procedure below Minimum Descent Altitude the aircraft collided with terrain after the captain ignored a total of 21 cockpit warnings to pull-up. 146 passengers and six crew were on board the aircraft. There were no survivors.[26] The commander, Pervez Iqbal Chaudry, was one of Airblue’s most senior pilots with more than 35 years’ experience.

* On 5 November 2014, Lufthansa Flight 1829, an Airbus A321 was flying from Bilbao to Munich when the aircraft, on autopilot, unexpectedly lowered the nose and entered a descent reaching 4000 fpm rate of descent. The loss of altitude had been caused by two angle of attack sensors having frozen in their positions during climb at an angle, causing the fly by wire protection to assume the aircraft entered a stall while it climbed through FL310.

* On 28 December 2014, Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea between the islands of Belitung and Borneo, killing all 162 on board. The cause is under investigation…but I’m sure we all remember that one.

* On 24 March 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525, using an Airbus A320-211, flying between Barcelona and Düsseldorf crashed near Digne in the Southern French Alps, killing all 150 on board.

All these incidents involved what Boeing first coined as Controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) in the late 1970s. CFIT describes an accident in which an airworthy aircraft, under pilot control, is unintentionally flown into the ground, a mountain, water, or an obstacle. The pilots are generally unaware of the danger until it is too late. The term was coined by engineers at Boeing.

2. If Lubitz was really that depressed, why was he allowed to fly? The truth is, he wasn’t. “He flew into a mountain because he was depressed/had split up with his partner” simply doesn’t hold water: follow the timeline back, and you will see that Lubitz had made a full recovery from his depression. He took a break from training six years ago because he was responsible enough to realise he needed to get his head straight.

3. When I retreated to bed at 10.30 pm CET last night, several news sites were claiming that he was ‘a recent convert to Islam’. Those reports have abruptly disappeared. Who raised that allegation? Again, it isn’t true. Germany’s Christian press claimed yesterday ‘All evidence indicates that the copilot of the Airbus 320, in his six-months break during training as a pilot with Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently of his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. A radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert often stayed…’. Really? Lubitz took a six-month break to get treated for depression some time ago during his training. All Germanwings pilots are trained in Bremen. As far as I can ascertain, the Mosque there is not at the centre of the A320 investigation, and Lubitz never went there.

4. Yahoo, CNN and the Independent are now stating as a fact that ‘Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane’. The evidence looks strong, but why prejudice the enquiry? Most extreme in this reporting, of course, is Bild, the German tabloid which acts as a sort of German Sun written by failed cryogenic monkey experiments. This morning it labels the co-pilot a mass-murderer: another monster created, tomorrow’s Saturday, lets find a stock shot of a fat Greek.

bildThis is very much the German way at a tabloid level: write off anyone German who seems to have done something awful as an abhorrent exception. Herr A. Hitler from Linz has been similarly written out of history in the two-dimensional manner, with the added “And anyway, he was Austrian”.

The day before yesterday, CNN treated us to an hour of Merkel, Rajoy and Hollande united in photo-op sorry, grief. The big-hair anchor-lady noted with counterfeit sincerity that it was “truly good of these three leaders to come personally to the scene”. It takes a special kind of cynicism or naivety to come up with a line like that.

*  *  *  *  *

My point here is not to kick off yet another conspiracy theory. It is rather to log once more that the mass media obsession with reporting without interpretation has in recent years crossed two lines:

First, their irresponsible rush to judgement condemns and demonises people about they know almost nothing, acting as a kangaroo Court of Opinion before the legal process has even started. Jimmy Savile was the worst example of that to date.

Second, by so doing they also create healthy suspicion about ulterior motives for blaming the corpse. Dead men, as they say, tell no tales. But Newscorp had a clear motive for starting the All DJs are Perverts mania of 2013/14: who we wonder, might have a motive for trying to wrap this one up in four days flat?

Media superficiality in assessing the psychographics of Andreas Lubitz simply muddies the waters further:

“He was one of the best,” the report quotes a retired Lufthansa pilot identified only as Dieter, “He was someone very reliable, he was one of the best pilots we had. I am 100 per cent sure they did the best they could. That’s what I think because I knew him very well, he was one of the best, he had a lot of experience, he had more than 6,000 flight hours behind him.”

However: only 350 of those hours were as a pilot…the rest he was just cabin crewing. And almost without exception, odd brainstorms and mass shootings are accompanied by lots of neighbours saying how quiet, polite and normal the killer was.

I’m just concerned (as an occasional depressive myself) that an attempt has been made by both the media and Lufthansa to make his depression seem contemporaneous with the A320 crash: it clearly wasn’t.

Now overnight, the ‘clue’ found at the Lubitz apartment has morphed into a significant clue. The Dusseldorf Polizei confirmed this morning that they had found “something which will now be taken for tests. We cannot say what it is at the moment but it may be very significant clue to what has happened. We hope it may give some explanations.”

The cops actually took away three large removal packs of material. I understand a line of enquiry unrelated to terrorism is now being followed up. But perhaps fearing a pc backlash, the media seem to be ignoring the likelihood that Andreas was gay: a number of German sources are suggesting this today. He had worked his way up to co-pilot from having been a cabin steward – and he had a housemate, who left the Lubitz flat with police last night, and has not as yet been identified:

lubitzhome It was the French prosecutor Brice Robin who has right from the off described Lubitz as having been “on a suicide mission”. The evidence for this is indeed strong: an analysis of transponder data by air tracker Flightradar24 showed that the plane’s autopilot had been manually reset from 38,000 to below 100 feet, immediately following which Lubitz began a steady descent at high speed.

But the A320 family history makes that less compelling than it at first looked. In order to dramatise the ‘pilot lockout’. the media latched on quickly to ‘the fact’ that the pilot, on trying to get back into the cockpit, resorted to an axe. The only evidence offered for this is that “there was an axe on the plane”.

*  *  *  *  *

This is just another incident in the long history of newspaper journalism in which conclusions are multivariately jumped upon, but no conclusions can then be reached because the conclusions are too disfigured to be identified. Also, nobody seems to be pursuing the issue of who was on the flight. After a suitable time for condolence and funerals, I think the media should have a look in detail at the passenger list. Germanwings is a budget airline and therefore this is unlikely to reveal much in the way of powerful folks flying incognito. But the time has long gone when a Sovereign prosecutor’s word can be taken as read – either between the lines, or otherwise.

On balance, I think Andreas Lubitz had a coup de foudre. But for me, the jury’s out until others more technical than I can say yea or nay to the A320 family’s history of Controlled Flight Into Terrain.

110 thoughts on “A320 LUBITZ CRASH EXCLUSIVE: The A320’s history of unexplained descents into terrain.

  1. You write> “Germany’s Christian press claimed yesterday ‘All evidence indicates that the copilot of the Airbus 320, in his six-months break during training as a pilot with Germanwings, converted to Islam and subsequently of his own accord decided to carry out this mass murder. A radical mosque in Bremen is in the center of the investigation, in which the convert often stayed…'” it would be appreciated if you could be specific about the identity of GERMANY’S CHRISTIAN PRESS

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  2. I too have suspicions about this crash. Some of the more fringe areas of the web are suggesting that the Daily Mail article on the web at 9: 34 was changed to remove a reference to witnesses describing seeing fighter jets that appeared to be acting as a “military escort”. This particular airbus is also apparently equipped with remote control “hijack recovery”. Is it possible someone nefarious has the codes and used them to fly the plane into the mountains? You are probably right Mr Ward, and that the co-pilot did this deliberately, but the trouble is, I no longer trust nothing put out by the mainstream press. Given the MSM recent track history, I am becoming more open to even quite outlandish explanations.

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  3. It would be interesting to know about this co-pilot’s schedule. I have heard stories about pilots just doing too many hours flying in a short period, under pressure from their airline company, sometimes making them go into ‘burn out’ mode. If this guy had a history of burn out depression which made him suspend his training, that could be a detail which companies in the future need to take into consideration when hiring new staff. As I understand it there is a shortage of pilots to keep up with demand therefore making the standards drop to make sure the demand is satisfied.

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  4. Another view from a pilot that might explain his actions if he was taking anti-depressants:
    Taken from http://www.naturalnews.com/049137_Germanwings_depression_antidepressant_drugs.html

    ……It’s not unusual for pilots to fly planes into terrain in flight simulators:

    Here’s something else most non-pilots don’t realize. Although it’s not a condoned practice, all of us who are trained to operate aircraft have trained at one time or another in flight simulators. And all of us — including myself — have done things in those flight simulators that we would never do in real life. I’ve performed loops and barrel rolls with a Cessna, for example, even though I would never be crazy enough to try such a thing in a real airplane.

    Attempting these maneuvers in a simulator has legitimate training value that saves lives in the real world, because these “games” help pilots learn the limits of aircraft power, stability and maneuverability. To know the limits of an aircraft, it’s useful to exceed those limits in the safety of a simulator where you DON’T die…

    At the same time, I’ve also seen other pilots in simulators intentionally fly aircraft into mountains as a way to end the current scenario with a surge of excitement. Again, this is undoubtedly frowned upon in the commercial aviation industry, but I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes. I’ve never done this myself, it turns out, but plenty of other pilots have.

    In a simulator, of course, it’s perfectly safe to fly your airplane into a mountain. What if Lubitz thought he was in a flight simulator? Could antidepressant drugs have caused him to confuse reality vs. simulation? It’s speculation, of course, but it’s consistent with other SSRI-related mass murders we’ve seen over the years.

    The reported behavior of Andrea Lubitz is eerily similar to SSRI-drug-induced school shooters who carried out mass murders in the United States (see detailed list below). In case after case, school shooters have been found to either be on prescription antidepressant drugs or recently taken off them, causing withdrawal side effects.

    FAA bans pilots from flying while on antidepressant drugs

    Antidepressant drugs are so dangerous that the FAA bans U.S. pilots from taking them. They are considered a danger to the pilot and passengers. I’m not certain whether antidepressants are illegal for pilots to consume in various European countries, but it wouldn’t be difficult for someone to be acquiring them and taking them covertly, even if it were illegal.

    Here’s a list of other mass murderers who were taking antidepressant drugs:

    Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

    • Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

    • Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

    • Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

    • Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

    • Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

    • Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

    • Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

    • A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

    • Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

    • A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

    • Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

    • TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

    • Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

    • James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

    • Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

    • Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

    • Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

    • Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

    • Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

    • Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

    • Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

    • Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

    • Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

    • Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

    • Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

    • Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002, (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

    • Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

    • Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

    • Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

    • Woody __, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

    • A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

    • Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

    • Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

    • Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

    • Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.

    • Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

    • Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school.

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  5. As usual the press and TV are in paroxysms of joy with this. Pointless outside broadcasts from outside someone’s house, interviews with people who didn’t know the victims etc. Continuously reporting the same thing all day and all night. Its like rubbernecking at an accident.

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  6. You are correct John, there certainly has been a hasty rush to judgement in the case of the co-pilot of the Germanwings A320 crash.The French prosecutor Robin is no aviation expert and his statement must be treated with scepticism , until a full report containing all relevant facts are available.
    I am surprised at the speed of the results and quick conclusions from the recovered Black Box from the aircraft.
    It must be compared to the results from the blackbox of MH17, the Kiev Airport Flight control centres recordings, and Satellite images from the US. We wait patiently, and are now past 6 months and counting. Premature judgements also made in this case

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  7. I thought that the more or less immediate statement from the US / White House that “this wasn’t likely a terrorist incident” was very odd. How would they know ?

    in view of the practically simultaneous / contemperaneous difficult discussions between Merkel and Tsipras, it also occurred to me that a “convenient” euro-tragedy to elicit Greek sympathy and goodwill was an outside – if exceptionally sinister – possibility. What could be a “better” such scenario ? Germans and Spaniards flying from Spain crashing in France providing the opportunity for a collective orgy of grieving, “euro-schmerz” ??

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  8. Just when I was rolling my eyes at the number of conspiracy theorists already coming out of the woodwork I watched an interview on a French news channel with an aviation expert (I didn’t catch in what area) who stated that:
    The prosecutor had no right making such a statement whilst so few of the facts were available;
    Lubitz manually levelled off shortly before impact (inferring that this was not the action of someone with deadly intent);
    the second black box was reported to have been found empty, which he claimed was a first in the history of aviation and a total impossibility. When pressed on this he said the only explanation could be that whoever recovered the black box removed its contents.

    The voice recording, if it’s as reported, does seem conclusive but there are already more holes in this story than a Swiss mountain.

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  9. ^^
    This. MH17 is one of the biggest cover-ups I’ve ever seen. “It was the Russians!”, and “stop asking questions!” aren’t evidence, the last time I checked.

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  10. The White House knew it wasn’t because they didn’t have any false flag attacks planned for that day. It’s usually in Obama’s diary:

    11:00am – sabre-rattling and kill some innocent people
    11:15am – hit the golf course.
    3pm – take a nap

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  11. There is another two aspects to this unfortunate happening.

    Firstly that the crash site looks nothing like any other where an aircraft has crash landed, rather than being destroyed in some manner.

    The second element is more damning, because in being the pilot’s fault, the airline is financially culpable for the accident. That will leave a big hole in Lufthansa’s profits. Another example of Germany’s government being told to come to heel?

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/27/germanwings-may-face-multi-million-dollar-compensation-claims-over-crash

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  12. Lone nut theory. Now where have I heard that before? It makes a good excuse for covering up mechanical failure which could be very expensive. As for his depression. Aviation medicals look for the slightest problem and they will ground you for virtually anything so in his position he may well have stayed schtumn over depression +/- taking pills. I agree the evidence at this stage looks like suicide particularly the locked door but we will have to wait and see what emerges

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  13. Am I the only one who finds it odd that the ‘investigation’ of this tragic event seems at odds with the the investigation into the downing of MH17?
    We are told that a thorough assessment hof the ‘Black Box’ from MH 17 is being carried out before anything can/will be published, so as to establish the credence of ‘PUTIN’S MISSILE’ and yet here we are being told by MSM ‘No Terrorists’, ‘Possibly Gay’, ‘Depression’.
    The flight radio shows (apparently) that they could hear the co pilot breathing normally as the Captain was endevouring to be allowed back to the flight deck.
    JW reasonably asks how would Washington know that this tragic event was NOT an attack motivated by oterrorism?
    I would answer that question by giving the answer…”because they know everything”.
    And of course, should you dare to add 2+2 and get 4, then you are labelled NVE..Kook..or some-such nonsense for not accepting their narrative (=5).
    We live in a murky old World where the word ‘TRUTHER’ is now recognised as being a derogatory one.
    Thankfully I remember a time in which journalists sought the truth before seeking reward. Gone sadly, but not forgotten are those simple days in which one could ‘trust’ and therefore not question.

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  14. The White House said ,,,
    There does not appear to be a “nexus to terrorism” connected to the downed Germanwings flight in France
    … interesting phraseology.

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  15. I am a retired airline pilot with 10000 hours total time, including over 4000 hours on the A320/321. I am in awe of your considerable expertise in everything under the sun. Although I regard the A320 family as a superb aircraft it is flown by human beings. A huge majority of aircraft accidents are down to human error and as for this disaster, the evidence from the authorities is unarguable. This guy was likely on psychotic medication to add to his other issues.

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  16. The new Cold war is different this time.
    Mutually assured destruction? – Maybe later this century. There are better ways to debase the arguments.
    Not only are civilians the fall guys now ( dying proof) ……but the West knows that it is beaten with this and other pieces of technology. Cyberwarfare.
    Quick answers from governments do reassure most of the people.
    Meanwhile, very urgent questions are being asked in the corridors of power.

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  17. Yup, I burst out laughing when I heard a BBC reporter inform us that he was reporting “… just five miles away from the crash site”. That’s license fees being wasted just so we can have some snazzy shots of red and white helicopters taking off.

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  18. With the pilot unable to gain access to the cockpit, and the recorder picking up (his banging on the door and) “normal breathing” but no voice sounds within the cockpit, it seems most unlikely a control system fault caused the crash.
    Let’s hope the other flight recorder’s data helps to unravel this mystery.

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  19. “Fakt ist.. Das der französchische Luftraum der am schlechtesten geregelte ist.. Ich habe täglich mit Flugrouten zu tun.. Die Route die der Flieger geflogen ist wird mit Flightlevel vorgegeben.. Da gibt es in dieser Region und der Nordregion Richtung Frankreich immer Probleme… ICH UNTERSTELLE JETZT HIER OFFIZIEL DER FRANZÖSCHISCH AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLL das sie wie jeden Tag schwere Fehler machen ihren Luftraum nicht unter Kontrolle haben und der Crew eine Zuweisung der falschen Flight Level vorgegeben haben”

    Briefly translated he’s saying that the French air space has the poorest of regulations and that he knows this from personal experience. Every day they make mistakes, and gave the crew – pilots – an incorrect flight level.

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  20. Ah! That’s what did it! WordPress have banned links to this site.

    I’ll try again without the http:// which you’ll have to add for yourself as WP won’t allow it – and I thought it was John…

    f3 [.] webmart [.] de/f.cfm?id=3232477&r=threadview&t=4050519

    You’ll have to remove the ” [.] ” too ;-)

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  21. I am a total cynic now regarding anything like this. My first thought is cui bono?

    I can’t see any any reason for a ‘false flag’ or ‘media flash-bang’ – except of course war in Yemen, turkey becoming a dictatorship, Putin gearing for war, etc.

    So to my mind this is either a tragic accident or a tragic non-accident.

    The media has jumped on the “gay depressive co-pilot crashes plane” because that fills space with lots of pictures of wreckage, crying families, and stern policemen. But I have a few questions that need answering before I consider this to be case closed:

    Do we know the co-pilot was conscious? They say they can hear him breathing, but he could have been incapacitated in some way.

    The rebuttal would be that he actively locked the cockpit door. How do we know that? Does the flight data recorder record the position of this switch? If so, why has none of the reports I have read state as much.

    We if he hadn’t then the pilot could have used the emergency code. Yes, assuming he knew it. Let’s face it, how often is that code used? Is it the same on every aircraft? Is it written down somewhere?

    I doubt the code is used very often – just like the combination to that old bike lock you keep under the stairs just in case you do buy another bike.

    I also doubt it is the same for each aircraft, the security implications of that being so would be terrible.

    When you are suddenly struck with the realisation that you are in a metal tube about to hit a mountain, I expect most peoples’ minds are going to be filled with all kinds of stuff. I know pilots are trained to keep focused, but this is focus is honed on how to fly an aircraft, not how to remember the combination to flightdeck door.

    Does the flight data recorder store details of whether the keypad was used? Does it record what codes were entered.

    The whole suicide theory seems to be based on the assumption that because the pilot could not open the flight deck door the copilot must have overrode the lock.

    I hope that it does come out that the aircraft was at fault – and that the family of the copilot subsequently sues all those media outlets that cast the copilot in the role of murderer on the flimsiest of theories.

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  22. John sorry but your list of examples has too much variation to argue a case. Some other comments raised on page are tripe.Info available suggests pilot error.

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  23. Nobody as far as I know has mentioned the fuel.

    Given that the aircraft was only a short way in to it’s journey when it came down it would have had a considerable anount of Jet A1 in the tanks.

    Does that crash site show any evidence of a huge fireball which would almost certainly have followed ground strike? Not one piece of wreckage that I have seen on the news broadcasts shows any charring or blackening. Rather, it looks like a load of rubbish from a council tip.

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  24. “Do we know the co-pilot was conscious?” “I know pilots are trained to keep focused, but this is focus is honed on how to fly an aircraft, not how to remember the combination to flightdeck door.”
    …The sound of Mr. Lubitz’s breathing indicated that he was conscious to the end, Brice Robin, the Marseille public prosecutor, said at a news conference…Data from the plane’s transponder also suggested that the person at the controls had manually reset the autopilot to take the plane from 38,000 feet to 96 feet, the lowest possible setting…Investigators into the Germanwings crash said they were trying to determine why the captain had left the cockpit. To get back in would have required a precise procedure. Members of a flight crew would typically use a fail-safe code to open the door if someone in the cockpit could not or would not let them in. The pilot would have known the code, Mr. Spohr said, but it was unclear whether he had used it. Even if he did, the co-pilot could have activated a switch that prevented the door from opening for five minutes, or found some other way to block the door, Mr. Spohr said. There is no chance the pilot forgot the code, he said…
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/27/world/europe/germanwings-crash.html?_r=0

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  25. Apparently this plane was grounded the day before for repairs

    secondly breathing normal can be read i breathing normal in a very strenuous situation or breathing erratic in a strenuous situation ie a normal reaction.
    i find that terminology ambiguous
    But the point John makes that the free press are free to be judge & jury on such incidence are right,like the man in Bristol ,Leveson achieved nothing a whitewash a disgrace & contempt of justice

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  26. It is a strange way to commit suicide. Most people do it alone and don’t involve others. If this was a terrorist attack the authorities would want it kept quiet.

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  27. I had lunch with a friend on Wednesday who is a flight attendant with a major European airline. I won’t say which one as my comment covers why. These are the rumours within the flight community.

    Two French Mirage jets were scrambled because the plane was off course and despite 3 attempts to contact the plane by air traffic control no answer. Plus it was clear from radar the plane was descending. There was no need to manually change the plane to 100 ft. The pilot would have known where he was (regular flight) if he wanted to commit suicide. That by the way is discounted amongst the crew for the reasons given by other commenters. Hiding depression and medication for so long with regular medicals including random drug test is nigh on impossible. Too obvious?!

    Crew with the airline are refusing to fly, including pilots. Airline says emotional reasons. Word is out that the plane, being so near to retirement was on its way out and maintenance was not the best as being a cheaper airline they were cutting corners. Plus it had been grounded before the flight with a ‘technical’ issue. If the report of a cracked windscreen is true, then if the co-pilot was rendered unconscious with the door locked then how could the pilot get back in? The locked door was procedure introduced as a result of 911.

    Technology exists to allow a plane to be controlled from the ground. However, pilots are resisting this. Partly because the system could be hacked and then planes would end up crashing due to someone interfering with the system. Bit like the idea of someone sat in a bunker (living room) flying a drone on a battlefield.

    By the way, the parent company of her airline is verging on bankruptcy because people ain’t flying. They are also trying to cut costs but unions are refusing productivity deal so maintenance is the only area they can cut back on. She is looking to get out after 12 years because in her words “it isn’t safe anymore” and she has two children under 7.

    Like

  28. To me, this tragedy reeks of 9/11. Instantly, without a minute’s investigation, “the Muslims done it.” Bollix.
    All the controlled Mass Media are on song. Bollix.
    These planes are now being built so they can be taken over & flown remotely.
    As someone else remarked, we yet again have the ‘ lone nut culprit’.
    No chance of a conspiracy there then. Bollix.

    Instead of asking “Qui bono?” Ask who loses.
    The answer is the Muslims.
    This, IMHO, is building the tension toward WWIII.

    No result, months afterwards, from MH17, but instantaneous conclusions from this slaughter?
    Puhleese. :(

    Like

  29. This is O/T but I’m utterly disgusted by the disproportionate use of force in this video and although nothing to do with the aircrash this does at least put today’s cynical enforcement culture in context.

    Like

  30. The suspicious aspect to this is the time between the co pilot taking over as the pilot exits the cabin and the actual impact on the ground. Why would he want to take so long and quite possibly give the pilot chance to somehow break into the cockpit and intervene.
    Surely if you wanted to kill yourself you’d put the plane into a dive and head straight at the ground?

    Like

  31. Did any of the passengers e-mail, phone or text anyone? 35 Minute descent and no-one called or texted or e-mailed family members?

    Like

  32. Pingback: John Ward – A320 Lubitz Crash Exclusive : The A320’s History Of Unexplained Descents Into Terrain – 27 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  33. As a psychologist, I can attest to the fact that depressed people or even people considering suicide do not take hundreds with them. In fact, people that are depressed or have suicidal thoughts often think about the poeple they might leave behind, I wrote a post on this.

    Like

  34. How did you retire with only 10000 hours? That’s weirder than John’s guess work. However let me tell the rest of you about the cockpit door. One thing that has not been reported is that almost never in my pilot career have I had to use the keypad. Usually in the morning the maintenance leaves the door open and for the rest of the day someone is in the cockpit to let you in. On the rare occasions when I had to use the keypad I would have to stop and think about it …it was kinda like your computer if you use the auto system for passwords. Anyway you finally remember the password and put it in then when the door unlocks you don’t open it within the 5 seconds and you have to start all over. This is without any stress like having a stupid co-pilot on a death dive holding down the lock switch.

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  35. The co-pilot was made a scapegoat from the start.
    The news about the co-pilot first turns up the New York Times, which is well-known for planting CIA stories. The UK media spin the same line as one. Strangely, The Telegraph does not invite comments on any aspect of the crash. I decided to put my suspicions on a different thread.
    The accounts of the black-box recordings also aren’t convincing, ie the screams at the last minute, the co-pilot’s breathing being audible, the pilot leaving the cockpit so early in the flight at all etc etc. Then the sicknotes conveniently turn up at the co-pilot’s house. (All very similar to the way that MH370 pilot was blamed, his house searched and the flight simulator is made to look suspicious.)
    Maybe it’s true that he deliberately crashed the plane. I don’t know. But I don’t think his depression would really explain it, not unless he was also a psychopath – this feels like part of a pre-planned story. In fact, perhaps the flight was targeted precisely because the perpetrators could pin it on the co-pilot.
    I felt to begin with there was a possibility this flight was targeted by either the US or Israel in retaliation for Germany dealing with Putin, just as I suspect the same about the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris. Here again, we have the French possibly being lent on, just as with that Charlie Hebdo investigator who thoroughly implausibly ‘committed suicide’.
    Something is very suspicious about all this. The official story is too easy and too certain for real life. It feels like it was concocted in advance, which would also explain why it emerged so quickly. Whether my suspicions are true or not, the poor victims deserve a rigorous inquiry with all possibilities looked at – not an official whitewash, with awkward questions ignored, and innocent passengers being treated like pawns. The mainstream media are a disgrace in allowing these questions to go unanswered.

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  36. Read a little more carefully James, and you will see that was exactly my conclusion. This is not a conspiracy theory piece: rather, it is a damning (and justified) critique of the media’s desire to demonise rather than analyse.

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  37. Agreed LeGin reported fighter jets has in mh17 & no communications were they being blocked & yet other planes were trying to contact the plane? so is it standard procedure now to block communication ie stop possible terriorist communicating

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  38. Dear God, where do these conspiracy theorists come from. Its cock-up which you should look for not conspiracy.

    Like

  39. That’s an odd coincidence. I just posted part of that article, with link into a comment at The Guardian and the entire thread was removed.
    This story does bear the typical baffling profile of many trajic or near trajic SSRI stories. And the evidence is in plain view:
    (also banned by The Guardian)

    Like

  40. I would heartily endorse JW’s comments.
    Watching the news last night listening to the French spokesman the impression I got was a strong desire to “blame a German pilot and not a French built aeroplane” There were statements on there that struck me as patently untrue.
    The only thing that they have recovered is the voice recorder, this records audio sounds only, it does not record switch positions autopilot commands etc.
    So how do they know the co-pilot locked the cabin door? as far as I am aware the cockpit door lock system does not have any distinct audio warning.

    He disconnected the autopilot how do they know that? well in this case if the A/P was disconnected there would be an audio warning “cavalry charge” however there is no need to disconnect the autopilot to crash it into the ground, just modify the vertical navigation profile in the FMC to ensure impact or even simpler just select altitude hold which will disconnect the FMC input, dial in a new low altitude and select a negative vertical speed which by training and routine is the way a pilot would likely do it.

    The autopilot may have disconnected for reasons other than pilot action. The co-pilot may have been asleep or unconcious and if the autopilot disconnects the A320 will fly in a very stable fashion in whatever attitude it is in at the time of autopilt disconnection, so if that was pitched down that’s the way it will go !

    I see comments about data on Flight Radar 24 showing that the autopilot settings had been changed, as far as I am aware ADBS2 only transmits actual altitude it does not transmit A/P altitude selections or any other A/P conditions.

    Cracked windscreens? a cracked windscreen if it was damaged sufficiently to incapacitate the pilot iwould be an explosive decompression event which would have been picked up by the voice recorder and also incidentally automatically unlocked the cockpit door.

    No this has been grossly pre-judged not just by the press but by French Officials, the truth will only be known when the flight data recorder is recovered and replayed.

    While all this was going on Saudi Arabia was busy bombing the Sh*t out of Yemen and massing troops on their joint border did’nt see much about that in the press did we?

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  41. Worth analysing the Plane Finder data chart provided with the story here
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-03-24/airbus-a320-carrying-148-crashes-french-alps
    What I wonder, causes a flight system to report a descent rate of -14,140ft/min while the aircraft still continues to maintain an altitude of 38,000ft, but then immediately yaws a total of 18degs and begins a variable descent rate up and down, of -128, -2000, -4900ft/min at approx the same airspeed of 480kts?

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  42. Lubitz didn’t have 6,000 hours, he had 600.
    The captain had 6,000 hours.

    Compare the number of fatal accidents for the A320 to the total number A320 in service, times the number of flights they make WORLDWIDE. It’s an extremely safe aircraft. As a pilot, one of the first things we learn is that the overwhelming majority of aviation accidents are caused by pilot error, not mechanical failure.

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  43. From the Lancashire Evening Telegraph:
    “The 19-year-old man from Blackburn was arrested on suspicion of using threatening words or behaviour. He later accepted a caution by officers.”

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  44. These conspiracy theorists come from the certain fact that we are being lied to on a regular basis by those whose job it is to present the truth. Agreed, the cock up theory has always been the safer bet historically, but it is equally now the case that there are many ‘information providers’ who conspire to peddle explanations for events that depend more on puffery than veracity. Too much Bernays sauce, not enough honest protein. I fear that your righteous indignation, hitherto a valuable corrective, may no longer be an adequate response. Thus, all possibilities have to be examined.

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  45. My brother-in-law is a pilot with German Wings and he told my wife, his sister, that mobiles won’t get a network signal so high up, and the descent was so gradual, that the passengers wouldn’t have been alarmed until near the end (so no time to prepare a message for sending in the hope of getting a network signal at the last minute).

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  46. The data is transmitted as a digital stream so the loss or gain of a couple of bits in a frame will give you errors also the data on the aircraft is captured at a point in time if a particular sensor was responding to a sharp rate of change the value captured may well be an overshoot value rather than a smoothed average value. The aircraft was over mountains which are well known for having turbulent air. If the aircraft was in any of the normal modes of Pitch hold or Vertical speed and the Autothrottles set for a speed of 480 knots then the altitude rate of change will vary as the system attempts to maintain Pitch Angle / Vertical Speed at a constant speed through gusting air.

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  47. It doesn’t add up. The media removing the early eye witness accounts of “escort” fighter jets – and them being expunged from the narrative, was suspicious. Then the report of an SOS from the plane was altered to no SOS (becsause a deranged suicidal pilot wouldn’t ask for help would he?) Then all the speculation about the aged plane being mechanically unsound was swept away in.the leaked tale of the suicidal maniac…..accompanied by far too much information about his “history of depression” , “torn up sicknotes” blah blah.

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  48. Oldrightie (at 1.21pm),…. is the only sensible comment here frankly. Also much comment about ‘pin codes’ automatically opening the door and overrides to the door mechanism from the passenger side are just nonsense. Seriously ?
    How can you design an impenetrable barrier to protect the flight deck, only to provide a variety of ‘overrides’? It’s totally illogical. Your logical starting point to designing this ‘barrier’, is that :
    1. Those on the flight deck *have the best interests* of the plane in mind.
    2. Those on the passenger side of the barrier, *may NOT have the best interests* of the plane in mind.
    There can be *NO* override from the passenger side. To provide an override on the passenger side is to negate the whole security barrier as *Redundant*, because that override would be discovered at the point of a knife to an air stewards throat, or potentially leaked anonymously by a disgruntled Airbus employee.
    Of course, the one flaw in the system, is an infringement of (1) above, insofar as you *already* have someone on the flight deck who *May Not* have the best interests of the plane in mind. To cover that one flaw, in the US, the protocol is for a flight attendant to ‘babysit’, the pilot or co-pilot, when one or other needs to go take a pee.
    Germanwings protocol, did not cover that one flaw, which why this suicide death dive occurred.
    If my logic is wrong, please explain in detail how I’m wrong,.. preferably without unnecessary abuse?

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  49. The problem with lying in authority is that every word is then scrutinized more not less,this is not conspiracy theory any more it is due diligence of the authorities making.

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  50. your not wrong that is certainly the mostly likely reason,however that doesn’t excuse the press for being judge & jury & demonising the co-pilot before all the evidence is submitted,if the plane was remotely taken over & the jets crashed the plane before it could reach highly populated areas or it’s target,then the industry would grind to a halt overnight,economies would suffer & for that reason this man must be held responsible, i have already said your right,propaganda leads to mistrust Blair’s & others falsehoods(arming ISIS) are now being measured in scrutiny not trust

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  51. We have the name of the captain and his flying hours but nothing else. Not a photo or family stuff even though he was – we are told – the hero who died. Also nothing about the crew, not even their names, and still no passenger list
    .The whole focus is on tge deranged killer even down to ex girlfriends claims of nastiness and nightmares. l do feel we are being led by the nose and hardly anyone is resisting.

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  52. @ the ghost
    Thanks for the reply.
    Firstly I too, don’t trust the b**tards,.. but experience tells me that it is very difficult ( especially in the internet age !), for the deceiving b**tards, to concoct a false story that is watertight for public consumption. This is likely why MH17 has ‘gone dark’, because they can’t manufacture a concocted story which is watertight. They know only too well, that if they haven’t covered all bases , then someone, somewhere *will* upload a web page or YouTube video, within 12 hours of the official story,… proving the official story to be the lie it is.
    But there is now a broader point that troubles me. Such is our distrust *of them* now, are we not allowing ourselves to enter a Kafkaesque era, whereby any information from an official source is… *default conspiracy*?
    Sometimes the comments section on many blogs, (including this one), leave me more freaked out, than what is likely to be the plain truth of an event.
    I remember as a kid, my mates and me sitting around the embers of a Nov 5th bonfire, as the darkness closed in behind us. We would each tell ghost stories, trying to spook each other more and more as the darkness enclosed, and as the fire died to a glow. At which point, suitably freaked out, we would all run to our homes and beds, pulling the sheets tightly over our heads.
    Sometimes reading the comments on here is a bit like those childhood ghost story sessions, as we each tried to outdo each other on the ‘spooky level index’?
    Maybe we all need to have a stiff drink, and accept that life’s events can get f*cked up the old fashioned way i.e. *naturaly?*, and that maybe *they*, are not as in control of our every move and thought, as we like to spook ourselves into thinking they are?

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  53. Indigoboy i agree ,history teaches us that when any one especially authority,people mistrust & question more,at the time of Bush & Blairs lies i said this was going to be the real price of their lies & i am being proved right,mistrust is growing it is the enemy not of truth but integrity & honour & like the last day of parliament actions & loss of integrity is deemed cheap,but it is far from it

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  54. One outlandish explanation is that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the aircraft – the only thing that makes this not just a silly guess is that this is the explanation being proclaimed be the MSM which suddenly gives the suggestion apparent authority (at least to those who have been trained to totally subcontract their thinking).

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  55. I think that this high SPEED crash ,with impact would of created a blast fire burning etc ;I see no evidence of fire anywhere. I know for a proven FACT hundreds of times over , that plane jet fuel can bring 3 or more of the biggest skyscrapers in the world to the ground to dust and melt steal. WHERE IS THE FIRE?

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  56. Pingback: John Ward – AD 2015: Labour Election Slogan Brings 1972 Robert Redford Satire To Reality – 28 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  57. Pingback: John Ward – Airbus Contrarian View : Did Andreas Lubitz Have Doubts About The A320’s Airworthiness?? – 28 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  58. Pingback: John Ward – Airbus Contrarian View : Did Andreas Lubitz Have Doubts About The A320’s Airworthiness?? – 28 March 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  59. This quote was about another air crash, but it might still be relevant in this one:

    blogs.buffalonews.com…
    “The first piece of advice I got from other reporters and aviation experts when I inquired about covering a plane crash was: “Watch out for people throwing sand in your eyes.” Plane crashes are not just massive tragedies, they said. They’re potential financial disasters for airlines and airplane manufacturers, who will do their utmost to minimize their role in any crash in hopes of minimizing their liability.”

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  60. I saw a report about the flight data black box memory car missing/dislodged and damaged? Have they updated whether they found it?

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  61. Many text ,take photo’s send & when the plane falls or lands they are send automatically so the moment isn’t missed(even if it just to show the meal) to facebook etc,etc

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  62. Entirely relevant also bear in mind that (as I understand it) under French law the French Transport Minister could be held personally liable if it could be proved that there were deficiencies in the product or certification of a French built aircraft leading to an accident and loss of life.

    Re-fighter aircraft have not seen the reports of the presence of fighter aircraft but it would not surprise me.
    It has become standard procedure in many areas to send fighter aircraft up to intercept commercial aircraft that have deviated from their filed flight plans and not responding to air traffic control.
    Make no mistake if the aircraft continues to deviate and does not respond to visual signals and it is likely to enter a highly populated area it will be shot down, better the death of a few aircraft passengers than the death of the passengers plus hundreds on the ground. (Pity the pilot that has to do the “deed” though)

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  63. I suppose it is a bit of a coincidence they found a torn up doctors note instructing him not to work for that day.

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  64. Pingback: A320: Controlled Flight Into Terrain? | Doomstead Diner

  65. Given that all other all other altitude “rate of change” figures appear to be perfectly acceptable, the figure of -14144ft/min stood out like a sore thumb to me.
    Given that as a “rate of change” figure, it cannot be misrepresented as a glitch, especially when nestled among perfectly acceptable data either side.
    Work out, in simple terms, what -14144ft/min represents instantaneously, (perhaps over 0.1- 0.25 seconds), as, bearing in mind that the aircraft altitude hasn’t changed.
    So, if the data is to be believed, to my untrained mind, this figure is either an internal, machine generated time stamp that identifies a new system instruction input, or is being conveniently ignored and explained away.
    Then the course deviation and uneven descent rate.

    I wonder.

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  66. No it was the Ukraine…a fighter airplane knocked it out of the sky. Lots of proof and witness statements confirming this conclusion.

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  67. Chelim Yrneh (@Forthespacemen), if thats the case then truly we live in a wicked world. Do you really think people are that wicked?

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  68. roger dodger – do you really believe jet fuel produces that much energy? Why don’t rockets use it then?

    Deception in 911 and deception at this crash site.

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  69. Mark and Paul: Past experience have shown time and time again, that the media is lying. One day the truth will out, and if you still alive then you will know how stupid you have been.

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  70. Personally, I would like to know more about the rate of Andreas Lubitz’s breathing, as I can’t believe that somebody who knew he was about to die would be breathing in a relaxed manner – surely the rate of his breathing would have increased? Although I don’t speak German, I would like to hear the apparent final recording to gain a sense of what happened in this respect. As previously mentioned on this site, the only person who speaks negatively of Andreas Lubitz is his supposedly illicit girlfriend – everyone else who knew him speaks positively. Surely if he committed an act of suicide/murder there would be other clues as to why he did it, or psychologists would be able to categorize him as having a particular personality disorder – but nothing about him appears to point to him having the personality of a mass murderer, or even someone who was ready to take his own life. I don’t have a hypothesis about what happened, but I am in agreement that the press and the companies involved are very quick to lay the blame on this man, when the second recorder has inconveniently not yet been found. I also note that mentions of the crash are slowly slipping from the media’s attention, and soon this story will be put to rest blaming this man for the crash, and yet with a lack of evidence, and what evidence there is not quite adding up.

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  71. 3rd April 2015 and apparently now, the second flight recorder is found.
    According to flight investigators it confirms the actions of the pilot.
    I have to treat this information as nonsense garbage as, to my mind, the whole episode has been played out in a bizarre fashion.
    What this says for my own black box, the MSM and any Authority outside my own head …………….

    Like

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