Germanwings plane crash: What we know so far

(CNN)Families are grieving. Flight crews are in disbelief. Entire countries are in mourning.

That much is clear. But much else about Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed Tuesday in the southern French Alps, is not.

In a disturbing development Thursday, a French prosecutor said that audio from the mangled voice recorder of Germanwings Flight 9525 reveals the captain was locked out of the cockpit while co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appeared to make a deliberate attempt to destroy the plane.

That revelation brings investigators closer to pinpointing who was responsible for the crash, but major questions remain. Chief among them: Why would the plane’s co-pilot crash the plane, and how did it happen?

Here’s the key information that’s available so far, and the big questions that remain.

The flight

Flight 9525 — operated by Germanwings, a low-cost division of Lufthansa — took off at 10:01 a.m. Tuesday from Barcelona, Spain, bound for Dusseldorf, Germany. The plane had 144 passengers and six crew members.

    According to French aviation accident investigators, the plane began descending from its cruising altitude of 38,000 feet at 10:31 a.m. It lost contact with French radar at an altitude of 6,175 feet at 10:40 a.m., the investigators said.

    The plane’s descent, French and German investigators say, started when Lubitz was at the controls.

    New data about the flight released Thursday appeared to support authorities’ claim that someone set the plane on a crash course.

    Transponder data shows that the autopilot was reprogrammed by someone inside the cockpit to change the plane’s altitude from 38,000 feet to 100 feet, according to Flightradar24, a website that tracks aviation data.

    The aircraft crashed in a remote area near Digne-les-Bains in the Alpes de Haute-Provence region. All aboard are presumed dead.

    The big questions: If Lubitz brought the plane down, as it appears, why? And if the co-pilot’s goal was to crash the plane, why wouldn’t he send it into a more rapid descent?

    The final moments

    Air traffic controllers sent out a distress call after radio contact was lost, but the plane’s crew didn’t respond or issue a distress call of their own, the French Civil Aviation Authority said.

    Audio from the plane’s cockpit voice recorder includes normal exchanges between the captain and co-pilot at the beginning of the flight, according Brice Robin, the Marseille prosecutor.

    But after the captain leaves to go to the bathroom, something changes. The recording picks up audio of the captain, who’s somehow locked out of the cockpit, trying to get back in, Robin said.

    Carsten Spohr, the CEO of Germanwings parent company Lufthansa, said it’s not clear whether the captain entered a code to try to get back into the cockpit when he returned, or whether Lubitz “put the lever on lock,” which would have prevented the code from working.

    Lubitz doesn’t say anything in the audio recording during the flight’s descent. But the recording picks up his steady breathing, Robin said, with no sign that he had a heart attack or other medical issue.

    In the final minutes of the flight, it also picks up the sounds of passengers screaming.

    The big question: What happened inside the cockpit during those crucial last minutes?

    The crash site

    The plane went down in a rugged, sparsely populated part of the Alps. A local tourist official told French newspaper Liberation that the crash occurred on a particularly steep area of mountainside.

    Helicopter crews found the airliner in pieces, none bigger than a small car, and human remains strewn for several hundred meters, authorities said.

    German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described it as “a picture of horror.”

    Access to the crash site is reported to be difficult, with no roads leading to it. Authorities began to airlift some victims’ remains from the site Wednesday, a process complicated by freezing weather.

    The big question: How long will it take for search teams to recover all the human remains and key parts of the aircraft wreckage?

    The people on board

    The captain of Flight 9525 had flown for Germanwings for more than 10 years and had more than 6,000 flight hours on the aircraft model, according to the airline.

    Lubitz, the co-pilot, has been with Germanwings since September 2013 and had completed 630 hours of flight time, the airline’s media office said. Lubitz had trained at the Lufthansa flight training center in Bremen, Germany.

    Germanwings hasn’t released details about the four other crew members.

    Details have begun to emerge about some of the passengers on the plane, but officials have cautioned that there is still a degree of uncertainty at this point over who exactly was aboard.

    Spain’s King Felipe VI has said “high numbers of Spaniards, Germans and Turks” were on the aircraft. The Germans included 16 students and two teachers from Joseph-Koenig Gymnasium, a school in the town of Haltern. Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Colombia, the Netherlands and the United States have also been confirmed to have been on the plane by their national governments.

    The big questions: Who was on board, and what are their stories?

    The plane

    The aircraft was a twin-engine Airbus A320, a model that is generally considered to be among the most reliable aircraft, aviation analyst David Soucie said.

    According to information from the Aviation Safety Network accident database, there have been 55 incidents involving the A320, not including Tuesday’s crash.

    In one of the most recent, in December, an Airbus A320 operated by AirAsia Indonesia crashed into the Java Sea en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore. All 162 people on board Flight QZ8501 were killed.

    The plane also made headlines in 2009 when Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger performed the “miracle on the Hudson” emergency landing on a river when his Airbus A320 collided with a flock of geese and lost thrust 2,700 feet over Manhattan.

    The A320 that went down in the Alps was delivered to Lufthansa in 1991, Airbus said. It had clocked roughly 58,300 flight hours over the course of about 47,600 flights, according to the manufacturer. Germanwings said it was last checked Monday in Dusseldorf.

    The big question: It seems unlikely at this point, but did a problem with the plane lead to its descent and eventual crash?

    The investigation

    Hundreds of French firefighters and police officers are involved in the recovery effort in the Alps. Searchers have so far retrieved the cockpit voice recorder, one of the plane’s two “black boxes,” said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. Its exterior was damaged, but investigators were able to recover the audio file.

    Officials said the outside frame of the second “black box” — the flight data recorder — has been found, though not the recorder itself. The flight data recorder stores a vast array of parameters about the aircraft.

    The two devices are expected to be crucial in unraveling what led to the crash, though conclusive answers may not come quickly. Investigators typically spend months analyzing the recorders’ information.

    Police searched Lubitz’s apartment on Thursday, seeking clues about his possible motive.

    The big questions: When will the flight data recorder be found? What will the devices’ full contents reveal about events aboard the plane? And will investigators turn up anything to explain why the co-pilot may have decided to crash it?

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How to measure blood pressure level

The way to measure blood pressure levels is amongst things in everyday life that require precision for the best outcomes. There are numerous elements that affect how to get blood pressure in the perfect way and the standard of the result thereof. These aspects consist of the type of check applied with regards to the brand and whether or not it’s properly calibrated and approved amidst other things.

When shopping for a blood pressure monitor in the first place, it is of paramount importance to go for reputable brands because these will influence how you will take blood pressure with accuracy. Property blood pressure monitor monitoring brand names for example the Omron hypertension keep track of, Microlife blood pressure levels check, Relion blood pressure level keep track of and Lifesource hypertension check have established titles on the blood pressure levels industry with major technologies like individuals capable to identify irregular heart beat and morning high blood pressure levels

When everything is into position, however, there are specific secrets which should be implemented directing how to get blood pressure level effectively with the perfect results. The very first thing you should do is to determine your baseline measurement. Everything that reveals improvement or facilitates evaluation has anything to be analyzed in opposition to.

The most important way of getting exact blood pressure level dimension is thru uniformity. Establishing a standard way of measuring is fairly simple and is performed by determining your blood pressure level simultaneously, relaxing in exactly the same chair,in the identical spot, on a single left arm and using the same cuff for a period of 14 days. Baseline measurement place shows how to get blood pressure level correctly.

1. Get hypertension as well daily

Consuming your hypertension simultaneously during the day everyday helps to ensure that additional factors which may affect your data are secured out. For example our recommendation is that dimensions be done a second time each day among 9am and 6am and two times once again at night in between 6pm and 9pm. The graphic under illustrates the importance of gauging hypertension within the previously mentioned mentioned time periods.

Using blood pressure level every morning during those times allows you to detect any morning hypertension. It is also a time period before which you have not eaten breakfast or engaged in any physical activity that might distort your readings including bathing. Night sizes within the time encouraged over handles the affect of evening hours meals or generally slipping nighttime blood pressure level and stays clear of day time exercise when blood pressure level is normally substantial on account of diverse stresses and pressures that may be away from your handle.

2. Stay in the seat or even in the identical place.

Consuming your hypertension while sitting down is the greatest way on the way to calculate blood pressure level in your own home. Relax your hands on the dinner table with the feet flat on to the ground and never crossed as demonstrated about the appearance. Getting sitting down makes certain that blood flow moves normally without having restrictions in the regular blood pressure levels.

3. Use appropriate cuff size.

Consumption of wrong cuff sizing or exhausted cuffs is the principal reason behind wrong blood pressure level numbers. In order to determine the correct cuff size, home blood pressure monitors come with manuals which shows how to measure your upper arm circumference. Some types including the Relion blood pressure levels keep an eye on perhaps used with added big cuffs for folks whoever arms need a greater dimensions.

The following are easy and quick methods on how to get blood pressure level after after the over number of tips;

Rest and relax for some a few minutes ahead of taking a dimension.

Steer clear of smoking cigarettes, consuming caffeine largely seen in coffee, ingesting, washing or taking some exercise for example sprinting thirty minutes before way of measuring. Cafe as been demonstrated to increase hypertension as further more mentioned in this particular blood and caffeine stress report.

Take away constricting garments on your left arm. Constriction of arterial blood vessels by apparel will provide untrue high blood pressure levels sizes

Not unless of course guided by your medical professional, only use your kept arm to do sizes.

Be continue to during way of measuring. Tend not to figit or discuss.

when putting on a cuff make certain it wraps throughout the arm effectively snugged without getting way too small. You should be able to insert two fingers between the cuff and your arm. That’s the rule.

Before the just ended measurement, take 2-3 munite intervals between measurements to allow your artery to return to its original condition as.

Have a blood pressure level log or log reserve have been you document every and each looking at for the medical professional that will help you effectively analyze and interpret the information.

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Sky is the limit for 3D printing in 2015 – IT

Imagine a world where you don’t have to buy replacement parts for your car or home appliance – you can just print your own.
Picture having the most creative and innovative idea of your life and having the tools and technology at your fingertips to be able to bring it to life. This is the reality of 3D printing, says Natalee Robertson, MakerBot product manager at Rectron South Africa.

The last few years have seen the rise of 3D printing as the technology has developed. However, what has been lacking is an understanding of just how useful this technology can be. That said, there is a lot more evidence that 3D printing is a smart investment, especially as people begin to understand the technology, new players are entering the game, support is increasing and real innovation is beginning to take place across industries.

As global recognition increases, it makes sense that there are several new players entering the 3D printing game. While it is still a difficult market to break into, the established players are investing a lot in their own research and development, which is helping to move things forward by growing support for the industry and resulting in the addition of new composite materials to the mix.

As we all know, nothing new comes without a few stumbling blocks and one of the main ones for 3D printing has been navigating CAD software, which is targeted at engineers. In 2015, however, many companies are coming up with solutions for this, either in the form of better services or by incorporating scanners into their offerings, which means that any design can be uploaded to a desktop 3D printer. This lends itself to the idea that 3D printing truly consolidates the physical and digital world.

The announcement by MakerBot at CES 2015 that it will offer spools of PLA composite materials, created in three categories – metal, stone and wood – later this year is also a major development for the industry. With these new materials, that look realistic, becoming available for home and industry printing, the technology will become more valuable and reach a wider user base.

Currently, the user base largely comes from professional industries with a design focus, such as engineering and architecture, with the biggest print categories being scale model, prototype and art/fashion creation. There is also significant adoption among hobbyists. The opportunities to use 3D printing are endless, and some areas where it has the potential to make a notable impact include:

* Food – NASA is one of the biggest advocates for printed food, because of the logistics involved in feeding astronauts on long-term space travels. They are particularly excited about being able to eat printed pizza on their journeys.

* Transport – 3D printing is playing an increasingly important role in the design and development of vehicles, with the potential to transform not only the way cars are designed, leading to greater efficiency, but their ergonomics and aerodynamics, too. Airplane parts will also be made lighter thanks to 3D printing.

* Surgery – creating artificial body parts is another great use for 3D printing in the healthcare industry. Not only would it speed up the process for patients urgently needing surgery, but it would also give doctors in training the opportunity to practice on life-like models to hone their skills.

* Manufacturing – no longer will manufacturing be synonymous with factories, machine tools and production lines. 3D printing is levelling the playing field and reshaping product development, turning individuals, small businesses and corporate departments into the ‘makers’.

* Education – schools are still in the early stages of adopting 3D printing technology, but its potential in the education space is massive. It can provide teachers with 3D visual aids to illustrate difficult concepts and capture students’ attention, and it can make the classroom more interactive as students can work in a hands-on manner with 3D models and even create their own mini-models.
What is significant for the 3D printing industry is that as more people are acquiring the skills to use it, we are seeing the technology being used in new ways for real innovation. Until now, it has mostly been used to print already-existing objects in a different form; however, as we move into the future, there is a definite trend towards using the advancing technology to develop new ideas and new products, as well as customise these products to make them more useful. In addition, the scope to use this technology to improve a host of situations and industries is immense.

And that is the crux of it all. Yes, we are seeing an increase in the speed of printing coupled with the addition of new features that make the price of a printer more justifiable. But what is driving the tech creep from new innovation at the high end, through to the prosumer and finally the consumer, is the fact that new materials, better software and more developed companies are resulting in more valuable technology with more realistic benefits – and really, the sky is the limit.

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Torn-up sick notes show crash pilot should have been grounded

DUESSELDORF, Germany – German authorities said on Friday they had found torn-up sick notes showing that the pilot who crashed a plane into the French Alps was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the tragedy.

French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.

“Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” said the prosecutors’ office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading.

Torn-up doctor’s notes found in his home would have excused Lubitz from work for medical reasons, for a period that included the day of the crash. That supported the view that Lubitz had “hidden his illness from his employer and his colleagues”, the prosecutors said.

They found no suicide note or confession, “nor was there any evidence of a political or religious background to what happened”, they added.

Germanwings said Lubitz had not submitted any sick note that would have grounded him on Tuesday, March 24, the day of the crash.

In France, authorities said they had recovered between 400 and 600 body parts strewn across the Alpine crash site. No bodies were found intact and DNA testing would be the best way to identify the remains, Patrick Touron, deputy head of the criminal research division of France’s Gendarmerie, told reporters at the site. Investigators would look for pieces of uniform to try to identify the crew including Lubitz.

Lubitz’s mental health – and what Germanwings and parent company Lufthansa knew about it – could become central questions in any future legal case over the crash. Under German law, employees are required to inform their employers immediately if they are unable to work.

A hospital in Duesseldorf said Lubitz had visited to receive a diagnosis as recently as March 10. It would not give further details because of patient confidentiality rules but said media reports he was treated there for depression were inaccurate.

Reports in German media suggested Lubitz had suffered from depression in the past, and that Lufthansa would have been aware of at least some of that history.

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Graham Dwyer’s other passion: flying model aircraft

Graham Dwyer was a keen flyer of model aircraft, his trial heard.

He worked on them almost every day, regularly ordered parts for them from specialist websites around the world, and flew them in races almost every weekend.

His interest developed properly at a flying club in the Phoenix Park and then in Shankill before joining Roundwood Model Aeronautical Club, a club for advanced enthusiasts, in Roundwood, Co Wicklow. He was also a member of the Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland and Shankill Radio Flying Club.

As well as flying the planes at weekends, he would also sometimes go on Wednesdays and Thursdays straight from work, while his wife would use her free time to go sailing in Dún Laoghaire.

He once came fifth in the East Coast Scale Championships.

A Youtube account, believed to be Dwyer’s, features a number of videos which show him flying model airplanes in Wicklow.

The YouTube username is ‘IRL3543’.

During the trial, Chris Clarke, general secretary of the Model Aeronautics Council of Ireland, said Dwyer had been a member since 2000. He said his membership number was IRL3543 and one of the email address on it was IRL3543@gmail.com.

Also giving evidence, Christof Hylinski, a partner at Hydarulic Tattoos, South King Street, Dublin, said his company sent an email about a tattoo on April 28th, 2011, to irl3543@gmail.com.

The description for one of the videos reads: “Graham Dwyer Hangar 9 Denight Special. DDT Racer, Miss Dallas 6S 35c 3300mah with 100amp esc and Actro 24-5 Futaba 3010 servos and rx.”

Another reads: “Great planes little toni OS 95v quits forcing dead stick high speed landing at Roundwood model aeroclub, Co. Wicklow, Ireland. Flown by Graham Dwyer”

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Airbus A320 known as ‘workhorse’ involved in recent crashes

Passengers stand on the wings of a US Airways plane Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River after the Airbus320 lost both engines shortly after taking off in New York in January 2009.BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Passengers stand on the wings of a US Airways plane Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger landed in the Hudson River after the Airbus320 lost both engines shortly after taking off in New York in January 2009.

The Airbus A320, the model of aircraft that crashed Tuesday in the French Alps, is known as an airline industry workhorse that flies short-haul routes worldwide.

Some 3,660 of the planes, which boast a good but not completely clean safety record, are in operation around the world, according to the company.

The single-aisle aircraft typically seats 150 passengers — the number of people believed killed in Tuesday’s Germanwings wreck — and boasts fly-by-wire flight controls “for improved safety and reduced pilot workload, along (with) improved flight smoothness and stability, and fewer mechanical parts.”

It has 0.14 fatal accidents per million takeoffs, a good safety record, according to analysis from Boeing.

Authorities found wreckage of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 that crashed in December, in the Java Sea after it took off from Indonesia.STR/AFP/Getty Images

Authorities found wreckage of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 that crashed in December, in the Java Sea after it took off from Indonesia.

“It’s a delight to fly,” John Cox, a former pilot and CEO of an aviation consulting company, told NBC News. “It’s a highly reliable airplane.”

A total of 18 Airbus A320 planes have been involved in fatal crashes, killing 966 people, since the aircraft was introduced in 1988, according to a database kept by the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. 

“The A320 has a fantastic safety record,” International Bureau of Aviation president Phil Seymour told CNN after the crash on Tuesday. “There have been a couple of incidents, but generally speaking, they’re safer than most aircraft out there now.”

Graphic showing specs for Airbus A320

Details of aviation industry workhorse the Airbus A320

Most recently, 162 people died after an A320, AirAsia flight QZ8501, crashed in December after taking off from Indonesia.

Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger was at the controls of an Airbus A320 when he splash-landed the US Airways jet with 155 people aboard into the Hudson River on Jan. 15, 2009.

That plane lost both engines after flying through a flock of birds shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport and Sullenberger was hailed a hero for keeping all of his passengers alive and uninjured as he expertly steered the plane onto the river.

FEB. 24, 2014 FILE PHOTOOliver Berg/AP

A Germanwings Airbus A320 was involved in Tuesday’s crash in the French Alps.

An Airbus A320 crash in August 2000 left 143 people dead after a Gulf Air jetliner from Cairo plummeted into the Persian Gulf as it prepared to land in Bahrain.

The Germanwings plane in Tuesday’s crash was 24 years old — near the end of usability for a commercial jet, according to Reuters — and had accumulated about 58,300 flight hours during some 46,700 flights.

Authorities have not said what caused the crash, but the jet, en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, plummeted 32,000 feet in eight minutes as it came to rest near the Alps town of Meolans-Revels.

With News Wire Services

sgoldstein@nydailynews.com

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Early report offers a few details, but not why plane crashed in West Boynton

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board released a report of the March 2 plane crash in West Boynton that killed two, but the findings do not clearly identify what caused the accident.

lRelated Photos: Plane crash-lands on Florida's Turnpike
NewsPhotos: Plane crash-lands on Florida’s TurnpikeSee all related

The single-engine plane went down in the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge just before 1 p.m. According to the report released Wednesday, the single-engine plane flew over the refuge for about 25 minutes before it crashed, and there was no flight plan for the trip.

Once the plane hit the ground, officials said, it burst into flames. A pilot, David Whitney, 64, and a student pilot, William Mahn, 66, were killed.

It is unclear who was flying the plane when it crashed.

Witnesses told investigators they saw the plane overheard and heard a loud bang that sounded like a cylinder misfire — similar to a car backfiring. The engine revved up and was followed by another loud bang, according to the report.

As witnesses came up to the wreck, they said the plane caught fire.

“I heard the props go, ‘whiiiirrrrr’ and then it must have nose-dived in,” said Ron Bradshaw, who was fishing at the preserve and saw the crash. “And boom, that was it.”

The plane was severely damaged, investigators said, and parts of the plane were detached. Everything but the tail and the cockpit hull were destroyed in the fire, investigators said.

One of 2 men killed in plane crash was highly experienced pilot

One of 2 men killed in plane crash was highly experienced pilot Adam Sacasa and Ken Kaye David John Whitney was certified to fly jumbo jets, seaplanes, a corporate jet, helicopters and gliders. You name it, and Whitney likely knew how to fly it. David John Whitney was certified to fly jumbo jets, seaplanes, a corporate jet, helicopters and gliders. You name it, and Whitney likely knew how to fly it. ( Adam Sacasa and Ken Kaye ) –>

First responders came from the Sheriff’s Office, the Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Records show Whitney was a highly experienced pilot.

He was authorized to pilot older model jet liners, such as Boeing 727s, and jumbo jets such as the Boeing 777. He was also experienced in flying the type of plane that crashed, a Colyaer Freedom S100 N787Z. According to the report, he had logged 149 hours of flying airplanes of that make and model.

In total, Whitney had 19,400 hours of flying experience. He had also recently received an FAA first-class medical certificate, which was issued a month prior to his death.

Records show Mahn received his pilot certificate in February 2014.

kjacobson@sunsentinel.com, 561-243-6547 or Twitter @katejacobson

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