Germanwings Flight crashes into Alps, 150 feared dead

24 Mar 2015
Germanwings Flight crashes into Alps, 150 feared dead
  • Around 150 people died when a Germanwings plane crashed while flying from Barcelona in Spain to Dusseldorf in Germany.
  • The plane crashed into a remote area of the French Alps, descending a minute after reaching its cruising height of 38,000 ft.
  • The plane lost all contact with French air traffic controllers at about 6000 ft and crashed into a mountain.

Deadliest air-crash after 1981

Fact
Historical

This Germanwings air crash is the deadliest air disaster of France after the crash of Inex-Adria Aviopromet Flight 1308 in 1981, which killed 180 people.

Investigations begin as cockpit recordings are found

25 Mar 2015
 Investigations begin as cockpit recordings are found
  • Marseille prosecutors had started investigating the Germanwings air crash using a black box containing cockpit recordings.
  • The process of extracting audio from the recordings began.
  • The experts were baffled over why the pilots failed to send any distress signals during the 8 minute long descent.
  • There was no possibility of sudden drop in the pressure also, which could lead to the plane crash.

Co-pilot was ‘unfit to work’

27 Mar 2015
 Co-pilot was ‘unfit to work’
  • The Germanwings co-pilot who was flying the 4U9525 flight was believed to have intentionally crashed the plane.
  • Investigators had found a sick note declaring the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, unfit to work following some kind of illness.
  • Following these reports, Lufthansa, Germanwings' parent company, announced that they would introduce a new rule which requires the presence of 2 members in the cockpit at all times.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was suicidal

30 Mar 2015
 Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was suicidal
  • The co-pilot - Andreas Lubitz had a history of depression, suicidal tendencies and had received psychotherapy treatments in the past.
  • Later on, it was found that Lubitz had increased his visits to the doctors before the final days of the flight.
  • His browser history suggested that he had plotted the crashing of the plane by researching about recent intentional airline disasters.

Germanwings crash victims’ remains identified

19 May 2015
 Germanwings crash victims’ remains identified
  • The remains of all the victims of the Germanwings crash had been identified.
  • The human remains and the plane debris was gathered by the recovery workers in the remote and steep mountain region of the French Alps.
  • The remains were then sent to the forensic department who identified them using DNA testing.

Victims’ remains arrive in Germany after 11 weeks

10 Jun 2015
 Victims’ remains arrive in Germany after 11 weeks
  • The remains of the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 arrived in Germany, 11 weeks after the disastrous crash took place.
  • A cargo plane carried the remains of 44 German citizens from Marseille, France.
  • The family and friends of the victims will be allowed to visit the coffins in order to come to terms with the death of their loved ones.

Germanwings Crash: French prosecutors widen probe

12 Jun 2015
 Germanwings Crash: French prosecutors widen probe
  • French Prosecutor, Brice Robin has said that the magistrates heading the case of the Germanwings crash cannot simply blame co-pilot Andreas Lubitz without investigating for system failures.
  • The new probe has found that Lubitz had a fear of losing his vision prior to flying the flight on 24 March 2015.
  • His fear led him to consume anti-depressants and caused anxiety and sleeplessness.

Parents decry Lufthansa attitude, payout

21 Jul 2015
Parents decry Lufthansa attitude, payout
  • The relatives of children killed in the Germanwings plane crash demanded an apology from Lufthansa, saying it ignored them and offered an "insulting" payout.
  • The letter from parents in Haltern, Germany, said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr prioritised customers over victims.
  • The airline said Mr Spohr had spoken with families and that Lufthansa pledged to pay them up to €85,000.

Germany to conduct spot drug tests on pilots

27 Dec 2015
Germany to conduct spot drug tests on pilots
  • Germany planned to introduce legislation requiring random drug and alcohol testing of pilots, hoping to reduce the risk of a repeat of the Germanwings crash.
  • The plans follow the recommendation of a taskforce set up by the German Transport Ministry, after the deadly crash.
  • Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt said, "Experts around the world see positive effects from this to boost operational safety in aviation."

No more 'medical confidentiality' for pilots?

14 Mar 2016
No more 'medical confidentiality' for pilots?
  • French investigators have called for medical confidentiality to be relaxed for pilots, in the wake of the Germanwings disaster.
  • The report, by the BEA investigation agency, said confidentiality had to be balanced with the risk an individual might pose to public safety.
  • It was also critical of pilots being able to make self-declarations about their health which allowed them to hide any illnesses.