This is the Germanwings Airbus A320 (D-AIPX) involved in the crash, seen on 3/14/15 at Zurich Airport – Photo: Aero Icarus | Flickr CC
Today, a Germanwings Airbus A320 (registration D-AIPX) crashed in the Alps in southeastern France. The aircraft was carrying 144 passengers and six crew members and there are no survivors. The flight left at about 10:01am local time from Barcelona and was on its way to Dusseldorf. The crash happened near the village of Prads-Haute-Bleaone, at an altitude of about 6,550 feet. The search will be difficult, since the plane crashed in a remote, mountainous area.
The descent of flight 9525 – Image: Google Earth | @GueardedDon
According to FlightAware, it appears that flight 9525 descended in a controlled manner from 38,000 feet at 1500 to 4000 fpm. The aircraft hit cruise altitude at about 10:45am and then started descent at 10:46am and lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) at about 10:53am.
Airports are a complicated part of the airline business. Planes, vehicles, and people are constantly in motion, sometimes 24 hours per day. This video gives a pretty good idea of what goes down, during the typical day at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).
It is still unreal that Full Aviation Geek Fest (AGF) tickets sold out in less than 30 seconds. We know that there are many of you who were hoping to get tickets and weren’t able to get them. That bites and we are sorry – blame it on the old rule of “supply and demand.” There were also some technical issues that popped up because of the overwhelming demand that didn’t make things any easier. Again, we apologize. We are looking how to improve the process in the future (and hopefully allow more people to enjoy this epic event), but for now, we still have AGF15 to look forward to!
UPDATE 2/4/15 7:00AM PST: The Associated Press is reporting that the death toll from the accident has risen to 25, with 18 people still unaccounted for. Per civil aviation authorities in Taiwan, the pilot had logged nearly 5,000 flight hours. The cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder (“Black Boxes”) have been recovered, which should assist authorities in determining the cause(s) of the crash.
TransAsia Flight 235 (GE235), an ATR72-600, has crashed during takeoff while en route from Taipei Sung Shan (TSA) to Kinmen Shang-Yi Airport (KNH), in the Fujian Province. The aircraft, reg# B-22816, was only 10 months old at the time of the crash.
Rescuers and passengers can be seen on the bank with the TransAsia ATR72 in the background – Photo: Yung Jen
Video and photos show the aircraft at a steep angle flying over an overpass and then into the Keelung River. At the time of this update, there have been three reported passenger deaths with another few injured.
Bernie standing in front of a Air Koryo IL-62 – Photo: Bernie Leighton
We always love when other media outlets want to share some AvGeek goodness. This story posted today on CNN, written by Thom Patterson, talks about some of the adventures that our Bernie Leighton and others have had chasing old Russian metal in North Korea. Here is an except:
The moment he stepped aboard the North Korean airliner, Bernie Leighton felt like he’d entered a Cold War time machine.
For an aviation enthusiast like Leighton, it was nothing short of thrilling. After years of anticipation, Leighton, a real estate investor, finally snagged a seat on a rare 1980s Soviet-built Ilyushin IL-62 airliner.
Air Koryo’s IL-76 with a Russian made ground-start vehicle – Photo: Bernie Leighton
Patriotic military music filled the cabin. Flight attendants handed out communist propaganda magazines. As Leighton put it, that 2012 flight on Air Koryo airlines from Beijing to Pyongyang was an experience “beyond belief.”
That’s high praise. Leighton may rank among the most accomplished “avgeeks” in the world. He said he’s flown on at least 50 kinds of aircraft and racked up an estimated 2 million air miles.
“The IL-62, by Western standards, was quite old, but it was actually one of the newer planes I flew on while I was there,” Leighton said. Only a handful still fly in commercial service worldwide, he said.