Around 40-45 minutes into Germanwings 4U9525 flying at 38,000 feet southeast of Marseille, France, an Airbus A320 without warning initiated a rapid descent.
Final Feverish Moments Inside Germanwings Flight 4U9525.
On Tuesday, March 24, French officials and crash investigators shocked everyone around the world, when it was determined that the cockpit safety and security protocols were breached in the final ten minutes inside an Airbus A320-200 airliner, registration D-AIPX, performing as Lufthansa low-cost subsidiary carrier Germanwings flight 4U9525.
The flight departed from Barcelona, Spain en route to Dusseldorf, Germany for an anticipated nearly two-hour normal flight plan, carrying 144 passengers and 6 Germanwings crew.
Captain Patrick Sondenheimer, pilot of Germainwings flight 4U9525, was one of 150 people who died on Tuesday, March 24, when the plane crashed in the French Alps traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, according to a CNN report.
He had logged more than 6,000 hours of flight time, had been with Germanwings since May 2014 and had worked with Lufthansa and Condor before that, the Germanwings press office said.
The flight was anticipated to be normal flight plan, whereupon around 40-45 minutes into the flight at 38,000 feet and about 30 nautical miles southeast of Marseille, France, the Airbus A320-200 airliner suddenly without warning initiated a rapid descent.
“France’s Air Traffic Control reported there had been no emergency call from the aircraft. There had been confusion initially, Marseille controllers declared a Mayday distress call for the aircraft, when they observed the aircraft below safe altitude,” according to Aviation Herald.
Radar contact with the aircraft was lost at about 6800 feet at around 10:41 (local time) (09:41 Zulu), approximately 12 nautical miles southwest of Barcelonnette, France, and 75 nautical miles northeast of Marseille.
Upon crashing into the terrain of the French Alps at 700 kilometers per hour (or slightly less than 400 nautical miles per hour), wreckage and debris of the doomed flight was dispersed across the remote region at 1673 meters or 5488 feet elevation, as all 150 passengers and crew on board perished.
“The victims included babies and schoolchildren going home from an exchange visit, a pair of acclaimed opera singers, three generations of the same family, a vacationing mother and son, people on business trips and others going home,” according to Salon and the Associated Press.
Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann said the airline has contacted victims’ families. He said the 144 passengers and six crew members included 72 Germans, 35 Spaniards, three Americans (including a mother and her daughter, the U.S. State Department has confirmed), and two people each from Australia, Argentina, Iran, Venezuela, and one person each from Britain, the Netherlands, Colombia, Mexico, Japan, Denmark, Belgium and Israel. Several of the victims may have had dual nationalities in that Spain’s government said 51 citizens had died in the crash, and British authorities confirmed 3 British citizens were also killed.
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