Aviation Accidents

Germanwings Flight 9525: A Horrid Tragedy

Germanwings Flight 9525, scheduled to fly from Barcelona to Düsseldorf on March 24, 2015, ended in a devastating tragedy. The Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, including 144 passengers and 6 crew members.

Intentional Act:

Investigations revealed that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately caused the crash. While the captain was briefly out of the cockpit, Lubitz locked him out and initiated a descent. Despite the captain’s attempts to regain entry, Lubitz continued the descent, leading to the plane’s collision with the mountain.

Prior Struggles:

Evidence showed Lubitz had previously undergone treatment for depression and concealed his condition from his employer. This raised concerns about pilot mental health screening and monitoring procedures.

Safety Measures Enhanced:

The Germanwings crash prompted significant changes in aviation safety. Airlines implemented stricter mental health assessments for pilots, and procedures for securing the cockpit door were reviewed and reinforced.

The plane crashed north-west of Nice in the French Alps

Now, the plane had descended to about 13000 feet. At this point, Sondenheimer was still trying to open the cockpit door with the help of a crowbar a flight attendant brought from the back of the plane, and Lubitz was still not responding. He put an oxygen mask on his face, and continued descending the plane.

At 7000 feet, the altitude alarm on the plane went off, warning Lubitz to pull up the nose of the plane. Seconds later, at 5000 feet, the right wing of the plane got into contact with a mountainside, causing the wing to get clipped. The plane dropped to a cruising altitude of just 5,000 feet from 38,000 feet in about 8 minutes. And moments later, the plane crashed into the mountain at about 648 km/h. The plane crashed 100 km (62 mi; 54 nmi) north-west of Nice in the French Alps.

Germanwings Flight 9525
Germanwings Flight 9525
image source: Katrina Roberts

There weren’t any survivors from the crash. All 144 passengers and 5 crew of the plane had been killed during the impact, in addition to Lubitz. The French and German governments started different investigations on the crash, and they detected the cause behind the crash. It was the co-pilot, Lubitz, intentionally causing the crash, and killing 149 people with him.

Pilots of the Flight 9525

The pilots of the flight 9525 was Captain Patrick Sondenheimer and co-pilot Andreas Lubitz. 34-year-old Captain Patrick Sondenheimer, who had 10 years of flying experience (6,000 flight hours, including 3,811 hours on the Airbus A320) flying A320s for Germanwings, Lufthansa, and Condor. The co-pilot was 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz, who joined Germanwings in September 2013 and had 630 flight hours of experience, with 540 of them on the Airbus A320.

Germanwings Flight 9525
Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

Aircraft of Germanwings Flight 9525

The plane was Airbus A320 with registration number D-AIPX. It was delivered to Lufthansa on June 2, 1991. D-AIPX joined the Germanwings fleet in 2014. According to a statement from Airbus, the Germanwings jet had accumulated 58,300 flight hours on 46,700 flights. And the plane was powered by a pair of General Electric/SNECMA CFM-56 5A1 turbofan engines before the crash.

Remembering the Lost:

The loss of life on Germanwings Flight 9525 remains a profound tragedy. The victims are remembered by their loved ones and serve as a constant reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and robust aviation safety measures.

References and Sources