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Germanwings Crash: “At this stage of the investigation, no scenario should be ruled out,” according to the BEA

Useable sound bits


The office of investigations and analyses was able to extract sound data from the first black box of the flight of the company Germanwings. Elements that we must, right now, take the time to analyze before drawing any conclusions around the dramatic causes of the crash. Because as of today, no scenario should be ruled out.



“We heard voices.”

Rémi Jouty, director of the Investigations and Analyses Office (BEA) confirmed that his teams were able to extract useable sound data from the first black box, found at the site of the crash of the Airbus A320 of the company Germanwings.

But today, no conclusions can be drawn on the causes of this accident, where 150 people have perished. No scenario should be ruled out.

“This audio file is usable, the sound is not degraded. But it is too early to draw any conclusions of sorts.”

Rémi Jouty remained very careful, not wanting to comment on the rumors that have been circulating all over the press since the day of the crash.

It is also impossible, as of now, to confirm if this recording contains the last seconds of the flight, which would be crucial to understand the reasons leading to this tragedy.

Days if not weeks to make the data useable

The only sure thing, the aircraft did not explode mid-flight.

“The debris are small and concentrated on a zone of one to two acres, this means that the plane kept flying until the moment of impact.”

The analysis of the radar data also confirms this statement.

At 9:30 am, the pilots exchanged a last routine message with the control tower, to confirm their trajectory.

One minute later, the aircraft began its descent, for around ten minutes, until the impact. It was a regular descent, compatible to a plane controlled by a man or an automatic pilot.

The last position recorded by the radars shows an altitude of 6000 feet at 7:40 pm, matching the same altitude as the spot of the crash.

Contrarily to the declarations made by François Hollande during the press conference on March 25th at the site of the tragedy, the BEA confirmed not having found the enveloppe of the second black box.

But Rémi Jouty is rather optimistic on the chances of finding it.

“The debris are localized on a site of an area of one or two acres. Even though our investigators are working with ropes and harnesses in difficult conditions, we will end up finding the recorder, that has been built to resist very severe shocks.”

However, the investigators will not wait to be in possession of this second black box to begin the retranscriptions of the conversations heard on the first. A time-consuming task, that could take days if not weeks, according to Rémi Jouty.

A necessary time to understand the exact circumstances of the tragedy, but it might feel really long for the families of the victims.
The first black box of the flight Germanwings has usable sounds. They now need to be analyzed to understand the causes of the tragedy. DR-BEA
The first black box of the flight Germanwings has usable sounds. They now need to be analyzed to understand the causes of the tragedy. DR-BEA

Written by Laury-Anne CHOLEZ translated by Joséphine Foucher the 28/03/2015
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