GermanWings 4U9525: Falsenotes In Established Narrative.

Breathtaking Disasters such as the recent crash in French Alps of Flight 4U9525 operating from Barcelona to Dusseldorf operated by GermanWings, a Lufthansa Group subsidiary, always attract “riveting” focus of mainstream media bordering on voyeurism. In the race between media houses to “Breaking News”, “instant “leaks” and “possible theories” start doing rounds, and with their endless repetitions soon acquire aura of infallible truth; no doubt, aided by dubious experts acting as talking heads holding forth dearly to “their version” on talk-shows. This is the tragedy of 24×7 news that highly speculative and presumptive narratives parroted by high priests of MSM overtake completely serious and methodical investigations to the point of rendering them infructuous. Before the French Air Accident Investigation Agency –BEA– has had a chance to get hold of necessary tools -Flight Data Recorder [FDR] and Cockpit Voice Recorder [CVR]- to analyse what happened, the media has gone to town with a definitive theory that it was the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, –suffering from depression, vision problems, love breakup– who deliberately and intentionally destroyed the plane [and murdered all 150 aboard, this last media did not say].
When a “narrative” takes hold of popular imagination, the danger of perceptions and faculties of even honest and diligent investigators getting jaded is a real one, and then mental laziness too can set in. Together, this may foreclose the possibility of looking at the evidence on hand objectively after it is obtained and to check if there are other explanations/ hypotheses that better fit the evidence. Instead, recourse may be taken to easy way of fitting the evidence to the already established dominant narrative. One way this happens is to accord higher weightage to evidence that fits the narrative and simultaneously disregard or degrade weightage given to evidence that does not fit. Such cognitive tinkering happens even to the best minds unknown to their conscious faculty. Probably, recognising this danger, though it was not stated clearly like this, France’s leading pilots union said it was going to file a suit against unknown person/s for leaking CVR conversations to the media.

Guillaume Schmid of France’s SNPL union toldThe Associated Press on Friday that the lawsuit is over violating a French law on keeping information about investigations secret while they are ongoing. The lawsuit doesn’t name an alleged perpetrator, a method in French law that leaves investigators to determine who is at fault. “We can understand there is a certain pressure, a wish to know,” Schmid said — but he warned that leaking information too early can mislead the public instead of informing accurately. The French air accident investigation agency, the BEA, “will never be able to satisfy the demand for immediate information. … It is designed to resist that,” and instead is meant to focus on “establishing irrefutable facts, he said. European Cockpit Association also expressed concern about the leaks and urged further investigation before drawing final conclusions.

This received support from the international pilots federation too, which was more scathing in its criticism of the leaks..
The International Federation of Air Line Pilots’ Associations (IFALPA) deplores and condemns yesterday’s leaking of certain elements of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the Germanwings flight 4U9525,” the association said in a statement. “Not only do these leaks contravene the internationally agreed principles of accident investigation confidentiality set out in ICAO Annex 13, they are also a breach of trust to all those involved in the investigation and to the families of the victims.” IFALPA represents more than 100,000 pilots in more than 100 countries worldwide. IFALPA said the sole purpose of a CVR is to aid investigators in determining the factors leading to an accident and not to apportion blame or be used outside of its safety context. CVR details, it said, should only be publicly released following a thorough and complete investigation of the events that occurred, and not prematurely during the course of the field portion of the accident investigation. Leaking premature, unanalyzed, and partial CVR recordings, which lack the context of the entire body of factual investigative data, severely interferes with the investigative process, and can only lead to early conclusions on what exactly occurred during the time leading up to the accident,” the union said. “Any other use of CVR data is not only invalid, but is an unacceptable invasion of privacy best described as a search for sensationalism and voyeurism of the worst kind. It is vital for the investigating body to ensure all information under their control is properly handled until the completion of the investigation.”
After I had finished writing this, I came across an article shared by a friend on one group: “Germanwings crash: Not the full story? “. Joe Quinn points out why the popular narrative could be outright wrong.

When dealing with airplane crashes, the most important information, even more important than the cockpit voice recordings, is the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or ADR (Accident Data Recorder). The FDR records instructions sent to all electronic systems on an aircraft, including the auto-pilot and the security system for the entry to the cockpit. Whatever information might be provided by the conversation between the pilot and co-pilot in the cockpit would have to be corroborated or confirmed by the hard data from the FDR. Analyzing this data naturally takes several days or weeks, so it was surprising that, within 24 hours of the crash, the New York Times had cited an unnamed “senior French military official” as saying that one of the pilots was locked out of the cockpit by the other and that was what caused the crash… The precipitous release of this information appears to have undermined the official investigation that is being conducted by the French ‘Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety’ (BEA) a civilian, not military, agency of the French government responsible for investigating aviation accidents, and established a narrative that has become the official truth of what happened to the planeit was deliberately crashed by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz.

Right now the established narrative is hinged upon the leaks of CVR transcripts and the leaks about co-pilot’s mental illness. Far more damning is what Gerard Arnoux, an Air France captain for 18 years with extensive experience on Airbus-A320 -the aircraft involved in the incident, had to say on French channel, Canal Plus. Arnoux says that the cockpit of the version of A320 involved in the crash is so noisy that normally pilot and copilot have to communicate with each other using headphones. Therefore, most of what is reported in the leaked transcripts of CVR recordings, he feels, is impossible to have got onto CVR so clearly as to be heard in playback unambiguously later on; especially the much made about “Normal Breathing” of co-pilot until the very end. The second point he makes is that if the sounds and shouts of the pilot to gain reentry into the cockpit are reportedly heard so clearly; then why the incessant and harsh beeping sound inside the cockpit that is triggered when a code based emergency access, which the pilot is sure to have tried before picking up an axe to break the door, fails. Just these two points drive a massive hole through the established narrative. Below are two video clips of discussion in which Arnoux makes these point, first from the original French channel and the other, same clip on Vimeo, with English translation.
Joe Quinn hints at who could be behind the leaks and would likely benefit from the ….depressed copilot deliberately destroyed the plane… theory. I give below what he has to say and leave the reader to draw her own conclusions.  

In terms of the way this ‘investigation’ has been handled, it bears similarities to the case of Egypt Air Flight 990. That crash was most likely the result of an anomalous weather event that proved too much for the mechanical constraints of the aircraft, but from Boeing’s point of view, a “suicide pilot” is a much more financially-appealing explanation, so they went with that and opened a criminal investigation, much to chagrin of the Egyptian authorities.

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