2015-03-24 Germanwings A320 crashed in southern France

2015-03-24 Germanwings A320 crashed in southern France

2015-03-24 Germanwings A320 crashed in southern France


2016-03-13 BEA released the final investigation report.

© BEA | Youtube

BEA Final Report: [LINK] (pdf file)


BEA – Excerpt | The Probable Cause:




Date: 2015-03-24 Time: 10:40
Location: southern France
Country: France
Flight phase: ENR – Cruise, Descent, Holding
Damage to a/c: hull loss

Flight no.:
From: LEBL/BCN: Barcelona To: EDDL/DUS: Dusseldorf
Type: Passenger
Operator: Germanwings

The Airbus A320 was in cruiseflight at 38.000 feet flying along airway UN853 when radar shows a rapid descent until it went off the screens at 6000 feet.

Germanwings scheduled flight 4U 9525 (GWI18G) from Barcelona to Dusseldorf proceeded from point SOSUR via ROTIS – ADITA – MAXIR to LUSOL (see map) before its further flight abruptly discontinued.

The aircraft took off from runway 07R at Barcelona El Prat International Airport at 10:01L, followed upper airway UN870 over the Mediterranean Sea until it reached its final cruise level of 38000 feet at 10:35L .

At this time the A320 was flying with about 470 knots (ADSB-measured airspeed) about 15 NM southwest of Toulon, France. Only one minute later it began a gradual descent until 10:53L when all radar contact was lost.

The wreckage was later found by two french police helicopters in mountainous terrain near the town of Barcelonette in southern France.

There were survivors.

Impact site is situated on steep mountain slopes at an altitude of 5488 feet (1670 m).
Coordinates: 44.2705° North / 06.4289° East

According to Germanwings, the aircraft underwent its last routine check through LH maintenance yesterday, 23rd of MAR. The last C-Check was in summer 2013.

The captain was over 10 years with Germanwings and got 6.763 hours flight experience 3.811 hours on Airbus a320 aircraft, 259 hours as pilot in command.

The copilot (27) has 919 total flying hours, 540 of them on Airbus A320 aircraft.

On MAR 26th, the french state attorney reported that there was only the co-pilot in the cockpit in the final phase of flight. The captain has left the cockpit earlier for the toilet immediately after the flight reached its cruise altitude.
The captain  – or any other person from inside the cabin – had no chance to gain access because the cockpit door remained in locked position from inside.

In the investigation process, the experts gained sufficient evidence to believe the co-pilot acted in deliberately, most likely to commit suicide. 

On MAR 27th, it was known by german state attorney, that the co-pilot was in psychological treatment. Apparently he suffered from depression, a fact he concealed from his employer. 

On May 6th the french BEA published a preliminary report confirming the presumtion of an unlawful interference. 

26 seconds after the pilot-in-command left the cockpit, the co-pilot changed the target altitude in the flight control unit from 38.000 ft. to only 100 ft. and selected the „Open Descent Mode“.  This configuration was maintained until impact 10 minuters and 12 seconds later.

The BEA also analysed the previous flight from Dusseldorf to Barcelona during which the co-pilot needlessly changed the autopilot altitude setting to 100 feet when the captain was out of the cockpit. He quickly restored the cleared flight level again after a few seconds.

BEA preliminary report: [LINK] (pdf file)

Aircraft Flight History D-AIPX, A320 -> DOWNLOAD Txt file

Germanwings flight 4U 9525 flightroute map for the german book „Crashtest. Die verborgenen Risiken des Fliegens„, by Andreas Spaeth -> LINK

Abb05 KAP02_D-AIPX_A320_GWI9525@Barcelonette_MAP1-FINAL700px
© Jacdec.de

List of European Airlines
implementing 4-eyes principle in cockpit

European Aviation Safety Agency – recommends a minimum of 2 crewmembers in cockpit


bold = with immediate effect / already imposed

normal = not yet imposed / awaiting approval

Air Baltic, Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Condor, Easyjet, Eurowings, Germanwings, Germania, Icelandair, Jet2, Lufthansa, Monarch Arlines, Norwegian, Ryanair, Scandinavian Airlines,  Swiss Airlines, Thomas Cook, TUIfly, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Wizz Air

List of airline accidents caused by deliberate crew action

 Embraer E-190
 Bwabwata Nat. Park, Namibia
 captain locked himself in cockpit and flew into ground
 McDD MD-82
 China Northern AL
 South China Sea, off Dalian
 passenger set fire in cabin in order to commit suicide
 B767 + B757
 American AL + United AL
 New York + Washington + Pennsylvania, USA
 islamic terrorists seized control during flight and flew into prominent buildings, one crashed on the countryside
 ~ 3000
 Boeing 767-300
 off Nantucket, USA
 crashed into sea due to possible suicide act by relief co-pilot
 Air Botswana
 Gaborone Airport, Botswana
 a grounded pilot captured the aircraft and crashed into 2 other ATR´s
 Boeing 737-300
 off Palembang, Indonesia
 captain entered steep dive and crashed when co-pilot was out of the cockpit
 Royal Air Maroc
 Tizounine area, Morocco
 deliberately flown into ground by captain
 BAe 146
 PSA Airlines
 Paso Robles, CA, USA
 digruntled former employee shot both pilots during cruiseflight
 Douglas DC-8-60
 Japan AL
 Tokyo-Haneda area, Japan
on final approach , WW2 traumatised pilot delibertely forced  the DC-8 into the sea

© JACDEC Database

BEA Preliminary Report


BEA Preliminary Report






Filed en-route airway of 4U 9525 © skyvector.com


Any additions or corrections ?
Please e-mail us


Aircraft Involved

© S. Siegenthaler | Planespotters.net

Type: Airbus A320
Registration: D-AIPX
Engines: CFM-56-5A5
Age a/c: 24,3 years
Cycles: 46700
TT: 58300 h
Constr. No.: 147

Occupants & Casualties

Crew Pax Other Total
Occupants 6 144 0 150
Fatalities 6 144 0 150
Injuries 0 0 0 0

GERMAN HOTLINE 0800 11 33 55 77
or  (+0049) (0)30 5000 3000

JACDEC 25-year Statistics :

  • 1st fatal occurence for the operator
  • 11th fatal occurence of type (Airbus A320)
  • 17th safety occurence in France
  • 1st safety occurence for aircraft in question

Worst Accidents with German Airlines :

  • 1972-08-12 Interflug IL-62 Königswusterhausen, 156 fatalities
  • 2015-03-24 Germanwings A320, southern France, 150 fatalities
  • 1974-11-20 Lufthansa B747, Nairobi Airport, 59 fatalities
  • 1975-09-01 Interflug Tu-134, Leipzig Airport, 27 fatalities

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AP = Airport / AL = Airlines / Avn = Aviation / AW = Airways / C/N: Construction Number / DSP = Domestic Scheduled Passenger / DNP = Domestic Non-Scheduled Passenger / DSC = Domestic Scheduled Cargo / DNC= Domestic Non-Scheduled Cargo / GND = On the ground / parked, stored / FMN= Flying Mission, Air Work / FRY = Ferry-, Positioning Flight / IMC = Intrument Meteorological (flying) Conditions / ISP = International Scheduled Passenger / ISC=International Scheduled Cargo / INP = International Non-Scheduled Passenger / INC =International Non-Scheduled Cargo/ OPS = Flight Operation(s) / NRV = Non-revenue, Private Flight / TRN =Training Flight /  TST = Test & Certification Flight / VMC = Visual Meteorological (flying) Conditions