Airbus A320 Germanwings aircraft, a subsidiary of Lufthansa airlines has crashed in the French Alps between Barcelonnette and Digne. All 148 passengers travelling in the aircraft are feared to be dead. The French president, Francis Hollande, said that initial reports of the accident suggest that no survivors are expected. The crash site was near the popular ski resort of Pra Loup, at Meolans-Revels.
Pierre-Henry Brandet, the French Interior Ministry spokesman, said that the Germanwings Airbus A320 plane sent out a distress signal at 10:45 am (local time). It then crashed in a mountainous region at an altitude of nearly 2,000 meters (6,550 feet). The search is expected to be extremely long and difficult because of the remoteness of the region.
The cause of the crash has not been confirmed yet. However, weather may be a reason for the accident. The area between Barcelona and Dusseldorf has been experiencing overcast conditions accompanied by rain and snow. The mountainous terrain over which the aircraft was flying is treacherous and the inclement weather conditions may have resulted in the crash.
Also, due to turbulence associated with thunderclouds, it may have become difficult for the pilot to control the aircraft. The aircraft was flying at an altitude of over 40,000 feet. It then descended to below 10,000 feet. The thick of the weather is even more intense in the lower levels.
The mountainous terrain is capable of giving turbulence thereby throwing the aircraft up and down. Sometimes, when a pilot encounters a bad weather situation, it results in panic. The panic reaction may then lead to impulsive behavior on the pilot’s part, thereby leading to disastrous results.
(Image Credit: The Guardian)