Another sad day for the aviation world with the news a Germanwings Airbus A320 flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf has crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps with sadly no survivors.
A distress signal in good weather moments before of the Germanwings A320 airbus Flight 9525 gave no clue to the cause of the tragedy.
“There are no survivors,” said France’s transport minister, Alain Vidalies.
The A320 was just 47 minutes into the flight from Barcelona when its pilot made a distress call at 10.47am local time as the plane crossed southern France. Minutes later, it began falling from the sky. It fell 31,200 feet (nearly 10,000 metres) in just 10 minutes.
The distress signal showed the plane was at 5000 feet in an abnormal situation,
Distraught family and friends of victims have been gathering at Dusseldorf International Airport, where a holding area has been set up inside the terminal.
According to flight data from FlightAware 24, the aircraft was cruising at 38,000 feet at 532mph before it started to lose altitude to 37,975ft with the speed reportedly increasing to 548mph. The last reported radar returns had the aircraft descending to 6800 feet at 434mph. The aircraft took 10 minutes to drop 31,200 feet, suggesting the pilots may have been battling to control or land the plane before it crashed.
The cause of the crash was not immediately known, with weather conditions described as good in the region and the airliner flying at an altitude high above the Alps.
Debris from the airliner, which was carrying 144 passengers and six crew, was found 2000m high in the mountains.
The plane belonged to Germanwings, a low-cost carrier of Cologne-based Lufthansa, which had previously had no fatal accidents.
The single-aisle A320 typically seats 150 to 180 people.
Condolences to all the families and all the souls who were on board.