Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A320 crash in Alps claims 150

A 24-year-old Germanwings A320 with 144 passengers and a crew of six crashed near Prads-Haute-Bleone in the French Alps today. There were no survivors. Among the dead were 16 German school children and two teachers. Authorities said the plane, on a flight between Barcelona, Spain, and Duesseldorf, Germany, went into a sudden, steep descent before crashing in rugged terrain at a site between Digne and Barcelonnette, 65 miles north of the French Riviera city of Nice. A black box has been recovered. Germanwings is a low-cost subsidiary of Lufthansa. Airbus confirmed the plane is 24 years old and was first delivered to Lufthansa in 1991. It was powered by two CFM International engines. Reuters reports that routine maintenance was done on the jetliner by Lufthansa on Monday. The plane had 58,300 flight hours and 46,700 flights. The A320 is a workhorse of the industry with a good safety record. (Sources: USA Today, BBC News, Reuters, Airbus, 03/24/15) Gulf Coast note: Airbus will open an A320 assembly line in Mobile, Ala., this year.