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btacon

Helios 733 crash north of Athens

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121 people on board... plane slammed into terrain at full speed. Preliminary indication looks like crew incapacitated by decompression or an act of terrorism. F-16 pilots reported no one in the left seat and the FO slumped over in the right... Not a good month for commercial aviation folks. :(

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Greek media now reporting that it was some sort of decompression/air conditioning problem - passengers sent text messages indicating as such... 80 passengers were children apparently - what a horrible accident.

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Very sad :( ..... what a sad end for the passengers :(Reports say that the plane is a 737-800, so this is the first NG crash :(

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I do not understand how the passenger who sent the text message to his cousin on the ground noted that the pilots were unconscious. Were the pax on oxygen? There is emergency Oxygen in the cockpit of the 737 for crew for situations where the oxygen system fails to deploy normally. This is a strange and terrible situation with an irreversible end. It looks suspicious to me and my wife.God Bless all aboard.JS

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Indeed, the crash seems to have been caused by a problem with the air conditioning unit which lead to cabin decompression. It's still quite mysterious as to why the pilots did not wear their masks.May their souls rest in peace.This is also the first ever crash of a Cypriot airliner with fatalities.

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The plane of Helios Airlines,that crashed at the area , was a Boeing 737-300.That,is also registered in flight plans of Athens International Airport.

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"passengers sent text messages indicating as such"This is EXACTLY a situation that a lot of us imagine what we would ever do if we found ourselves in and how we'd react. Im not going to bother sending any messages except that I'm heading for the cockpit to try and save the day. It's really a shame that something like this happened.Carmine http://forums.avsim.net/images/wave.gif

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How are they be so sure that the Air Conditioning unit caused the problem and if so why couldn't the pilots use their emergency oxygen system. Something very strange about the immediate claim that it was an accident, told by a passenger ?????? .

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>How are they be so sure that the Air Conditioning unit caused>the problem and if so why couldn't the pilots use their>emergency oxygen system. Something very strange about the>immediate claim that it was an accident, told by a passenger >?????? .They are not. Speculations...

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While there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and they will in time, for me I think that I will just express my sympathies to all of those involved in this tragic occurence. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of those that have been touched by this and I hope that whatever supreme being that they believe in will bring them peace.Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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It is so sad to hear.Condolences to all their families and relatives...:(

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Yep, definently a sad day.:( 48 children were aboard, 1/3 of the passengers killed. Sources tell me that the F-16 saw some people in the cockpit (either crew or pax) trying to figure out how to fly the thing. (They didnt know how to disengage autopilot) (dont scream at me for this, I got it from the Comcast News Center) Anyway, the masks have ONLY a 15-minute oxygen span (from airliners.net) and the crew should have descended immediately. (Unless they were dead already)Thats my $0.02

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JS: I agree the message from the PAX while the aircraft was in a decompression and subsequent terrain collision is a very strange event. PIC/CIC asleep, PAX awake? How did the PAX know these things? Did he/she walk up to the cockpit, open the secure door, and view the state of the flight crew?Why was the aircraft in a ruptured state (decompression)? Cockpit blown open?Terrain collision pretty much removes the physical evidence.I second the God Bless all aboard.bt

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must've been a problem with the a/c...some passenger wrote a message saying "farewell cousin, we're freezing"...terrible... reports now say that all 115 passengers + 6 crew members died in the accident. let's hope they weren't conscious.a truly sad august we have...

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Condolences and prayers to the families and friends of those who were lost.Grab My FREEWARE Voice recognition Profiles here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=58334]Cessna 172 Voice Profile[/a][a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=60740]FSD Avanti Voice Profile[/a].You will need the main FREEWARE Flight Assistant program to use it, get it here:[a href=http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=genutils&DLID=39661]Flight Assistant 2.2[/a]

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Heard something about the crew reporting problems with the airco a while before loosing contact.As to why they didn't use masks, who knows. Maybe they tried but the masks didn't work, maybe they never had time to when things went from bad to worse.

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The latest from Dutch videotext:Helios is grounded because the pilots refuse to fly their aircraft any longer.Seems there have been quite a few "irregularities" and maintenance problems with them lately including failing airconditioning and problems with the emergency O2 supply.

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From the newspaper:- 30 minutes after departure pilotes reported problems with the AC.- Many Cypriots called to radio and television channels stating they noticed similar scenarios on their Helios flights where it would either be way too cold or hot.- The F16 spotted deployed oxygen masks in the cabin.- The plane was cruising FL330. Without proper cabin pressure or oxygen you stay conscious for only 15-30 seconds.The article also states that oxygen masks do not automatically deploy in the cockpit. Is this true? Shouldn't there be some kind of warning signal? It only takes 10 seconds to set up the autopilot to descend to 10000 ft @ 4000 fpm or so ??Joris

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It will be interesting to read the black box reports, I can't imagine a crew taking a plane without O2 for the pilots. An explosive decompression is one of the many emergencies that pilots train for in a simulator.

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Some do automatically drop, not all, but none of them automatically go to the pilots face for breathing. Just like the pax, they just drop and it's up to you to wear it. I've heard different views on explosive decompression, some pilots say the first thing you should do is knock the autopilot off and trim down, because you won't be able to breath immediately anyway even after donning the mask because of the change in air pressure, but the emergency procedures call for donning the O2 first than fly the plane.Guess you have to be there to know for sure, but either way, once you have the mask on your face you're supposed to be able to breath. It sounds like they new they had a problem by the ATC reports, if that's the case than at least one of the pilots should've got there mask on and started down and everything should've been OK.

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The masks in the cockpit are quick donning masks, not the kind that deploy from the ceiling like those in the cabin, and are always within reach. If the cabin altitude exceeds 10,000' there are warnings in the cockpit.Even if both packs failed suddenly, it would still have taken several minutes for the cabin altitude to reach 33,0000' as the pressurisation outflow valves will go into the fully closed position, limiting the rate at which the aircraft depressurises. It is not an explosive event like movies will make you believe. Only if there was a big hole in the cabin would the cabin immediately vent to an altitude of 33,000'.All in all, this story smells of fish. Either extreme malice or extreme incompetence is required to take a so called air-conditioning problem to this outcome.

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OK I see. This is rather strange.

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It appears that this very aircraft, 5B-DBY, has had had a previous incident with decompression, according to a newspaper article. I find that rather scary. The was also a report about dodgy maintenance on one of their aircraft, observed by some mechanics on a Norwegian airport. -

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>must've been a problem with the a/c...some passenger wrote a>message saying "farewell cousin, we're freezing"...terrible...>The person who reported receiving this message has been arrested on suspicion of lying.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2http://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/747400.jpghttp://www.hifisim.com/images/asv_beta_member.jpg

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>JS: I agree the message from the PAX while the aircraft was>in a decompression and subsequent terrain collision is a very>strange event. >Apparently it was a hoax and the fellow who reported getting the message had been arrested by the Greek police - he was lying.Michael J.

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