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20 January 1992 - Air Inter 5148

Air Inter Flight 5148 was a scheduled airline flight on January 20, 1992, that crashed in the Vosges Mountains, near Mont Sainte-Odile, while circling to land at Strasbourg Airport. 87 of the 96 onboard were killed.

Flight 5148 departed Satolas Airport (now known as Saint-Exupéry International Airport) in Lyon, France, at 5:20pm. While being vectored for a VOR DME Approach to Runway 05 at Strasbourg, it crashed in the mountains at a height of only 2600 feet. The pilots had no warning of the imminent impact since the aircraft was not fitted with GPWS.

Flight 5148 was the third of a series of crashes caused by what was believed to be pilots unfamiliarity with the sophisticated computer system of the Airbus A320. (See Air France Flight 296 and Indian Airlines Flight 605.) It is believed the cause of the crash is that the pilots inadvertently left the autopilot in Vertical Speed mode (instead of Flight Path Angle mode) and then entered "33" for "3.3° descent angle"--which was actually interpreted as a rate of descent of 3,300 feet per minute.

Transcript of the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

CTRL = Strasbourg ATC
PF = Captain (Pilot Flying)
PNF = First Officer (Pilot Non-Flying)




Source Contents
PNF I don't understand why you do not try a zero-five VOR DME after all
PF Because the zero five VOR DME, we've got to arrive here, leave, go to God knows where, and come back again (*)
PNF Ah, yes, OK
PF If not, it's necessary to go out to 11 STR, that makes eleven, 22 miles means another 10 minutes' flight (*) (*)
PNF Sierra Echo identified
PF I'v set you the return track to STR eh, ... zero-five-zero
PF We'll do the pre-descent procedure
PNF (*)
PF I doesn't matter
PNF I'm ready
PF Pre-descend checklist
PNF ECAM status checked. Speed bugs
PF They are set
PNF Standby altimeter
PF One thousand and twenty-three
PNF One thousand and twenty-three, altimeter (*) checked. Engine anti-ice
PNF FMGS parameters inserted and the harnesses
PF (*)
PNF Checklist completed. We descend in one minute, it's OK?
PF In one-and-a-half minutes, two minutes, we've enough time
PNF Air Inter one four eight Delta Alpha we'd like to descend in one minute
CTRL Delta Alpha descend level one hundred thrity
PNF To one hundred thrity, we'll descend Delta Alpha
CTRL Delta Alpha heading to ANDLO
PNF Heading to ANDLO correct?
CTRL Affirmative
PF To?
PF ANDLO, oh there, they are a nuisance (*)
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha what's your heading to ANDLO?
PNF Our heading is zero fifty three to ANDLO
CTRL Delta Alpha, maintain heading zero fifty-three until further advised
PNF We'll maintain until further advised. Ah, I say, Reims, their control there (*) that one goes to Epinal
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha continue descent to level seventy
PNF Continuing descent to seventy Delta Alpha
PF There we're of. Idle open
PNF Idle open descent
CA Ladies and gentlemen, we are starting our descent. We ask you to please return to your seats. Thank you
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha the level on descent
PNF (*) one fifty descending to seventy Delta Alpha
CTRL Delta Alpha received, no more restrictions on heading, contact Strasbourg one twenty dot seven. Goodbye
PNF No more restrictions on heading one twenty seven, Strasbourg approach, good day. Air inter one hundred forty-eight Delta Alpha
CTRL One hundred forty-eight Delta Alpha, good day. Proceed to ANDLO. Your distance?
PF (*)
PNF Yes ANDLO, and we are at twenty-two nautical DME from STR
CTRL Received, continue the descent to five thousand feet QNH one thousand twenty-three call ANDLO five thousand feet
PNF Five thousand feet, thousand twenty-three, we'll call ANDLO five thousand
PNF There one thousand...
PF And sixty (*).
PF Safety height twenty-two. OK it's alright... five thousand two hundred feet ... twenty one ... OK it's good.
PNF (*)
PF One thousand and five ... we'll do the procedure at two thousand ... initial approach (*) eleven thousand twohundred feet now.
PNF No. Eleven thousand feet, one thousand thousand five not one thousand eight
PF Yes it's one thousand eight
PNF One thousand twenty-three that makesone thousand five.
PF One thousand five?
PNF For Delta Alpha, you confirm Fox Echo one thousand five, zero five correct?
CTRL The Fox Echo is one thousand five, zero five and QNH one thousand twenty-three
PNF Thank you Sir. One thousand five. Ten thousand four hundred...
PF Ten thousand four hundred feet ready, now
PNF It's correct. it's OK. Checklist initial approach Baro ref altimeters set compared. Seatbelts ON.
PF It's set
PNF Engine anti-ice OFF for the moment (*)
PNF Marker selected to listen on righthand side. Engine mode selector set to normal. Checklist completed
PF We're passing ANDLO
PNF We're passing ANDLO, Air Inter Delta Alpha, level ... er! Sorry seven thousand five hundred feet, descending.
CTRL Received one hundred forty-eight Delta Alpha, you are number one for te VOR DME zero five, call passing the VOR in final
PNF Number one for the VOR DME zero five
PNF We could ask him to confirm the cloud base now... how many miles?
PF Ten miles. It's not going to work, tell him, we'll make a ...
PNF Yes, 'maxi maxi'. Confirm cloud base Strasbourg?
CTRL We have three-eighths at elevenhundred feet and six-eighths at two thousand six hundred feet
PF That's good
PNF Yeah, we planned to proceed Sierra Echo, do an ILS, then an indirect for zero five.
PF [Chime] (*)
CTRL Received Delta Alpha
PF What's the temperature?
PNF The temperature...?
CTRL Delta Alpha, initially maintain five thousand, QNH, one thousand twenty three and as there will be three takeoffs on zero five, you may have to hold in the stack at five thousand feet.
PF We'll have to go back to doing a VOR DME procedure ... then ...
PNF We'll go back to the VOR DME procedure at this time then
PF We would not have made an India Mike descent like that of they had told us beforehand, but there we are, we're arriving flat out
CTRL Delta Alpha ... Strasbourg
PNF I'm listening to you
CTRL If you want I can take you on the radar to bring ou to ANDLO at five thousand
PF Er! Yeah, that's good
CTRL OK! Then six one zero zero, turn left heading two hundred thirty
PNF Sixty-one zero zero and heading two hundred thirty to the left
CTRL There you are, that will save you time
PF (*)
PNF Thank you
? I'll give you zero five (*)
CTRL Maintain five thousand on reaching it and until ANDLO, the QNH is one thousand twenty three
PNF QNH one thousand twenty-three, maintaining five thousand.
PF The distances there ... er! ... Ah yes, there (*) overhead the 250 moving out to eleven STR, we repass ANDLO on the track and we leave at eleven STR .. 4500 feet, nine STR, 3800, seven, three,two hundred. In case of go around we climb on the centreline
CTRL Delta Alpha, six nautical radial two hundred ninety for Strasbourg
PNF Received Delta Alpha
PF The coud-break is made on zero fifty. It's a slope of 3 point five er! five point five ... That is three (*) three.
PF We'll select anti-ice (*).
PF And the lot, the wings as well.
PF What's up?
PNF It's nice and new, but that's what's wrong
PF Yes, yes, there is ice on it.
PF It's crazy, eh? When you're not ready the time it takes to get to five thousand feet to ANDLO flat out. It doesn't work eh? And also at ... what ... ten miles from final.
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha turn left (*) heading ninety, zero nine zero
PNF Heading ninety, zero nine zero to the left Delta Alpha
PF Flaps to one
PNF Flaps to one. (*) One
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha continue left turn to establish yourself on zero fifty one, you are four miles from ANDLO, passing left of ANDLO
PNF Received, we will call established on QDM zero fifty one
CTRL Affirmative sir
PNF We will (*) (*)
PNF Il aurait fallu qu'tu ouvres au zero sept zero
PF Yeah, yeah
PNF At least
CTRL Air Inter Delta Alpha passing right of ANDLO, authorized (*) final approach VOR DME zero five
PNF Delta Alpha
PF Flaps to two
PNF Flaps to two, (*) two
PF Gear down
PNF I'll prepare the lights without putting them on
CTRL Delta Alpha call the VOR on final
PNF Call the VOR on final (*) pass eight hundred feet
PF (*)
PNF On centerline. (*) Half a dot from centerline. There is is, it had been at sixty, it's good, you see here
  [Two hundred] - radio altimeter callout
  End of Recording


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