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Germanwings crash: Suicidal co-pilot or an image clearance move by Lufthansa?

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Germanwings-002

By Shreya Upadhyaya

Two days after the Germanwings crash happened, French and German statements suggested that the co-pilot on the plane “intentionally” slammed it into the French Alps, killing all 150 onboard.

Marseille public prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters that the plane’s 28-year-old co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately flew the plane into a mountain, when he was alone in the cockpit.

As soon as the announcement was made, German pilots reacted with anger and confusion, and justifiably so.

The fact that a conclusion was reached so soon raises several questions. First, what was the eagerness to “find” a culprit? There have been instances of a plane crash in the past and answers have come out after a thorough investigation. Why didn’t the authorities wait to get to know the relevant facts?

Some pilots working with the airline feel that there was a search for a quick answer, instead of a good answer.

According to the announcement, Captain Patrick Sonderheimer, had left for a toilet break, and when he returned and knocked on the cockpit door, Lubitz refused to open it. And instead, he took Airbus A320 plane steadily downwards at 3,000 feet per minute, until it crashed it into the Alpine ravine. Robin said Lubitz had “a willingness to destroy the aircraft.” Shortly after Robin’s press briefing, Lufthansa CEO Carten Spohr and the German Transportation Minister each said that based on his account, they had concluded that Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane.

However the second question that arises is that why did captain Sonderheimer, who spent several minutes banging on the cockpit door, not use an emergency code (designed to make the system ineffective, that lets someone inside the cockpit)? The latest statement not only ignores it conveniently, it does not even mention this crucial detail anywhere.

While several pilots have been raising doubts over this, still others think that the person within the cockpit can reverse any attempt to gain entry from outside.

According to a video by Airbus, crew members can tap an emergency code on the keypad outside the cockpit door if someone tries to gain entry into it. The code sets off a 30-second alarm inside, until the door opens for just five seconds, allowing the person to come in.

The prosecutor said that Lubitz was conscious while inside, since the audio on the voice recorder has him breathing normally throughout the incident, until the fatal moment. But pilots ask the third and an important question that the prosecutor did not answer. Normal breathing sound does not necessarily mean that he was able to open the door for the captain. If so, was he conscious?

The statement also talks on the issue of Lubitz’s mental health. Germanwings crew members who flew with him days before the crash said that he seemed “relaxed and very normal.” They added that there was “never any sign that anyone should be concerned about.” This contradiction in the statement and apparent reality raises the fourth question. Was Lubitz really depressed and suicidal?

So did co-pilot Lubitz in fact commit this tragedy or is it just an image clearance move by the stakeholders? Whether or not these questions will ever find an answer, skepticism and suspicion will loom large, for a long time, over an airline that has been known for its safety record.

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Terror Strikes Again: IS downs Syrian Warplane, Crucifies Pilot

IS group has downed several warplanes in different parts of the country since April 2016

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(Representational Image) A man walks on the wreckage of a plane that crashed southeast of Damascus, Syria in this still image taken from video said to be shot April 22, 2016. Image source: english.alarabiya.net

The Islamic State (IS) group downed a Syrian war jet in the country’s Deir al-Zour province on Thursday, July 14, capturing and crucifying the pilot, a monitor group reported.

The terror group shot down the aircraft near the airbase of Deir al-Zour, which the group has for long been trying to capture from the Syrian government forces, Xinhua news agency cited the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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After downing the plane, the IS militants hanged the pilot on a cross, and crucified him, the UK-based watchdog group added.

Image source :www.natsentinel.com
An ISIS member. Image source :www.natsentinel.com

It said the IS group has downed several warplanes in different parts of the country since April 2016.

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The group has earned a reputation in befalling brutal punishment on the captured soldiers and those who don’t abide by its ultra-radical teachings. (IANS)

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India’s Youngest CEO: 16 year-old Anubhav Wadhwa’s initiative to dispose old Tyres through ‘Tyrelessly’

Old tyres are collected from people's doorsteps, and then they are recycled into fuel and steel for the purpose of reuse

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Old and used tyres Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
  • Anubhav started a company ‘Tyrelessly’, which works to dispose old and used tyres in an eco-friendly manner
  • He is an entrepreneur, designer, data analyst, computer programmer and a social activist
  • He is also the founder and CEO of software firm TechAPTO

Small changes can create big differences- is what one will say of 16 year-old Anubhav. Instead of criticizing the authorities and complaining about the population for the rising levels of pollution, this teenaager has decided to take an initiative to do something.

Anubhav, a resident of Gurgaon, has started a company, called Tyrelessly, which works to dispose old and used tyres in an eco-friendly manner. He is inviting more people to do their bit for this good cause.

Anubhav Wadhwa Image Source: thebetterindia.com
Anubhav Wadhwa Image Source: thebetterindia.com

It all started after Wadhwa saw someone setting a couple of tyres on fire and then he went online to learn how tyres are disposed once they have outlived their usefulness. He got to learn about a number of toxic gases released by burning tyres into the air leading to an environmental threat. In a hope to stop this practise, he started his company, tirelessly on December 15, 2015 and soon the first pilot was rolled out.

Wadhwa, a student of Pathways World School, Aravali, Haryana, and a member of the student council, when returns home from school at 5 PM, he becomes an entrepreneur, designer, data analyst, computer programmer and a social activist.

Old tyres are collected from people’s doorsteps, and then they are recycled into fuel and steel for the purpose of reuse. One just needs to visit the Tyrelessly web platform, and give the location by clicking on the ‘Tyreless’ option, after which a truck comes and picks up the old tyre. Tirelessly provides free service and gets its revenue be selling these byproducts of tyres. Apart from recycling the tyres, the team members of tirelessly also work to aware people about the risk of burning tyres.

Tyres recycling in Sweden Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Tyres recycling in Sweden Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

He has not only started Tyrelessly but he is also the founder and CEO of software firm TechAPTO. He has also developed websites for several companies and was included among the youngest CEOs of India in 2013.

-prepared by Pashchiema, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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3 responses to “India’s Youngest CEO: 16 year-old Anubhav Wadhwa’s initiative to dispose old Tyres through ‘Tyrelessly’”

  1. The toxic fumes released when tires are burnt are very harmful to the environment. Anubhav has done what we had never thought about. By recycling the tires and creating awareness about the harmful effects of burning them, he has created a better place.

  2. Giving ideas is one thing but implementing these ideas is a great job that should be done. It takes almost years for people to understand the new way of living life if these ideas are to be implemented and used in real life.

  3. Recycling tyres will lower the amount of toxic emissions taking place and reduce the level of global warming.

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IAF’s MIG-27 Fighter Jet crashes near Jodhpur in Rajasthan

The Mig-27 fighter jet was on a routine sortie when the accident took place leaving at least two injured near Jodhpur air base

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A Mig-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF). Image source: Wikimedia Commons
  • The  Mig-27 fighter jet was on a routine sortie when the accident occurred
  • To investigate the accident, a court of enquiry has been ordered
  • Rafale jets and the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ will be introduced within 2 years

On Monday, June 13, a Mig-27 fighter aircraft of the Indian Air Force (IAF) has crashed near Jodhpur in Rajasthan, said officials. Even though the aircraft crashed, the pilot ejected safely from the aircraft.

In a statement, Defence Public Relations Officer (PRO) Manish Ojha said, “An IAF MIG-27 aircraft crashed near Jodhpur on Monday at about 11.30 a.m. The aircraft was airborne from Jodhpur airbase and was on a routine training sortie. The pilot ejected safely.”

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The  Mig-27 fighter jet was on a routine sortie when the accident took place leaving at least two injured near Jodhpur air base. MiG-27 jets are known to be IAF’s one of the oldest of aircrafts and will be discontinued soon.

Last year in 2015, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha said to a news channel that all MIG-27s which have not been upgraded will be phased out in the next couple of years after the introduction of Rafale jets and the indigenously-built Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’.

To investigate the accident, a court of enquiry has been ordered, said Ojha.

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“A house has been damaged while some nearby houses have reported cracks. However, no casualty or serious injuries have been reported to anyone from the area where the plane crashed,” a police official told IANS on phone from Jodhpur. (IANS)

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