Air Crash Investigation Helios Ghost Plane Flight 522 Air disaster PlaneCrashToday com

Sunday August the 14th 2005 Cypriot airliner helios v 2 2 is circling above athens there are 121 people on board including 22 children nobody has been able to contact the plane for over two hours two f-16s are scrambled to intercept the renegade aircraft as the approach the fighter pilots see two people struggling inside the cockpit could this be a terrorist hijack then dramatically the plane veered off course and crashes at 400 miles an hour into a hillside north of Athens Helios 5:22 is one of the worst air disasters in European history it is also one of the most mysterious this is the story of the last few hours of flight 5 to 2 a story that has chilling implications for every air passenger today cypress Sunday the 14th of August 2005 it was the height of the Greek summer season a time for families to travel la rocca airport was packed with holiday makers and tourists the crew of Helios flight 5 – to welcome their passengers onboard there was a holiday mood among them as they settled in for the short flight from Cyprus to Athens flying the Boeing 737 for German captain Hans Jurgen Merton and a Cypriot co-pilot Pam Bashara lumbus flight 5 – – took off as scheduled shortly after 9:00 in the morning heading Northwest towards Athens Keeney on either nepali box it over here when you’ve only Allison I’m Sarah the carnies three minutes after takeoff on board he’ll is flight 522 the captain reported a fault to ground control at Larnaca Airport there was a problem with the planes cooling system it seemed minor at Cypress air traffic control gave Helios five to tooth go ahead declined to its cruising altitude of 34,000 feet this would be the last communication between air traffic control and flight five to two at her home in Cyprus the copilot’s mother sat down to watch television you can give it Guinea I usually watch my favorite show at noon on Sunday but instead of the show comes newsflash llamas Capas paru Shia’s DiCaprio Padma cept I see arrows Kapusta got Ricky Siderius dodge keep ryokan bye now Helios five to two was in Greek airspace Athens air traffic controllers have been trying for over an hour to establish contact with the aircraft but it was to no avail meanwhile the silent plane circled in a holding pattern over athens even asketh governor Byrd though or not I was with colleagues near the Greek Pentagon and we got a call from the Ministry of Defense telling us that a Boeing plane had communication problems with Athens International Airport over both Ravenna zealous one question was uppermost in the minds of the Greek authorities did Athens face a terrorist attack like 9/11 two fighter jets were scrambled to intercept what was officially known as a renegade plane but the pilots reported back shocked the authorities the passengers were wearing their oxygen masks the copilot was slumped over the instruments and persons unknown were seen struggling with the

controls it seemed that the plane had been hijacked could it be targeted on a Thurs the authorities now faced a terrible dilemma should the f-16 shoot it down sacrificing 121 innocent people the pilots had only moments to decide yeah now that the Air Force had 15 seconds to decide because the plane was flying over a populated area yes but the decision was made for them as flight 5 – – ran out of fuel the engine stopped and the plane veered off course towards the mountains north of Athens in the Athenian when my wife called me she said a plane and crust in kalam Oh then she said it crusts in our village there’s nobody of us news of the accident spreads with flea and the relatives of those on board desperately sought information if we’d have been leaving they called my daughter-in-law but she didn’t answer her phone under bit of 1/b I didn’t know what else to do giving if I had to go to Larnaca Airport but on a ball anyhow it was chaos absolute chaos nobody knew anything upon us I mean everyone was shouting god I love no one assisted us at the airport the copilot’s mother demanded answers I’ll go and experiment they said we don’t know yet nobody knew for London when I asked them who was the co-pilot their reply was apparently the captain was German they had Manos you know my way said I didn’t ask you about any German I asked you about her lumbus tell me if he was on the flight welcome amidst the chaos of the crash scene the scale of the tragedy emerged all 121 people on board were dead among them 22 children Pelias flight 522 was one of the worst air disasters in recent european history but what the air crash investigators uncovered would only add to the confusion and mystery surrounding this accident Helius like five to two crashed in the mountains north of athens the debris field was scattered over two square miles there were no survivors it was the height of the Greek summer with 40 degree temperatures the countryside was tinderbox dry Athens in August is almost a ghost town everybody is on holiday the Greek emergency services were caught off guard by the scale of the disaster eisah telling the truth when we got to the emergency call we initially thought it was an exercise listen you can’t compare it and so you can’t compare it the atmosphere that day was there was smoke there was fire and there was this yeah smell like the most terrible thing was the smell it was the smell of death those who were there are still finding the experience very difficult to deal with bamboo I got here as quick as I could I ran to see if I could save anyone I couldn’t say I put a child on my back my clothes got soaked with blood I didn’t care I just wanted to save someone but voters and ssp Nana their boys from this room look at me right there I’d swear the mother and the child were mother was lying here and the small child was next

to her holding a hand right here this terrible loss of life shocked the whole world distraught relatives demanded answers why did flight 522 crash rumors and speculations about the cause of the crash erupted immediately helios 522 had lost all contact with air traffic control so the Greek Air Force had scrambled to f-16 fighters to investigate the fighters patting the co-pilot slumped in his seat and the captain missing at first it seemed Athens had faced a terrorist attack from a hijacked plane similar to 911 as journalists Paris caravan oculus recalls our most common our highest government source gave us the information that it was a terrorist attack because the f-16 pilots who were flying next to the Boeing had reported seeing a man wearing a mask in the cockpit the video and enough of our mascot many Greeks suspected that the f-16s had shot down the renegade plane but the Greek air force immediately declared that neither of the fighters had fired their weapons when the Greek authorities launched their crash investigation a far more complex story started to emerge the first key clue came from the reports of the f-16 pilots DNA analysis soon after a series of new details started to emerge from the observations of the two f-16 pilots also the Westbury buzzing the f-16 pilots had seen that all passengers on board were wearing their oxygen masks before the crash this fact was confirmed by the Athens Chief Coroner a the impact of the crash was terrible vo that but many passengers were still wearing oxygen masks on their faces this means the masks were deployed and they used them with me or at least they tried to use them Etha co-official getting the deployment of the oxygen masks meant one thing Helios 5 – – must have experienced a major loss of oxygen and cabin pressure during its fateful last flight modern planes fly at altitudes for the air is thin and oxygen levels too low to sustain human life so each plane is sealed before takeoff and then pressurized during flight to create a safe artificial environment passengers breathe pressurized air that’s the equivalent of being at 8,000 feet even when the plane is actually flying at over 30,000 feet if the cabin depressurizes then oxygen masks are released immediately the autopsies of the charred bodies led the coroner to a grisly conclusion anything is this this I am certain they didn’t die from asphyxiation because their hearts and lungs were still functioning at the time of death cannot miss the key to the yet United within others in other words none of the passengers died before the crash but in the bottles the cause of death was no established as the impact from the crash but that didn’t answer the key questions why did the Helios plane lose cabin pressure and why did this caused the plane to crash then a breakthrough amid the debris the flight recorder of Helius 5 to 2 was found it was now possible for the investigators to draw up a basic timeline for the accident according to the flight recorder Helius 5 – 2 – corphish a jeweled at oh 9 or 6 hours straight after takeoff the autopilot was engaged for the preset route to Athens the plane climbed a 3,000 feet per minute at 7,000 feet a warning light was triggered indicating a problem with the coolant system at 10,000 feet came the next indication of a problem the flight recorder noted a warning horn in the cockpit this indicated a loss of cabin pressure at 14,000 feet a further alert was triggered and the oxygen masks were deployed yet the plane continued his journey climbing until it reached its cruising altitude of 34,000

feet there it remained an autopilot for over two hours then at 11:50 the autopilot was disengaged and the plane is flown manually just minutes later the aircraft ran out of fuel both engines stopped and shortly after 12 o’clock the plane crash in begged the question with so many alarms and warning lights going off in the cockpit why did the pilots continue the journey was this crash caused by a fatal pilot error stories began circulating in the Greek press blaming the pilot and co-pilot it was alleged the copilot Pam posh Haralambos was unhappy distracted from his duties by personal problems but this was not how his colleagues remembered him for Mozilla no damn bus was as we say a really nice guy he was a joy to be around during work and after work before these reviews other news stories queried the pilots health it was claimed that the copilot had a heart problem and that this might explain why he seemed unable to function properly ready to begin glory he said on TV that the pilots had problems only what they’d be like yo-yo goo is going to believe that he was tested regularly pilots have health check-ups every six months he had his last test in April and the spliff distance everything was fine but I’ll look alumni Qatar you’re my lawn mower they trying to fool there were also rumors about the copilot’s and competence but these seem at odds with his professional background he had almost two decades experience of flying but one time he even studied aircraft engineering in England he daddy probably blames for his first family that they are his priority above me from an early age he had a passion for mechanics and it was it he even spent three years in Brighton heed studying aircraft mechanics you can call tornado plan a very manic aapke he was waiting for his promotion to become captain at the father he had accumulated all the necessary hours and day by day he was getting closer to this goal with only bike you know whenever you have an accident like this one top little Maya and the crew is dead if you blame always falls on the crews well got it from a slob little it is the standard answer to all accidents around the world speaking my double only Union but I was meals for independent air safety expert communal pilot error is too convenient an explanation Kim is going to try to piece together the evidence and find out what caused the crash Pelias five two two there is one obvious place for him to start with the plane itself the Helius plane was a Boeing 737 the most widely used passenger jet in the world today an airliner with an excellent safety record Kim begins his research by investigating the safety record of the actual plane that crashed flight 522 was a modern up-to-date aircraft built only in 1998 but it already had its fair share of technical problems as the core pilots mother remembers or hidden my son didn’t have any complaints about the company however he did tell me a few times that the plane had problems medical Patras theocritus is an investigative journalist in the Cypriot capital Nicosia he also looked into the safety record of the plane and it quickly emerged that this was not the first time there had been a potentially catastrophic loss of pressure on this plane it was definitely something I had written about the pressurization problem that occurred last December during a flight to Warsaw de velas Menelik airplane had a pressurization problem between our beliefs 30 bodies the masks dropped down and an emergency descent was necessary hope you’ll be above your mouth from a palpable less intrigued by these newspaper reports kim takes a closer look at the maintenance records of flight 522 he focuses on the planes air conditioning system the system that helps pressurize the aircraft quite remarkable actually the air conditioning system of this aircraft was repaired five times before the crash passengers frequently complained that the aircraft was very cold the plane had a final maintenance check shortly before takeoff it seems this is where the blame might lie a maintenance engineer admitted to the Greek investigators that he may have left the pressurization switch in the

cockpit in manual rather than an automatic this mistake means that the aircraft could have taken off completely unpressurized it’s a vital piece of information to understand the implications of this Kim travels to Stansted to talk to an aircraft engineer all commercial planes use the air conditioning system to pressurize the air in the cabin so can you tell me how the air conditioning system works in the aircraft certainly all the air enters the engine and the intake here that is played Oh off the engine and pass through pipe work through the wing and to the air-conditioning packs which sit underneath air underneath the aircraft the air conditioning packs regulate the temperature of the air going into the cabin from the correct temperatures obtained the air then leaves the plane from a valve at the rear it is this simple procedure that pressurizes the camera so this is where the outflow valve is certainly the Apple holds here at the rear of the airplane okay and that’s where all the air from the cabin is exhausted overboard closing this valve ensures that the plane pressurizes leave it open and it remains unpressurized a very simple mechanical system open shot absolutely yet ultimately control of the cabin pressure lies with the pilots the pressure of the plane is operated by a simple switch in the cockpit it’s usually set to automatic but it can be operated manually it’s the core pilots responsibility to monitor the planes pressure throughout the flight that’s why the switch is located directly in front of him checking the pressurization is drummed into each pilot from the beginning of the careers as Captain Rob Jones explains when you’re doing a pre-flight check typically before you push back you would go down each panel yes the pre-flight check before engine start logical the captain focuses on the left-hand side of the central control panel checking all the three while the copilot has to check the right hand side which includes the pressurization switch so this is check pre-fire yes it is also checks surely after takeoff yes during tight or after the takeoff sequence in fact the pressurization switch is checked twice before takeoff during takeoff and again when the plane passes through 10,000 feet this panel have actually checked four times lots of tricks yes if the plane should lose pressure oxygen masks are deployed but time is critical this emergency supply only lasts 15 minutes which means the pilot must take immediate action depressurization finishing emergency the same time for 10,000 so it depends on the pilots realizing that the aircraft is under pressure absolutely yet with timing critical and clear emergency procedures it seems the helos pilots must have failed to carry out their duties from the discovery of the flight recorder we know that the emergency oxygen masks dropped at 14,000 feet but instead of descending the Helios plane continued to climb to 34,000 feet this is the biggest mystery of all wipe the aircraft not pressurized why did the pilots continue the flight even after the oxygen master drops everything still seems to point to one explanation for the crash pilot error Kim knows that he needs more information he needs to understand exactly what the two pilots were really faced with during that fateful last flight Helius flight 5 to 2 crashed on August the 14th 2005 in the hills north of Athens all 121 on board died it was the worst aviation disaster in Europe for ten years the cabin had lost pressure but the pilots had failed to take emergency action now Greek investigators had to find out why aviation expert Kimi Neal has been conducting his own research into the accident with the pilot and the copilot of Helios five to two had many years of flying experience it seems highly unlikely that they failed to notice the warning signals Kim needs to understand exactly what the pilots were faced with in the cockpit so he has booked a

session in a cockpit simulator there to guide him through the complexities is veteran flight instructor Julian Solly the simulator has been set to recreate the exact conditions faced by the pilots on Ilyas flight five to two in particular the aircraft pressure has been left in manual rather than automatic just as the maintenance engineer admitted to doing before the fatal flight the simulator should behave in exactly the same way as Helios five to two the simulator takes off and climbs at 3,000 feet per minute vehicles running itself now what would the pilots ordinarily be doing of this same it’s a fair amount of checking to do captain Soddy immediately spots a problem just look this is the rate that the cabins climbing but you’ve got another indication here as welding that’s showing that it’s in manual and it shouldn’t be there so this is what these guys would have seen at this point inside a real plane the air would now be getting thinner and the amount of oxygen would be reduced inside of the aeroplane is climbing at the same rate the outside of the attraction so we could be sitting in an open pocket around three minutes into the flight Julian and Kim got their first indication that all is not well a light tells them that the instruments are getting too hot the plane has a problem with its cooling system this is crucial as the pressure is controlled via the cooling system the evidence from the flight data recorder indicated that the crew of Helios five to two experienced the same warning in fact the captain reported this back to the air traffic control in Cyprus both agreed that he would contact Helius maintenance directly to report the fault to them no further action was taken but the fault for the cooling system is related to a far more serious problem the plane was losing pressure moments later another warning is activated airflow from the selected food it’s on to 10,000 feet we’ve got a wall and we’re climbing at 3,000 feet per minute we’ve also got that warning horn just like the Helios 5 to 2 a warning horn goes off for 10,000 feet this horn alerts the crew to the fact that their plane is not pressurized we’ve also got an indication that it’s a manish we know that this horn is solely in the air to do if having pressure but can’t believe that two professional pilots would miss something as obvious as it that’s staring and straining about I really don’t understand how the Healy’s pilots could have missed all the obvious signs unless something has seriously distracted perhaps a clue lies and the symptoms the pilots would have experienced as their brains were starved of oxygen in the unpressurized plane the symptoms of oxygen starvation were first noticed by second world war fighter pilots as their planes reached ever higher altitudes in thinner air oxygen supply to the brain decreases at 18,000 feet the body only receives half of the oxygen and receives at ground level pilots were losing their mental and physical abilities eventually passing up this deadly condition of oxygen starvation is commonly known as hypoxia I hate to think about it but it’s actually quite a nice way to die because all you do is get more and more sleep it’s an offense you just fall asleep and then if you don’t get enough option and eventually you die to experience the physical effects of hypoxia Kim travels to RAF Han law to subject himself to a dangerous experiment a rapid decompression squadron leader Simon Chappell trains RAF flight crews on the hidden dangers of hypoxia one of the most reliable signs of hypoxia is a and flushing a feeling of flushing of the face conversely if you look at the person who is becoming hypoxic they’re actually quite pale thereafter you get some some pins and needles in the fingertips around the lips you get a dimming of the vision use you lose the ability to be able to see your peripheral vision the test chamber will simulate the conditions of an unpressurized flight at 25,000 feet the test subjects will experience the physical effects of lack of oxygen for 4 minutes only exceeding this time limit can cause permanent brain damage this is a deadly environment and safety is paramount had a hopeful run full of air will be rapidly didn’t trust you can personally provide feeling as you ascend beyond 10,000 feet up to up to 15,000 feet you’d become recently breathless even even with only moderate exertion the

15,000 feet at one quarter of your memory is gone so you’ve got a 25 percent reduction in inability to remember things that you previously learned it’s in an aviation environment that could be it could be catastrophic for to demonstrate the effects of oxygen starvation kim has given a simple children’s puzzle to complete one of the most dangerous aspects of hypoxia is that when you’re exposed to an atmosphere hypoxic atmosphere like like an unpressurized airplane the air doesn’t feel any different to breathe you breathe it in and it feels completely normal and this is one of the most distressing things about hypoxia it said it’s a quiet harbinger of death that’s the best way to describe it it is like being drunk all past the beginning of a heavy head cold or just extreme fatigue the attention and your vision starts to come down into one area you find it very difficult to focus outside of what’s immediately under your nose so I should imagine that if there was a lot going on it’d be very difficult to prioritize tasks it’s absolutely possible that an individual become fixated on one task we’ve seen it time and time again in our chambers three minutes into the test and Kim is noticeably slowing down simple tasks are already beyond got better food with Kim dangerously hypoxic Squadron Leader Chappell decides not to go any further that food came back on oxygen the onset of hypoxia I would say crappy accompanied by this euphoric I can do it which is not true when you first drop your option maths many of you will have noticed that there’s actually no change in the nature of the air that you’re breathing at this building no amazing price shocking really the hypoxia test sheds new light on Kim’s investigation we know that the Helius pilots climbed at 3,000 feet a minute in their unpressurized plane by the time the warning horn sounded at 10,000 feet hypoxia would have been setting in what’s that at about 15,000 feet they would have already lost 25% of their metal ability at this point the increasingly confused captain may have left his seat possibly to try and turn off the alarm approximately 15 minutes after takeoff both pilots would have passed out the hypoxia experiment was a real eye-opener for me I can now understand why the pilots missed the vital clues I thought I was in control when clearly I was not for Kim hypoxia offers compelling explanation why the pilot seemed unable to react to the warning signs in the cockpit yet it also prompts a further crucial question if everybody on board had succumbed to oxygen starvation then who were the two people spotted in the cockpit by the intercepting f-16 pilots only minutes before the crash how did they manage to avoid the hypoxia which had overcome the pilots who were they and who in particular was the person seen wrestling with the controls the cruellest reveals

one very strong candidate the 25 year old flight attendant andreas promised undress but since he was young andreas was always interested in planes damn they’re always planes in his room then it Beck’s see though I mean when did it when we were travelling he was always trying to find out the model of the plane and they were always photographs in his room in for the wood half years andreas was a man obsessed with flying being a flight attendant was only the first step towards fulfilling his dream he then again he was training to be a pilot but he was working as a Stewart Gabi he was basically waiting for the day when he could finally put into practice what he was training for he’s worse when andreas had around 260 to 270 hours of flight time pieces at first there was no hard evidence that the person in the cockpit really was andreas three bodies were removed from the wreckage of the cockpit the copilot shahram Bose was quickly identified but the other two bodies were so badly damaged it took several days to identify them or their father during the identification process very similar there were those who could be identified by their relatives they boarded by then there were those we could only identify using DNA methods methyl or two DNA blood samples found on the rudder controls were matched to andreas DNA this confirmed that he was in the cockpit during the final moments of Helios five to two using the same methods of DNA analysis the third body was identified as his girlfriend Harris this led investigators to an astonishing conclusion these two young flight attendants were trying to save the plane six minutes into the flight with the oxygen supply dropping and confused by the effects of hypoxia the pilots are struggling to make sense of the situation for flight attendant andreas and harris the deployment of the oxygen masks is the first dreadful sign they have that something is seriously wrong continue and press the key back along the chief purser takes off her mas to reissue the passengers that all as well she then tries to contact the flight deck to no avail fifteen minutes after the deployment of the masks the oxygen runs out and slowly everyone succumbs at some point andreas must have fitted himself and Harris with portable oxygen andreas goes forward to investigate he finds all the passengers and his colleagues unconscious but they are about to be confronted by a formidable barrier following the terrorist attacks of September 11 all cockpits are fitted with specially reinforced doors the only way in is by entering a security code and only I don’t know whether he knew the code or not but just imagine in the panic and confusion but you can easily forget things you know exercise still in autopilot flight 5 to 2 is locked into a preset holding pattern over Athens two f-16s have been scrambled to intercept the renegade plane as the two fighter jets approach and race and Harris finally gain access to the cockpit how we may never know the two fighter pilots watch helplessly on as Andrea’s takes control of the stricken plane he disengages the autopilot about 15 minutes before the crash but then the first engine cuts out Miriam he always used to say to me that planes don’t fall from the sky but when the pilots are cool-headed nobody gets hurt in a nasty way and even when it’s lost his engines it can land bori in a preview earth but time is running out for Helios 5 to 2 with a fuel exhaustion the second engine cuts on

actually one is I sensed something was wrong because I tried to call andreas on his phone he didn’t answer me with that so obviously in the city when I’m his dad difficult I sensed something was wrong I’d even been maybe in Manila the mystery of flight 5 tutus final moments appears to be Sol but for Kim one question remains and it’s the biggest of all pilots also check for problems with pressurization before the flight takes off when the aircraft was on the ground why did the pilots not realized something was wrong if Helios 5 2 2 had a problem with the cabin pressurization system why did the pilots not notice it during their many preflight checks it leads him to a disturbing question the plane was a Boeing 737 an aircraft and service with almost every airline in the world could this plane have a catastrophic design fault Helius flight 522 is one of the most mysterious crashes in aviation history it seems the plane took off the faulty pressure setter the pilots failed to act from the warning signals as this had come to hypoxia servation of oxygen to the brain but for air safety expert Kim O’Neill that’s only part of the answer it fails to explain how two experienced pilots could have missed the faulty setup before takeoff to find the answer Kim decides to investigate previous depressurization incidents onboard Boeing 737s he makes an alarming discovery a family incident from 2000 frame which are buying 737 suffered a complete pressurization system failure everything seems to have gone wrong the aircraft is flying between marseille and london gatwick in May 2003 at 34,000 feet the plane suddenly lost pressure this problem was detected in time by the pilots and the aircraft was safely landed but it emerged that the loss of pressure was caused by burnt wire this wire is crucial as it connects the pressure switch in the cockpit with the out floor valve if this valve is opened the plane depressurizes investigators later established that the main wire and the backup run through the same loom in other words if one wire fails they both do this is totally contrary to safe design practices backup systems should always always be routed away from primary systems Helios employees reported a burning smell on flight 522 only days before the crash but it seems that no further investigation was made at the time as Kim investigates the 2003 incident further he makes another shocking discovery even though the plane had lost pressure all the instruments in the cockpit still looked normal there was no indication that the pilots had a problem if this happened to the Helius pilots then this would explain while they missed the warning signs throughout all the pre-flight and takeoff checks the Helios cockpit would have appeared fine on the ground everything looks normal to the pilots in the air when the alarms go off the flight deck still looks normal and then hypoxia sets in starved of oxygen the pilots would have then become increasingly confused about the conflicting messages their instruments were giving them this could explain why they did not descend in time to a safe altitude to avoid hypoxia this wiring problem with the 737 was highlighted in a report by the air Accidents Investigation Branch the AAI be recommended to Boeing in 2003 that the main and backup wires should be reinforced and separated across all their seven three sevens in service so far boeing has not responded to these safety recommendations kim’s discovery highlights a potentially fatal design flaw which could explain the Helios crash

it also raises enormous questions about the safety of all Boeing 737s flying today every five seconds a Boeing 737 takes off somewhere around the world there are over 4,000 inserts haier accidents are rare but when they do happen they are devastating we don’t know Sisyphean manicotti boom feglia Papa knows okay when I Paulie disconnect is ot fascist toes video que los brazos veterinary Oh love me other girls I just want justice in memory of those we have lost I’ve gone we’ll have nothing else you you however you did tell me a few times that the plane had problems Petrus theocritus is an investigative journalist in the Cypriot capital Nicosia he also looked into the safety record of the plane and it quickly emerged that this was not the first time there had been a potentially catastrophic loss of pressure on this plane it was definitely coming I had written about the pressurization problem that occurred last December during a flight to Warsaw de bellas Menelik airplane had a pressurization problem it will have it is 30 bodies the masks dropped down and an emergency descent was necessary I love you pop your mouth on my parabola intrigued by these newspaper reports Kim takes a closer look at the maintenance records of flight 522 he focuses on the planes air conditioning system the system that helps pressurize the aircraft quite remarkable actually the air conditioning system of this aircraft was repaired five times before the crash passengers frequently complained that the aircraft was very cold the plane had a final maintenance check shortly before taking it seems this is where the blame might lie a maintenance engineer admitted to the Greek investigators that he may have left the pressurization switch in the cockpit in manual rather than an automatic this mistake means that the aircraft could have taken off completely unpressurized it’s a vital piece of information to understand the implications of this ins before the crash passengers frequently complained that the aircraft was very cold the plane had a final maintenance check shortly before takeoff it seems this is where the blame might lie a maintenance engineer admitted to the Greek investigators that he may have left the pressurization switch in the cockpit in manual rather than an automatic this mistake means that the aircraft could have taken off completely unpressurized it’s a vital piece of information to understand the implications of this Kim travels to Stansted to talk to an aircraft engineer all commercial planes use the air conditioning system to pressurize the air in the cabin so can you tell me how the air conditioning system works in the aircraft certainly all the air and with the engine and the intake here buttons played off off the engine and pass through pipe work through the wing and to the air-conditioning packs which sit underneath air underneath the aircraft the air conditioning packs regulate the temperature of the air going into the cabin when the correct temperature is obtained the air then leaves the plane from a valve at the rear it is this simple procedure that pressurizes the cap so this is where the outflow valve is yeah we’ll hold here we hardly damaged it took several days to identify them or their father during the identification process very similar there were those who could be identified by their relatives they Baldy but then there were those we could only identify using DNA methods methyl law – DNA blood

samples found on the rudder controls were match to Andreas’s DNA this confirmed that he was in the cockpit during the final moments of Helios 5 – – using the same methods of DNA analysis the third body was identified as his girlfriend Harris this led investigators to an astonishing conclusion these two young flight attendants were trying to save the plane six minutes into the flight of the oxygen supply dropping and confused by the effects of hypoxia the pilots are struggling to make sense of the situation for flight attendant andreas and Harris the deployment of the oxygen masks is the first dreadful sign they have that something is seriously wrong and push me back along the chief purser takes off her mask to reissue the passengers that all as well she then tries to contact the flight deck to no avail by their relatives they fall deeper then there were those we could only identify using DNA methods method law – DNA blood samples found on the rudder controls were matched to Andreas’s DNA this confirmed that he was in the cockpit during the final moments of Helios five – – using the same methods of DNA analysis the third body was identified as his girlfriend Harris this led investigators to an astonishing conclusion these two young flight attendants were trying to save the plane six minutes into the flight of the oxygen supply dropping and confused by the effects of hypoxia the pilots are struggling to make sense of the situation for flight attendant andreas and Harris the deployment of the oxygen masks is the first dreadful sign they have that something is seriously wrong back along the chief purser takes off her mask to reassure the passengers that all as well she then tries to contact the flight deck to no avail fifteen minutes after the deployment of the masks the oxygen runs out and slowly everyone succumbs 400 miles an hour into a hillside north of Athens Helios five to two is one of the worst air disasters in European history it is also one of the most mysterious this is the story of the last few hours of flight five two two a story that has chilling implications for every air passenger today cypress Sunday the 14th of August 2005 it was the height of the Greek summer season a time for families to travel la rocca airport was packed with holiday makers and tourists the crew of Helios flight 5 – to welcome their passengers onboard there was a holiday mood among them as they settled in for the short flight from Cyprus to Athens flying the Boeing 737 were German captain Hans Jurgen Merton and a Cypriot co-pilot Pam Bashara lumbus flight 5 – 2 took off as scheduled shortly after 9:00 in the morning heading Northwest towards Athens amid I’m Athena when my wife called me she said a plane and Christine Callum Oh then she said it crusts in our village little Yama’s news of the accident spreads swiftly and the relatives of those on board desperately sought information if it had been you I called my daughter-in-law but she didn’t answer her phone number below 1 B I didn’t know what else to do kilink I had to go to Larnaca Airport but on a bowl up anyhow it was chaos

absolute chaos nobody knew anything you cannot zhonya everyone was shouting that I’ll have no one assisted us at the airport the copilot’s mother demanded answers I’ll go on deck sir they said we don’t know yet nobody knew through London when I asked them who was the co-pilot their reply was apparently the captain was German they had my loss you know my way said I didn’t the autopsies of the charred bodies led the coroner to a grisly conclusion anything thisis this I am certain they didn’t die from asphyxiation because their hearts and lungs were still functioning at the time of death and it makes the key to the yet another person others in other words none of the passengers died before the crash but in the bottles the cause of death was now established as the impact from the crash but that didn’t answer the key questions why did the Helios plane lose cabin pressure and why did this caused the plane to crash then a breakthrough amid the debris the flight recorder of Helios five to two was found it was now possible for the investigators to draw up a basic timeline for the accident according to the flight recorder Helius 5 – 2 – corphish a jeweled at oh nine or six hours straight after takeoff the autopilot was engaged for the preset route to Athens the plane climbed a 3,000 feet per minute at 7,000 feet a warning light was triggered indicating a problem the cooling system at 10,000 feet came the next indication of a prop decreases at 18,000 feet the body only receives half of the oxygen and receives at ground level pilots were losing their mental and physical abilities eventually passing up this deadly condition of oxygen starvation is commonly known as hypoxia I hate to think about it but it’s actually quite a nice way to die because all you do is get more and more sleep it’s an offense you just fall asleep and then if you don’t get enough option and eventually you die to experience the physical effects of hypoxia Kym travels to Rea handle to subject himself to a dangerous experiment a rapid decompression squadron leader Simon Chapel trains RAF flight crews on the hidden dangers of hypoxia one of the most reliable signs of hypoxia is a flushing a feeling a flushing of the face conversely if you look at the person who is becoming hypoxia but actually quite pale thereafter you get some some pins and needles in the fingertips around the lips you get a dimming of the vision use you lose the ability to go to see your peripheral vision the test chamber will simulate the conditions of an unpressurized flight at 25,000 feet the test subjects will experience the physical effects of lack of oxygen for four minutes only exceeding this time limit can cause permanent brain damage this is a deadly environment and see you cannot zhonya everyone was shouting that I’ll have no one assisted us at the airport the copilot’s mother demanded answers I’ll go and experiment they said we don’t know yet nobody knew you’ll understand when I asked them who was the co-pilot their reply was apparently the captain was German today yet Manos you know my way said I didn’t ask you about any German I asked you about her lumbus tell me if he’s on the flight welcome amidst the chaos of the crash scene the scale of the tragedy emerged all 121 people on board were dead among them 22 children Pelias flight 522 was one of the worst air disasters in recent european history but what the air crash investigators uncovered would only add to the confusion and mystery surrounding this accident Helius like five to two crashed in the

mountains north of athens the debris field was scattered moments later another warning is activated an airphone from the selected food just on do ten thousand think we’ve got a war and we’re climbing at 3,000 feet per minute we’ve also got that warning horn just like the Helios five to two a warning horn goes off at 10,000 feet this horn alerts the crew to the fact that their plane is not pressurized we’ve also got an indication that it’s in Venice we know that this horn is solely here to do the cabin pressure but can’t believe that two professional pilots would miss something as obvious eject they’re scaring and straining about I really don’t understand how the Healy’s polyps could have missed all the obvious signs unless something has seriously distracted perhaps a clue lies and the symptoms the pilots would have experienced as their brains were starved of oxygen in the unpressurized plane the symptoms of oxygen starvation were first noticed by second world war fighter pilots as their planes reached ever higher altitudes in thinner air oxygen supply to the brain decreases at 18,000 feet the body only receives half of the oxygen and receives at ground level pilots were losing that mental and physical abilities eventually passing up this deadly condition of oxygen starvation is commonly known as in seen wrestling with the controls the cruellest reveals one very strong Canton the 25 year old flight attendant andreas Pro Thomas find this but since he was young andreas was always interested in planes damn they’re always planes in his room then attacks either I mean when did it when we were traveling he was always trying to find out the model of the plane and they were always photographs in his room in for the word I’ve years andreas was a man obsessed with flying being a flight attendant was only the first step towards fulfilling his dream Adonijah he was training to be a pilot but he was working as a Stewart Gabi was basically waiting for the day when he could finally put into practice what he was training for he’s worse when andreas had around 260 to 270 hours of flight time pieces at first there was no hard evidence that the person in the cockpit really was Andreas three bodies were removed from the wreckage of the cockpit the copilot shahram Bose was quickly identified but the other two bodies were so badly damaged it took several days to identify them or their father during the identification process body simmer and flight five to two at her home in Cyprus the copilot’s mother sat down to watch television you can get Guinea I usually watch my favorite show at noon on Sunday but instead of the show comes news Capas paru Shia’s le kappa Padma septa see arrows Kapusta got Ricky Siderius dodge jeep react on by now Helios five to two was in Greek airspace Athens air traffic controllers have been trying for over an hour to establish contact with the aircraft but it was to no avail meanwhile the silent plane circled in a holding pattern over athens even asketh covered a sabado or not i was with colleagues near the great pentagon and we got a call from the Ministry of Defence telling us that a Boeing plane had communication problems with Athens International Airport both Arizona’s ellis one question was uppermost in the minds of the Greek authorities did Athens face a terrorist attack like 9/11 two fighter jets were scrambled to intercept what was officially known as a renegade plane but the pilots reported back shocked the authorities the passengers were wearing their oxygen masks the copilot was slumped over the instruments and persons unknown were seen struggling with the controls it seemed that the plane had been hijacked the increasingly confused captain may have left his seat possibly to try and turn off the alarm approximately 15 minutes after takeoff both pilots would have passed out the hypoxia experiment was a real eye-opener for me I can now understand

why the pilots missed the vital clues I thought I was in control when clearly I was not for Kim hypoxia offers compelling explanation why the pilot seemed unable to react to the warning signs in the cockpit yet it also prompts a further crucial question if everybody on board had succumbed to oxygen starvation then who were the two people spotted in the cockpit by the intercepting f-16 pilots only minutes before the crash how did they manage to avoid the hypoxia which had overcome the pilots who were they and who in particular was the person seen wrestling with the controls the cruellest reveals one very strong Canton the 25 year old flight attendant andreas promised undress but since he was young andreas was always interested in planes we Thunder always planes in his room then attacks either I mean