Thinking Like a Computer: The crash of Indian Airlines flight 605

The burned-out wreckage of Indian Airlines flight 605 lies beside the airport perimeter wall in Bangalore, India. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
A brand new Airbus A320, used by Airbus for test flights. (Airways Magazine)
Aftermath of the crash of Air France flight 296. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
VT-EPC, a sister ship of VT-EPN, the aircraft involved in the accident. (Sean D’Silva)
The route of Indian Airlines flight 605. (Google)
How to select different FMS modes, and where they are displayed. (FAA)
A primary display with lateral and vertical commands provided by the flight director. (FAA)
The first three mode changes during the descent. (FAA)
The next two mode changes, with the final, unintentional change described in red. (FAA)
The two separate buttons which turn off the two flight directors. (FAA)
All the mode changes so far, lined up with the airplane’s height above the ground. The rightmost column explains why the mode was changed FROM the mode on that row, NOT to it. (FAA)
My sketch of the moment flight 605 impacted the embankment. (Own work)
The rear part of the cabin was where most of the surviving passengers were seated. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Wreckage lies strewn near the final resting place of flight 605. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
An investigator stands amid the remains of the A320’s fuselage. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
An A320 pilot’s airspeed display during an approach, including the purple triangle. (FAA)
Investigators examine part of one of the A320’s engines. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
The aftermath of the crash of Air Inter flight 148. (Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives)
Police examine the wreckage of flight 605. (
Onlookers gather to observe the plane’s damaged tail section. (



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Admiral Cloudberg

Admiral Cloudberg

Analyzer of plane crashes and author of upcoming book (eventually™). Contact me via @Admiral_Cloudberg on Reddit or by email at