A daunting report from officials in Germany indicated today that a 28 year old co-pilot of the Flight 9525 initiated the Germanwings Plane crash that killed 150 people.
The co-pilot was named as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz, who had joined Germanwings last year.
Brice Robin, the Marseille public prosecutor, pills told a press conference that the first officer had locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the controls of the Airbus A320 for a rapid descent and the eventual crash into the French Alps.
Recordings from the recovered black box caught a normal conversation between the two pilots, moments before the plane started plummeting.
The Pilot then asked his colleague to take over as he went to the toilet and that’s when copilot Andres locked him out.
“He voluntarily allowed the aircraft to lose altitude. He had no reason to do this. He had no reason to stop the captain coming back into the cockpit,” said prosecutor Brice Robion.
“The co-pilot at that moment alone used the flight management system that starts the descent of the aircraft. This action can only be done voluntarily.” He ruled out the possibilities that anyone else was in the cockpit, and that the co-pilot had collapsed and inadvertently triggered a descent.
Until the 11 September 2001 attacks in US, most passenger aircraft had a flimsy door between the cockpit and the cabin. The 9/11 terrorists, armed with blades that they had taken through security, were able easily to access the flight deck and kill the pilots to take control.
After the terrorist attacks, airlines began to install reinforced doors, designed to be intruder-proof and bullet-proof. A key-code system is designed to allow cabin crew to gain entry in the event that the pilots are incapacitated. But an override switch – effectively a deadlock – can be engaged on the flight deck. When activated, the door cannot be opened from the outside for a pre-set length of time between five and 20 minutes.
According to the recordings the main pilot tried knocking on the cockpit door but Andreas would not open. The recordings also confirm that the copilot was alive and breathing normally just before the plane plunged into the mountains.
Passengers are also believed to have been unaware of the crash as creams are heard second before the impact.