Germanwings Co-Pilot Believed to Have Deliberately Crashed Plane, Captain Locked Out of Cockpit
A French prosecutor said on Thursday that the evidence gathered so far indicates that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit and crashed the plane early Tuesday morning.
“At this moment, in light of investigation, the interpretation we can give at this time is that the co-pilot through voluntary abstention refused to open the door of the cockpit to the commander, and activated the button that commands the loss of altitude,” said the prosecutor, Brice Robin, at a news conference.
The result put the plane into a fatal descent with the resultant loss of life of 150 passengers and crew.
Mr. Robin said that it appeared that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had intended “to destroy the aircraft,” adding that the cockpit voice recorder demonstrated that the co-pilot was breathing normally until the moment before impact, explaining that this suggests he was conscious and that his actions in bringing the plane down in the French Alps were deliberate.
The prosecutor also said the crash could no longer be regarded as a case of involuntary manslaughter.
The idea that a commercial pilot deliberately crashed a plane has stunned aviation experts across the globe as well as employees at Germanwings and its parent, German flag carrier Lufthansa.
“We pride ourselves on being extremely picky in choosing our pilots,” the airline’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, told reporters. “In our mind, what has happened was simply impossible,” he continued, adding “We are horrified that something of this nature could have been taken place.”
When asked if the co-pilot had committed an act of suicide, Mr. Robins responded: “I don’t call it suicide when you have 150 people behind you.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)