An Airbus operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline crashed into a mountainside in the French Alps on Tuesday (24th March), killing all 150 people on board including 16 schoolchildren.
Officials struggled Wednesday (25th March) to explain why a jet with 150 people (144 passengers and 6 crew which includes 2 pilots) on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.
But now, it has been confirmed that the plane was deliberately flown into the mountain.
The Guardian reported live from a press conference in Marseille where French public prosecutor said that during the last 8 minutes of the flight, the co-pilot “voluntarily” carried out actions that led to the destruction of the aircraft.
Part of the excerpt from The Guardian reads:
The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people, appears to have deliberately flown it into a mountain after locking the flight commander out of the cockpit.
During the last eight minutes of the flight, the co-pilot “voluntarily” carried out actions that led to the destruction of the aircraft, Brice Robin, a French public prosecutor, said at a press conference in Marseille.
Citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder recovered from the Airbus A320, Robin outlined the last moments of the doomed plane in a chilling account of the actions of the co-pilot, whom he named as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz.
Robin said Lubitz could be heard breathing right up until the point of impact, suggesting he had not lost consciousness. However, he failed to respond to increasingly desperate calls from the commander trying to break down the cockpit door, or to air traffic controllers. Passengers could be heard screaming just before the crash, Robin said.
Lubitz had been flying for Germanwings since September 2013 after being trained with the airline’s parent company Lufthansa at its facility in Bremen. He had clocked up a total of 630 hours in the air.
Robin said Lubitz had “no reason to do it” and no links to terrorist groups. “There is nothing to suggest this was a terrorist act,” he said.
“For the first 20 minutes of the flight, the pilots spoke in a normal way, you could say cheerful and courteous,” Robin said. “We heard the flight commander prepare the briefing for landing at Düsseldorf and the response of the co-pilot seemed laconic. Then we heard the commander ask the co-pilot to take the controls.
“We heard at the same time the sound of a seat being pushed back and the sound of a door closing.”
Robin said it was assumed that the flight commander needed to go to “satisfy natural needs”.
There was no indication that Lubitz’s actions amounted to terrorism, Robin said. But he stopped short of declaring it suicide, saying only that was a “legitimate” question to ask.
Robin added he had briefed the families of the dead.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those who were affected by the Germanwings crash
Source: The Guardian.