DID the co-pilot of German Wings flight 4U 9525, Andreas Lubitz, deliberately crash the plane? According to a statement issued by Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin commenting on information from the cockpit voice recorder, this is looking increasingly likely, although far from a certainty.
Giving a statement to the press Mr Robin said the plane’s pilot was locked out of the cockpit, while the co-pilot ‘intentionally’ put the plane into a sharp descent. During this time it sounds like the pilot was trying increasingly desperately to re-enter the cockpit, eventually trying to smash the door down. It seems likely that the Captain initially left the controls to go to the toilet.
During this period Mr Robin stated that there was “absolute silence in the cockpit,” with air traffic controllers also making various attempts to contact the co-pilot and ask him why the plane was descending. If the plane had been put into a controlled descent, it seems unlikely that the co-pilot had become unconscious and he appeared to be breathing normally. Just before the plane crashed the voices of screaming passengers could be heard on the voice recorder.
The co-pilot’s background and fitness to fly is now being looked into, but initial reports suggest that the 28-year-old co-pilot was happy with work, had an active, healthy lifestyle and lots of good friends. According to Lufthansa he was considered 100 per cent fit to fly, only adding to the mystery of why he seems to have pushed the plane into its terminal descent.