Prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane, killing 150 people

Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz

French prosecutor Brice Robin shared details from the black box recorder recovered from the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed into the French Alps killing 150 people, and all of the evidence suggests co-pilot Andreas Lubitz (photo above) deliberately crashed the plane after locking the captain out of the cockpit.

“We heard the captain ask the co-pilot to take control,” Robin says of the recording, “then we hear the noise of a seat that goes back and a door open, we can assume he went to relieve himself.” Robin says that at this point “the co-pilot was alone. It is this moment that the co-pilot manipulates the buttons of the flight monitoring system to begin the descent of the plane.” He adds, “The action of this selectioner of altitude can only be deliberate.”

When the captain returns to find the cockpit door locked, he attempts to speak with the co=pilot Lubitz via interphone, but there is no response. He can be heard tapping on the cockpit door, but still no response. “Alarms sounded to signal to crew the proximity of the ground, then we hear banging of someone trying to break down the door,” Robin says.

The co-pilot could be heard breathing calmly throughout, right up until impact. “There was no message of distress received by air traffic control, and no response to all the air traffic controllers,” Robin reveals.

Judging from the recorder, it appears as though the passengers on board were unaware there was a problem until just before impact. “I think that the victims only realized what was happening at the last minute,” Robin says. “We only hear screams in the last seconds. Death was instant.”

When asked to summarize investigators’ conclusions, Robin states:

The interpretation 48 hours after the crash, I take precautions, but for us investigators…the most plausible and realistic is that the co-pilot by a deliberate decision refused to open the cabin door to the captain.

And actioned the button ordering the loss of altitude.

There was a deliberate desire to destroy this plane.

I am saying that given the elements I have today, I can only say that he deliberately allowed the loss of altitude. It’s not a loss that is totally abnormal, 1,000ft per minute; but he had no reason to do it, or not to allow captain into the cabin, he had no reason not to explain to air traffic control why he was losing altitude.

The theory that he had a health attack? Apparently he was breathing normally, so this is not someone having a heart attack, for example.

Robin concluded his remarks by addressing concerns that this was a terrorist act. “Let’s make this clear, today given what we have, nothing suggests this is a terrorist attack. When you have 150 people in your responsibility, I can’t call this suicide, but I understand you can pose this question.”

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