By Heather Saul. The captain of the doomed Germanwings plane reportedly used an axe to break down the cockpit door in the final moments before his co-pilot “intentionally” descended the plane, German media has suggested.
Evidence from the cockpit voice recorder suggested the captain of the Airbus A320, who The Independent understands is named Patrick Sondenheimer, left the flightdeck mid-journey, presumably to go to the toilet. Prosecutors say he returned to find his co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had barricaded himself inside and had sent the plane into descent over the French Alps.
French investigators said the captain can be heard asking “several times” for access after identifying himself, but received no response. He then banged on the door before trying to forcefully gain entry, with one investigator telling The New York Times: “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” (Read more from “Germanwings Captain Tried to Break into Locked Cockpit Door ‘with an Axe’ as Plane Was Descending” HERE)
Germanwings Crash Co-Pilot Hid Illness from Airline
By Celine Jankowiak with Deborah Cole in Berlin. The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed his Airbus into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, hid a serious illness from the airline, prosecutors said Friday amid reports he was severely depressed. [Problem with this story line: depressed individuals generally don’t commit mass murder]
The black box voice recorder indicates that Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked his captain out of the cockpit on Tuesday and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside, French officials say, in what appears to have been a case of suicide and mass murder.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that all the signs were “pointing towards an act that we can’t describe: criminal, crazy, suicidal”.
German prosecutors revealed that searches of Lubitz’s homes netted “medical documents that suggest an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment”, including “torn-up and current sick leave notes, among them one covering the day of the crash”.
They did not specify the illness. (Read more from this story HERE)
[For reports in the German press that the co-pilot was a recent Muslim convert, click HERE]