After Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed into a mountainside, officials began speculating as to the cause. All 150 people onboard the flight were killed and as one reporter said, no piece of the wreckage was larger than a small car. Literally, the plane had been obliterated.
Shortly after the crash, one of the two in black boxes was quickly recovered. Officials began looking at voice recordings and data, learning that the pilot had somehow become locked outside of the cockpit, leaving the co-pilot at the helm.
Investigators heard sounds and voices of the pilot as he frantically tried to get the cockpit door opened during the ten-minute descent. The cockpit door was equipped with a key code box for reentry but it was apparently disengaged from inside the cockpit.
According to an unnamed investigator, a man’s voice and light knocking on the cockpit door was initially heard but after getting no response, the door was hit harder. Very quickly, the sounds changed to that of the pilot trying to breach the door in any way possible.
At first, officials believed the co-pilot had suffered some type of medical emergency. In doing so, his body might have hit one of the controllers, which in turn started the slow downward flight. However, it now appears that 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz had locked the door intentionally.
As stated by Brice Robin, Marseille prosecutor, from the information gathered so far, it appears that Lubitz had purposely locked the pilot out of the cockpit with his goal being to destroy the plane and everyone onboard. The question that everyone has is why.
Although officials do not believe the crash was terroristic, there is no other alternative for the pilot’s actions. Robin went on to say that Lubitz made the decision to crash the plane and that during the 10 minutes before impact, people onboard were fully aware of their fate. He added that only toward the end of the recording could screams be heard. The only solace is that death would have been instantaneous.
In a statement from Lufthansa’s CEO Carsten Spohr, parent company of Germanwings, all crewmembers are carefully chosen and required to complete an intense psychological evaluation. However, no matter what precautionary measures are taken, this type of event cannot ever be ruled out.
Spohr stated that Lubitz was a German national who started flying with Germanwings back in 2013. Compared to the primary pilot referred to only as Patrick S who had 6,000 hours of flying time, Lubitz had just 630. He also stated that at no time did Lubitz indicate anything was wrong or that he was planning on carrying out a terrorist attack.
During the flight, the two pilots exchanged pleasantries and had general conversation. It was only before what would have been the normal descent to the Duesseldorf airport that Lubitz started giving very brief and disconnected responses.
There are still two black boxes unaccounted for that will greatly benefit the investigation. At this point, the BEA air investigation bureau in France along with other officials is working the case.