Germanwings Co-Pilot May Have Deliberately Crashed Plane
- By Matt Holden
- Mar 26, 2015
According to reports, the 28-year-old German co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner that crashed into the French Alps killing all 150 people on board appears to have brought down the plane deliberately with the intent to destroy it.
Andreas Lubitz gained sole control of the plane after the captain left the cockpit. He refused to re-open the door and reportedly took control of the aircraft and started its descent. According to German aviation law, pilots may temporarily leave the cockpit at certain times and in certain circumstances, such as when the aircraft is cruising.
After Sept. 11, 2001, regulations were introduced that would allow the cockpit doors to be opened from the outside with a code, but the code can be overridden from inside the cockpit.
“He did this for a reason we cannot fathom right now but which looks like intent to destroy this aircraft,” said Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin.
The recordings gathered from the plane’s blackbox suggest the passengers were unaware of what was happening until the last minute.
"Only towards the end do you hear screams," he said. "And bear in mind that death would have been instantaneous ... the aircraft was literally smashed to bits."
At the moment there is no suspicion of terrorist activity, but police have set up guard outside Lubitz’s house in Montabaur, Germany.
Matt Holden is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media, Inc. He received his MFA and BA in journalism from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He currently writes and edits for Occupational Health & Safety magazine, and Security Today.