French officials investigating the loss of the Germanwings Airbus A320 that crashed into the French Alps on Tuesday have said it appears that the co-pilot wanted to “destroy the plane.”
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, referring to data from the cockpit voice recorder said the co-pilot – Andreas Lubitz (28) – was alone in the cockpit when the airliner struck the mountain.
Mr Robin added that the co-pilot had intentionally started the descent while the captain was locked outside in the cabin.
“We hear the pilot ask the co-pilot to take control of the plane and we hear at the same time the sound of a seat moving backwards and the sound of a door closing,”
“At that moment, the co-pilot is controlling the plane by himself. While he is alone, the co-pilot presses the buttons of the flight monitoring system to put into action the descent of the aeroplane.
“This action on the altitude controls can only be deliberate.”
He added: “The most plausible interpretation is that the co-pilot through a voluntary act had refused to open the cabin door to let the captain in. He pushed the button to trigger the aircraft to lose altitude. He operated this button for a reason we don’t know yet, but it appears that the reason was to destroy this plane.”
Mr Robin described there being: “absolute silence in the cockpit” as the captain tried to force his way back into the flight deck and stated that the co-pilot was still alive when the aircraft struck the mountain. All 150 persons on board the flight were killed.