LE BOURGE, France, 26 March 2015. Officials from the Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA), French authority responsible for safety investigations into accidents or incidents in civil aviation, revealed shocking information gleaned from the recovered cockpit voice recorder (CVR), one of two “black boxes.” The flight data recorder (FDR) has yet to be located.
The crew did not issue a distress call as the Airbus A320-211 commercial jet made a rapid and unexplained descent from 38,000 feet over a period of eight minutes.
BEA investigators, seven of which were assigned to the crash of Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 this week, have recovered, cracked open, and examined the recorder, listening to conversations in the cockpit and alarms that might have sounded before the jetliner crashed in the French Alps, killing 150 people.
Investigators studying the CVR made the chilling discovery that the pilot was locked out of the cockpit and knocking violently on the door of the cockpit, while passengers screamed in horror before the crash. The co-pilot can be heard breathing until the time of impact, having said nothing.
French officials are convinced that Germanwings Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, a 28-year-old German national, deliberately crashed Flight 4U 9525.
Lufthansa officials said they have no idea as to the motives of the co-pilot, who reportedly joined Germanwings directly after completing training in Sept. 2013 and had 630 of flying time.
"We at Lufthansa are speechless that this aircraft has been deliberately crashed by the co-pilot," explains Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr. Germanwings is a subsidiary of Lufthansa.
Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin is calling the crash a terrorist act, noting that Lubitz "wanted to destroy the aircraft" and took advantage of a moment when the commander/pilot left the cockpit to activate a lock-out lever on the cockpit door and activate the descent, which can only be done deliberately.
Image source: Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses (BEA, France, www.bea.aero)