Germanwings black box reveals pilot left cockpit before crash

The black box from the cockpit has revealed that one of the pilots of the Germanwings flight was locked out of the cockpit before the plane crashed.

There was apparently a “smooth” conversation between the two pilots, before one pilot leaves. An investigator explained to the New York Times what happened when this pilot returned:

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer. And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer. You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

A senior official has said that the flight data recorder’s case was found, but the actual memory was either destroyed or thrown loose by the impact of the crash. The The French Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses (BEA) said it was “optimistic” about it being found.

The two pilots haven’t been identified, but The Guardian writes that one of them had over ten years experience. Only 10% of flight crashes happen during the ‘cruising’ period of flight. This tragedy has left experts stunned and is yet to be explained.

UPDATE 26/03/2015 11.35pm AEST: Marseille prosecutor, Brice Robin, has alleged that it appears as though, the German national co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, crashed the plane deliberately. Lubitz was left in sole control of the Airbus A320 when the captain left the cockpit, and Lubitz refused to open the door again.

Prosecutor Robin has described manipulation Lubitz of “the flight monitoring system in order to embark on the descent of the plane”, as ‘deliberate’.

“I repeat, when he was alone, in charge of the Airbus, the co-pilot started the flight monitoring system to get the plane to descend,” Robin stated.

“The action on this altitude selector can only be voluntary, I repeat action on this altitude selector can only be deliberate.”

Robin claimed that human breathing could be heard in the cock pit up until the final moments indicating that, “theoretically the co-pilot was alive”.

“But we can analyse it that the intention was to destroy this plane.”

This development is not being treated as terrorism or suicide related.