There is so much madness going on in the world today. It has now been reported that the co pilot of the Germanwings AirBus that crashed earlier this week deliberately caused the plane to crash killing himslef and all the passengers and flight personel on board.
We must pray for the dearly departed and the families they have left behind. We must also pray for the co pilot who caused this terrible accident. May God have mercy on his soul and the souls of all the departed.
PARIS (AP/CNN) – A co-pilot, alone at the helm of a doomed Germanwings plane that crashed into the French Alps, began descent manually and “intentionally,” prosecutors said Thursday.
The official said it appeared the co-pilot wanted to “destroy the plane.” All 150 passengers and crew members were killed when the plane crashed Tuesday in a remote region in the French Alps.
Audio from the mangled voice recorder of Germanwings Flight 9525 reveals the captain was locked out of the cockpit while the co-pilot appeared to make a deliberate attempt to destroy the plane, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Thursday. The co-pilot was identified by Robin as Andreas Lubitz.
Prosecutors said the co-pilot was conscious until impact. Alarms sounded as banging was heard on the armored cockpit door of the Germanwings plane, operated by the budget subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines.
The co-pilot “accelerated the descent” of the plane when he was alone in the cockpit, Robin said. That can only be done deliberately, he said.
Robin said the co-pilot was a German national and not on any terrorism list.
Officials previously said they hadn’t ruled out terrorism but that it seems unlikely. French authorities have disclosed few details about what the recording contained.
“It’s still too early to draw conclusions to what happened,” said Remi Jouty, head of the BEA, the French aviation investigative arm leading the probe. “There is going to be detailed work performed on that audio file to understand and interpret the sounds and the voices that can be heard.”
Waber Joerg, a spokesman for Lufthansa, said it’s not unusual for one pilot to be in the cockpit.
“The authorities and regulations stipulate that a pilot can be in the cockpit alone,” he said. “It is recommended that this time be kept to a minimum. We comply with all German and European aviation authorities.”
Second ‘black box’ still lost
Finding the plane’s second “black box” will also be critical to understanding the mystery of what went on inside the jet.
That box, the flight data recorder, hasn’t been found yet, but Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Wednesday that there’s a high probability it will be.
More answers may also come in news conferences scheduled for later Thursday by the Marseille prosecutor and senior executives from Germanwings and Lufthansa.
The Germanwings media office told CNN the captain of Flight 9525 had more than 6,000 hours of flight time. He has been with Germanwings since May 2014 and had worked with Lufthansa and Condor before then.
The co-pilot has been with Germanwings since September 2013 and had completed 630 hours of flight time, the media office said. The co-pilot had trained at the Lufthansa flight training center in Bremen, Germany.
A dangerous search
Relatives and friends of the victims embarked on an emotional trip Thursday: traveling close to the mountainous spot where their loved ones perished.
Special Lufthansa flights from Germany and Spain are taking relatives and friends of the victims to southern France. The airline has offered to take them as close to the crash site as possible “within the safety parameters of the investigation,” Lufthansa said in a statement.
They are first expected to stop in the town of Le Vernet for a “moment of reverence,” Seyne-les-Alpes Mayor Francis Hermitte said.
They will then carry on to the village of Seyne-les-Alpes, which has become a staging post for the recovery operation. A further ceremony is expected there, Hermitte said.
He said he anticipated 200 to 300 people would come to the area Thursday, not just relatives of the victims but also people close to the families.
Most are not expected to stay overnight, he said. But in case they do, he said, local residents have spontaneously offered accommodations for them to stay.
While some human remains have been recovered from the crash scene, many have not. And the task is treacherous for search crews.
The plane crashed in the French Alps, where slopes are steep and the weather has been icy.
The only way workers could get to the site was to drop from helicopters. Jouty, the head of the French team leading the investigation, said they had to be together for safety.
Victims from 18 countries
The doomed flight was traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany, when it crashed Tuesday.
Germanwings said the plane reached its cruising altitude of 38,000 feet, and then dropped for about eight minutes. The plane lost contact with French radar at a height of about 6,000 feet. Then it crashed.
There were 150 people from 18 countries on board.
Teams have begun the daunting task of identifying the victims’ bodies but caution that it could take time to complete.
Clues in the debris
Investigators are still trying to piece together what caused the crash.
Jouty said the debris suggests the plane hit the ground and then broke apart, instead of exploding in flight.
Radar followed the plane “virtually to the point of impact,” Jouty said.
FBI agents based in France, Germany and Spain are looking through intelligence sources and cross-referencing the passenger manifest, two senior law enforcement officials said.
So far, one official said, the search hasn’t turned up anything that “stands out” or anything linking the passengers to criminal activity.