PARIS (MEDIA GENERAL/AP) – Disturbing revelations came Thursday morning from a news conference in Paris. It revealed that the co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps had “intention to destroy this plane,” according to Marseille’s prosecutor.
The black box showed that the pilot was deliberately locked out of the cockpit and despite desperate attempts to get back in, was kept outside. During the final minutes of the flight’s descent, pounding could be heard on the cockpit door as plane alarms sounded but the co-pilot’s breathing was normal throughout the whole time.
Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz
We do not yet know a lot about co-pilot Andreas Lubitz who appears to have taken eight full minutes to crash the plane killing all 150 on board. He’s a 28-year-old German. Lufthansa said the co-pilot joined Germanwings in September 2013, directly after training, and had flown 630 hours.
Lubitz has never been flagged as a terrorist. We do not know his religion or ethnic background. German authorities are taking charged of the investigation into Lubitz.
In the German town of Montabaur, acquaintances told The Associated Press that Lubitz showed no signs of depression when they saw him last fall as he renewed his glider pilot’s license.
“He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well,” said a member of the glider club, Peter Ruecker, who watched Lubitz learn to fly. “He gave off a good feeling.”
Lubitz had obtained his glider pilot’s license as a teenager, and was accepted as a Lufthansa pilot trainee after finishing a tough German college preparatory school, Ruecker said. He described Lubitz as a “rather quiet” but friendly young man.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)