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Germanwings investigation yields pilot issues as cause for crash

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Two planes of Germanwings in an airport.
Two planes of Germanwings in an airport.

Two planes of Germanwings in an airport.

After a thorough investigation, French prosecutors said that the plane?s co-pilot Andreas Lubitz drove the Germanwings flight into a path of fatal descent immediately before the crash. This was proven, after it was found that Lubitz had locked out the captain from the cockpit.

The findings of the investigators

The conclusion was reached by Prosecutor Brice Robin, as the actions of Lubitz lead to a conclusion that the co-pilot wanted ?to destroy the aircraft.? Lubitz had triggered a five minute override when the flight captain Patrick Sonderheimer attempted to re-enter the cockpit after briefly leaving it. The override thwarted the attempt by Sonderheimer to punch in a safety code to open the cockpit.

According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, Lubitz was a pilot for the company since 2013 and had qualified to be co-pilot as he became trusted and had no indicators of physical or psychological distress. There was one instance wherein Lubitz?s training was briefly interrupted but soon thereafter was reinstated after a due review of ?his suitability as a candidate was re-established.?

The evidence presented

Audio evidence was also introduced to give an understanding as to the goings-on during the flight. A French military officer investigating the case described a ?very smooth, very cool? conversation between the two pilots. As the flight progressed from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany, one of the pilots had stepped out of the cockpit.

The investigator then said, ?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 never was any answer.? He added, ?You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.?

The background check

New evidence though has come to light after an investigative report conducted by The Guardian. In a report by Luke Harding, the Guardian?s Berlin correspondent had forwarded another report from the German paper Bild Zeitung. According to the German newspaper, Lubitz had stopped his training six years ago due to ?psychological problems.? He had undergone treatment for about eighteen months. He also had to repeat some of his flight classes because he failed after becoming depressed. He was also diagnosed to have undergone a ?severe depressive episode? back in 2009. He had the code ?SIC? on his pilot?s license, meaning he was undergoing special regular medical examination.

The company responds

To this, Germanwings said they have ?full faith in our pilots? and had reiterated that Andreas Lubitz had deliberately and was fully responsible for the tragedy which claimed the lives of 144 passengers.

The statement read, ?Yet even after this terrible event, we have full faith in our pilots. They remain the best in the world; this event is an extremely tragic isolated incident.?

Image courtesy of Creative Commons contributor Plane13.com

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