Co-pilot ‘accelerated plane’s descent’

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 03 April 2015 | 20.01

Investigators find evidence that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz researched suicide methods and cockpit door technology in the days before Flight 9525's crash. Criminal justice professor Adam Lankford explains why some suicides end in murder. Photo: AP

Co-pilot ... Andreas Lubitz is suspected of deliberately downing the Germanwings plane, killing all 150 aboard. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

DATA from the second black box found in the wreckage of the Germanwings flight that crashed last week in the French Alps confirm the co-pilot acted deliberately, investigators say.

"A first reading shows that the pilot in the cockpit used the automatic pilot to descend the plane towards an altitude of 100 feet (30 metres)," said the French BEA crash investigation office in a statement on Friday.

"Then, several times during the descent, the pilot changed the automatic pilot settings to increase the aircraft's speed," added the investigators.

Evidence ... data from the second Germanwings black box (pictured) found the co-pilot accelerated the plane's descent. Picture: AFP/Boris Horvat Source: AFP

The latest information appeared to confirm the theory that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately smashed his plane into the mountains, killing all 150 people on board.

Authorities found the second black box, which contains technical flight data, on Thursday after a gruelling nine-day search in difficult mountain terrain.

Tough mission ... rescue workers continue their search operation near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps. Picture: Francis Pellier MI DICOM/Ministere de l'Interieur/Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Data from the first black box, which records conversations in the cockpit, suggested that Lubitz, 27, locked his captain out and then deliberately set the plane on a deadly collision course with the mountains.

The plane smashed into the mountains at a speed of 700 kilometres an hour, instantly killing everyone on board — half of them German and more than 50 from Spain.

Search team ... French gendarmes get ready to go to the crash site of the German Airbus A320. Picture: AFP/pascal Guyot Source: AFP

It emerged on Thursday that Lubitz had searched online for information about suicide and cockpit doors.

German prosecutors have said Lubitz was diagnosed as suicidal "several years ago", before he became a pilot.


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