Co-pilot 'intended to destroy' Germanwings plane

Co-pilot 'intended to destroy' Germanwings plane

Image credit: Nicolas Economou / Shutterstock.com

One of the two pilots of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps is thought to have deliberately caused the crash, according to a French prosecutor.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin has claimed the co-pilot, who is a German national, appears to have intended to destroy the plane, claiming he “accelerated the descent” of the plane while he was alone in the cockpit.

The second pilot was locked out of the cockpit, with early findings from onboard voice recording suggesting he made a desperate attempt to get back in.

Robin said the recording showed that the co-pilot "didn't utter a single word" in the final 10 minutes of the flight prior to its crash. He said the co-pilot chose not to open the door to his colleague and “pushed a button to put the plane down”.

Speaking at a press conference Robin said the co-pilot “voluntarily” put the aircraft into dive and was alive until the moment of impact.

He said the conversations between the pilot and co-pilot had been normal beforehand. The co-pilot took over the plane when the pilot left the cockpit to make a “natural call”.

He said: “The intention was to destroy this plane.”

“I think he refused to open the door and turned the button to get down the plane. It was a voluntary action on the part of the co-pilot.”

British Airline Pilots Association chairman Brendan O’Neal said he was “deeply shocked” by the news.

“We need to work with airlines and regulators to ensure this cannot happen again.”

The Airbus 320 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf crashed on Tuesday killing all 150 passengers and crew onboard.

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