Pilots' group 'shocked' by Germanwings crash revelations

Pilots' group 'shocked' by Germanwings crash revelations

European pilots are “deeply disturbed” by the latest turn of events in the investigation into Tuesday’s Germanwings disaster.

The European Cockpit Association (ECA), which represents more than 38,000 flight crew, said official reports that there was a deliberate attempt to destroy the aircraft killing all 150 people on board were “shocking”.

“Even if this turns out to be a single extraordinary event, we are committed to making improvements to ensure flying becomes even safer than it has always been,” the ECA said.

The organisation called for an “unbiased, independent investigation” into the factors leading to the crash.

The call came amid increasingly frenzied speculation over the actions of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, with some media reports this morning suggesting he was suffering from a personal life crisis when he locked the captain out of the cockpit and flew the aircraft into a mountain.

It also emerged that Germanwings’ parent company could face a bill of more than £100 million in lawsuits.

Chief executive Carsten Spohr said that Lubitz had taken a break from training but did not explain why.

A statement from Gemanwings said: “We were stunned to learn that the airplane we lost in southern France was to all appearances made to crash by deliberate act—presumably by the co-pilot.

“This is evidently the conclusion of the French investigative authorities who have studied the voice recorder that was recovered from the ill-fated Airbus A320.

“It appears that, once the plane had reached cruising altitude, the captain stepped out of the cockpit but was unable to re-enter it a short while later, as the co-pilot had bolted the cockpit door.

“We, together with the bereaved families and friends of the victims and many millions of other people, are shocked, grief-stricken, and utterly baffled by what has happened.”

British Airline Pilots Association general secretary Jim McAuslan said: “All pilots will be shocked at what has happened and will be thinking of the captain who was trying to gain access to the flight deck to save the passengers.

“When this detailed investigation is concluded and all the facts are available, pilots want airlines, safety regulators and manufacturers to work with us to ensure lessons are learned from this tragedy and steps are taken so that it does not happen again.”

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