A suicidal pilot may have deliberately locked his copilot out of the cockpit of the doomed Germanwings airliner that crashed into the French Alps killing 150 on board.
An investigator who heard the cockpit recording that was recovered from the crash site on Tuesday told the NY Times that one of the 2 pilots flying the Germanwings airliner was locked out of the cockpit and couldn't get back in.
The official said the pilot may have left the cockpit for a bathroom break and was locked out per airline policy to prevent cockpit intrusion by terrorists.
Airline policy calls for the pilot flying the plane to let the other pilot back in. But that didn't happen in the case of the doomed Germanwings airliner.
After the pilot was locked out of the cockpit, the plane began a controlled descent from 38,000 feet to about 6,000 feet in 8 minutes.
In that time the 2nd pilot can be heard banging on the cockpit door and even trying to break the door down.
A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.
“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”
He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” Source
Air traffic control also attempted to contact the cockpit, but there was no response.
A suicidal pilot is also believed to have caused the crash of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared off the southwest coast of Perth, Australia on March 8, 2014. 227 passengers and 12 crew members died in that crash.
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