Co-Pilot's Body Found: The Germanwings Details Just Keep Getting Worse
Update: As we approach the one-week anniversary of one of the most shocking airplane crashes in recent times, more horrific details continue to come to light. On Thursday it was confirmed by German police that evidence had been found at co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's home, which, in conjunction with shocking recordings on the doomed plane's black box, confirmed his responsibility for the crash. Over the weekend, it was revealed that the evidence found in Andreas' home was a large number of sick notes deeming him unfit to fly, which Andreas had torn up and discarded. As investigations continue, it's thought Andreas was also losing his sight (whether it was a psychosomatic disorder as a result of his extreme anxiety isn't yet known) and feared losing his pilot's licence. Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa has said they weren't aware of Andreas' mental health issues at the time.
This information casts an even darker shadow over the entire tragedy and makes it even harder to process details about what happened in the last minutes of the flight. While previously it was thought that passengers were only aware of their fate for a few seconds, it's now believed their screams were recorded on the black box for five minutes, interrupted only by the sound of the plane's captain trying to enter the cockpit. Captain Patrick Sondheimer tried in vain to enter the control room, banging on the door and yelling for Andreas to open the door. "For God's sake, open the damn door," he's heard screaming. "Open the damn door." The flight recorder also revealed Patrick attempted to break the door down with an axe while Andreas remained silent throughout the ordeal.
This morning, news reports revealed that Andreas' body has been recovered from the mountain and identified, while approximately 600 other body parts are being tested.
Previously: Officials confirmed on Thursday that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was responsible for the deadly crash, having deliberately directed the plane into a steep mountainside in the French Alps. The shocking development came after black box audio was heard for the first time, where officials could hear captain Patrick Sondheimer activating the cockpit's emergency entry button after getting locked out, presumably by his co-pilot. The recording then revealed that Andreas calmly relocked the door and started to descend the plane, leading it into an eight-minute drop into the mountain below.
Marseille Prosecuter Brice Robin said that through the black box recordings, Andreas showed "a desire to destroy the airplane". He further detailed, "The co-pilot was alone at the controls. He . . . refused to open the door of the cockpit to the pilot and deliberately began the descent of the plane. The intention was to destroy the plane. Death was instant." Distressingly, it's now been confirmed that passengers could be heard screaming at the end of the audio, which means they were conscious throughout — but since the descent was slow, it's likely passengers weren't aware of their demise until the very end.
While it's known that Andreas has no links to terrorism or extremists, police today confirmed that they had found something of significance at his home in Germany — though it's reportedly not a suicide note. "We have found something which will now be taken for tests," said Markus Niesczery of Dusseldorf Police. "We cannot say what it is at the moment but it may be very significant clue to what has happened. We hope it may give some explanations."
Scroll for the latest images of the crash site and investigators at Andreas' home.
Source: Facebook user Andreas Lubitz