The New York Times and French authorities are now reporting initial findings from the recovered cockpit data recorder.
|Image by Juergen Lehle / Wikimedia|
Earlier reports surfaced that the co-pilot was locked out of the flight deck, tried knocking on the door lightly to no avail before he attempted pounding on it more heavily.
French Prosecutors are now saying that it is possible that the co-pilot crashed the Airbus A320 aircraft on purpose. Prosecutor Brice Robin says that the captain went to the toilet but was unable to get back inside. The co-pilot was said to assume control of the flight, accelerated its descent, and did not say a word as the captain requested to re-enter the flight deck. The rapid descent happened for about eight minutes.
If this is true, this could be a departure from previous hypothesis that foul play was unlikely.
At this point, neither Germanwings nor its parent company Lufthansa is confirming that this happened. They are also not yet revealing what their policy for pilots who need to leave the flight deck is whilst airborne.
The crash has claimed the lives of 150 passengers and crew on board, including 72 Germans, 35 Spanish (though it may go up to 51 according to Spanish officials), 3 Argentines, Americans, Brits and Kazahks each among others. Also among the victims were opera singers Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak.
Stay tuned to Philippine Flight Network for more updates on this developing story.