PARIS, FRANCE – Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz practiced the steps needed to crash his passenger jet into the French Alps. At least that’s what French investigators say.
Their interim report uses information taken from the plane’s flight data and voice recorders. They say Lubitz rehearsed putting his aircraft into a controlled descent during the outbound flight from Dusseldorf, Germany to Barcelona, Spain.
That was the flight right before the one on March 24 that killed Lubitz and every soul on board.
The report says Lubitz was alone on the flight deck for less than five minutes when he reduced altitude several times at the request of flight controllers.
And each time, Lubitz selected 100 feet before taking the plane back to the regular altitudes.
Investigators say air traffic controllers would not notice these “dry runs” at different altitude settings because they were part of the flight plan.
The report also says the cockpit voice recorder from the fatal flight picked up the sounds of the pilot violently banging on the cockpit door as he tried to break in.
The plane crashed into the mountains about a half a minute later, taking with it the answer to the big question of why Lubitz chose this way to die.