Flight data suggests Germanwings crash was deliberate

(Reuters) – French accident investigators said on Friday a second ‘black box’ recovered from the Germanwings crash site indicated that the co-pilot deliberately crashed the airplane.

The flight data recorder found on Thursday appears to corroborate evidence from a cockpit audio recording recovered from a first ‘black box’ hours after the March 24 crash.

“A first reading shows that the pilot in the cockpit used the automatic pilot to put the airplane on a descent toward an altitude of 100 feet,” the BEA investigation office said in a statement.

“Then several times the pilot modified the automatic pilot settings to increase the speed of the airplane as it descended,” it added.

Prosecutors have said the cockpit audio recording from the first ‘black box’ suggested that 27-year-old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit and set the plane on course to crash in the French Alps.

The flight data recorder contains a detailed readout of hundreds of parameters, including any commands made from the co-pilot’s seat on the Duesseldorf-bound flight.

The BEA said that they were still working to establish the facts surrounding the flight leading up to the crash, which killed 150 people.

Lubitz’s motives remain a mystery but investigators have uncovered growing evidence that he had made suicide preparations ahead of the doomed flight.

German prosecutors said on Thursday that Lubitz had made Internet searches on ways to commit suicide in the days ahead of the crash as searches about cockpit doors and safety precautions.

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