French Prosecutor Brice Robin Says Germanwings Co-Pilot Deliberately Crashed Airbus Jet … Terrorism? (Update: [Pic] Co-Pilot Andreas Lubitz Deliberately Crashed Plane)
IT WAS NO ACCIDENT: The Germanwings Flight 4U9525 crash turns out to be a deliberate act of terrorism … Was it radical Islam or violent extremist?
A French prosecutor handling the plane crash of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 stated that the evidence from the cockpit voice recorder indicated that the co-pilot had deliberately crash ed the plane. According the the prosecutor, the co-pilot deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the plane into its fatal descent. The co-pilot has been identified as 28 year old German Andreas Günter, the individual responsible for the deliberate airline crash. Lubitz was described as a German national. However, his motivation at this point for deliberately crashing the plane is unknown. Was he a lone wolf Islamic terrorist, was he a violent extremest, or was he crazy. Now the question becomes, why did this individual commit such a heinous act.
The chief Marseille prosecutor handling the investigation into the crash of a Germanwings jetliner said on Thursday that evidence from the cockpit voice recorder indicated that the co-pilot had deliberately locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the plane into its fatal descent.
“At this moment, in light of investigation, the interpretation we can give at this time is that the co-pilot through voluntary abstention refused to open the door of the cockpit to the commander, and activated the button that commands the loss of altitude,” the prosecutor, Brice Robin, said.
He said it appeared that the co-pilot’s intention had been “to destroy the aircraft.” He said that the voice recorder showed that the co-pilot had been breathing until before the moment of impact, suggesting that he was conscious and deliberate in his actions. He said that his inquiry had shown that the crash was intentional.
The prosecutor said that the authorities had a full transcript of the final 30 minutes of the voice recorder.
“During the first 20 minutes, the pilots talk normally,” he said, saying they spoke in a “cheerful” and “courteous” way. “There is nothing abnormal happening,” he said.
The prosecutor said the transcript showed that the captain was preparing a briefing for landing in Düsseldorf. The co-pilot’s answer, the prosecutor said, was “laconic.”
The commanding pilot then asked the co-pilot to take over, and the noise of a seat backing up and a door closing could be heard.
“At this stage, the co-pilot is in control, alone,” the prosecutor said. “It is when he is alone that the co-pilot manipulates the flight monitoring system to activate the decent of the plane.” The prosecutor said that this action could only have been “voluntary.”
“You can hear the commanding pilot ask for access to the cockpit several times,” the prosecutor said. “He identifies himself, but the co-pilot does not provide any answer.”
“You can hear human breathing in the cockpit up until the moment of impact,” the prosecutor said. “The pilot was therefore alive.”
UK Daily Mail – Pic of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
UPDATE I: Germanwings tragedy was no accident.
French prosecutor Brice Robin said in Marseille on Thursday that the co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, requested control of the aircraft about 20 minutes into the flight. The pilot then left the cockpit, leaving the co-pilot in full control of the plane.
Lubitz manually and “intentionally” set the plane on the descent that drove it into the mountainside in the southern French Alps. It was the co-pilot’s “intention to destroy this plane,” Robin said.
Robin confirmed a report by The New York Times that the pilot tried aggressively to get back into the cockpit, but was denied access.
The prosecutor said the pilot was heard pleading with the co-pilot over a telephone intercom system from the cabin for access, but that he got no answer from the co-pilot.
UPDATE II: Germanwings plane crash – Live updates from UK Telegraph as investigations into French Alps disaster continues
The NY Times is reporting that the pilot was locked out of the cockpit at the time of the Germanwings Flight 4U9525 crashed in the French Alps killing all aboard. According to the black box flight recorder, only the co-pilot was in the cockpit. As the pilot knocked on the door and then tried to smash the cockpit door down, there was no response from the co-pilot.
As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed amid a relatively clear sky, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.
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, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. 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.”
Breaking: Germanwings A320 Flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf Crashes in French Alps … 144 Passengers & 6 Crew Feared Dead (Update French President Says Likely No Survivors)
A Germanwings Flight 4U9525, Airbus A320 crash in French Alps near Digne, with 150 people on board, 144 passengers and 6 crew members. Germanwings is a low-cost, economy airline subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines. Flight 4U9525 was traveling from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. According to sources quoted by AFP news agency, the plane had issued a distress call at 10:47 (09:47 GMT), 5:47 ET. According to the flight tracking website Flightradar24, Germanwings Flight 4U9525 climbed to 38,000 feet before it started to descend, and the signal was lost at 6,800 feet. The A320 disappeared off the radar before crashing near Digne-les-Bains.
An Airbus operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline crashed in southern France on Tuesday and all 148 on board were feared dead.
French President Francois Hollande said he believed none of those on board had survived.
“There were 148 people on board,” Hollande said. “The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors.”
- A Germanwings Airbus A320 has crashed in French Alps near Digne, with 148 people on board
- Flight 4U 9525 was travelling between Barcelona and Duesseldorf
- French President Francois Hollande said he believed none of those on board had survived
- Cologne-based Germanwings says it was aware of reports
- The low-cost airline owned by giant German carrier Lufthansa
French President Francois Hollande has expressed his “solidarity and condolences” with Germany in phone call to Angela Merke.
“I want to express my solidarity to the family of the victims. We do not yet know the identities of the victims. It is a mourning we have to go through because it is a tragedy that has happened on our soil,” he said.
“We do not yet know what has happened to flight 4U 9525. My deepest sympathy goes to the families and friends of our passengers and crew on 4U 9525. If our fears are confirmed, this is a dark day for Lufthansa. We hope to find survivors,” said Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr in the statement.
The Airbus A320, operated by the budget airline Germanwings, was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it vanished from radar screens at 09.39 local time.
Flight GWI18G came down near Prads-Haute-Bléone, between Digne-les-Bains and Barcelonnette, north-west of Monaco. It was flying at just 6,800ft at the time and Bernard Cazeneuve, the French interior minister, said debris had been found at an altitute of 6,500ft.
A distress signal, thought to have been sent by aircraft’s automatically-activated crash position indicator, was picked up at 10.47 local time, showing that the aircraft was “at 5,000ft in an abnormal situation”, said Alain Vidalies, the French transport minister.
UPDATE IV: Why did 9525 plummet from 40,000ft?
The 24 year old plane, built by the French Airbus consortium, transmitted a distress signal at 9.47am local time, with one unconfirmed report saying it was sent out at 6,800 feet.
The distress call, typically transmitted in a general aircraft emergency, did not give any additional information about the type of emergency.
The aircraft was flying at its normal cruising altitude of around 40,000 ft, but within 10 minutes made a staggeringly swift descent to around 6,200 feet.
This points to a major problem with the aircraft, and suggests the two pilots were struggling to control the plummeting aircraft.
This graph from FlightRadar24 shows how the plane lost altitude and speed prior to disappearing from the radar.
UPDATE V: Bodies are being taken to a local village gym, it is being used as a temporary morgue as bodies are being recovered.
UPDATE VI: The crash site is a two and a half hour walk from the nearest settlement, and is inaccessible by land vehicles. Pics from rescue helicopter.
UPDATE VII: French officials said a police helicopter had located the crash site and first items of debris near the small town of Barcelonnette in the Alpes-de-Hautes-Provences.
UPDATE VIII - Total of 150 people on board Germanwings flight
Germanwings has confirmed the number of people on board as 150.
This includes 144 passengers and six cabin crew.
Actor Harrison Ford Injured After Single Engine Plane Crashes on Golf Course in Mar Vista, California (VIDEO) (Update: Air Traffic Control Audio)
IT LOOKED LIKE A SCENE OUT OF INDIANA JONES, BUT THIS WAS MUCH MORE REAL …
Actor Harrison Ford was involved in a plane crash late this after noon when his single engine, Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, vintage World War II training plane crash landed on a golf course in Mar Vista, California shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. The 72-year-old actor, best known for his roles as Indiana Jones and Hans Solo of Star War movie fame, was reported conscious and breathing when rescue crews reached him, was stabilized and taken to a hospital. The plane to crash about 2:20 p.m. (5:20 p.m. ET).
Actor Harrison Ford was “battered but OK” Thursday after his vintage World War II training plane crash landed on a California golf course, authorities and family members said.
The 72-year-old actor, who was conscious and breathing when rescue crews reached him, was stabilized and taken to a hospital, where he was in fair to moderate condition, authorities said. Sources said he sustained cuts to his head. There was no word on other injuries or what caused the plane to crash about 2:20 p.m. (5:20 p.m. ET). It appeared he was flying solo.
The plane, a single-engine Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, crashed on the golf course shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport, said Patrick Jones, an investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. The pilot reported a loss of engine power, clipped the top of a tree and was trying to return to the airport, Jones said.
UPDATE I: TMZ – Plane Crashes:[Video Update: Paramedics Treat Harrison]. TMZ has video below of first responders and paramedics ate the scene of the plane crash aiding Harrison Ford.
A witness who was golfing at the time of the crash tells us she heard the engine sputter … and watched the plane do a “nose dive straight on the 8th hole tee box.”
The witness adds, “I was one of the first people to run from the hole toward the plane. 4 to 5 men pulled the pilot out of the plane.”
“They got him away from the plane. They were concerned it would catch on fire.”
“Two doctors were there – and they had a 1st aid box with them. He was conscious, talking a little — a HUGE cut on his head.”
UPDATE II: Harrison Ford’s son Ben Ford tweeted, ‘Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! … “He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man.”
UPDATE III: CNN is reporting that the plane crash at the golf course happened within a block away from houses in a residential neighborhood.
Actor Harrison Ford was “banged up” and hospitalized Thursday afternoon after a 1940s aircraft he was piloting crashed during a forced landing on a golf course, his publicist said.
“Dad is ok. Battered, but ok! He is every bit the man you would think he is. He is an incredibly strong man,” Ben Ford tweeted.
Los Angeles Fire Department Assistant Chief Patrick Butler, who wouldn’t identify Ford as the patient, said the pilot suffered moderate trauma and was “alert and conscious” when he was taken to the hospital. He said the pilot, the only person on board, was in fair to moderate condition.
UPDATE IV: Harrison Ford Undergoing Surgery After Venice Plane Crash, Source Close to Family Says.
“We are bound by privacy laws to never discuss … the patient’s identity,” fire Assistant Chief Patrick Butler said.
But a source close to Ford’s family told KTLA: “He’s fine, has a few gashes.” The individual later said the actor was going into surgery for broken bones.
A representative for Ford says, “Harrison was flying a WW2 vintage plane today which stalled upon takeoff.” They added, “He had no other choice but to make an emergency landing, which he did safely. The injuries sustained are not life-threatening, and he is expected to make a full recovery.”
The pilot was in fair-to-moderate condition when he was transported, not in critical condition as originally reported, according to Butler.
UPDATE VI: Harrison Ford and Air Traffic Control Audio prior to plane crash via TMZ.
Divers Have Recovered One of AirAsia Flight 8501′s Black Boxes (Data Flight Recorder) From Bottom of Java Sea
ABC News is reporting that divers have recovered one of AirAsia Flight 8501′s black boxes from the bottom of the Java sea. Fox News reported, Henry Bambang Soelistyo, chief of Indonesia’s search and rescue agency, says the flight data recorder was brought to the surface by four divers early Monday morning. said Bambang Soelistyo said, the device was found under the wreckage of one of the plane’s wings. However, the planes cockpit flight recorder has yet to be found.
AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Indonesia to Singapore went missing at 6:17 a.m. Sunday Surabaya time (6:17 p.m. Saturday ET) with 162, 155 passengers (17 children & 1 infant) and 7 crew members over Java Sea.
Divers have retrieved one of the black boxes from AirAsia Flight 8501 that crashed into the Java Sea two weeks ago, officials said today.
Mardjono Siswosuwarno, the chief investigator with Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee, said the cockpit voice recorder has not yet been retrieved but its position has been determined and it will be “a matter of hours” until its brought to the surface.
Search crews hoisted the tail of the jet from the sea on Saturday, but the black boxes were not found inside.