Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out Of Cockpit Before The Plane Began To Descend

Data from one of the black boxes on flight 4U 9525 that crashed in the French Alps on Tuesday shows that a Germanwings pilot was locked out of the cockpit and could not re-enter. According to The New York Times, information from the cockpit voice recorder that was located in one of the plane's black boxes indicated that one of the pilots at some point left the cockpit, and upon trying to re-enter, found he could not. Audio shows that the pilot knocked on the cockpit door, and when he heard no response, he knocked even harder. An investigator told The Times:

The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer. And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer. ... You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.

It is unknown both why the pilot had left the cockpit and why there was no response when he returned. "But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door," the anonymous investigator told The New York Times. Martine del Bono, spokeswoman for France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses, would not comment on the apparent findings, saying only that the team continues to analyze the data on the cockpit voice recorder and will hold a press conference once they have clear information.

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French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy all flew to the crash site Wednesday to pay their respects and hopefully learn more information from authorities. Although the anonymous investigator gave this information to The New York Times, so far officials have only confirmed that the black box has been located and they have been able to extract a usable audio file, the investigation bureau's director Remi Jouty, said.

Jouty said the first analysis of the data would come in a matter of days, but that the results could be riddled with errors and would likely require further analysis. Although it was earlier reported that the plane crash was not terrorism, Jouty said no theory can yet be excluded. When found, the black box holding the cockpit voice recorder was reported to be damaged, and the contents of the second black box with the flight data is reportedly missing. Hopefully answers come soon.

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