One of the pilots of the ill-fated Germanwings plane was locked out of the cockpit minutes before the aircraft plummeted into a remote region of the Alps, it was sensationally claimed last night.
Audio files taken from the black box voice recorder that was salvaged from the wreckage of the Airbus A320 reportedly indicate the pilot left the cockpit and could not re-enter. The pilot is heard knocking lightly on the door of the cockpit before trying to ‘smash the door down’ when his colleague fails to answer, Air traffic controllers made several failed attempts to contact the pilots of the doomed Germanwings plane in the minutes after losing radio communication with the cockpit, an air crash report revealed.
Germany’s BILD newspaper published on its website details of the first report about the crash which it claims was submitted by the French to the German government after the disaster. It states: ‘Normal operating conditions for the French air traffic control. All technical systems were in normal operation.’
It corroborates earlier reports that contact with the pilots was lost at 10.31am, adding: ‘Germanwings 4U9525 leaves its cruising altitude without informing French air traffic control and starts a descent at an average rate of decline observed by radar… of 3,500 feet per minute’. Air traffic controllers attempted to establish ‘wireless connection on the operating frequency which is not answered’ by the cockpit, the report says.