The data recorder on Germanwings Flight 9525 shows the co-pilot set the airliner on a descent to an altitude of 100 feet and then repeatedly accelerated the plane, causing the crash that killed all 150 people on board.
Further analysis of the plane’s second black box, known as a flight data recorder, is under way, BEA, the French air accident investigation agency, said in an e-mailed statement Friday. The data recorder, which stores thousands of parameters about the plane’s systems during the flight, was recovered yesterday from the crash site in the Alps and sent to BEA’s offices in Paris.
The initial review appears to back up information from the cockpit voice recorder, found earlier. French prosecutors investigating the March 24 crash have said co-pilot Andreas Lubitz steered the jet into a mountain after locking the captain out of the cockpit.
“An initial reading indicates that the pilot present in the cockpit used automatic pilot to put the plane into a descent toward an altitude of 100 feet, and then several times during the course of the descent, the pilot modified the setting of the automatic pilot to increase the speed of the descent,” BEA said in the statement.
Work will continue to establish the specific facts about the flight, BEA said.
BEA’s statement Friday doesn’t specify which of the two pilots was seated in the cockpit when the descent began. Audio files from the flight deck, however, revealed that the co-pilot began descending after the captain stepped out of the cockpit, prosecutor Brice Robin said in Marseille, France, last week. Lubitz denied re-entry to the captain, Robin said.
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