Voice recordings on the black box on Germanwings flight 4U9252 have revealed killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz calmly responded “hopefully” and “we’ll see” when asked by pilot Patrick Sondenheimer whether the plane was ready for landing.
Sky News reports that the voice transcript, published by German tabloid Bild, reveals how Lubitz encouraged Sondenheimer to go to the toilet before locking him out of the cockpit and crashing to the plane into the French Alps.
After completing mid-flight checks, Lubitz told the captain: “You can go now”, after Sondenheimer had previously said he had not had time to go the toilet before leaving Barcelona. The captain leaves the cockpit saying: “You can take over”.
However, there is soon a loud bang, possibly from someone trying to enter the cockpit, followed by the captain shouting: “For God’s sake open the door!” There are then repeated bangs, believed to be from a crowbar of axe against the door.
The plane continues descending as an automated warning says: “Terrain, pull up.” The pilot continues shouting: “Open the damn door!”
In the final moments, the aircraft’s right wing clips a mountain while the passengers scream.
French investigators have identified the DNA of 78 of the 150 people on board, but Patrick Touron, deputy director of the French police’s criminal research institute, said that due to the violence of the impact “We haven’t found a single body intact.”
“We have slopes of 40 to 60 degrees, falling rocks, and ground that tends to crumble.
“Some things have to be done by abseiling. Since safety is key, the recovery process is a bit slow, which is a great regret.”
He added: “In catastrophes, normally around 90 percent of identifications are done through dental records.”
German investigators found torn-up sick notes in Lubitz’s flat, one of which covered the date of the crash. The 27-year-old was also said to be concerned his deteriorating vision could see him lose his pilot’s licence and was “living on the edge”.
Over the weekend, the media also named Lubitz’s girlfriend as Kathrin Goldbach, a maths teacher who had told her students she was “going to be a mother”. She is reported to have travelled to the scene of the crash, only to discover that Lubitz had been named as the perpetrator.
Bild reported that they met as teenagers when they worked together in Burger King. They had intended to marry, but Goldbach was looking to end their relationship due to Lubitz’s controlling nature.