A French prosecutor has issued a statement that the co-pilot of Germanwings 9525, Andreas Lubitz, 28, locked out the pilot of the plane and then intentionally crashed the plane in the French Alps. The conclusion adds a new horrific detail to an already horrific crash. It was not an accident according to a review of the record from the black box found at the crash site.
The cockpit voice recorder revealed the pilot politely knocking to be allowed back into the cockpit and then frantically banging on the door as Lubitz directed the plane into the ground. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said that Lubitz “wanted to destroy this plane.” He killed 150 passengers and crew, who can be heard in the background screaming in terror. New reports indicate that there may have been issues in the past with regard to depression.
Germanwings, a low-budget carrier operated by Lufthansa, will likely face litigation over the crash and this adds a new issue. Companies will often offer a “rogue employee” defense of an employee acting outside the scope of their employment or clearly against the rules and wishes of the employer. This would clearly appear to fit since this is a senseless criminal act. However, there will remain the question of whether the airline had any indication or should have uncovered the type of mental imbalance that would lead to such an suicidal and murderous act.