New York Times: “Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France”


The plot around the Germanwings crash the other morning thickens that resulted 150 dying after the plane crashed in the French Alps on its way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

NYT Germanwings Pilot Was Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France

New York Times was reporting late last night that the pilot (Le Monde is reporting that it was the co-pilot) could not access the cockpit and was heard banging the door trying to get in before the crash.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times (access the entire piece here):

A senior French military official involved in the investigation described a “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”

While the audio seemed to give some insight into the circumstances leading to the Germanwings crash on Tuesday morning, it also left many questions unanswered.

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation was continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

Here’s Airbus Video About The A320 Cockpit Doors


So, they have been able to analyze the cockpit voice recorder, but apparently the other “black” box containing the flight data is still missing.

May be the captain or co-pilot (New York Times and Le Monde reports are contradictory) became incapacitated, but that wouldn’t prevent the other pilot to access the cockpit by using the procedure shown on the Airbus video above.

Whoever was in the cockpit, must have used the LOCK function to keep the cockpit door locked when others were trying to gain access.

Seems that this could be an unintended consequence of the September 2011 attacks after cockpit doors were reinforced to prevent unintended access. This now prevents legit access as well if someone in the cockpit has nefarious plans.