Cockpit procedures study launched

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Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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Cockpit door-opening procedures are to be studied by a special task force following the French Alps crash disaster, Germany’s transport minister Alexander Dobrindt has said.

Evidence from the recovered black box cockpit voice recorder of the Germanwings’ Airbus A320 indicated that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked his captain out of the cockpit before deliberately crashing the plane.

The door mechanism was such that Lubitz was able to keep the door locked despite an emergency code being entered from the outside.

Also, in line with regulations introduced after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, the door was strong enough to withstand all attempts by the captain to break in, including – it is thought – the use of an axe.

All 150 people on board, including three Britons, died in the crash on March 24.

Speaking in Berlin today, Mr Dobrindt announced the setting up of the task force which would also look, among other things, at whether extra checks on pilots’ mental health should be introduced.

In the case of Lubitz, Germanwings parent company Lufthansa said it knew six years ago that Lubitz suffered from a “serious depressive episode”.

Meanwhile, i nvestigators have found mobile phones amid the wreckage of the crash but they are yet to be thoroughly examined.

Special mountain troops are continuing to search the area for personal belongings and for the second black box flight recorder.

French magazine Paris-Match and German tabloid Bild reported this week that they had seen a mobile phone video from the final moments of the flight.

Authorities have said investigators have no such video.

Published: Thursday 2nd April 2015 by The News Editor

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