Audio from the cockpit voice recorder recovered from Germanwings flight U49525 indicates the co-pilot intended to "destroy the aircraft," said Brice Robin, Public Prosecutor of Marseille, on Thursday.
The prosecutor said the interpretation of events they can give based on their investigation is that one of the two pilots was deliberately locked out of the cockpit by the other. The pilot remaining in the cockpit, while refusing to open the cockpit door, then "activated the button that commands the loss of altitude."
He said it appeared that the co-pilot's intention had been "to destroy the aircraft." He said that the voice recorder showed that the co-pilot had been breathing until before the moment of impact, suggesting that he was conscious and deliberate in his actions. He said that his inquiry had shown that the crash was intentional.
According to prosecutor Brice Robin, authorities have a full transcript of the flight's final thirty minutes. The pilots spoke normally for the first twenty minutes, Robin says, with "nothing abnormal happening." It is only after the commanding pilot leaves the cockpit and the co-pilot is alone that "the co-pilot manipulates the flight monitoring system to activate the descent of the plane." There was then "absolute silence" in the cockpit until the crash. From the AP:
Robin said the commander of the plane knocked several times "without response." He said the door could only be blocked manually.
The prosecutor said sounds of passengers screaming could be heard on the recording just before the plane crashed into the French Alps. "I think the victims realized just at the last moment."