Black Box: Co-Pilot Sped Up Before Crash

Body parts from all 150 dead have been found
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2015 6:25 AM CDT
Black Box: Co-Pilot Sped Up Before Crash
In this Sept. 13, 2009, photo, Andreas Lubitz competes at the Airportrun in Hamburg, Germany.   (AP Photo/Michael Mueller)

The second black box found yesterday at the site of the Germanwings crash is already offering new details about the event that killed 150 people. The charred flight-data recorder was found embedded 8 inches in the ground by an officer who was digging by hand in an already-searched ravine. Experts at the French air accident investigation agency say the recorder reveals co-pilot Andreas Lubitz sped up the plane's descent, reports CNN. "A first reading shows that this pilot in the cockpit used the autopilot to engage the aircraft down to an altitude of 100 feet, and on several occasions during the descent, the pilot changed the driver setting automatically to increase the speed of the plane descending," the agency says. Experts will continue examining the black box, which is said to hold 500 flight records on things like air speed and altitude, the Los Angeles Times reports.

French investigators have also discovered and examined 2,854 body parts and say they belong to all 150 people on the flight, the AP reports. But investigators caution matching the parts to DNA samples will take some time. Meanwhile, a flight magazine column written by Emirates pilot Jan Cocheret two months before the crash is getting a lot of attention as it touches on the same security issues seemingly exploited by Lubitz, the Daily Express reports. Cocheret described how a pilot could easily lock a colleague out of the cockpit and how medical assessors can't always determine a person's mental fitness. "I seriously sometimes wonder who's sitting next to me in the cockpit," he wrote. "I hope I never discover what I would be faced with after visiting the toilet and finding a cockpit door that never opened." (Lubitz's browser search history reveals he researched cockpit door security.)

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