A day after the fatal crash of Germanwings flight 4U 9525, officials have found the Airbus A320’s voice recorder. The audio files indicate that one of the two pilots left the cockpit but was then locked out as the plane made its fatal descent into the French Alps.
A senior official from the investigation anonymously told the New York Times that the recovered data told how the situation in the aircraft grew from bad to worse.
The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer… And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.
Officials are still unsure as to why one of the pilots left the cockpit. “But,” as the New York Times’ source said,
what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.
Normally, the crew of aircraft such as the Airbus A320 are capable of opening the reinforced cockpit door in an emergency. The video below depicts standard procedure for how the crew handles such situations. In case of pilot incapacitation, other crew should be able to access the cockpit using a keypad as the video details at the 3:56 mark.
Theories abound as to why the Germanwings flight, which carried 144 passengers and six crew members, crashed. But trying to find one that explains every aspect of how a flight descended gradually from 38,000 feet without any radio communication is a difficult task.
One of the most common ideas is that the aircraft lost cabin pressure. The lack of oxygen caused the crew to black out.
The director of the French Bureau of Investigations and Analysis, Rémi Jouty, told reporters that it was too early to speculate. “At this moment I have no beginning of a scenario,” he said.
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) March 24, 2015