“The captain of the doomed Germanwings plane reportedly used an axe to break down the cockpit door in the final moments before his co-pilot ‘intentionally’ descended the plane, German media has suggested,” according to the London Independent:
Evidence from the cockpit voice recorder suggested the captain of the Airbus A320, who The Independent understands is named Patrick Sondenheimer, left the flightdeck mid-journey, presumably to go to the toilet. Prosecutors say he returned to find his co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had barricaded himself inside and had sent the plane into descent over the French Alps.
French investigators said the captain can be heard asking “several times” for access after identifying himself, but received no response. He then banged on the door before trying to forcefully gain entry, with one investigator telling The New York Times: “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.”
Meanwhile, CBS reports that Lubitz “appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers:”
Prosecutors in the western city of Duesseldorf said they seized medical documents from the home of Andreas Lubitz that indicate “an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment.”
Prosecutor Ralf Herrenbrueck said in a statement Friday that torn-up sick notes for the day of the crash “support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues.”
He said the search of Lubitz’s home revealed no suicide note or evidence of any political or religious motivation for his actions.
The prosecutor did not elaborate on what type of illness they believe Lubitz was hiding, but reports in the German press suggested the young man could have suffered a “serious depressive episode” during his training.
And finally, from our own Roger L. Simon, the Lubitz-inspired metaphor of the week, given the highly questionable dealings with the Iranian mullahs of America’s pilot in chief: “Obama the Crazy Pilot.”
Update: “Networks Air Ridiculous Animations of Pilot Knocking.” I can’t wait to see the Jack Torrance-style animations of the pilot taking an axe to the cockpit door.