Last updated: 08:33 AM ET, Thu March 26 2015

Report: Pilot Was Locked Out of Germanwings Cockpit

Impacting Travel | Rich Thomaselli | March 26, 2015

Report: Pilot Was Locked Out of Germanwings Cockpit

A stunning development in the tragic crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 – a New York Times report says one of the pilots of the Airbus A320 was locked out of the cockpit.

An unnamed senior French military officer told the paper that audio from the cockpit voice recorder shows no issues in conversations with the pilot and co-pilot during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. But one of the pilots – it is not certain whether it was the captain or the first officer – leaves the cockpit and when he returns he is unable to get back in.

"The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer," the military official told the Times. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer. You can hear he is trying to smash the door down."

The plane descended from 38,000 feet in a controlled descent for about 10 minutes before crashing into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 on board.

A source close to the investigation gave a similar account to the Agency France Presse (AFP) news agency after listening to the audio from the cockpit voice recorder that was recovered hours after the plane went down. An alarm indicating proximity to the ground can be heard on the audio as well, the source told AFP, just before impact.

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the (pilots) went out (of the cockpit),” the French military official told the New York Times. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

Britain's Daily Telegraph ran a statement from Germanwings that said "At the moment, we do not have information from competent authorities to confirm this story. We are doing everything to get the most information possible and we are not engaging in speculation."

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