MARSEILLE, France (Christian Examiner) -- French authorities have announced the black box evidence indicates the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 accelerated the descent of the Airbus A320 aircraft while keeping the pilot locked out of the cabin in a deliberate decision to crash the aircraft.
At a press conference, the French prosecutor in charge of the crash investigation said the pilot apparently had stepped out of the cabin and his knock to be let back in was ignored in silence, except for the consistent breathing of the co-pilot. His breathing pattern led investigators to conclude he was not suffering a heart attack or similar medical emergency and that the flight path was intentional. Even as the pilot slammed the door in an attempt to break in, the co-pilot declined to speak and his breathing was not labored.
Regarding the passengers, the spokesman said the voice recorder only picked up screams near the end. He said death was instantaneous at the speed and rate of descent at which the aircraft impacted the mountain.
The spokesman identified the co-pilot as Andreas Lubitz, and said he had about 600 hours of experience in the aircraft.
He declined to call Lubitz's actions suicide or a terrorist act.
"When you're responsible for 150 people behind you it is not suicide," he said, adding that Lubitz's name was not on any terrorist watch list.
The name of the pilot was not released.