France - Germany

Germanwings pilot practised fatal crash, report

One of the Germanwings A320's flight recorders
One of the Germanwings A320's flight recorders Reuters/BEA/Handout

The copilot who is thought to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings airliner in the French Alps may have rehearsed steering the plane into a rapid descent on his previous flight, according to an article published in the German daily Bild.

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French investigating authorities say Andreas Lubitz appears to have tried out a "controlled, descent for which there was no aeronautical reason" on the earlier outbound flight from Duesseldorf to Barcelona, in an interim report due to be published Wednesday.

Investigators say they discovered this after analysing information on the jet's flight recorder, according to the German paper Bild.

The Germanwings Airbus 320 was en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when it crashed in the French Alps on 24 March.

All 150 people on board were killed

French investigators believe that Lubitz, who had been diagnosed as suicidal in the past, deliberately brought the plane down.

Doctors had recently found no sign that he intended to hurt himself or others but he was receiving treatment from neurologists and psychiatrists who had signed him off sick from work a number of times, including on the day of the crash.

Police found torn-up sick notes during a search of his apartment after the crash.
 

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