The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane which crashed in the French Alps in March may have practised a rapid descent on a previous flight, the German newspaper Bild has said.
It quoted French investigators as saying Andreas Lubitz tried a controlled descent earlier that day. Lubitz is suspected of deliberately crashing the Airbus 320, killing all 150 people on board. The plane had been flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on 24 March.
Bild quoted sources close to the investigation as saying that Lubitz tried a “controlled, minute-long descent for which there was no aeronautical reason”. The descent occurred on the plane’s outbound flight from Duesseldorf to Barcelona on the same day, they added, citing data on its “black box” flight recorder.
German prosecutors revealed that Lubitz had researched suicide methods and the security of cockpit doors. Voice recorder findings suggest he locked the pilot out of the cockpit on the doomed flight.