Co-pilot deliberately slams plane in Alps; families ask why

Raw: Co-Pilot of Germanwings Plane Trained in AZ

PARIS (AP) - Passengers with moments to live screamed in terror and the pilot frantically pounded on the locked cockpit door as a 27-year-old German co-pilot deliberately and wordlessly smashed an Airbus carrying 150 people into an Alpine mountainside.

The account Thursday of the final moments of Germanwings Flight 9525 prompted some airlines to immediately impose stricter cockpit rules - and raised haunting questions about the motive of the co-pilot, whose breathing never wavered as he destroyed the plane and the lives of those aboard.

"We have no idea of the reason," Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin said, revealing the chilling conclusions investigators reached after reconstructing the final minutes of the flight from the plane's black box voice recorder. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz's intention was "to destroy this plane."

French, German and U.S. officials said there was no indication of terrorism. The prosecutor did not elaborate on why investigators do not suspect a political motive; instead they're focusing on the co-pilot's "personal, family and professional environment" to try to determine why he did it.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose nation lost 75 people on the flight, said the conclusions brought the tragedy to a "new, simply incomprehensible dimension." Devastated families of victims visited the crash scene Thursday, looking across a windy mountain meadow toward where their loved ones died.

The Airbus A320 was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on Tuesday when it lost radio contact with air traffic controllers and began plunging from its cruising altitude. Eight minutes later, it slammed into the mountainside.

An analysis of transponder data by Flightradar24, a flight tracking service, showed that the autopilot was re-set to take the plane from 38,000 to 100 feet.

The prosecutor laid out in horrifying detail the final sounds heard in the cockpit extracted from the mangled voice recorder.

Lubitz, courteous in the first part of the trip, became "curt" when the captain began the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing, Robin said.

The pilot, who has not been identified, left the cockpit for an apparent bathroom break, and Lubitz took control of the jet.

He suddenly started a manual descent, and the pilot started knocking on the door.

There was no response. "It was absolute silence in the cockpit," the prosecutor said - except for the steady breathing he said indicated Lubitz was not panicked, and acted in a calm, deliberate manner.

The A320 is designed with safeguards to allow emergency entry into the cockpit if a pilot inside is unresponsive. But the override code known to the crew does not go into effect if the person inside the cockpit specifically denies entry.

Instrument alarms went off, but no distress call ever went out from the cockpit, and the control tower's pleas for a response went unanswered.

Just before the plane hit the mountain, passengers' cries of terror could be heard.

"The victims realized just at the last moment," Robin said. "We can hear them screaming."

Their families "are having a hard time believing it," he said, after briefing some of them in Marseille.

Many victims' relatives visited an Alpine clearing Thursday where French authorities set up a viewing tent for family members to look toward the site of the crash, so steep and treacherous that it can only be reached by a long journey on foot or rappelling from a helicopter.

Lubitz's family was in France but was being kept separate from the other families, Robin said. German investigators searched his apartment and his parents' home in Montabaur, Germany, where the curtains were drawn.

The prosecutor's account prompted quick moves toward stricter cockpit rules - and calls for more.

Airlines in Europe are not required to have two people in the cockpit at all times, unlike the standard U.S. operating procedure, which was changed after the 9/11 attacks to require a flight attendant to take the spot of a briefly departing pilot.

Canada and Germany's biggest airlines, including Lufthansa and Air Berlin, as well as low-cost European carriers easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle announced new rules requiring two crew members to always be present.

Some experts said even two isn't enough, and called for rules to require three.

"The flight deck is capable of accommodating three pilots and there shouldn't ever be a situation where there is only one person in the cockpit," said James Hall, a former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, referring to the "jump seats" all airliners are equipped with.

Others questioned the wisdom of sealing off the cockpit at all.

"The kneejerk reaction to the events of 9/11 with the ill-thought reinforced cockpit door has had catastrophic consequences," said Philip Baum, London-based editor of the trade magazine Aviation Security International.

Neither the prosecutor nor Lufthansa - the parent company of low-cost carrier Germanwings - indicated there was anything the pilot could have done to avoid the crash.

Robin would not give details on the co-pilot's religion or his ethnic background. German authorities were taking charge of the investigation into Lubitz.

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that before Thursday's shocking revelations, the airline was already "appalled" by what had happened in its low-cost subsidiary.

"I could not have imagined that becoming even worse," he said in Cologne. "We choose our cockpit staff very, very carefully."

Lubitz joined Germanwings in September 2013, directly out of flight school, and had flown 630 hours. Spohr said the airline had no indication why he would have crashed the plane.

He underwent a regular security check on Jan. 27 and it found nothing untoward, and previous security checks in 2008 and 2010 also showed no issues, the local government in Duesseldorf said.

Lufthansa's chief said Lubitz started training in 2008 and there was a "several-month" gap in his training six years ago. Spohr said he couldn't say what the reason was, but after the break, "he not only passed all medical tests but also his flight training, all flying tests and checks."

Robin avoided describing the crash as a suicide.

"Usually, when someone commits suicide, he is alone," he said. "When you are responsible for 150 people at the back, I don't necessarily call that a suicide."

In the German town of Montabaur, acquaintances told The Associated Press that Lubitz appeared fine when they saw him last fall as he renewed his glider pilot's license.

"He was happy he had the job with Germanwings and he was doing well," said a member of the glider club, Peter Ruecker, who watched Lubitz learn to fly. "He gave off a good feeling."

Ruecker said he remembers Lubitz as "rather quiet but friendly" when he first showed up at the club as a 14- or 15-year-old saying he wanted to learn to fly.

Lubitz was accepted as a Lufthansa pilot trainee after finishing a tough German college preparatory school, Ruecker said.

Lubitz's Facebook page, deleted Tuesday, showed a smiling man in a dark brown jacket posing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It was restored as an "In Memory" site following the French prosecutor's news conference.

At the crash site, helicopters shuttled back and forth Thursday as investigators continue retrieving remains and pieces of the plane, shattered from the high-speed impact of the crash.

The principal of Joseph Koenig High School in Haltern, Germany, which lost 16 students and two teachers in the crash, said the state governor called him to tell him about the probe's conclusion.

"It is much, much worse than we had thought," principal Ulrich Wessel said.

___

McHugh reported from Montabaur, Germany. Greg Keller in Vernet, France; David Rising in Berlin; Kirsten Grieshaber in Cologne, Germany; Alan Clendenning in Madrid; Danica Kirka in London; Lori Hinnant, Thomas Adamson, Sylvie Corbet and Philippe Sotto in Paris; and Jim Kuhnhenn in Washington contributed to this report.


50 PHOTOS
Germanwings plane crash - crash site specifically
See Gallery
Co-pilot deliberately slams plane in Alps; families ask why
People load remains of the Germanwings flight crash victims in a Lufthansa cargo plane on June 9, 2015 at the Marseille-Provence airport in Marignane, southern France. Lufthansa confirmed that a plane would arrive from Marseille in Duesseldorf on June 9 with 30 coffins of victims on board, and that their handover would take place the following day. 150 people died on March 24 when a Germanwings flight was deliberately crashed into the French Alps . AFP PHOTO /ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A screen grab taken from an AFP TV video on March 24, 2015 shows debris of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the crash site in the French Alps above the southeastern town of Seyne. The plane, which had taken off from Barcelona in Spain and was headed for Dusseldorf in Germany, crashed earlier in the day with 150 people onboard. AFP PHOTO /DENIS BOIS /GRIPMEDIA / AFP TV (Photo credit should read DENIS BOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
Marseille, France - March 24: A piece of debris of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 with german flag on it is seen at the crash site in the French Alps on March 24, 2015 near Barcelonette, France. (Photo by Thomas Koehler/Photothek via Getty Images)
A screengrab taken from an AFP TV video on March 24, 2015 shows the debris from a Germanwings Airbus A320 at the crash site in the French Alps above the southeastern town of Seyne. The plane, which had taken off from Barcelona in Spain and was headed for Dusseldorf in Germany, crashed earlier in the day with 150 people onboard. AFP PHOTO /DENIS BOIS /GRIPMEDIA / AFP TV (Photo credit should read DENIS BOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
LE VERNET, FRANCE- MARCH 26: French police close the road the road that leads up to the crash site as families of the victims are expected to start arriving in Le Vernet and Seylnes-les Alpes, on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed in Southern French Alps, killing all 150 passengers and crew. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
SEYNE, FRANCE - MARCH 25: French military personel walk up the mountainside on March 25, 2015 near Seyne, France. Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf has crashed in Southern French Alps. All 150 passengers and crew are thought to have died. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
A rescuers points to the plane crash site onto a map, on March 24, 2015 at the Rescue Command Center set up in the southeastern French town of Seyne, near the site where a German Airbus A320 of the low-cost carrier Germanwings crashed, killing all 150 people on board. The jet had taken off from Barcelona in Spain and was headed for Duesseldorf in Germany. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
French Red Cross staff wait to greet the families of victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 at the convention centre of Digne-les-Bains on March 25, 2015, a day after the plane crashed in the French Alps. Investigators scoured the pulverised debris of the German airliner for bodies and clues to its mysterious eight-minute descent and crash in the French Alps that killed all 150 aboard. AFP PHOTO / PASCAL GUYOT (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Aerial view of crash site of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in Seyne Les Alpes on March 24, 2015 in Seyne Les Alpes, France. German Foreign Minister Steinmeier visited the site of a Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner which crashed with 150 people on board in the French Alps. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal,Spanish Transport Minister Ana Pastor Julian and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve arrives near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: TV lighting is seen near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Gendarmerie and French mountain rescue teams arrive near the site of the Germanwings plane crash near the French Alps on March 24, 2015 in La Seyne les Alpes, France. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps. (Photo by Patrick Aventurier/Getty Images)
LA SEYNE LES ALPES, FRANCE- MARCH 24: Aerial view of crash site of Germanwings Flight 4U9525 in Seyne Les Alpes on March 24, 2015 in Seyne Les Alpes, France. German Foreign Minister Steinmeier visited the site of a Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner which crashed with 150 people on board in the French Alps. (Photo by Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
A helicopter of the French civil security services flies near Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps. A German airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board, in the worst plane disaster in mainland France in four decades.. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 24: Relatives of passengers of Germanwings flight, arrive at Barcelona International Airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain after an Airbus A320 plane flown by low-budget airline Germanwings crashed in southern France. Nearly 150 people are feared dead including 144 passengers and six crew after the Airbus A320 crash. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HALTERN AM SEE, GERMANY - MARCH 24: Students and well wishers gather in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, Germany on March 24, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers on a school exchange trip were assumed to be among the 150 dead in the crash of a passenger jet in the French Alps, officials said. The head of low-budget airline Germanwings said there were 144 passengers and six crew on the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps en route to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 24: Relatives of passengers of Germanwings flight, arrive at Barcelona International Airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain after an Airbus A320 plane flown by low-budget airline Germanwings crashed in southern France. (Photo by Albert Llop/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Flightradar data of flight D-AIPX operated by Germanwings. An Airbus A320 of the German airline Germanwings crashed Tuesday in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Southern France, on March 24, 2015, BFMTV reported, citing a local police source. The ill-fated passenger jet with some 142 passengers and six crew members aboard was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when the tragedy occurred. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM
French emergency services workers gather in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps. A German airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board, in the worst plane disaster in mainland France in four decades. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
Thomas Winkelmann, chief executive officer of Germanwings, speaks during a news conference in Cologne, Germany, on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. Germanwings Flight 9525 operated by the low-cost subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa AG went down in the Digne region about an hour north of Marseille en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, Germany, according to German air-traffic control authorities and may have claimed the lives of all 154 people on board. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An Aerospatiale AS350 Ecureuil helicopter of the French National Gendarmerie is seen in Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps. A German airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board, in the worst plane disaster in mainland France in four decades. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo credit should read ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP/Getty Images)
A helicopter of the French civil security services flies near Seyne, south-eastern France, on March 24, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings Airbus A320 crashed in the French Alps. A German airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board, in the worst plane disaster in mainland France in four decades. AFP PHOTO / BORIS HORVAT (Photo credit should read BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 24: King Felipe of Spain (R) is watched by French president Francois Hollande (L) and Queen Letizia of Spain as he addresses media after a meeting at the Elysee presidential palace, on March 24, 2015 in Paris, France. King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain have decided to cut short their scheduled state visit to France after a Germanwings Airbus A320 plane crashed in the French Alps, as it travelled from Barcelona to Duesseldorf. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 24: A relative (C) of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrives at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN- MARCH 24: Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrive escorted by police officer at Terminal 2 of Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Flightradar data of flight D-AIPX operated by Germanwings. An Airbus A320 of the German airline Germanwings crashed Tuesday in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Southern France, on March 24, 2015, BFMTV reported, citing a local police source. The ill-fated passenger jet with some 142 passengers and six crew members aboard was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when the tragedy occurred. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 24: A relative (C) of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrives at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. A Germanwings Airbus A320 airliner with 148 people on board has crashed in French Alps. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
Duesseldorf, GERMANY - MARCH 24: People arrive at a holding area for friends and relatives of passengers on Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf at Duesseldorf International Airport on March 24, 2015 in Duesseldorf, Germany. The German Airbus A320 has crashed in Southern French Alps. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
Flightradar data of flight D-AIPX operated by Germanwings. An Airbus A320 of the German airline Germanwings crashed Tuesday in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Southern France, on March 24, 2015, BFMTV reported, citing a local police source. The ill-fated passenger jet with some 142 passengers and six crew members aboard was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when the tragedy occurred. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM
An electronic board displays departures in terminal 2B at Barcelona's El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 after a Germanwings airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps with all 148 people on board feared dead, officials said. The plane, belonged to Germanwings, a low-cost affiliate of German airline Lufthansa, was travelling from the Spanish coastal city of Barcelona to the German city of Duesseldorf after issuing a distress call at 10:47 am (0947 GMT), sources said. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
An Airbus A320 of the German airline Germanwings crashed Tuesday in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Southern France, on March 24, 2015, BFMTV reported, citing a local police source. The ill-fated passenger jet with some 142 passengers and six crew members aboard was flying from Barcelona to Duesseldorf when the tragedy occurred. Photo by ABACAPRESS.COM
A red star on a topographical map marks the crash site of a Germanwings plane in the French Alps in Seyne Les Alpes, France, 24 March 2015. (Photo: PETER KNEFFEL/dpa)
A Swissport employee stands inside a booth in terminal 2B at Barcelona's El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 after a Germanwings airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps with all 148 people on board feared dead, officials said. The plane, belonged to Germanwings, a low-cost affiliate of German airline Lufthansa, was travelling from the Spanish coastal city of Barcelona to the German city of Duesseldorf after issuing a distress call at 10:47 am (0947 GMT), sources said. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 24: Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrives at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps.(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN- MARCH 24: Relatives of passangers of the Germanwings plane crashed in French Alps arrives at the Terminal 2 of the Barcelona El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Germanwings flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf with 150 people on board has crashed in the French Alps.(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
HALTERN AM SEE, GERMANY - MARCH 24: Students and well wishers gather in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, Germany on March 24, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers on a school exchange trip were assumed to be among the 150 dead in the crash of a passenger jet in the French Alps, officials said. The head of low-budget airline Germanwings said there were 144 passengers and six crew on the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps en route to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
HALTERN AM SEE, GERMANY - MARCH 24: Students and well wishers gather in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, Germany on March 24, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers on a school exchange trip were assumed to be among the 150 dead in the crash of a passenger jet in the French Alps, officials said. The head of low-budget airline Germanwings said there were 144 passengers and six crew on the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps en route to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. (Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Getty Images)
Family member aircrash victims stand at Barcelona's El Prat airport on March 24, 2015 after a Germanwings airliner crashed near a ski resort in the French Alps with all 150 people on board feared dead, officials said. Tearful relatives of passengers of the German airliner that crashed in the French Alps Tuesday gathered grieving at Barcelona and Dusseldorf airports as officials announced none of the 150 people on board survived. AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)
Students and well wishers gather in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany on March 24, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers on a school exchange trip were assumed to be among the 150 dead in the crash of a passenger jet in the French Alps, officials said. The head of low-budget airline Germanwings said there were 144 passengers and six crew on the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps en route to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANN (Photo credit should read SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
Young girls stand on March 24, 2015 in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. Sixteen German teenagers and two teachers on a school exchange trip were assumed to be among the 150 dead in the crash of a passenger jet in the French Alps, officials said. The head of low-budget airline Germanwings said there were 144 passengers and six crew on the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps en route to Duesseldorf from Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANN ALTERNATIVE CROP (Photo credit should read SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
A mourning band is fixed at the town sign of Haltern am See, western Germany, where 18 passengers of the crashed Germanwings flight 4U-9525 came from on March 26, 2015. The crash of the budget airline Germanwings flight on March 24, 2015 in the French Alps, killed all 150 people aboard. The probe has focused on the co-pilot, after it was revealed the he initiated the fatal descent and refused to open the door to the pilot. AFP PHOTO / DPA / ROLF VENNENBERND GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read ROLF VENNENBERND/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
Read Full Story