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Germanwings Flight 9525: Pilot heard trying to force open door in doomed plane

By Staff Reporter

Chilling black box recordings have revealed how the pilot on the doomed Germanwings jet that crashed in the French Alps tried desperately to break back into his cockpit.

Inside, his co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had taken control of the Airbus A320, which he would fly into the side of a mountain, killing 150 people.

In the recordings, Captain Patrick Sondheimer can be heard screaming at Lubitz: "Open the damn door!"

Earlier, Lubitz had told Sondheimer he could go to the toilet if he needed to, noting how he hadn't gone at the airport.

As Flight 9525 from Barcelona reached its 38,000ft cruising height, Sondheimer told Lubitz to prepare to land in Dusseldorf.

His colleague then suggested to Sondheimer that he could use the lavatory now.

After a couple of minutes, the pilot leaves the cockpit, and shortly afterwards the plane starts descending under Lubitz's control.

Air traffic controllers get no response, and alarms start to go off.

Shortly before the recording ends, Sondheimer can be heard begging Lubitz to open the cabin door. He then tries to break it down.

"For God's sake, open the door," he yelled, with the sound of passengers' screams in the background.

Authorities have since said Lubitz hid evidence of an illness from his employers - including a sick note for the day of the crash.

German media has reported that the 27-year-old had suffered from depression. The New York Times and Germany's Bild am Sonntag weekly also reported that Lubitz had eye problems.

"I believe the airlines should be more transparent and our finest pilots looked after properly," said Philip Bramley, the father of one of the victims, from Hull.

"We put our lives and our children's lives in their hands."

His 28-year-old son, Paul Bramley, was one of 150 people killed in last Tuesday's disaster.

Searches conducted at Lubitz's homes in Dusseldorf and in the town of Montabaur turned up documents pointing to "an existing illness and appropriate medical treatment", but no suicide note was found. Prosecutors did not specify what illness he was suffering from.

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