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ALPS PLANE CRASH

PLANE CRASH

Alps crash co-pilot did ‘trial run’ of fatal dive

The co-pilot who is believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings jet in the French Alps may have "rehearsed" steering the plane into a rapid descent on his previous flight, a French probe revealed on Wednesday.

Alps crash co-pilot did 'trial run' of fatal dive
Did the co-pilot try out his fatal dive on the previous flight? Photo: Quentin/Flickr

Quoting sources close to the French investigating authorities, the German newspaper Bild said that the co-pilot, 27-year-old Andreas Lubitz, appeared to have tried out a "controlled, minute-long descent for which there was no aeronautical reason" on the earlier outbound flight from Düsseldorf to Barcelona.

Investigators had discovered this after a close evaluation of the jet's black-box flight recorder, Bild said.

Investigators in Paris later backed the claim that Lubitz had practiced his decent.

The BEA crash investigations office said Lubitz, had practiced the manouevre on a flight from Düsseldorf to Barcelona
without "noticeable effect" before crashing the plane into the mountains on his return, killing all 150 people on board.

The Germanwings Airbus 320 was en route from Barcelona to Düsseldorf when it crashed in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board.

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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PLANE CRASH

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France

A father and his twin teenage daughters died on Monday when their light aircraft crashed in central France in as yet unexplained circumstances, the rescue services said.

Father and twin daughters die in light plane crash in France
Mountain range in France's Puy-de-Dome department. Photo: Alpha du centaure/Flickr

“The accident occurred at 12:30 pm (1030 GMT). The plane crashed and broke up without catching fire,” the rescue services said, confirming a report in the local La Montagne newspaper.

The circumstances of the accident, which involved a single-engine two-seater aircraft, were not yet clear.

“The weather conditions were actually quite good at the time of the accident,” the rescue services said.

The crash occurred in a mountainous area in the Mazoires commune of the Puy-de-Dome department.

The father, who was said to be aged “about 40” and his 14-year-old twin daughters were from the Paris region.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.

There has already been a number of accidents involving light aircraft in France this summer, including one in the Ardennes on July 28 in which the pilot and one of three passengers were killed.

Two people were also killed on July 17 when their aircraft crashed in Corsica and two others will killed in accident in Les Mureaux, northwest of Paris.  

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