Germanwings Flight 9525 has haunted my thoughts this week, and I know I’m not alone. As details of the crash emerged — and particularly, the contents of the mangled cockpit voice recorder — it was impossible to not feel the horror of the 149 people co-pilot Andreas Lubitz took to their deaths.
They had eight minutes. Eight minutes from the moment Lubitz locked Captain Patrick Sonderheimer out of the cockpit and started the Airbus A320 on a steady descent until it slammed into a remote mountainside at more than 400 mph.
Death was instantaneous, according to authorities. The cockpit voice recorder picked up screams only in the final moments before impact, indicating passengers did not know what was happening until the very end.
A mercy. Still, it’s excruciating to imagine the plight of Sonderheimer, who first knocked lightly on the cockpit door, then more forcefully and, finally — as what was happening became clear — tried to break down the door…
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