Friday 21 October 2016

Pilot warned of cockpit dangers just weeks ago

A Dutch pilot had issued a chilling warning of the risks of being locked out of the cockpit weeks before the Germanwings crash, saying: "I seriously wonder who's sitting next to me", it has emerged.

"I hope I never find myself in the situation where I go to the toilet and return to find a cockpit door that won't open," Jan Cocheret, a Boeing 777 pilot, wrote in specialist flight magazine Piloot en Vliegtuig (Pilot and Plane) less than two months before 27-year old co-pilot Andreas Lubitz (inset) locked his captain out of the cockpit and plunged an Airbus 320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 on board.

The Dutchman warned that the security measures designed to prevent hijackers could also be used against a plane's captain.


Meanwhile, all 150 victims of the plane crash could be identified by the end of the week.

Despite predictions of a wait of four to five months, French president Francois Hollande said his Interior Ministry should be able to confirm the victims' identities through samples of DNA.

Separately, the French air accident authority BEA said its probe would study "systemic weaknesses" that might have led to the disaster, such as psychological profiling and cockpit door locks.

Lawyers representing some of the families of those killed also called for a review of the rules on psychiatric assessment of pilots.

German state prosecutors have found evidence that Lubitz suffered from suicidal tendencies before getting his pilot's licence and that he had recently been signed off sick from work, though he did not inform his employers.


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