Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who is believed to have intentionally crashed Flight 9525 into the French Alps earlier this year, may have rehearsed the fatal dive, according to new findings.

Did Andreas Lubitz Practice Crash?

France’s Bureau of Investigations and Analyses’ preliminary report found that Lubitz may have practiced the fatal plummet of Flight 9525 on March 24 during a flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf he was co-piloting earlier that day. While the captain was out of the cockpit, Lubitz apparently repeatedly set the plane’s altitude to 100 ft.

“To us, it is clear that this was some kind of rehearsal,” Rémi Jouty, the director of the B.E.A., told The New York Times.  “We see the same actions being taken in the same circumstances, at a moment when the co-pilot was alone in the cockpit.”

Lubitz, who reportedly suffered from depression, locked the captain out of the cockpit during the fatal flight. Audio recording retrieved from the Airbus A320 black boxes indicated that the captain had made futile efforts to get back into the cockpit. During that time, Lubitz similarly altered the autopilot instructions. The resulting crash caused the deaths of all 150 people onboard, including Lubitz.

“We cannot presume what was going on in his mind,” Jouty said. “But based on all the information that we have gathered so far, we can affirm, categorically, that this crash was the result of an intentional act, a series of steps that, taken together, all point in the same direction.”

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