According to the official story, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz brings down Flight 9252 on March 24 2015, killing not only himself but also 5 other crew members and 144 passengers. This story is presented to us, with limited proof. A trial by media against dead Andreas Lubitz (RIP).
In previous blogs, I discussed an alternative scenario, which I consider much more likely. Moreover, it is stronger supported by the evidence presented to us. In this theory the pilot Patrick Sonderheimer is guilty and framed Andreas Lubitz. He himself escapes the aircraft by ejection cabin. Three things still bother me, in my alternative scenario.
- Can’t the blackbox determine when the cockpit door is opened and closed?
- How can Sonderheimer be sure the other 4 cabin crew members are all dealt with?
- Is there a floor hatch (or could one have been made and well-hidden) near the kichen?
1. The cockpit door
In my alternative theory, Sonderheimer does not leave the cockpit when he says he does on the Cockpit Voice Recorder. He leaves later, after making Lubitz unconscious and reprogramming the automatic pilot into a faster descent.
The problem I have is, opening the cockpit door, should be on the blackbox. The door has an electronic lock. To get out of the cockpit later in the timeline, Sonderheimer thus needs involvement of those officials analyzing the blackbox, or involvement of a second crew member on this flight 9252 (or both). Let me explain that to you.
No-one in the media even mentions it, but the cockpit door can be opened, without it being opened. In the lower part of the door is an escape route for crew members, which can only be opened from inside. This escape panel can be clicked opened mechanically, which allows Sonderheimer to crawl out, without the door being opened. Easy.
But for his plan to succeed, Sonderheimer needs to do it without raising suspision and without anyone realizing that it is an open panel. Else, someone in the plane would understand they can also access the cockpit again through this route, and attempt to save the people onboard. He also needs to put the panel back in place somehow (though it would only be visually closed, he cannot lock it from inside, as it was before).
How can he be sure no-one sees it? That is possible, when another crew member blocks the view for a few seconds, for instance with a kitchen cart. A kitchen cart is higher than the door panel and can thus block the view to passengers and other crew members. Again, we need to hear the Cockpit Voice Recording to test this alternative theory.
Sonderheimer then likely positions another kitchen cart in front of the cockpit door, to use it to break the door (a bang followed by metallic noises, as heard at 10.35h on the voice recording). For outsiders, this looks like the pilot is doing all he can to break the door open. In reality, it hides the possibility of opening it through the lower door panel. Again, we need to hear the recording to be sure.
2. Other crew members
A possible accomplish crew member, would also help solve the second problem: How could he get rid off the other crew members? According to the media, they are not heard on the voicerecording. Crew members are trained to keep the passengers calm, even when the plane goes down.
Besides co-pilot Lubitz and pilot Sonderheimer, there are 4 other crew members. On the Airbus A320, there is only one isle, which simplifies logistics. Somehow the pilot Sonderheimer got rid off them. What we know is, that Sonderheimer asks for the crowbar in the back of the plane at about 10.35h (link).
If he has an accomplish, that person is the steward closest to the cockpit, positioned in the isle. He/she likely asks other crew members further down the isle to go get the crowbar in the back (10.35h). We never hear how any of them return from this trip to the back of the plane, which might be because there is something poisionous about the crowbar? It would be a good way to get rid off at least two crew members.
If the third crew member send-off to get the crowbar, decides not to grab it, he/she needs to be dealt with otherwise. A second accomplish among the crew members would help to manage that. If my theory is correct, that second crew member is standing closest to the cockpit in the isle, holding a kitchen cart between passengers and the front crew area. They might poison the kitchen cart on one side, to make sure no-one can pass it alive. Heating the kitchen cart to high temperatures will also do the trick (and leaves no trace).
3. Floor Hatch
Below the passenger deck is a storage facility (under almost the entire plane) in the Airbus A320. According to my alternative theory in which Patrick Sonderheimer brought down the plane, there needs to be a floor hatch somewhere between the cockpit door and the main isle between passengers. A door would allow the pilot to go below deck towards the cargo exit (in the picture right, that is immediately below the word ‘Lufthansa’ on the plane). The floor hatch needs to be between the word ‘germanwings’ and the cockpit (brown square). A cargo exit can be used as an escape route.
On the right is a picture of the kitchen in the back of the plane. I am convinced there is a floor hatch hidden in this kitchen, that leads to the cargo area. Given where the handle is, it should open with the opening unaccessible to passengers (hatch facing the isle side) and a small area for the crew left to stand and open the hatch (not ideal). The small metallic holders that make sure the hatch can not open 180 degrees (max 100 degree).
Unfortunately, so far I have no proof a silimar hatch is present in the area just behind the cockpit (kitchen in the front). If not, it could have been made especially for this plane, since the passenger deck floor is made of panels. However, it is more likely the Airbus A320 either has a second hatch, or the pilot escaped through the hatch in the back.
Again, this is an alternative theory, to the official theory how Lubitz brings down the plane all by himself. With the data we have about this flight, there is not enough evidence to convict Andreas Lubitz in a trial by media. There is more evidence that supports my alternative theory: Patrick Sonderheimer.