Report: Pilot Locked Out Cockpit Before Germanwings Crash

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PARIS – One of the pilots on board Germanwings Flight 9525 was locked out of the cockpit when the plane crashed Tuesday, a senior military official told The New York Times, citing evidence from the cockpit voice recorder.

“You can hear he is trying to smash the door down,” a senior military official involved in the investigation told the newspaper, describing audio from the cockpit voice recorder, one of the plane’s black boxes.

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” the official said, according to the Times’ report. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

French authorities revealed Wednesday that they’d been able to access audio from the recorder, even though its external casing was damaged.

Finding the plane’s second black box will also be critical to understanding the mystery of what went on inside the jet.

That box, the flight data recorder, hasn’t been found yet, but Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said Wednesday that there’s a high probability it will be.

Investigators scoured dangerous terrain in the French Alps Wednesday as they searched for clues in the wreckage.

Workers dropped to the crash site from helicopters and had to be tied together because the steep area in the French Alps is so treacherous, said Remi Jouty, head of the BEA, the French aviation investigative arm leading the probe.

“We need to understand what happened,” French President Francois Hollande said. “We owe that to the families.”