Germanwings Crash: High-Tech Hijackers, Not Co-Pilot, May Have Downed Plane Says Aviation Boss

The Germanwings crash that killed 150 people in the French Alps on March 24 has so far been blamed on an allegedly mentally disturbed and suicidal co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz. But not so fast, says aviation executive Matt Andersson, president of Indigo Aerospace, a Chicago aviation firm, who this week published a letter in the Financial Times, warning against a rush to judgment in the horrifying disaster.

As so often happens with major catastrophic world events, numerous conspiracy theories spread quickly following the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash. But the scenario set forth so far by investigators points the finger squarely at Lubitz.

According to the so-far-official scenario, 27-year-old Lubitz had been suffering from depression — a condition he sought to conceal from the airline — as well as other medical issues that motivated him to kill himself and take the Germanwings Airbus A320-200 — bound from Barcelona, Spain, to Dusseldorf, Germany — with all of its passengers and crew aboard with him.

Investigators say that data from the flight’s black box voice and data recorders show that Lubitz waited until pilot Patrick Sondheimer left to use the restroom, and then Lubitz locked the cockpit door from the inside and proceeded to accelerate the plane downward and into the side of a mountain.

But there are other possible scenarios, according to Andersson, who concedes that the downward acceleration of the plane did, in fact, happen.

“That may be, but it could be from any number of causes, including external electronic hacking into the aircraft’s control and navigation systems through malware or electromagnetic interception,” Andersson said in his letter.

“Many broad assertions currently presented to the public may turn out to be erroneous, misleading or in some cases lead to improper or counterproductive regulatory and other reactions –including misplaced liability, financial and insurance claims,” he added.

The black box data has not yet been “subject to international standards,” he cautioned.

The “high tech hijacking” theory has been heard recently in connection with the baffling disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on March 8, 2014. That plane, with its 239 passengers and crew, has not been found, nor has it yielded a single piece of evidence as to what happened to it or it whereabouts.

But aviation expert Jeff Wise has proposed that the Malaysia Airlines plane may have been the victim of high-tech hijacking, with hackers commandeering the plane’s flight systems electronically.

According to Matt Andersson, the same incredible scenario could have been behind the Germanwings crash, as well.

[Image: Patrick Aventurier / Getty Images]