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Germanwings Co-Pilot May Have Rehearsed Crash On Earlier Flight, Report Finds

The Germanwings co-pilot who crashed a passenger jet into the French Alps may have practiced the crash during an earlier flight.

According to a preliminary report issued by French investigators, Andreas Lubitz set the altitude dial to 100 feet several times during an outbound flight from Duesseldorf, Germany, to Barcelona on March 24.

Lubitz, the report finds, was alone in the cockpit when he made the changes to the dial. Investigators say Lubitz then deliberately crashed the aircraft on the way back from Barcelona to Duesseldorf that same day.

As we've reported:

"Prosecutors have previously said that it seems Lubitz crashed the airliner intentionally.

"Lubitz had 'apparently used his tablet computer to search the Internet for ways to commit suicide and for the safety features of cockpit doors,' according to German prosecutors cited by Krishnadev Calamur's report for the Two-Way on Thursday.

"The plane's audio recorder, which was found soon after the crash in the French Alps, showed that its pilot pounded on the cockpit door and yelled to be let back in during the final moments before the crash."

From the report, here's a list of findings:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.