Report: Co-pilot convinced captain to leave cockpit

The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight repeatedly suggested that the captain leave the cockpit, then locked him out and stymied his desperate efforts to return, according to media reports Sunday. Flight 9525′s captain, Patrick Sondheimer, screamed, “For God’s sake, open the door!” when he realized co-pilot Andreas Lubitz had essentially jammed the cockpit door, according to data recorder transcripts obtained by the German newspaper Bild.635632221706919476-AFP-539247680

French and German investigators say Lubitz, 27, deliberately crashed the Duesseldorf-bound jet into the French Alps less than an hour after departing Barcelona on Tuesday, killing himself and the other 149 people on board. In Rome, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims after Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

The Bild transcript, translated by London’s Daily Mail, describes a tranquil cockpit after takeoff where Lubitz suggested Sondheimer go to the toilet, noting that Sondheimer had not done so in Barcelona. About 20 minutes later, Lubitz says, “You can go now.” Two minutes later the pilot says, “You can take over,” and apparently leaves the cockpit. The plane begins its descent almost immediately, at 10:29 a.m. local time. Within minutes, Bild describes a loud bang as someone attempts to enter the cockpit, then Sondheimer yells, “For God’s sake, open the door!” Passengers are heard screaming.

German newspaper Die Welt reported that Lubitz was suffering from a “psychosomatic” illness and that investigators found prescription medication in his Duesseldorf apartment. Other German media reported Lubitz apparently suffered from depression. According to Bild, Lubitz was being treated for vision problems that he feared could jeopardize his career.