UPDATE: Co-pilot appeared to want to destroy plane - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Co-pilot appeared to want to destroy plane

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French officials said Thursday it appears that one of the pilots of the crashed Germanwings plane intentionally forced the jet into a descent and refused to open the cockpit door.

Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin told a press conference that the co-pilot was alone at the controls of the Germanwings flight as it began a rapid descent and appears to have deliberately kept the captain out of the cockpit. He said "banging" sounds were heard on a black-box recording.

The news comes after a report in the New York Times late Wednesday saying that one of the pilots of the Airbus A320 had left the flight deck and was unable to get back through the locked, reinforced door as the jet descended rapidly towards the French Alps.

"The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer," an unnamed investigator told the newspaper. "And then he hits the door stronger and no answer."

Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa has said the captain was an "experienced" pilot, with more than 10 years experience with the organization and more than 6,000 flight hours on the Airbus model. The First Officer joined Germanwings in September 2013, directly after training, and had flown 630 hours, it said.

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