Because of the cockpit voice recorder, we know much of what happened last year on Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf. First officer Andreas Lubitz locked the plane's captain from the cockpit and plunged the A320 into a mountain, authorities have said.
This month, GQ goes in depth about what happens. The story is compelling, and if you have time, you might read it.
Here's how GQ described the moments after the plane's captain tried to return after using the bathroom.
On a keypad outside the cockpit, he punched in his access code, then hit the pound sign. Access denied. “It's me!” he exclaimed, rapping on the door. Flight attendants—preparing to wheel their snack-and-beverage carts down the aisle now that the plane had reached cruising altitude—looked toward the commotion. A closed-circuit camera transmitted the captain's image to a small television screen inside the cockpit; Lubitz didn't react. Alarmed, Sondenheimer started hammering on the door. Still, Lubitz didn't respond. “For the love of God,” the pilot yelled. “Open this door!” The plane was at about 25,000 feet. Passengers, feeling the steep decline now and gripped by the first wave of panic, began leaving their seats and moving through the aisles.
At 10:39, Sondenheimer called for a flight attendant to bring him a crowbar hidden in the back of the plane. Grabbing the steel rod, the pilot began smashing the door, then trying to pry and bend it open.
The piece goes into impressive detail about why Lubitz may have crashed the plane. It also focuses on the families who lost loved ones that day.
It's worth a read.