Just over 30 minutes into Germanwings flight 4U9525, the captain left the cockpit, according to French investigators. Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, alone on the flight deck, switched the selected altitude from 38,000 ft. to 100 ft.—the minimum value possible on an Airbus A320—and increased the speed of the aircraft, setting in motion a fatal descent into the French Alps. The details, revealed in a preliminary report on the March 24 crash issued Wednesday by the French air accident ...

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