Rescue crews working at the Alps site where Germanwings Flight 9525 came down this morning have now retrieved the aircraft’s flight data recorder.
The flight, carrying 144 people onboard, was en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.
The aircraft climbed normally to its flight altitude of 38,000 feet, and about a minute later it began a rapid descent until it crashed in a remote site deep within the Alps mountain range. The crew radioed no distress call.
The flight descended at about 3,000 feet per minute, twice its normal rate. The aircraft disintegrated on impact, with no survivors found. Sixteen German schoolchildren returning home from a week-long student exchange program in Barcelona are amongst the victims.
The Airbus 320 only had a safety check at Dusseldorf airport yesterday, and it was deemed airworthy.
Experts hope the data from the flight data recorder will reveal the cause of the tragedy.