French investigators: Co-pilot accelerated plane on descent

FILE - In this Sunday, Sept. 13, 2009 photo, Andreas Lubitz competes at the Airportrun in Hamburg, Germany. Investigators believe the 27-year-old Germanwings co-pilot locked his captain out of the cockpit during a March 24, 2015 flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf and deliberately put the plane into its fatal descent into a French mountainside. (AP Photo/Michael Mueller)

PARIS (AP) — The French air accident investigation agency says the co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight repeatedly accelerated the plane as he used the automatic pilot to descend the A320 into the Alps.

The BEA agency said in a statement Friday that investigators have begun studying the black box data recorder from the plane, found at the crash site Thursday.

It says an initial reading of the recorder shows that the pilot used the automatic pilot to put the plane into a descent and then repeatedly during the descent adjusted the automatic pilot to speed up the plane.

Based on recordings from the black box voice recorder, investigators say co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cockpit and intentionally crashed the plane. All 150 people aboard were killed.

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