According to investigators, co-pilot Andreas Lubitz acted alone when he caused the aircraft to plummet into the mountains.
Black box recordings reportedly captured the cries of Captain Patrick Sondheimer as he battled to gain entry to the cockpit with an axe, while Lubitz piloted the plane into its fatal descent in complete silence.
Now one German tabloid newspaper has claimed investigators have found evidence on Lubitz’s laptop that he searched online for information about diuretic drugs, leading to the suggestion he may have “spiked” Sondheimer’s drink, perhaps a coffee, with such a substance.
The claims made by The Express in Cologne have not been corroborated and no official comment has yet been made, but it makes for a plausible theory as to why Lubtiz was left in the cockpit by himself just 30 minutes into the journey from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.
Diuretic drugs treat a variety of conditions from high blood pressure to glaucoma, with the side effect of increasing the volume of urine produced by the recipient.
The Mayo Clinic lists dandelion, ginger, parsley, hawthorn and ginger as naturally occurring diuretics and indeed caffeine has a mild diuretic effect as well.
While no comment has been made on these claims as yet, investigators have confirmed that Lubitz researched suicide methods and cockpit door security in the days before the crash.
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German newspaper Bild am Sonntag earlier claimed to have obtained a transcript of the recording from inside the cockpit which it says reveals Lubitz repeatedly attempting to persuade Sondheimer to leave him alone on the flight deck.
It states Lubitz can be heard telling Sondheimer he can go to the toilet at any time and he will take over the controls, and reminding him that he didn’t go to the lavatory in Barcelona.
As Sondheimer reportedly prompted Lubitz to prepare for the landing in Dusseldorf, Lubitz’s responses are said to have become terse, using the phrases “hopefully” and “we’ll see.”
After landing checks were made, Lubitz is reported to have pressed: “You can go now,” at which point the senior pilot can be heard pushing his seat back and closing the door.