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Alps co-pilot 'researched suicide and cockpit doors on-line'

Update: April, 03/2015 - 11:16

MARSEILLE — The co-pilot suspected of deliberately crashing an airliner in the French Alps searched on-line for information about suicide and cockpit doors, prosecutors said on Thursday, as it emerged the plane's second black box had been found in "usable" condition.

Authorities are hoping to unearth more clues about the disaster from the black box, which French prosecutors said was found buried and blackened after a nine-day search of the wreckage of the Germanwings plane.

The first voice recorder, found almost immediately after the March 24 crash, suggested that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked the pilot out of the cabin and sent the plane into a descent into the mountains.

French prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters that the condition of the second box "gives us reasonable hope that it can be used." The second black box measures data such as speed, altitude and pilot action and will be an "indispensable" element in the investigation, Robin said.

The breakthrough discovery came as German prosecutors revealed details of the browser history of the tablet computer found in Lubitz's Duesseldorf flat.

It indicated the user had been researching "medical methods of treatment," "ways to commit suicide" as well as "cockpit doors and their security provisions," the prosecutor's office in the western city said.

German prosecutors have said Lubitz was diagnosed as suicidal "several years ago," before he became a pilot.

The first black box, which recorded conversations between Lubitz and the pilot, showed the German co-pilot was alone at the time of the crash.

Lubitz apparently took advantage of the captain's brief absence to lock him out and send the plane on its deadly descent. — AFP

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