Germanwings plane crash: Passenger describes captain's emotional speech to passengers day after disaster

'It was completely quiet. And then the whole plane applauded'

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The Independent Online

A woman who flew with Germanwings the day after 150 people were killed in one of the worst suspected pilot suicides in history has spoken of the captain’s emotional speech to passengers.

Britta Englisch described the moment the pilot stood at the front of the cabin and took to the intercom on the airline’s Facebook page.

Writing in German, she said she boarded the flight from Hamburg to Cologne in Germany with “mixed feelings”.

"But then the captain did not only personally say hello to every passenger but gave a speech before take-off,” she wrote. “Not from the cockpit, but from the cabin.

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"About how he and the crew had been affected by the tragedy. About how the crew feel strange as well, but all of them were there voluntarily.

"And about how he has a family too, the crew have families too, and that he will do anything to make sure he will arrive back with them in the evening.

"It was completely quiet. And then the whole plane applauded.

"I would like to thank this captain. For understanding what we all thought. And for making me feel good about the flight.”

Ms Englisch’s post has been shared almost 17,000 times and “liked” by 295,000 people, who praised the pilot and all Germanwings staff working in the wake of the disaster.

At least seven flights had to be cancelled as crew members struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.

Lufthansa said in a statement that: “Due to emotional distress, some crew members are also unfit for service today.

“Germanwings understands these circumstances, as crew members have lost beloved colleagues in the incident.”

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A stele in memory of the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash is pictured in the small village of Le Vernet, French Alps, near the site where a Airbus A320 crashed on 24 March

The company today followed numerous other airlines to bring in a “two person rule” ensuring no pilot is left alone in the cockpit.

French prosecutors claim first officer Andreas Lubitz barricaded himself inside the flight deck and programmed the aircraft to descend towards the French Alps.

The initial findings, announced following analysis of the Airbus A320’s cockpit voice recorder, sparked international scrutiny of airline regulations allowing one person to be left in total control of passenger planes.

Additional reporting by PA

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