The definitive investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 and the mind of the co-pilot who committed the most shocking crime in aviation historyOn March 24, 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps. All 144 passengersMoreThe definitive investigation into the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 and the mind of the co-pilot who committed the most shocking crime in aviation historyOn March 24, 2015, Germanwings Flight 9525 crashed into the French Alps. All 144 passengers and six crew members were killed. In the ensuing days, a picture of the flight’s harrowing final moments began to emerge.
Shortly after reaching cruise altitude, a 27-year-old first officer named Andreas Lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit, took control of the plane and deliberately caused its descent. In Fatal Descent, journalist and aviation expert Jeff Wise travels to Lubitz’s hometown in Germany and pieces together a definitive and haunting portrait of the killer and the system he betrayed, revealing in heart-pounding detail how a lifelong super-achiever like Lubitz could have committed such an unthinkable act, what actually happened inside the cockpit, and whether current airline regulations leave us vulnerable to similar attacks in the future.Jeff Wise is a science journalist specializing in aviation and psychology.
He is the author of the bestselling Kindle Single The Plane That Wasn’t There, about the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370. A licensed pilot of gliders and light airplanes, he also has stick time in powered paragliders, trikes, World War II fighter planes, Soviet jet fighters, gyroplanes, and zeppelins, as well as submarines, tanks, hovercraft, dog sleds, and swamp buggies. A contributing editor at Travel + Leisure magazine, he has written for New York, the New York Times, Time, Businessweek, Esquire, Details, and many others.
His Popular Mechanics story on the fate of Air France 447 was named one of the Top 10 Longreads of 2011. His last book was Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger. A native of Massachusetts, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Harvard and now lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.Cover design by Kerry Ellis.