'Chilling Revelations' Of Plane's Final Moments

The co-pilot of the Germanwings plane that crashed in the Alps intentionally sent the jet into its doomed descent.

Here are the details of the Airbus A320's final moments that emerged at a news conference given by Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin.

:: Mr Robin said it seems the co-pilot, who was a German national and who had never been flagged as a terrorist, appeared to want to "destroy the plane".

:: Prior to the cabin being locked, there was "normal" conversation between the pilot and co-pilot for the first 20 minutes of the flight, which had taken off from Barcelona in Spain bound for Dusseldorf in Germany.

:: The co-pilot's responses, although initially courteous, became "curt" when the pilot started the mid-flight briefing on the planned landing of the plane.

:: The pilot is heard asking the co-pilot to take over and the sound of a chair being pushed back and a door being closed is heard.

:: The co-pilot was left on his own in charge of the plane, and it is then that he uses the flight monitoring system to start the descent of the plane.

:: The co-pilot did not say a word once the pilot left the cockpit. "It was absolute silence in the cockpit," said Mr Robin.

:: All that could be heard is the co-pilot's breathing. Mr Robin said the co-pilot was breathing normally. "It wasn't the breath of somebody who was struggling. He didn't say a single word. Total silence."

:: Several cries from the pilot can be heard, asking to get in.

:: He identifies himself through the intercom system, but there is no answer. He knocks on the door and asks for it to be opened, but again there is no answer.

:: Pounding could be heard on the door during the final minutes as alarms sounded. Finally the sound of an impact is heard.

:: The 144 passengers only realised at the last moment what was happening. Screams were only heard in the last moments of the recording, before impact. Mr Robin said: "We only hear screams at the very end. Death was instant. It hit the mountain at 700km (430mph) an hour."

:: Several calls from the control tower to the plane went unanswered, as did communications from other aircraft in the area.

:: The plane could have glided before the moment of impact. There was no distress signal, no Mayday and no answer despite numerous calls to the plane.

:: The co-pilot, who has been named as 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz , had a few hundred hours flying time on the aircraft.

:: There is no indication the crash is a terrorist act, Mr Robin said: "But obviously we will see how we will proceed."

:: Pressed on the co-pilot's religion, Mr Robin said: "I don't think this is where this lies. I don't think we will get any answers there."

:: The bodies of the victims are being retrieved by helicopter and put on stretchers and taken to a nearby unit where post-mortems are being carried out and DNA testing undertaken. The process could take more than a week.