The Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps Tuesday went into an eight-minute plunge before impact, according to the low-cost airline's chief executive. Speaking in Cologne, Thomas Winkelmann said the Airbus A320 reached its maximum altitude of 38,000 feet, then maintained that height for about a minute before falling into the long descent, Dow Jones reported. Authorities lost contact with Flight 4U 9525 at 10:53 a.m. local time. It is still unclear why the jet began to descend, and Winkelmann said information on the distress call is conflicting. The last routine inspection of the jet was made Monday by Lufthansa, he said, and the captain of the flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf had more than 10 years of experience. Germanwings is owned by Deutsche Lufthansa AG .
Copyright © 2015 MarketWatch, Inc.
Continue Reading Below