Past cases of pilots downing their planes

PARIS (AFP) - Investigators believe the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U 9525 deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps earlier this week, killing all 150 people aboard.

While rare, there have been previous such incidents in which a pilot or co-pilot have brought down an aircraft.

- Mozambique Airlines -

November 29, 2013: Mozambique Airlines (LAM) flight TM 470 flying from Maputo to Luanda went down in north-eastern Namibia killing 33.

Investigators said the captain had a "clear intention" to crash the plane. They said flight recorders showed the Embraer 190 went down while Captain Herminio dos Santos Fernandes manipulated its autopilot in a way which "denotes a clear intention" to bring the plane down.

- EgyptAir -

October 31, 1999: EgyptAir flight 990, a Boeing 767 en route from New York to Cairo crashed into the Atlantic Ocean shortly after take off, killing all 217 on board.

An analysis of the black boxes showed that the pilot caused the accident and declared shortly before the crash: "I have just taken my decision. I put my faith in God's hands".

Egyptian authorities, however, rejected the explanation of pilot suicide, disputing among other things, the interpretation of what he said in the black box recording.

- Royal Air Maroc -

August 21, 1994: The pilot of a Royal Air Maroc jet crashed the plane into the Atlas mountains shortly after taking off from Agadir for Casablanca. All 44 aboard were killed. The probe, based on the last words of the co-pilot, quickly concluded it was suicide.

- Japan Airlines -

February 9, 1982: A Japan Airlines DC-8 crashed into Tokyo Bay on approach to Haneda Airport. Twenty-four people were killed. A probe concluded that the pilot, who survived, was mentally unstable.