“Manchurian Candidate”(?) Co-pilot Lubitz had crashed German plane deliberately (VIDEO “Making A Killing”)
Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
Germanwings’ Andreas Lubitz underwent psychiatric treatment – reportsPublished time: March 27, 2015 07:47
Edited time: March 27, 2015 10:42
Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, suspected of deliberately bringing down the plane with 150 people on board, suffered depression and underwent psychiatric treatment, German media report.
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Lubitz had spent 18 months overall under psychiatric treatment, Bild reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources within Lufthansa, Germanwings’ parent company. The pilot was diagnosed with a “severe depressive episode” in 2009, the German daily says. It claims it got access to Lubitz’s profile, indicating the pilot had “psychological problems” and required a “special, exemplary regular medical examination.”
Bild also cites sources familiar with the investigation, saying that Lubitz suffered from a “personal life crisis,” following a recent breakup with a girlfriend.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told journalists on Thursday, that Lubitz was “100 percent” fit to fly. Spohr mentioned the pilot had a pause in his training six years ago, without offering further explanation.
German reporters found Lubitz’s former classmates, who said he took a six-months break from training due to “burnout-syndrome” or “depression,” Der Spiegel’s Matthias Gebauer wrote on Twitter.
Most of Lubitz’s friends and acquaintances described him as a “normal” and “very nice” young man and were shocked to learn he could have willfully crashed the plane.
READ MORE: ‘A boy like so many others’: Shocked reactions from those who knew Germanwings co-pilot
Investigators have meanwhile searched Lubitz’s home in Dusseldorf and also his parents’ home in the town of Montabaur.
“We have found something which will now be taken for tests,” Markus Niesczery from Dusseldorf Police told the Daily Mail. “We cannot say what it is at the moment, but it may be a very significant clue to what has happened.”
The police do not disclose what exactly they have found. They were seen leaving the Lubitz family home carrying big boxes, plastic bags and a computer.
On Thursday, Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said Lubitz acted “for a reason we cannot fathom right now, but which looks like intent to destroy this aircraft.”
“He had… no reason to stop the pilot-in-command from coming back into the cockpit. He had no reason to refuse to answer to the air controller who was alerting him on the loss of altitude,” Brice said, as cited by Reuters.
The captain of the Germanwings plane tried to break the locked door to the cockpit with an ax, a security source told Bild. Germanwings has confirmed that an ax was among the equipment available to its pilots.
A number of international airlines have announced they are adopting a new rule requiring two crew members to always be present in the cockpit.
READ MORE: Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
If the investigation confirms Lubitz’s actions were deliberate, Germanwings could face multimillion-dollar compensation claims.
A typical airline liability is limited by around $157,400 for each passenger who died in a plane crash, but relatives of the Germanwings flight 9525 victims could go to court, accusing the company of negligence and demanding bigger payments.
Potential lawsuits could focus on whether Germanwings properly screened the co-pilot before and during his employment, and if the airline should have had a policy requiring two or more people in cockpits at all times during a flight, lawyers who have represented families in past airline disasters told Reuters on Thursday.
Edited time: March 26, 2015 12:47
The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference.
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The Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz.
The captain was between 30 and 40 years old, fully qualified, had 10,000 hours of flight, and had worked with Lufthansa for 10 years, while the co-pilot was 28, and commenced working for Lufthansa in 2013.
Prosecutor Brice Robin provided the explanation he thought the most likely, judging by the transcript of the black box recording of the last 30 minutes in the cockpit before the crash.
The captain left the cockpit to go to the toilet, asking the co-pilot to take over. Then the co-pilot accelerated the plane’s descent, likely voluntarily, the prosecutor said.
Someone attempted to break open the door to the cockpit from the outside, he added.
Afterwards, demands for the co-pilot to open the door are heard, and the captain “desperately” bangs on the door, but the co-pilot refuses to open it.
On the recording, there is the sound of the co-pilot breathing “normally” and “not uttering a single word” until the plane crashes, the prosecutor said.
The recording suggested that passengers began screaming just before the final impact.Services on the ground didn’t receive any distress signals from the crashing A320.
The prosecutor said that there are no grounds to regard the crash as a terrorist act.
It is not yet known if the company is legally responsible for the crash. The prosecution is set to give information on that later.
The recovery of bodies from the Alps has already begun, and will last for the next week or two. Body parts are being recovered via helicopter, and the process is very difficult, Robin added.