French Plane Crash Part 5: Co-pilot had mental issues

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 27, 2015

German media reports that the Germanwings co-pilot, who appears to have deliberately caused the accident that killed him as well as 149 other people earlier this week, had been receiving psychiatric treatment for depression having suffered a “severe episode” six years ago.

According to documents obtained by Bild newspaper from Germanwing’s parent company Lufthansa, 27-year old Andreas Lubitz had been receiving regular check-ups after his training was interrupted in 2009 following the episode. He subsequently recovered after one-and-a-half year’s treatment before passing his tests with Lufthansa Chief Executive, Carsten Spohr, describing his flying abilities as flawless.

It has meanwhile been reported that police might have found “incriminating” evidence at the home of Lubitz’s parents in the West German town of Montabaur. No details about the reported findings were announced.

In an interview with Reuters, a friend of Lubitz described him as a quite person whom flying meant the world to, but added that he had become very drawn back and seldom spoke during two birthday parties they attended last year.

Yesterday, prosecutor Brice Robin said that Lubitz acted with intention after the cockpit voice recorder indicated that he had locked himself in the cab of the Airbus A320 after the regular pilot had visited the bathroom.

Ignoring the bangs on the cockpit door, Lubitz then pressed the buttons of the plane’s flight monitoring system, which caused it to decent from 38 000 to 6 800 feat in less than eight minutes. Robin said amidst the screams from the passengers and captain demanding the door to be opened, Lubitz remained calm and breathed normally right up to the minute Flight 4U9525 smashed into the mountain side near the town of Barcelonnette.

 

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