French Plane Crash Part 9: Pilot practised descending before crash

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 6, 2015

German tabloid newspaper, Bild, has claimed that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz practised a controlled descent on an outbound flight before killing himself as well as 149 passengers on-board Flight 4U9525 in an apparent deliberate suicide act on March 24th.

Citing French air crash investigation agency BEA, the paper reports that Lubitz carried out an uncalled descent lasting a minute on a flight from Dusseldorf to Barcelona, mere hours before sending the Airbus A320 into the French Alps near the town of Barcelonette on the return flight, having locked regular captain, Patrick Sondenheimer, out of the cockpit.

Last month, an iPad found in the 27-year old pilot’s Dusseldorf flat revealed that he had been researching suicide techniques as well as information about aircraft cockpit doors and their safety measures.

Police also found a torn-up sick note which indicated that Lubitz, who had been suffering from depression and anxiety which temporality halted his training in 2009, had been trying to hide his condition from Germanwings parent company, national carrier Lufthansa, as the letter covered the period of the accident.

It has since been reported that the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) declined to provide Lubitz with a flying certificate after he had submitted an application nearly five years ago.

According to the New York Times, a letter dated July 28 2010 informed that Lubitz that his submission had been retracted based on his “history of reactive depression” as “new symptoms or adverse changes” could occur at any stage. It was also discovered that while responding to the question as to whether he had been receiving treatment for any disorders, Lubitz first ticked the “N” box on the entry form before changing it to “Y”.

Prior to this, documents submitted to the FAA indicated that he had been receiving psychotherapeutic treatment from January to October 2009 and had been treated with Cipralex and Mirtazapine, which was reportedly a contributing factor in him not being granted clearance to fly in the US.

 

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