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Germanwings crash: Co-pilot feared going blind in final email to doctor

By Charl Bosch - Mar 7, 2016
Germanwings crash: Co-pilot feared going blind in final email to doctor

A weekend newspaper in Germany has published details of an email sent by Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, in which he confesses to be suffering from depression and fears of losing his sight.

According to the article published in Bild on Sunday, the 27-year old, who is believed to have intentionally tampered with the flight monitoring system that send the Airbus A320 into a mountain side near the French town of Barcelonnette on March 24th last year, told one of his doctors a few weeks before the crash, that “if it was not for my eyes, everything would be fine”.

“I am afraid to go blind and I can’t get this possibility out of my head,” he wrote.

The email also revealed that he had been taking high dosages of the ant-depressant, Mirtazapine, to help him sleep, but that it was having the opposite effect and making him “restless”.

Last month, German authorities announced it would be passing stricter medical test for pilots in the wake of the accident, caused by Lubitz locking regular pilot, Patrick Sondenheimer, out of the cockpit of Flight 4U9525 on the return leg from Barcelona to Dusseldorf.

Information retrieved from the plane’s black box flight data and cockpit voice recorders, showed Sonderheimer briefly the left cabin to possibly visit the bathroom, at which point the plane, with Lubitz at the controls, began descending from its 38 000 feat cursing height to 6 800 feat, triggering the low-altitude warning buzzer.

“We hear several cries from the captain asking to get in. Through the intercom system he identifies himself - but there is no answer. He knocks on the door and asks for it to be opened - but there is no answer,” lead investigator Brice Robin told the media two days after the crash.

An investigation of Lubitz’s Dusseldorf flat a day later, revealed a torn-up sick note, suggesting he might have tried to hide his deteriorating condition from Germanwings’ parent company Lufthansa, as well suicide techniques and information on Airbus cabin doors on the browser of his iPad.

It was also discovered that he suffered from severe depression and anxiety, the former resulting in his training being halted in 2009, although he was allowed to continue and made a full recovery before joining Germanwings four years later.

A final report on the crash is expected on March 13th.