Lubitz's Mental Health: Just One of Several Leads in Germanwings Plane Crash Inquiry

World | March 29, 2015, Sunday // 11:06|  views

Helpers from the French Red Cross and police stand at the memorial plaque for the victims of the Germanwings A320 crash in Le Vernet, France, 28 March 2015. EPA/BGNES

The mental health of the co-pilot of crashed Germanwings passenger plane was a "serious lead" in the inquiry, but not the only one, French prosecutors said on Saturday.

French police chief Jean-Pierre Michel told AFP news agency in Dusseldorf that the investigation has found some elements which allowed it to make progress on this lead, “which is a serious lead but which can't be the only one."

The health status of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 27, is believed to have been linked in some way to the worst disaster in aviation history in France but no conclusive evidence has emerged so far.

Investigators have found that Lubitz concealed a sick note which declared him unfit to work on the day of the disaster from his employer. Having done that, he boarded the Barcelona to Dusseldorf flight as a co-pilot and is suspected of having deliberately steered the Airbus A320 aircraft into a mountain side in the French Alps on Tuesday, killing himself and the other 149 people on board.

Germanwings confirmed the sick note for the day of the crash was not submitted to the company. Torn-up doctor's notes found in his home would have excused Lubitz from work for medical reasons. The fact that Lubitz appears to have been signed off as sick raises the question of whether there was - or should have been - contact between his doctors and the airline, the BBC commented.

The Dusseldorf University Hospital said on Friday that Lubitz had been evaluated at its clinic in February and then on 10 March but it did not say whether he had been treated for vision problems as officials told the New York Times earlier. The hospital also said that media reports Lubitz was treated there for depression were inaccurate.

Germany's mass-circulation Bild newspaper has quoted Lubitz's former girlfriend as saying he had told her: "One day I'm going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember."

"I never knew what he meant by that but now it makes sense," Bild quoted the "shocked" flight attendant identified only as Maria W. as saying on Saturday.

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Tags: Germanwings, Lubitz, crash, airbus, France, Germany


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