It has been revealed that the co-pilot is believed to have deliberately crashed a Germanwings plane into the French Alps. It is believed that he had hidden an unspecified medical condition from his employer and had torn up recent documents in his home that certified that he was unfit to fly, German state prosecutors say.
One hundred and fifty people died when the plane slammed into the mountainside on Tuesday.
A French prosecutor said Andreas Lubitz, 28, deliberately crashed the Airbus A320, with the senior pilot locked out of the cockpit. He was a relatively junior FO with only 630 flying hours, and 100 hours on A320s.
After listening to the cockpit voice recorders, prosecutors in France offered no motive for why Lubitz would take the controls of the plane, lock the captain out and deliberately set it to veer down from its cruising altitude at a rate of 3,000 feet per minute.
German investigators carried out searches at the two homes of Lubitz, seizing documents and a computer. “Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” the German prosecutor in Duesseldorf said. The documents were found in searches of Lubitz’s apartment in Dusseldorf and his parents’ home in the town of Montabaur.
“Sick notes saying he was unfit to work, were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, supports the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased had hidden his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues.” Germanwings said Lubitz had not submitted any sick note that would have grounded him on March 24, the day of the crash.
The German prosecutor’s office said the searches found no sign of political or religious motives, and no suicide note was found. The office said it would take some days to evaluate the documents seized.
The investigation is continuing.