Germanwings co-pilot suffered depression: report
BERLIN - Agence France-Presse
This is an undated image taken from Facebook of Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in San Francisco California. AP PhotoThe Germanwings co-pilot said to have deliberately crashed his Airbus with 149 others aboard into the French Alps suffered serious depression six years ago, German daily Bild reported March 27.
The co-pilot sought psychiatric help for "a bout of heavy depression" in 2009 and was still getting assistance from doctors, the newspaper said, quoting documents from Germany's air transport regulator Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA).
Andreas Lubitz, 28, was receiving "regular private medical" treatment, Bild reported, adding that Germanwings' parent company Lufthansa had transmitted this information to the LBA.
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr said that Lubitz had suspended his pilot training, which began in 2008, "for a certain period," but did not give more details. Lubitz later continued and was able to qualify for the Airbus A320 in 2013.
Bild said that during the period of his training setback Lubitz had suffered "depressions and anxiety attacks."
The pilot's records were due to be examined by experts in Germany Friday before being handed to French investigators, Bild reported.
Two properties used by Lubitz in western Germany were searched by police late Thursday as officials seek clues into how the outwardly level-headed pilot could have decided to commit what is thought to have been suicide and mass murder.
Germanwings captain tried to smash into cockpit with axe
The captain locked out of the cockpit of the Germanwings plane used an axe to try and force his way back in, Bild said, citing security sources.
The cockpit flight recorder showed that the captain repeatedly knocked and tried to get back in as the plane went into its fatal descent, French prosecutors said. However, Bild reported that the captain also tried using an axe to break down the cockpit's armoured door.
This could not be immediately confirmed, but a spokesman for Germanwings confirmed to AFP that an axe was on board the aircraft.
Such a tool is "part of the safety equipment of an A320," the spokesman told Bild.