According to a new statement released Tuesday March 31 by Lufthansa, the Germanwings company knew about Andreas Lubitz’s battle with depression. On 24 March, the co-pilot took control of the Airbus A320-200 and crashed it in the French Alps, killing all 150 onboard.
It seems that in 2009, he notified his Lufthansa flight training school that he suffered an “episode of severe depression” in the past. The company also mentioned a series of medical documents discovered during an internal investigation. The papers were submitted in order to resume his flight training.
This new announcement indicated that Lufthansa was aware of Lubitz’s mental condition, gave him the green light to continue his pilot training and finally gave him a seat next to the pilot in the cockpit.
The airline company whose CEO previously stated that Lubitz was completely fit to fly justified this change in statement as a “swift and seamless clarification”. Lufthansa also stated it would share the medical and pilot training documents with the public.
According to CNN aviation correspondent Richard Quest, this new information shows that investigations now have to focus on “what happened after he returned in 2009 and finished his training” in order to find out if the correct training and examination procedures were applied .
A Lufthansa spokesperson reported that the co-pilot had a valid medical certificate, passed all his tests and “held all the licenses required”.
There are no conclusions yet. Investigators are still in the process of gathering information and clues that could suggest what caused the crash and the motive behind Lubitz’s action.
Up until now, prosecution gathered medical records that show Lubitz underwent psychotherapy as he manifested suicidal tendencies at one point in his life, before getting his pilot’s license. But prosecutor’s spokesman Christoph Kumpa made it very clear that this information doesn’t prove that the co-pilot was suicidal or manifested aggressive behavior before the crash.
One possible scenario is that Lubitz might have feared he would lose his pilot’s license due to his medical condition.
Lubitz’s girlfriend told investigators that he had recently been to an ophthalmologist and a neuropsychologist. Both doctors told him he was unfit to work as he had psychological issues.
Investigations will continue in hope of an answer to the question that is currently on everyone’s lips: “Why?”.
Image Source: NPR