Andreas Lubitz’s ex-girlfriend claims the Germanwings co-pilot thought to have deliberately crashed his plane in the French Alps, killing 150 people, predicted “one day everyone will know my name”.
In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Andreas Lubitz’s ex-girlfriend recalled a comment the pilot made last year.
“One day I’m going to do something that will change the whole system, and everyone will know my name and remember,” Andreas Lubitz told her.
Germanwings flight 4U 9525 crashed into the French Alps on March 24.
Andreas Lubitz’s ex-girlfriend, a 26-year-old flight attendant who flew with him for five months last year, was “very shocked” when she heard the news, the publication reports.
She is referred to only as Maria W.
If Andreas Lubitz deliberately brought down the plane, “it is because he understood that because of his health problems, his big dream of a job at Lufthansa, as captain and as a long-haul pilot was practically impossible”, Maria told Bild.
Meanwhile, German newspaper Die Welt said that investigators had found evidence of a serious “psychosomatic illness”, and that Andreas Lubitz had been “treated by several neurologists and psychiatrists”.
Several medicines used to treat mental illnesses were found at his home, but there were no signs of drug or alcohol addiction, the publication, citing an unnamed investigator, said.
Separately, the New York Times, citing officials, reported that Andreas Lubitz had sought treatment for eye problems.
French investigator Jean-Pierre Michel also told the AFP news agency that Andreas Lubitz’s personality was “a serious lead [in the investigation] but… can’t be the only one”.
“We’re going to try to understand what in his life could have left him to carry out the act,” Jean-Pierre Michel said, adding that investigators had not discovered any “particular element” so far.
The black box voice recorder indicates that Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and crashed the plane into a mountainside in what appears to have been a suicide and mass killing.
German prosecutors say they found medical documents at Andreas Lubitz’s house suggesting an existing illness and evidence of medical treatment. They found torn-up sick notes, one of them for the day of the crash.
They say Andreas Lubitz seems to have concealed his illness from his employers.
His former girlfriend told Bild they separated, “because it became increasingly clear that he had a problem”.
She said he was plagued by nightmares and would at times wake up screaming “we’re going down”.
She added that he became stressed when they spoke about work: “He became upset about the conditions we worked under: too little money, fear of losing the contract, too much pressure.”
A hospital in the German city of Duesseldorf has confirmed Andreas Lubitz was a patient there recently but it denied media reports that he had been treated for depression.
Andreas Lubitz’s employers insisted that he had only been allowed to resume training after his suitability was “re-established”.
A fellow member of the flight school where Andreas Lubitz took lessons said the co-pilot had known the area of the French Alps where the plane crashed from going there on gliding holidays.
French newspaper Metro News reported that Andreas Lubitz had holidayed with his parents at a flying club nearby.
French police say the search for passenger remains and debris on the mountain slopes could take another two weeks.
Relatives of some of the passengers and crew who died, including the family of the captain, have visited Seyne-les-Alpes, near the crash site.
In the aftermath of the crash, the EU’s aviation regulator, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), has urged airlines to adopt new safety rules.
In future, the EASA says, two crew members should be present in the cockpit at all times.
Lufthansa and Germanwings have taken out full-page notices in German newspapers, expressing their “deepest sympathy” and condolences for “the unfathomable loss of 150 lives”.
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