The co-pilot suspected of intentionally putting Germanwings Flight 9525 into a doomed dive had been treated for at least one “serious depressive episode” and later had to suspend flight training because of apparent psychological problems, a German newspaper reported Friday.
The account by the Bild tabloid also cites security sources saying Andreas Lubitz has been in a “life crisis” that included troubles with his girlfriend.
The report drew no direct connection between Lubitz’s present psychological state and Tuesday’s apparently deliberate plunge into the French Alps that killed all 150 aboard.
But it offered a possibly fuller portrait of the 27-year-old co-pilot as authorities grope for motives in a tragedy that has prompted some immediate reforms across the airline industry, including following the U.S. lead to require two people at all times in the cockpit.
Bild reported that Lubitz received treatment six years ago for a “serious depressive episode” before he began commercial flight training. The report cited sources at Lufthansa, the parent airline of the budget carrier Germanwings.
It also said Lubitz had slowed his flight training because of treatment for unspecified psychological issues and was temporarily deemed “unfit to fly” during instructions at Lufthansa’s aviation school outside Phoenix.
Lubitz’s personnel file contained a special code saying he needed to have “special regular medical examinations,” Bild added.
The report following the stunning announcement by a French prosecutor Thursday that evidence from the cockpit flight records led to one horrific conclusion — that Lubitz barricaded himself in the cockpit and put the A320 onto an intentional collision course with rugged mountains in southern France.
There was no immediate comment from the Lufthansa group over the Bild report. But on Thursday, Lufthansa’s CEO, Carsten Spohr, described Lubitz as “100 percent fit to fly” when he took his seat on the Barcelona-to-Dusseldorf route.
At the same time, however, a chilling account of the flights final moments emerged from French prosecutors and officials at Lufthansa