Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz “deliberately crashed” Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps on Tuesday, authorities have revealed. But who was Lubitz, and what drove him to do the unthinkable?
A French prosecutor has identified Andreas Lubitz as the co-pilot of the Airbus A320 that crashed in the French Alps this week, killing 150 people.
On Thursday the prosecutor in charge of the crash probe, Brice Robin, said voice-recorder evidence indicated that Mr Lubitz locked himself inside the cockpit, preventing the pilot from reentering, then initiated the plane’s fatal descent.
Related content: German co-pilot “show a desire to want to destroy” the flight.
The 30-minute voice recording retrieved from the black box “clearly” suggests that Andreas Lubitz “profited from the captain’s absence” after he left the cockpit to go to the toilet, Mr Robin said.
He added that the co-pilot “showed a desire to want to destroy” the plane.
Today, as the world struggles to comprehend how a qualified and seemingly ambitious young man could have masterminded such a horrifying event, details have begun to emerge about the 27-year-old German national.
Lubitz had first worked as a teenage glider pilot, enrolling in the local air strip and gliding club, the LSC Westerwald flight club, right near his family home in Montabaur, western Germany.
An unnamed neighbour told the local newspaper Rhein-Zeitung: “His big dream was always to be a pilot… He pursued that determinedly and made it.”
Members of that hometown flight club said the co-pilot appeared to be happy with his job at the airline. Peter Rücker, 64-year-old who works in maintenance at the flight club, told the Wall Street Journal that Lubitz had a girlfriend and was “rather quiet but friendly” as a teenager.
“He wasn’t an extroverted guy,” Rücker said. But “he was very responsible and fit in well (at the club),” he said.