Germanwings Co-pilot Concealed Psychiatric Treatment
Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot found to have deliberately crashed the Germanwings Airbus 320 into the French Alps this week, was undergoing treatment for depression but concealed his condition from the airline, according to a Wall Street Journal report Friday that quoted unnamed sources. A search of Lubitz's Dusseldorf home turned up torn-up medical leave notes excusing him from work, which he ignored, according to the report. The jet's cockpit voice recorder has indicated that Lubitz locked the captain outside the cockpit during cruise and commanded the autopilot to descend into the mountains, killing all 150 aboard.
The sourced quoted by the Journal said there was no evidence Lubitz was taking any medication that could have degraded his judgment in the cockpit. “When someone makes the same decision five or six times all leading toward one specific end you have to assume they are acting intentionally,” the source said, referring Lubitz ignoring the captain's attempts to open the cockpit door. Lubitz, 27, had worked for Germanwings, a Lufthansa subsidiary, since September 2013. Pilots applying to the airline must complete a series of in-depth interviews and tests during hiring and before starting their training programs, according to the Journal's report on Lufthansa and other airlines' policies on pilot screening. Lufthansa has been regarded as having one of the more rigorous vetting practices in the industry and less than 7 percent of its applicants get past the initial screening, the newspaper reported.