The Arizona flight school where Andreas Lubitz took primary flight training may face one of the massive lawsuits that will flow from the young Germanwings pilot’s intentional crash of an A320 in the French Alps last year. Lubitz took his primary flight training at Lufthansa’s Airline Training Center in Goodyear, near Phoenix. According to the German press agency DPA, Lubitz started training in 2008 but had to take a break in 2009 because of psychiatric issues. “Lubitz interrupted his pilot training in 2009 due to mental health problems,” Christof Wellens, a German lawyer working on the case, told DPA. “In our view, he should not have been able to receive his flight licence after that,” Wellens said. According to Fox News, a German doctor who examined Lubitz two weeks before the crash, which killed all 150 people on board, recommended he be hospitalized for psychiatric problems but didn’t warn authorities because of stringent privacy laws in Germany. That revelation is expected to be in a final investigation report to be released by French authorities on Sunday. The report is also expected to recommend that laws be changed to allow the breach of privacy if it is believed a person intends to harm him or herself or others.
Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit on a flight from Barcelona to Dusseldorf March 24, 2015, and steered the aircraft to a remote area of the Alps, where he smashed the airliner into a mountain. He was worried that eye problems would ground him but he also noted in his diary that admitting to the severe depression and other mental health issues that plagued him would have the same effect. The report is expected to recommend that pilots be allowed to use antidepressants and it also wants airlines and regulators to create an environment in which pilots with mental health issues can seek help without being stigmatized. Investigators spent Friday and Saturday briefing the families of victims of the crash.